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Alien: Engineers Podcast – AvPGalaxy Podcast #33

We have just uploaded our Alien: Engineers Podcast, the 33rd episode of the AvPGalaxy Podcast. The 33rd episode is our episode that takes a look at the earlier incarnations of Prometheus from when it was a straight-up Alien prequel. We walk through the early script by Jon Spaihts and discuss it in detail.

Our 33rd episode is the Alien: Engineers podcast where we discuss the earlier Prometheus scripts by Jon Spaiht's. This concept art is of the Ultramorph from the end of the script. Alien: Engineers Podcast - AvPGalaxy Podcast #33

Our 33rd episode is the Alien: Engineers podcast where we discuss the earlier Prometheus scripts by Jon Spaiht’s. This concept art is of the Ultramorph from the end of the script.

RidgeTop, Xenomorphine and I are joined by special community guest, HuDaFuk. Regulars to the forum will recognize his name but for those who might not read the message boards, you will most likely recognize his work from Xenopedia, the AvP Wikia, where HuDa is an administrator.

This episode is a longer one, running at just under 2 and a half hours in length but we cover the Alien: Engineers script in some great detail. As well as summarizing the events of the script, we also offer our own thoughts, comparisons, and criticisms. If you’re interested in reading the script yourself you can find it in our downloads section (along with many other drafts of the various other Alien/vs/Predator films).

We’d love to hear what you think about our latest episode. Did you agree or disagree with our assessment of Alien: Engineers? Or perhaps you just have some comments you’d like to make? Feel free to let us know down below!



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Comments: 32
  1. Corporal Hicks
    Another well-done episode gents. I welcome more episodes of this length as it allows for a far more in-depth discussion.

    That seems to be the general consensus! We never really plan them out to a specific time though. They just take as long as they take. Glad you enjoyed - you and tmjhur.  :)

    hey, i can't find a scanned copy anymore but I'll scan mine for u over the weekend

    Fantastic! Thanks mate. I look forward to reading it!  :)

    Hey chrom, did you get chance to get it up?  :)
  2. TheBATMAN
    Another well-done episode gents. I welcome more episodes of this length as it allows for a far more in-depth discussion. I agree with most of the points covered and agree this would have made for a better film. It did need polishing though and I agree the original Giger alien was treated with little respect and it seemed silly to have LV-426 covered in pyramids.
  3. T Dog
    Enjoyable listen as always!
    I agree a combination of the two writers would have worked best but much more in favor of Spaights version with the pacing tidied up, the characters more developed and the aliens more lethal and less cannon foddery.
  4. Corporal Hicks
    I finally made it through the whole thing. Longer podcasts are fine, but they take a little longer to get through. Interruptions, double back to re-listen to the section I missed, that sort of thing.

    No worries mate. I completely understand. I'm exclusively a car journey listener myself so my podcast listening time is just about an hour every day. I appreciate you taking the time to listen.  :)

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    Point is, we know androids in the Alien universe are not always completely reliable, and this one may have had more reason than we know to do the things he did in that draft.

    That's certainly a possibility and not one I'd argue against! Personally I just feel as if Fassbender and Lindelof greatly improved the character.

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    I don't agree with the idea that Giger could have had a field day with the Spaihts script. Look, I'm a lifelong fan of Giger's work. But I doubt - seriously doubt - that Giger could have made a very a big contribution to the project. Maybe he could have done something, but I think the Giger who made the works that affected so many people sort of went away by the mid nineties.

    I understand where you're coming from. We all wanted Ridley Scott to come back and we got that. It didn't equate to an amazing film.

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    Anyway, good job on the podcast.

    Thanks. :)
  5. XenoHunter99
    Hey Hicks,
    I finally made it through the whole thing. Longer podcasts are fine, but they take a little longer to get through. Interruptions, double back to re-listen to the section I missed, that sort of thing. It's obvious you all put a lot of thought into the topic and the discussion. I agree the aliens were too easily defeated and there were some bits that needed smoothing. It was, of course, a mistake to let Lindelof near any of it.

    In terms of android behavior, I like full evil android David. The idea that he "overcame his programming" doesn't necessarily mean what we think it means. He probably had an evolving AI. That's a common enough trope in SF. He's supposed to be a learning machine. Maybe he learned things that affected his worldview. Maybe he had soem logic errors in his subroutines  ;D Point is, we know androids in the Alien universe are not always completely reliable, and this one may have had more reason than we know to do the things he did in that draft.

    I don't agree with the idea that Giger could have had a field day with the Spaihts script. Look, I'm a lifelong fan of Giger's work. But I doubt - seriously doubt - that Giger could have made a very a big contribution to the project. Maybe he could have done something, but I think the Giger who made the works that affected so many people sort of went away by the mid nineties. Even the work he did for Alien 3 was mostly small drawings. There is really no sign that he was still doing a lot after that.That's probably a remarkably unpopular thing to say; but all anyone has to do is prove me wrong and I'll cheerfully recant it. Ironically, it's much like Vicker's line in the movie. "A king has his reign, then he dies." And Giger has no heir, literally or figuratively speaking. It's unfortunate. That said, I hope Scott's team will do a fine pastiche of Giger for Covenant and future movies.

    Anyway, good job on the podcast.
  6. Corporal Hicks
    I think it bothers me a lot more now that I know Spaights script had already dealt with a lot of dumb story and character stuff in Prometheus. The finding of the star map and the general behavior of the scientists was great in the script, can't believe they changed it to what we ended up with.

    Yeah. That's one of the more irritating points. Whilst I freely acknowledge that Lindelof fixed issues I had with Spaiht's work, conversely he made other points worse. They traded one script with issues (though I still stand by the opinion it was a better piece) for another script with issues.
  7. 426Buddy
    I think it bothers me a lot more now that I know Spaights script had already dealt with a lot of dumb story and character stuff in Prometheus. The finding of the star map and the general behavior of the scientists was great in the script, can't believe they changed it to what we ended up with.

    It bothers me even more that they thought the black goo was a good idea. put it in a bottle and call it LPD -  Liquid Plot Device.
  8. Corporal Hicks
    As vague as Prometheus was at times, I thought it did a really god job of feeling like a part of Alien, even though there weren't any Xenomorphs.

    No disagreeing with you there. There was no doubting at all that Prometheus was a part of the Alien universe. You couldn't escape that fact!

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    Those creatures did seem cool, but the monster has never been the main thing that makes the Alien films truly scary or mysterious. It's always been about the atmosphere of the films, and the overall sense of dread or impending doom, which Prometheus nailed.

    On a personal level I disagree with you there. For me it was the Aliens. They were the reason I had nightmares for so many years, they were what I was fascinated with.

    I was also drawn in heavily by the mystery and intrigues of the Space Jockeys so I definitely understand the allure and appeal of any mysteries in Prometheus. However, for a film that was supposed to be there to be chockablocked with answers, it was a frustratingly vague film. Just my stance, anyway.

    Great podcast fellas!

    Thank you, kindly.  :)

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    I would say that there is a film somewhere between this script and Prometheus that would have been incredible and scary. I think if you had cut the original xenos out, changed planets, and made it less busy the spaights draft would have been great.

    Exactly how I feel. I would love to see those earlier drafts (especially the one where they just find the Derelict, rather than pyramids. I wonder how differently that one plays out because I couldn't imagine them finding any terraforming technology within the ship. It'd seem more of a stretch.

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    As it is I feel Prometheus is heavily flawed and contains almost no dread or atmosphere, I find the soundtrack was more uplifting than not. Its confusing and overly vague, not mysterious.

    Not to say there isn't things I enjoy about Prometheus, its just has so many problems.

    There's plenty of things I enjoy in Prometheus too. I just find it a very frustrating film to watch.
  9. 426Buddy
    Great podcast fellas!

    I would say that there is a film somewhere between this script and Prometheus that would have been incredible and scary. I think if you had cut the original xenos out, changed planets, and made it less busy the spaights draft would have been great.

    As it is I feel Prometheus is heavily flawed and contains almost no dread or atmosphere, I find the soundtrack was more uplifting than not. Its confusing and overly vague, not mysterious.

    Not to say there isn't things I enjoy about Prometheus, its just has so many problems.
  10. Xeno-Dwarf
    As vague as Prometheus was at times, I thought it did a really god job of feeling like a part of Alien, even though there weren't any Xenomorphs. I also thought the final version was much better than the Spaihts script. I think the biggest similarity to Alien was that there was in fact a lot of mystery, and things left unexplained. As much as I love the other Alien movies and stories, the lifespan and nature of the standard Xeno has become too predictable and familiar. Even though it would have been nice to see the Xeno in Prometheus, it's better to have little to no information than know everything. I think it was Dan O'Bannon who stated something along the lines of as soon as something becomes familiar it's not scary anymore (it may not have been him that said that, but I think that's right), which has indeed happened to the Alien universe. I also think it was important for them to do something more than just provide some new monsters. Those creatures did seem cool, but the monster has never been the main thing that makes the Alien films truly scary or mysterious. It's always been about the atmosphere of the films, and the overall sense of dread or impending doom, which Prometheus nailed.
  11. Mike
    A:Covenant should explain how those Xenomorphs were created and why. But there is another question: when they were created. Honestly speaking, Xenomorph species is probably not such young as some people believe. Since there was a mural where there is image of classic Xenomorph and film will be set 20 years before Alien, them those classic ones should appear alongside  possible ancestors. That could mean they appeared maybe thousands or millions years ago. Just opinion.
  12. oduodu
    Corporal

    Stuff like David playing basketball like Ripley or the countdown timer in Prometheus etc.  I would like to hear you guys opinion on whether or not simply putting something in a movie as a homage to earlier work is it a nostalgia thing and does it add to the movie ?
  13. Corporal Hicks
    Only made it 40 min in last night, great podcast so far though, very interesting since I never actually read the script. I'll finish the rest tonight after work, can't wait!

    That's the problem with longer ones. Glad you're enjoying it so far though!

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    I would bet that the UK has a bigger fanbase than the US, in 24 years of fandom I've actually never even met another person that was into the series like I am. It doesn't mean there isn't a big fanbase here, but I don't think its all that common.

    America is a lot bigger as well though. You might be spread out.
  14. 426Buddy
    Only made it 40 min in last night, great podcast so far though, very interesting since I never actually read the script. I'll finish the rest tonight after work, can't wait!


     I would bet that the UK has a bigger fanbase than the US, in 24 years of fandom I've actually never even met another person that was into the series like I am. It doesn't mean there isn't a big fanbase here, but I don't think its all that common.
  15. Corporal Hicks
    Fantastic podcast guys, as always. Really enjoy these casts, one of the few I actually look forward to listening to. Keep up the good work.

    Thanks! It's nice to know we do have regular listeners who enjoy listening to us!

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    With regards to Alien: Engineers, I wonder if any of the unused ideas and concepts will filter into Alien: Covenant. There are a number of aspects of the engineers script that I think we're, in my opinion, interesting- such as more of an emphasis on the Alien creatures as well as the recognizable ancestors of the Giger Alien.

    It's certainly not out of the realms of possibility! From the way Ridley is talking about Covenant, it seems like it'll be focusing heavily on the creation of the Aliens and those threads of creation and evolution of the Alien were more apparent in the Alien days of Prometheus. I would not be surprised to see the proto-Aliens return.

    Thanks for explaining why you guys feel the way you do. You gave very sound explanations. I am more at peace because of this pod cast about Prometheus. You also explained things in the Spaihts script a lot better then I understood it. You also touched upon Lindelof's draft and what you thought about it.  There was some really good stuff there that could have made a fantastic movie. I hope it finds it way into Covenant.

    Thanks. Really . Enjoyed it.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the listen! I'm pleased to hear we helped you in your understanding of the script and how we feel about it.

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    The longer the pod cast better.

    We never really set any particular lengths but sometimes they just run long because they have to or they run short because you can't really stretch it. We just let them run as long as the conversation dictates.  :)

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    One day it would be nice if you guys talked about the whole homage/throwback thing.

    What do you mean? The issues with sequels/prequels having repeat sequences, dialogue? That kind of thing?

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    Nice to hear Huda !

    Indeed! Poor RidgeTop is always outnumbered!  :P

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    Just out of curiosity is there a bigger following of the franchise in the UK then America ?

    That's a hard question and I'm not sure how I'd measure that. Alien guests at conventions are generally quite popular. We tend to have special events and etc about them over here. Of course, they were largely filmed over here too so there's that.
  16. oduodu
    Thanks for explaining why you guys feel the way you do. You gave very sound explanations. I am more at peace because of this pod cast about Prometheus. You also explained things in the Spaihts script a lot better then I understood it. You also touched upon Lindelof's draft and what you thought about it.  There was some really good stuff there that could have made a fantastic movie. I hope it finds it way into Covenant.

    Thanks. Really . Enjoyed it.

    The longer the pod cast better.

    Xenomorphine: you studied AI ?

    Wow.

    One day it would be nice if you guys talked about the whole homage/throwback thing.

    Nice to hear Huda !

    Thanks

    Just out of curiosity is there a bigger following of the franchise in the UK then America ?
  17. BonesawT101
    Fantastic podcast guys, as always. Really enjoy these casts, one of the few I actually look forward to listening to. Keep up the good work. With regards to Alien: Engineers, I wonder if any of the unused ideas and concepts will filter into Alien: Covenant. There are a number of aspects of the engineers script that I think we're, in my opinion, interesting- such as more of an emphasis on the Alien creatures as well as the recognizable ancestors of the Giger Alien.
  18. Corporal Hicks
    Despite all its flaws, Prometheus's approach of being distant from the done to death tropes of Alien's cliches was a smart refreshing approach that allowed it to have its own identity and steer away from being a done to death Alien rehash.

    In my opinion Alien: Engineers was still exploring those new angles, just with a more coherent structure. Like we said in the podcast, it wasn't a flawless script by any stretch but it was a better foundation.

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    That being said, I really like what Ridley and his design team were doing in terms of recreating the xenomorph, returning to the "Classic Giger-esque aesthetic, and explore the Xenomorph's ancestors. Though it was smart to focus less on the Xeno I was excited about the direction they were going in.

    I do wonder how it would have fared had they put more focus on the proto-Aliens and not trying to shoehorn in the classic ones. I'd have been interested in seeing that.

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    John Spaits seemed really bummed out by that Fact the changes striped away his contribution in revealing the origin of the xenomorphs. Hopefully Alien Covenant will re-explore these elements.

    I'm not surprised. They butchered a much better put together effort.

    Great episode as always, gents!

    Thanks.  :)
  19. XENOMORPHOSIS
    Despite all its flaws, Prometheus's approach of being distant from the done to death tropes of Alien's cliches was a smart refreshing approach that allowed it to have its own identity and steer away from being a done to death Alien rehash. That being said, I really like what Ridley and his design team were doing in terms of recreating the xenomorph, returning to the "Classic Giger-esque aesthetic, and explore the Xenomorph's ancestors. Though it was smart to focus less on the Xeno I was excited about the direction they were going in. John Spaits seemed really bummed out by that Fact the changes striped away his contribution in revealing the origin of the xenomorphs. Hopefully Alien Covenant will re-explore these elements.
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