[watching] Alien/Aliens and Blade Runner

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#1
It would be hard to understate how much influence that Alien/Aliens and Blade Runner had on my taste in SF. Visually, Doctor Who and Star Trek were my entries into the genre, but once I discovered the harder, grittier material like Blakes 7 and both or Ridley Scott's films, I was hooked. That said, I've listed both Alien and Aliens as I think that James Cameron's film significantly opens up a view on the universe that Scott originally revealed.

I've seen some references on the 'net that there has been serious consideration of merging the two settings together (or would that be three if you count the crossover with Predator as canon?) and some quite passionate views either way.

I think it could be done; the timelines aren't too far off, and the technology remains recognisable in both. It does beg the question why replicants aren't used instead of androids (maybe they are seen as too dangerous after the events of 2022 in the Blade Runner setting), and it does make me wonder how different a replicant sourced xenomorph / neomorph would be as they draw on the genetics of the host/victim.

Should it be done? Personally, I think not. Although I can well see an Earth with the dystopian vision at the heart of the Alien universe, I don't think that it needs to be done. Except maybe in a game I run.

What do you think?
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
#4
Should it be done? Personally, I think not. Although I can well see an Earth with the dystopian vision at the heart of the Alien universe, I don't think that it needs to be done. Except maybe in a game I run.

What do you think?
I think there's something there from an aesthetic point of view, and I like the idea of a depopulated destitute world with a push to the offworld colonies. I'm not a deep enough of a devotee of the Alien setting to be sure if it absolutely fits, but a numbers filed off SF setting that took themes from both would probably work and form a great backdrop and drive some very human stories.
 
#5
I too fell in love with Sci-Fi because of watching Dr Who and Star Trek, watching both from the early 80's onward. The first Star Wars trilogy also had a big influence on me. It wasn't until 1990 that I actually saw Blake's 7, and probably mid 90's before saw the first Alien film, that I was properly introduced to gritty Sc-Fi. From about 1993 onward, I enjoyed gritty Sci-Fi in the form of Babylon 5. Although it wasn't the first series to get its hands dirty, that honour goes to B7 naturally, but B5 took a lot of inspiration from Sci-Fi films like Alien with its aesthetic look. Unlike the sleek and elegant look of the ships in Star Trek, the Earth Force ships in B5 were big and bulky, and reminded me of the ships I saw in the Alien saga.

Could Blade Runner and Alien be set in the same universe? Well they could be, because visually, and story wise, there are many comparisons, the biggest of which being the replicants and synthetics. Would a crossover work? In my mind yes, a crossover between the two could work - maybe in a graphic novel, as we have seen a number of crossovers involving the Xenomorphs cropping up in comics. Remember, Judge Dredd and Batman have both faced off against the Predators and the Xenomorphs, so why can't Deckard?
 
#6
I too fell in love with Sci-Fi because of watching Dr Who and Star Trek, watching both from the early 80's onward. The first Star Wars trilogy also had a big influence on me. It wasn't until 1990 that I actually saw Blake's 7, and probably mid 90's before saw the first Alien film, that I was properly introduced to gritty Sc-Fi. From about 1993 onward, I enjoyed gritty Sci-Fi in the form of Babylon 5. Although it wasn't the first series to get its hands dirty, that honour goes to B7 naturally, but B5 took a lot of inspiration from Sci-Fi films like Alien with its aesthetic look. Unlike the sleek and elegant look of the ships in Star Trek, the Earth Force ships in B5 were big and bulky, and reminded me of the ships I saw in the Alien saga.

Could Blade Runner and Alien be set in the same universe? Well they could be, because visually, and story wise, there are many comparisons, the biggest of which being the replicants and synthetics. Would a crossover work? In my mind yes, a crossover between the two could work - maybe in a graphic novel, as we have seen a number of crossovers involving the Xenomorphs cropping up in comics. Remember, Judge Dredd and Batman have both faced off against the Predators and the Xenomorphs, so why can't Deckard?
The minor detail that still grates on me is when space exploration movies still advertise the American flag as the default human rescue team, the Colonial Marines (aka Trump's Space Force), for example, instead of something more international like NATO or dare I say, the U.N. Probably, why I personally prefer StarTrek's take on the United Federation of Planets being a much more acceptable organisation to send forth space exploration and rescue teams.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#7
I agree with @negromaestro but that reflects the hegemony of our current world.
As China grows in power, both cultural and economic, we'll see a lot more SF with PRC flags and so on.
Personally, as an internationalist, I *totally* support the idea of the Trek UFP, but the tensions between localism and internationalism are always going to make that hard.
BTW I very much got the impression that the Colonial Marines ran to the Corp's orders, not the state, rather like the East India forces of the English and Dutch merchant adventurers that became imperial states over time.
 

ltd

Initiate
#8
The minor detail that still grates on me is when space exploration movies still advertise the American flag as the default human rescue team, the Colonial Marines (aka Trump's Space Force), for example, instead of something more international like NATO or dare I say, the U.N..
I remember the series Space: Above and Beyond, which borrowed a lot from Aliens, was mostly US-centric, but acknowledged there were other nations fighting the alien Chigs - a Chinese admiral is seen at a staff meeting at one point, and Martin Jarvis has a memorable guest role as British tank commander who's gone bonkers from drinking his own recycled urine. I think I'd agree with Guvnor though that in Aliens the Marine Corps seem to be an instrument of corporate rather than national power (something possibly even acknowledged as far back as the 1930s by USMC Major General Smedley Butler in his book War is a Racket).

Re: the Bladerunner thing, isn't there an extra on one of the Prometheus sooprer dooper DVD editions which has a longer version of Peter Weyland's TED talk where he alludes to his old mate Eldon Tyrell and his misbegotten replicant designs? Not seen it myself but read about it somewhere.
 
#9
I remember sneaking in the cinema to see Alien with my brother in 1979.
I have always loved the ‘ashtrays on spaceships’ aesthetic and H R Giger was a huge influence on my artwork.

I also liked the film ‘Soldier’ and ‘Silent Runnings’ too.
 
#11
There WAS a "Total Recall" TV series about a decade or so ago (maybe longer) which was bugger all to do with Total Recall and was basically an attempt to do a "Blade Runner" series.
I watched that a while ago. Visually it copied Bladerunner, but the stories were a watered down mixture of Phillip K Dick and generic sci-fi, often to incoherent effect (don't think it was ever properly explained why the lead cop's wife had a personality transplant). The chap playing the android wasn't bad, although the producers had obviously told him to watch Brent Spiner as Mr Data in Star Trek: TNG.
 
#12
There WAS a "Total Recall" TV series about a decade or so ago (maybe longer) which was bugger all to do with Total Recall and was basically an attempt to do a "Blade Runner" series.
Yes, I remember it too, and when I try to search for it online, I always seem to forget it is titled "Total Recall 2070" and instead search "Blade Runner TV series".
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#13
BTW I very much got the impression that the Colonial Marines ran to the Corp's orders, not the state, rather like the East India forces of the English and Dutch merchant adventurers that became imperial states over time.
In the original Colonial Marines Technical Manual, the Marines are an offshoot of the USMC (which kind of makes sense). They also seem to run at the whim of the corporates though. They are part of the United Americas, a power bloc of North/South and Central America.

Their scope is maintaining collective security of all UA signatories and their recognised interstellar colonies within the frontiers of the network.
Complication is that Weyland-Yutani is part of the Three World Empire (UK, Japan, plus several others); however, they will operate transnationally and LV-426 may have been colonised under a UA charter.
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#14
Worth adding that there is a third power bloc:

THE UNION OF PROGRESSIVE PEOPLES which is formed out of Russia and Vietnam and others.
Apparently the UPP is the only government that is not in influenced by corporate concerns—a fact that sometimes puts them in opposition to Weyland-Yutani. While they are behind in the arms race, the UPP still maintains a formidable ghting force. A state of cold war has existed between the United Americas and the UPP for decades.

Definitely feels like a 1980s extrapolation of the end of the Cold War.
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#15
I think I'd agree with Guvnor though that in Aliens the Marine Corps seem to be an instrument of corporate rather than national power (something possibly even acknowledged as far back as the 1930s by USMC Major General Smedley Butler in his book War is a Racket).
I can recall an episode of the Revolutions podcast where they discussed how US Marines on peacekeeping duties were in charge of making sure the election was free and fair. Apparently there were two ballot papers, and if you wanted the one that didn't support the choice the US preferred you had to ask for it from the nice armed marine. The choice they wanted was freely available.

They relied on the implicit intimidation of asking an armed occupying soldier for the ballot for the choice that the armed soldier's government didn't want.

I'll be damned if I can remember which series and country it was though.
 
Top