- "I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid."
- ―Bishop (from Aliens)
Bishop, full name Bishop (341-B), was an android technician with the United States Colonial Marine Corps who served as Executive Officer aboard the USS Sulaco. He was part of the combat unit deployed to LV-426 in 2179, to investigate the sudden loss of contact with the colony of Hadley's Hope. He was subsequently involved in combating the Xenomorph infestation at the colony.
As a technician, Bishop was not part of the squad's combat personnel, although he used his non-combat skills to aid in the escape of the survivors from the colony. He survived the incident along with Ellen Ripley, Corporal Hicks and Rebecca Jorden, although he was seriously damaged and later deactivated at his own request.
Bishop was (allegedly) designed and created by Weyland-Yutani employee Michael Weyland. Weyland modelled the Bishop android on his own appearance, as well as that of his ancestor and Weyland Industries founder Charles Bishop Weyland. Several Bishop models were issued to the USCM; Bishop (341-B) was eventually posted aboard the USS Sulaco as the ship's Executive Officer and the combat unit's technician.
While numerous other Bishop-type androids have been seen in the Alien franchise (several of which have posed as sleeper agents, actively concealing their android nature from those around them), it would appear that Bishop (341-B) was among the first "Bishop" models produced.
Mission to LV-426Edit
After waking from hypersleep aboard the Sulaco, Bishop was asked by Private Hudson in the mess hall to "do the thing with the knife", namely using his vastly superior android reflexes to perform a game of five finger fillet at incredible speed. While he initially refused, continued goading from the Marines caused him to relent. Hudson was subsequently "volunteered" by Private Drake to be on the receiving end of the game, and with his own hand placed over the captive Hudson's, Bishop performed the trick at blurring speed, much to Hudson's horror.
Despite an apparently flawless performance, Bishop actually knicked himself during the trick, thereby revealing to Ellen Ripley that he was an android. Due to her previous experience with the synthetic Ash aboard the Nostromo, she immediately became hostile, despite Bishop's insistence that newer models such as himself could never "malfunction" as Ash had done. Ripley remained unconvinced, and threateningly insisted Bishop stay away from her.
During the drop on LV-426, Bishop drove the unit's APC. Once Hadley's Hope had been secured by the troops, he joined them inside and began going through the facility's logs to try and ascertain what had happened to the missing colonists. He also took a marked interest in the captive Facehuggers found in the colony's medical lab and began dissecting and studying the dead specimens almost immediately. At this time, Weyland-Yutani representative Carter Burke informed Bishop that the two live specimens were to be preserved and shipped back to the company when the mission was completed. Bishop continued his work in the med lab while the bulk of the detachment moved into the Atmosphere Processor in search of the surviving colonists, listening in on the Marines' frequencies during the disastrous ambush there.
At Hadley's HopeEdit
- "I'll go. I mean, I'm the only one qualified to remote-pilot the ship anyway."
- ―Bishop, volunteering for a dangerous mission (from Aliens)
Following the loss of most of the unit and their dropship, Bishop initially focussed his efforts on continuing to study the deceased Facehuggers, hoping to find some weaknesses that may help the survivors combat the Xenomorphs. He theorized that some form of Xenomorph the group had not yet encountered must have been laying the Eggs seen inside the Atmosphere Processor.
However, as events continued to conspire against the remaining personnel on the planet — especially when it was discovered the Atmosphere Processor was going to explode — Bishop realised that he would have to take a more active role in the situation if any of them were going to survive. As such, he agreed to travel out to the colony's transmitter, alone and unarmed, in order to pilot the unit's reserve dropship to the planet surface. The plan was successful, but before they could leave Ripley insisted Bishop fly her into the Atmosphere Processor so that she could rescue Newt, the last surviving colonist who had recently been taken by the Xenomorphs. Despite the Atmosphere Processor exploding all around him, Bishop managed to stay on station until Ripley succeeded, then barely escaping before the Processor's reactor went critical and detonated, destroying the colony. In doing so, he helped to finally gain Ripely's trust.
Surviving the missionEdit
Upon returning to the Sulaco, Bishop was suddenly and violently torn in two by the Xenomorph Queen, who had stowed away in the dropship's landing gear. Immobilized, he could only watch as Ripley fought the Queen using a Power Loader. When Ripley opened the Sulaco's cargo lock to expel the creature into space, Bishop managed to save Newt from being sucked out along with her, despite the damage he had suffered.
Following the event, Bishop was placed into hypersleep, along with the other survivors of the incident — Ripley, Newt and Corporal Hicks.
Aftermath and deactivationEdit
Bishop was further damaged when the Sulaco jettisoned the survivors due to an electrical fire in the hypersleep bay and the EEV crash-landed on Fiorina "Fury" 161. Corporal Hicks and Newt were killed in the crash, while Bishop's remains were deemed irreparable and dumped on the prison colony's scrapheap.
Ripley later reactivated Bishop in order to access the EEV's black box recorder, learning from him that there had been a Xenomorph aboard the Sulaco, that it was now on the planet with them, and that this information had been transmitted directly to Weyland-Yutani. After giving Ripley the information she wanted, Bishop asked to be disconnected, stating that while he could be repaired, he would never be the state-of-the-art android he once was; Ripley obliged him. His remains were later retrieved by the Weyland-Yutani bio-weapons team that arrived on the planet to capture Ripley and the Xenomorph, headed by Bishop's designer Michael Weyland.
Personality and TraitsEdit
- "It is impossible for me to harm, or, by omission of action, allow to be harmed, a human being."
- ―Bishop (from Aliens)
As an advanced model android, Bishop was designed and programmed to mimic humans in the closest possible way, although he also possessed inherently superior intellect and reflexes, and was able to create his own reactions to situations. Core to his programming were the Three Laws of Robotics, which essentially made it impossible for him to allow harm to come to humans from either his actions or his inaction; in this regard he worked to aid the survivors of the LV-426 mission in their escape from the moon.
Furthermore, Bishop's behavioral software was so acute that he could emulate emotions effectively and engage with humans on a social level, although he was beset with an inherent innocence that set him apart from his human compatriots. Furthermore, he suffered from occasional tell-tale "glitches" that betrayed his synthetic nature. Even so, Bishop could learn and adapt his personality based on observation, as evident when he made a joke of Ripley's mistrust of androids following her defeat of the Queen aboard the Sulaco.
While ostensibly just a technician, Bishop doubled as the primary driver for the section's M577 Armoured Personnel Carrier. He was also programmed to fly the UD-4L Cheyenne Dropship, and was in fact the only member of the unit qualified to pilot the vessel by remote control.
However, he did not carry any personal equipment in the field, even refusing the VP-70 Automatic Pistol he was offered by Private Vasquez to defend himself during his mission to the colony's transmitter array.
- Bishop actor Lance Henriksen appeared in The Terminator (also directed by James Cameron) as Detective Hal Vukovich, a police officer who is killed by the titular Terminator. This, combined with his deaths in Aliens and Alien vs. Predator, makes Henriksen one of two actors who have been killed on-screen by an Alien, a Predator and a Terminator, a dubious honor he shares with fellow Aliens actor Bill Paxton.
- The Bishop character was introduced as an apparently sympathetic synthetic character meant to add to the drama of the sequel, given the appearance of a more sinister synthetic in the original Alien film. Henriksen reprised the role, albeit in the form of a special prosthetic double playing his badly mangled corpse, in the series' third film, Alien3, and then later appeared in the same film as character credited as Bishop II, who claimed to be the android's designer. The novelization of Alien3 by Allan Dean Foster named this character as "Michael Bishop", the Weyland-Yutani designer of the Bishop androids, who is said to have modelled the androids after himself.
- A second Bishop model android appears in Aliens: Colonial Marines.
- In Alien vs. Predator, Henriksen returned to play Weyland Industries founder, chief executive officer and robotics pioneer Charles Bishop Weyland. Thus Alien3's Michael Weyland is now largely considered to be a descendant of Weyland's. Another descendant of the Charles Weyland character is ostensibly Karl Bishop Weyland, one of the main antagonists of the 2010 video game Aliens vs. Predator. The character is again voiced by (and somewhat modelled after) Henriksen. However, like Bishop from Aliens, Karl is later revealed to be a synthetic (one of several).
- Bishop had an action figure made of him in the Kenner line of Alien toys, although the figure appears more cybernetic than his film counterpart, along with the altered photo.
- Aliens/novel (First appearance)
- Aliens: Newt's Tale
- Aliens: Earth Hive (indirect mention)
- Aliens: Nightmare Asylum (indirect mention)
- Aliens: The Female War (mentioned only)
- Alien Trilogy (video game)
- Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual (mentioned only)
- Aliens: Colonial Marines (video game) (mentioned only)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ Alien 3 (Comic) Issue 1
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Vincent Ward (writer) and David Fincher (director). Alien3 [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "Strange Shapes - Interview with Lance Henriksen, 1987". Retrieved on 2013-05-21.
- ↑ Aliens: Colonial Marines [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360]. Gearbox Software.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood (1996). Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual. HarperPrism.