Prometheus by way of Tintin,
Thunderbirds and Quatermass And The Pit.


Quatermass And The Pit (BBC TV 1958)

a) "Prometheus" and "Quatermass And The Pit"

One thing about Prometheus was that Quatermass and the Pit film was influenced by the film Quatermass And The Pit based on a script by Nigel Kneale.

The film has a character named Barbara Judd, played by Barbara Shelley,  who was the assistant to the paleontologist Dr. Mathew Roney who discover the buried spacecraft in the story.

In the story of Quatermass And The Pit, they discover an ancient space capsule buried for the last 5000000 years.

They discover the remains of the Marian occupants in the cockpit that appeared to have re-engineered human kind millions of years ago.

When the capsule is fed enough energy, it comes to life in some way and has caused hauntings in surrounding places, or visions of ghosts of the ancient occupants of the capsule are seen.

Then it appears that ancient ancestral memories of the martians are being experienced by those who are descendants of the human ancestors brought back to Earth from Mars after being genetically altered.

Mind film from "Quatermass and The Pit" showing genetic memories of the cleansing of the hive


Mind film from "Quatermass and The Pit" showing genetic memories of the cleansing of the hive

Ridley Scott found the clips of the memories of the aliens from the movie version of "Quatermass And The Pit" very fascinating, and it contributed to the idea of the holographic recordings of the Engineers running through the tunnel in Prometheus.

Perhaps Ridley also knew about The Stone Tapes written by Nigel Kneale as well that explored the idea of the stone in a room containing an electromagntic recording of a traumatic event that happened in a room that was being seen as a ghost, since this fit in well with what was going on with the holographic recordings in Prometheus


Holographic recording of the Engineers running

However the lead character Elizabeth Shaw reminded me slightly of the Barbara Judd character from the TV series version of Quatermass And The Pit, played by Christine Finn, both of whom are strong minded petite very pretty women with high cheekbones.

Perhaps Shaw is much more empowered as a female character written in the 21st Century, where she is working with her partner Doctor Holloway rather than just serving as an assistant.

However this Doctor Holloway character is seen to be an idiot in comparison to Dr Ronay but both die heroicly, Holloway giving himself to being burnt to death by a flame thrower having been infected with the black stuff by David, and Ronay reduced to ashes when he shorts circuits the power generating the apparition of a devil.

Christine Finn as Barbara Judd and
Cec Linder as Dr Matthew Roney from
Quatermass And The Pit (BBC TV 1958)


Noomi Rapace as Dr Elizabeth Shaw and Logan Marshall-Green as Dr Holloway



In the film, Roney was played by Scottish actor James Donald, and in the TV series  was played by Canadian actor Cec Linder.

Christine Finn also did the voice for Tintin Kyrano from Thunderbirds which was a TV series which special flying vehicles that would inspire the spaceship designers of Alien, Aliens and Prometheus.

The name "Tintin" in this case was a name derived from a Malaysian term for "Sweet".


Christine Finn as  Barbara Judd from Quatermass And The Pit (BBC TV 1958)

 
Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw in Prometheus

 
Tintin Kyrano from Thunderbirds (voiced by Christine Finn)


b) "Prometheus" and the Tintin stories

Tintin is a curious name to think about because it also is a young man's name in the Tintin comic book stories, where the lead character finds himself involved in adventures around different parts of the planet Earth, and even on the moon.

By process of association, one might wonder if the character Elizabeth Shaw is also sort of a female Tintin.

Tintin himself is often described as essentially a bland, goody-two shoes character, and as it happens, Elizabeth Shaw's character gets described in the same way.

This goody two shoes element might have been boring for some or just the right thing for people who wanted something a bit more closer to home on the European side of the Atlantic where they were dealing with an actual adventurer.

Perhaps one might look at David the android, think that he looked slightly Tintin-esque with his blond air and slight quiff.

If this was the case, then, Captain Haddock who owns the ship named the Sirius becomes Captain Janek of the Prometheus played by Idris Elba.

Perhaps Prometheus seemed also to have elements in common with perhaps the Tintin books.


 
Captain Haddock and Tintin

 
Elizabeth Shaw and Captain Janek



Elizabeth Shaw and David the Robot



c) "Prometheus" and "Tintin and the Shooting Star

i) "Tintin and the Shooting Star" featured a story where the director of an observatory who is an elderly man organises a trip to find a meteor that has landed in the sea.


The director of the observatory with colleague

ii) An elderly mad man who has been bothering Tintin earlier in the story with lunatic prophecies for the end of the world, turns up aboard the ship, hiding in the crows nest, and has to be taken off the ship by men in white coats from the local asylum.




The character Peter Weyland shows up aboard the Prometheus
towards the end of the film surrounded by his assistants, some
of whom are wearingwhite coats





iii) For me its as if Peter Weyland might be considered to be a mixture of the lunatic madman who turns up on the ship without the crew's knowledge and the chairman of the Observatory who had organised the expedition

Tintin eats an apple, finds a maggot and throws the core way

iv) Tintin reaching the meteor, has his lunch, and throws his apple core away, and there was a maggot in the apple.


One of the worms from Prometheus (from a cut scene) in the ampule room


v) He spends the night there and discovers that meteor has properties of a growth accelerant, the apple core turns into a huge tree, and the maggot turns into a very large flying insect that starts to bother the dog Milou/Snowy



vi) Also a spider that has somehow come aboard the meteor has turned into a giant spider that pursues Tintin, perhaps to make a meal of him, but gets crushed by a giant falling apple.

vii) In Prometheus, the black stuff transforms worm like creatures in the ground of the ampule room into large ferocious snake like creatures that kills Millburn, and sprays its acid blood all over Fifield's helmet destroying it.





d) "Prometheus" and "Tintin and Flight 714"

"Tintin and Flight 714" which dwells on the ancient alien theory slightly appears to give an answer as to why the Engineers running down the corridor would want to go into the ampule room, despite the dangerous ampules, because the giant head there might open up as an entrance to a flight of stairs leading below. (See: Traces of Tintin and Flight 714" in Prometheus)



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