In Prometheus, after figuring something bad is going on within her, Shaw goes to the medpod which earlier in the movie was described as "configured for male body" by Vickers .

If that is the case then isn't there some sort of inconsistency here?

The procedure seemed pretty much like a simple cesarean, which wouldn't be included in a configuration setting made for male-use.

Then again, Shaw might've commanded it to remove anomalies or things that shouldn't be there which would make sense for a medpod to have as an option even if it is configured for male use since it can be used to remove tumors or appendicitis for example. But if that is the case, why doesn't it remove all of her uterus as well but rather only the monster within the uterus.

I am also considering the option that she might've overridden the configuration, but it is really a long shot for lots of reasons like:

  • Basic programming wants to represent the front end the way device is meant to be used and not hacked to do something else.

  • She is not a programmer.

  • If it can be overridden to do every operation in seconds by pushing two buttons, then it really isn't configured for male-only use.

  • She is scared, in panic and shocked. She probably wouldn't be able to do it that easily and that quickly.

There is another possibility, that it is not configured for male use at all in the first place. But why would Vickers lie about it at all?

  • 4
    She tells it to do abdominal surgery to remove any foreign bodies. It detects a foreign body, then removes it. Presumably it did a botch job but a botch job is better than no job.
    – user7812
    Feb 11, 2016 at 2:49
  • 1
    – user7812
    Feb 11, 2016 at 2:49
  • 1
    @Richard In the link provided I found the comment 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. Is it officially accurate that this is the command she gives or is it the interpretation? To be honest, odds of having a command as "Remove the foreign body" is much much less than actually having a " perform cesarian" command on a configured-for-male medpod. Also, what is a foreign body anyway?
    – SarpSTA
    Feb 11, 2016 at 3:20
  • 3
    "Also, what is a foreign body anyway?" If you got impaled by a girder, that would be a foreign body. If you swallowed a catfish, that would be a 'foreign body'. Any mass that is not of or produced by, the person, which is in them, is a 'foreign body'. "To be honest, odds of having a command as "Remove the foreign body" is much much less than actually having a " perform cesarian" command on a configured-for-male medpod." It is odd you state that (emphatically) then immediately point out you don't understand what they mean by foreign body. ;) Feb 11, 2016 at 6:28
  • 1
    @AndrewThompson It is odd that you don't understand what I mean by my comment and you try to correct me :) So I'll make it simpler for you to get it. I asked what is a foreign body by meaning what he means by it, because I assumed he meant an actual body (like animals have) rather than meaning simply foreign object and wanted to make sure. Why? Because as I stated earlier then a medpod configured for male-body should also remove her uterus.
    – SarpSTA
    Feb 11, 2016 at 8:55

1 Answer 1


You are correct to say the Med Pod is calibrated for use by a male. This fact is confirmed during Shaw's interaction with the Med Pod computer. She then overrides it and manually selects a procedure to remove a foreign body.

       Emergency procedures initiated. 
       Please verbally state the nature of your injury.

       I need... Caesarian

       Error. This medpod is calibrated for male patients only. 
       It does not offer the procedure you have requested. 
       Please seek medical assistance elsewhere.

 She struggles up to her knees, drenched in sweat and shaking.
 She initiates manual selection mode, making quick taps on the selector wheel

       Surgery. Abdominal. Penetrating injuries. Foreign body. Initiate.

The Med Pod opens with a hiss.

This is science fiction, so we have to allow for the computer being smart enough to distinguish between a foreign body (the parasite) and part of the person undergoing the procedure (her uterus). Even if the Med Pod isn't configured for female use, it should be able to distinguish between human and non-human tissue.

As to the reason for its being setup this way: within the narrative, it's fair to assume that it was primarily intended for Peter Weyland's use. There's also a mention earlier in the film that Shaw was a late addition to the crew. Out-of-universe, it's a stumbling block to heighten the tension.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .