CTP Episode of the Day - 06.23.06

Today's Cherished Episode: Excelsius Dei (2x11)
Original Air Date: December 16, 1994
Written By: Paul Brown
Directed By: Stephen Surjik

Mulder and Scully uncover strange goings-on in a nursing home after a nurse is attacked by an unseen force.

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

"Whatever tape you found in that VCR, it isn't mine."

Some "Excelsius Dei" Tidbits & Musings:

-- The episode's title is spelled "Excelsius Dei," which is the name of the nursing facility, but on the facility's gate, it is spelled "Excelsis Dei."

-- "Excelsius Dei" is Latin for "Glory of God."

-- This was the second episode written by Paul Brown. The first was "Ascension."

-- This is one of those rare episodes where Scully brings the case. She also handles the ending voiceover.

-- In the scene where Charters is attacked, the pillow on the bed changes sides.

-- Anyone who put that bathtub in an old folk's home had obviously never helped an old folk into a bathtub. (I think this is actually Scully's clawfoot tub in a cameo appearance.)

-- A moment implying that the nurse who was attacked, Michelle, was a lesbian can be found in the script (her lover enters their apartment as the agents question her) but failed to make the final cut. "It just felt gratuitous at that point," Chris Carter said.

-- Scully tells Mulder, "I think you’ve been reading too much Carlos Castenada. Carlos Castaneda, a godfather of the New Age movement whose best-selling books claimed to relate the ancient mystical secrets of a shaman named Don Juan, had millions of followers around the world, and his 10 books continue to sell in 17 languages. Critics doubted that Don Juan existed, though Castaneda always maintained that all his experiences were real. His writings argued that reality is simply a shared way of looking at the universe that can be transcended through discipline, ritual and concentration. The sorcerer, he said, can see and use the energy that comprises everything but the path to that knowledge is hard and dangerous.

-- To shoot the climactic sequence where the bathroom door bursts open, special effects supervisor Dave Gauthier built a tank and flooded the hallway with more than 3,300 gallons of water. (But the most memorable part of the sequence was probably the blooper reel with Mulder doing his seal imitiation.)

-- Actress Teryl Rothery, who played the victim Michelle Charters, has most recently been a regular on Stargate SG1 playing Dr. Janet Fraiser.

-- Lots of retreads in this one. Two veterans of the Season 1 episode "Deep Throat" return: Jon Cuthbert, who played the Commanding Officer in "Deep Throat" played Jerry Tiernan in this episode; and Sheila Moore, who played Verla McLellen in "Deep Throat," returns here as the director of the home. Tasha Simms, who played the mother of Cindy Reardon in "Eve," returns in "Excelsis Dei" as the daughter of Stan Phillips, and she would later return in "Avatar" as Skinner's divorce lawyer. Paul Jarrett who played Upshaw would go on to play James Earl Ray in "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man." Jerry Wasserman who played Dr. Grago, played Dr. Plith in "Tooms."

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

Polly