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Alien: Genesis. My ideas for an Alien TV series.

Alien: Genesis. My ideas for an Alien TV series.

JamietheBastard

Nov-09-2018 4:02 PM

Alien: Genesis. The Series.

I had high hopes for Alien: Covenant but was not surprised that it stank to high heaven. I was interested when reading the rumours of a proposed Netflix (or whoever) series that may redeem the franchise, but I think it does needs to retcon anything to do with the abysmal Alien: Covenant (which I will post my review of). Many TV series based on movies do retcon the continuity of the films they are based on.

There is a lot of speculation on how to do this proposed series, and exactly what its format should be. Some think a Colonial Marines based show would work, and there is speculation on how much the show will focus on the Xenomorph creature and its differing forms.

Do you have someone get infected every week with facehuggers and chestburtsers, and run away from/shoot to pieces marauding Xenomorphs? A new "Bug Hunt" each week? No, personally I think that would all get predictable and boring very quickly. There's plenty of dramatic "Meat" to chew on inherent in the Alien/Aliens universe, and there are a million new stories and characters who aren't just Ripley clones.

This has to be a dark and "Adult" show, you can't do a watered down PG 13 version, that would be an insult to the films and the fans.

I know that xenomorph is a generic term for alien life-forms, and according to the Special Edition DVD's the actual species is named Internecivus Raptus, but I will continue using the Xenomorph designation for the alien to avoid confusion.

I've had a bit of fun imagining a format for the show, with a cast of recurring charcters, based on characters and ideas from my old Alien fan fiction. I have a rough story outline for a pilot episode and here's how I would propose doing it.

I think it needs to be a "Re-boot" based exclusively on Alien/Aliens, with a little bit of Prometheus thrown in to the mix (See Space Jockeys/Prometheus).

The Format:

Primarily based on Alien, it will be a "Prequel" story following a crew of recurring characters, and as in Alien they would be blue collar workers, (not scientists out to solve the mysteries of the universe), just regular Joes earnin' a paycheck. The adventures of a Deep Salvage Team based on the frontier, featuring hazardous salvage/rescue missions. The series main antagonists would be the Weyland-Yutani "Suits" in charge of the Bio-Weapons Division.

Colonial Marines and James Cameron's iconic stuff will of course be included, (and we most definitely do have to see an actual "Bug Hunt" what fan wouldn't want to see that? Just not on a regular basis.)

I think it should definitely follow the "Truckers in Space" route rather than the "Grunts in Space" of Aliens, a format which is, I feel, far too limiting. The "Truckers in Space" format would allow for the inclusion of suspenseful situations that don't involve Bugs, Xenomorphs and Space Jockeys. 

We do need to see something new amongst all this, extrapolated from the iconic elements obviously, but some elements we have not seen before are essential. It should introduce some new creatures (Bugs), but I don't think it should be a "Creature of the Week" type show either, that's too formulaic and boring.

The Premise:

Weyland-Yutani were aware of the transmission, the Space Jockey derelict and the alien creature before the events of Alien, how did they come by this information? We will find out as they have obviously encountered evidence of the Xenomorph/Space Jockeys previously.

The Protagonists.

The crew of the USCSS Crazy Horse, a Weyland-Yutani Deep Salvage Vessel operating on the frontier.

Most definitely no regular characters with the last name Ripley. Although I think it would be cool to have a brief glimpse of a very young Ellen Ripley later in the series, as a way of "Passing the Baton" so to speak, (For example Mr. and Mrs. Ripley along with their eight year old daughter Ellen, are rescued from a shipwrecked transport ship).

The Antagonists.

Melkonis and Roby, the Weyalnd-Yutani Bio-Weapons Division executives in charge of research and development.

Doctor Hirigawa and Doctor Masen. The leaders of a Bio-Weapons Division research team. Based aboard the USCSS Willard.

A Weyland-Yutani corporate commando squad comprised of ex-Special Forces/Colonial Marine soldiers. Corporate "Troubleshooters." These guys would be sent in to "Clean Up" any evidence of Weapons Division experiments that have gotten out of hand.

BioTech Systems. Weyland-Yutani's main corporate competitors.

Dangerous Salvage Operations and Rescues:

Aside from Space Jockey/Alien/Creature/Corporate content, we would see that life on a Deep Salvage Vessel on the frontier is very dangerous, air-lock blow outs, dangerous salvage operations, rescue missions - Very tense and suspensful.

FaceHuggers, Chestbursters, Xenomorphs.


The Xenomorph is a natural animal, definitely not something "Cooked Up" by an unhinged android with daddy issues. Its level of intelligence is similar to that of terrestrial crows or otters, with basic problem solving skills, and on a limited level use of basic tools (as with crows and otters). I really don't think we need an intricate "Origin" story for the Xenomorph species (or the Space Jockey race for that matter). The Xenomorph is a force of nature, explaining exactly what they are robs them of their mystery.
The characters will encounter ancient remnants of Xenomorph reproduction (dead Facehuggers, shrivelled up Eggs, and Xenomorph fossils) but it isn't clear to them what these things are.


An actual live Xenomorph will not appear until the first season finale (although their presence will be felt throughout the first season). I think this definitely needs to be more than just: Xenomorph stalks and kills people. It needs something new that we haven't seen yet in the way of Xenomorph behaviour. For example we could see how a Xenomorph would "Protect" an infected host against harm.

Essential Elements:

Aside from the Xenomorph, there are many rich pickings in the fictional universe of Alien and Aliens, although it would have to balance all of these elements just right: Xenomorphology. New Creatures. Corporate Machinations. Tense Space Situations. Space Jockey Artifacts. Gung-ho Commandos and Marines. People Trapped in Life or Death Situations. Conflict on Colony Worlds. Unethical Research Scientists. Space Jockey Mutagens Messing People Up. (For example Weyland-Yutani experimenting on prisoners with the Black Goo from Prometheus - See Space Jockeys/Prometheus).

Space Jockeys/Prometheus:


The Space Jockeys are not the Engineers from Prometheus. They are an incredibly ancient race, long vanished from the galaxy, and we only glimpse this mighty race through their derelicts, ruins and artifacts, you couldn't convincingly portray these creature's true alien nature (as Prometheus and Alien: Covenant proved without a doubt). Their artifacts are discovered in other solar systems on the frontier.

The events of Prometheus can be included, logically and organically. A sub-plot could show that the Promethean Engineers were actually a slave/clone race (engineered from human DNA) that had rebelled against their masters the Space Jockeys and appropriated some of their technology.

Whilst including elements of Prometheus can work, the pathetic Alien: Covenant does not fit at all and I choose to ignore it.
This is the dark "Lovecraftian" universe of Alien. Human beings are mere insects compared to the "Elder Gods" Space Jockey race. I believe this race was wiped out in some ancient galactic conflict. We could get a glimpse of the "Enemy" race, a new Gigeresque species, biomechanoid in nature. A race even more ancient and eldritch than the Space Jockeys. Or as originally surmised a galactic "Civil War" between two opposing Space Jockey "Factions." Or the rebellion by the Promethean Engineers.

H.R. Giger.


H.R. Giger's production design for the Space Jockey race and their artifacts is essential (Giger's biomech production design was one of the only truly original elements of Alien, and was a major contributor to Alien's success, you can't ignore or trivialise that contribution, although Ridley Scott certainly did with his prequels). Space Jockey Cities, space installations, and artifacts all need to reference Giger. A good production designer could "Extrapolate" from Giger's art for new Space Jockey spacecraft and derelict settlements, and obviously this would have to be done respectfully, reverently and tastefully, Gigeresque homage rather than Giger carbon copy.

New Creatures.

You could incorporate a few new creatues based on real life parasitical nasties, that the Bio-Weapons Division are experimenting with, (the zombie ant fungus for example), or the Colonial Marines/Commandos are hunting to extinction. All based on hideous, parasitic earth bugs and stuff like sea-lice, sea spiders, strange mites and crustaceans for a sense of realism.
Some of these new creatures would form the basis of a "Bug Hunt" (and yes we definitely do need to see one).

Synthetics.

"Good" and "Bad" synthetics. The good guys are modeled after Bishop, the commercial model synthetics with behavioural inhibitors, moral values, and respect for and from their human colleagues. The bad guys are Weyland-Yutani "Stealth" models, designed for the role of corporate espionage, no behavioural inhibitors, no moral values, able to interact socially with humans, Ash is one of these models. As well as Weyland-Yutani Combat Synths, limited intelligence related to the tasks they are designed for, cruder models that do not need to pass as human, enhanced strength, no behavioural inhibitors, their use on Earth would be illegal.

The true nature of synthetics would be addressed, they are not Blade Runner's genetically engineered human replicants. They are manufactured androids (although more organically based than traditional metal, transistors and gear driven androids, there are some genetically engineered aspects to the synthetics).
A minor sub-plot could relate to whether synthetics are actually self-aware and sentient A.I. or just programmed machines.

Colony Worlds.

We would see more of the colony worlds. We've only had a brief glimpse of two colonies in the franchise Hadley's Hope and Fury 161, and this is an opportunity to occasionally introduce guest characters and situations in a planetary setting, you don't want the show to be only set in deep space on spaceships and stations. A glimpse of 22nd Century earth. Corporate Headquarters. The Thedus mining colony. A derelict Space Jockey colony. Truly alien planets. A "Bug Hunt" on a devastated colony world.

Spacecraft and Hardware.

The production design would have to be very faithful to the two original films (whilst reverently updating the things that need it as they did with the Alien spacesuits in the Alien: Isolation game): Spaceships, spacesuits, uniforms, logos, weaponry, Space Jockey artifacts. It is iconic stuff and lets the viewer know immediately that this is 100% the Alien universe.
Spacecraft, Power Loaders, Pulse Rifles, Smart Guns. APC's. Dropships and Shuttlecraft. The designs should be recognisabe, but also reflect that these are earlier models than those depicted in the films, so there will be minor differences. We could see a prototype Atmosphere Processor. An early model of the USCSS Sulaco class battle cruiser. (The Nostromo, I believe, was a very old ship, a breaking down rustbucket, and it had been in service for forty years or so).

The Issue of Relativity and Time Dilation effects relating to FTL space travel:

Not addressed in the franchise. We need to understand how the relativistic effects have been circumvented to facilitate intergalactic travel, colonisation and communications. A vehicle travelling at the speed of light is subject to the time-dilation effects of relativity, but I surmised that for a vehicle travelling at 1000 X Lightspeed, time dilation does not occur. Twelve months space travel equals twelve months on earth.

11 Responses to Alien: Genesis. My ideas for an Alien TV series.

BigDave

Nov-10-2018 2:17 AM

I applaud your efforts and time in proposing the above, i think its a interesting idea.  I do think there needs to be a introduction to something more HR Giger/Lovecraftian and i was attempting such with idea i had for Prometheus sequels years ago.

HR Giger's Concepts revealed a Bald Humanoid Race as those wearing the Space Jockey Suit, so the idea was maybe already there... The Problem we got in the Prequels is the Sense of Scale... the Prometheus Engineers were decent enough but just needed to be Taller (the earlier drafts they was supposed to be 12-15ft tall).   The reveal of the Plot that these beings are in affect our Ancient Gods etc is BOLD but i think it distracted a bit away from what was so ALIEN and Lovecraftian about the Space Jockey/Derelict Scene and so even if we stick with the Prometheus Plot, i agree and was thinking along the same thing years ago, that we have to introduce a HIGHER Power/Race above the Engineers that would be very ALIEN in Nature and Aesthetic.

I have said this before in regards to the Xenomorph and a TV Series in that the more you show it the less effect it has and i mentioned with the Walking Dead Series there is only so many Zombies you can throw at the viewers before it becomes Repetitive and the same applies to the Xenomorph.  And i mentioned its the other Plots in Walking Dead that make it more interested, where the different Agendas of other Groups of Humans all with their own Agendas and some Nefarious is what makes it hit home.

And so indeed covering some Greedy, Cruel and Selfish Agenda of the Company and how it would exploit those Working Joes for the Xenomorph gain is what can give more Terror to the process.    The use of Hazardous Environments and Claustrophobic ones can bring added Tension and Terror.   Its how you write the Characters and what Environment they are in when the Xenomorph is Sprung upon them that makes the IMPACT rather than just throwing Xenomorphs around for the sakes of it like in the AVP movies.

So i think in Principle the ideas and how to apply them that you have expressed seem very interesting ;)

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Thoughts_Dreams

Nov-10-2018 10:02 AM

Alien Covenant was a let-down indeed. I would rather have a TV-series instead of another one like Alien Covenant. There haven’t been a good Alien movie since Alien 3.

Looking forward to read you review of Alien Covenant. I agree that it should have nothing to do with that movie since it is such a let-down.

I do not think that we need more colonial marines and a lot of Xenomorphs but I think that we need that feeling of well-done human characters that face threats that they are not prepared for. They have got to be well-written so we can see ourselves in them. Having new variations of the Xeno is totally fine. We have seen the original many times, I also think that the Engineers could be in there if they are done in a good way or even some other culture that is above the Engineers but are tied to them.

Showing the monsters too much would make it repetitive. Keep it in the dark since what you do not see is scarier than what you see. Violence and gore in the context of the franchise is fine but that is not what it should focus on. Story and characters that is what is the most important things to me, none of them need to be connected to any character that we have seen.

Less android-focus compared to the prequels would be nice. Do that in response to the ideas of Scott. ;)

There has got to be some mystery in it otherwise it will be too obvious. This is a risk that you get when you do prequels that try to explain things. One of the things that is good about Alien is that it doesn't try to explain everything.

Have something more about the company would be interesting or another company that WY is competing with. Not only do they try to get the Xeno but they are also trying to take over other companies by using bad methods and the everyday people get stuck between those two or more companies.

daliens

Nov-10-2018 1:02 PM

"It needs something new that we haven't seen yet in the way of Xenomorph behaviour. For example we could see how a Xenomorph would "Protect" an infected host against harm."

That's not new.

 

"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"

I Raptus

Nov-10-2018 2:19 PM

JamietheBastard 

sounds good. And I agree any series format for this franchise absolutely cannot have the 'xenomorph' as the focus of the narrative.

The strength of this beasty is it NOT being front and centre. Its lurks in the shadows and darkest corners of the universe....and it should stay that way.

There is plenty or lore and adventures (like those you propose) that can be offered within the ALIEN 'verse without having

egg-->facehugger-->Xenomorph-->run away!

every week

XD 

 #KeepTheRociFlying

Leto

Nov-11-2018 2:15 AM

I think it must be something like Stargate SG-1 in the style of Hannibal and American Gods. And retrofuturism, of course.

JamietheBastard

Nov-11-2018 7:51 PM

Well I hadn't thought of Alien III, but did the xenomorph actually protect Ripley? I suppose it did, the doctor was about to inject her which the xenomorph interpreted as an attack. It was just an example, but it could be expanded to show the xenomorph actually being protective and caring for the infected host. Hey it was just off the top of my head, and I really didn't like Alien III, so forgive my ignorance in forgetting that scene.

BigDave

Nov-12-2018 10:54 AM

I think it depends on how far they explore or indeed as we are talking about your own STORY its how far the Xenomorph is explored as far as its Purpose and Intelligence and how it views its Own Kind/Survival.

With ALIEN 3 we could assume the Xenomorph knows Ripley has a Queen inside her and so thats something to Protect, a Good Question would be HOW would a Xenomorph act to Protect someone who is Gestating a Xenomorph (none Queen), particularly if Protecting the Host means Sacrificing itself.

This depends on the Purpose and Instincts of the Xenomorph and its Intelligence and how Civilized they are.  Lets look at it this way, you have some Humans vs Humans in some kind of Conflict  Faction 1 is out numbered 2-1 by Faction 2.  Its WAR and a Pregnant Female from Faction 1 is under threat, and Protecting her is TWO Trained Fighters Held up someplace... under attack by 4-5 Enemies.... 

Part of Human Nature would be to Protect the Female at all Costs.... rather than Retreat and let the Pregnant Female Die and then pick off those Enemies after when they have a higher Advantage.

IF Protecting her results in the Death of ONE Trained Human from Faction 1, which reduces their Trained Military to say 22, then they are a MAN down and faced with say 45 Enemy Military but Killed 3 Protecting the Pregnant Female.

That Female is NOT going to make up the defensive/attacking loss that NOW being a MAN down has lead too, and the Female May Give Birth to another Male who can be trained but that would take YEARS

So its interesting to wonder HOW would a Xenomorph deal with the same situation, especially if the HOST is NOT Gestating a Queen.  Would say a outnumbered group of Xenomorphs decide to leave and Survive for another Day or would they risk Death to Protect a YET birthed Chest Buster?   If they would stay and Protect then is this a Conscious Decision or just Natural Instinct?

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

daliens

Nov-12-2018 11:33 AM

Ash: You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? The perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.

Lambert: You admire it.

Ash: I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.

"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"

daliens

Nov-12-2018 11:53 AM

There was one interesting scene in Alien Resurrection,  when two xenomorphs teamed up against a third one and killed it in order to ensure their escape. That scene made more sense than the queen taking the elevator in Aliens.

"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"

BigDave

Nov-13-2018 7:01 PM

Certainly thats a Good Point, those Xenomorphs knew this would give them the best chance to survive, by Sacrificing one of their own... the chosen Xenomorph did-not look too willing which showed they were AFRAID of Death.

This goes against what ASH had mentioned about the Xenomorphs lack of EmotionHowever..... as those Xenomorphs in Alien Resurrection were kind of Hybrids they could have gained these traits in part from having some Human DNA

This scene did also show those Xenomorphs were Self-Aware of the Fact their Blood was Acid and would Eat through Metal etc

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

Thoughts_Dreams

Nov-19-2018 7:35 AM

I love alien 3! This is my favorite alien movie this far although it is not perfect but hey what movie is that? Blomkamp’s movie if it was to retcon Alien 3 is something that I would be very opposed to although they could have it as an alternative scenario but not official.

Jamie the bastard: Yeah I guess so, I actually had not thought about that before but it makes sense. Nah that is all good, it is impossible to remember everything especially about things that you do not like since they often tend to be less interesting. Maybe people can remember things if the dislike is intense.

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