The Full Wiki

More info on The X-Files (pilot episode)

The X-Files (pilot episode): Map

Advertisements
  
  

Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:



"Pilot" is the pilot episode of the science fiction television series The X-Files. The pilot aired on September 10, 1993 on the Fox Network in the United Statesmarker and Canadamarker. Both episodes subsequently aired in the United Kingdom and Irelandmarker. The story was written by executive producers Chris Carter, and directed by Robert Mandel. As the pilot, it would set up the mythology storyline for the series.

The pilot introduced the two main characters, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully who were portrayed by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson respectively, and the recurring characters of the "Cigarette Smoking Man", Scott Blevins, Billy Miles and Theresa Nemman. The "Cigarette Smoking Man" would go on to become the series signature antagonist, appearing in all seasons (with the exception of season eight). The episode follows the newly appointed FBI Special Agents Mulder and Scully on their first case together.

The episodes earned a high Nielsen and syndication ratings in the United States compared to other X-Files episodes of the first season, and received meager attention in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The episode itself was generally well-received by fans and critics alike, which led to a growing cult following for the series before it hit the mainstream.

Plot overview

An unidentified female flees through Collum National Forest, Oregon. A shadowy figure and who is increasing in luminosity as it approaches her. The next morning she is found dead, with two small bumps on her back, and is revealed to be Karon Swenson. At the FBI headquartersmarker in Washington, D.C.marker, FBI Special Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) meets with Division Chief Scott Blevins and two other men, one of whom is smoking a cigarette. Blevins assigns Scully to work with Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) on the X-Files in an attempt to debunk his work on the paranormal.

After showing Scully photographs of Karen Swenson's body, the two agents travel down to Oregon where they exhume Ray Soammes, one of four other victims. Upon opening the coffin, all they find is a deformed ape like body. Scully performs an autopsy on the corpse, discovering a metal implant within its nasal cavity. The next day Mulder and Scully visit Raymon County State Psychiatric Hospital, where they meet Billy Miles, who is in a vegetative state after a car accident. The two agents head to the woods where Karen Swenson's body was found and find some strange ash on the ground. A member of the county sheriff's department arrives and demand they leave. Upon returning to the hotel, Mulder reveals to Scully that his sister Samantha vanished when he was twelve. He tells her how he discovered the X-Files, and that access to classified data has been blocked by some higher level of power.

After leaving the hotel after being contacted by the local police department found another victim. Returning to the hotel, they find it on fire, with all the evidence destroyed. Theresa Nemman, contacts the two agents for help. She tells them that she had woke up in the middle of the woods several times. Theresa's father and the detective the agents met in the woods, Billy Miles's father appear and take her away.

Mulder and Scully return to the cemetery to exhume the other two graves only to find the graves already dug up and the coffins missing. Mulder realizes that Miles is responsible for bringing the victims to the woods. Returning to the woods, they again encounter Detective Miles, but upon hearing a scream they find Billy Miles nearby, with Theresa in his arms. A light appears and vanishes, and suddenly Billy Miles is back to normal, with the marks on his back missing.

Under hypnosis, Miles explains that aliens abducted him and his classmates when they were in the woods celebrating their graduation when he was alien abducted. Meeting with Blevins afterwards, Scully provides him with the only piece of evidence they have left, the metal implant from Ray Soames's corpse. Mulder later calls Scully to tell her that the case files on Miles are missing. In The Pentagonmarker, the "Cigarette Smoking Man" who attended Scully's meetings with Blevins puts the implant away in a large room filled with evidence.

Production

Conception and writing

When conceiving the episode, Chris Carter wanted to "scare people's pants off". A notable influence when writing the episode, was Kolchak: The Night Stalker a series from the 1970s. This led to an idea of two agents investigating paranormal events. When creating the characters of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, Carter wanted to shift the stereotypes, meaning making the male charactera a believer and the female as a skeptic, a role which had usually been a male traditional role for previous TV programmes.

When casting the actors for the two main parts, Carter had difficulties finding an actor for Scully. When he casted Gillian Anderson for the part, the network wanted to replace her. Carter believed they responded negative towards the casting because "She didn't have the obvious qualities that network executives have come to associate with hit shows". Calling her a "terrific actress", Carter reacted overally positive towards Anderson's audition saying "she came in and read the part with a seriousness and intensity that I knew the Scully character had to have and I knew [...] she was the right person for the part". David Duchovny on the other hand, was met with more positive response from the network, Carter even saying he was an "early favorite".

In one of the early script drafts, an FBI Special Agent named Lake Drazen is present at the meeting near the start of the episode, having chosen Scully for an assignment to evaluate the validity of Mulder's work. Drazen explains, "I knew you would be rigorous. And fair." After leading Scully downstairs to the basement and introducing her to Mulder, Drazen watches the slide-show presentation Mulder makes regarding the deaths in Bellefleur. Drazen later appears in the scene where Scully is debriefed, in which the senior FBI agents decide to let Scully continue monitoring Mulder until they come up with something concrete with which to shut down the X-Files. One of the high-ranking agents says, regarding Scully's report, "If Congress got a hold of this we'd expend all our energy chasing ghosts and spacemen." Subsequently, Drazen tosses the copies of Scully's report into an incinerator. His final scene seems to suggest that his character later became the "Cigarette Smoking Man".

Deleted scenes

The original script gives more insight into Scully's visit to Scott Blevins' office. The scene that introduces Scully in the script is set just before her visit and takes place at the FBI Academymarker in Quantico, Virginiamarker, where she teaches a small group of trainees about the physiology of homicide, specifically electrocution and death by cattle prod. Her attention is distracted by an agent who enters the room and hands her a note that reads, "Your attendance is required in Washington at 1600 hrs. sharp". Scully checks her digital watch, which reads 1:03. The majority, at the least, of this scene was actually filmed but the scene was omitted from the final version of the episode. The next scene is that in which Scully reports to the receptionist at FBI headquarters; the script includes Scully showing her badge to the receptionist and dialogue for the role of the receptionist as she tells Scully, "See Section Chief Blevins. Third floor, violent crime divisionmarker." In the final version of the episode, Scully's badge does not appear in any of the scenes and the receptionist does not speak.

A scene cut from the final shooting of the episode, introduced the character of Dana Scully's boyfriend, Ethan Minette (Tim Ransom). In a scene that follows the slide-projector scene, Minette and Scully meet. Scully tells her boyfriend that she will have to cancel holiday plans she made with him as she has been assigned to a case outside Washington D.C.marker with Fox Mulder. Minette recognizes the name and tells Scully that "Spooky Mulder" supposedly convinced an Iowamarker congressman to sponsor a UFO project. According to Minette, "It was a big joke around town a year ago". Scully asks if he would be willing to go on a holiday the weekend after she returns and Minette accepts. In the first draft of the script, Minette is a lobbyist and meets Scully in an "upscale Washington D.C. bar". In the filmed version of the scene, Minette is working in a television studio when they meet. In both versions, he is distracted by his work.

Another scene featuring Minette occurs later in the script, once Scully travels to Oregonmarker with Mulder and he knocks on her door as she is studying evidence concerning the deformed corpse in Ray Soames' grave. The agents' conversation ends with Mulder handing Scully a slip of paper and saying, "I believe this is for you". Once Mulder leaves, Scully sees that the slip of paper is a phone message from Minette. The scene cuts to a few minutes later, as Scully is walking around her room, phone to her ear. As Scully's phone call wakes her boyfriend, their discussion is a short one; Ethan demonstrates interest in "Spooky"'s wellbeing and in the case Scully is investigating with Mulder but soon asks her to call him later, explaining, "I've got to get another hour in here". Scully agrees that she will call him later and then puts the receiver down, ending her call.

The addition of Scully's boyfriend was an attempt by the Fox executives to create the love interest that they felt wasn't there between Mulder and Scully. Chris Carter ultimately found that it was "very easy" to remove the character from the episode, both because his appearances seemed to slow down the scenes in which Mulder and Scully are together and due to the fact that Carter found Scully's relationship with her FBI partner to actually be more interesting and exciting than her relationship with her boyfriend.

Reception

The "Pilot episode" was generally well-received by fans and critics alike. Variety magazine criticized the episode for "using reworked concepts", but praised the production and noted its potential. Of the acting, Variety stated, "Duchovny's delineation of a serious scientist with a sense of humor should win him partisans, and Anderson's wavering doubter connects well. They're a solid team...". Variety also praised the writing and direction: "Mandel's cool direction of Carter's ingenious script and the artful presentation itself give TVsci-fi a boost." The magazine concluded, "Carter's dialogue is fresh without being self-conscious, and the characters are involving. Series kicks off with drive and imagination, both innovative in recent TV." Entertainment Weekly noted that Scully "was set up as a scoffing skeptic" in the pilot but progressed toward belief throughout the season. After the airing of just four episodes, the magazine called The X-Files "the most paranoid, subversive show on TV", noting the "marvelous tension between Anderson – who is dubious about these events – and Duchovny, who has the haunted, imploring look of a true believer".

References

Notes

  1. Lowry 1995, pp. 99-101.
  2. Lovece 1996, pp. 42-46.


Bibliography



External links




Embed code:
Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message