Captain Dallas (Tom Skerrit)
I have long believed that Tom Skerritt’s moustache leads a secret life of its own independent of Tom Skerritt. I’m fairly certain that when Tom is asleep, his moustache is actually sneaking off to its other life as a happily married small business owner raising two kids in Missouri. When you add a beard to that moustache, well, I'm fairly convinced it could then take over the world, if it was so inclined, if it wasn't too busy doing its tax returns and helping the kids with their homework.
As Captain Dallas in Alien Tom Skerrit is the captain of the Nostromo, and how can you tell that he’s captain? Well, because of his coarse and rugged dependable captain’s beard, of course!
My favourite thing about Captain Dallas’ beard is that it is always appears to be just millimetres away from turning feral. For the most part it clearly asserts: ‘I am a god damn captain of a class M starship I haven’t got time for such trivialities as a regular shaving routine, I have buttons to press, a computer to talk to and a god damn galaxy to save!’, but, despite this just barely contained on the trimmed side of respectable appearance there is always the suspicion that at any given moment the beard could suddenly experience one infinitesimal, microscopic unit of growth and then all anarchy would ensue, and it’ll be all naked corridor running, guttural screaming, setting fire to stuff and redecorating the Nostromo in his own faeces.
Fortunately the Dallas beard doesn’t get time to reach critical growth and instead remains solid, reliable and authoritative, the kind of beard that you not only expect to be in charge of a spaceship, but you want it to be.
Although it didn’t end too well for brave, hairy Captain Dallas, his beard is still the kind of beard you want to have your back in any kind space/alien disaster type scenario, you want to cling to it and ride to safety amid its robust foliage. Tom Skerritt’s Captain Dallas in Alien I salute you!