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"Every film fan has a mental list of the Greatest Movies Never Made. The greatest of these in the scifi genre has been William Gibson’s unmade script for ALIEN III. It’s by one of the giants of the literary genre, and takes the situation set up in ALIENS, moving forward into fresh regions of the Alien Universe and continuing the stories of our old friends from James Cameron’s movie. It’s been a privilege and honour to finally bring this story to life with this wonderful cast as an immersive audio movie." - Dirk Maggs, Director.

Listen to the trailer.

Here’s a sneak peak of the terror to come….
  • Alien III
  • Here’s a sneak peak of the terror to come….

About the Director

Dirk Maggs is an innovator in the world of radio and audio production. A prolific writer and director, he is known for his cinematic approach to audio, utilizing scripts and fine-tuned sound effects layered with music to create a near visual effect. Maggs has previously worked on BBC Radio adaptations of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. He also excels at adapting graphic novels for radio. His award-winning credits include Judge Dredd, Superman Lives, and Batman: Knightfall. At Audible, Maggs has proven to be a breakout star, directing the groundbreaking original Alien series and adapting The X-Files: Cold Cases and The X-Files: Stolen Lives.

What listeners say about Alien III

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Retcon the alien franchise.

It’s easy to see why this ambitious unproduced screenplay was pushed aside in favour of more traditional and cheaper movie . The sets would have been bigger and the ships more detailed. The story moves towards the polictical and ethical implications of weaponising the Alien.
If you read this alongside the comic book (recently released under dark horse) it will truly bring the movie to life.
It takes the franchise in provocative and interesting directions. It’s great to have the characters back again and Hicks and Bishop take more of a lead role. I think they were unsure if sigourney would return or maybe fox wanted a male audience.
So let’s forget about Alien 3 and obviously Alien resurrection and cuddle up to some familiar friends and enemies.

Maybe next Audible could explore the wooden planet script and the religious iconography of Vincent Wards script.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

So, Alien 3 Could have been MUCH better!


Alien was one of my favourite films of all time, few films have had me riveted to the screen quite so absolutely. Aliens, while different in character, was a fine follow-up and since then I've lost count of the number of discussions I've had with friends about which is the better film with us being split fairly well down the middle. What happens if you add Alien 3 into the mix? Well, the answer is that we're still evenly split, half of us with Alien being the best and the other half with Aliens. No-one but no-one ever tries to make a case for Alien 3! It's hard to imagine what they were thinking of choosing the script that they did and now I think we have a definite answer to the big question, yes there were better options out there!

What's great about this is that it delivers another action flick like Aliens albeit only in audio. Maggs / Audible throw their considerable expertise and experience with the franchise at it. There is a lovely solidity to the sound effects, really crunchy, solid sound with the noises made by the aliens particularly impressive. I can't wait to try this again through quality headphones, it sounded great through the Bluetooth so when I put a real bit of oomph behind it I think it will rock! The acting is also extremely good for the most part.

On the other hand, it does rely heavily on repeating things that have been done before and I don't think the story quite hits the heights, nor does Gibson's script use all the surviving characters as well as he could have done. It's also of course quite short for an audiobook though that's not surprising - it is a film script after all!

So, no doubt in my mind that while this isn't perfect, it's a class above the story / script they used for Alien 3 the film. I can possibly see why they didn't plump for this one, what I can't see is why they chose the one they did above it. In any case, I'm more than happy to have spent a credit on it and I am going to enjoy listening to it again at home!

By the way, if you can't remember how Alien 2 finished up then don't worry there is a good reprise of how it panned out at the start of this.

30 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed, Albeit Short

Great to hear the return of Michael Biehn and lance Henrickson the Aliens universe and a worthy return. Sadly I do feel it was rather short, hope they continue the story line of the end of the audiobook with new material.

5 people found this helpful

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disappointing

This sadly plays out like they're just reading the stage directions from the script and not an actual drama at all. It's not been very well adapted as an audio drama, and the script has some terrible clunking lines in it. The use of Bishop as a narrator doesn't work very well as he is too disapassionately removed. The story itself is also not terribly exciting or as interesting as it's been hyped up to be; certainly no better than the original Alien 3 film.

16 people found this helpful

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He's coming in. I feel safer already........

As a 16 year old, my first experience of the Alien series came from watching Aliens on ye olde VHS at a friends house. I was entranced and have been in awe of it ever since. I have bored countless friends and family stupid, reciting lines and reiterating how good it is.

I then watched Alien and subsequently and most depressingly of all Alien 3. Alien 3 just left me feeling hollow. Dead. Apart from a few of Fiorina "Fury" 161’s finest inmates; they just killed everyone. Of the film itself, there were some good performances. I thought Charles Dance was very good. It was different film, some may argue it’s merits but for me, not in a way that either equalled or improved upon it’s predecessors.

Imagine my interest then at Niell Blomkamp’s idea at an alternative Alien 3 – which unfortunately hasn’t gone anywhere – and then the Dark Horse and Audible interpretations of Gibson’s alternative Alien 3 screenplay.

For the Audible version, it’s great to have Hicks (Michael Biehn) and Bishop (Lance Heriksen) back. Since we last saw him; Bishop has developed something of a whistle when he speaks, probably something to do with being ripped asunder by an Alien Queen. Teeth not quite what they used to be. Ripley (Lauren Leftkow) is given little air time in this production by when she’s there, her Ripley is spot on as it is in the other Audible Alien titles.

The story is interesting, I’m glad Gibson introduced some new ideas both political and of the Alien’s adaptability amidst the ever present somewhat pantomime face of the villainous “company” and we all know what they are after.

My only disappointment is there isn’t more of it. It is woefully short and a shame the screenplay couldn’t have been given the novelisation treatment. I have geek-ely (not a word) been waiting 33 years for someone to finally bring this together; the alternative which should have been so thanks Audible but can we please have more.

16 people found this helpful

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I can see why this script ended up in the bin

Sorry to say it, but I was really disappointed with this Alien dramatisation. The previous ones were very good indeed, and I'm afraid to say this pales in comparison. It was great to hear Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen reprise their roles from Aliens, but the story just didn't do them justice. Half the time I had no idea what was going on - where were the characters? Which spaceship or spacestation were they on? Who of the supporting cast were talking (they all sounded the same, except for the Russians and Chinese guys)? And, it is much too short. And the story was pretty pants to boot. Avoid.

6 people found this helpful

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  • VM
  • 08-09-20

A masterpiece of clichéd screenplay and dialogue

Well, it had bad sound and stereotypical casting. All it needed was lots of action on a screen so dark you couldn't see what was going on.

2 people found this helpful

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  • CX
  • 09-01-20

Disappointing

It began well but fell flat in the middle. very disappointing ending, if you can even call it an ending. It's enjoyable enough as an addition to the Alien franchise if you're really into it but really doesn't offer much. I had high hopes but feel let down. The performances were fantastic however, particularly as many of the original actors returned.

2 people found this helpful

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rubbish

absolute garbage, boring untrue to to the original story and it's heritage. who ever commissioned this crap needs a headcheck.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Low Brow & Forgettable

Henrikson and Beihn give earnest efforts, but both sound much much older than their characters should be (unavoidable) but the writing is dull, the acting kind of cold and sterile, the concepts of the Aliens as well are rubbish.

The way the alien gets on the Sulaco is even more stupid than the movie.

Not for me personally.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Karowski
  • 09-11-19

The movie that should have been!

I love the alien franchise and have passed that love onto my own children. My youngest son of 13 won’t read the books but loves the movies and listens to the audiobooks and audio dramas with me. I recently picked this one up and explained the background to him about this being the original movie script for aliens three that got scrapped...we listened to it while taking a few drives to run errands and one long trip to the coast to fish...he listened raptly and even jumped a few times in his seat...when it was done he gave it the best review that could be given: I wish they had made this movie instead of the prison one. It was awesome !

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Bonmot
  • 30-06-19

Mediocre. Lost my attention several times.

Unmemorable dialogue was overly technical or mundane. The absence of Ripley was a big mistake. The android Bishop was too clinical and almost indifferent. Hicks was good, but not enough of him. Overall, I didn't get to know or care about the characters enough to feel for them.

The sound effects and atmosphere created by sound were amazing.

This needed a better script that first built our relationship with its new characters before killing them. They felt interchangeable.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Carter Hooper
  • 11-06-19

Two Words: "Cocooned Lemurs"

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is about the most original thing in this turd. Thank god this thing didn't get produced, the special effects person would have stormed off the set after being tasked with making "cocooned lemurs" anything but laughable. This makes the Alien III film that was produced look like a classic. I would have loved to see Sigourney Weaver's face after she read this script: "Am I to understand you want me to reprise my role as one of the most iconic female film heroes of all time in a film where I am unconscious 90% of the time and then shot out to safety behind Newt?" (who gets to go to Oregon!) Rehashes the first two in spectacularly unoriginal fashion, except, I guess, that this time the Xenomorphs can just infect you and have you turn into one of them. Oh, and the new bad guys are the Russians and the Chinese. It is, however, nice to hear Michael Biehn and Lance Hendrickson again, and thing is immaculately produced. But on the whole it's basically a terrible bore, not even worth the price of free. As I have learned over the years, just because it has William Gibson's name on it does not make it good. And Audible, stop littering your bestseller lists with these "originals", it makes it tough to weed through and find the good stuff.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Doug D. Eigsti
  • 03-06-19

The Thrill is Back Baby!

Thanks to Paramount for resurrecting this piece of A L I E N lore. The production is absolutely stellar; it is a full-on full-cast dramatic presentation, with sound effects and the smell of buttered popcorn in the air. The two hour length and pacing is the same as a motion picture; so this is as close as we're ever going to get to the ALIEN III that might have been. (Although I am a fan of the double-Y chromo boys on Fury 161.) Having Michael Biehn reprising his role as Hicks was genius. He owns every scene with his laconic reaction to every crisis. The beloved artificial person Bishop is back as well, voiced by one of my favorites, the original Lance Heinrickson. And Laurel Lefkow must have undergone some vocal chord gene therapy using Sigourney Weaver's DNA because she sounds freakishly like Ripley in every scene, in every situation. The story is tight. The action is constant. The Xenomorphs are everywhere! What else would you expect? What more do you want? Is it cannon? It sure feels like a genuine ALIEN movie when you are immersed in it. But no, it presents some insurmountable continuity problems for Ripley's timeline. But it is an engaging experience nonetheless. Get busy and get your thrill on!

FYI:
The number of fully dramatized ALIEN audio productions is now up to 4. I can recommend them all as some of the finest audio drama on Audible.

(1) ALIEN Out of the Shadows
(2) ALIEN Sea of Sorrows
(3) ALIEN River of Pain
(4) ALIEN III

And if you are looking for a great original novel in this series try ALIEN The Cold Forge.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jonathan jones
  • 30-05-19

outstanding! wish there be of a follow-up to this

outstanding amazing this goes right next to aliens out of the shadows and alien Sea of Sorrow

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alan
  • 31-05-19

Audio Dramatization of the Movie that never was

The original Alien III screenplay (1987) by cyberpunk author William Gibson never reached production. Early director Renny Harlin had rejected it and by the time the final Alien³ (1992) reached production with director David Fincher, the 1987 script (with its Soviet-Union-inspired United Progressive Peoples component of characters) was out-dated. David Fincher had his own ideas on top of an interim Vincent Ward screenplay. The final product ended up being a mixed bag with the studio taking the production away from Fincher to the point that he has disavowed it along with the later re-edits that were made.

For the 40th Anniversary of the original Alien (1979) movie, Audible Studios commissioned an audio dramatization of the Gibson screenplay. Dramatist and director Dirk Maggs has made a fantastic audio enactment of the screenplay and has enhanced it considerably with added scenes and characters. Producing a screenplay without the visuals requires an increased amount of narration and description that was not present on the page*. The main addition is a full 12-minutes of introductory backstory that basically recreates the entire conclusion of the Aliens (1986) film. That may sound unnecessary, until you find out [mild spoiler] that fan favourite Ripley spends most of the Alien III screenplay in a non-speaking comatose state. So that action set-piece was the only way to give Ripley a stronger cameo. Actress Laura Lefkow does a spot-on impersonation of Sigourney Weaver in this role.

No spoilers about the rest of the plot. I will say however, especially in this age of disrespecting fan favourite characters (e.g. Disney Star Wars, Season 8 Game of Thrones etc.), that the Aliens characters get a proper continuing story here (although the reduced Ripley role was surprising, did Gibson think Sigourney Weaver wasn't returning?). Original Aliens actors Michael Biehn and Lance Henrickson return as Hicks and Bishop, with the child character Newt voiced by Mairead Doherty. I did find the increased cast (22/23 voice parts) a bit hard to follow, so I ended up assembling the following Cast of Characters (in order of appearance as best as I could work out) Listing:

Returning Characters from Aliens
Bishop, an android, survivor from LV-426 (Lance Henriksen)
Ripley, 3rd Officer & survivor of Nostromo & survivor of LV-426 (Laurel Lefkow)
Carter Burke, a Weyland-Yutani executive (in brief flashback scene) (Tom Alexander)
Corporal Dwayne Hicks, a Colonial Marine, survivor from LV-426 (Michael Biehn)
Newt (nickname of Rebecca Jordan), child survivor from LV-426 (Mairead Doherty)
Mother, voice of Computer (Lorelei King)

United Progressive Peoples (UPP) Commandos who board Sulaco when it drifts into the UPP Sector
Kurtz, UPP Commando Captain (David Seddon)
Desolas, UPP Commando (called Juanito by the Captain) (Cliff Chapman)
Chang, UPP Commando (Rebecca Yeo)

Crew at Anchorpoint Station, a Weyland-Yutani facility
Jackson, Operations Chief at Anchorpoint (Siri Steinmo)
Tully, Charles A., biolab tech, a crew member on Anchorpoint (Dar Dash)
Spence, crew member on Anchorpoint (Samantha Coughlan)
Rosetti, senior scientist, crew member on Anchorpoint (Martin McDougall)

Weyland-Yutani Weapons Division visitors to Anchorpoint Station from Gateway Station
Kevin Fox, a Weyland-Yutani Corp Weapons Division officer (Keith Wickham)
Susan Wells, a Weyland-Yutani Corp Weapons Division officer (Barbara Barnes)

Further Crew at Anchorpoint Station
Walker, Chief Mechanic, crew member on Anchorpoint (Harry Ditson)
Sterling, biolab team, crew member on Anchorpoint (Andrew James Spooner)
Tatsumi, biolab team, crew member on Anchorpoint (Dai Tabuchi)

UPP Crew at a Cybernetics Laboratory in Rodina Station, a UPP facility
Colonel Doctor Suslov, principal science officer at Rodina Station (Michael Roberts)

Voice Communication from Gateway
Stoddard (voiced by ?)

Further UPP Crew at Rodina Station
Jorje Rivera, Diplomatic Officer at Rodina Station (Ben Cura)
Nevsky, a Science Officer at Rodina Station (Graham Hoadly)

Further Crew at Anchorpoint Station
Halliday, ecotech at the ecomodule in Anchorpoint (Sarah Pitard)

The audio production, foley effects, ambiance and soundtrack music for this was excellent. It would certainly rate a [5] along with the cast performances. I would just bump it down a notch for not providing a cast of characters.

Alien III was available as a free Audible Original for members as of May 30, 2019. It is expected to be one of the free Audible Originals for members in June 2019 (available June 6, 2019) after which it revert to a standard price.

Trivia and Links
*The original William Gibson screenplay is available online at http://www.awesomefilm.com/script/Alien3.txt.
You can read the rather long production story of Alien III (1987) to Alien3 (1992) on Wikipedia here href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_3#1987–1989"

196 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 01-06-19

Nearly impossible to follow.. so bummed..

Michael Biehn & Lance Henrikson deserve better. They do their best to carry you through. In fact If Henrikson continued with the narration present in the beginning, the story mightve had a chance to flow better but only up to a point.

I realised a little over an hour in, that things werent sounding good.. it fell apart from there on to the point where as much as i wanted to care, i couldnt.. Ive listened to dozens of audiobooks. None were as hard to follow as this one... again, so bummed.

20 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Doug
  • 31-05-19

Stays Frosty

For two hours, this is awesome entertainment. The opening ten minutes, in which Bishop recounts the ending to Aliens, complete with sound effects, sets the best possible tone. I was in my car, heading to work and hit play. After a few minutes, I hear the blaring klaxons of LV-426 and a female voice annoucning "You now have two minutes to reach minimum safe distance." I can't lie. I felt a jolt of pure, almost boyish exuberance.

There are some downsides. The actual story is lacking in terms of scope and plot. Ripley is sleeping through the whole story and Newt, although definitely present, is shipped back to earth. Those are the biggest character arc problems I had with this version. Also, Alien III runs with the plot premises that made Alien Covenant so bad. Namely, airborne alien DNA can just recreate the Alien species. I think the queen-egg-chest gestation is still the most horrific biological construct ever, and I don't know why this franchise insists on moving away from it.

The upsides are here too. The new characters are actually pretty good, in my opinion, and the sound effects & production work excel. But there are two things that make this worth the purchase in full. One, Michael Beihn. Every time I heard the real Hicks giving a command, I smiled. It's Hicks, man! We never saw him again after Aliens, so it was instant pleasure to have him alive and well on this audiobook. Two, the book/script is rich with Alien-Aliens lore. The writer understands the Aliens universe and keeps that universe fresh in the settings and dialogue. Alien III "feels" like a true follow up to Aliens. I'll add that while Lance Henriksen doesn't blow me away, he's still an awesome compliment to the story in his reprisal of Bishop.

If you're like me...someone who is still waiting and chasing the thrill of 1986 Aliens...buy the audiobook. It has a little bit of that magic we've all been looking for and haven't found in a long time.

137 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kingsley
  • 31-05-19

Before Alien3 there was William Gibson's Alien III

Before we got the mess that was Alien3 there was a script by William Gibson (Johnny Mnemonic, Nueromancer). This was the original plan for the third Alien movie. Nearly 30 years later it has now been released, both as a comic book and as this audible Original.

In Alien3 much of the work of Aliens was undone - killing off Newt, Hicks and Bishop and reducing the reoccurring cast back down to Ripley. This was seen as a major issue, as it undid the heroic work of saving Newt previously. This previously unreleased screen play fixes this issue, keeping those characters alive, and in fact has a much greater focus on Hicks and Bishop than on Ripley (possibly part of the reason it was shelved at the time). Rather than the prison colony, and the dog-alien, of the movie we get more Wayland-Yulanti antics as they try to capture and weaponise the xenomorphs.

The story is good, and fits in better with the 'evil corporation tries to use Aliens' story that was Alien, aliens and Resurrection.

If it's been a while since you have seen Aliens, don't worry the introduction to the audio does a great job of recapping Aliens - using some audio from the movie (or re-recording it?) and presenting it in a 'after action report' style.

The audio is a full production, with a full cast, music and sound effects. It is (to borrow another company's tagline) like a movie in your ears. There is a lot of people describing things that they might not have to if there was visuals, but it works well to keep it clear what is going. I never had an issue following what was going on, but I have previously read the Dark Horse comic run so that possibly helped.

It is great to have the actors playing Hicks and Bishop back in those roles. The voice acting, not just from them but from all the voice actors is very good.

A joy to listen to.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • lance williams
  • 30-05-19

We waited for this....

The story was horrid, with poor detailing. What did the hybrid even look like, pervious books did amazing jobs at detailing the environment and setting the mood. I enjoyed the voice acting but the dialogue was very B horror filmish. I’ve listen to every Aliens audio book, seen the movies numerous of times and read the comics, but this was def. on the poor end of the story telling ladder . At least it was free....but I would have been more than willing to pay for quality.

18 people found this helpful