MovieChat Forums > The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) Discussion > Why did they give the TJ Newton characte...

Why did they give the TJ Newton character ginger hair?


Not an inspired decision given who played him. I'm sure I'm not the only one who kept thinking "whooah, ziggy! ziggy!". Even in the scene where he's just crash landed and walking down a hill I kept thinking of the lyrics to moonage daydream.

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Bowie was given some liberty in shaping the character's image, so it's likely that the hair was his idea. There's also the fact that Nicolas Roeg saw him in Cracked Actor and thought he was perfect for the part as is, going so far as to cast not only Bowie himself, but his limo and his driver, too.

I love his haircut and color in this, but it is kinda funny that the character described in the book bears a much closer resemblance to Bowie's Serious Moonlight image, what with curly, platinum hair and a light tan. Another peculiar coincidence is that book!Newton can't see the color red. Maybe that explains it? :)

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I'm sure I'm not the only one who kept thinking "whooah, ziggy! ziggy!".


I was thinking that at the end when its revealed that after the apocalypse of his planet, he decides to get some money by making records.

As for the hair, I think it was mainly because I heard somewhere that Nicholas Roeg adapted the original story to fit David Bowie's stage persona of Ziggy Stardust.

"I have always valued my lifelessness."

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Ginger? Or Ginger SPICE?

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I was thinking that at the end when its revealed that after the apocalypse of his planet, he decides to get some money by making records.


The "album" he released was a subliminal message he hoped would somehow travel through the solar system and reach any survivors of his planet. Sounds mental but this entire book and film is mental. In a good way.

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Suburban Robot That Monitors Reality

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it was a nod to ziggy for sure but i thought why disguise yourself as a human and then choose such bizzare fakey hair? hah

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Red hair can be symbolic of royalty...he claims he was from the UK.

I found this online too.
All the ancient civilisations of pre-history were started and ruled by seafaring redheads, who originally came from a land over the sea, often, but not always, equated with Atlantis. The evidence for this can be found in ancient myths and in the mummified remains of redheaded people discovered around the globe.

I believe red headed women in movies are also symbolic of Mary Magdeline and blood, but that might not apply here of course.

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