Take the 2-minute tour ×
Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

While I was watching Prometheus this weekend, I initially thought that Meredith Vickers was an android, like David. They never made it perfectly clear that she was or wasn't human. They did hint at both though.

  1. Peter Weyland, the old trillionaire, did say that she was his daughter. He could have meant this figuratively though.

  2. Janek, the captain of the Prometheus, asked Vickers for sex like he was asking an android for a glass of water. After she agreed without emotion, he sang "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with" before he had sex with her (although they didn't show it). This suggested to me that he wasn't going to be with a human, but was going to love the android he was with.

  3. The surgery pod wasn't designed for use by a woman. Why would a trillionaire who could afford to build a surgery pod not build one for use by his own daughter?

  4. Vickers has a different last name than Weyland, which at least suggest that they are not natural father-daughter.

share|improve this question
    
I also don't think Weyland ever married. –  Mathew Foscarini Jun 11 '12 at 21:17
10  
I hate to break it to you guys, but humans can make babies without getting married. :P –  user209 Jun 11 '12 at 21:34
2  
Is it not possible that the only surgery pod on the ship was set to male simply because old-man Wayland wanted the use of it, if he became ill before they reached LV-223? Seeing as it's his company that paid for the expedition, and that he had a secret agenda? –  Jamie Taylor Jun 12 '12 at 7:50
2  
Also, "Love the one you're with" was a song by Stephen Stills - the person who had owned the accordion Janek was playing. It's entirely possible that he had the lyrics in mind, because he was playing the accordion that had once belonged to the singer of the song. –  Jamie Taylor Jun 12 '12 at 7:52
2  
as for why Wayland would had surgery pod not built for his daughter, the movie hints that he doesn't care for Vickers because really had wanted a son, as he says something like "unfortunately David is the closest thing I have to a son". This also explains Vickers' apparent hatred of Wayland. –  Shiz Z. Jun 15 '12 at 19:32

8 Answers 8

up vote 4 down vote accepted

In my mind, it's likely that Vickers is an android.

  • The first clue while watching the film was her quick recovery from cryosleep.
  • Later she's called Weyland's daughter, but David was given the name Weyland "had initially reserved for his own human son".
  • Vickers has the physical strength to easily push David around. In Alien, androids are depicted as being much stronger than humans, so this suggests Vickers is as strong as David, an android.
  • David and Vickers were the only ones who knew that Weyland was on board, so Weyland trusted them both completely. We know why he trusted David, it doesn't seem outlandish that he trusted Vickers for the exact same reason.
  • The med pod is in Vickers quarters but would be unable to properly perform surgery on her, given that it's set to male. If she were a human, it's possible that Weyland didn't care enough for Vickers to provide her with the medical capabilities that the med pod provided.

My own theory is that Vickers is a later model of android than David. David's (a male, mind you) a logical breakthrough who can imitate human emotions. Then for a later model, a female android is created who has actual emotions. This provides a sort of symbolical balance in Weyland's ultimate creation, artificial men and women. This also makes a nice biblical reference.

share|improve this answer
5  
Spoiler? ... .. . Wouldn't all of this be negated by the desire to not lose out on the "Life Pod" at the end? Androids don't need a 2 year supply of air. –  WernerCD Jun 12 '12 at 2:50
    
@WernerCD She seems to like the comforts of the Life Pod, so even if she didn't need the air (the 2 years of air would likely have been intended for Weyland, if she's an android) she would have wanted to spend time waiting for rescue in it. –  user209 Jun 14 '12 at 13:17
2  
@Keen the IMDB link giving by Vijin shows evidence "Against Android": Cryo-Pod sickness at the start, her distress about his search for eternal life, her panic about getting to the life pod (much less her desire for "two years of air"). Age (men can sire when old), Last Name (Women can keep their last name when married, or have children unmarried), etc... most of the excuses for her to be an android are easily dismiss-able. –  WernerCD Jun 14 '12 at 17:00
3  
@Keen Her being cryo-sick, much less in a cryo-pod, as well as panic'd at multiple spots (notanandroid pointed out the flame-throwing incident, as well as the life pod incident)... Those are a lot harder to dismiss than being too young for her father and "cold and emotionless" - which are natural traits for some people. –  WernerCD Jun 14 '12 at 17:45
2  
@WernerCD I'm not going to bother debating this with you here. If you think she's a human, go post an answer detailing why you think so. –  user209 Jun 14 '12 at 17:48

It's never revealed if Vickers is indeed a android.

Therefore, it's up to the viewer to decide.I'm also guess she would be a android.

  • Age Issue:

    Weyland seems he aged like 100+ and too old to be her father, with Vickers being too young to be his daughter. She may call Weyland father in the same way David refers to Weyland as "father", in the sense that she was made by and serves Weyland.

  • Relationship of David and Vickers':

    David calls Meredith his "mother." If both were androids created by Weyland and Meredith was David's predecessor.

  • Vickers last name Issue:

    Meredith's last name is Vickers, So there is no possibility that she's Weyland's daughter.

  • Meredith's death is not shown:

    If she were attacked by an alien, her blood (or lack of it) would be definitive evidence as to whether or not she was an android. Instead, her death seems intentionally ambiguous.

  • Surgery pod:

    The surgery pod configured only for men, so it's suggesting that she doesn't need medical assistance.

According to IMDB,

Evidence for the android theory;

  1. She calls Weyland "Father," but in a sardonic tone. Weyland seems too old to be her father, with Vickers being too young to be his daughter. She may call Weyland father in the same way David refers to Weyland as "father", in the sense that she was made by and serves Weyland.
  2. Vickers also appears to throw David against the wall with ease, which would seem strange if Vickers is indeed human. We see in Alien how hard it is to physically move an android; when Ash attempts to kill Ripley it takes two people to stop and restrain him.
  3. The surgery-module in her escape pod only performs operations on males, as shown when Shaw attempts to perform a cesarean section; odd considering the point of such a device would be to heal injuries inflicted on Vickers or the entire crew (or possibly just for Weyland), suggesting that she doesn't need medical assistance.
  4. While Vickers sleeps in a cryo-chamber for the trip and David doesn't; we are shown Ash in Alien to sleep in a cryo chamber as well; Ash was masquerading as human and so Vickers may have been doing the same, especially if she is there to carry out the will of Weyland discreetly. Sleeping in a cryogenic chamber would be good cover and would remove any suspicion. 5.She shows little or no emotion at the death of Weyland, although he is supposedly her father.
share|improve this answer
3  
Except that David doesn't call Meredith his mother, he uses the old English phrase "mum" which can be used is place of "mam" (which in turn is similar to the word "ma'am"). This single word could have the double meaning you refer to (as in, David could mean "mother" or "ma'am"), but I like to think that he's referring to Meredith as his superior, simply because she is. –  Jamie Taylor Jun 12 '12 at 7:44
3  
"Meredith's last name is Vickers, So there is no possibility that she's Weyland's daughter." So you've never met someone whose parents were never married? It's entirely possible that Meredith's mother (if she is human) was a fling that Weyland had, and that the mother kept Meredith from him until she died or Meredith was old enough to make her own decision. –  Jamie Taylor Jun 12 '12 at 7:49
1  
The age is not convincing, we don't know his or her ages, but men can father children until they are very old - if he is is 100 and she is 40, then he only became a father at 60 - common enough even now. The name is not convincing evidence at all - people just change names, never mind issues of marriage or taking another parent's name. I am not convinced about @JamieTaylor's linking of mum to mean ma'am - no English person would use mum to refer to a superior, so the use of mum is interesting. –  iandotkelly Jun 12 '12 at 14:06
1  
The age is wholly irrelevant. With present day technology (frozen sperm + in vitro fertilization), a man of any old age can be a father. –  user209 Jun 12 '12 at 15:00
    
@iandotkelly except that David is enamoured by the film Laurence of Arabia. An old film that contains old English language. Is it not possible that David is modelling even his language after his favourite character? –  Jamie Taylor Jun 13 '12 at 7:36

She is clearly not an android:

  • She answered "yes" to having sex, to prove her humanity.
  • An android would not have argued with its creator.
  • An android would not have had the option to either come with its creator or stay behind and manage a company.
  • An android would not have been awakened from stasis as it would not age and not be put in stasis.
  • An android would not require a life pod.
  • An android would not set fire to a person infected with a disease rather than allowing them upon a spaceship. It would not be vulnerable to disease.
share|improve this answer
1  
I don't know who downvoted your answer. If people are going to downvote you, they should have the courtesy of telling you why they are doing so. I think you made great observations. Thanks! –  Evik James Jun 14 '12 at 13:13
    
I would append the "According to IMDB" link that Vijin posted with "Evidence against android theory;" since it has a really good list in addition to yours. –  WernerCD Jun 14 '12 at 17:42
2  
This is all spot-on, and also there is the "surprise" revelation that Vickers is Wayland's daughter, which explains why she hates David, who Wayland apparently created because he wanted a son, not the daughter he had -- and also explains why Vickers hates Wayland and hoped Wayland would not find what he was looking for. –  Shiz Z. Jun 15 '12 at 19:29
2  
On second viewing, I noticed that just after "try harder" David asks Vickers if she would like a cup of tea, suggesting David initially thought of infecting Vickers - more evidence she was human –  Shiz Z. Jun 23 '12 at 5:25
2  
That's a great observation, Shane. Also, if she was an android, and David was built because Weyland really wanted a son, why didn't he build Vickers as a male in the first place? She is human. –  Nobby Jun 27 '12 at 12:47

From an MTV interview with the writer, Damon Lindelof:

Question:

We talked a bit about David but let's concentrate on Vickers for a second if we could. Like David, her motivations remain mysterious for much of the film. And certainly her resemblance (look, icy mannerisms) to David is interesting to say the least. Janek asks the question directly so I shall as well. Is she a robot?!?

Answer:

Vickers. Yes, she does look like David. Yes, this was intentional. What better way to piss off your daughter than to build the male equivalent of her? But enough about daddy issues (seriously, Lindelof, we get it!), allow me to answer your question. Is she a robot? She is not.


To address the points brought up more specifically though...

Peter Weyland, the old trillionaire, did say that she was his daughter. He could have meant this figuratively though.

He calls David "the closest thing [he has] to a son." If he sees androids as his figurative children, it would seem odd for him to see David as only being "close to a son".

Janek, the captain of the Prometheus, asked Vickers for sex like he was asking an android for a glass of water. After she agreed without emotion, he sang "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with" before he had sex with her (although they didn't show it). This suggested to me that he wasn't going to be with a human, but was going to love the android he was with.

Janek is on a multi-year mission away from home and presumably away from his family. The other less devious conspiracy-filled theory is that he's lamenting the fact that he's away from his actual lover (wife, girlfriend, whomever). If he can't be with his true love, for whatever reason, he may as well love the one he's with. In this case, he had two female options: Shaw and Vickers. Since Shaw was in a committed relationship with another person on board, Vickers makes a little more sense.

The surgery pod wasn't designed for use by a woman. Why would a trillionaire who could afford to build a surgery pod not build one for use by his own daughter?

Weyland has demonstrated that he has no particular love for his daughter. He is an egotistical man whose aims are centered solely around himself. The surgery pod was also not set up for Shaw, who was arguably a more instrumental crew member than Vickers. The pod was intended for his own personal use.

Vickers has a different last name than Weyland, which at least suggest that they are not natural father-daughter.

Plenty of children have different last names from their fathers - regardless of biology. Many even have the same last name even though they are not biologically related. This argument holds no weight.

share|improve this answer
4  
Strange that an answer from the writer doesn't get accepted, but +1 from me, though. Maybe sometimes creations just get out of the hands of their creators ;) –  Sonny Burnett Aug 23 '12 at 20:36
    
One of the team members asked her in the film. And after a little banter between then she invited him back to her room. I would think the team member might have had something to say if he well you know she was an android –  TeamGB Nov 1 '12 at 9:52

I'm pretty sure Meredith Vickers is a man. Case made at the following link:

http://dwaynerussell.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/further-thoughts-on-prometheus-and-meredith-vickers/

share|improve this answer
    
That's a pretty weak argument, considering there have already been a number of explanations given as to why automated medical device was configured for a man, the main one being it's for Weyland, not Meredith. As for Weyland pulling away from Meredith, there are many other possibilities besides her being a man. –  AidanO Jun 15 '12 at 9:04
    
What evidence is there to support that explanation? None, as far as I can see. Yet David says that Meredith lives on the lifeboat to more easily separate herself in the event of a disaster. And Meredith says that she likes to "minimize risk." Launching oneself into deep space with a medical device not calibrated for use on one's person doesn't seem like minimizing risk, does it? Also, consider this. Why would such a device not be programmed to service both genders? One possible explanation, I suppose, is that the device was Weyland's. Another is that there was no need for it. –  Dwayne Russell Jun 15 '12 at 16:30
2  
Welcome to Movies.SE! Answers that contain a link only are discouraged. It would be preferable for you to put the essential part of your link in the answer with the link as the source for further reading. –  TylerShads Jun 17 '12 at 5:57

My biggest reason besides the cryosleep that indicates she is an android is the design. David has the yellow hair and wears shades of cool blue and cool gray that is also tied into the ship's design. Meredith likewise has the same color scheme. They are both hardware just like the ship. She walks like David. She is strong like David, and she doesn't display human compassion like when she burns up Charlie (Elizabeth tells David her compassion is the reason that she is human and he isn't). There will be those who say, what about the other scientists who had blonde hair? But those scientists were seen yacking after cryosleep or slumped over; and they weren't given the prominence Meredith was given. Meredith wasn't.

Furthermore, the subtext in the film is that David knows she is an android and she doesn't know it, just like Rachael in Blade Runner. David gets a kick out of her trying to establish her human superiority over his robotic inferiority (when she threatens to cut his cord) because he has intimate knowledge of her fabrication. The look on his face is that he wants to tell her but his orders prevent it. When we see David getting his orders from Weyland about "Try harder" -- it was evident by the skewn composition that we were seeing it from someone else's point-of-view. But the point of view was detached and withdrawn.

Also, it involved a level of stealth that clearly verged on predatory or suprahuman. Then the revelation was that Charlize Theron was the individual who had snuck up on him and was watching him. When is a human character in a Ridley Scott film ever able to sneak up on a non-human character in such a predatory way unless it was alien or android? In this scene, the power is clearly Charlize Theron's. Not just in her actions but in the way Scott codes her as a silent stealthy creature. It's clear that David and Meredith are related in ways the others are not related because their movement, their mannerisms, and their attitudes are synchronized. As actors, they are playing off each other, so Theron tries to humanize Meredith in a way that is far more advanced than David.

Lastly, we can see the expressions in Weyland's face that when she tries to use emotional pleas for him not to go and see the Giant, that her emotional pleas ring hollow. Firstly, it's the way she says father -- though it's an appeal to emotion, it is awkwardly uttered and awkwardly timed. She was directed to say the line as if it lacked proper emotion. As if it were the thing to say. Only a machine that lacked emotion but were trying to find a way to make an emotional appeal based on its programming would do so in such an apathetic manner. Weyland's physical reaction is that her appeals ring hollow because he knows she is a hollow woman at her core. Far more advanced and emotionally sophisticated but not sophisticated enough. Some argue that Weyland's quest for eternal life from the Giants might be motivated by his dream to create an emotionally exact replica of human life in the form of a robot. So although Theron is far more advanced than David, she still has room for refinement. That her last name is Vickers is simply Weylan'ds way of giving her an additional level of identity separate from David's.

On an exegetical note -- whenever a magician says pay not attention over here, then there's something there that he really wants you to see, and it's a form of reverse psychology in the art of misdirection. Likewise, the text tried to dismiss the question of whether or not that she was an android in such an obvious way that it was like c'mon 97% of what I have seen codes her as an android, and you want me to place that 3% in the form of dialogue over what my eyes have seen? I'm sorry, people lie with their words all the time; I will trust my eyes.

I don't buy Lindelof's answer. Scott supercede's Lindelof as a director. The history of his work indicates that Meredith is an android. He codes her as such, frames her as such, has her walk and talk and posture as such. She moves silently as such. She could be the Terminatrix. If she were definitely human, than ambiguity would not be necessary. If she were android, ambiguity is understandable. I think Scott is smarter than that. So my answer is yes, she is an android. Until Scott himself says 'no.' If she is not an android, then I will be the first to admit that I was wrong. But I don't see why a smart director allows for that level of ambiguity. I think she is in such denial of her robotic nature that she needs to prove her humanity. Having sex does not mean she is not an android. Androids have simulated sex in Scott's films before. And David could be the android that does his physical (dark bidding), and Meredith could be the one that does his corporate bidding. He can use them as different aspects of his will seeing as how a man with secrets like himself can't trust anything he can't control.

share|improve this answer
    
Very insightful reasoning, even if I don't buy the end result. People seem to have a hard time accepting the fact that women can be emotionless, objective and cold. She was much more connected to David and Weyland through their whole way of thinking, behaving and controlling than just through her physics. If you had seen such a character in a movie that doesn't know androids or whose director hadn't made another famous movie with ambiguous questions about humanity, you wouldn't dare to call he an android. Ambiguous Ok, but definitely not 97% for me. But still +1 for the explanations. –  Sonny Burnett Feb 27 at 10:54

Think like a writer..not like the story is real as one post did.

SHE IS WITHOUT A DOUBT A ROBOT. We know this through the writing technique used. There is no point in having David expound so heavily on the fact that he was wearing the hazard suit for "show" if there was not another character also wearing one for show. You write this dialog in the script only to explain ALL of the hidden robots behavior--which is obviously Vickers. Your not suppose to know this---but you are suppose to recall what David said when Vickers is exposed and you object. The audience will recall the pretending to be human lines and it will explain why you didnt see it. It extremely common technique in mystery. In fact as soon as these lines were spoken I knew there was another robot and no more than a minute went by when she was called a robot by the captain. I am almost certain there were scenes cut at the end that show it. As soon as our star's hazard mask broke --I think Vickers broke too and she was going to be able to survive but it was saved for the next movie. Either way, that scene is coming as all dialog and actions point to it.

share|improve this answer
    
Why think like a writer if you can just ask one. But your reasoning is still apreciated. –  Sonny Burnett Feb 27 at 10:45

Mederith Vickers is not an andriod. The reasons are:

1) She died in the movie by the crushing spaceship. If she was an andriod she could never die like David.

2) When Mederith meets with Weyland she calls him as "father".

Weyland-"Anything ,else?"

Mederith-"No, Father!"

Now an andriod may also call its creator as father, but android does not feel anxity for his creator and sob like Mederith did after the scene. On the other hand David an android never cries. To him an order is order.

3) Remember the conversations between the captain and Mederith in the movie:

Captain: You know if you really wanna get laid, you really don't have to pretend to be interested in Pyramid scan. You could just say, "Hey, I'm trying to get laid."

Mederith: I could. I could say that, right? But it wouldn't make sense why I would fly myself half a billion miles from every man on Earth if I wanted to get laid, would it?

Captain: Hey Vickers, I was wondering, are you a robot?

Meredith (With an inviting smile): My room....10 minutes.

These sequence clearly indicate that Captain tried to mock Mederith with "are you a robot"? To which Mederith invited him for "sex". Androids don't do sex.......Does David?

4) Androids don't need life supporting systems...like she needed.

5) Androids also dont burn infected body if not instructed.

6) Her body strength may be nearly the same as David because surely she made herself strong enough like David as she must be angry with him because of her father s fondness for him over her. another logic can also be that when she pushed him he was not at all ready for the attack, and also David would not attack the creators own daughter!

7) Also the cold nature of her father must pusher herself into being cold. But that does not make her an Android.

share|improve this answer

protected by TylerShads Jun 26 '12 at 22:30

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.