CTP Episode of the Day - 06.19.06

Today's Cherished Episode: Within (8x01)
Original Air Date: November 5, 2000
Written By: Chris Carter
Directed By: Kim Manners

Scully, Skinner, and the Lone Gunmen begin the search for Mulder, but a new agent assigned by newly appointed Deputy Director Kersh to find him interferes with their investigation.

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

"You want me to go on record? I will go on record to say this; that I have seen things that I cannot explain. I have observed phenomena that I cannot deny. And that as a scientist and a serious person it is a badge of honor not to dismiss these things because someone thinks they're B.S."

Some "Within" Tidbits & Musings:

-- The titles of this two part season premiere "Within" and "Without" are from a line by Deep Throat to Mulder during his dream state experience in the Season 2 premiere "The Blessing Way": "I come to you, old friend, with the dull clarity of the dead not to beckon you but to feel the fire and intensity that still live in you ... and the heavy weight of your burdens which I had once borne. There is truth here, old friend, if that's all you seek, but there's no justice or judgment without which truth is a vast, dead hollow. Go back. Do not look into the abyss or let the abyss look into you. Awaken the sleep of reason and fight the monsters within and without." Scully is connected to Mulder through her dreams in this episode, just as she was in "The Blessing Way."

-- The teaser, which begins with a rhythmic heartbeat, probably representing Scully's unborn child, also features an umbilical like cord being pulled from Mulder's throat. This perhaps represents Scully's umbilical-like tie to Mulder (and *their* child) and is also a nice tie-in to Fight the Future where Mulder pulled a similar cord out of Scully. I believe the teaser is intended to be a dream/nightmare fueled by Scully's own abduction memories and experiences coupled with news of her pregnancy, versus the other Mulder!Torture sequences which appear to be prophetic dreams since when Mulder finally returns he has suffered the injuries that Scully dreams about in "Within." Similarly symbolic is the fact that when Scully awakes from her nightmare, she immediately puts her hand on her abdomen; to me, this is certainly a clue that Scully believes Mulder to be the father of her child.

-- This episode marks the first major change to the opening credits since the show first started with new images, updated photos for David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, and the addition of Robert Patrick to the main cast. In "The Truth About Season 8" on the Season 8 DVDs, Chris Carter and Frank Spotniz noted they had resisted changing the opening credits up to this time, even though they looked a little dated, more out of superstition than anything else. But the credits had to change in Season 8 because of the addition of Robert Patrick, and so modifications were made, including references to Scully's pregnancy and the "falling Mulder" representing Mulder's absence. Carter remarked that the credit change brought a "torrent of protests" from fans that "we had changed the unchangeable."

-- Carter and Spotnitz *don't* mention on the DVD that they used the worst possible picture ever taken of David Duchovny for his new FBI ID badge used in the credits. Don't tell me the boys at 1013 don't hold a grudge!

-- In the first scene after the credits, where Scully is doing her self-reflecting in front of the mirror as she's buttoning her white blouse over her black bra, we are shown very clearly that she's wearing her cross necklace that all shippers were sure was around Mulder's neck when he was abducted. Even though he didn't think of it, it was too bad that Carter didn't grab the opportunity with both hands; it was a great idea for a prop so important and so symbolic to the Mulder/Scully partnership.

-- Chris Carter had asked Mark Snow to come up with a musical piece that would become "Scully's theme" to take the character through the journey of "having to consider the loss of Mulder." To represent Scully's alienation, loneliness, and fear, Snow came up with the idea of using a solo female voice doing sort of an incantation rather than lyrics. Chris Carter heard the theme and suggested one change. In Snow's original version, the voice could be heard quite clearly saying the phrase "we are near, we are near" (representing Scully and Mulder's connection) and Carter asked that it be changed so the actual words could not be heard.

-- The agents "collecting material" for the Mulder Manhunt also took his nameplate off the door.

-- An X-File in itself was exactly why was the FBI was launching a huge search for a man they've been trying to get rid of for seven years? Perhaps it wasn't such a huge search after all, since no one seemed to be interested in looking in the place where he actually disappeared.

-- Agent John Doggett is named after sports commentator Vin Scully's co-commentator, Jerry Doggett; and of course, the character of Scully is named for the voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully. Doggett's middle name is revealed to be Jay.

-- On the Season 8 DVDs, Carter and Spotnitz described the new character of John Doggett as a "tough guy, street guy, blue collar, smart, by the book, team player, unlike Mulder who was always the outsider who reveled in his place in the basement at the FBI."

-- In casting the role of Doggett, Chris Carter noted that the fans were going to have a reaction to anyone that was brought in, so they didn't want an actor who might be considered to be a love interest for Scully. Spotnitz added that they knew a huge section of the fan base wouldn't want the character of Doggett on the show and would be resentful that the show was going forward without Mulder at all; so their strategy to deal with that was to acknowledge all those things. Robert Patrick remarked on the Season 8 DVDs that he had no problem with the scene in "Within" where Scully tosses water in Doggett's face, "because I think that's what every X-Files fan wanted to have happen, so Chris and Frank just went ahead and did it for them." Spotnitz also said that the reaction of the fans was manifested through Scully and Skinner in the first two episodes. "They said 'we don't want you, we want Mulder, go away,' and the fact that [Doggett] just lets all that roll past him, says 'I understand, but here I am, I'm here to do a job,' and then slowly, slowly gets pulled into the X-Files and comes to care about Scully, and being a character of integrity, cares about the truth."

-- Spotnitz also said that the 1013 Boys knew from the very beginning of Season 8 that there were going to introduce another female character on the show toward the end of the season, even though she didn't have a name at that time, to be a believer as Mulder had been a believer. They felt they would be able to continue the show, to move on to another generation, because at the end of Season 8, they would have "two viable, interesting new characters, and we'd be protecting the Scully/Mulder partnership. We wouldn't be destroying that."

-- In perhaps what is a symbolic nod to the episode "all things," when Scully is having a short and ladylike bout with morning sickness, director Kim Manners (as big a shipper as any of us, I believe) has the camera focus on a dripping faucet. This is interesting because in "all things" a dripping faucet started the episode as Scully dressed in the bathroom after what many fans and Gillian Anderson herself considered the start of a sexual relationship with Mulder.

-- Sheila Larkin as Maggie Scully makes her first "appearance" since Season 5 -- though it's only her voice on the answering machine.

-- Marty Zagon who played Scully's landlord in this episode did not play her landlord in "En Ami"; but he *did* play a landlord in "Biogenesis"; he was the landlord of Dr. Sandoz' apartment where M&S would find Dr. Merkmallen neatly compacted in the trash compactor.

-- I guess the boys at 1013 thought we wouldn't be able to figure out that whoever broke into Scully's and Mulder's apartments took their computers unless they made it obvious; I'm a computer idiot and even *I* know there's nothing to be found in the monitor.

-- I'm sure that the alien beings who abducted Fox Mulder are super-intelligent, because the first thing they did was take off his clothes!

-- Production designer Corey Kaplan explained on the Season 8 DVDs that the "Within/Without" season premiere had to set up Doggett as a new character as well as help get David Duchovny off the show, and she jokingly added "torturing him was Chris's answer to that." Kaplan took a low-tech approach to designing the alien torture chair because it was "much more interesting, more visual, to take elements of rock and steel and chisel it into interesting shapes." The background in the torture scenes was a dimly lit backdrop from the movie "Alien" and the crew used some weird lens effects to give the scene an "otherwordly" quality. The torture chair was on a rotating platform with pieces of equipment that moved and rotated and were enhanced with laser effects and magnified camera lenses. The make-up effects lab made the cheek prostheses that were affixed to David Duchovny's face so that hooks could be attached to make the cheeks stretch out. "David said pretty good through all that," the make-up supervisor said.

-- In this episode, Mat Beck returned to the show as Visual Effects Producer, replacing Bill Millar.

-- Continuity error: The Mulder Family Tombstone spells Mrs. Mulder's name as "Tena" and in "Dreamland II" it was spelled "Teena." Also, exactly when were Mr. Mulder's remains dug up and moved to Raleigh? In "The Blessing Way" he was buried in Boston.

-- Carter often falls back on sloppy storytelling to get himself out of corners that he's painted himself into, and "Within" is no exception, starting with "Mulder's dying." Going to doctors in Raleigh for a year? A clear record of his decline? When did that happen? Mulder had numerous hospital visits during Season 7 -- "Amor Fati," "Millennium," "The Goldberg Variation," "Signs & Wonders," "Brand X," and "Fight Club." Surely Dr. Scully, his personal physician, would have seen some indication of that decline. (Perhaps since they started having sex Scully was too preoccupied with another of Mulder's organs to worry about his brain! ) And we're supposed to believe that Mulder traveled to Raleigh every weekend to weep over the grave of a mother who lied to him his whole life and burned his baby pictures before she killed herself? I don't think so.

-- "How far would Mulder go?" Doggett asks Scully. It's the same question that Michael Kritschgau asked Skinner in "The Sixth Extinction."

-- Scully has a leap of Mulderesque proportions when she figures out from microburst activity that Gibson Praise is the next target.

-- The number on Gibson Praise's file that is slipped to Doggett is 1013-113.

-- When Scully points out the location of the last time they saw Gibson Praise, she points to the (real) Palo Verde Nuclear Plant, which is west of Phoenix. In "The Beginning," the plant shown was the (fictional) Rolling Hills Nuclear Plant, 60 miles east of Phoenix.

-- Oopsie! It's a law in California to prominently display your restaurant's rating by the health department, and there's a big letter "A" right by the front door of the diner that Skinner walks into. Problem is, Skinner and Scully were in Arizona.

-- As one of the most vocal about Scully and Doggett's decided *lack* of on-screen chemistry, I'll be the first to say that GA and RP did show some chemistry in this episode; but IMBO, that was because the characters were still antagonists, best illustrated in the water-tossing scene and the scene where Doggett finds Scully asleep in Mulder's apartment (and she awakes with serious bed-head!). In "Within" they were sparring with each other; but Scully's nearly instantaneous trust of Doggett in the next few episodes killed the spark. Scully all too quickly forgot the No. 1 Rule in the XF Handbook: "Trust no one."

-- The episode's dedication read: In Memoriam - Jim Engh 1961-2000. Jim Engh was a member of the production crew who was electrocuted while filming a scene from a scaffold for this episode. Six other crew members were injured in the accident.

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

Polly