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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Alien III by William Gibson

What happens when you cross a popular SF movie franchise with a popular SF writer? That's the question here when William Gibson was handed the writing reins of the second sequel--a version ultimately abandoned by the moviemakers. Apparently, Gibson gave this two runs, styling each draft after the first and second movies. Neither accepted.. 

It was floating around the Internet for decades and you can still find it. The popularity of both writer and franchise has created the unusual phenomenon of having a script that was rejected having been made into a comic, an audio drama, and even a novelization by Pat Cadigan.

Another reason this version appeals to fans is that it offers an alternative to the actual Alien3. The first three movies are ranked by IMDB fans as 8.4, 8.3 and 6.5, respectively--a substantial drop. 

This post is more of a place-holder I hope to revisit the series and compare the two versions. My feeling upon listening to the Audible drama is that it is firmly a part of the series. Most series, for me, melt into one another. Individually, some movies may surpass others, but they have an overall leavening. 

For instance, some feel that Aliens was superior to Alien, but any achievement that the second movie had rested, in part, on the inventiveness of its predecessor. It seems a strong addition to the series, but again the invention was in prior films. The movies are hitched. Perhaps as separate entities, the movies might have been greater success or failures, but together they become somewhat uniform like a thematic or sonic concept album like Pink Floyd's The Wall or The Cure's Disintegration. Though some songs may be better than others, the album succeeds or fails based more on its entirety. Likewise, a series like Star Wars has weathered failures due to the initial successful movies pulling the franchise and fans into new iterations.

This offering did not seem exceptionally more inventive than other offerings, but I'd need to rewatch the first and second, and then compare. Perhaps it would have been the boost the series needed. After all, IMDB lists the audio as ranking with the second film.

If you're a fan of the series, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

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