Joan Lambert
J.M. Lambert
Joan Lambert
Aliases: J.M. Lambert
Joan M. Lambert [1]
Continuity: Aliens film series
Notability: Main character
Gender: Female
Location: USCSS Nostromo
Ontario, Canada [1]
Born: November 7th, 2093 [1]
Died: 2122
1st appearance: Alien
Actor: Veronica Cartwright

Joan Lambert is a fictional ship's navigator and a key character in the Aliens film series. Played by actress Veronica Cartwright, she appeared in the original 1979 sci-fi/horror film, Alien.

Biography Edit

Joan M. Lambert as a flight navigator employed by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation and assigned to the commercial towing vessel the USCSS Nostromo under the command of Captain Dallas.

In the year 2122, the Nostromo was on a return course to Earth from the Solomons near the Outer rim. As it passed through the Zeta II Reticuli system, the ship's mainframe computer (dubbed "Mother") intercepted a distress beacon originating from a planetoid which would later be identified as Acheron. Per its programming, Mother prematurely awakened the crew from hypersleep so that they could determine the nature of the beacon.

Initially, the crew was unaware that they had awakened early and thought that they were close to Earth. It was Lambert who first determined their location and their relationship to the planetoid. Following company protocols, Captain Dallas rerouted the Nostromo to Acheron to investigate the beacon. Lambert piloted the drop ship that brought the crew to the planet's surface. Along with first mate Kane and Captain Dallas, Lambert donned an environmental suit and explored the surface of the planet. They discovered an ancient derelict space craft containing the remains of a fifteen-foot tall alien pilot. Commander Kane found a cargo bay containing thousands of egg pods, each one housing a dangerous organism that hatched from the egg and attacked Kane. Dallas and Lambert found Kane unconscious with the organism attached to his face.

They brought him back to the drop ship, but Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley refused to let them on board citing quarantine procedures that restricted them from bringing unidentified alien organisms onto the ship. Science officer Ash countermanded Ripley's orders and let them on board. Lambert was particularly distraught with Ripley's actions and expressed her anger by violently slapping her across the face.

Kane was taken to the infirmary, but the organism implanted an embryo inside of him, which quickly began to grow into a newborn species of alien commonly known as a xenomorph. Kane awakened and appeared to be in strong health, suffering only minor symptoms from interfacing with the "facehugger". During dinner however, Kane began to feel the full effects of the alien symbiosis and the newborn violently burst out of his chest, killing Kane and spraying Lambert with copious amounts of blood. The alien scampered off and hid inside the cooling ducts of the ship.

Before long, the "chestburster" matured into a seven-foot xenomorph and began systematically picking off the members of the crew. It attacked engineer S.E. Brett in the maintenance bay and captured Captain Dallas in one of the air shafts. Lambert took the loss of Dallas particularly hard and her behavior grew more and more erratic. Ripley, being next in line to assume command, tried to keep Lambert calm, but she grew only more hysterical with each passing moment.

Lambert eventually learned that the Weyland-Yutani Corporation assigned an android aboard the Nostromo in the guise of their science officer Ash. Ash was under orders to find and retrieve the organism for the company's bio-weapons division; at the expense of the crew if necessary. Lambert and chief engineer J.T. Parker discovered Ash's treachery as he tried to kill Ripley by suffocating her with a rolled up magazine. Lambert and Parker pulled Ash, saving Ripley's life and Parker incapacitated the android with several blows to the head from a steel pipe.

With only three people left alive, they all decided to blow up the Nostromo and take their chances in the ship's lifeboat the Narcissus. Ripley had Parker and Lambert collect coolant canisters while Ripley prepped the shuttle. The xenomorph attacked them in the maintenance bay. It stalked after Lambert who was frozen in terror. Parker attempted to save her, but the creature swatted him back before spearing him with its secondary mandible. Lambert crawled away and hid inside a locker where she subsequently died of fright. [2]

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • In Alien, the character is referred to only as Lambert. Her first initials are revealed on a computer screen in the first act from Aliens.
  • Ridley Scott has implied that Lambert may have shared a romantic relationship with Captain Dallas, which partially explains Lambert's hysterical behavior following Dallas' apparent demise midway through the film. It has also been suggested that she may have been involved in a homosexual relationship with Ellen Ripley though there is nothing in the film to lend credence to this idea. [3]
  • The death of Lambert takes place off-screen and it is never determined exactly how she dies. According to Ridley Scott and actress Veronica Cartwright, Lambert crawls away from the alien and hides inside a locker where she dies of fright. [5]
  • According to a quote from Veronica Cartwright in a film magazine, in the scene where the alien's tail wraps around her legs, they are actually Harry Dean Stanton's legs, in a shot originally filmed for another scene entirely. [6]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Alien Anthology; Blu-ray collection. 2010, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  2. Veronica Cartwright; Alien (Special Edition); Audio Commentary; 2003
  3. Ridley Scott; Alien (Special Edition); Audio Commentary; 2003
  4. Veronica Cartwright; Alien (Special Edition); Audio Commentary; 2003
  5. Veronica Cartwright; Alien (Special Edition); Audio Commentary; 2003
  6. IMDB; Alien (1979); Trivia section

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