Who are we? What are we doing here? How can I finally understand the secrets of Prometheus, despite already watching it twice at the cinema? These secrets and more are promised by the home video release of the film formerly known as Paradise, Alien: Paradise, Untitled Alien Prequel but, sadly, not Olien.

As my original review stated – a worryingly low number of posts below this one (sorry about that!) – I enjoyed the journey Prometheus took despite the fairly unsatisfactory destination and most of the passengers. Ridley Scott’s return foray into science fiction may be slightly unsatisfying but it is fairly bold and not overly concerned about dovetailing with fans’ expectations, which I suppose is a good thing.

Since I didn’t really have many unanswered questions after my first viewing, I wasn’t really sold by the pre-home release marketing that promised ‘Questions will be answered’.

Still, there are clearly answers to something on the bugger, so here’s a list of stuff I learned from the Prometheus Blu-Ray.

Deleted scenes:

The first question the deleted footage answers is: ‘Will a director’s cut be able to improve Prometheus?’ The answer is a resounding ‘Nerp’. What is clear from the 30+ minutes of deleted footage is that Scott and company took most of it out to further obfuscate the story. This is hardly surprising when you factor in the involvement of Damon Lindelof, a man who introduces himself by spelling out the characters of his name in the wrong order, occasionally pausing to point out mysterious hatches and things that should not be, like polar bears wearing sunglasses, before vanishing four letters from the end.

The promised alternative opening shows the ‘Nappy Engineer’ clearly taking part in a ritualistic sacrifice, or perhaps a stag party that goes horribly wrong. The alternative ending is based around a longer conversation that David has with the ‘Lazy Engineer’ on the planet. There are no subtitles during this dialogue so what they are saying is anyone’s guess, though, clearly, ‘Why does Mike from Neighbours look like a mechanised raisin?’ is probably a good guess. David explains to Shaw that the engineers come from ‘Paradise’, which serves to illustrate that they probably also invented sarcasm and/or some parts of East Lancashire.

The other scenes serve to highlight the crew’s dysfunctional personalities. Holloway becomes even more of a penis, which is quite an impressive feat and makes me wonder if the character was more a response to a dare than an attempt to fulfil some kind of narrative objective. Captain Janek, on the other hand, seems to have a weird habit of wandering around the ship visiting the ladies’ quarters to tell them stories about military testing facilities. This possible seduction routine seems to have a 50/50 success rate, which is quite surprising.

One scene that I thought did add something to the plot – or at least helped to explain a character’s actions – was the biologist getting excited upon discovering some space worms. This makes the later scene where he re-unites with a larger, meaner space worm easier to swallow. Though, sadly, not for him, *titter*. There’s also a scene where the future’s worst scientists find some dried alien skin, which is a nice little nod to the rest of the series. All in all, these two scenes amount to just under 2 minutes of screen time, so, unless there’s a vault of alternative footage somewhere, you probably shouldn’t worry about double dipping on a future director’s cut.

Other stuff:

Scott on the rocks…

Through interviews and footage we see that most of Ridley’s meetings are accompanied by wine. We also find out that two of the most unpopular decisions: the look of the engineers and the rolling spacecraft at the end, come from Scott. I’m not saying the two facts are related, but I’ve made far worse decisions than revealing one of Prometheus’ characters isn’t ‘a turner’, and that the engineers are more like Renaissance tributes to Telly Savalas than elephantine space giants, on less wine than Sir Ridley is seen consuming in his pre-production meetings.

Jon Spaihts probably doesn’t like Damon Lindelof…

Original writer Spaihts worked on the film for nine-months, meeting with concept artists, visiting the set – even making a little board game to help him construct the story. So he was understandably a little peeved to find that they were dialling back some of his input to make way for a fresh approach. What is even more surprising is that it was allegedly the studio’s idea to make Prometheus more of a thematic relation to Alien than a direct prequel. Then again, the lessons taught by Aliens versus Predator are not easy to forget. Damn you, Aliens versus Predator.

H.R. Giger probably doesn’t like Ridley Scott…

When you’re responsible for birthing one of the most iconic cinema creations of the twentieth century, you could get a little too used to the feel of laurels under your back. So when His Royal Giger got the call that his input was needed on the return to the Alien universe it appears he grabbed the nearest biro and recreated some of his mainstays: aliens with horrible knob mouths, creepy vagina chasms and spooky space cocks. Unfortunately for H.R., he took a bit too long so they found a suitable replacement in a mysterious artist from Russia who expanded on similar themes (2 spooky space cocks!). ‘Gutalin’ allegedly had to have his 13-year old daughter translate for him, which must have led to a few interesting conversations around the breakfast table.

The world’s worst idea…

On Prometheus it is revealed that at one point there was an idea to link the universes of Blade Runner and Alien. Can you imagine Deckard chasing aliens? No. It’s a stupid idea. Fuck it to hell.

In conclusion:

Prometheus remains an enjoyable voyage into science fiction that stimulates the eyeballs more than it troubles the intellect. If you’re looking for ‘answers’ to some of the narrative questions then you probably won’t find them here. If, however, you’re looking for a comprehensive document of how one would go about creating such a voyage, whilst enraging film fans on the internet, or are just looking for a place to allocate blame, then you should probably go and buy the shit out of it right now.

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