The hanging landing lights of Nostromo.


The joy of scouring over behind-the-scenes photographs of ALIEN is that one day (one day!) you might stumble over something you never noticed before.

Today was that day for me!

In the collage below, I have put together four photos that show those gawky landing lights that illuminate Nostromo’s careful descent to the surface of the planetoid.

These are suspended from the tail end of the 12-foot miniature as it was lowered (by forklift) to the studio floor.

Of course, those four spotlights are there for effect, seeming to sprout from thin air amid the engine exhaust bells.

But what effect!

The top two photographs are from the film, showing the scene itself. The bottom two photographs show details of the Nostromo miniature.

The photo outlined in yellow on the bottom left is the one I was poring over this evening when I noticed the detail below the engine bells!

It’s the spotlights!

They don’t have this odd wire-frames hanging in front of them, but they’re unmistakable.

Photo credits: the top two are from Dominic Kulcsar’s ALIEN Explorations site; the bottom two are from Dennis Lowe’s website.

I haven’t been this excited to find a new detail since a few of us over at stumbled over the location of the airlock lift/science blister while looking for something else in a behind-the-scene photo!

There’s a moral here, folks: whenever you get your hands on ALIEN photos, give them a once-over, even if you’ve seen ’em a million times.

You might just notice something for the first time…

Later, gator!

P. S. If you are interested in seeing my friend vader’s drawings of those spotlights and how they might be installed on the Nostromo, check out this thread at

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