Following the release of the Aliens: Special Collector's Edition LaserDisc the previous year, which marked the debut of the extended Special Edition of Aliens, there were rumors that the Collector's Edition LaserDisc of Alien would likewise contain an alternate, extended cut of the film, incorporating scenes that were removed from its original theatrical release. While this ultimately proved not to be the case, several of the film's deleted scenes were included as bonus material, making the LaserDisc the first time this footage was available to the general public.
In addition to the film itself, the LaserDisc contains a "Collector's Section", an extensive archive of exclusive supplemental materials relating to the development and production of the film. This archive includes a raft of photographic and video content, along with extensive written sections that detail the making of the movie and reveal behind the scenes stories from the set and editing room. Together, the material essentially forms a linear documentary on the making of the film, albeit one that is predominantly text-based rather than employing interviews or narration (while interview clips are included in the archive, they are infrequent compared to the written information). The section's creation was overseen by Michael Matessino and David C. Fein, who would later go on to create the making-of documentary The Alien Legacy, Matessino as director and Fein as producer.
As was standard for LaserDisc releases of the time, the Collector's Section content is presented in the form of a slideshow that the viewer can scroll through at their leisure, one page at a time, using their LaserDisc player's controls. The material is broadly split into three sections, covering pre-production, production and post-production, with each of these split further into chapters that deal with specific topics. A table of contents at the start allows the viewer to jump straight to specific chapters if desired. Although predominantly text-based, the material also includes concept art, script excerpts and behind the scenes photographs, as well as video clips such as interview segments and scenes deleted from the finished film.
The bonus material contained within the Collector's Section remained exclusive to the LaserDisc release until, in 1999, the deleted scenes were included in the Alien Legacy DVD box set (and on the corresponding individual Alien DVD), along with the film's trailers and TV spots. However, the remainder of the Collector's Section material would not be released elsewhere until the LaserDisc's supplemental content was replicated in its entirety as an archive included on the bonus disc of the Alien Quadrilogy DVD box set in 2003. This archive was in turn included on the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set.
- 1979 theatrical version
- Annotated history of the film
- Screenplay excerpts
- Conceptual art work
- Giger's paintings and drawings
- Rare production photographs
- Behind the scenes footage
- 10 deleted scenes:
- 7 outtakes:
- Theatrical trailer and original advertising materials
- Guide booklet including program notes and chapter listing
- ↑ "LaserDisc Database - Alien: Special Widescreen Collector's Edition". Retrieved on 2018-03-07.
- ↑ "Weyland-Yutani Archives - Alien: The Special Edition That Never Happened". Retrieved on 2013-04-29.