‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ Creates a Believable Alien

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Showtime’s new collection The Person Who Fell to Earth, produced by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, is a sequel to the 1976 Nicolas Roeg film of the exact same name, which stars David Bowie as an idealistic alien corrupted by human vices.

“We were being just hoping to honor [The Man Who Fell to Earth author Walter] Tevis and Bowie and Nicolas Roeg and the amazing storytellers that arrived right before us, but we also exist in a continuum of science fiction storytelling,” Kurtzman claims in Episode 513 of the Geek’s Guideline to the Galaxy podcast. “I want to imagine that we can be at the vanguard of what science fiction is now, and of what it will develop into.”

The collection stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as an alien from the earth Anthea who comes on Earth 45 many years immediately after the events of the authentic movie. Kurtzman and Ejiofor made a in-depth backstory in get to portray a believably alien character. “We arrived up with the notion that their earth by itself was so loud—just the winds and everything that was likely on—the destruction of the planet was so loud that they evolved away from communicating verbally, and that they had to communicate nonverbally,” Kurtzman suggests. “We ended up creating this entire indicator language that they use to connect, and a quite certain way of shifting alongside one another. So which is just a method of heaps and plenty of rehearsals.”

In 1 unforgettable scene the alien is uncovered naked, guzzling drinking water from a yard hose that has been shoved a number of ft down his throat. “It’s seriously just a riff off what they did in the novel and the film, for the reason that he arrives to Earth for drinking water, due to the fact his planet is absolutely starved of h2o,” Kurtzman says. “I imagine we took the spirit of that plan and interpreted it in our own way, that if you came from a planet with no h2o but you necessary water, if abruptly water was in abundance everywhere you go, you’d possibly want to drink it all the time simply because you don’t consider it for granted.”

A further main affect was the actual physical comedy of Buster Keaton, who was renowned for relocating his system in unusual approaches whilst trying to keep his deal with perfectly nevertheless. It wasn’t until eventually just after filming was full that Kurtzman uncovered he was not by itself in drawing inspiration from Keaton. “I uncovered a set of photographs that had been taken on the set of The Male Who Fell to Earth—the primary film—and Bowie is sitting down in his trailer, keeping up an autobiography of Buster Keaton, with a massive image of Buster Keaton’s confront on it, and he’s mimicking Buster Keaton’s encounter aspect-by-side,” Kurtzman claims. “We hadn’t even viewed that, and by some means, osmotically, we obtained that off of his efficiency, which was remarkable.”

Listen to the full interview with Alex Kurtzman in Episode 513 of Geek’s Guideline to the Galaxy (higher than). And examine out some highlights from the discussion down below.

Alex Kurtzman on characterization:

How a lot of “alien will come to Earth and then the governing administration tries to seize them” stories can you convey to, notably in an unique way? We realized we essential the [Jimmi Simpson] character, but I think what Jenny and I did not want was to be crafting this—hopefully—beautiful character story and then out of the blue truly feel like when you cut to the CIA you’re in The Bourne Id. There would just be huge tonal dissonance there, it just would not really feel proper. And so we ended up like, “How do we do this?” I think oftentimes the way to solve a issue like that is you say, “OK, ignore about the truth that they are in the CIA. What will make them interesting and persuasive?” And we came to this concept that, “What if he’s just basically the meanest gentleman in the environment? What if he’s just both equally a full sadist and a overall masochist, all at the very same time?”

Alex Kurtzman on fandom:

There is something attention-grabbing about what [the Black Mirror episode “USS Callister”] suggests about fandom in basic, not just for Star Trek, but fandom in standard. Fandom of any sort is a place—particularly, I think, in our childhoods—where we escape to make an alternate actuality for ourselves if our realities are not pretty what we want them to be, and that’s why matters like Star Trek or Marvel or Star Wars, which is why folks have these deep private reactions, because there is one thing extremely individual about one’s relationship to a franchise that speaks to “this is where by I felt protected when I was a kid.” And I guess there is an inherent darkness to it, even although it is also a amazing, remarkable matter, and there is so much gentle to it as perfectly. So it was sort of a perspective about what comes about when it goes pretty, very incorrect.

Alex Kurtzman on David Bowie:

There have been a pair times where by I would just do these definitely deep dives into Bowie interviews … As a young gentleman he’s absolutely fearless, unbelievably fearless, and has equally a assurance and an insecurity that are truly quite incredible. He’s pushing every single boundary there is, but you can see that there is an amazing vulnerability in who he is. And then you go into the middle stage of his job, and he’s definitely calmed down extra, but he’s continue to quite unafraid to say the thing that requires to get explained, and to provoke. And then by the time you get into his more mature yrs there is the knowledge that comes with age, and a existence lived the way that only David Bowie could dwell his everyday living. So I like to think that he was described by bravery.

Alex Kurtzman on science fiction:

I know that as an viewers member I get excited when I see anything which is trying to do a thing different, which is riffing on something that I appreciate but it is carrying out it in a distinctive way. And that’s truly what we set out to do with The Male Who Fell to Earth. And I think it is definitely cathartic, I imagine it’s conversing about items that are not just relevant now, they’re going to figure out the upcoming of whether or not or not we’re on this earth, but in a way which is genuinely entertaining. Great science fiction tends to make you imagine about your area in the universe, that’s the place. But it also entertains you, and it will allow you to go to various worlds, and to imagine points that you didn’t even think had been possible, and you get transported into a full universe, and I think that is what the clearly show does.


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