Audible Releases ALIEN: RIVER OF PAIN

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Pollard

Here at Moonbase Alpha, we love a good audio adventure. We’re also eagerly anticipating Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant later this year. So, that means we’re all kinds of excited to hear that Audible has released an audio adaptation of Alien: River of Pain as of today.

Based on Christopher Golden’s 2014 novel, the action is set between Alien and Aliens, and serves as an origin story for Newt. From Dirk Maggs, the award-winning director of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Neverwhere, the impressive cast for Alien: River of Pain is made up of impressive cast are Anna Friel, Alexander Siddig, Bill Hope, Colin Salmon, Philip Glenister, Marc Warren, and Michelle Ryan.

For the full details, find the official press release below:

Ahead of the May theatrical release of Alien: Covenant (directed by Ridley Scott, starring Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston), Audible today debuts Alien: River Of Pain an audio-exclusive adaptation of Christopher Golden’s 2014 novel for 20th Century Fox by the same name. Taking place between Alien and Aliens, the drama tells the story of the destruction of Hadley’s Hope, a research and mining colony established on LV-426 in 2157. Central to the narrative is the birth and backstory of Newt, one of the lead characters in the 1986 film Aliens (starring Sigourney Weaver and Carrie Henn).

Directed by the multi-award winning Dirk Maggs, best-known for his adaptations of Douglas Adams’ Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere for the BBC, this audio-exclusive drama brings together a powerhouse of sci-fi and fantasy talent. Lead performers include Anna Friel (Golden Globe nominated, Limitless, Pushing Daisies), Alexander Siddig (Game Of Thrones, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), William 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).

With rich and detailed sound-design, this new production immerses listeners in a dark and dangerous world that’s as thrilling as it is desolate.

Alien: River Of Pain is the second collaboration between Audible and 20th Century Fox Consumer Products on the Alien franchise. In April 2016, Audible debuted Alien: Out Of The Shadows starring Rutger Hauer, Matthew Lewis and Corey Johnson, directed by Dirk Maggs. Based on Tim Lebbon’s 2014 novel of the same name. Alien: Out Of The Shadows has been nominated for Best Audio Drama of 2017 at this year’s Audies.

Anna Friel, who plays Anne Jorden, said: “I’ve been a huge fan of the Alien films ever since I first watched Sigourney Weaver battle her way to safety in Alien.  I think she must have been one of the first strong female leads that proved to writers that women could hold a film on their own. It was that, that helped pave the way for other Ripley-like roles, i.e. strong, forceful, relentless and heroic women.  It’s an incredible saga to be a part of, and I think this audio production will give new and old fans alike a gripping backstory to dig their teeth into.”

Tracey Markham, UK Country Manager at Audible, said: “Audio offers enormous potential for creators, performers and listeners alike to explore the expanded universe of their favourite sagas. We’re always looking for ways to support original audio storytelling and have relished the opportunity to work with 20th Century Fox on a second narrative set in the Alien world. Our director, producers and actors have created a rich and atmospheric world which completely immerses the listener in the dark and dangerous environs of Hadley’s Hope.”

Alien: River Of Pain is available to pre-order now at (one credit for Audible members, £19.79 for non-members or free with Audible’s 30-day trial).


Alien: River Of Pain is set on the planetoid LV-426 – now renamed Acheron – where some fifty years before the ill-fated crew of the Nostromo discover the derelict ship which contains the Alien eggs. Now a group of hopeful colonists try to build a new, and more prosperous life for themselves, in the settlement Hadley’s Hope.

Anne Jorden gives birth to the colony's first newborn, Rebecca Jorden, known to her family as ‘Newt’. The colony grows and expands over the next few years, and there are political and personal struggles as its detachment of Colonial Marines under Captain Demian Brackett are assumed by the Weyland-Yutani scientists posted on Acheron. Willing to overlook their orders in order to serve the Company’s interests, these scientists look to covertly capture a living Alien.

When Newt is old enough, Anne and her husband Russ take Newt and her older brother Tim prospecting. They discover a vast, derelict spaceship – an enormous horseshoe-shaped vessel – that looks like a promising find, but as they explore deeper they stumble across what remains of the ship’s original crew and their sinister cargo of eggs. Russ is attacked by one of the ‘facehuggers’ that similarly latched onto Executive Officer Kane from the Nostromo. When he is taken back to Hadley’s Hope, the worst happens. The ensuing story chronicles how the infestation of Xenomorphs overruns the colony. It’s a desperate tale of survival featuring characters we have grown to know and (sometimes) love.

Character Biographies

Anna Friel as Anne Jorden

Anne Jorden, married to Russ Jorden, is a laid back but tough woman. Russ and Anne are wildcat prospectors who have taken their family out to terraform a brand new world. They’re hardy colonists, seeking a fortune. Anne’s relationship with her husband is strong, but his jealousy of Captain Demain Brackett endangers it. Anne fights to the very last to save her kids.

Alexander Siddigg as Doctor Reese

Doctor Reese is detached, cultured and ruthless. He is completely single minded about his job - to collect an alien specimen.

William Hope as Lieutenant Gorman

Despite being out of boot camp for a mere 5 months, Gorman has been promoted to lieutenant thanks to his political ties at the company. Gorman has only done simulations and seen no actual combat action. This is generally known throughout the platoon, as such, Gorman is not well respected by his fellow marines.

Colin Salmon as Captain Demain Brackett

Captain Brackett is a professional Space Marine, serious about his job but sensitive and with a sense of humour. Brackett once had a relationship with Anne Jorden and having been posted to the colony where she is raising her family, is very careful not to let their history derail her marriage. Brackett falls foul of a group of marines in his new command under Sgt. Draper who think he's weak. He isn't, but has to prove it to them.

Philip Glenister as Sergeant Draper

Draper is no-nonsense, a ruthless tyrant. He walks over others to get what he wants, and he respects no one.

Marc Warren as Russ Jorden

Russ Jorden is a wildcat prospector who has taken his family out to terraform a brand new world. Russ’s daughter, Newt, is an iconic and pivotal character in the Alien universe. In the film Aliens, we don’t see much of Russ and Anne Jorden, except that we know they were sent out by the company man on a mission that ended up wiping out them – and the entire colony. The film mainly picks up when the marines enter the colony on a rescue mission (or bug hunt) and they find Newt, hiding. That’s exactly where our drama ends. This drama tells the story of what happens in the colony, and of Russ - it gives us insight into the sort of man who’d take his family out to such a wasteland, and the lengths he’ll go to, to seek his fortune.

Michelle Ryan as Lieutenant Julisa Paris

Julisa is Brackett's second-in-command, and she can certainly hold her own with the Squad on Acheron. They respect her and she definitely gives as good as she gets. When the colony is overrun by Aliens, Paris proves that she is more than able as a commander in her own right, having to think quickly to outsmart the ultimate opponent.


Find your local STARBURST stockist HERE, or buy direct from us HERE. For our digital edition (available to read on your iOS, Android, Amazon, Windows 8, Samsung and/or Huawei device - all for just £1.99), visit MAGZTER DIGITAL NEWSSTAND.



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