Yeah, the Professor’s right on the money on that last one: if the atmosphere on Uranus would force our heroes to keep their spacesuits on, it would cause all kinds on needless cinematographical complications. It’s just far, far, far more convenient to make Alien planets have the same atmosphere as Earth, as illogical as that is.
And typically, B-movies aren’t too specific about the precise composition of the atmosphere, either…usually, it’s just “it’s like on Earth”, “it’s similar to Earth” or “the air is breathable”. Despite the subtle differences, all three statements mean the same thing: the atmosphere on the Alien world is exactly like Earth, and you will in fact never hear another word wasted on the issue for the rest of the movie. In view of this, I’ve equipped the Thunderstreak 3000 with a sensor that works just as mysteriously as any other on a fictional spacecraft, but displays its results in an easily consumable planetary analogy format. Obviously, the database of planets to compare to only has a single entry, since it’s always Earth, anyway.
The scene where the crew take off their helmets was originally supposed to feature Mopey whipping her hair around sexily, but the actor playing the Professor just gets paid a lot better – so they shifted the scene to him in order to maximize their value for money.
More on Monday