David Twohy’s Alien 3 Script Analysis

Posted by Corporal Hicks on April 25, 2009 (Updated: 01-Jun-2014)

Following Gibson and Red’s scripts, David Twohy was brought on board to give it a shot. He wrote two scripts to Fox’s specifications: one with Ripley, and one with brand new characters (which is the widely available script and the one this article is about). The latter is set on a prison facility in orbit around Earth.

Despite the interest of Giler, when Vincent Ward was brought on as director, he went in a totally different direction, bringing on a new writer, John Fasano, while Twohy was working on rewrites. Fox told Twohy Fasano was actually writing the fourth Alien script. When Twohy actually found out the truth, he left the project.

The Story

Twohy’s script opens up with an innocuous Weylan-Yutani mining ship moving through asteroids, breaking them all up. However, we eventually found out that the ship is actually searching for traces of the xenomorphs. The ship strikes gold when it locates a face-hugger trapped in amber.

Cut to Earth, as a transport ship moves towards a massive structure in orbit. This is Moloch Island, a massive prison facility. Over the course of the next few scenes we find out about the main characters that we’ll be following through the script (you can find out more about them further down the page).

After sometime aboard the station getting to know each other, our main characters pay witness to a public execution. Flipside is that this execution is just a front for Company experiments with the aliens. The prisoners aboard Moloch are the test subjects.

A heroic act sees Styles in the infirmary, developing a rapport with the CMO, Packard. This soon sees Styles working under Packard in the infirmary.

During the night Styles witnesses the death of a fellow prisoner. While everyone is locked in, with nowhere but the furthest wall of their cell to go, an alien sneaks into the cells and slaughters the other prisoner before Styles’ eyes.

Before long, Styles and the others in his block are hatching an escape plan. Meanwhile the guards are hunting an escaped alien. Having determined they have laid enough traps for the alien, the guards leave before the nightly lockdown.

Convinced the time is right, Styles and the others escape. They find themselves trapped in the underbelly of Moloch station with the rogue aliens on their heals. One-by-one they fall until they run into the traps set by the guards. When Styles and the last surviving prisoner, Van Brunt, accidentally set off the traps, Styles finds himself facing the alien alone, until the guards finally show up and rescue him.

Imprisoned in isolation, Styles pleads with Packard, trying to convince her about the aliens. She eventually investigates and finds herself sneaking into the secured labs aboard the station. During her investigations, Packard finds the Company’s attempt to grow [to] and alter the aliens.

Determined to get off Moloch, Packard attempts to sneak herself and Styles off the station before anything else happens. When Lone, the W-Y honcho on the station realises what is happening, he orders all the power on the station cut so the pair can’t escape. This shutdown causes an accident that blinds the pilot of the transport Packard was trying to board and the ship collides with the station, causing damage and releasing the aliens.

Daggs, one of the guards who had been chasing Styles and Packard down, realises that teaming up with the two would-be-escapees is their best option. The group head off towards the station’s EEV, fighting aliens off along the way. When they eventually reach the EEV, they find themselves face-to-face with Lone. Escaping him, the group get into the EEV and manage to launch, barely avoiding the last Alien.

The end.

Characters

Scott Taylor Styles – The main character of Twohy’s script, Styles finds himself incarcerated on Moloch Island for fraud. He got 10 years sentence plus another 13 due to escaping from two previous prisons. He is quite notorious.

However, that said, he shows no personality attributes of a criminal. He is a reasonable and kind person who just seems too smart for his own good. Like in his previous imprisonments, he engineers an escape which soon finds him face-to-face with an alien aboard the station.

He eventually convinces station staff to help him escape and is one of only three people to escape Moloch Island. He has a series of direct confrontations with Mr Lone, the Company representative onboard the station.

Carl Henrik Van Brunt – Forty years old and Scandinavian, Van Brunt was a helmsman on a G-class freighter. He found himself sent to Moloch Island after a docking procedure failed due to intoxication. He was responsible for the deaths of 49 people and the destruction of two ships. He was sentenced to 49 years imprisonment.

During the early stages of the script, Van Brunt is the first person to form any sort of friendship with Styles. The two have an understanding of each other and the friendship soon develops. You can feel their respect for each other as the script progresses.

Attempting to help Styles close a hatch to escape the Alien, Van Brunt accidentally trips a trap set by the station guards for the Alien. He is coated in molten lead and dies as a statue.

Howard Stumbo Grimes – Sentenced to 32 years in Moloch, Grimes was a convicted rapist and bigamist. He was the aggravater of the group. Grimes wouldn’t be found saying anything positive and was only included in the escape plan by Styles because he couldn’t be sure that Grimes wouldn’t squeal on the rest of them. He eventually met his death at the hands of the alien as the group attempted to escape.

Cheryl Kiryu – Kiryu found herself incarcerated in Moloch for an attempted bombing and was convicted to a life sentence as a terrorist. She was decibed as being thirty years old and Amerasian. She was the silent type and barely said a word in the script.

During the escape scene, Kiryu almost falls, only to be saved by Domingo. She clutches onto him as he attempts to get them both to safety. Ultimately they are both grabbed by the alien and not seen again.

Gustava Gomez Jesus Incantada Domingo – Domingo is easily described as the badass of the group. He was sentenced for four counts of first degree murder with a death sentence on each of those murders. Twenty years old and latin, Domingo was described as “wearing his anger like a coat”.

Domingo forged something of a bond with Kiryu who was reluctant to be around him to start with. He was often quiet and only usually spoke to Kiryu whose life he saved early on in the script. He was killed, along with Kiryu, by the alien when he attempted to save them both during the escape scene.

Daggs – A secondary character in Twohy’s script, Daggs was one of the numerous guards on Moloch station. He was often seen guarding Styles and escorting him from place to place.

Daggs is a source of exposition at times, providing Styles and the audience with information regarding the happenings on Moloch station. Daggs is the most talkative and personalable of the guards and is very reasonable. During the climax of the film, Daggs teams up with Styles and Packard to escape the facility. Daggs is one of the surviving characters.

Chris Packard – A diagnostic physiologist, Packard was often found in the infirmary onboard Moloch. She essentially headed up the department. Shortly after the script begins, her marriage is coming to the end of its five year contract. Her husband decides not to renew it and Packard is somewhat distraught. Over the course of the script Packard develops a tense relationship with Styles that eventually results in her trying to help him escape. Because of her experience with her husband she has obvious trust issues which are brought up with Styles.

He betrays her during an earlier and unsuccessful escape attempt and she confronts him about it. They are shown to have a very “need-oriented” relationship, with Styles needing her to escape and then Packard needing Styles to survive. She is one of three surviving characters.

Mr Lone – Lone is the shady character in Twohy’s script. He is first introduced during the second act of the script after the revelation regarding the alien experiments. Lone is known to be a member of the W-Y’s Bioweapons Division after Packard, being suspicious of Lone when he shows up on Moloch Station, checks his Company profile.

He is shown to be a typical company man who thinks about the welfare of Weylan-Yutani rather than himself and the people who serve him. He destroys the communications device rather than call for help from Gateway so he can prevent the details of the experiments being found out.

It is eventually revealed that Lone is actually an android. We find this out when he falls during the climax and he is shown bleeding white. Nothing comes of it but it raises the questions of android programming and just what the Company has at its disposal.

Technicalities

Twohy’s script was set primarily on Moloch Island, a prison space station in geosynchronous orbit around Earth. It is described in the script as “Iron black, spired, cathedralesque, designed by Eiffel and then hand-sculpted by Rodin. It looms in geosynchronous orbit 23,000 miles above Earth — a smirch of Hell right where Heaven should be.”

The station is within travel distance of Gateway as transports shuttle prisoners from Gateway to Moloch. Similar to Fury 161, Moloch is also based around a refinery, in the case of Twohy’s script, a steel refinery. They refine steel found in asteroids mined from space. Prisoners are also responsible for the production of pipes, wire and small castings.

The prisoners are kept in line with many different guards (block, solitary, special) all armed with a variety of weapons designed for maximum pain but minimum damage. These weapons include a “stitch rifle” which fires hundreds of small-bore needles capable of imbedding into walls. Another weapon used is a short twin-barrelled rifle which fires bolo balls. These balls are capable of restraining a man in a cocoon made from steel filaments which the balls carry.

The Alien & Alien Evolution

The first encounter with the aliens onboard Moloch is after the execution of one of the inmates known as Ivory. The guards stage a flux death by gas but in reality he is drugged and transferred to a chamber in the depths of Moloch where he is attacked and killed by an alien warrior. All of this was observed from a distant room via cameras.

As labelled in the script, Rogue Alien, Twohy’s script introduces a new ability for the aliens: the ability to change form. In an almost mechanical way, it is able to realign it’s chitinus exoskeleton to reshape itself to be able to squeeze through the barred doors of prison cells. The Newbreed Alien encountered later on is also capable of excreting acid through pores in its exoskeleton.

Over the course of the script it is eventually revealed that aliens are being cloned and changed to suit the purposes of the Bio-Weapons division of The Company. A file found by Packard dictates the mission directive of the scientists working with the alien DNA:

“Program Director is charged with determining the feasibility of chemically and/or genetically altering existing xenomorphic species in order to produce a more adaptive, manageable, transportable strain.”

The scientists manage to grow the aliens without the use of a host. They are grown in an artificial womb nurtured in the labs. Another result of the experimentation is the creation of variations of the aliens. Packard later discovers a whole chamber full of alien hybrids in suspended animation. These variations included:

  • Chameleon Alien –  Had the ability to change the colour of exoskeleton to match its environment.
  • “Brute” Alien – A hybrid of larger build with spikes on its exoskeleton.

Various other aliens are found, such as failed experiments which result in mutated forms. The W-Y are now able to effectively (in some cases) change the genetic structure of the alien. However, the biggest evolution of the species is that they no longer require a host thanks to the genetic modifications made.

The aliens are grown in a fetal form of their adult appearance. They no longer appear as chest-bursters before maturity. They “grow” into a larger form of itself.

Twohy also attempts to advance the social aspects of the aliens in this draft. The hive mentality and self-sacrifice shown in Aliens is replaced by internal conflict, although, there is only one clear case of this, when the Newbreed Alien fights with the Brute. It’s a short conflict which ends with the Newbreed being victorious. This may be due to the “unnatural” growth of the different Xenomorphs which affect their mentality in a similar way to the genetic crossing later shown in Alien Resurrection.

Other

  • Uses Weylan-Yutani.
  • The W-Y use a system of classed planets (M-Class and G-Class).
  • The planet TC/166 is the industrial center of the W-Y in the Third Quadrant.
  • Weylan-Yutani owns a deep-space observatory which is located on the planet RY/24.
  • Human experimentation has been outlawed for 200 years.

Conclusion

Despite being “betrayed” by Fox, Twohy’s script did introduce the elements of the prison facility into the Alien 3 mix (which Giler and Hill would eventually recycle for their final draft of Alien 3). Twohy also carried on the theme of modifying the aliens somehow

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