Past Features

Turning Off The TV #25: Alien


Welcome to my regular Thursday feature, Turning off the TV! In this feature I recommend books similar to TV shows or films you may have enjoyed, both series and specific episodes.

The film this week is: Alien.


The commercial vessel Nostromo receives a distress call from an unexplored planet. After searching for survivors, the crew heads home only to realize that a deadly bioform has joined them.

Since I’m putting this feature on hold for Sci-Fi Month next month, I thought I’d do a special science fiction edition now – and the next one will be a special horror edition! I’ve chosen Alien because it’s an absolutely fantastic film. It’s tense and keeps you on the edge of your seat, it’s claustrophobic and scary. It pretty much set up the whole ‘survival horror’ genre.

Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey

So I may have recommended Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey previously, but it definitely works for fans of Alien. It has that same sort of claustrophobic feeling, not to mention some terrifying extra-terrestrials.

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds is one of my favourite books, and it definitely needs to be read if you enjoyed Alien! When you think of books featuring aliens, I’m sure this is one of the first ones that comes to mind – and for good reason. Like Alien itself, it was pretty ground-breaking at the time.

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham is another classic science fiction novel. It’s not quite as claustrophobic as Alien, but it definitely has that constant feeling of danger. I also really enjoyed this one, it’s definitely my preferred work of Wyndham’s.

Are you a fan of Alien? Do you have any recommendations to add? Are there any other TV shows or films you’d like me to cover?


10 thoughts on “Turning Off The TV #25: Alien”

  1. “Alien” still has the power of chilling me to the bone, no matter how many times I see it. Especially the scene where the creatures comes out: even knowing what’s going to happen, I still jump up in fright.
    I guess it’s the mark of good storytelling and good movie-making.

    “Day of the Triffids” is another of those scary stories that stay with you over the years: maybe it’s the sense of total defenselessness that comes from humankind’s blindness. Or the idea that nature can turn on us so suddenly we might be unable to defend ourselves.

    As for “Leviathan Wakes” (and the other three books that come after it), this is space opera of the highest level, and I’m looking forward to the mini-series that will be shot soon.

    1. Yes, I’ve watched it several times – I actually only saw it for the first time about two years ago – and I’m still there shouting at the characters even though I know what’s going to happen. Did you enjoy Prometheus? I love that one too, even if it’s a bit silly 🙂

      Yep, Day of the Triffids is pretty terrifying. Nature turning on us after all those years! I can see why it would be pretty angry though…

      Ah I forgot it was going to be a series! I’ll have to keep an eye out.

  2. If you can believe it, I’ve never seen Alien! So maybe I’ll start with one of these recommendations first, and then work up to it…haha.

    1. It’s a wonderful book – have you re-read it? I’m thinking that I should some time. There was also a more recent BBC adaptation a few years ago, it was set in the modern day – think it was a three-parter.

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