HBO Max’s Raised By Wolves shares a lot of similarities with the Alien sequels and shows how filmmaker Ridley Scott could have saved Prometheus.
HBO Max’s Raised By Wolves shares a lot of similarities with the Alien sequels and shows how filmmaker Ridley Scott could have saved Prometheus. Raised By Wolves is a science-fiction series that follows the conflict between two factions of mankind: the religious Mithraic and the militant atheists. The remnants of humanity flee Earth in search of a new home and land on planet Kepler-22b. Season 1 ends with the birth of a serpent-like alien creature, reminiscent of a newborn xenomorph.
Ridley Scott’s Alien sequels, Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, were both met with divisive critical reception upon their initial release. Fans were disappointed with how the films handled the beloved xenomorph as well as the lack of strong, relatable characters in either film. Ridley Scott would go on to executive produce Raised By Wolves and direct the first two episodes of season 1.
The way in which Raised By Wolves explores similar concepts to those seen in Prometheus offers a view of how that movie and its sequel could have been improved. The main difference is the format. Due to its multi-season structure, Raised By Wolves is able to better develop the philosophical ideas raised in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus as well as spend more time on the characters. One of the main themes set up in Prometheus and expounded upon in Alien: Covenant is the idea of creation. In Prometheus, the human characters explore the home planet of their own creators (the Engineers) while the crew’s android, David (Michael Fassbender) contends with his own position as a human creation. A similar concept is explored in Raised By Wolves, as the characters slowly realize that Kepler-22b is also home to humans and multiple characters start hearing voices that they interpret as the voice of their God, Sol.
Unfortunately, in Prometheus these ideas take a back seat to the horror elements. The films’ philosophical ponderings are weighed down by the genre expectations of an Alien movie. This genre focus is another meaningful difference between Prometheus and Raised By Wolves. While the Alien movies are structured around the classic horror buildup to big scares, Raised By Wolves, on the other hand, takes its time getting to those similar horror elements. Both works feature a strange alien creature birthed from a human host, but the serpent only appears at the very end of Raised By Wolves season 1. The show focuses more on developing science-fiction ideas, with the horror building up in the background.
Given the constraints of the medium, as well as the high expectations for an Alien prequel, perhaps Prometheus was doomed to fail. Ridley Scott was, arguably, not able to make the most of the philosophical concepts that were presented in those movies. Raised By Wolves undoubtedly demonstrates how the most interesting ideas and themes present in Prometheus could have been better developed.
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