Ramblings about entertainment, lifestyle and travel
A couple of weeks ago, Sci-Fi Drama Queen and I were lucky enough to be part of a small group of people invited to the first-listen premiere of Audible’s Alien: River Of Pain. To mark the launch of the new audio drama at the Peter Harrison Planetarium of the Royal Observatory Greenwich, we got to immerse ourselves in the pitch-black dome of the Planetarium, and got transported to the dark and dangerous environs of planetoid LV-426 (now renamed Acheron) through richly detailed sound-design and striking sonic effects.
Hosted under a canopy of moons, planets and stars in the constellation Cancer, the River Of Pain premiere offered a truly extraordinary listening experience. In addition to getting the first listen, we were also treated to an out of this world encounter, as the audiobook was converted to digital signal and beamed up to space. This marked a first of its kind, dedicated space transmission for the Planetarium at the Royal Observatory and a unique opportunity for our alien neighbours to listen to their kind, as imagined by Homo sapiens in Alien: River Of Pain. Pretty cool, eh?
Royal Observatory Greenwich Astronomer Tom Kerss said: “With a very powerful and highly directed transmission there is a possibility that our signals could one day be intercepted by intelligent alien lifeforms, listening out for radio signals from space. Simply put, aliens could tune in to Aliens in the future.”
Travelling at the speed of light, the Alien: River Of Pain signal will reach the star 55 Cancri (in the constellation Cancer) and its five known exoplanets* in 40 years, where it could be intercepted by intelligent species listening out for radio signals from space (in just the same way the SETI project** does here on Earth). The 55 Cancri exoplanet system is about the same distance from our planet as the fictional Acheron in Alien: River of Pain and its parent star Zeta2 Reticuli.
Alien: River Of Pain is an audio-exclusive drama taking place between the cult films Alien and Aliens and with Audible’s release closely followed by the theatrical release of Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, it really has been a cosmic couple of weeks.
The drama brings together a powerhouse of sci-fi and fantasy talent, with lead performances from Anna Friel (Golden Globe nominated, Limitless, Pushing Daisies), Alexander Siddig (Game Of Thrones, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Bill Hope (Aliens), Colin Salmon (Alien VS Predator, Resident Evil, Arrow), Philip Glenister (Outcast, Life On Mars), Marc Warren (Hustle, Green Street Hooligans) and Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman, Dr Who, EastEnders) and directed by the multi-award winning Dirk Maggs, best-known for his adaptations of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere for the BBC.
Alien: River Of Pain is available to order now at http://www.audible.co.uk/riverofpain (one credit for Audible members, £19.79 for non-members or free with Audible’s 30-day trial).