Dr Nicolas Pillai, researcher at the University of Warwick’s Film and Television Studies department, said: “While its trailers promise spectacular special effects, Prometheus follows a very traditional science-fiction narrative pattern. Archaeologists with conflicting agendas unearth a Pandora’s Box - the curse of Tutankhamun by way of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Erich von Däniken.”
Dr Pilai continued: “It also promises to excavate the past glories of director Ridley Scott. Initially conceived as a direct prequel to his 1979 film Alien, the project has mutated into something more interesting, riffing at the level of production design and tone rather than plot.
“Given this allusional approach to personal history, it seems important that Scott’s protagonist is British - despite being played by Swedish actress Noomi Rapace.”
And he spots a Doctor Who reference in the story: “Raised in Teesside, Scott was a young BBC designer in the early days of Doctor Who and narrowly missed the chance to design the Daleks. By calling Rapace’s character Dr Elizabeth Shaw - also the name of a Doctor Who companion in 1970 - the screenwriters slyly reference a road not taken in Scott’s past.”
Dr Pilai concludes: “Prometheus’ success may lie in its acceptance of diverse influences.
“While previous prequels have been restricted by an inevitable narrative end point, Scott’s new film draws upon a wealth of transmedia artefacts - philosophical tracts, Egyptology, a 1967 Doctor Who serial called Tomb of the Cybermen and the current thirst for TEDtalks.”