The Alien Saga
2002
John Hurt narrates this documentary charting the success of Ridley Scott's film franchise that began with the 1979 hit Alien. Melding science fiction and horror film brilliance, Alien and its sequels became cult hits, launching the career of its strong-but-feminine-hero Sigourney Weaver. The film features interviews with writers Joss Whedon and Dan O'Bannon (both of whom continued to conquer Hollywood) and co-stars Tom Skerritt and Michael Biehn.

Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

The best that can be said about this generally pointless made-for-TV documentary about the "Alien" series is that is sure has some exciting footage when it plays whole scenes from the famous films. Normally I'm irked whenever a behind-the-scenes feature overuses footage from the film it promotes, because it points to a lack of content. In this case, that footage is the best content, because the doc itself is essentially a summary of the films. What behind-the-scenes material it does contain is either so abbreviated as to misrepresent the true story (such as portraying Walter Hill and David Giler's screenplay for the original as a valuable, welcomed contribution) or to omit important parts of the production story (such as barely mentioning Vincent Ward's involvement in the third film). I suppose it's useful for anyone who doesn't want to sit through the exhaustive documentaries included on four discs of the "Alien Quadrilogy" boxed set, or to serve as a two-hour trailer for anyone who has not seen the series, but mostly it's a waste of time.

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