- "Ripley, this is an order. Open that hatch right now, do you hear me?"
- ―Dallas (from Alien)
Dallas Koblenz Arthur was the Captain of the commercial towing vehicle USCSS Nostromo. Unlike the vessel's other crew members, Dallas was typically referred to by his first name. He was in command for the vessel's fateful voyage in 2122 when it encountered a Xenomorph on LV-426, an incident that eventually led to the destruction of the ship and the loss of all but one of its crew.
Dallas was born February 27th, 2075 in Wolf Point, Montana and grew up in Port Arthur, Texas. After attending high school in his home town he studied engineering at Beilecki University's Martian campus, eventually graduating with a Bachelors degree. Following this, he moved on to Lippincott Aeronautics University, eventually obtaining his pilot's license. Prior to becoming Captain of the Nostromo, Dallas served aboard the USCSS Shushett before becoming Executive Officer aboard the USCSS Anobile.
Landing on LV-426Edit
When MU-TH-UR detected the signal from LV-426 and roused the crew of the Nostromo from hypersleep early, Dallas and Ash pointed out to the reluctant Brett and Parker that Weyland-Yutani orders dictated they had to investigate, despite only being a commercial towing vehicle. Although Dallas fully intended to follow the order, he was clearly annoyed and anxious at the extra risk involved.
After the Nostromo was damaged by dust entering one of its engine intakes while landing on LV-426, Dallas, Lambert and Kane set out to find the source of the signal MU-TH-UR had picked up. They eventually discovered the Derelict on the moon's surface and the deceased Pilot inside, Dallas taking a particular interest in the latter. When Kane was attacked by a Facehugger while investigating the Derelict's cargo hold, Dallas and Lambert built a makeshift stretcher from the equipment they had available and carried him back to the Nostromo. Despite Dallas' orders to the contrary, Ripley initially refused to let them back on board, citing quarantine concerns, but was eventually undermined by Ash. Once on board, Dallas' anger and frustration at how the company-imposed investigation had turned out meant he ordered the Nostromo to leave even though repairs had not been completed.
The air ductsEdit
- "Uh, Lambert, am I clear? I wanna get the hell out of here."
- ―Dallas, in the ventilation shaft (from Alien)
After Kane's Chestburster was born and Brett was killed by the soon fully-grown Alien, Dallas concluded the creature was using the ship's ventilation ducts to move around and proposed a plan to flush it into the main airlock using a flamethrower, at which point it could be jettisoned into space. Although Ripley volunteered, Dallas overruled her as Captain and elected to enter the vents himself while the other crewmembers used the motion detectors designed by Ash to track the Xenomorph. Before carrying out his plan, Dallas accessed MU-TH-UR in an attempt to gain some advice but received none.
Once in the air shafts, Dallas had Ripley close all the air shafts behind him as he moved, preventing the Alien from coming up behind him but also blocking his escape route. A malfunction in the motion detector forced him to pause, and rapidly he began to succumb to the terror of the situation. When the tracker began working again, Lambert picked up the Alien, moving straight towards Dallas. In his panic, he fled down a ladder, despite Lambert's pleas for him to head in the other direction, and was ambushed and captured by the Xenomorph. Parker later recovered Dallas' flamethrower, but found no sign of his body.
In the Director's Cut of the film, Ripley discovered a still living Dallas cocooned in the Nostromo's hold during her escape from the ship, next to the body of Brett, who was slowly being transformed into an Egg. Dallas begged Ripley to kill him, which she subsequently did, torching both him and Brett with her flamethrower.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Dallas was generally quite laid-back as Captain, although Brett and Parker's continued insistence that they receive higher pay seemed to annoy him. He was also averse to making decisions, a flaw he himself acknowledged and cited as the reason he was merely in charge of a commercial tug as opposed to a more impressive position aboard a space liner. When forced into a decision, Dallas seemed prone to making rushed, unwise choices under pressure, most glaringly when he allowed Kane and the Facehugger back on board the Nostromo in violation of standard quarantine protocols — a move that ultimately doomed the crew. Similarly, he opted to leave LV-426 before the Nostromo was fully repaired, leaving the crew without vital surveillance systems that they could have used to track the Alien.
Despite this, Dallas showed bravery and responsible leadership as the crisis worsened, refusing to let anyone else take his place in the vents to try and flush the Alien into the airlock despite his own fear.
During his time on the surface of LV-426, Dallas carried a laser pistol holstered on his space suit, although he was never seen using it. When he entered the air ducts aboard the Nostromo, he armed himself with a makeshift incinerator unit built by Parker.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- "No blood, no Dallas, nothing..."
- ―Parker, on failing to find Dallas's body
The scene where Dallas is found in the Nostromo's hold was mainly cut because director Ridley Scott thought it slowed the movie down too much in its final act. Although the sequence was partly reinstated for the Director's Cut of the movie, it was still trimmed from it's original version — all of Ripley's dialogue from the scene is missing. originally, she tearfully promises Dallas she will get him out and onto the Narcissus, before asking him what she should do when he refuses. The full sequence was also included in the novelization of the film. Notably, despite the later novelizations in the series following on from the theatrical film version of Alien (which did not include the cocoon scene), the sequence is still referenced in the novels of both Aliens and Alien3.
- According to Ridley Scott's character background notes for Alien, Dallas' name and initials were originally A.J. Dallas. However, none of this background detail appeared on-screen in the first film. Dallas' name was later changed to Dallas Koblenz Arthur by James Cameron for Aliens, and it is this name that appears on Dallas' file at the inquest into the destruction of the Nostromo.
- One of the vessels Dallas was assigned to prior to the Nostromo, the USCSS Shushett, is an obvious reference to Ronald Shusett, one of the writers on Alien. Several other vessels listed in the Nostromo crew's résumés reference other crew members on Alien and Aliens.
- It is stated in Alien novelization that Dallas had a crush on Ellen Ripley, and even planned to tell her once the Alien was killed. It's also said that Ripley had absolutly no clue about Dallas' feelings.
- Alien/novel/comic (First Appearance)
- Aliens (picture only)
- Aliens: Nightmare Asylum (indirect mention)
- Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual (mentioned only)
- Alien: Out of the Shadows (mentioned only)