CTP Episode of the Day - 05.26.06

Today's Cherished Episode: Emily (5x07)
Original Air Date: December 14, 1997
Written By: Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, and Frank Spotnitz
Directed By: Kim Manners Scully's biological daughter is dying. Mulder uncovers the little girl's role in the alien conspiracy while Scully fights to save her only child.

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

SCULLY: Who are these men who would create a life whose only hope was to die?
MULDER: I don't know. But the fact that you found her and had a chance to love her then maybe she was meant for that too.

Some "Emily" Tidbits & Musings:

-- The filming of "Emily" quickly became a nightmare when the four-year-old actress hired to play Scully's biological daughter Emily in the "Christmas Carol/Emily" two-parter became so terrified while filming the hospital scenes that shooting ground to a halt. The young actress was perfectly fine during the filming of "Christmas Carol" and had developed a good rapport with Gillian Anderson (spending much of her off-time while shooting "Christmas Carol" playing with GA's daughter Piper), but the intimidating sets and medical apparatus needed for "Emily" frightened the girl so badly that she could not be comforted. Even GA's hugs and reassurances could not get filming started again. The girl's parents assured executive producer Bob Goodwin that the youngster would be fine, but the clock was ticking and Goodwin had no choice but to recast the role. Even months after the decision, Goodwin recalled that it "could be the worst thing I've ever done in this business."

-- A somewhat older actress, Lauren Diewold, who had previously appeared in an episode of Millennium, was chosen to take over the part. Everyone was pleased with her performance in "Emily," but the producers were faced with a big problem: the new guest star had to be inserted into "Christmas Carol" as well. Gillian Anderson's shooting schedule, already stretched beyond the limit, could not be changed to allow her to reshoot her "Christmas Carol" scenes with the new Emily. Instead, precious second-unit time was scrounged to allow Lauren to film her scenes with Anderson's double; the scenes of Scully and her new daughter were then pieced together in the editing room.

-- But that was the easiest part. In one or two scenes, Emily is in the background behind Scully and since establishing her presence was vital to the plot, the only solution was to use film of Anderson with the first Emily. Luckily, in the original shots, Emily's face is turned away from the camera, so in postproduction, visual effects supervisor Laurie Kallsen-George was able to painstakingly color the first girl's blond hair to match Lauren Diewold's considerably darker locks.

-- At another point in the re-editing process it was noticed that Lauren -- whose "Christmas Carol" wardrobe, had to match the first girl's exactly -- had in one scene been mistakenly dressed in the wrong costume. In a feat that she had never before attempted, Kallsen-George spent many computer-hours "changing" Emily's clothing electronically. That adventure cost $15,000 and a few more gray hairs for the production staff.

-- Scully's gold crucifix was crafted to props master Ken Hawryliw's specification by a local North Vancouver jeweler. According to Hawryliw, his Hollywood counterparts on the XF feature film scoured Southern California -- unsuccessfully -- for an off-the-shelf equivalent. Ultimately, the movie ended up using a slightly different crucifix that the television show.

-- The filming of "Emily" included a bizarre X-Files/real world interaction. The 90-year-old building rented to be the aliens' old age home was scheduled to be converted into an upscale condominium complex -- much to the chagrin of some of the working-class residents of its east Vancouver neighborhood. A few days before shooting was scheduled to begin, the building was occupied by squatters; after the police evicted them, the site was picketed by anti-redevelopment protesters. Location manager Todd Pittson, fearing that activists would like nothing more than to call attention to their cause by disrupting a hit American TV series, ordered his prop crew to keep a low profile and remove all X-Files insignia from their clothing. In the end, thirty-odd demonstrators were indeed gathered with the film crew arrived; but police and extra security personnel kept them harmlessly across the street.

-- As Frohike is reading off the birth records for the women that Mulder lists, one of the births he mentions is on September 25th, 1994 -- a "healthy baby girl." September 25 is the birth date of GA's daughter Piper -- and the reason the whole Scully abduction arc had to be created in the first place.

-- 1013 reference: One of the dates on the manifest Mulder looks through is 13.10.94 (In American notation, this would translate to 10/13/94.)

-- Another date on the manifest is 02/08/67. 2.08 is most likely a reference to Episode 2x08 -- "One Breath" -- the episode in which Scully was returned after her abduction.

-- This episode is supposed to be set between Christmas and New Year's, but the second set of MRIs show a date of 10/31/1997 and the IV bags for the "Beauty Sleep" girls read November.

-- Who knew that Mulder had such a talent for impersonation? He certainly knows how to charm the ladies with his Mr. Potato Head.

-- BIG continuity problem: Mulder says that Scully was abducted and missing for four weeks. In "Duane Barry" the date stamp is August; then in "3" when Mulder returns to the X-Files office he turns the calendar to November. Scully is returned in the episode after "3" so she was missing for at least three months. Apparently the writers never watched the reruns.

-- This episode answered the question of whether Mulder had ever discussed Scully's stolen ova with her; her reaction in this judge's chamber makes it clear that he hadn't. But she seemed to let him off the hook fairly easily and forgot all about it. In fact, she forgot so well that Mulder had to explain it to her again in Season 8's "Per Manum." And she was equally as stunned. What an actress!

-- "Are you two the parents?" For just that split second you can feel the electricity. For the briefest of moments, they both want to say "yes."

-- Bob Morrisey, the actor who plays the doctor treating Emily, also appeared as a doctor in Season 4's "Teliko."

-- Actress Sheila Paterson who played Anna Fugazzi also played Gina Watkins in Season 1's "Fallen Angel."

-- Nothin' says lovin' like kicking an evil doctor's ass. Mulder knows that Scully having a child would impact their relationship (professional/personal, take your pick), but he's still willing to risk his career and possible jail time to get whatever help he can for Emily because he knows what it means to Scully.

-- The Lone Gunmen rarely appear separately, but this is one of those times. Only Frohike appears in "Emily."

-- The Scully/Emily dissolve into the Madonna/Jesus window is just a little too heavy handed for my tastes. We know the boys at 1013 think she's a saint; no need to use stained glass windows with which to better illustrate.

-- Holy Flaming Cow! Mulder's flower-bearing entrance into the chapel is his best ever, even better than the courtroom entrance in "Terma" IMBO. Every time I watch this episode and see his shadow start to round that corner, I get a lump in my throat.

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

Polly

And of course everyone's favorite "family" portrait from "Christmas Carol/Emily":

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(Thanks to about dd for this pic.)