ALIEN () Audio Introduction Script

Descriptions of the cast, locations and other elements for the film ALIEN for blind and vision impaired people.

A small, round photo of a smiling man with a mop of dark hair and a pointy nose.

by Brett Coulstock. .

This is an unofficial audio introduction for the “theatrical cut” of the science-fiction/horror film ALIEN.

This introduction contains information about the story, locations, design aesthetic and the cast and costumes. It runs for approximately 12 minutes. Please be aware that it does contain mild spoilers for the film.

In Australia, ALIEN is classified "M" for Mature Audiences. It contains Medium level violence and low level coarse language. Please check the rating in your country.

The running time for the film is approximately 1 hour and 51 minutes.

The screenplay was written by Dan O’Bannon and the film is directed by Sir Ridley Scott. Scott is a highly visual director. His style places great emphasis on landscape and atmosphere, rich textures, and the play of light and shadow.

The alien elements of the production are designed by Swiss surrealist Hans-Rudi Giger. His style is described as biomechanical, a fusion of biological forms with industrial elements. His paintings are often disturbing and sexual in nature, depicting gloomy inhuman cities formed from alien machines, bone shapes, sex organs and slimy coils that could equally be worms or electrical conduits.

The subjects of his paintings are Biomechanoids — distorted human figures, sometimes eyeless, sometimes mouth-less, sometimes amputees — with translucent grey skin revealing subcutaneous layers of ridged pipes and tubes; often they are crucified on, or growing out of, or being swallowed by, the nightmarish landscapes they are a part of.

The Cast

Director Ridley Scott visualised the crew as being working class, akin to truck-drivers, not highly trained astronauts. Their clothes for the most part look lived-in and shabby, consisting of a mix of official company uniform and casual wear.

All the human characters except Chief Engineer Parker are of white, European ethnicity.

The characters in the film are:

Captain Dallas

Captain Dallas is played by American actor Tom Skerrit. He is late forties, with dark hair and a dark boxed beard. He wears a brown flight jacket over a white shirt and pants. He is softly spoken, calm and pragmatic.

Executive Officer Kane

Executive Officer Kane is played by English actor John Hurt. He is late thirties, thin and wiry, pointy nosed, with short brown hair. He wears a brown flight jacket over a white shirt and pants.

Warrant Officer Ripley

Warrant Officer Ripley is played by American actor Sigourney Weaver. She is a tall woman in her early thirties with long dark curls and high cheekbones. She wears a blue jumpsuit with the Nostromo patch on the shoulder. She is organised, competent and intelligent.

Navigator Lambert

Navigator Lambert is played by American actor Veronica Cartwright. She is in her early thirties with frizzy brown hair and blue eyes. While the rest of the cast wear soft shoes, she sports a pair of cowboy boots. She is often defensive and anxious.

Science Officer Ash

Science Officer Ash is played by English actor Ian Holm. He appears in his late 40s. Of the crew, he is the shortest. He is a quietly spoken man with cropped dark receding hair. He wears only the regulation uniform: pale blue pants and short-sleeved shirt over a long-sleeved white undershirt and soft shoes.

Chief Engineer Parker

Chief Engineer Parker is played by American actor Yaphet Kotto (Koh-toh). He is of mixed heritage including Africa and the West-Indies, and has very dark skin. Parker is in his early 40s. He is a large, imposing man with a broad face and powerful arms. He is unshaven. He can be rebellious and outspoken, and sometimes enjoys needling the rest of the crew. He wears a blue bandanna, white pants, and an unbuttoned white shirt over a green t-shirt.

Engineering Technician Brett

Engineering Technician Brett is played by American actor Harry Dean Stanton. He’s in his early 50s. He wears a Nostromo baseball cap over his short dark hair. Instead of the white shirts worn by most of the rest of the crew, he wears a colourful Hawaiian shirt under his flight-jacket. He has a lined, unshaven face, and is often smoking a cigarette.


Jones, the ships cat, is a ginger American Short-hair tomcat with green eyes.


The film has four principal settings: a space ship, a life-boat, a rocky moon, and an alien vessel.


The space ship Nostromo is a commercial towing vehicle returning to Earth. It has a symmetrical, blocky design with no concession towards beauty or elegance. There are three thrusters at the rear. Nostromo, large as it is, is dwarfed by its cargo: a massive ore refinery that resembles three half-bowls, each topped with a wedding-cake of tanks, pipes and scaffolding.

All of the internal ship areas are distinctly industrial spaces. There are the same warning signs, reflective hazard stripes, stencilled lettering and safety decals that you would find in any hazardous workplace.

Inside there are several locations. The hyper-sleep chamber, mess room, medical bay and computer room are well lit with white padded panels, although the mess looks lived in and cluttered.

The flight deck and lower engineering levels are brutally functional spaces with exposed conduits, regular bulkhead doors, and grated metal flooring. These areas are poorly lit and highly claustrophobic. Vertical ladders connect the levels of the ship.

The Narcissus is the life-boat. Externally, it is like a shuttle, shaped like a truncated triangle. Like the lower decks of Nostromo the interior is poorly lit and functional with exposed pipes and tanks, and two large hyper-sleep pods, large coffin-like tubes with transparent covers.


The moon LV-426 circling a gas-giant, is a desert landscape of rocks sculpted into towering, bizarre formations by the brutal, unrelenting wind. The toxic air is full of grit, and when the sun comes up, just a cold point of distant light, the air is a sulphurous yellow-brown.

The three crew members who leave the ship to explore LV-426 wear bulky, padded space suits, with large clear helmets.

Spoilers Ahead

The following material contains some spoilers. If you do not wish to have elements the subject of suspense described, please stop this introduction now.

The Alien Vessel

The derelict alien vessel is distinctly non-human. It is grey-blue in colour and resembles an asymmetrical horseshoe, of a design that could be mistaken at a distance for some kind of bone. It has two jutting arms, one ends in a bulbous hammer shape, the other in a kind of fin with an exhaust port. The organic contours of the ship are textured with a net like web of conduits and channels and other biomechanical detailing. Its bizarre organic appearance is a striking contrast to the blocky human ship.

The entrance at the base of the ship looks less like an air-lock and more like an organic, fleshy orifice moulded in dark metal.

Inside it is dark and cavernous and dripping with moisture. The walls curve away upwards, lined with herringbone shapes framed by ridged conduits.

The cockpit of the ship is a massive darkened chamber with the same bone and pipe elements on the walls.

The floor is a massive turntable, like an enormous cog laid flat. The surface is made up of ridged pipes and deep channels radiating out from the huge machine at the centre.

The machine is a massive reclining chair made of heavy, industrial components leading to a titanic barrelled structure pointing outwards, like a microscope scaled up to giant size. In the chair is The pilot, a giant fossilised biomechanoid, indivisibly part of this structure. It has an enormous, elongated weathered skull with melancholy, empty eye-sockets and a elephant-trunk-like tube for a nose that melds with its wide ribbed torso. Arms grasp at controls that are part of the chair. The rest of its body is merged into the machine. A large hole is punched into its ribs on its left side.

The Alien

In an interview the writer of ALIEN, Dan O’Bannon said on comparing creature concepts done by another artist Ron Cobb:

"Cobb’s monsters all looked like they could come out of a zoo — Giger’s looked like something out of a bad dream."

The adult alien is, for the most part, only seen in glimpses, half in shadows.

The alien is performed by Bolaji Badejo (Bol-lah-gee Bod-Ay-Jo), a Nigerian man employed on the film for his height and long legs. At 2 meters 8cm, or 6’10, the alien towers over the rest of the cast.

It is one of Giger's biomechanoids, slender and elegant, like a humanoid insect constructed from glistening-wet pipes and ridged tubes, machine parts and bones. It has an external rib-cage, giving it a macarbre skeletal appearance.

The alien has no eyes.

It has an ithyphallic cranium, a smooth elongated dome that sweeps backwards from its empty eye sockets. It has sharp metal teeth; the musculature of the powerful jaw is like cords of gristle. As it opens its jaws, globs and strings of lubricating mucus drip out.

Extending from each side of the exposed vertebrae of the back are four tubes, about two feet long, slightly curved halfway. These odd protuberances give the alien a strange silhouette unlike any Earth animal. The vertebrae of the back extend to become a long, powerful tail.

The alien is lithe and graceful and somewhat reptilian in its movements. When stalking its prey it moves slowly and deliberately, but when it strikes it is swift and accurate, even though it lacks eyes.


This is an independent Audio Introduction and not commissioned by the copyright owners. I believe in cultural competancy, inclusion and equality, and have attempted to describe the characters and situations fairly, without prejudice and without intent to offend. All information in this introduction is believed to be correct at the time of writing, but the accuracy or correctness of this content cannot be guaranteed.

If you have any concerns about the content in this audio introduction, please contact me.

ALIEN is Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

This audio introduction script copyright © Brett Coulstock.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Production Note

ALIEN is a sci-fi horror film. If possible I would like the sound design of the audio introduction to reflect the nature of the production. This could include:

Perhaps some of the voice over could be processed to sound like it was coming over radio comms – introduce an occasional sprinkling of static or distortion, possibly even a deliberate drop-out during a part of the description as a creative way to avoid spoilers.

It would help make the piece feel integrated with the production, rather than entirely supplemental, and subconsciously reflect the unsettling atmosphere of the film.

Filed under: Accessibility