CTP Episode of the Day - ??.??.06

Today's Cherished Episode: Shadows (1x5)
Original Air Date: October 22, 1993
Written By: Glen Morgan and James Wong
Directed By: Michael Katleman

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

Some "Shadows" Tidbits & Musings:

-- According to Glen Morgan, FOX had been pushing for the producers to do more episodes where, in essence, Mulder and Scully investigate the paranormal and help people. As a result, the incentive behind "Shadows" was to provide an installment where the agents would do just that and "get FOX off our back," so the producers could pursue some of the more offbeat stories they had in mind. Morgan and Wong also harbored a fondness for ghost stories, and FOX executives had suggested the idea of doing some sort of episode involving poltergeists.

-- One of Scully's lines, "I'm giving us a chance to solve a case that's tangible instead of chasing after shadows," provides the episode's title, and offers insights to the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that created the episode.

-- The writers were inspired by the 1981 movie The Entity in which a woman is tormented by an unseen entity.

-- In the original script, Mulder tells Scully what he'd like on his tombstone: "No Regrets"

-- Mulder's joke about Elvis is the first of many Elvis references throughout the entire series. Supposedly Morgan and Wong knew that David Duchovny was not really an Elvis fan and so to lovingly torture David they made Elvis one of Mulder's guilty pleasures. When delivering his line about Elvis in this episode, David Duchovny did an Elvis karate move that was cut from the final version of the show. So when Morgan and Wong arranged for Mulder to visit Graceland in "Never Again," David did the karate move once more, then called Glen Morgan and told him the move better be in the show this time. And indeed, it was.

-- The name of Assistant Director Tom Braidwood (well before he would become famous for playing Melvin Frohike) is used in the scene where the parking lot attendant paints over the name on the space that previously belonged to the dead man.

-- Howard Graves' tombstone stated that he died on the 5th of October, but the opening scenes date stamp says the 22nd of September when it was supposed to be two weeks after Graves had died.

-- After Mulder mentions poltergeists, Scully says "They're here," which is a nod to the Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg film Poltergeist. It's the phrase that Carol Anne uses to warn her parents that something strange is happening in their house. Scully also references the film Carrie proving that the girl loves a good horror movie. (She also mentioned The Exorcist was one of her favorite films in a later episde.)

-- In many of the early XF episodes, Scully always seemed to just barely miss the opportunity to witness some paranormal event; in this one, she missed the chance because she can't get her seatbelt unbuckled.

-- This was only the series sixth episode (if you count the Pilot) and they were already recycling! The footage of Scully typing at her computer was reused footage from "Squeeze," with a new voiceover. You can even see the evidence photos from that episode on the desk.

-- Lots of future retreads in this one: Lorena Gale (Ellen Bledsoe) also appeared in "One Breath" as Nurse Wilkins, and in "Elegy" as Harold's attorney. Deryl Hayes (Webster) also appeared in "Little Green Men" as Agent Morris and in "The Walk" as an Army doctor. Tom Heaton (the groundskeeper) also appeared as one of the townspeople in "War of the Coprophages." Janie Woods-Morris (Ms. Lange) also appeared as Lorraine Kelleher in "Avatar." Charles Andre who played one the thugs appeared as Ray Floyd in "Fearful Symmetry." And Forbes Angus who appeared as the Tissue Bank Technician would return four more times -- as the scientist in "Soft Light," the doctor who removed the chip in Scully's neck in "The Blessing Way," a security guard in "Small Potatoes," and the Funeral Director in "Bad Blood."

-- "Shadows" isn't often highly regarded, but it has a lot of good Mulder/Scully banter, from the comparison of their post-accident headaches to the nice little exchange at the end ("Hey, Scully, do you believe in the afterlife?" "I'd settle for a life in this one.") On the downside, Scully dashes the hopes of early shippers and misses the boat when Mulder asks her out on a "date" to see the Liberty Bell. But despite her oh-so-appealing description ("You're not missing much. It's just a big bell with a big crack, and you have to wait in a long line.") Mulder still wants to go anyway. Hey Scully, maybe he just wants to be with you! Did you ever think of that? We did!!

-- And of course, you can never go wrong with an episode that features Mulder!Glasses as a facial accoutrement *and* an evidence gathering tool!