- "Not bad for a human"
- —Bishop complementing Ripley for her bravery[src]
Bishop was a Synthetic crew member assisting the Colonial Marine Corps, serving as an Executive Officer and took part in the USS Sulaco's mission to LV-426's colony to investigate the loss of contact.
Bishop was assembled on LX-469 and is the latest Hyperdine model designed to study extraterrestrial life. He's a reserve pilot and Med Lab Scientist.
Mission to LV-426
After waking from hypersleep, Private Hudson asked Bishop to do his "knife trick". Bishop refused at first, but then Hudson himself was volunteered to participate by Drake, who held his hand in place while Bishop performed the trick at lightning speed. Bishop accidentally cut himself during the knife trick, inadvertently revealing to Ellen Ripley that he was an android. Ripley, due to her previous unhappy encounter with a synthetic, Ash, who was stationed on her previous assignment, reacted negatively to Bishop and warned him to stay away from her.
After landing in the facility, Bishop started going through the logs left by the missing colonists and examined the specimens left in the facility. During this time, Bishop was ordered by Weyland-Yutani representative Carter Burke to preserve the specimens to be shipped back when the mission was completed. He continued his work as a medic and tending to other support functions while the squad set out to the atmospheric processor, listening in on the Marine's frequencies during the mission.
Rescuing the Survivors
The mission soon went awry; most of the marines were killed and their dropship destroyed. Bishop volunteered to crawl through a pipe down to the colony's transmitter, in order to remote-pilot the Sulaco's other dropship down to the planet, although he remarked "I'd prefer not to. I may be synthetic but I'm not stupid." Bishop successfully retrieved the and rescued Ripley, Newt, and the injured Corporal Hicks by piloting it out of the exploding atmosphere processing station. However, upon landing on the Sulaco, Bishop was ripped in half by the Alien queen that had attached itself to the dropship. When Ripley opened the airlock to expel the Alien queen into space, Bishop saved himself and Newt from following her out the airlock. Bishop had finally earned Ripley's trust and was placed into hypersleep along with Ripley, Newt and Hicks.
Bishop was further damaged when the Sulaco ejected the survivors from the ship in an EEV during an "electrical fire" on board. The EEV crash-landed on the prison world Fiorina "Fury" 161. Turk (who was mistaken for Hicks) and Newt were killed in the crash and Bishop was deemed to be damaged beyond repair, so what remained of him was sent to the scrapyard. Ripley later recovered Bishop's remains and reactivated him, and he confirmed that there was a Facehugger aboard the Sulaco. After giving Ripley the information she wanted, Bishop asked to be disconnected, stating that while he could be reworked, he would never be top of the line again and would therefore prefer to be nothing; Ripley obliged. His remains were retrieved by the Weyland-Yutani rescue team headed by his creator, Michael Bishop.
Personality & Traits
Bishop was programmed to mimic humanistic reactions to situations, but due to his advanced nature, he also created his own reactions to situations. Following his programming on not allowing harm to come to humans from his actions or inactions; Bishop worked to fulfill his programming to get the survivors of the mission away from the dangerous Aliens.
Appearance in other media
Bishop appeared in the 1996 video game, Alien Trilogy, as a supporting character during the cutscenes. Loosely adapting the events of Aliens, the game's intro depicts Bishop along with Ripley aboard the APC, witnessing the Colonial Marines being overwhelmed by the incoming Aliens. In the game's ending, Bishop is shown piloting a dropship to pick up Ripley after she had successfully defeated the last of the Alien Queens and escape from LV-426 before it explodes. With their mission a success, Bishop puts Ripley back into hypersleep.
William Gibson's Alien 3
Behind the Scenes
Bishop first appeared as first appeared in the 1987 film Aliens. He is portrayed by American actor Lance Henriksen, who is among one of director James Cameron's frequent collaborators, having previously appeared The Terminator as Detective Hal Vukovich and Cameron's first feature film, Piranha II: The Spawning as officer Steve Kimbrough. Henriksen also reprised his role as Bishop for the 2019 Alien III audio drama.
- Like all the synthetics that appeared in the films, Bishop follows an alphabetical name pattern with regard to the film release dates: Ash, Bishop, Call, David.
- Bishop had an action figure made of him in the Kenner line of Alien toys, although the figure appears more cybernetic than his film counterpart.
- The "knife trick" scene where Bishop cuts himself was not in the original script. In the 1985 First Draft script, Ripley discovers Bishop to be an android simply by an "alpha-numeric code" tattoo on the back of his left hand.