My Pop Life #171 : Praying For Time – George Michael

Praying For Time   –   George Michael

I may have too much but I’ll take my chances
Because god’s stopped keeping score…

Listen Without Prejudice was released in September 1990 and this was the first single from the album.  We listened to the LP all that winter 90/91, and I don’t think George Michael has ever bettered it.  Cowboys & Angels, Freedom 90, Heal The Pain, lovely cover of They Won’t Go When I Go.  And Praying For Time.  “tune”

Listen Without Prejudice – 1990

That autumn I was doing a play called Earwig by Paula Milne at The Pit, somewhere under The Barbican in London with the RSC.  Then I got a call from the agent for a meeting in Pinewood studios for Alien 3.  This was terribly exciting.  I adored the first Alien film, and was less keen on the second, but devoured it hungrily nonetheless.  The combination of horror and science fiction was thrilling and brilliantly done.  I gleaned a few details before the meeting – it was going to be set on a prison planet with no women except Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver.  It would directed by a young first-time director called David Fincher.   Much to the irritation of the RSC I had my (pretty long) hair shorn at Fish in D’Arblay Street – a number four if I recall.  I’d been going to Fish since I’d done West at The Donmar Warehouse in 1983, and they’d been close-up witnesses to the disappearing head-fur since then.  Anyway, I got offered the part of Aaron, or to be more accurate, Fincher recalled me and asked me which part I fancied playing.  HOW COMPLETELY THRILLING !!  (I thought)  IS THIS WHAT MY LIFE WILL BE LIKE NOW???  I chose Aaron.  The 2nd in command.  The survivor.  Good part.  Or so I thought. This is an extract from my diary at the time – an actor at his first Hollywood barbeque, getting burned.  Nobody explains what it’s going to be like, and even if they did, I didn’t listen.  Who does ?


Alien 3 – Paranoia in Pinewood

The six stages of Film Production : as seen carved into the wall in Pinewood, Studio Five, by someone presumably better-versed in the industry than I :

  1. Wild enthusiasm
  2. Disillusionment
  3. Panic
  4. Search For The Guilty
  5. Punish The Innocent
  6. Reward The Non-Involved 

17th Jan 1991.

Well.  After a heavy day’s filming on Scene 55 where Golic, (played by me old china plate  Paul McGann), is brought to the infirmary, I return to my dressing room to find rewrites have been pushed under my door.  Rewrites for the end of the movie.  I read them.  Disaster.  My character has gone from the everyman-yuppie-type-who-survives to something completely different : the thick-coward-type-who-gets-his-throat-cut-while-hiding-from-the-alien.   I feel like a horse has kicked me in the guts.  I march up to the director, David Fincher’s office, and demand a meeting with the writers, Walter Hill and David Giler, to discuss the part.  Having already filmed two scenes and therefore committed my character to celluloid, these changes are un-nerving to say the very least.  Fincher says he hates the rewrites, and don’t worry, it’ll be all right.  But he’s just the director.  Walter and David are also producing along with Sigourney herself.  I express with great and foolish bravery to Fincher that I need to know what I’m playing, and I need to know NOW.  We arrange a meeting for lunchtime next day.

18th Jan

At I get a call cancelling the meeting.  Panic.  I call my agent Michael Foster, the poison dwarf of Oxford Street whom I love dearly.  His advice : Don’t rock the boat, keep your head below the parapet, wear a tie and vote conservative (remember, this is 1991).  Above all, he advises, Do Not Upset Walter Hill, writer and producer of the film.  There are major Hollywood politics going on and I’m simply caught in the crossfire, my character being one pawn among many in a power game between the Giler/Hill axis and the Fincher/Fox camp.  It’s the moody stark Alien (1) vs the populist wham-bam Aliens (2).  I know what I prefer but evidently can’t afford to express my feeling to the wrong people.

At 2pm I get a call inviting me (since I’m not filming today) to the Halcyon Hotel in Holland Park – a car will be round to pick me up.  This is where Walter Hill and David Giler are staying.  The drive is smooth and tense. I go up in the lift to Room 50, and Walter greets me at the door wearing mirror shades.

Walter Hill, director of The Long Riders, 48 Hours, The Warriors, The Driver and more

By now I am shitting maisonettes but staying outwardly cool I hope.  Something to drink Ralph ?  I ask for tea, so we all have tea.  We chat, and Fincher is mentioned.  Non-committal words are exchanged.  Body language is tense, nervy from Hill, open, receptive from me.  I smile in what I hope is a relaxed fashion.  I’m wrong about one thing (probably more than one – Ed) – Walter Hill talks about going back to the simplicity of the first Alien movie, which cheers me up a bit.  So, Ralph, what about Aaron?  Well, I say, I’m here to ask for your help.  Hill doesn’t believe me.  Careful Ralph.  Be careful.  Be honest.  I talk about Fincher’s version of the character and how it conflicts with the rewrites. Hill shifts his weight and considers me.  “Aaron is a working class stupid guy, who is funny“.   I agree.  This is my bargaining position I say : I have no bargaining position.  Hill laughs.  He knows.    Is there anything I don’t like about the script?  Well, I say, can’t Aaron fight with the Alien??  If not at the end, then in the middle sequence with the fire? Astonishingly they agree with me and I gain a point.  But I can’t fight at the end.  And I have to be an 85 IQ – like Muhammed Ali or Danny from Withnail (they bizarrely console me with).  OK I say.  Fine by me I say.  Thrilled to be in your movie I say.  No heroics for me, and this will affect any Hollywood career I am to have, if indeed I am to have one.  “We all gotta serve the movie Ralph” says Walter Hill. who is getting paid something in the region of a million dollars serving the movie.  “I’m prepared to sit here til midnight until you’re happy with the way the character should be played…”  

I leave one and a half hours later, shaking hands.  I press the lift button.  I can still hear them and strain an ear down the corridor – what are they saying?  “Fuck the guy – get him off the picture”  ?    I don’t want to hear it anyway.  I walk out through the lobby feeling as tight and tense and screwed up as a piece of wire.  I feel like vomiting.  I am driven home, feeling shaky and weird.  Meet my brother Paul and go to see Ken Loach’s Hidden Agenda at Screen on the Green – flawed but good (Brian Cox was excellent) – with the memorable line :  “Rule One : Look After Your Own Balls

Afterward to the pub and drinks and I start to unwind.  I am now paranoid about being cut from the film (like Veronica Cartwright was from Alien as Walter had gently reminded me earlier – I don’t want to alarm you Ralph but, well, yes, actually I DO want to alarm you.  Don’t end up like Veronica Cartwright…)  She was the one who cried a lot.  I suddenly remember that an actor was sacked after four weeks filming on Aliens because they found out that he was on acid or something (!) and so they re-shot all the scenes he was in.  So even after a month’s filming you’re not safe.  Damn.

David Fincher & Sigourney Weaver on the set of Alien 3, Pinewood 1991

Meeting with Fincher the next day.  Hi dude how was your meeting?  Walter and David said you’d reached a compromise.  Oh, that’s what they called it?  I felt as if I’d been taken slowly from behind.  I informed Fincher that although I loved him spiritually, I had in fact (sad to say) sold him down the river (still some quiver when I deliver) and that I had accepted the working-class thicko comic character idea to save my own balls (see Rule One above).  Fincher says “The fight’s not over.  Remember we’re working for 18th century Fox here”

Jan 21st

The rewrites come through.  As I expected.  Well, we all gotta serve the movie.  Fear stalks the set.  Everyone is applying Rule One.  And as we shoot mangled remains of Alien victims in dark corridors, the Gulf War is being prosecuted with extreme prejudice, and as Brian Glover soberly remarked, we could go to Baghdad and see the real thing.

my old mate Danny Webb with Sigourney on set

Someone steals a continuity photo of Sigourney with head shaved and sells it to the Today newspaper.  A mole on the unit.  Someone from props gets sacked.  We’re all looking over our shoulders.

Feb 4th

Picked up from Archway Road by Bill my driver who informs me that Jordan Cronenweth, legendary DP who shot Blade Runner had been replaced by Alex Thomson over the weekend.  Brian Glover is picked up in Fulham Road and gets severe wobbles for the rest of the day.  “It’s a portent Ralph, I wouldn’t be surprised if this film doesn’t get finished“.   Jordan’s disappearance has the opposite effect on me.  I finally reach my long-lost fuck-it level.  And I think : FUCK IT !   In the next scene I have only my vest and long johns, so my chest is showing.  Nick in make-up takes a long look : ” Ooh no, it’ll have to go”  What will?  “The chest hair love.  It’ll have to come off”   Jesus Christ.  I go all queenie for a second and flounce back to my dressing room to ponder my pectorals.  Shaved chest?  Never in all my born days….

Fuck It.  I don’t even phone Jenny to moan at her, because as soon as she hears my anxious paranoid actor’s whinge she’ll just search for things to say which won’t upset me.  No.  It’s my decision and I’ll shave the fucker.  Jesus Christ !  I’m an actor!!  Actors do all that shit!  It’s for the part, and the money.  Aaron shaves his chest.  I suddenly saw, for the first time since I was 15, what my body actually looked like.  I have to report that it could have been better.  Went straight home to the bench press and weights That Night.  But it was a liberating shave, a plunge into Fuck-It-Dom which released much of my tension and anxiety about the film.  FUCK IT !!!

Feb 5th

The canteen sequence.  Rewrites still coming in.  An IRA attack on Downing Street provides a fitting backdrop.  Sigourney is taking no prisoners today.  First it’s the hair:  “Your hair is too long Ralph, we should put some lice in it”   Then an hour later it’s the costume:  “How come Aaron gets to wear a nice clean shirt, while we’re all in dirty crap here?”     “It’s vanity pure and simple”  says the deep Barnsley burr of Brian Glover.  Thanks mate.   “So the stupid Aaron 85 looks really cool then” says Sigourney.  “Mr Normal”.  She stonks off.   I feel really weird now.  All my paranoias confirmed !   I think she is anxious about having a shaved head, but she has successfully managed to dump her insecurity onto me.

spoiler : Brian Glover is taken by the Alien in the canteen

 McGann wanders over and I tell him what has happened.  Sigourney walks past us :  “Oh look – a little tete-a-tete between Mr Sublime and Mr Ridiculous.  I’ll leave you guys to work out who’s  who”….  Paul turns to me.  “She’s going the right way for a smack in the mouth”.    At the tea break another actor tells me that Sigourney didn’t want any stars in the film and doesn’t speak to Charles Dance.  I am reminded of having my close-ups cut from Buster, and Phil Collins’ performance on Wogan, when he was asked who was playing Ronnie Biggs (me!) and he replied “Oh some new younger actor”.    You’re nobody in this town ’til everybody thinks you’re a bastard.

Aaron ’85’

Feb 6th

I’m being made up on set as Sigourney glides past.  “Don’t make him look too pretty I have to walk past him”…   ‘Trust your image Sigourney‘,  I reply.  She hovers, so for something to say I tell her that my death has now been re-written FIVE TIMES so far, including : Alien eats me, Golic cuts my throat, I fall into lead mould, Company machine-gun me.  “I asked them to kill you off on page ten” she says.  A couple of hours later she pokes her tongue out at me.  Hey!  It occurs to me, perhaps she wants to fuck me !

She should be so lucky.


Years later I discover that Walter Hill has an eye condition that means he had to wear protective shades even indoors.  That Jordan Cronenweth was too ill to finish the shoot even with his son Jeff assisting him due to Parkinson’s.   After the premiere, Sigourney apologises for being mean.  Fincher encourages me to move to Los Angeles or LaLa as he calls it, so after our wedding in 1992, we do.   And later still.  Jenny’s sister Lucy Jules (see My Pop Life #135) gets to sing with George Michael on two world tours.  One night he sang Praying For Time.  I still think it’s probably his best song.

Part II of my Alien 3 Diary is at My Pop Life #220 – 3am Eternal – The K.L.F.

33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. r dave giancola
    Oct 13, 2016 @ 06:28:20

    You made it from page 10 to page 90. That’s pretty good considering there was an actual alien stalking the production. It too was in a suit (and glasses).

    Liked by 1 person


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  3. allpictures10
    Oct 14, 2016 @ 08:48:13

    Fantastic blog
    Good luck

    Liked by 1 person


  4. pedroaraujorosacosta
    Oct 14, 2016 @ 09:58:15

    My god, it must have been a nightmare.
    I gotta say, you have my sympathies for sticking through it.
    I liked the 3rd movie, especially for its very talented cast (not necessarily all famous, but there you go). But I really had no idea things were this tense.
    Again, respect.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Cliff Inglis
    Oct 14, 2016 @ 19:52:15

    Thank you so much for this. I love the fly on the wall stories.
    If you don’t mind my saying so and I’m not adding injury to insult but your character in Alien 3 was very similar to Lt Gorman (William Hope) in Aliens.
    Did you realize that Kiwi director was removed from this movie too by Weaver? Aliens 3 has Wards stamp on it because it is very much like his movie “The Navigator”, costumes etc.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Stu
      Dec 21, 2020 @ 04:52:28

      Apparently Vincent Ward didn’t realise it was a horror from the script. His perception was of some monks in a bizarre monastery. Doesn’t surprise me about Sigourney but it does disappoint. The yanks seem to have an arrogance coming from the Hollywood machine – especially when they have star power. Sly Stallone is a case in point.



    Oct 21, 2016 @ 09:50:00

    Wow great read! I still think Alien 3 is a (seriously) flawed masterpiece. Many people hated it when it came out, but it has gained quite a following in the last decade especially with the release of the Assembly Cut. I have read about the development hell it went through, but this was a very interesting “inside” story. Also, good job on the character of Aaron despite being re-written a hundred times. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Captain Slappy
    Oct 22, 2016 @ 02:00:25

    Straight Up- Regardless of what has been said…#3 was a solid film thanks to 85, with excellent casting and some truly spot-on great performances. I am aware that it was not easy, and I am aware a lot of it never made it to the regular release…nor could I ever claim to know what having to go through THAT debacle was like…

    but the scoring and characters carry it through. Especially the acting. Had you NOT done what you did…the movie would have never made it out for someone like me to watch.

    They handed you a pile of mish-mash…you made it workable.
    They handed you busted up glass and nails…and you still made it work.

    I am not saying I agree with how it went (or how badly it went, or who made it go what and where), and the decisions made…

    I am saying you are a helluva actor, and you ought to be proud of it.

    Liked by 1 person


  8. Steveside
    Oct 26, 2016 @ 05:58:02

    Awesome read. Thanks for sharing. Real shame about the drama but the film I think fit really well into the Alien universe. It was dark, moody and depressing. In front with the story and behind the scenes by the sound of it. I wasn’t a fan of the director’s cut and preferred the theatrical release. I do agree that the story could have been told much more richer and better with Fincher and the actors working as opposed to studio intervention.

    Liked by 1 person


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  10. Mike A.
    Dec 02, 2016 @ 21:52:18

    Great read, but distressing at times. Surprised at Sigourney’s remarks but at least she recognized it. I personally loved Alien 3 since when I watched the trilogy in 1994/5 (when I was 4/5).

    Of all the movies, 3 was the one that delved the most in its characters, and besides Ripley, Aaron and Clemens were my favorites. Now that I’m a working adult, I can relate so much with Aaron’s “I just want to work and go home” attitude it’s creepy. That and the cancer metaphor (bald with terminal ilness) that I’m not even sure was intended, make this film somewhat deep.

    I can’t wait to finish my asmr video based on Alien 3, I like that mood so much.

    Thanks for the read Ralph!

    Liked by 2 people


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  12. jonoross
    Apr 02, 2017 @ 18:38:43

    Perhaps a Camberwell Carrot might have soothed the somewhat directionless egos out there. Sounds like some individuals should’ve strove to cool their boots. Wacka wacka.

    Interesting read, Mr Brown. 85 was who I played as in the playground at primary school at the time, before we came to our senses and went back to playing ALIENS again at playtime. Shooting guns at imaginary aliens was easier to play pretend than the isolation of remote incarceration and existential dread at eight years old. Anyhoo, thanks for the inside info. All the very best sir 🙂

    Liked by 2 people


  13. Sergeant Apone
    Apr 15, 2017 @ 11:35:17

    Great read!

    Liked by 1 person


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  15. Jimmie Mathews
    Nov 08, 2017 @ 21:21:38

    I have to say I always loved the film, even though it felt incomplete somehow. Now, I know. I’m excited that there is another version of it which more closely resembles Fincher’s vision. Already tracked it down and am looking forward to watching it!

    Liked by 1 person


  16. Paul
    Feb 20, 2018 @ 11:21:53

    I was always fascinated by the drama behind the scenes on Alien3, but somehow reading your blog brings that to life more; probably the sincere and straight forward way you speak, like hearing from a friend rather than reading about it in a magazine. You did sterling work with 85- if he was intended as a one nite joke, I think the last laugh was had by you- 85 is actually just a working guy supporting his family, and of the few empathetic characters in the film. Like you said, you’re smart enough not to have a life sentence. Was a shame to read this about Weaver, lost some respect for her because of this, but I guess she felt she was out in a limb as well; the pit must have looked pretty deep from way up there, and while she may have been safe from being fired, she was still in danger of the film being a disaster. Still, no excuse to through your attitude around. Paul’s comment about a punch in the mouth is pretty funny. Anyway, it’s not the failure people said it was, Alien 3 holds its own and marks the last decent film in a franchise that has essentially crashed and burnt now. Best acting, best sets, best cinematography, best creature design, and a brace attempt to get back to the nihilistic and dark atmosphere of the first Alien. You should be proud to be a part of it, and I hope now that enough time has passed, that you can admire the work to did on it. All the best.

    Liked by 2 people


  17. Field78
    Feb 23, 2018 @ 15:21:13

    Despite the rewrites and the 85 references, I never considered Aaron a mentally challenged character. Naïve maybe, but just a realistic by-the-numbers guy who doesn’t want to bite the hand that feeds him. And who comes around at the right time when he realizes who the real enemy is. Indeed not unlike Gorman from Aliens. The entire series has basically been about these working class people who never got into the higher echelons.

    IQs are just numbers and it says nothing about common sense or valor. And fortunately, the Assembly Cut gave Aaron much more to do and say. Regardless of what those involved with the film think it should have been, they deserve to be proud of it.

    Liked by 1 person


  18. magicman
    May 31, 2019 @ 00:06:34

    I am immensely proud of the film. I hope that will become clear as I complete this short series of memories. This particular offering was as written verbatim while it was happening, so I couldn’t possibly be proud of something that hadn’t been released yet. But I would like to put on record my thanks to all of you who have taken time to write your feelings down about this blog, and thank you all for your kind remarks about my part in it. Part two coming soon…



    • Stuart Rathe
      Aug 09, 2020 @ 11:12:35

      I’ve just discovered this blog and it was totally fascinating to read. I love Alien 3. It’s a flawed masterpiece, especially the wonderful Assembly Cut, and I think your character is very much the heart of the piece. The development from coward to semi-heroic stature at the end is great, thanks to your performance. A shame that Sigourney seemed so unpleasant, as I’m a fan. But I guess she eventually acknowledged and apologised. PS I love the Kylie Minogue anecdote. You should’ve wangled her a part.



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  20. Dean M.
    Jun 14, 2019 @ 23:08:15

    I had the opportunity to revisit the film through the “Assembly Cut” just last night and, I have to say, it is a far superior film to the theatrical cut Ralph.

    As hard as it might be for you to believe, Alien 3 is one of my favourite films of the franchise and certainly with the assembly cut to consider, it lifts it up to my top two (the original only edging 3 out).

    You did a great job sir.



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    Aug 23, 2020 @ 00:44:09

    Since the first time I saw it, Alien3 was always my favourite in the series; the underdog of the franchise that for all its set-backs still created something immensely powerful and incredible that has been beloved to me for over 25 years.

    I felt alone in that opinion until I bought in the mid-90s (as part of a book club) David Pringle’s “The Ultimate Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction” book in which he described A3 as “arguably the best” in the series that started with Alien.

    I’ve always been rather nihilistic, cynical, and I can’t deny suffered with depression. Alien3 always hit me hard as a genuine people-drama in response to the simply classic cinematic supernatural conditions experienced in the first two movies in the saga.

    The gothic-meets-industrial soundscape, the broken society, the lost individuality, everything about the movie fascinated me in ways that 1&2, no matter how much I loved them, never did.

    I managed to once secure a very poor VHS rip of the assembly cut back in the day because although I loved the theatrical cut, I’d always heard of the more powerful, exploratory original cut. Needless to say, I found it incredible no matter how poor the quality was. It was a cinematic enigma that fascinated me since the day I saw it.

    I literally couldn’t believe it when it was not just salvaged on DVD as the Assembly Cut in 2003, least of all fully ADR’d again for Blu-ray.

    It’s sad to read how Weaver hadn’t been the supportive cast member I’d envisioned in my mind, but want to say how much I think this film is a masterpiece especially in light of its set-backs. It’s a film that I truly connected with, there are few that I’ve ever have. I love your character in this film, even in light of his altered personas, I still felt you always brought an innocence and naturalness to the role that also felt poignant with reality; irrespective of the “85” IQ nonsense, Aaron represented the ‘everyman’, the guy just ‘getting-by’ to support his loved ones, who took a job because it would help his family, who wants nothing more than to be with them, but sacrifices himself for the greater good at the end of it when he realises that the very things he loved could be destroyed by the company he works for and is willing to die for that.

    As a big fan of Withnail and I, I find the casting process quite literally fascinating. I’d have loved to have seen Richard E Grant in the film, but there’s also no denying the sombre melancholy that Charles Dance brought to the role. I also find it incredible that the third entry into a big budget science fiction franchise (maybe third after Star Wars and Star Trek in terms of financial viability?) would actually green-light a “Sheffield Coal Mine Full of Rapists in Space” production for an internationally released cinematic production. That would never happen today and find it all the more magical and brilliant because of it.

    For all the turmoil you suffered, I just want to say thank you for being an enormous part of a film that is one of very few artistic productions that truly felt like it connected with me. Alien3 may have gone through hell and back to get released, but part of that is why I love it. The turbulence of its gestation is one of the things that makes it truly resonate with me and the characters on screen.

    Aliens was a wonderful piece of popcorn cinema. Alien3 was art through adversity, and honestly, it’s a piece of art I hold all the higher because of it.

    Liked by 1 person


  24. magicman
    Aug 23, 2020 @ 04:43:26

    Thank you for your kind and eloquent comments Rich, they really mean a lot to me in 2020, many years later. You must remember that what is written here was written at the time of making the film. I was a young man on my first barbecue. I thought it would be revealing to share and of interest to anyone interested in film-making. I am immensely proud of the film, and my own performance. Thank you for your thoughtful feedback. Take care out there.



    Sep 14, 2020 @ 18:31:35

    Thank you so much for the reply Ralph, I was wondering if maybe you could answer a query (or two) for me that I’ve wondered for a long time but doesn’t seem to be addressed in the countless documentaries I’ve seen. Namely, what was the design decision behind the largely British casting of thespians, independent film actors and television actors?

    Alien obviously had a multi-national feeling to it thanks to John Hurt and Ian Holme (and obviously being directed by Scott) alongside the American cast-members, however Aliens went decidedly full American action spectacle (I don’t think were any British cast members in that film if memory serves?), it therefore seems to be a very conscious (yet admittedly curious, from a box-office perspective) decision to go with not just a cast of actors that not only weren’t widely known for US cinema or television, yet also very insistent on regional British dialects and pronunciations (I’m sure “Leftenant Ripley” – pardon the phonetic spelling – must have raised a few eyebrows across the pond, something that the Patrick Stewart-fronted Star Trek the Next Generation always avoided and stuck with the American ‘Lootenant” pronunciation at all times) all while being directed by a new young American director.

    Did this abundant Britishness in the film come from Fincher, or was that in place much earlier on? Were any of you given instructions to avoid American pronunciations and embrace a more British-culture concept for the population of Fury 161, or were there ever times as filming went on whereby Fox/Brandywine seemed concerned it was in any way “too British” a film?

    It’s one of the things I love most about the film as it has such a unique tone, cast-choice and style for a big franchise sequel that just adds to how dismal and nihilistic it feels, yet have always wondered quite why that choice was made as it seems so incredibly defiant compared to the blockbuster franchise norms, especially in the 90s (I can’t imagine many other popular sci fi franchises going down the route of “Teesside in Space” or “Kes with Chestbursters” for their finale haha).

    Liked by 1 person


    • magicman
      Sep 14, 2020 @ 20:10:49

      Hi Rich. My memory tells me that all those arguments happened in pre-production before most of us were involved, and it was very much David’s decision to make the prison population largely British and Irish, with some Americans. Fincher always looking to do something original.



    Sep 14, 2020 @ 22:54:45

    Thank you again for your insight Ralph, apologies for all the ridiculous questions; it’s just a movie so beloved to me and a friend of mine, that its regional industrial grime has often been a reference point to SO many other things in our quirky lives (quite strangely he wants us to go on a coastal tour of “Alien3 beaches” this winter for places that are basically decaying tin mines spilling out into the sea haha) so please forgive any of the endless curiosities I have about its production.

    I keep hoping for something to come along that truly makes me feel like I’m there on Fury 161 again; about the closest I’ve felt other productions tapped into’s Fury 161’s world were the guild navigators scene in David Lynch’s Dune, Jean Pierre Jeunet’s Bunker of Last Gunshots and especially even the recent HBO mini-series Chernobyl. Marc Caro’s Dante 01 clearly tried but sadly utterly fell apart under its own weight.

    That nuclear fallout hell of drinking from tin mugs with the ivory paint peeling off, “a whole bunch of nuclear crap in there”, sinister over-confident soldiers who’ll shoot-on-sight whilst in terrifying helmets yet ultimately under-protected from the true threat, stark lighting that’s thick with shadows and harsh monotone colours, defunct technology that can’t save anyone, out-dated computers that don’t relay the truth, broken characters who learn to accept their deaths, a score laden with dissonance and industrial violence, bald cultists in trench coats, rural regions destroyed by rusting technology and violent weather; it’s a very niche cinematic hell I can’t get enough off.

    Alien3 is a world that I both adore for how monstrously nihilistic it is and yet am thoroughly horrified by the reality of. Thank you so much for all involved for creating an industrial hell that has fascinated me for nearly 30 years. I love the original Alien Trilogy possibly more than any other film franchise (I personally stop at A3), but out of those, Alien3 is the rich powerful tapestry that I keep returning to more than the others for its pure power, character study and apocalyptic energy.

    Liked by 1 person


  27. Гео Корф
    Sep 19, 2020 @ 07:55:42

    Thanks for the read it was amazing to hear a story from the actual cast member of Alien 3! It’s dearest to me since i was boy i watched it 100th times maybe more, i always was overwhelmed by this apocaliptic atmosphere and the all cast members. Epecially sacrifice motif, it was dark, but somewhat always supportive movie throught my life as reminder of which country i live in, since childhood in a sence alien3 was resemblence of post soviet russia. Not now, but still love to give film a go sometimes. I also adore a role you take on Last Train, both this spectacles has a dearest atmospheres to me, thank you Ralph! (P.S. I always felt quite liberating the F*** droid thing you did!) p.p.s apologies for my crappy english.

    Liked by 1 person


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