Alien TV series: Plot, cast, release date for Noah Hawley's Alien show

The Xenomorphs are coming -- this time, through your telly

Sydney Chandler will lead a new Alien TV series for FX. (Invision/AP/Fox)
Sydney Chandler will lead a new Alien TV series for FX. (Invision/AP/Fox)

Seemingly not content with scaring us in the darkness of a cinema, one of the most chilling science fiction franchises is heading for the small screen in the upcoming Alien TV series.

That’s not to say that the Xenomorph — that gooey horror icon which was first introduced in Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi masterpiece Alien — isn’t still going to be hiding in your local multiplex. A brand new Alien movie is also currently in the works under the directorial eye of 2013's Evil Dead filmmaker Fede Álvarez.

Currently titled Alien: Romulus, it’ll star a host of newcomers led by Mare of East Town actress Cailee Spaeny and will be produced by franchise starter Scott.

Read more: Alien: Romulus: Release date, cast, plot of Fede Álvarez’s Alien movie

That's scheduled for release on 16 August, 2024 but while we wait for it to arrive, news has started to trickle in regarding the upcoming Alien TV series that’s also in the works.

Read on to get up to speed on everything we know about it so far, including its plot, cast, release date and more.

When is the Alien TV series released?

We know that the upcoming Alien TV series is currently in production and when it’s finished, it’ll debut on FX, with a UK-based distributor yet to be confirmed, although FX shows such as The Bear generally air on Disney+ here.

Also unconfirmed is the show’s official air date. However, as its production gets underway (after the SAG/WGA-AFTRA strike ends), we should hopefully get a clearer idea of when to expect this new franchise addition.

What is the plot of the Alien TV series?

Ridley Scott directed the original Alien in 1979. (20th Century Fox/Brandywine Productions/Alamy)
Ridley Scott directed the original Alien in 1979. (20th Century Fox/Brandywine Productions/Alamy)

Led by Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley, the new Alien TV series will reportedly take place before the events of Sigourney Weaver’s encounters with Xenomorphs in the primary Alien franchise which began with Scott’s Alien in '79 and lasted until Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Alien: Ressurection in 1997.

We also know that the show will stay local, becoming the first Alien story to take place right here on Earth — albeit 70 years into the future.

Speaking to Esquire, Hawley spilled a few more details about what he has in store with his new Alien series by saying: “It’s set on Earth of the future. At this moment, I describe that as Edison versus Westinghouse versus Tesla.

"Someone’s going to monopolise electricity. We just don’t know which one it is.

"In the movies, we have this Weyland-Yutani Corporation, which is clearly also developing artificial intelligence,” he added, referencing the company that frequently represents the big human baddie in most Alien movies. “But what if there are other companies trying to look at immortality in a different way?

Noah Hawley arrives at the premiere of
Noah Hawley in 2018. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

“With cyborg enhancements or transhuman downloads? Which of those technologies is going to win? It’s ultimately a classic science fiction question: does humanity deserve to survive?”

FX chairman John Landgraf echoed these statements whilst also hitting home that the series won’t cross paths with Lt. Ripley. “Alien takes place before Ripley. It’s the first story that takes place in the Alien franchise on Earth,” he told Deadline.

Lance Henriksen (left) played Charles Bishop Weyland in 2004's Alien vs Predator. (Alamy)

“So, it takes place on our planet. Right near the end of this century, we’re in — so 70-odd years from now. Ripley won’t be a part of it or any of the other characters of Alien other than the alien itself.”

While remaining tight-lipped on any other juicy details, Landgraf did promise “big surprises” for long-time fans of the Alien franchise.

Who is starring in the Alien TV series?

Back in May 2023, it was revealed that Sydney Chandler, star of Danny Boyle’s FX show Pistol, will lead the Alien TV series in an as-yet-unconfirmed role. Chandler has also appeared in Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling and will feature in AppleTV+’s upcoming Sugar series starring Colin Farrell.

For a long while, Chandler was the only cast member confirmed to star in the show until Alex Lawther and Samuel Blenkin were announced in late July 2023.

Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde in Pistol. (Miya Mizuno/FX)
Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde in Pistol. (Miya Mizuno/FX)

Both have appeared in episodes of Black Mirror, with Lawther also making waves via his appearance in The End of the F***ing World and Blenkin appearing in the most recent slew of episodes of Charlie Brooker’s dystopian anthology series.

Read more: Alien 3: Ralph Brown shares chaotic experience on David Fincher’s troubled sequel

Unlike Chandler, both of these characters have names, with Lawther set to play a young soldier named CJ and Blenkin starring as a CEO named Boy Kavalier. How exactly each of them will fit into the wider story of the show remains to be seen.

The duo were joined by a handful of other cast member confirmations, including The Babadook star Essie Davis as a character named Dame Silvia and The White Tiger actor Adarsh Gourav appearing as Slightly. British actor and Shadow and Bone star Kit Young will also star as a character named Tootles.

Alex Lawther and Samuel Blenkin will also star in FX's Alien TV series. (Getty Images/WireImage)
Alex Lawther and Samuel Blenkin will also star in FX's Alien TV series. (Getty Images/WireImage)

In late November, Timothy Olyphant was added to the show's cast, reuniting him with his Fargo director Hawley.

Details about what kind of character he's playing have not yet been confirmed but according to Deadline, it could be a synthetic humanoid who is a mentor for Chandler's character who they believe to be a meta-human hybrid with the brain and mind of a child but the body of an adult.

At the time of writing, these details remain unconfirmed.

The series is currently in production in Thailand, despite the ongoing SAG/WGA-AFTRA strike currently impacting shoots worldwide. To get around this, the show is reportedly capturing sequences that do not involve SAG actors.

During a red carpet event for Fargo, showrunner Hawley provided an update on the show's progress, confirming that it should be heading back into production in early 2024 now that the Hollywood strikes have concluded.

“We’re getting back into production as quickly as possible,” he told Deadline, referencing a potential January or February start date.

“We’re shooting in Bangkok, a half a world away; shooting again in the New Year,” said Hawley before confirming that he already has some stuff in the can. “I got some footage. Some of the first hour was shot before we had to shutdown. It’s stuff to play with and edit.

"I'm excited to get back in there."

Is there a trailer for the Alien TV series?

Unfortunately not. With the show only recently entering production, it might be a while before we see any footage from FX’s Alien TV series.

The Alien TV series is coming soon to FX.