In 2003, 20th Century Fox was working on the Alien Quadrilogy DVD Boxset and wanted to include alternative versions of each Alien film as they did for James Cameron’s Aliens. Director Ridley Scott was brought on to remaster Alien and restore a few missing scenes in order to create a special cut. After the editing process, Scott felt the new Director’s Cut was too long and the pacing was off. So he went in again and removed a few scenes to make it more streamlined.
The Alien Director’s Cut is about a minute shorter than the theatrical version – many scenes were excised or shortened but the new cut included the infamous Eggmorphing scene. After completion, Fox released the new Director’s Cut in cinemas just in time for Halloween on October 29, 2003.
Ridley Scott always felt the theatrical version was perfect and the Director’s Cut was merely done to give fans something different. The article below includes every new scene that is in the Director’s Cut and a few key scenes that had been removed from it. The DC edited many scenes to make them a few seconds shorter so this article doesn’t include those ones.
NEW: Distress Signal
The scene in which the crew are studying the distress signal is a little longer and they gather that it’s not a radio signal or a voice. They then figure out which planet the signal is coming from. Dallas asks what the rotation and gravity are like on the planet and Ash concludes that you can walk on it.
CUT: Ash & Ripley
Ash is watching Dallas, Lambert and Kane as they venture off towards the distress signal. Ripley asks if he’s got any further with the transmission and Ash says that Mother hasn’t identified it yet. Ripley asks if she can give it a try and Ash says “Please do…”.
NEW: Kane’s Gun
When Kane is looking at the Alien Egg, there is a shot of him holding up his gun.
NEW: Studying Kane
After Ash lets Kane into the ship, Parker, Brett and Lambert are watching him from behind a window outside the med-lab. Parker asks how he can even breathe with the Facehugger on his face and suggests freezing him. Ripley then appears and Lambert immediately slaps her for not letting them back onto the ship. In the Theatrical Cut, Ripley arrives in the corridor normally.
CUT: Ash’s History
Ripley asks Dallas if he’s been flying with Ash before but Dallas says Ash replaced the previous science officer two days before departure. Ripley says she doesn’t trust Ash and Dallas says he doesn’t trust anybody.
NEW: Alien Hanging
The scene with Brett in the room with the chains is intercut differently in the Director’s Cut. There are now more shots showing the Xenomorph just hanging by the chains.
NEW: Brett’s Blood
Just as Brett is taken into the ducts by the Xenomorph, Parker and Ripley come into the area and hear is screams. Parker looks up and sees blood dripping from the ceiling.
CUT: Dallas’s Transmission
There’s a scene in the theatrical cut with Dallas in the communication room asking questions to Mother. He asks how to terminate the Alien but Mother doesn’t understand. The scene ends with Dallas asking what his chances are. Again, Mother says “Does Not Compute”.
CUT: Lambert, Ripley & Parker
After Lambert, Ripley, Parker and Ash decide what to do next, the shot stays on Lambert for a few more seconds. There’s a new shot of Parker sneaking through the corridor while Ripley gets the Access Card for Mother and puts it in a compartment. In the theatrical cut, the scene doesn’t stay on Lambert for that long and then carries off where Ripley goes into talk to Mother.
CUT: Ripley Typing
After Ripley burns Ash’s remains, she goes to type something on a console. There’s a shot of the Narcissus lighting up and then we see her tying her hair back.
The most iconic scene of the Director’s Cut is the infamous Eggmorphing scene. Ripley, armed with a flamethrower, finds Dallas cocooned to the wall and appears to be transforming into something. She looks over at Brett, also on the wall, who is transforming into an Egg. Dallas begs Ripley to kill him. She holds up her flamethrower and burns him.
NEW: Xenomorph Watching Cat
The Xenomorph looks at the cat in its cage for a bit longer in the Director’s Cut. It then kicks the cage over.