The following information comes from the original early draft of ALIEN and the Collectors edition laserdisc. The Dan O’Bannon original script was completed in 1972 and was first called “Star Beast” before O’Bannon changed the title to “Alien”. It was based on one of his unfinished scripts called ‘Memory’. The supplementary disk summarizes that all the astronauts were men, their names were Standard, Roby, Melkonis, Broussard, Hunter, and Faust. The name of their ship was the Snark. Although not directly stated, I get the impression that the crew is more of an exploration/research team than the “space truckers” in the movie. As in the film they land on a planet after hearing a distress call and find an alien derelict, but here they only breathing masks are required to leave their ship and go outside onto the planet instead of full pressure suits. On the derelict they find the dead alien pilot, an empty “urn” (facehugger egg) and a triangular-shaped etching scratched into the control board. They leave, go back to the ship, then the disk refers to a portion of the script where the crew discovers a pyramidical structure like the scratched image on the derelict.
This pyramid is where the eggs are kept. The search party goes out, one man goes down into the egg chamber, which is flooded with oxygen. There, before he gets facehugged, he finds a “strange hieroglyphics carved into the walls.” The crew realizes later that this is a representation of the alien’s life cycle.” The laserdisk says that everything pretty much happens the way it did in the movie except “the crew spends a lot of time speculating and analyzing.” There are three more excerpts from the script, one a dialogue between two crew members discussing the relationship between the pyramid and the derelict and a second where we find out that the alien is turning its victims into new spores.
This last excerpt is O’Bannon’s description of the full-grown alien as it attacks a crew member: “A six-foot monstrosity stands in the opening. Ghastly beyond imagination, squamous, covered with tenticles, it hops down like an over-sized bird and grabs Melkonis in razor-sharp tenticles.”