CTP Episode of the Day - 11.15.06 - Fearful Symmetry

Today's Cherished Episode: Fearful Symmetry (2x18)
Original Air Date: February 24, 1995
Written By: Steven DeJarnatt
Directed By: James Whitmore, Jr.

Mulder and Scully investigate animal abductions from a zoo near a known UFO hot spot.

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(Thanks to chrisnu for today's pics.)

"This isn't exactly in my job description."
"And the next thing you know, they'll be doing it on MTV Sports."

Some "Fearful Symmetry" Tidbits & Musings:

-- Episode titles in the series were always obscure, and this one was more obscure than most. It came from the William Blake poem "The Tyger" and the lines, "Tyger, tyger burning bright/In the forests of the night:/What immortal hand or eye,/Could frame thy fearful symmetry?"

-- The construction site where the tiger was shot was also named Blake Towers, after the poet.

-- The novelization of this episode was called Tyger, Tyger.

-- There was some concern that the elephant would be reluctant to run toward the truck for the teaser sequence, but as it turned out the beast loved the truck, and the problem became keeping the pachyderm away from it.

-- The elephant's name, Ganesha, is the name of the elephant-headed Hindu god.

-- This was the first time (and one of only a few times) when all three Lone Gunmen did not appear together. Langly (Dean Haglund) was missing from this episode.

-- Mulder's line, "It's all happening at the zoo, Scully," was a reference to the Simon and Garfunkel song "At the Zoo," from their Bookends album.

-- Frohike's line, "Beam me up, Scotty," was a reference to the catch phrase from the original Star Trek TV series. However, the phrase was never uttered on screen by any of the characters in that show.

-- "I saw David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear once." David Copperfield was an American illusionist whose most famous feats (shown during big television specials) included making the Statue of Liberty disappear, levitating over the Grand Canyon, and walking through the Great Wall of China.

-- Copperfield got another X-Files reference in Season 6's "Trevor," when Scully asked Mulder if they should arrest David Copperfield (for cutting the prison warden in half). "Yes, we should," replied Mulder, "but not for this."

-- The line, "I still can't believe you bet on the Chargers," was a nod to ex-writers Morgan and Wong, who were die-hard fans of the San Diego Chargers and who were listed in the opening credits of their last Season 2 X-Files episode "Die Hand Die Verletzt" as James "Chargers" Wong and Glen "Bolts, Baby" Morgan. (The episode aired just before Super Bowl XXIX in which the Chargers played the San Francisco 49'ers.) Unfortunately, for Morgan and Wong and other Chargers fans, the Chargers were routed by the 49ers by a score of 49 - 26.

-- David Duchovny would run into a gorilla who knew sign language again much later -- in his film Return to Me his wife trained a gorilla in sign language.

-- Some believe that Sophie signing "man save man" to Mulder was a foreshadowing of Mulder's eventual role in saving mankind. Somehow, I doubt that.

-- But I did enjoy the Season 2 blooper reel in which David Duchovny's attempt at repeating Sophie's sign language turned into a game of charades.

-- Jayne Atkinson (Willa Ambrose) had a recurring role as Karen Hayes on 24 last season and is expected to return for Season 6 in January.

-- The role of Kyle Lang was played by Lance Guest, who found fame in the 1984 surprise hit sci-fi film The Last Starfighter which costarred Robert Preston.

-- This was the only episode written by Steven DeJarnatt. One of his credits prior to The X-Files was co-writing the film Strange Brew: The Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie with Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis. The film was based on the characters the two comedians created on SCTV.

-- This was the only X-Files episode directed by prolific television director James Whitmore, Jr., son of acclaimed stage, screen, and television actor James Whitmore. In the 1970s, the elder Whitmore became a magnificent one-man acting machine, famously portraying Will Rogers, Harry S. Truman, and Teddy Roosevelt in one-man shows.

-- Whitmore, Jr., started as an actor also, gaining early notoriety for a role in the Robert Conrad TV movie and series Baa Baa Black Sheep. He took up directing in 1984 and directed episodes of many notable series during the 1980s and 90s, frequently directing Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Pretender. More recently, Whitmore has become a regular director on many hit series including 24, Cold Case, and Navy: NCIS. This fall he directed episodes of The Unit and Jericho.

-- Whitmore, Jr., returned to acting this past summer to appear in the Peterborough Players Theater (Peterborough, New Hampshire) production of Tuesdays with Morrie, with his father, James Whitmore.

-- Once & Future Retreads: Charles Andre (Ray Floyd) was one of the thugs in "Shadows." Garvin Cross (The Red Head Kid) played the Repairman in "Herrenvolk." Lenno Britos (Hispanic Man) was Luis Cardinal in "The Blessing Way," "Paper Clip," "Piper Maru," and "Apocrypha."

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

Polly