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"Within (Part 2)" is the 162nd episode and the eight season premiere of the science fiction television series The X-Files. The episode first aired in the United States on November 5th, 2000 on the Fox Network, and subsequently aired in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It was written by executive producer Chris Carter, and directed by Kim Manners. The episode continues from the seventh season finale "Requiem", where Fox Mulder was abducted by Aliens who are planning to colonise Earth.

"Within" was a story milestone for the series. It introduced several new character changes for the season, including the departure of Fox Mulder (portrayed by David Duchovny) and the inclusion of John Doggett (portrayed by Robert Patrick) to the main cast. Before its release, an incomplete version of the episode was leaked on the Internet. After its release, "Within" started the season with a rise in ratings since the last season finale. The episode earned a high Nielsen household and syndication rating, and was generally well received by fans and critics alike.

Plot overview

After Fox Mulder's alien abduction at the end of season seven, newly-promoted Deputy Director Alvin Kersh assigns pragmatic Special agent John Doggett to head up the taskforce searching for Mulder. At the start of the episode, Mulder's desk is being searched for evidence which could help the manhunt. Kersh sends Walter Skinner and Dana Scully down to the taskforce office to be interrogated. While Skinner is being interrogated, Scully sits down next to an unnamed person who starts asking her questions about Mulder. When she finds out that he is in fact Doggett, she throws water in his face.

Back at Scully's apartment, she uses her computer to run a background check on Doggett. She feels sick and leaves the computer, and later on calls her mom, Margaret Scully. When she founds out her phone is tapped, she looks outside the window to see if anyone is out there. She notices a mysterious man and runs into the hall to pursue him, but meets her landlord Mr. Coeben who tells her that he had seen Mulder.

Meanwhile, Skinner visits The Lone Gunmen, who are checking for any UFO activity in the United Statesmarker which could be connected to Mulder's abduction. Skinner later finds out that someone has used Mulder's FBI pass to get into the FBI to reach some X-Files, and Skinner has become the main suspect. Doggett meanwhile has gathered enough evidence to track Mulder's whereabouts before his so-called abduction. He finds out that Mulder was dying and had his name engraved in his family's gravestone to mark his death in 2000. Later on, more evidence of high UFO activity in Arizonamarker is found by The Lone Gunmen. Concurrently, Doggett receives information about Gibson Praise when someone slips a file under his door.

Scully and Skinner leave for Arizona without giving any of their information to Doggett. At the same time, Doggett believes that to find Mulder they must first find the whereabouts of Praise. The locate him in Flemingtown, Arizonamarker, in the middle of the desert. By the time Doggett's taskforce arrives, he has already escaped via a window and is leaving for a desert hill top with another person.

Production

Development

This episode marked the first major change to the opening credits since the show first started, with new images and updated photos for David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, and the addition of Robert Patrick to the main cast. Following David Duchovny's departure as a main character after the seventh season, Carter and most fans felt that the show was at its natural endpoint. However, it was decided that Mulder would be abducted at the end of the seventh season, leaving things open for the actor's return in 11 episodes the following year. They eventually replaced Duchovny's Mulder with Robert Patrick's John Doggett. Jim Engh was a member of the production crew of The X-Files and died during the filming of this episode via electrocution. Six other crew members were injured, but there were no other deaths. This episode was dedicated to his memory.

Because the script of the episode does not specify the identity of an unseen person who (in that episode) slides a file about Gibson Praise under Doggett's door, Kim Manners later had to ask the writers who the mysterious visitor was; the director was told by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz that the unseen person was actually Kersh. Robert Patrick asked the same question of Manners, around this time, but the director – not yet sure of the answer and hoping to avoid looking like an idiot – never gave the actor an answer. Patrick thought the reason that Manners was being purposefully secretive was that the director wanted Patrick to still be in wonderment as to the mysterious visitor's identity, as a device for the actor to aid his performance. Manners later teased Patrick that the reason he had not answered the question was that he had not liked Patrick at the time, prompting the actor to ask what he had done to annoy Manners on the first night of filming the episode, before the director finally admitted to Patrick what had actually happened. It is later revealed to be Alvin Kersh in "Nothing Important Happened Today".

Casting and filming

Robert Patrick made his first appearance with "Within", Patrick as seen in December, 2007
Both Robert Patrick and the director of this episoode, Kim Manners, felt that it was the perfect introduction to the character of John Doggett as the leader of the taskforce sent to find the previous main character, Fox Mulder. Manners further stated that Patrick gave a new "sense of energy" to the show, since they had basically used the same characters for seven years. Before shooting the episode, Chris Carter reminded Patrick various times that he had to be in "good shape". On the audio commentary, Patrick remembers being "nervous" for the shooting of the episode, since he was a big fan of The X-Files before becoming a part of the acting crew.

The scene in which Walter Skinner tells Doggett that he himself witnessed Mulder being taken away aboard a UFO was filmed in the second part of Patrick's first night of production on the series; this scene also represented the first time that Patrick got to work with Mitch Pileggi.

Carter was inspired to write the scene in which Dana Scully splashes water into Doggett's face, since he was aware that new actor Robert Patrick would be facing opposition from some members of the fan community. After the conclusion of The X-Files television series in 2002, Patrick commented that this part of the episode had been his favorite scene in the series, and admitted that he couldn't think of a better way to introduce his character because the scene not only said a lot, but it had actually helped him. Tom Braidwood, who appears in this episode as long-running recurring character Frohike, similarly remarked that the first meeting of Doggett and Scully was one of his favorite scenes from the entire series.

Reception

The episode earned a Nielsen household rating of 9.5, with a 13 share. It was viewed by 9,709,000 million households and gathered a total of 15,870,000 million viewers in the United Statesmarker alone. Some fans criticised the introduction of John Doggett, claiming that the character had been intentionally created to replace previous lead Fox Mulder's work on The X-Files. Chris Carter responded to this with a denial of the accuracy of their claims, and further stated in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), "What he brings is a different approach to The X-Files. First of all, he’s a knee jerk skeptic so he couldn’t be more different than the character of Mulder. He’s an insider at the FBI, well liked, has buddies. Mulder, of course, he’s been banished to the basement along with all of his X-files. So when he’s put together with Agent Scully, who has become something of a reluctant believer, the dynamic on the show changes completely."

References

Notes

  1. Hurwitz & Knowles 2008, pp. 145.


Bibliography



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