Wednesday, July 9, 2014

046: Aliens (1986) - They Mostly Podcast At Night. Mostly.

SPOILERS FOR ALIEN (1979), ALIENS (1986), ALIEN 3 (1992), ALIEN: RESURRECTION (1997), PROMETHEUS (2012), and ANIMORPHS #53: THE DECISION (are you even surprised?).

In this episode:
  • Cleolinda Jones joins us once again for one of her (and our) favorite movies!
  • Discussion of Aliens (1986), including our first exposures to the film, the theme of family throughout the film, the differences between the theatrical and Special Edition cuts, and our favorite moments and lines.
  • Why does this movie speak to so many people? We theorize.
  • Ian pulls in references to Captain Underpants and Animorphs, because of course he does.
  • We need a bingo card for frequent podcast occurrences. Any takers?
  • The morality of Carter Burke
  • Cleo shows us why Aliens really is It Gets Worse: The Movie.
  • We discuss the xenomorph lifecycle as a dark reflection of human reproduction, this movie especially emphasizing parenthood.
  • Ian regales all with excerpts from the Aliens novelization.
  • Bishop and androids in the Alien movies.
  • We talk a little bit more about the upcoming Alien: Isolation video game, which just had a pretty awesome announcement.

  • I am aware the line is "You've blown a trans-axle," not "busted." For the longest time I remembered it as "busted" (and also as "ease off" instead of "ease down"). It's close enough that I didn't feel like re-recording it once I realized the error. FORGIVE ME, INTERNETS.
  • According to Wikipedia, it was 17,372 Yeerks that Jake ordered Ax to flush. Of course, it also says he did it "Hoping to distract Visser One and Tom long enough to save Rachel's life," which is a complete and utter lie.
  • In a rare moment of clarity while listening back to the podcast, I remembered where Cleo must have gotten "158" for the colony's population.
  • Highlights from Fio's timestamps:
    • 4:00 - 5:10 - And a phone is ringing. That no one can hear but you, Ian. There was no phone. There was no phone, was there Ian? Was there?
    • 16:41 - I said Lurkers when I meant Licker. I’m a bad Resi fan.
    • 26:51 - I know you said “thirty-thousand, or…” here, but it sounds like you said “thirty-thousander” and it made me giggle.
  • Opening: "Ripley's Rescue" - James Horner, Aliens: The Deluxe Edition (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) | YouTube | iTunes
  • Intro: "This is My Design" - original song, music by Ian. More on this as it develops.
  • Outro: "Killer Queen" - Queen | YouTube | iTunes |
(Header image taken from

1 comment:

  1. Foster is pretty notorious, not so much for changing the script, but embellishing it, adding in dialogue or extending lines, and slipping in his own sequences and worldbuilding. All three of his Aliens books have a recurring plot thread around the industry of recording dreams for some reason. I do quite like and recommend his original novels, which are fun, light, quippy adventures stories, but in terms of his novelizations, there have been ones where he's an awkward fit. The Alien trio, Thing, Outland, Starman, Dark Star, he just doesn't gel with the tone and style of what he's given. His sensibilities are much more at home on stuff like Last Starfighter, Krull, Clash of the Titans, Chronicles of Riddick, even his Transformers books are pretty good.

    The Mummy novelization you're referring to is probably the junior novelization by David Levithan. Junior novelizations are always very quick, disposable, and watered down. Mummy also had a full, non jr novelization by Max Allan Collins, who also adapted the two sequels and Scorpion King.

    It's worth noting that, not only did it used to take a long time for films to hit video back in the day, hitting video period didn't become a thing until around the start of the 1980s. Before then, if you didn't catch a film during its run in theaters (which could last for several years for big hits), during a revival screening, or when it would air on tv (which itself didn't start to happen until the 1970s), then there was no way to see a film and all you had were stuff like the novelizations or comic adaptations. In fact, that's the reason why the original Doctor Who and Star Trek novelized the entirety of their runs, so fans could more easily keep up with all the stories.

    Mother has never become available to read, but very little changed between Cameron's treatment, first draft, and final draft of Aliens. Just the way a few things happened, like Gorman getting knocked out (originally stung by alien tail), a few tiny bits here and there. The "Alien + S = $" pitch meeting is apocryphal. He was initially just hired to write the script, with Hill & Giler already wanting it to have multiple creatures and see a return to the moon (which is why they gave themselves "story by" credits), and was then bumped up to directing after Terminator came out and was a huge hit. Many underlying aspects of the plot are lifted from the giant ant film Them (which looks silly, but is actually a really smart and well executed monster film of its time), seen through the space marine trappings of the Starship Troopers novel, from which a few specific lines and terms were swiped.

    Cameron didn't write the final draft of Strange Days. He wrote the treatment, Jay Cocks (Gangs of New York) wrote the full script.