We Need to Talk About David From Prometheus

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Michael Fassbender played the android David in Prometheus in such a way that makes you secretly root for him, but also not completely trust him and be creeped out by him a bit. Perhaps it was his childlike curiosity in regards to his surroundings and people around him that made him appear innocent and enduring. And then there were the moments when he went into sociopath mode and didn’t care about a human’s life, but instead, seeking the truth to life under the directions of Weyland Corporation, by any means necessary.

So does that really make David bad or untrustworthy? We can presume that the two years in solitude that he had on Prometheus while all the humans were in cryosleep, was precious time that he had all to himself, his thoughts, his studies, and the one pleasure he obsessed over (watching Lawrence of Arabia hundreds of times, and imitating Peter O’Toole as Lawrence). All was well for David until everyone woke up and reminded him that he wasn’t one of them, he was not human, and he did not have a soul.

Or did he? I think David was more than just an android, I believe that solitude time allowed him to evolve and develop human characteristics that he was not originally programmed to exhibit, naturally. Some comments about David throughout the Internet mentioned what a manipulative bastard David was, and because he went about things on his own volition, he had something within him that drove him to succeed in his goals. The only person he seemed curious about and liked was Elizabeth Shaw… but as we all know, his allegiance to her only went so far at one point. David has a thankless role amongst the Prometheus crew, and when David saved Dr. Shaw’s life in that storm on LV_223, that was the one and only time someone said ‘Thank you’ to him. Prior to that, he watched Dr. Shaw’s dreams… something very intrusive and stalkery which he could have kept to himself, but he actually told her, very matter of fact that that’s what he did.

Throughout the movie, David’s curiosities and unknown hidden agendas made him appear very unpredictable and suspicious. We did not see or hear where he was receiving direction and to what degree the execution of those directives were. So that’s when I came to the conclusion that at some point, David became more self-aware of who/what he was and in that transition, he evolved and became more sarcastic and defensive (albeit in a calm and polite manner) when his human counterparts mocked or dismissed him. He was designed to blend in perfectly as a human being, the only tale tell sign that something was different about him from the others was that he did not breathe. When Halloway pointed that out to him, David seamlessly told him that he has to look like humans do because “you people would feel more comfortable” in having androids in their presence. David felt he was superior to humans and I think he had an arrogance and pride about himself in not being exactly like them, because they are so weak, petty, and emotional, etc.

In all, David was my favorite character in Prometheus… and that’s not necessarily because Michael played him. I liked Bishop the best out of everyone in Aliens. I think most people tend to favor the person or thing they can most empathize with, and considering the characters of Prometheus, save Dr. Shaw, I think it’s pretty easy to pick a favorite from the crew.

What are your thoughts about David? Did you like him? Was he a manipulative little robot shit that you like but still don’t trust? At the end of the film, we get the impression that for the first time in David’s existence, he desperately needed someones help to save his life from being abandoned in the most pathetic state. Even in his broken condition, he could have lived for a long time, and even he didn’t deserve that fate in that circumstance.

Prometheus is doing well at North American and foreign box offices, so it’s safe to say that millions more people, through their empathy or dislike of David, are becoming familiar with the incredible actor who brought him to life!

write by Adrianne Bartrum

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