CTP Episode of the Day - 07.24.06

Today's Cherished Episode: Darkness Falls (1x19)
Original Air Date: April 15, 1994
Written By: Chris Carter
Directed By: Joe Napolitano

Mulder and Scully are called in when loggers in a remote Pacific Northwest forest mysteriously disappear.

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

"C'mon, Scully. It'll be a nice trip to the forest."

Some "Darkness Falls" Tidbits and Musings:

-- Director Joe Napolitano also directed "Jersey Devil." He's gone on to direct numerous episodes of popular series, most recently Bones.

-- Shooting in the forest near Vancouver, production of this episode was delayed frequently and made more difficult by heavy rains. "It was miserable," Chris Carter recalled, noting that the actors were soaking wet much of the time and that various inserts and pick-up shots had to be added at a later time to compensate for the inclement weather.

-- A saving grace of the situation was the casting of Jason Beghe, who played Ranger Larry Moore. David Duchovny's "best friend since the 9th grade," Beghe had prodded Duchovny to pursue acting and worked with him for a time as a bartender. Having Beghe on hand (at Duchovny's suggestion) helped lighten the mood around the set, making the shoot something of a reunion and thus less of an ordeal for the cast.

-- Carter based the episode on his interest in dendrochronology -- the reading of rings on trees -- dating back to a course he'd taken in college.

-- The green mite effects were computer-generated and added in post production, synchronized to the movements of the actors.

-- Though Chris Carter said "Darkness Falls" was not specifically designed to push a message about conservation, the episode was honored nevertheless at the Environmental Media Awards.

-- Ranger Larry Moore worked for the Federal Forest Service. The Federal Forest Service along with the National Parks Service is part of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).

-- Oopsie! Apparently Scully is so tired from her hike up to the camp that when Mulder stops she runs right into his backpack.

-- We're used to "dumbed down" Scully in Seasons 8 and 9, but we forget that way back in the beginning both of the leads were "dumbed down" on occasion to make sure that the viewing audience "got it." For example, in this episode, Scully gets saddled with the unfortunate lines, "You must get a lot of lumber from a big tree like this" and "Those center rings are the older ones, right?".

-- As noted above, Jason Beghe was a childhood friend of David Duchovny. They attended the prestigious Collegiate School in Manhattan along with classmates Zach Galligan and the late John F. Kennedy, Jr. "I was the gregarious one," Beghe once said. "David was the one who applied himself."

-- During his Vanity Fair interview, DD was asked if he did one reckless thing during his Collegiate years. DD said, "My best friend, Jason Beghe and I, used to think that we had a chance with the lower-school teachers because they were relatively young. So we used to sit in the lounge area of the cafeteria, and Jason used to take his down jacket off, the kind you could crush into a pretty small shape, and he used to stuff it down his pants, so it looked like his penis went down to his ankle, and was the size of an elephant cock. We'd sit there as they went by. And his expression when he was doing it was: 'It's not a coat'."

-- Duchovny was a second-year teaching assistant, starting classes for his doctorate, when Beghe made a fateful suggestion. Duchovny needed to earn $2,000 during the summer of 1987 for school-year expenses, and was bartending. Beghe pointed out that if Duchovny landed a single commercial he could make that much money in a day. "I'd known him already 12 years," Beghe said. "Everything he set out to do, he did. And I loved him, why wouldn't everyone else?" With an agent and some acting lessons, Duchovny landed a Lowenbrau commercial; and before long, to his mother's lasting regret, he let Yale and academia go.

-- Beghe credits DD's marriage to Téa Leoni as the point when everything fell into place for his good friend. "He's worked his butt off to get to this place in his life," Beghe said. "He's rooted, with a new family, his own home." Beghe told a magazine that Duchovny and Leoni "love to howl together," and noted, "There's always a salt shaker on Téa's nightstand, because they like to eat in bed."

-- Beghe may not have made it as big as the friend he pushed into acting, but Beghe has continued to work steadily over the years. He appeared in Thelma and Louise and G.I. Jane and most recently had recurring roles on Everwood and Huff. He also had an uncredited role in Fight the Future playing an FBI agent at the bomb site.

-- Tom O'Rourke (Steve Humphreys) has found a home in the Law and Order franchise. He has appeared in Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, and has a recurring role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit playing Judge Mark Seligman. He also recently appeared in the film United 93. He was a regular on the short-lived TV series Working Girl which starred Sandra Bullock and which was based on the movie of the same name -- in which David Duchovny made his acting debut.

-- Titus Welliver's (Doug Spinney) most recent acting role is as Silas Adams in Deadwood.

-- Once and Future Retreads: Barry Greene (Bob Perkins) appeared as Dr. Emile Linzer in "Zero Sum." Ken Tremblett (Dyer) appeared as a police officer in "Elegy." Both appeared in the teaser of this episode (as some of the manly men in the full bloom of their manhood).

-- "Darkness Falls" uses the "Ice" formula again except it's a nice trip to the forest instead of the Arctic: (1) Agents go to remote location. (2) Agents are pitted against the elements. (3) Agents are pitted against each other and/or the guest stars. (4) Someone gets killed (but not M or S). (5) One Agent or the other (or both) are put in peril. (6) Agents work together to save selves, each other, or designated guest stars (or to stay alive until help arrives). (7) Evidence is destroyed before Mulder can return to get a better look. "Darkness Falls" did deliver the unexpected when Mulder, Scully, and Moore were actually overcome by the swarm and cocooned; the heroes of most shows are usually saved before getting that close to buying the farm. "Darkness Falls" taught us that no one is safe on The X-Files.

-- Mulder in Timberlands. That's really all one needs to know. < veg >

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

Polly