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Alien III

An Audible Original Drama
Series: Alien
Length: 2 hrs and 16 mins
4 out of 5 stars (905 ratings)

Regular price: £12.99

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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.

  • By:
  • Narrated by:
Here’s a sneak peak of the terror to come….

  • 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 members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 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.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Middling effort, way to short

A disappointing entry into the alien folklore. Basic storyline and way to short. Not worth the credit.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Heinz57
  • Whitstable, Kent. UK
  • 31-05-19

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.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Fox made the right choice

I read Gibson’s Alien3 script 20 or so years ago - it’s still widely available on the internet - and gave this a go for old times’ sake.

Sadly, I was reminded of what I thought back then. Gibson’s Alien3 is quite derivative and dull in comparison to the brave decisions made in the theatrical release. It just gives audiences a load more of the same. In fact it’s easy to spot which tired elements were reused in the truly awful Alien: Resurrection.

Far more interesting would be to hear an audio version of Vincent Ward’s original Alien3 script which was superbly challenging and gave life to many of the stronger elements in the released movie.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

it was ok...

Still good, but perhaps the weakest of the Alien Audibles. Nice to have Bishop and Hicks in Aliens again!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing.

I'm a huge fan of the other Aliens audio dramas but this one really didn't do it for me. Maybe my expectations were too high, but anyone expecting the continuing adventures of Ripley, Newt, Hicks & Bishop will be disappointed. Ripley essentially sleeps through the whole thing, sharing only a few minutes audio time with Hicks, Newt is in it longer but not much. The overcomplicated story rests on a confusing mix of characters and Lance Henrickson's Bishop. Michael Biehn comes into his own in the last 40 minutes or so but is mostly wasted. I know Gibson's story was already in existence, so I'm not sure who I'm blaming for all this. The fact that it's a fraction of the previous productions in length doesn't help either.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not as good as I expected

I've been very excited about this release but wasn't impressed to be honest. I felt the acting let it down.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Lowery
  • 01-07-19

Space opera shoot-em-up disappointment.

Confusing, contrived, explosions and screaming. No redeeming values. Can this be the same William Gibson?

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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"

173 of 216 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

129 of 161 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-06-19

Pretty cringy

Had trouble getting through half of this. Maybe I listen to too many audiobooks but this in particular did not do it for me. Maybe the movie script format doesn’t work well, or I don’t like it. Would rather listen to more of a long form story

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 02-07-19

It's like listening to the TV from another room.

This title is like an old-fashioned radio drama. The are multiple actors/narrators reading the scripts with sound effects in the background. Some actors are good and others sound very rushed or stilted reading their lines. There is VERY little narration and absolutely no description of what is happening. It's like listening to a movie playing in the other room. No one paints a picture. Without the visual queues one would get from watching a scene and without any author's description, it's easy to get lost. It jumps from scene to scene with no indication of a scene change other than there are different actors. It's a short story, so there's little to no character development. Half-way through, I was intrigued enough to want to know what was going to happen (Well, it's an Alien story, so we all know what's going to happen. It's just a question of who gets acid burned, cocooned, etc.), but since there was no character development, I felt like I was just listening to a list of character names without knowing who they were.
If you enjoy listening to a TV show playing from the other room and never looking at the screen, then this is mildly entertaining, but if you prefer an actual audio book, this will be disappointing. If I had not seen the Alien movies, I would have absolutely no idea of what was going on, what the alien looked like, what the setting was like....nothing to put into my mind's eye while I let the story develop.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-06-19

Not bad but not good either

As an alien fan, I was rather excited to listen to this. However, I found it a little hard to follow. It started out strong then just fizzled at the end. It passed the time but that was about all.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Nora Taylor
  • 12-06-19

Not What I Expected.

This definitely wasn't what I thought it would be. I am a die hard fan of the movies, but this fell short for me. I was thrilled that Lance Henrickson was actually a part of this and that some of the characters sounded like themselves. The story line was ok. Probably wouldn't recommend this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-06-19

okay at best

I like the live action feel to it, but there were a few times I couldn't tell what was going on cause it was just an alien shrieking and no narrator to tell us who died or what exactly happened.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-06-19

Glad they went with the prison planet story.

I love William Gibson but he should stick to cyberpunk novels. Working an established plot that is not his seemed to be an issue. Oh well. Narration and sound and sound effects were great. Worth the listen since it was short.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • ViktorL
  • 11-06-19

this was weird for me

I think this was what was supposed to be between alien 2 and 3. I've never been into th alien lore but this was entertaining for 2 hours.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful