In Prometheus, when Shaw touch the surgery-pod Vickers warned her not to touch it because it is rare and so expensive, but i could not understand why the operating pod was made for a male, but the owner, Meredith Vickers was female.

Why did she allow an operating pod that even she could not use. Why was the surgery pod configured only for men?

Was it meant for Weyland all along?

And if it was so expensive, couldn't the creators configure it for men and women?

  • 5
    I just realized this could back up the idea that Vickers was another android.
    – user209
    Jun 11, 2012 at 19:42
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    it does seem silly that such an advanced device could only handle one gender... given its apparent capabilities, doesn't seem it would be too difficult to program it with instructions for both men and women.
    – Shiz Z.
    Jun 23, 2012 at 0:24

2 Answers 2


The surgery-pod was on board Prometheus to provide medical support for Peter Weyland. Who was secretly added to the crew list before the flight left, and was located inside the life pod of Peter Weyland's daughter.


I think circumstantial evidence hints that the surgical pod was limited to men so the filmmakers could avoid mentioning abortion.


A. It seems odd and arbitrary that the script calls for a machine that is advanced enough to perform a wide array of medical procedures on a man but cannot perform most or all of those procedures on a woman. For one thing, there is more variation within gender than between gender. Also, limiting the machine to men would cut in half the machine's return on investment. Overall, the men-only constraint feels forced.

B. if the script had allowed for the machine to treat both men and women, the procedure Elizabeth Shaw would have requested would have been "abortion" or "termination of pregnancy" or something similar

C. abortion is one of the most controversial topics in the world

By restricting the machine to men-only treatment, the filmmakers avoided having to broach the abortion issue. Instead, Elizabeth Shaw commanded the machine to "remove foreign object," avoiding any abortion-related terminology.

  • maybe the original screenplay called for abortion, but some editor along the way toned it down? just a theory. because the decision to script the machine as men-only really just doesn't make sense. maybe it was tossed in just to a cheap layer of suspense? mysterious...
    – Shiz Z.
    Jul 25, 2012 at 2:22
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    +1 Hah, very interresting idea. Might even be true, considering that it's an American movie.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Aug 23, 2012 at 20:53
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    You cannot be serious. It was a clue that Peter Weyland was onboard. The machine was configured for him alone, which is why Vickers refuses to answer questions about such a sophisticated piece of machinery being onboard. Secondly, why on God's green Earth would Shaw have wanted an abortion??? Do you honestly think ejecting an alien creature through her vagina would have been the preferred method for ejecting an alien from her body??? She asks for a Cesarean in the movie because that's the quickest and easiest way for her to ask the machine to remove a foreign body from her abdomen. Nov 19, 2012 at 7:20
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    Given that Shaw asks for a Cesarean in the movie, there was no reason to change the pod's configuration from all genders to male only. Your answer literally makes no sense. Nov 20, 2012 at 19:32
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    I had forgotten about her verbal request of Cesarean. I agree that it lessens the credibility of my answer here. Thanks for your insight on this, Doc.
    – Shiz Z.
    Nov 21, 2012 at 19:33

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