Al Simpson was a Weyland-Yutani Corporation employee and the colonial administrator in charge of the Hadley's Hope colony on Acheron. He managed the colony throughout its history, being present from its inception until he was killed during the Xenomorph infestation that destroyed it in 2179.
Simpson was killed during the ill-fated assault on the Xenomorph Hive inside the Atmosphere Processing Plant; when one of the creatures captured him, Captain Brackett shot him dead to spare him the fate of being cocooned and impregnated.
On the colony
Simpson was the administrator of the Hadley's Hope colony since the very first days of the settlement. As an administrator, he was in charge of the colony's day-to-day management.
Investigation of the coordinates
- "Christ! Some honch in a cushy office on Earth says "Go look at a grid reference". We look. They don't say why, and I don't ask. I don't ask, because it takes two weeks to get an answer out here, and the answer is always-"
""Don't ask." So what do I tell this guy?"
"Tell him as far as I'm concerned, if he finds something, it is his."
- ―Simpson and Lydecker, discussing the Jorden family's salvage claim (from Aliens Special Edition)
Later on, the Jordens called in to clarify whether anything they found whilst investigating the coordinates passed on to them from Weyland-Yutani would be theirs to salvage. Al's assistant Brad Lydecker raised the issue with the former. While Simpson was unable to provide Lydecker with a definitive answer, he voiced his own opinion that, as far as he was concerned, anything that they discovered was theirs to salvage.
What the Jordens discovered was a derelict ship full of Xenomorph Eggs, triggering a Xenomorph outbreak on the moon that eventually overran the colony. As the situation became increasingly desperate, Simpson volunteered to accompany Captain Brackett and his men when they entered the main Atmosphere Processing Station in search of the colonists who had been abducted by the Xenomorphs.
When the team arrived at the processing facility, they discovered they had arrived too late — all of the captured colonists had been impregnated by Facehuggers and were now dead with their chests horrifically ripped open by the emerging Chestbursters.
Whilst investigating the Hive further, the team suddenly found themselves set upon by the Warriors lurking within the facility. Panicking, they desperately fired in all directions, but ultimately most of the team were captured or killed; Simpson himself tried to run for it but was attacked by a Warrior and dragged away. Seeing this, Brackett shot him dead before he could be dragged away to be used as a host for a Chestburster.
Personality and traits
Prior to the infestation, Simpson was irritable and confident, but after the outbreak his fear of being killed or worse shows through. Despite his fear, he still personally volunteers to join Captain Brackett and his team in their search for the missing colonists, hinting that he still has a sense of authority and toughness left.
- Simpson actor Mac McDonald also voiced background characters in Alien: Isolation.
- Al Simpson was cut from the theatrical release of Aliens when the studio complained that the film was too long. The scene featuring him was later reinstated for the extended Special Edition.
- The scene featuring Simpson and Lydecker is almost identical to a scene in James Cameron's later film Terminator 2: Judgement Day: an employee flags down a supervisor in a busy office and they walk together, discussing the behavior of their employer — Weyland-Yutani in Aliens, CyberDyne Systems in Terminator 2 — before the more senior man ends their conversation with a line about their employer always responding to sensitive questions with the phrase "don't ask".
- Aliens Special Edition/novel
- Aliens: Fire and Stone (mentioned only)
- Alien: River of Pain/audio drama