One scene appearing in various drafts of the Alien screenplay, and in the Ridleygrams, has Kane's corpse floating outside. One version takes place during the infamous love scene between Dallas and Ripley inside the observation dome (later re-written to inside the shuttle). Here we are going to take a look at the three different versions of the scene in which Kane's corpse makes an appearance. The idea for this article came from an article written by the talented Valaquen called The Funeral.
Ripley, Parker and Lambert are collecting N-13 sticks (broom handled like explosives) for the plan to lure the creature onto the shuttle when suddenly the tracker begins to beep. Parker refuses to go take a look so Ripley takes the flame thrower from him and proceeds up the steps in the direction the tracker indicates. The steps lead to the observation dome while climbing the spiral steps a metallic tapping can be heard. As she enters the dome, the tapping can still be heard. Ripley then turns around and see's Kane's corpse outside tangled on some rigging. Ripley calls for the others, and they all see Kane's discoloured body tapping on the glass.
June 1978 Draft:
Ripley enters Ash's blister looking for the master control key to MU/TH/UR. While searching inside she hears a faint tapping sound looking around she see's nothing. Ripley then heads towards the window to search. Finding the key, she once again hears a tapping sound. Whipping around Ripley see's Kane's disfigured face slapping against the Plexiglass. She stifles a scream and drops the key which lands on the curved surface of the blister. Fishing for the Key Kane's face swings in beneath her, she grabs the key and bolts up the companionway.
Terry Rawlings Editing Script:
Ripley enters Ash's blister and looks to see if it's deserted. Satisfied she puts down her flame thrower and moves to the blister's chair. She then spots a partially concealed tape. Of suddenly a faint tapping sound can be heard and then stops. Looking around Ripley see's nothing and continues to put the tape up on a video screen. The tape shows an x-ray of Kane and the life form inside him. Ripley realises that Ash knew about the creature all along. While staring at the evidence the tapping sound can be heard again. Ripley whips around to see Kane's disfigured face slapping against the plexiglass still inside the shroud he was buried in. She stifles a scream; her flame thrower rolls onto the curved surface of the blister. Fishing for it, Kane's face swings in beneath her. She grabs the flamethrower and bolts up the companionway.
During Alien's rewrite period many concepts were deleted, altered, re-added or rearranged. One such subplot involves a pyramid structure in which the deadly alien spores lie dormant waiting for someone to come along. The pyramid concept was conceived by Dan O' Bannon in his first draft of Alien. The crew of the Snark intercepts a transmission leading them to a small planet. Once landed, the crew then discovers an alien derelict craft and the remains of a dead alien who has scratched a triangle on the dashboard as a last resort. After the storm passes the crew set out on a second expedition where they discover an ancient stone pyramid.
Chris Foss rendering of the Pyramid
Over various versions of the draft, the pyramid subplot was explored, expanded and then dropped completely.
The pyramid and the derelict -- two different elements -- were still the subject of a seesaw debate when I came on the project. I would love to have shot it, but the more I thought about it the more I realised it would have been wonderful in a three-hour version. What finally cracked it was the budget. We just had to get rid of it. And you know, sometimes financial practicalities force you to do a certain amount of editorial work, and I'm glad we simplified it.
-- Ridley Scott, Book of Alien
The Human Derelict:
Dallas, Lambert and Kane are tracking the source of the transmission when they suddenly, in the dense clouds, they spot a large shape. The shape turns out to be a black spacecraft of human origin; the crew continues to investigate. Once inside the craft the crew walk past indistinct machinery and discover huge irregular holes in the bulkheads and ceiling. They have to use climbing gear to enter one of the holes in search of the control room. Once inside the control room, Kane discovers a large glossy urn, empty. As Lambert is exploring she stumbles across a terribly disfigured skeleton of a human sat in a control chair. Upon inspection, Dallas shines his light on a nearby console and discovers the source of the transmission.
While Dallas, Lambert and Kane are on their exploration, Ash is monitoring their progress back on board the Nostromo. At one stage, Ash decides to scan the horizon when he notices something. Ash informs Dallas of what he's found and gives them the coordinates, and the three set out again to investigate. What they discover is a man made concrete cylinder structure.
Ron Cobb's Design for the Cylinder and Human Derelict
As the trio reaches the base of the cylinder, they struggle to find an entrance. Both Kane and Dallas recognise the type of structure and are confused as to why it is there in the first place. Kane knows there is an entrance at the top and volunteers to climb up. However, it's Dallas who climbs up first who discovers a wheel and with ease begins to turn it, an opening appears in the cylinders surface. Looking into the hole Dallas shines a light inside but is unable to see the bottom, meanwhile, Lambert and Kane have joined Dallas at the top whose begin to rig up a tripod. Kane begins a downward climb into the structure; he passes ground-level, eventually, he reaches the bottom. His light reveals a large room with rows upon rows of metal cases stretching from floor to ceiling. Approaching the centre of the room Kane discovers rows of leathery objects, urns, same as the one found on board the human craft except these are sealed. Kane touches one of the urns, and as he walks away raised areas begin to appear where his fingertips have touched. Eventually, Kane goes back to the first urn he had touched and notices the top has disappeared, the stopper that sealed the urn is now on the floor; Kane picks it up to examine it. Shining his light inside the urn the creature inside attacks.