What if Ripley had kept Kane out in the airlock for 24 hours?

In the movie Alien, of course, which I just watched again.

The exploratory party of Dallas, Lambert and Kane, the last of whom had been attacked and “infected” by a facehugger alien, were in the Nostromo airlock, requesting entry. Ripley, ranking officer inside the ship, refused, citing Company regs that required a 24-hour quarantine period. Of course Ash (who had his own agenda) opened the airlock door, and zany hijinks ensued.

But what if Ash hadn’t? Suppose Ripley immediately locked the door with a personal code that Ash couldn’t crack. The timeline in the movie is a little ambiguous. Would the chestburster have lethally emerged within 24 hours? I think that, if it did, it wouldn’t have been able to escape the airlock. Dallas and Lambert might have killed it with their sidearms (the alien’s acid would’ve burned through the hull, but it’s on the outer edge of the ship, so maybe that wouldn’t be too big of a problem). If it didn’t emerge within 24 hours, Kane would still be infected and a potential risk to the ship, and Ripley might keep them confined to the airlock even after that. If she let all of them back into the ship after 24 hours lapsed, then it wouldn’t be long before the chestburster came out, and events probably then unfold much as they did in the movie (except that Ash wouldn’t have gathered so much data on the facehugger).

Or maybe Dallas and Lambert, angry at Ripley and desperate to get Kane to the Medical Bay, would have used their sidearms to burn their way into the ship anyway.

What do you think?

Until we get some idea of the timings of the Xenos’ life-cycle, hard to say. It’s certainly a bad idea to let Kane in while the facehugger was still on him (because for all the crew knows, the facehugger could abruptly leave him and attack someone else), but let’s say within 24 hours, the facehugger falls off of Kane and dies. The facehugger is put in some kind of sealed container (something stronger than Kane’s spacesuit helmet, one hopes) and is now considered safe to bring aboard the ship. Kane inadvertently smuggles in a loaded-chestburster, which nobody would know about until Kane was put into a medical scanner or torso-popped. Penis ensues regardless.

As best I can tell, the timings (how long face-hugger remains attached; how long after face-hugger release does chestburster emerge; how long before chestburster grows to full size) are pretty variable and plot-dependent.

WAG: wouldn’t make much difference except to slightly change the tensions about who is really in charge and what agenda someone may have.

The chest bursting doesn’t need to change, it’s well past the 24 hr period when that happens, iirc

As filmed, it adds to the element of suspension and tension, imho. Wasn’t that scene where somewhere first called Ripley “Bitch” in the movie? Been a while since I’ve watched it completely in one sitting.

Thanks for the PM pointing me to the thread. I tend to come in late on many of these, since I’m not Doping as often as I used to


As a side point, I just love how it was filmed when Bishop talks about Ash (Aliens). While the first movie has the suspense and horror elements down pat, I still consider Aliens to be the superior movie in terms of watchability.

OP: did rewatching it all these years later make you reconsider the slower pace of the original? When I first saw the original, not knowing how it was going to end, I didn’t notice how slow (to me) the action progressed. It seemed necessary for the horror and suspense aspect of the film. Rewatching it at home as a double header with Aliens a few years ago, I was tempted to FF thru about 1/3 of Alien and replay about half the scenes in Aliens. Just my own changing movie watching tastes, I’m sure. :wink:

I would now classify Alien as Sci-fi/Horror, while Aliens is Sci-fi/Action

This is it exactly. I love both but for different reasons. Alien is one of the best horror movies ever and Aliens is one of the best action movies ever.

As stated above, keeping him in the airlock would have resulted in the same basic scenario- Facehugger falls off, he seems fine, rejoins the crew, pop goes the weasel. A alternate scenario is Bishop making him remain in the medical bay (if I recall correctly, it was an isolation chamber that may have been able to hold the larval alien) instead of rejoining the crew. That would have been a smart move from a health perspective, and would have been in line with his preserve the alien at all costs directive.

Incidentally, Bishop is the android (or as he preferred, “artificial person”) from the sequel. In the first film, Ash was the android who was subtly helping the alien along, letting the face-hugged Kane in despite quarantine and such.

As I recall from the comic book series, the chestbursters tend to wait until the host is near other potential hosts before bursting out. So… no big change? The twenty-four hours would have passed with Hurt looking unHurt, and then the baby would’ve popped in much the same circumstance as it did in the actual movie.

That seems odd for a couple reasons. First, how does the chestburster know, from inside the chest, whether anyone is around or not? And right after bursting was the best chance they had to kill it. If you want to grow up to be a big chestburster you pop out when no one is around, not a room full of people to grab you or come after you with a carving knife.

Hey man, I’m just reportin’ the facts.

“Penis” ensues? Did you misspell panic, and it got autocorrected?

Anyway, I doubt a 24 hr. quarantine would have helped, UNLESS, when the face-hugger fell off, and bled acid, Ripley said "That’s not good; I’m extending the quarantine another 24 hours.

If the chestburster is depending on the host for nutrients, and those are the bare-bones stuff the host is getting in quarantine, the thing will take a chance, and go ahead and burst, or die in the host.

And BTW, any woman who has been pregnant can tell you that a fetus reacts to a noisy environment-- it know when there are lots of people around, like at a party. I doubt it could tell two from eight, though.

“Penis ensues” was originally, many years ago, an autocorrect typo for “panic”, but has since become a catchphrase on this board. It’s appropriate here, though, given the appearance of the aliens.

I guess while we’re in here …

How did Ash come to have an agenda vis-à-vis the xenomorphs? Maybe Prometheus and Alien:Covenant covered this ground … but in the universe of the 1979 film Alien, Ash shouldn’t have had specific foreknowledge of the xenomorphs, should he have?

And if Ash did have such foreknowledge, why wouldn’t the human crew in Alien have also known something about the xenomorphs? Was Ash part of some covert operation before the events of Alien?

I have seen about 2/3 of Prometheus, but none of Alien:Covenant yet. I understand that in the canonical fictional universe as laid out in all six movies**, humans discovered some aliens (not to say specifically the xenomorphs) well before the events of the 1979 Alien.

** My son tells me that there is also a recent Alien-based video game which includes canonical information about the Alien universe not revealed in any of the films.

It’s surprising that no tests were done to Kane that would have exposed the organism gestating inside him.

Iirc, the company intercepted an alien transmission, reprogrammed Ash somehow , and diverted the ship. Revealed in Aliens? Exploitation for profit was the motive

Unless I’m just remembering fanwanking

The company wanted the xenomorph for the bio-weapons division as a part of a new product line. Or at least for research that could lead to a new product line.

Within the confines of the original movie, it’s clear that Weyland Yutani knew there was a life form of some type on LV-426. The order Ripley found in Mother’s database sent to Ash was:

There was I’m sure, a discussion that Ash was a late replacement in the crew, so presumably WT knew about the signal before they even dispatched the Nostromo on its original mission.

IIRC from the novelization/ comic book adaptation, they commented on how the medical scanner wasn’t returning clear images- apparently the facehugger or embryo had the ability to generate jamming signals? (One thing later installments of the franchise didn’t dwell on is that in the original the xenomorph was “biomechanical”: as much nanotech based as purely organic).

Another huge factor to take into consideration is can the Xenomorph deliberately secrete acid to bore it way through obstacles? I seem to recall that in the novelization and/or a deleted scene the crew discovers that the newly emerged alien broke into their food locker and ate all their provisions.

There are all kinds of safety procedures violated in the Alien movies that would get you immediately fired from an industrial job almost anywhere. It should be an OSHA do not do video.

And we are expected to believe that these people are allowed to operate a probably billion dollar space ship mining operation unsupervised. Yeah right. Nothing in these movies made any sense after about the first 5 minutes, maybe less. They for are entertainment.

…What else would they be for, besides entertainment?