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Author Topic: Alien anthology Film / TV Series?  (Read 1192 times)

Russ
Nov 12, 2018, 09:17:18 AM
Reply #45 on: Nov 12, 2018, 09:17:18 AM
Q
It can certainly be done. I really think that TV is the best way to go... The films have consistently not been great since Aliens. I know that 3 and Resurrection have their fanbases as do Prometheus and Covenant but none of these movies have had the impact of the first two. I just think that TV can offer something different - maybe something better. Things like Walking Dead (I've not seen it), Game of Thrones and all that have been going on for many years ... why couldn't a series set in the AlienVerse do the same?

Alienless stories can work - but if you're setting it in the AlienVerse, then you would have to allude to things from the movies - that would make sense to me. Like the presence of Wey-Yu or Hyperdyne (I believe they were bought out by Wey-Yu, I'm sure SM confirmed that in another thread).

I don't think every story could be Alienless, but in a TV show you could certainly explore other avenues.

I thought that "A murder on Thedus" would be a good idea. Let's say that the original science offer of the Nostromo goes up against the company for unfair dismissal. The guy has a case - and if people start digging, they'll find out about Ash, the special order and all that stuff.

The science officer meets with an unfortunate accident. Enter our jaded alcoholic cop and her hot-dog newbie sidekick - they start investigating and soon begin to uncover the very things that wey-yu have been trying to hide. These cops can't be bought or scared off - they're going after the truth (in the face of corrupt bosses and all that fun stuff). Like Dirty Harry - they're against the system and trying to buck it.

None of that involves seeing the monster at all, but it's fingerprints (dare I say DNA) are all over the story.


TC
Nov 12, 2018, 11:23:58 AM
Reply #46 on: Nov 12, 2018, 11:23:58 AM
Q
...
I thought that "A murder on Thedus" would be a good idea. Let's say that the original science offer of the Nostromo goes up against the company for unfair dismissal. The guy has a case - and if people start digging, they'll find out about Ash, the special order and all that stuff.

The science officer meets with an unfortunate accident. Enter our jaded alcoholic cop and her hot-dog newbie sidekick - they start investigating and soon begin to uncover the very things that wey-yu have been trying to hide. These cops can't be bought or scared off - they're going after the truth (in the face of corrupt bosses and all that fun stuff). Like Dirty Harry - they're against the system and trying to buck it.
...

Immmm... I have a story about this.  :laugh:

TC


Russ
Nov 12, 2018, 11:45:51 AM
Reply #47 on: Nov 12, 2018, 11:45:51 AM
Q
You do!?! Damn, there goes my big novel pitch...

Would love to read it :-)


SiL
Nov 12, 2018, 12:38:50 PM
Reply #48 on: Nov 12, 2018, 12:38:50 PM
Q
That idea could work -- but it's not really in keeping with what was shown in Alien. Shuffling crew members doesn't seem to be a major thing (Ripley wasn't part of the normal crew roster) and the Company didn't explicitly try to murder anyone until Alien3 (and to be fair, that dude had in turn tried to murder someone right in front of them). More likely they would've just put the dude on another ship and sent him on his merry way.

I guess that's another issue I have with the Alien-less Alien stories. Unless you're replacing the Alien with another monster of the week, you're left with ... corporate meetings? Commandos in space?


TC
Nov 12, 2018, 01:13:00 PM
Reply #49 on: Nov 12, 2018, 01:13:00 PM
Q
You do!?! Damn, there goes my big novel pitch...

Would love to read it :-)

Yeah I know what you mean.  :)

So often I think I have a great new unique idea and then I read of someone else's thoughts who independently came up with something similar. But then, we all haunt the same forums, subconsciously cross pollinating each others ideas, affected by the same fandom zeitgeist. It sort of has to be expected.

I'll tell you what the differences are (between what you wrote and my stuff):

(This is all fanfic, BTW)

Your "jaded alcoholic cop" is my "Marshall William T O'Neil" (yes, he bares a striking resemblence to Sean Connery, just as displayed on page 1 of this very thread!).

He arrives on Thedus (it's a space station, not a planet) to take up the office of Galactic Marshall in this recently opened sector of the Galaxy. He's getting on in years, close to retirement.

Your "hot-dog newbie sidekick" is my "Dr Elizabeth Shaw." She doesn't work for him, she works for Colonial Admin. as their exobiologist. But O'Niel deputises her and relies on her to provide science advice on his investigations.

Your "murder on Thedus" is my "pursuit of criminal on-the-run" Dr Ian Cuthbert, wanted for illegal clone experiments on unwary citizens.

Your "things Wey-Yu have been trying to hide" is my "Wey-Yu harbouring and concealing a fugitive from justice" (namely, Dr Cuthbert).

Your "they'll find out about Ash, the special order and all that stuff" is a bit more involved in my take (which is essentially a TV series version of the Alien saga).

Here are the opening episodes, in a nutshell:

The Nostromo ships out of Thedus.

O'Neill puts the heat on Cuthbert as he gets closer and closer to finding him, eventually enforcing a lockdown of all unscheduled departures from Thedus.

The Nostromo unexpectedly returns under an emergency flag. O'Neill is alerted.

Kane is offloaded in a stasis tube, creature attached to his face, taken to the W-Y medical lab. Dr Shaw is called upon to provide assistance.

O'Neill asks Dr Shaw to attend the Nostromo crew debrief, in which they recount their tale on LV-426, while he continues his pursuit of Dr Cuthbert.

Cuthbert secretly meets with W-Y and does a deal in which they will help him elude the Marshall and in return he will give them the benefit of his scientific expertise.

Miraculously, the creature falls off Kane's face and W-Y declares him fit for duty, much to Dr Shaw's consternation. In fact, she complains to O'Neil that despite her being asked to consult on the case by W-Y, she was kept at arms length from the patient.

The real Nostromo science officer is kidnapped and replaced by Cuthbert who assumes the name Ash, and the Nostromo hurriedly departs again with Kane and "Ash" both onboard.

W-Y throws up a smoke screen to stifle O'Neill and Shaws' investigations.

Onboard the Nostomo, it's business as usual, except that "Ash" takes an unusual interest in Kane's activities.

Back on Thedus, W-Y is mounting an expedition to LV-426, the planetoid where Kane was attacked. They entice Dr Shaw to accompany them.

And so on...


That idea could work -- but it's not really in keeping with what was shown in Alien. Shuffling crew members doesn't seem to be a major thing (Ripley wasn't part of the normal crew roster) and the Company didn't explicitly try to murder anyone until Alien3 (and to be fair, that dude had in turn tried to murder someone right in front of them). More likely they would've just put the dude on another ship and sent him on his merry way.
...

Of course, you're responding to Russ, but it applies to what I just wrote, so in order to pre-empt your next post:

Yes, your objections are correct. My excuse is that I've changed so much of the original stories I've also taken the liberty of excising and rewriting the bits that get in my way, heh heh.

Yes, I'm shameless. Guilty as charged.

TC

« Last Edit: Nov 13, 2018, 09:22:51 AM by TC »

Russ
Nov 12, 2018, 01:16:26 PM
Reply #50 on: Nov 12, 2018, 01:16:26 PM
Q
I did not know about the roster stuff, fair comment.

For me, I was thinking more about an x-files type of thing. As the cops investigate more deeply they begin to learn more and more about the shadowy dealings of Wey-Yu and their secretive dealings to do with alien technology.

You could reference all sorts of stuff - perhaps they find an "Alan Schaefer - Val Verde" file which has a recording of an Arnold sound-a-like describing what happened to him and his team (It's using the trees... watching and waiting ... killing us off one by one...*lol*)...

Maybe this takes place after Alien3? That way, you could really go to town with the Nostromo, Hadley's Hope and so on.

But Commandos in Space would be ace - I mean, Space: Above and Beyond was really good, imagine that with Xenos popping up every so often.

I wonder what they are talking about doing, the rumour mill is turning about the TV show is floating around again, isn't it - guess we can hope that it's real and it's going to be good!

Yeah I know what you mean.  :)

So often I think I have a great new unique idea and then I read of someone else's thoughts who independently came up with something similar. But then, we all haunt the same forums, subconsciously cross pollinating each others thoughts, affected by the same fandom zeitgeist. It sort of has to be expected.

Thanks so much for posting this, I really liked the ideas - great work!

« Last Edit: Nov 12, 2018, 01:18:27 PM by Russ »

Immortan Jonesy
Nov 12, 2018, 07:50:00 PM
Reply #51 on: Nov 12, 2018, 07:50:00 PM
Q
I believe I said in another thread that a single episode/short in an anthology is fine to explore Alien-less stories. I just don't think the world itself is inherently compelling enough to run a feature (without renaming it) or a series without becoming very generic sci-fi that's neither helped nor hindered by the set dressings of the Alien series.

Well, this may change if you use a lot of Giger's imagery in order to conceive a less generic sci-fi setting. But aparently, they (FOX) don't want to pay for Giger's estate, so they are using the stuff that they own (the Derelict blueprint, for example). I could be wrong though.

I thought that "A murder on Thedus" would be a good idea. Let's say that the original science offer of the Nostromo goes up against the company for unfair dismissal. The guy has a case - and if people start digging, they'll find out about Ash, the special order and all that stuff.

The science officer meets with an unfortunate accident. Enter our jaded alcoholic cop and her hot-dog newbie sidekick - they start investigating and soon begin to uncover the very things that wey-yu have been trying to hide. These cops can't be bought or scared off - they're going after the truth (in the face of corrupt bosses and all that fun stuff). Like Dirty Harry - they're against the system and trying to buck it.

None of that involves seeing the monster at all, but it's fingerprints (dare I say DNA) are all over the story.

Your "jaded alcoholic cop" is my "Marshall William T O'Niell" (yes, he bares a striking resemblence to Sean Connery, just as displayed on page 1 of this very thread!).

He arrives on Thedus (it's a space station, not a planet) to take up the office of Galactic Marshall in this recently opened sector of the Galaxy. He's getting on in years, close to retirement.

Your "hot-dog newbie sidekick" is my "Dr Elizabeth Shaw." She doesn't work for him, she works for Colonial Admin. as their exobiologist. But O'Niell deputises her and relies on her to provide science advice on his investigations.

Your "murder on Thedus" is my "pursuit of criminal on-the-run" Dr Ian Cuthbert, wanted for illegal clone experiments on unwary citizens.

Your "things Wey-Yu have been trying to hide" is my "Wey-Yu harbouring and concealing a fugitive from justice" (namely, Dr Cuthbert).

Your "they'll find out about Ash, the special order and all that stuff" is a bit more involved in my take (which is essentially a TV series version of the Alien saga).

Here are the opening episodes, in nutshell:

The Nostromo ships out of Thedus.

O'Neill puts the heat on Cuthbert as he gets closer and closer to finding him, eventually enforcing a lockdown of all unscheduled departures from Thedus.

The Nostromo unexpectedly returns under an emergency flag. O'Neill is alerted.

Kane is offloaded in a stasis tube, creature attached to his face, taken to the W-Y medical lab. Dr Shaw is called upon to provide assistance.

O'Neill asks Dr Shaw to attend the Nostromo crew debrief, in which they recount their tale on LV-426, while he continues his pursuit of Dr Cuthbert.

Cuthbert secretly meets with W-Y and does a deal with W-Y to have him shipped out on one of their scheduled freighters. He adopts the guise of "Ash", a science officer.

Miraculously, the creature falls off Kane's face and W-Y declares him fit for duty, much to Dr Shaw's consternation. In fact, she complains to O'Niell that despite her being asked to consult on the case by W-Y, she was kept at arms length from the patient.

The real science officer is kidnapped and replaced by Cuthbert/Ash, and the Nostromo hurriedly departs again with Kane and Ash both onboard.

W-Y throws up a smoke screen to stifle O'Niell and Dr Shaws' investigations.

Onboard the Nostomo, it's business as usual, except that "Ash" takes an unusual interest in Kane's activities.

Back on Thedus, W-Y is mounting an expedition to LV-426, the planetoid where Kane was attacked. They entice Dr Shaw to accompany them.

And so on...

TC

Yeah, that is a proper approach for an hypothetical Alien TV series. The X-files style idea is equal interesting actually.

« Last Edit: Nov 12, 2018, 09:02:17 PM by Immortan Jonesy »

SM
Nov 12, 2018, 10:16:11 PM
Reply #52 on: Nov 12, 2018, 10:16:11 PM
Q
Quote
Well, this may change if you use a lot of Giger's imagery in order to conceive a less generic sci-fi setting. But aparently, they (FOX) don't want to pay for Giger's estate, so they are using the stuff that they own (the Derelict blueprint, for example). I could be wrong though.

Pretty much correct - however I don't think they should be using non-Alien Giger stuff.


Immortan Jonesy
Nov 12, 2018, 11:05:11 PM
Reply #53 on: Nov 12, 2018, 11:05:11 PM
Q
Probably not, but I was thinking on a story featuring alien artifacts (perhaps manufactured by the Space Jockeys), and overall I was trying to figure out how an hypothetical Alien TV series can be perceived as something less generic; but more like an appealing (and multifacetic) sci-fi world. For example, the jaded alcoholic cop idea (or a detective trying to uncover dirty things & secrets of the Company) can leads to an interesting neo-noir set piece on a retro-futuristic Earth, or an space station / space colony of some kind.






« Last Edit: Nov 12, 2018, 11:09:00 PM by Immortan Jonesy »

SM
Nov 12, 2018, 11:08:14 PM
Reply #54 on: Nov 12, 2018, 11:08:14 PM
Q
Nah, I'm more in the 'if you want to call it Alien - put an Alien in it' camp.


Immortan Jonesy
Nov 12, 2018, 11:12:32 PM
Reply #55 on: Nov 12, 2018, 11:12:32 PM
Q
Of course, you can't remove the Alien out of the equation. But that doesn't mean that you can't expand the scope (i.e, explore (introduce) other in universe elements).

And back to the anthology idea, how about a space colony where a delusional society of humans are worshiping the Engineers. Their cities are being raised around Space Jockeys monuments that they found on the Planet, and they are living in some kind of space feudalism (or like the dystopian humanity in Warhammer 40,000) which include bizarre rituals and experimentation with black goo. Sort of Dark City meets Vincent Wards' Alien 3.




« Last Edit: Nov 13, 2018, 12:17:28 AM by Immortan Jonesy »

TC
Nov 13, 2018, 12:10:57 AM
Reply #56 on: Nov 13, 2018, 12:10:57 AM
Q
I believe I said in another thread that a single episode/short in an anthology is fine to explore Alien-less stories. I just don't think the world itself is inherently compelling enough to run a feature (without renaming it) or a series without becoming very generic sci-fi that's neither helped nor hindered by the set dressings of the Alien series.

My initial instinct is to agree. I've thought about this before. Without the Alien stuff the story concept does get a bit "future/sci-fi" generic. It really needs a strong hook to uniquely identify itself, and that hook (naturally) is AlienTM. The same applies to a Blade Runner TV show, which would need replicants as its hook. Otherwise, audiences would feel a bit gypped with the false branding of Alien and Blade Runner.

Not saying it couldn't be done. It would just be a minefield of marketing traps.

@Russ

Did you see Almost Human? It was a TV show with Karl Urban. Jaded detective of the future is paired with android sidekick he doesn't like but learns to overcome his prejudices as they solve crimes together. Sort of Blader Runner meets Lethal Weapon meets Robocop.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almost_Human_(TV_series)

TC



Of course, you can't remove the Alien out of the equation. But that doesn't mean that you can't expand the scope (i.e, explore (introduce) other in universe elements).

True. In fact, in an expansive TV series you're kind of obligated to introduce other elements. (By expansive, I mean modelled on something like the more modern type of TV show, e.g. Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, which use giant-mytharcs, rather than the episodic self-contained stories of, say NCIS or Law and Order. Although other shows are a combination of the two styles; e.g. The Good Wife, the X-Files.)

Compare this with Alien '79 the movie. A very self contained and very compact tale. And deliberately so, as a B-movie styled and intense experience (and especially as a low budget effort, as originally conceived). Also very one-track and linear in plotting. Whereas the expansive TV shows of today are usually multi-plotted with parallel storylines. Also, there's a greater use of flashbacks and jumping timelines in today's stories. It all adds to the complexity modern audiences expect.

And back to the anthology idea, how about a space colony where a delusional society of humans are worshiping the Engineers. Their cities are being raised around Space Jockeys monuments that they found on the Planet, and they are living in some kind of space feudalism (or like the dystopian humanity in Warhammer 40,000) which include bizarre rituals and experimentation with black goo. Sort of Dark City meets Vincent Wards' Alien 3.

At one stage, I had my Marshall O'Neil and Dr Shaw investigating a cult colony in which a David Karesh-like leader was getting his followers to worship a xeno egg and flirting with ritual sacrifice. (It turns out the egg is petrified and non-viable).

And there was another story where they stumble onto a smuggling operation in which a bunch of Working Joes are being brought in to tend to a xeno-egg nursery (humans, for obvious reasons, would not be suitable).

So, yeah, it got a bit X Files-ish. But I tried to link everything back to Alien's concepts. And I think you can see that the mytharc I plotted everything around (i.e. the spine of my imagined TV series), was a riff on the movie franchise.

TC

« Last Edit: Nov 13, 2018, 03:43:00 AM by TC »

Russ
Nov 13, 2018, 02:21:36 PM
Reply #57 on: Nov 13, 2018, 02:21:36 PM
Q
Quote
@Russ

Did you see Almost Human? It was a TV show with Karl Urban. Jaded detective of the future is paired with android sidekick he doesn't like but learns to overcome his prejudices as they solve crimes together. Sort of Blader Runner meets Lethal Weapon meets Robocop.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almost_Human_(TV_series)

TC

No, I've not seen that one, but it sounds really cool (the last time Urban wasn't cool was when he was Eros in Xena - and I bet that has gone retro cool now anyway).

On the TV show - as I said, it can be done, but you'd have to link it into all the of "stuff" that makes up the AlienVerse and (wey-yu and all that as we have said).

But sooner or later, you'd have to have xenos in it, I don't think the Smallville tights/flights rule can apply.


 

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