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Gilbert Kane

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"I feel dead."
"Anyone ever tell you you look dead, man?"
Kane and Parker (from Alien)
Gilbert Kane
Biographical information
Date and place of birth

April 20, 2083, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, UK[1]


Executive Officer

Physical description






Hair color


Eye color


Chronological and political information

USCSS Nostromo crew

Notable Facts

Host to the USCSS Nostromo Alien.


Deceased[3] as of June, 2122.[4]

Portrayed by

John Hurt


Gilbert Ward Kane[2] was the executive officer aboard the commercial towing vehicle USCSS Nostromo. He was serving on the ship during its 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.

Kane was the crewmember who was attacked and impregnated by a Facehugger, and as such it was he who brought the Alien aboard the ship. He died when the Chestburster erupted from his chest.


Early lifeEdit

Kane was a star pupil throughout his early education, graduating with honors from Weatherly Private School before becoming top of his class at Gunning Foss Military School.[2] However, during his time studying medicine at Bryce-Watkins Medical University he developed a medication addiction, eventually leading to an embolism that hospitalized him for 107 days. After being expelled from the university and with his plans to enter the medical profession ruined, Kane attended Wellington Academy in Suffolk, England, where he obtained a Masters in engineering and a GBUK pilot's license.[2]

Following this, he was posted as Executive Officer aboard the UKMS Outreach hospital ship, although while there his medical addiction resurfaced. He was relieved of his post, and though he was able to get clean of his addiction, he subsequently descended into alcoholism. He was transferred (despite ostensibly being promoted to Captain) to the UKCS Powell, a commercial towing vehicle, before serving as Executive Officer aboard the USCSS Giler.[2] By the time of his posting to the Nostromo, Kane had been clean of his addictions for some time.

Landing on LV-426Edit

"The pit is completely enclosed, and it's full of leathery objects, like... eggs or something."
Kane, describing the derelict's cargo hold (from Alien)
Lambert, Kane and Dallas in suits

Lambert, Kane and Dallas exploring LV-426.

When the Nostromo landed on LV-426 in response to a mysterious signal detected on the moon, Kane volunteered to be part of the team sent out in search of the signal's origin. Kane, Captain Dallas and navigator Lambert soon tracked the signal to a derelict spacecraft. After discovering the fossilized remains of the ship's pilot, Kane elected to investigate a lower area, accessible through a hole burned in the floor. As the others lowered him down, Kane found himself in a huge, cavernous chamber filled with what looked like eggs.

Facehugger grabbing Kane

Kane being attacked by a Facehugger.

As Kane investigated further he slipped and fell into one of the numerous shallow pits in the cargo hold's floor, disrupting a blue mist suspended above the Eggs as he did so. While inspecting one of the Eggs it opened, and as he peered incautiously inside a Facehugger leapt out and quickly burned its way inside his helmet before subduing him. Dallas and Lambert carried the comatose Kane back to the Nostromo, gaining access despite Ripley's refusal to let an unidentified alien lifeform aboard.

Last mealEdit

"What's the matter, man? The food ain't that bad!"
Parker, as Kane begins choking and convulsing (from Alien)
Kane's death

Kane's death.

Surgery to remove the Facehugger failed, although the creature later detached by itself and subsequently died. Kane awoke from his coma apparently unscathed. Before returning to hypersleep, Kane and the others elected to eat one final meal, and while they ate, Kane began choking, before violently convulsing and collapsing on the table. As the rest of the crew attempted to restrain him, the Chestburster inside him emerged, gruesomely killing Kane and subsequently escaping the mess hall.

After his death, the crew held a short funeral for Kane before they jettisoned his remains into space.

Personality and TraitsEdit

Kane was tense, reserved and a capable second officer, but he lacked the authority to make a captain.[5]


During his time exploring the derelict, Kane armed himself with a laser pistol for self defense, although he did not even have time to fire it when he was attacked by the Facehugger.


  • Kane's addiction to medication shares similarities with Clemens from Alien3, who was also ruined professionally by an addiction to morphine as part of his backstory.
  • One of the vessels Kane was assigned to prior to the Nostromo, the USCSS Giler, is an obvious reference to David Giler, one of the producers on Alien, Aliens, Alien3, Alien Resurrection, Alien vs. Predator and Prometheus. Several other vessels listed in the Nostromo crew's résumés reference other crew members on Alien and Aliens.
  • Kane was the first on-screen kill in the Alien film franchise.
  • Kane is the only member of the Nostromo crew not to be born in the United Americas; while Ripley was born at the colony of Olympia on Luna, it technically falls under the immediate political control of the United Americas.
  • Kane actor John Hurt made a cameo appearance in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs. He performed a spoof of the Chestburster scene in a space diner, stating, "Oh no, not again!"
  • Actor Jon Finch was originally cast as Kane but had to drop out when he suffered a serious bronchial attack during the first scene he filmed.[6] The part was subsequently recast with Hurt.
  • In the novelization of the film, Kane's first name is given as Thomas.[7] The name Thomas is also used in the "ALIEN QUIZ" section in Warren Presents the Officially Authorized Magazine of the Movie Alien Collector's Edition; the other (incorrect) names given in the quiz are Charles (b.) and Solomon (c.).
  • In the Director's Cut of Alien, Kane is briefly seen holding one of the laser pistols the Nostromo crew carry during their exploration of LV-426, the only time one of the weapons is seen clearly in either cut of the film.
  • According to Dan O'Bannon's wife, Diane O'Bannon,[8] a quote heard at the first screening of Alien regarding Kane's burial was "burial at, burial at space".[9]
  • Kane is the only member of the Nostromo crew to neither be heard nor seen in Alien: Isolation and its DLC.



Behind the scenesEdit


  1. Original crew manifest, available as an Easter Egg on Alien Anthology Blu-ray
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Crew dossier seen in Aliens, available as bonus feature on Alien Anthology Blu-ray
  3. Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (writers) and Ridley Scott (director). Alien [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  4. Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. (1996). Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual. HarperPrism, 135. 
  5. Alien: The Official Poster Magazine of the Year's Most Terrifying Movie No.1
  6. "Strange Shapes - The Other Kane". Retrieved on 2014-03-01.
  7. Alan Dean Foster. (1979). Alien novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 174. 

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