Lieutenant William Gorman was a member of the United States Colonial Marine Corps. He was commanding officer of the combat unit deployed to LV-426 aboard the USS Sulaco 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.
Gorman did not command a great deal of respect from his Marines owing to his inexperience in the field, and was incapacitated throughout much of the incident at the colony, leading Corporal Hicks to take command. Gorman was among the last to perish in the incident, committing suicide with Private Vasquez rather than be captured by the Xenomorphs for impregnation.
Gorman was a Colonial Marine officer fresh out of the academy (the incident on LV-426 was to be only his second combat operation). In 2179 he was dispatched to Gateway Station, assigned to Weyland-Yutani representative Carter Burke who, unbeknownst to Gorman, had specifically arranged for the inexperienced Lieutenant to be attached to him for the investigation into the loss of contact with Hadley's Hope. Once on Gateway, Gorman's first duty was to assist Burke in the recruitment of Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of the USCSS Nostromo's encounter with a Xenomorph lifeform on LV-426 75 years previously.
Initially Ripley, still traumatized by her previous experience, refused to take part in the mission despite Burke's promise that she would be reinstated as a flight officer and Gorman's assurance that she would not be involved with risky combat operations on the ground. However, she later relented, preferring instead to face her fears and accompany Gorman's Marines.
Mission to LV-426Edit
After enlisting Ripely, Gorman and the men posted under his command set out for the colony on board the USS Sulaco. At breakfast, Gorman failed to integrate himself with the men, immediately earning their scorn and disrespect; as Corporal Hicks put it, "Looks like the new Lieutenant's too good to sit with the rest of us grunts." This lack of respect became obvious during Gorman's briefing on the mission at hand, when many of the unit responded to his statements with sarcasm and mockery. Gorman's response was to impose upon them unrealistically harsh deadlines for their preparations.
During the drop, Gorman was clearly uneasy, and his lack of experience came out when questioned by Ripley and his men, creating further tension. After landing at the colony, the Lieutenant oversaw the securing of the main administrative building from the section's APC before heading inside. Gorman and Second Squad soon came across several Facehugger specimens stored in the colony's medical facility, as well as a single surviving inhabitant, Newt, a young girl who had been hiding in the building's ventilation ducts. After unsuccessfully trying to ascertain what had happened at the colony from Newt, Gorman led the Marines to the nearby Atmosphere Processor, where the rest of the colonists had been traced through their PDTs.
Ambush and incapacitationEdit
Gorman's inexperience showed once again when he allowed his men to enter the Atmosphere Processor, which was essentially a large nuclear reactor, armed with armor-piercing ammunition that could potentially cause damage capable of creating a massive nuclear explosion; when this was pointed out to him by Ripley and Burke, Gorman had the Marines' ammunition confiscated rather than pull the team out, severely compromising their firepower.
The mission quickly fell apart when the section discovered a large Hive within the Atmosphere Processor and was ambushed by a swarm of Xenomorph Warriors. Gorman panicked and froze as he watched his team getting slaughtered on the monitors in the APC, forcing Ripely to take over, recklessly driving the APC to the scene of the ambush to try and effect a rescue. Gorman attempted to physically stop her, but was subdued by Burke. as most of his Marines are wiped out in seconds. Realizing that Gorman had no idea what he was doing, Ripley took control of the APC to effect a rescue. While the vehicle was careening through the Processor's service tunnels, a piece of stowed equipment comes loose inside the cabin and knocked Gorman out with a concussion. Such was Gorman's failure of command that Hicks later had to restrain Private Vasquez from assaulting Gorman's comatose body.
Assault on operationsEdit
Gorman was unconscious for several hours, and by the time he eventually came round he seemed to accept that he was no longer in charge of the mission, deferring instead to Hicks' command. When Burke attempted to have Ripley and Newt impregnated by the two live Facehuggers stored in the med lab, Gorman assisted in their rescue and later guarded Burke at gunpoint. When the operations center was assaulted and overrun by Xenomorphs, Gorman was forced to release Burke in favor of defending himself, but during the subsequent disorganized retreat he finally accepted the responsibility of command, ordering Hicks to escape while he went back alone to rescue a wounded Vasquez.
Despite saving Vasquez from several Warriors, the two soon became surrounded, and with their ammunition exhausted Gorman pulled the only weapon he had left — a grenade. Not wanting to be taken back to the Hive and impregnated, Gorman and Vasquez detonated the device together, killing themselves and taking several Xenomorphs with them.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Gorman's inexperience and complete lack of interest in getting to know his men — at times he even had trouble remembering their names — were critical aspects in his failure to command effectively. However, these qualities were apparently exactly what Weyland-Yutani had sought when they arranged for him to take command of the mission, no doubt hoping he would inadvertently assist them in acquiring a live Xenomorph specimen when he caused the mission to fail. Gorman's failure reached its peak when he froze during the ambush inside the Atmosphere Processor, rendering him totally incapable of issuing orders that might have helped his men escape the situation. While Sergeant Apone initially filled this void, his capture by the Xenomorphs left the Marines leaderless and in disarray.
Despite these flaws, Gorman later seemed to accept his situation upon regaining consciousness inside the colony. He realized he was in no position to assert his authority and effectively relieved himself of command, becoming just another "grunt". Subsequently, he partly redeemed himself for his failures when he returned for the wounded Vasquez in the air ducts, even though it was obvious such an act would likely result in his own death. Perhaps the greatest sign of Gorman's reversal of character was when Vasquez, who had initially blamed him for the disastrous ambush inside the Hive, accepted him as a comrade before they died, joking with him as he provided the grenade that would kill her that she'd always thought he was an asshole.
As an officer, Gorman was armed only with a VP-70 Automatic Pistol as his sidearm for protection. However, he also equipped himself with several M40 High Explosive Fragmentation grenades during events on LV-426, one of which he ultimately used to commit suicide alongside Vasquez.
- Gorman actor William Hope voiced the antagonistic Dr. Groves in the 2010 video game Aliens vs. Predator. He also provided voice acting for the Predator characters in the game, something he had previously done in Aliens versus Predator and Aliens versus Predator 2.
- Gorman's VP-70 appears in the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines as a "legendary weapon".
- In the novelization of Aliens, Gorman is not knocked out by poorly stowed crates on the APC, but is instead "stung" by a Xenomorph's tail, paralysing him with some sort of neural toxin. This was also in the original shooting script for the film, but was changed to the current version of events during filming.
- Aliens/novel (First appearance)
- Aliens: Newt's Tale
- Aliens: Nightmare Asylum (indirect mention)
- Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual (mentioned only)
- ↑ Aliens: Newt's Tale
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ Aliens (novel)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Lee Brimmicombe-Wood (1996). Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual. HarperPrism, 147.
- ↑ Aliens (novel)
- ↑ James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd, Gordon Carroll, David Giler, Walter Hill, Stan Winston. Superior Firepower: The Making of 'Aliens' [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.