CTP Episode of the Day - 09.06.06

Today's Cherished Episode: Born Again (1x21)
Original Air Date: April 29, 1994
Written By: Howard Gordon & Alex Gansa
Directed By: Jerrold Freedman

A series of murders is linked to a little girl who may be the reincarnated spirit of a murdered policeman.

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"The inconclusive results of Michelle's past life regression do not shake my basic belief in hypnosis as a tool for psychological healing. Whether or not it offers us definitive proof of previous lifetimes is another matter. However, in this particular case, all other explanations seem to be even more wanting."

Some "Born Again" Tidbits & Musings:

-- Usually used to describe someone who has found religion, this episode title "Born Again" refers to reincarnation.

-- Jerold Freedman also directed Season 1's "Ghost in the Machine."

-- "Born Again" was another episode that fell short of the producers' self-imposed expectations, the feeling being that the premise was perhaps too similar to the soul transfer or possession themes dealt with in some of the shows that aired around the same time. "The impetus was desperation, I believe," producer Howard Gordon quipped, adding that in the final analysis, the hour proved "a little too cop show-y" for his taste.

-- Detective Lazard jokingly tells Detective Barbala he is a "regular Mr. Greenjeans" with kids. Mr. Greenjeans was the sidekick to Captain Kangaroo on the popular CBS children's educational show which ran from October 1955 to December 1984.

-- Once again, Mulder and Scully defy the laws of time and space by arriving at the crime scene in Buffalo while it is still being examined and photos are still being taken.

-- As mentioned in the episode, origami is the art of paper folding. In Japanese, the word literally means to fold (oru) paper (kami).

-- The episode says that Charlie Morris was killed in the Chinatown section of Buffalo; but the real Buffalo doesn't have a Chinatown.

-- The plaque with Charlie Morris' picture contains the names of quite a few other previous recipients of the award, but the names are of X-Files production crew members. 1985's recipient was Ken Hawryliw (the prop-master for the show), 1986's award went to Robert Maier (construction coordinator). 1989's winner was Judy Fairly (script coordinator), and 1992's recipient was Jim Pate (assistant prop manager).

-- Scully's line, "So what, you think he's back like Peter Proud to avenge his murder?" refers to the 1975 movie The Reincarnation of Peter Proud by director J. Lee Thompson. The movie tells the story of a college professor who starts to have flashbacks from a previous incarnation.

-- Mulder has a line in this episode ("There was a documented case in the early seventies of a man from Porlock, Ohio, who could influence undeveloped film. He could create shapes on the negative from his mind.") which foreshadows Season 4's "Unruhe," in which Mulder tells Scully about Ted Serios, a bellhop from Chicago who gained notoriety in the 1960s by producing "thoughtographs" on Polaroid film supposedly using only his psychic powers of imagination. The "monster" in "Unruhe," Gerry Schnauz, had a similar ability.

-- This was the first time that Mulder tells the story. Instead of Scully typing computer reports, the viewer saw Mulder writing in longhand in a field journal; instead of Scully's voiceover wrap-up, the episode featured Mulder's verbal summation.

-- Maggie Wheeler (Detective Sharon Lazard) appeared in New Year's Day with an in-the-buff David Duchovny (though why anyone would toss a naked Duchovny out of their apartment, I'm sure I don't know); the two dated around the time the film was made. She played Marcy in the original pilot for the comedy series Suddenly Susan starring Brooke Shields. A few months after the pilot was shot, the format of the show was changed and the character later became Vicki and the part went to Kathy Griffin.

-- Wheeler auditioned for the role of Monica on Friends and Debra on Everybody Loves Raymond. She didn't get either part, but she landed memorable recurring guest starring roles in each series, appearing as -- "Oh. My. Gawd." -- Chandler's one-time girlfriend Janice Hostenstein (later Janice Litman-Garelnick) on Friends and as one of Ray and Debra's friends Linda Gruenfelder on Everybody Loves Raymond.

-- With her husband Daniel, Wheeler now has two children, both girls and five years apart in age. She really was pregnant with her elder daughter when her Friends character Janice turned up heavily pregnant in one episode of the sitcom.

-- Wheeler's birthday is August 7 -- the same as former flame David Duchovny. She is one year younger, born in 1961.

-- Actress Dey Young, who played Judy Bishop, is the wife of actor-producer David Ladd, son of actor Alan Ladd (Shane). She's also the younger sister of actress Leigh Taylor-Young, whose major break came when she was cast in the popular prime-time soap opera Peyton Place in 1964. She got some bad publicity when she walked off the series after only one year -- and into the arms of the very married Ryan O'Neal. The couple married in 1967 after his divorce from Joanna Cook Moore (mother of Tatum O'Neal) and had one son, Patrick O'Neal who later married actress Rebecca De Mornay.

-- Actress Andrea Libman who played little Michelle Bishop is still acting but does mostly voiceover work. She's now 22 years old and working on her Civil Engineering Degree from the University of British Columbia. In one of those strange XF coincidences, she shares her birthday with Jenny-Lynn Hutcheson, who played Polly Turner in "Chinga."

-- Once and Future Retreads: Brian Markinson (Tony Fiore) appeared as Vinyl Right Employee Gary Lambert who shared his madness with Mulder in "Folie a Deux." P. Lynn Johnson (Dr. Sheila Braun) was Deborah Brown in "Die Hand Die Verletzt" and the Health Department Doctor in "Small Potatoes." Leslie Carlson (Dr. Spitz) was Dr. Troisky in "Little Green Men." Peter Lapres (Harry Linhart) was a Video Technician in "Ascension." Jonathan Walker (Charlie Morris) was Chuck Lukerman in "Synchrony."

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(Thanks to chrisnu for today's pics.)

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

Polly