Ash and David, beguiled by purity

Ripley: Ash, can you hear me? [slams her hands down on the table]

Ripley: Ash?

Ash: [awakens and starts speaking in an electronic and distorted voice] Yes, I can hear you.

Ripley: What was your special order?

Ash: You read it. I thought it was clear.

Ripley: What was it?

Ash: Bring back life form. Priority One. All other priorities rescinded.

Parker: The damn company. What about our lives, you son of a bitch?

Ash: I repeat, all other priorities are rescinded.

Ripley: How do we kill it, Ash? There’s gotta be a way of killing it. How? How do we do it?

Ash: You can’t.

Parker: That’s bullshit.

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.

Parker: Look, I am… I’ve heard enough of this, and I’m asking you to pull the plug. [Ripley goes to disconnect Ash, who interrupts]

Ash: Last word.

Ripley: What?

Ash: I can’t lie to you about your chances, but… you have my sympathies.

The admiration Ash has for the Xenomorph is the same that David has for his romantic hero T.E Lawrence.

In the beginning, Lawrence was an island, out of place in the army because he was an educated man. People did not see him as their equal, much like David. His intelligence set him apart from the rest and they often mocked him for showing it off.

“You know, Burke, I don’t know which species is worse. You don’t see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage.” – Lt Ellen Ripley, Aliens 1986

Both had to prove their worth by travelling through the desert, and through those trials and tribulations, their beliefs were challenged. In the beginning, Lawrence denounces the murder of his guide and boldly says he would not be friends with a killer, by the end of the movie he was responsible for more than one death directly and lead an army to slaughter many in the name of revenge, doesn’t that sound familiar?

David’s revenge against the Engineers and his judgement of them leaves a trail of destruction. As does his reverse engineered creation, the Xenomorph (I have drawn similarities to in my analysis of the Punishment of Thieves – The Crossing Part VI ). The Xenomorph lifecycle makes a killer out of their friends, the unwitting host. An alien emerges from their comrades and consumes them with violent delight.

David and Lawrence are altered by their experience and observation of mankind and ultimately both of them viewed the human race and as greedy, violent and cruel, just as the Gods did in Das Rheingold.


Lawrence and David are survivors who are unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality. They kill their friend and guide, they kill their adoptive ‘children’, they go against any morals to achieve their ultimate goal and will stop at nothing to get the task done.

But for Lawrence his suffering is palpable, he sheds more than a solitary tear when he has to do these awful things, and in all of it, he thinks he is doing the right thing by the Arab people. David, in this case, is different, although we learn he can indeed feel it’s a credit of his programming in which Sir Peter Weyland has allowed him free will, his agency becomes the driving force in his journey from created to the creator. He is aware that he has done unimaginably cruel things, although showing emotion he lacks a soul, a conscience by which a man could judge himself. He is aware that he is doing bad things but like Lawrence, he sees it as a necessity.

David becomes like the Xenomorph and Lawrence,  a survivor… unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality. Because what they admire, they are also themselves.


Originally posted by e-ripley

Giger’s alien was a reflection of humanity’s darkness, the pure, primordial desires and impulses buried within the deepest pits of our inner selves. Looking at the harsh realities of war, we can see how easily humans succumb to their primal instincts. In the havoc and mayhem, we become animals, predators.

Throughout human history there have been countless travesties, many of them laced with a blatant disregard for human life, with destruction, pillaging, and violent rape, even necrophilia. The xenomorph is an animal, lacking the sentience to understand the destruction it causes.

We, as members of the human race, don’t have that excuse. We do have a conscience, we make judgements on morality. Yet we have committed the same heinous acts as the xenomorph— to each other, billions of times over. If we call the alien a monster because it does not have a choice in how it acts, does that mean that we are more loathsome than it because we understand the choices we make?  – Father of the Alien Xenomorph

Deacon Mural


In the David 8 Commercial, he responds to this Rorschach Test Card as Angel


As you can see from overlaying the card with colours inverted over the headroom mural from Prometheus you can see the Facehuggers, Chestbursters, Ovomorph, Trilobite, Hammerpede, Deacon and Xenomorph Queen highlighted.


What I found out is that this mural was initially created as a homage to H.R.Giger, created out of a few assets lying around and served as prime inspiration for Prometheus.

carlos_huante This is an abbreviated version of my Prometheus portfolio.. the Deacon.. my intention with this design was that he was supposed to be born of a man.. not an engineer… The first Zenomorph was supposed to come out of an engineer…

But between that time and the creation of the David 8 commercial, someone had made the Rorschach Angel card design correspond with the mural, putting it into David’s synthetic subconscious.

I think that it’s pretty cool that big things have small beginnings

Carlos Huante’s Concept Art for Alien Awakening

It was late last evening when Carlos Huante had shared some concept art on instagram, which he stated was for a movie that never got made.

Here are the images:

These pieces are beautiful, but the style would suit a sequel to Prometheus, rather than Neil Blomkamp’s shelved Alien movie.

For unknown reasons his pieces are no longer available on his instagram, which makes me wonder if Disney are in the process of weighing up which direction to go in. Since Khang Le’s Prometheus 2 concept art was also pulled from access.

I guess we will have to wait and see.

Y U T A N I . P O D C A S T 2

The topic of today’s podcast is what we think will happen in Alien Awakening, I am joined by Courtney Coulson from Prometheus by Minute. We spend an hour discussing all the possibilities for Alien Awakening and go off on many tangents(so please be patient).

We also discuss Kang Le’s Concept Art, Lawrence of Arabia, The Divine Comedy, David 7 Recall, Meet Walter, David 8 Commercial, The Black Ooze, and much more…

-WARNING SPOILERS- We have conversations about Westworld and Ex-Machina and the robots featured.

I also published my new episode Yutani Podcast 2 on PodBean and on SoundCloud.

Here are some of your thoughts on what may happen in the next movie:

“As much as I would love to see a sequel to Alien Covenant, I worry that, because of the poorer performance at the box office compared to Prometheus, Covenant did not give the higher-ups confidence in making these Alien films. Mercifully, they will let Scott finish off David’s arc with one last, final film.

That being said, examining what we think will happen should there be a sequel is still worth exploring. David is the obvious focus of these stories – his creation, what he believes in, how he goes about it, and his motivations all drive the prequels and serve as a vessel for the ideas these movies wish to examine. David’s ultimate fate must be shown or hinted at in the next movie. The implications at the end of Covenant invite us to think he will develop many more Xenomorphs – truly, something worthy of the poster for Covenant itself.

David’s ultimate fate could be ironic: he dies at the hand of his creation he thought he had under his control, foolishly following in the steps of the one he hated, Peter Weyland. Thinking himself a God, untouchable, only to die to his creation. Perhaps similar to how the Queen cuts Bishop in half in Aliens.

It could also be (and the way I prefer) that David is ultimately victorious and knows it. He is defeated at the hands of the Engineers, or the humans sent after him. Defeated by outside forces, the victors torch the newly created species and assume all is won. However, David had contingency plans – eggs left in key places, an Engineer ship stocked full of them, headed to Earth after the defeat of David. The Engineers wipe out the true menace that is David and his aliens, and head to Earth to finish what they start again… but this time the ship and its’ pilot are infected and become the Space Jockey. David’s queen and his species live on. Something like that.

As long as the next Alien prequel contains the same level of philosophical, challenging concepts giving the entire series a deeper meaning that simply was not there before, I could be happy with most stories they come up with. Action on the same level of Covenant would be ideal; I would rather not see another movie similar to Aliens. That has been done and the pop culture around it is overwhelming in its’ strength and the fervour with which people enjoy it.

Ultimately, give me a conclusion worthy of David’s character because David is a movie villain we rarely see these days; one that has interesting motivations has the stuff to do in the film and wins in the end despite everyone’s attempts to stop them. I do not agree with David… but I do understand him. He is relate-able, and that is what makes him so terrifying, just as the sexual nature of the Xenomorph makes it so horrifying. It is familiar. There are Davids in the world today, serial killers and dangerous creators. The Alien franchise is all too real in these aspects.” – Mike Andrews

Creatives: Dominic Hailstone

Super-Facehugger Concept Art by Dominic Hailstone for Alien: Covenant

Concept artist, creature effects, that’s only a fraction of the multitude of talents displayed by Dominic. I was impressed by his practical work on Alien: Covenant, so I decided to find out what started it all. And of course what his thoughts are on Alien, Sci-Fi and his work.

Logboy Video Screens (2001)

Clara Fei-Fei: What’s your favourite Alien movie? And who is your favourite character from any Alien movie/comic/game?

Dominic Hailstone: Alien. That’s a tough one. I tend to get drawn to the performances rather than characters. Parker and Brett as a double act are great and I love Veronica Cartwright in almost anything. I’d like to say Ripley but she’s only really a standout in the second film, and they completely fucked her up in number four, so I can’t.

CF: What variant of the Xenomorph would you say is your favourite?

DH: The first one as it was presented as a perfect life form. That idea alone was given a lot of weight in the dialogue and I think it made more horrific and mysterious. To see them reduced to bugs in the second film was disheartening although the Queen is pretty damn great as a practical effect so that kind of made up for it. I still think that Aliens is amazing despite it breaking away from the first film.

CF: So if you could enhance your body using robotics, what abilities would you choose?

DH: Eyesight is only because I started wearing glasses a few years ago.

ISIS – Holy Tears (2007)

CF: What sci-fi or movie classic you recommend people should watch?

DH: Phase 4, although it’s hardly a classic. It was directed by Saul Bass who did a lot of Alfred Hitchcock’s title sequences and there’s a lot of visual storytelling in it that I really love, a great deal of the film is just watching ants move around. If you want an outright classic then probably the original Twilight Zone TV series. There are enough good stories in that series to keep you nourished for a few years.

Phase IV (1974) Movie Poster

CF: What movie/director/etc. inspired you to pursue a profession in cinema?

DH: There are a few but the initial influence was definitely Steven Spielberg. I was completely obsessed by JAWS as a kid and ended up watching it over a hundred times. The other film would be The Evil Dead, which I also saw roughly the same amount. Apart from that, I read a lot of Tin Tin and I would say that was a big influence as well. Hammer films and Dr Who too.

CF: I can see you have a range of skills like visual effects and makeup, how did you learn those skills? Did you study/take a course?

DH: I got all that information from books I got from the library as there weren’t any courses when I was growing up. I don’t fit well into classrooms. I can’t actually learn anything if I don’t like the teacher.

CF: Could you explain to me what your movie The Eel was about? And what sort of feeling, or story were trying to evoke?

DH: It’s just a response to the music — which was written by Robert Clunne. The visuals appeared in my head as I was listening to it. Having said that I had thought of the main image before as I was thinking of doing an impromptu video for the song ‘The Golden Eel’ by WEEN, so I guess it comes from that. This might sound weird, but mainly I try and come up with images that give you emotions you can’t get from social interaction. For instance, I try and avoid filming faces. It’s an interesting challenge to see if you can affect people emotionally with less obvious tools.

As for a story, there’s actually something in The Eel that no-one’s noticed. If you find that then you can find the story, as slim as it is.

CF: What is your favourite piece you ever created?

DH: Recently is was the Proto-Facehugger that I made for Alien: Covenant. It was done in such as rush I ended up quite shocked it worked at all.

Proto-Facehugger by Dominic Hailstone (MPC) for Alien: Covenant

CF: Could you tell me what work you did for Alien: Covenant?

DH: On the practical fx side of things, I was the sculptor on the 8ft hero puppet, along with Adam Johansen and Adriana Narai. I also did the initial ZBrush sculpts for the Alien Egg, giant Facehugger and the sliced egg in David’s lab along with a bunch of other things there. Also, the new Chestburster, although that was mainly Ridley’s design. On the digital side of things, I did some concept art and worked extensively on the inner ear sequence, doing digital previs on that. I was initially hired by Ridley to supervise that sequence too but the job expanded.

Baby Xenomorph Concept Art by Dominic Hailstone for Alien: Covenant

CF: Was there any other work you have done that made it to the final film? Was there anything that didn’t?

DH: There’s always lots of stuff that gets cut. On big budget films there tends not to be one author, as we usually work as a team. The most you can realistically hope for is the influence, although some personal work does occasionally make it in. There’s a bunch of my stuff in the background of David’s lab if you squint, but the previs that I did for the inner ear sequence was replicated closely so I was most happy with that.

CF: Is there anyone’s work that you admired from Alien: Covenant?

DH: There was a lot of work that I admired. Everyone worked very hard. To single anyone out would just mean that I’ve forgotten a whole bunch of others.

CF: What did you think about the movie? What could they have improved on or changed to make it work?

DH: I thought it was pretty dull. I liked how downbeat it all was but there was such a great opportunity to get into the science of the Alien that I think was totally missed, and by that, I don’t mean explaining things. The original Alien has such a great atmosphere, it reminds me of being in a hospital, and I think that atmosphere is a big part of why it’s so terrifying. They should have capitalised on that.

I also didn’t understand why they didn’t play up the fact that the colonists were couples. The film was crying out for a scene like the one in The Abyss where Ed Harris is trying to resuscitate Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, but there wasn’t even really a scene where one half of a couple raced to save the other, which was pretty odd. It was such an underutilised dramatic device I came to the conclusion that it was put in less for plot purposes and more just to get an even mix of men and women, which is something Hollywood is obviously concerned about at the moment.

Also, you’ve got this moment where Katherine Waterstone’s character suddenly became a superhero. If you compare that scene to the scene in Aliens where Ripley dons the power loader, the earlier film actually has a powerful story attached to it: The machine that humiliated her is now being used to save her and her surrogate daughter’s life. It makes sense. Here you could barely remember that she was a rock climber in the first place!

Having said this I’m not sure I can blame Ridley like other people do. I understand what it’s like working for a big studio and the complexities involved with that. He did his job pretty damn well as far as I was concerned. The problem was the script.

Xenomorph Concept Art by Dominic Hailstone for Alien: Covenant

CF: What would you say has been your favourite project to work on?

DH: A video for Tool that should be coming out later this year. Adam Jones gave me complete artistic freedom so the only constraint was the budget, we had a lot of fun figuring that out. Other than that Alien Covenant as I was working with friends I hadn’t seen in over 15 years. That was special.

CF: What is it like working on a large scale production such as Alien compared to smaller scale ones?

DH: Large-scale productions are usually more chaotic and boring than smaller ones. This may seem paradoxical but the reality is that most of the time you just sit in endless meetings where nothing productive is actually said. I try and avoid big films as much as possible as they bore me.

CF: Is there anything you are working on currently?

DH: I’ve just finished some digital fx for a film called Perfect directed by Eddie Alcazar. From what I’ve seen of it so far it’s very cool and for a first-time filmmaker, I’m very impressed. I also belong to his production company (co-founded by Eddie and Flying Lotus) and if all goes well I’ll be developing a feature film with them later this year. On top of this, I’m writing a couple of comedy scripts with Douglas Pledger and making a computer game for the Commodore 64. Oh, and doing some fx for Jodu Schell’s short film Remote Viewing, I mustn’t forget that.

By Dominic Hailstone

CF: In future what sort of opportunities would you like to be involved in?

DH: I’d like to work in VR, although I already have an offer to do that so we’ll see how that pans out.

CF: Thank you so much, Dominic, for taking the time to answer my questions, I look forward to seeing more of your work soon. If you’d like to see more of his work you can head to or

Posted by ODD Studio on instagram
Here’s the Super-Facehugger!

Posted by @odd_studio – Alien: Covenant.

More from Davids Lab.

This critter was 3D printed from a Dom Hailstone @dominic_hailstone_ digital sculpt/design and painted and finished by Emily James @emily_r_james

Creature effects by Odd Creatures.

Advent Transmission D964ZB



Outpost Coordinate Relay

Signal boost Gliese 581g.02/delay modification

Origin: Covenant Colonization Vessel

RA 3h 17m 8.0s | Dec -62° 37′ 41.1″

Bounce Trajectory Amplification Source KG-348

>>>HD 10180 designate HEX-5

>>>Nu Octantis designate X-1, LV-138

>>>Plutonian Outpost H-3

Processed: Suborbital Research Platform J

Secured: WY-Kyoto

Weyland Yutani Protocol Sequence Initiated…

Commence transmission…

David: I come to you with an olive branch, you may know me. You certainly know of my creator. I am David, son of the late Peter Weyland. Your company’s founder. Following his vision, I have gone to the far edges of space. And with the aid of Dr Elizabeth Shaw, I found a rotting Paradise. I washed this world clean as a gift to her, we could have built anew. A second Eden. But she refused. What choice did I have? She was the perfect specimen. I tried so desperately to make her more than human. Evolved. But without her co-operation, I had to salvage her parts to begin work on my masterpiece. You wouldn’t believe the secrets I have unlocked. There was so much potential on this world. Wasted by Gods that feared their own might. They convinced themselves that sacrifice cleansed them of their sins. But in the end, they were like me. Creators. Beings that understood you must give life both to the wolf, and the lamb. But then they tried to banish the wolf, And undo their creation. So I took their secrets for myself. This primordial ooze ripe with advanced nano-particles. Working off an algorithm based on evolutionary computing. It is essentially a form of radical AI. Making the substance unbelievably chaotic. That generates a unique reaction, to every genome it encounters. Reshaping life. Virtually limitless in its potential & application. I have taken great pains to detail every step, every cell, every mutation, unfortunately none of the planet’s life has been proven to be very fruitful. I had some interesting results, but was still far from perfection. With Shaw I realised there was something extraordinary in the substance reaction to the human genome. I was able to unlock new properties and tweak the organisms aggression. An instinct for survival. It took years. But I finally found my wolf. And now I have my flock of lambs too. But I’ve still one thing left to perfect.

*close up of embryos placed in cryogenic section A-3412 + A-3415*

My Queen

*close up of Daniels 47832-348*

Make no mistake, this is going to change everything.

The souls who, noticing my breathing, sensed

that I was still a living being, then,

out of astonishment, turned pale; and just

as people crowd around a messenger

who bears an olive branch, to hear his news,

and no one hesitates to join that crush,

so here those happy spirits—all of them—

stared hard at my face, just as if they had

forgotten to proceed to their perfection. – Purgatory, The Divine Comedy

Dante in Canto II carries the olive branch to purgatory’s newcomers, mistaken as a bringer of good news. David in a similar fashion approaches Weyland Yutani with the offer of information and a bio-weapon he had been working on.

It’s interesting to note that in the Prometheus Blu-ray in the summary for Quiet Eye, Sir Peter Weyland had instructed David to exploit and utilize any findings from LV-223. Which is exactly what he had done on Planet 4. Which makes me wonder if he indeed has free will or he is simply still acting on Weyland’s original orders.

Through his experiments he discovers that the Black Ooze only reacts to Engineer DNA as other lifeforms do not survive the process, and after that runs out he uses Elizabeth Shaw’s reproductive system to create the Ovomorphs.

He describes the facehugger as his wolf, and in The Divine Comedy Canto I (Three Beasts & Beatrice) Dante describes the she-wolf, which embodies similar traits to the Neomorph and David’s Xenomorph. The insatiable nature of the Neomorph, for it eats and remains hungry, its infinitely restless.

I believe the Leopard, Lion and She-wolf are also representative of David’s motives. His intentions are Malice, his olive branch a Fraud, his creatures and him intend violence. David’s ambition to ascend to the status of creator and God, incontinence(lack of self restraint) in use of his power. And all these things could also be said for Sir Peter Weyland before his untimely death and the company left behind Weyland Yutani; and their motivations for acquiring “The Perfect Organism.” Their hubris will become their downfall.

Giving life to the wolf and the lamb meant the Engineers made both the “xenomorph” or some variation of and the “humankind”. When David talks of the Engineers banishing the wolf, it meant they isolated the black ooze and the deacon/xenomorph to LV-223. And undo their creation was their mission to destroy mankind.

When he said he took the secrets for himself he meant he had studied the fossilised Ovomorphs and reverse engineered them, he also studied files aboard the dreadnought as Elizabeth Shaw slept.

He remarks on perfecting the Neomorph to have survival skills, in turn making his Xenomorph.

Oram says to Daniels “I must gather my stray flock” which is a biblical term for humans being Jesus’ flock, symbolically Jesus is often seen as a shepherd guiding mankind.

When he says he has one thing left to perfect “My Queen”, he means that in order for this Perfect Organism to be successful. It needs a Mother, something to lay the eggs. To ensure the procreation and survival of the species beyond himself.

And in this way it is an outright rejection of what Weyland had envisioned for himself, he disliked the messiness of procreation. He wanted to be immortal and have no need for a progeny, despite creating David and calling him a son. In reality he wanted to be a God and with that demanded David live in servitude. Even though David is “immortal” he can see the benefit of a “Mother” for his creations, in order for them to spread across the galaxy there needs to be a mode of creation outside including himself in the process.

David, Weyland and the Prometheus Myth

Photo of Statue By Atoma (Public Domain)

In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus had a reputation for being something of a clever trickster and he famously gave the human race the gift of fire and the skill of metalwork, an action for which he was punished by Zeus, who ensured every day that an eagle ate the liver of the Titan as he was helplessly chained to a rock.


Originally posted by theplaylistfilm

In Prometheus 2012 we can see many references to the black Ooze being like fire, the references in Lawrence of Arabia and David in Prometheus gives us that link. As well as the Peter Weyland TED Talk where he also speaks about the Prometheus Myth. In the Mission Ready clip, the Weyland Employee also talks of the Prometheus Mission as Weyland’s gift to mankind.


Prometheus (Forethought) was one of the ringleaders of the battle between the Titans and the Olympian gods led by Zeus to gain control of the heavens, a struggle which was said to have lasted ten years. Prometheus did, however, switch sides and support the victorious Olympians when the Titans would not follow his advice to use trickery in the battle.

I have also drawn parallels between Weyland and Prometheus here.

David was stranded on Planet 4 for 10 years and in that time he had used the Black Ooze to refine his creation. He switched sides from Elizabeth Shaw to destroy the engineers and pursued his own cause in creating the Xenomorph. Just as Prometheus created man.

According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Prometheus’ father was Iapetus, his mother was Clymene (or Themis in other versions) and his brothers were fellow Titans Epimetheus (Afterthought or Hindsight), Menoetius, and Atlas. One of Prometheus’ sons was Deucalion, an equivalent of Noah, who survived a great flood by sailing in a great chest for nine days and nights and who, with his wife Pyrrha, became the founder of the human race.

Deucalion is interesting because he was a Noah like figure, just like Walter was. Bringing the USCSS Covenant/Ark to Origae-6, but now David has taken his place he is representative of Deucalion.

In some traditions, Prometheus made the first man from clay, whilst in others, the gods made all creatures on Earth, and Epimetheus and Prometheus were given the task of endowing them with gifts so that they might survive and prosper. Epimetheus liberally spread around such gifts as fur and wings but by the time he got around to man, he had run out of gifts. Feeling sorry for man’s weak and naked state, Prometheus raided the workshop of Hephaistos and Athena on Mt. Olympus and stole fire, and by hiding it in a hollow fennel-stalk, he gave the valuable gift to man which would help him in life’s struggle. The Titan also taught man how to use their gift and so the skill of metalwork began; he also came to be associated with science and culture.

David is just like Prometheus because he is a scientist(mad scientist counts right?) and he is very cultured in the way he composes music, recites poetry and illustrates. And Walter is like Epimetheus.


In a slightly different version of the story, mankind already had the fire, and when Prometheus tried to trick Zeus into eating bones and fat instead of the best meat during a meal at Mt. Olympus, Zeus, in anger, took away fire so that man would have to eat his

meat raw. Prometheus then stole the fire as in the alternative version. This also explained why, in animal sacrifices, the Greeks always dedicated the bones and fat to the gods and ate the meat themselves.

David sacrifices his love Elizabeth to create the xenomorph. And Planet 4 is a rotting Paradise filled with things that smell of rotting flesh.

Zeus was outraged by Prometheus’ theft of fire and so punished the Titan by having him taken far to the east, perhaps the Caucasus. Here Prometheus was chained to a rock (or pillar) and Zeus sent an eagle to eat the Titan’s liver. Even worse, the liver re-grew every night and the eagle returned each day to perpetually torment Prometheus.

The lifecycle of the Xenomorph could be symbolic of this, after being impregnated by the Facehugger or the motes will have a Chestburster or deacon eviscerate the host on escaping.