Way back in August of 1938 a guy named John Campbell wrote a novella called 'Who Goes There?' that told the story of a group of scientific researchers who stumbled on a frozen alien (and go on to accidentally thaw and revive) in a remote arctic outpost. Turns out, this alien could assume the shape, personality and memories of anyone it devoured, making it a formidable opponent. Realizing the alien could easily take over mankind, were it to escape into civilization, the group decides to permanently isolate themselves and fight to the bitter end.

Jumping ahead to 1982 gives us the cult classic The Thing by director John Carpenter which tells a very similar story. Group of scientists, frozen alien, thawed alien, shape shifting, isolation, bitter end. There were a few differences of course. For example, 1938 John wrote about an alien that would have to ration its body mass when devouring people. If it devoured a man weighing 50 pounds less than itself, it would be able to use that extra 50 pounds to also devour a dog. 1982 John gave us an alien that would instead just shed body parts which themselves became new alien


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