CTP Episode of the Day - 06.09.06

Today's Cherished Episode: Blood (2x03)
Original Air Date: September 30, 1994
Written By: Glen Morgan & James Wong
Directed By: David Nutter

Several residents of a small suburban farming community suddenly turn violent and dangerous, prompted by digital readouts in appliances telling them to kill.

(Thanks to chrisnu for today's episode pics.)

SCULLY: But why, Mulder? Why would they intentionally create a populace that destroys itself?
MULDER: Fear. It's the oldest tool of power. If you're distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above.

Some "Blood" Tidbits & Musings:

-- "Blood" represents one of those episodes where divergent concepts were eventually brought together and assembled into a rather chilling hour. Writers Glen Morgan and James Wong began with a single note, "Postal Workers," that they subsequently combined with the hubbub in Southern California over malithion spraying. (Authorities had released the pesticide from helicopters to eradicate fruit flies, alarming some local residents who weren't entirely convinced by assurances that the substance was harmless to humans, while being told that it might damage the paint on their cars.)

-- Morgan also recalls seeing a feature on the news magazine 20/20 about studies on DDT in the 1950s, while Chris Carter had been wanting to do something that incorporated digital readouts. "We had always tried to have regular things be scary," Morgan said, particularly objects like fax machines or cellular phones that in 1994 were relatively new additions to the modern world.

-- As far as the "Blood" script, Morgan admitted that he didn't have the slightest clue who or what might have been transmitting the subliminal messages, and that he didn't really care, preferring to leave such things for viewers to consider.

-- Darin Morgan also assisted in writing this script, although he was not credited.

-- The appliances which commanded the victims to "Kill 'em all" were worked from off camera by Ken Hawryliw and his crew. Normal appliances do not have a bright enough or large enough display to be seen by the camera. The microwave Mrs. McRoberts confronts in her scene with Mulder was actually a mockup.

-- This was the first return of The Lone Gunmen since their debut in Season 1's "E.B.E." The characters which were created by Morgan and Wong in that episode were not intended to be recurring characters, but they became so popular with viewers and the internet crowd after "E.B.E." that their return was inevitable.

-- Famous right-fielders: Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Reggie Jackson, Al Kaline, Mel Ott, Frank Robinson, Enos Slaughter, and Fox Mantle.

-- Oopsie! In the investigation scene following the mechanic's murder, Mulder is wearing rubber gloves but when he scans his finger down the clipboard, his hand is bare.

-- The scene where Mulder is jogging and sees the flies being dumped on the lawn was something that actually happened to Darin Morgan (Glen Morgan's brother). He told his brother about what happened and Morgan and Wong used it in the episode.

-- When Funsch goes berserk in the shopping mall, the images he sees cycling repeatedly on the TV screens include Charles Manson, O.J. Simpson's Bronco chase, the L.A. riots and the Reginald Denny beating, and the burning of the David Koresh compound at Waco.

-- The nurse buzzing persistently on Ed Funsch's door was buzzing the word "kill" in Morse Code.

-- The climatic scene in the bell tower was inspired by an actual incident. On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman went to the observation deck on the 27th floor of the clock tower on the University of Texas - Austin campus and began a 92-minute shooting spree leaving 16 dead and dozens wounded, ending when Whitman was shot by police. That incident and nine other deaths, seven of them suicides, led to the deck's closing in 1974. After installing heavy security and safety measures, the observation platform was reopened in 1999.

-- The episode's bell tower scene was shot at the University of British Columbia.

-- Mulder's cell phone's final transmission -- "ALL DONE. BYE BYE" -- took on a dual purpose. It was used as the final shot in the Season 2 blooper reel.

-- Scully's phone number is shown to be 555-6431.

-- William Sanderson, who played the very paranoid Ed Funsch, has had a long and successful acting career. He appeared in such films as Coal Miner's Daughter and Blade Runner, in the critically acclaimed TV miniseries Lonesome Dove, and was probably best known for his nine-year stint as Larry, the brother who did all the talking for his odd family ("Hi, I'm Larry; this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl") on Newhart. He's found major success again in his role as E.B. Farnum in the HBO Western series Deadwood.

-- Actor John Cygan who played Sheriff Spencer is perhaps best known for his recurring role as Detective Paulie Pentangeli on the ABC series The Commish, which ran from 1991 - 1996. A couple of other actors who also had recurring roles on that show were named Nicholas Lea (who played Officer Enrico "Ricky" Caruso) and Melinda McGraw (who played Detective Cyd Madison).

-- Those "Commish" actors might have found their way to The X-Files because of Morgan and Wong, who were producers on The Commish and wrote many of its episodes during the show's first two seasons.

-- Mrs. McRoberts was played by Kimberly Patton, formerly known as Ashlyn Gere, a major draw in the adult movie business. Patton was trying to escape the porn industry and get into the mainstream to pursue her love for acting. She landed some roles in some very bad B-movies, but her first real break came from a chance meeting with Glen Morgan in the spring of 1994. Patton was visiting a performer at an L.A. Club when someone tapped her on the shoulder -- Glen Morgan -- who recognized her and immediately thought of casting her on The X-Files. Patton was a fan of the series but suspected a ruse, so she asked for Morgan's business card. He didn't have one, but she reluctantly handed over one of hers anyway. When she arrived home, she had a message from Morgan who instructed her to call his work number. She did, and found out the offer was legitimate. Patton was very grateful to Morgan and Wong for giving her a chance, and they also later gave her the recurring role of Felicity OH in their series, Space: Above and Beyond.

-- Several retreads or soon-to-be retreads in this one: George Touliatos who played Larry Winter the county supervisor was Dr. Katz in Season 1's "Eve." Kathleen Duborg who played the mother of the kid with the bloody nose played a prostitute in "Irresistible." David Fredericks, who played a security guard, would go on to appear in "Oubliette," "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man," and "Travelers." And B.J. Harrison appeared as a clerk in this episode and as Hannah in "Never Again."

Please share your first impressions, favorite (or cringe-worthy!) moments, classic lines, favorite fanfic, nagging questions, repeated viewing observations, etc., as today we celebrate "Blood"!