Synthetics are polymer, synthetic alloy endoskeleton mechanoids,
these synthetics are constructed for service by Weyland-Yutani and due to their abilities they are
suited for civilian, military and guard duty.
They appear in different roles; on spacecrafts they are civilian synthetics
incharge of flight control, science or in medical roles whilst on planets
they are administrators or synthetic clones. Military synthetics can appear
on planets and spacecrafts and are mostly soldiers on guard duty.
Capable as any human, synthetics have increased ability. For example, Call as a synthetic and also a mercenary in the film Alien Resurrection was able to connect into the USM Auriga's mainframe and directly control doors and comms.
Bishop in the film Aliens was stationed aboard the USS Sulaco as a synthetic, he was a capable flight controller and pilot who also acted as a medic.
David in the film Prometheus also had increased ability, able to fly and monitor USCSS Prometheus as all other crew were asleep in stasis and learn various languages including communicating with the Last Terraformer.
In the game Aliens: Colonial Marines, Bishop (a different Bishop from the film Aliens and Alien 3) appears on comms and in a support role. Most synthetics are produced for carrying out roles similiar to that of a human aboard spacecrafts, although different they are the same as personnel and marines and so are tolerated but don't hold any military rank.
Most synthetics don't carry weapons with the exception of synthetic combats and synthetic cloaked sentry synthetics who appear in the Aliens v Predator 3 campaigns, these synthetics vary in ability but carry firearms like the Shotgun, Scoped Rifle and Flame thrower. Combat androids also appear in the games AVP: Evolution and Aliens: Colonial Marines and the film Alien 3, equipped with similiar weapons.
Notably Michael Bishop and Weyland produced clones of themselves, these were synthetics and were mainly used because they could be expendable, they appeared in the games Aliens: Colonial Marines and Aliens v Predator 3 and the films Aliens and Alien 3.
Notable Synthetics in films
is the name of the synthetic appearing in the film Alien.
is the name of the synthetic appearing in the film Aliens.
is the name of the synthetic appearing in the film Alien Resurrection.
is the name of the synthetic appearing in the film Prometheus.
Ronald Shusett executive producer for the story with script writer Dan O'Bannon wrote
and edited a script that was for an all male cast but were uncertain whether
20th Century Fox would buy the script. Dan O'Bannon originally pitched the film to
the studio as 'Jaws in Space'. Wanting that it should be available for a
wider audience wrote on the script by the crew, 'The crew are unisex and all parts
are interchangeable for men or women'. The crew included at the time of writing;
Lee Roby-Executive Officer
Sandy Helikonis-Communications Tech
Cleave Hunter-Mining Engineer
Jay Faust-Engine Tech
With this crew members allowed for any of the crew to be a woman or a man, Ronald
Shusett also speculated that even a woman could play as a commander or captain but
also didn't envisage a leading lady playing Ripley's character.
Further input by Ridley Scott saw a woman being cast as the leading role. This was
mostly due with the rewrites that allowed for a role of a woman, a further female was
cast as Lambert the navigator with other characters staying as males but varied in number
before the final version. Luckily 20th Century Fox was after a film with spaceships and so
green-lighted Alien as their only space orientated film.
With the new characters for their role chosen, casting continued in the US and by
Mary Selway casting (UK), the cast being chosen for their ability in the chosen role
for each of the characters. Ridley Scott added saying that, 'the cast is very definitive', that
it is important that the right characters are chosen for the role and this would follow into
the film, making them believable for the role that they are playing.
Ivor Powell associate producer along with Ridley Scott thought of the idea of a
more industrial vessel for the Nostromo and 'Truckers In Space', a concept of truck
drivers journeying on a long route in space, with this idea areas of the Nostromo would have a
more used feel and appearance, worn and sparse which also followed though to the crew's uniforms,
equipment used aboard the spacecraft and the different levels and areas.
An original script for the film Alien was titled Star Beast but O'Bannon disliked this and changed
it to Alien after noting the number of times that the word appeared in the script. He and Shusett
liked the new script so took it on to Walter Hill, David Giler, and Gordon Carroll, who had formed
a production company called Brandywine with ties to 20th Century Fox. O'Bannon and Shusett signed a
deal with Brandywine, but Hill and Giler were not satisfied with the script and made numerous rewrites
and revisions to it. Hill and Giler added some substantial elements to the story, O'Bannon felt that
adding the android character Ash was an unnecessary subplot but which Shusett later described as "one
of the best things in the movie...That whole idea and scenario was theirs." In total Hill and Giler
went through eight different drafts of the script, mostly concentrating on the character's Ash subplot but also
making the dialogue more natural and trimming some sequences set on the alien planetoid.
For the scene in which Ash is revealed to be an android and is decapitated, a puppet was
created of the character's torso and upper body which was operated from underneath by a small puppeteer.
In the following scene Ash's head is placed on a table and re-activated, for portions of this scene an
animatronic head was made using a face cast of actor Ian Holm. However, the latex of the head shrank
while curing and the result was not entirely convincing. So for the bulk of the scene Holm knelt under
the table with his head coming up through a hole and milk, caviar, pasta, and glass marbles were used
to show the android's inner workings and fluids. The scene then saw Ash incinerated by Parker and left to burn.
Bishop was produced and made by production crew on set from silicon, a torso and legs were produced for the filming in the cargo bay aboard the Sulaco, all other scenes the actor played as the character Bishop.
The full size Queen ran on rails with control wheels operating the arms, head and legs which were connected and
controlled by cables. In the Atmosphere Processor as it appeared after it detached itself from it's sac and started chasing after Ripley, a full scale animatronic model was used before being filmed with a 1' model as
it ran along the corridor towards Ripley who then entered the elevator, then cutting again to the full sized model as the Queen got in.
On the Sulaco a crane lowered the full size Queen off the Dropship, a silicon tail attached on a
cable connecting to Bishop as the Queen stabbed him with her tail, before being lifted up on cables on a specially made tail rig. As the Queen tore Bishop apart a silicon animated Bishop replaced the actor, the scenes were filmed
with interconnected cut scenes, Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alex Gills then throw Bishop's torn torso across the cargo bay as if the Queen pulled it apart using milk and cream to slide him across the cargo bay and represent the androids blood.
Made by VFX, with models made by Gustav Hoegen senior animatronic designer for Prometheus and team on set for David's animatronic head, the Terraformers decapitated head and a Hammerpede.
Lifecast made prosthetics including a neck for David after he had been decapitated and various Engineer's prosthetics and body parts.
For David's decapitated head in the Derelict's Orrery an elaborate split screen was produced by Hammerhead Productions using a prosthetic head, body removal and tracking the actor's face onto the prosthetic head in stereo.
Further shots were produced by the company including David's linguist support whilst journeying to LV223 aboard Prometheus. A prosthetic body was used as Shaw collected David's decapitated head from the Derelict, after collecting it she carried both to one of the RT ATVs and drove towards another Derelict.
David on film was seen as human and so wore a spacesuit and helmet just like the rest of the crew as they journeyed into the Temple.
Prologue films produced Shaw's dream sequence while she was asleep in stasis for her flight, with David being the only crew member who interacted into the dreams, edited holograms for the Holotab as David communicated back with Earth.
David 8 was shown as a much improved version of the David android series produced by Weyland, viral ads made by MPC showed David arriving and being unwrapped from his sealed packaging as part of a promotional campaign, these and other ads appear on the 'Star Map' and 'Questions will be answered' promotional websites.