"What do you believe in, David?"
Chris Oram to David 8 (from Alien: Covenant)

Christopher "Chris" Oram was the executive officer and chief science officer of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation colony ship USCSS Covenant and the husband of ship's biologist Karine Oram. Oram was promoted to captain following a serious incident that struck the Covenant a year into its voyage, and made a fateful choice that saw the ship diverted from its original destination of Origae-6 to a mysterious world. His decision indirectly led to the loss of most of his crew, and he met his own end at the hands of the rogue synthetic David.


Early life[]

"David, I met the Devil when I was a child, and I have never forgotten him."
Oram to David (from Alien: Covenant)

Christopher Oram had a very strict Pentecostal upbringing;[3] in his youth, he experienced an event that he likened to an encounter with the Devil.[2] In his adult life, he secured a position on the Weyland-Yutani Corporation colony ship USCSS Covenant alongside his wife Karine Oram. Their responsibilities as specialists in life sciences included placing the ship's complement of two thousand colonists into stasis.[4]

Before the departure of the expedition, Oram and several other crewmembers were present at a Weyland-Yutani facility on the moon of Phobos, where they were exposed to upsetting images and sounds; Oram was unmoved during the exercise.[1]

After the Covenant left Earth orbit in 2103, bound for the distant world of Origae-6,[5] Oram and Karine were present at a celebration held by the crew; during the festivities, Oram expressed quiet dismay at the drunken behavior exhibited by pilots Tennessee and Maggie Faris.[6]


"I'm not committing to anything. I'm simply trying to navigate the path as it unfolds before us. And this has the potential to be a better habitat for our colony."
Oram discussing his decision to explore an unknown planet with Katherine Daniels (from Alien: Covenant)

One year into its voyage, the Covenant was damaged by a neutrino burst which killed forty-seven colonists and the ship's captain, Jake Branson. As the second link in the chain of command, Oram was duly declared captain of the Covenant. During his first meeting with his new command, Oram expressed sorrow at Branson's death but then gave orders for the crew to immediately proceed with repairing the ship, arguing that their responsibility was to safeguard the remaining colonists. Later, Oram observed the crew holding a funeral for Branson, and was angered that they had apparently defied his orders. He attributed their mistrust in him to his faith, although he was advised by Karine to tread carefully.

While repairing the ship from the outside with security officer Ankor, Tennessee intercepted a rogue transmission originating from an unidentified planet nearby, analysis of which suggested that it was perfect for human habitation. Since this planet was much closer than Origae-6, Oram reneged on his earlier tirade and gave the order to travel to this planet instead, much to the dismay of chief terraformist Katherine Daniels, who argued that such a course of action posed too much of a risk. Oram officially acknowledged her objection, but nonetheless dismissed her concerns.

Navigating the path[]

"Hey, Danny. It's not such a bad landing site after all. We put the housing units right over there. Civic complex beyond the burn. We've got access to fresh water. We might have a spot for a colony right here."
Oram enthusiastically sites the Covenant colony on the new planet (from Alien: Covenant)

As the Covenant arrived at the planet, Oram and several crew members journeyed to the surface aboard Lander One and touched down by a lake in a mountainous region. After instructing Faris to stay with the ship, Oram led the team into the wilderness in search of the signal. The expedition strayed into a field of wheat; Oram was excited by the find, reasoning that the wheat could serve as a food source for the Covenant colony, along with other clement environmental factors evident in their surroundings. Some time into the trek, Karine and guard Ben Ledward separated from the group in order to run some tests on the environment, while Oram, Daniels, security chief Dan Lopé, and Lopé's team traced the source of the transmission to a crashed alien ship. During their respective investigations, Ledward and Lopé's second-in-command Tom Hallet were infected with mysterious spores, and Ledward began to show signs of sickness. Karine radioed Oram, informing him of Ledward's plight, and Oram led the crew back to Lander One.

They were unable to reach the vessel before it exploded, having been destroyed in an effort to contain an alien lifeform that had emerged from Ledward. Knowing that Karine had perished in the lander, Oram was overcome by grief. Concurrently, another lifeform burst from Hallet's throat and the two monsters teamed up to attack the group, killing Ankor in the chaos. One creature was killed, and the other was scared away by the sudden arrival of an interloper who advised the crew to follow him to refuge. Oram, having been rendered catatonic by the loss of his wife, was helped to his feet by Daniels, and they joined their fleeing colleagues.

Misplaced faith[]

"Danny. You were right about this place. We never should have come. I just thought that we were going to find…I thought it was going to be our new home. And we've lost five crew members. Because of my decisions…"
Oram expresses his regret to Daniels (from Alien: Covenant)

Oram examining an egg

The stranger led the surviving crew to a nearby temple in the midst of a ruined city, and revealed himself as David, the synthetic from the ill-fated Prometheus expedition. As Oram and the others took a moment to come to terms with the recent turn of events, Oram confessed to Daniels that he regretted leading the crew to the planet. While the Covenant survivors tried to make contact with Tennessee in order to escape the planet, security officer Sarah Rosenthal strayed away from the group and was killed by the surviving creature. David found the creature and managed to interact with it; however, Oram spotted them and Rosenthal's dead body and, against David's pleas, opened fire on the lifeform, killing it. Outraged, the captain demanded that David reveal the truth of his situation; David agreed, and led Oram to a room full of mysterious eggs. The synthetic convinced Oram to look inside one; Oram was attacked and subdued by the parasite that emerged.

As he regained consciousness, Oram questioned David on his beliefs; David replied that he believed in creation. Subsequently, a juvenile alien emerged from Oram, killing him. His body was later found by guard Cole, who was killed by the now-adult lifeform born from Oram shortly afterward.

Personality and traits[]

"Perspective, ladies and gentlemen. The greatest good for the greatest number, and no milling about."
Oram awkwardly attempting to inject humor into his briefing (from Alien: Covenant (novel))

Chris Oram was a man of faith, and as such believed this to be the reason why Weyland-Yutani had passed him over on various occasions. He was also nervous when taking command from the recently-deceased Branson. However, Oram's attempt to immediately assert his newfound authority quickly alienated him from his grieving subordinates, and he misspoke foolishly when attempting to comfort Branson's widow Daniels. To assuage his anxiety, he carried a pair of worry beads which he would rub together when aggravated. He looked upon his wife Karine as a steadying influence and was stricken when she was killed aboard Lander One.

Oram was also prone to making poor decisions under pressure, as flagrantly evidenced by his ill-fated attempt to investigate the mysterious Planet 4, and his premature claims that a colony could be constructed there without first surveying the immediate environment. Perhaps Oram's most egregious misstep, however, manifested itself in placing his trust in the unpredictable android David, who exposed Oram to his creations, and so the acting captain's death would come about as a result.

Behind the scenes[]

"For Oram, there's a theological perspective to his motivation to being a part of this mission; his belief system seems to be a guiding force in most of the things that drive him."
Billy Crudup offers insight into Oram's character (from Alien: Covenant: The Official Collector's Edition)

Chris Oram was portrayed by Billy Crudup. In early drafts of the film's script, Oram's first name was given as Bill.[7]