Reference stats table.
The commercial towing spaceship Nostromo is on a return trip from Thedus to Earth, hauling a refinery and twenty million tons of mineral ore, and carrying its seven-member crew in stasis. Upon receiving a transmission of unknown origin from a nearby planetoid, the ship's computer awakens the crew. Acting on standing orders from their corporate employers, the crew detaches the Nostromo from the refinery and lands on the planetoid, resulting in some damage to the ship. Captain Dallas, Executive Officer Kane, and Navigator Lambert set out to investigate the signal's source while Warrant Officer Ripley, Science Officer Ash, and Engineers Brett and Parker stay behind to monitor their progress and make repairs.
Dallas, Kane, and Lambert discover that the signal is coming from a derelict alien spacecraft. Inside it they find the remains of a large alien creature whose ribs appear to have been forced outward from the inside. Meanwhile, the Nostromo's computer partially deciphers the signal transmission, which Ripley determines to be some type of warning. Kane discovers a vast chamber containing numerous eggs, one of which releases a creature that attaches itself to his face. Dallas and Lambert carry the unconscious Kane back to the Nostromo, where Ash allows them inside against Ripley's orders to follow the ship's quarantine protocol. They unsuccessfully attempt to remove the creature from Kane's face, discovering that its blood is an extremely corrosive acid. Eventually the creature detaches on its own and is found dead. With the ship repaired, the crew resume their trip back to Earth. Kane awakens seemingly unharmed, but during a meal before re-entering stasis he begins to choke and convulse until an alien creature bursts from his chest, killing him and escaping into the ship. Lacking conventional weapons, the crew attempt to locate and capture the creature by fashioning motion trackers, electric prods, and flamethrowers. Brett follows the crew's cat into a large room where the now-fully-grown Alien attacks him and disappears with his body into the ship's air shafts. Dallas enters the shafts intending to force the Alien into an airlock where it can be expelled into space, but it ambushes him. Lambert implores the remaining crew members to escape in the ship's shuttle, but Ripley, now in command, explains that the shuttle will not support four people. Accessing the ship's computer, Ripley discovers that Ash has been ordered to return the Alien to the Nostromo's corporate employers even at the expense of the crew's lives. Ash attacks her, but Parker intervenes and decapitates him with a blow from a fire extinguisher, revealing Ash to be an android. Before Parker incinerates him, Ash predicts that the other crew members will not survive. The remaining three crew members plan to arm the Nostromo's self-destruct mechanism and escape in the shuttle, but Parker and Lambert are killed by the Alien while gathering the necessary supplies. Ripley initiates the self-destruct sequence and heads for the shuttle with the cat, but finds the Alien blocking her way. She unsuccessfully attempts to abort the self-destruct, then returns to find the Alien gone and narrowly escapes in the shuttle as the Nostromo explodes. As she prepares to enter stasis, Ripley discovers that the Alien is aboard the shuttle. She puts on a space suit and opens the hatch, causing explosive decompression which forces the Alien to the open doorway. She shoots it with a grappling gun which propels it out, but the gun is yanked from her hands and catches in the closing door, tethering the Alien to the shuttle. It attempts to crawl into one of the engines, but Ripley activates them and blasts the Alien into space. She then puts herself and the cat into stasis for the return trip to Earth.
Cartwright won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.
Ronald Shusett executive producer for the story with script writer Dan O'Bannon wrote and edited a script that was for an all male cast but were uncertain whether 20th Century Fox would buy the script. Dan O'Bannon originally pitched the film to the studio as 'Jaws in Space'. Wanting that it should be available for a wider audience wrote on the script by the crew, 'The crew are unisex and all parts are interchangeable for men or women'. The crew included at the time of writing;
Lee Roby-Executive Officer
Sandy Helikonis-Communications Tech
Cleave Hunter-Mining Engineer
Jay Faust-Engine Tech
With this crew members allowed for any of the crew to be a woman or a man, Ronald Shusett also speculated that even a woman could play as a commander or captain but also didn't envisage a leading lady playing Ripley's character. Further input by Ridley Scott saw a woman being cast as the leading role. This was mostly due with the rewrites that allowed for a role of a woman, a further female was cast as Lambert the navigator with other characters staying as males but varied in number before the final version. Luckily 20th Century Fox was after a film with spaceships and so green-lighted Alien as their only space orientated film.
With the new characters for their role chosen, casting continued in the US and by Mary Selway casting (UK), the cast being chosen for their ability in the chosen role for each of the characters. Ridley Scott added saying that, 'the cast is very definitive', that it is important that the right characters are chosen for the role and this would follow into the film, making them believable for the role that they are playing.
Ivor Powell associate producer along with Ridley Scott thought of the idea of a more industrial vessel for the Nostromo and 'Truckers In Space', a concept of truck drivers journeying on a long route in space, with this idea areas of the Nostromo would have a more used feel and appearance, worn and sparse which also followed though to the crew's uniforms, equipment used aboard the spacecraft and the different levels and areas.
Final crew in filming;
Lambert's role as navigator had a woman cast with Veronica Cartwright, part of filming required her to be frightened easily, this was necessary from a number of scenes and even as her role of navigator. Other scenes was in medical as the face hugger had detached from Kane, the chest burster scene and as she is confronted by the alien. The filming of the chest burster scene the cast members knew that the creature would be bursting out of Hurt and had seen the chest burster puppet but they had not been told that fake blood would also be bursting out in every direction from high-pressure pumps and squibs.
Lambert was chosen for a role in the film and arrived on set thinking she had the lead role of Ripley, quickly finding she had not the set staff and production crew reassured her that the role of Lambert as a navigator was as important to the film as Ripley's role. She continued, but be it upset of the lower status role, this followed for her role as required by the character.
In the Alien Anthology version of the Alien films and the Weyland-Yutani archives characters were given there full names or screen names different from the film Alien, like Lambert who was called Joan Marie Lambert in her files and was said that she suffered from hyperactivity and nervousness.
With the DLC maps Crew Expendable and Last Survivor for the game Alien: Isolation the characters from the film Alien reappear and some are playable in-game. These are from two scenes from the film; Crew Expendable includes finding the alien and flushing it towards the air lock and Last Survivor includes playing as Ripley and evac from the Nostromo after setting the self-destruct.
Lambert's part is from Crew Expendable after the death of Kane, the group Brett, Ripley, Dallas, Ash and Parker flush the alien towards the airlock. In the film Parker has constructed the four flame throwers as they split into groups and search for the alien, in game they use them along with other equipment and sealing airlocks. Although unplayable Lambert appears along with the rest of the crew, like in the film she is equipped with a flame thrower and splits into a group that goes in search for the alien.
Character detail art and modeling were provided by Jack Perry and Nic Frath, with Calum Watt adding to the character and clothing for each character. Other characters were designed by lead character artist Ranulf Busby and brought to life by lead animator Chris Southall.
She appears in the DLC videos Alien: Isolation Cast Reunite and Alien: Isolation The Cast of. In Alien: Isolation The Cast of trailer he along with all the original cast (except Ash) of the film Alien are seen voicing for their character behind-the-scenes.
Lambert isn't one of the three selectable crew from the DLC Crew Expendable but appears when selecting Parker, Dallas or Ripley. She also appears later as another crew member and appears in the DLC Last Survivor along with Parker but they are both killed by the alien.
The film Alien is set in 2122.
The game Alien (1984) was published in 1984 and based on the film Alien.
The game Alien: Isolation is set as a continuing story after the film Alien and before the film Aliens.