Search for Alien 3 on your favorite video-on-demand service, and you’ll inevitably land on a specific movie: David Fincher’s 1992 sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 hit Alien and James Cameron’s blockbuster 1986 follow-up Aliens. There are different versions out there — the theatrical version and the longer “assembly cut,” a recreation of an earlier version of the film. But they’re variations on the same work, a moody, visually striking, but not entirely successful film that drops protagonist Ellen Ripley on a lice-ridden prison planet that isn’t prepared to fend off an infestation of the xenomorphs she fought in the first two films.
Audible Studios’ new audio drama Alien III by William Gibson offers one of those alternate paths for the Alien series. Gibson, the author of Neuromancer and Mona Lisa Overdrive, has his own vision of what happened after Ripley, Hicks, Bishop, and Newt nuked LV-426 from orbit in Aliens.
I definitely would have preferred this version to the one that became Alien 3.