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The X-Files

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Equantez
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« Reply #60 on: September 27, 2011, 12:30:59 am »

Character arc

Within the series, the birth date of the Smoking Man is never revealed. Much of his background is revealed in the fourth season episode "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man," where one of the conspiracy theorists known as The Lone Gunmen claims Smoking Man was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on August 20, 1940. This, however, is directly contradicted by the third season episode "Apocrypha," in which a young adult Smoking Man is one of three government agents who interrogate a severely burned submariner in the U.S. Navy Hospital at Pearl Harbor, on August 19, 1953. In that scene, Smoking Man was played by 24-year-old actor Craig Warkentin. Yet according to The Lone Gunmen's chronology, Smoking Man would then have been only 12 years old.

Also in "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man," he is said to have grown up an orphan, his father having been executed by electric chair in Louisiana for treason for working as a Soviet spy, and his mother having died of lung cancer from smoking. In 1962, he was stationed along with Bill Mulder at the US Army Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was known for having a long history in black ops and American intelligence. He was potentially involved in the training of Cuban rebels in the Bay of Pigs. It is also revealed that he personally carried out the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King as revealed in "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man", though the veracity of that episode is somewhat unclear.[2] In his first appearance in the series, he oversees FBI agent Dana Scully's briefing and debriefing, and later disposes of evidence Mulder and Scully had brought back from their investigation of an alien abduction.[3] With the Smoking Man hiding truth from the public, Mulder seeks to reveal it to the public and the truth about the disappearance of his sister, Samantha. This leads to a rivalry that lasts until the end of the series.[4]
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Equantez
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« Reply #61 on: September 27, 2011, 12:31:31 am »

In later seasons, it is revealed that he is a member of an unnamed group known as the Syndicate, a shadowy organization within the United States government.[5] The episode "Two Fathers" reveals his birthname or alias as C.G.B. Spender, and that he was formerly married to Cassandra Spender, with whom he had a son, Jeffrey Spender. He recruits FBI Special Agent Diana Fowley to be a subordinate of his because she has a close relationship with Mulder.[6] In "One Son", Jeffrey finds out that his dad, the Smoking Man, forced his mother Cassandra to undergo medical treatments that led to several nervous breakdowns during his childhood years. When the Smoking Man finds out, he seemingly kills Jeffrey. Knowing of the colonization plan, the Alien rebels return to Earth to try to persuade the Syndicate to join their side against their war with the Colonists. Not believing in the strength of the Alien rebels, the Syndicate members meet at El Rico Air Base to be transported to a spaceship to survive the colonization. But the rebels appear instead of the Colonists and kill all remaining chief members of the Syndicate. Together with Fowley, he escapes the destruction of the Syndicate.[7] Later in the sixth season, there is more evidence that suggested that the Smoking Man is Mulder's biological father. Eventually in "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati", Fowley comes in disagreement with him. Because of his plans to kill Mulder, Fowley helps Scully in her investigation to locate Mulder, which leads to her death. After the destruction of the Syndicate, the Smoking Man started to operate as he wished.[8] However, his cancer resurfaced, and he became wheelchair-bound. In the end, Alex Krycek and Marita Covarrubias betray him in the episode "Requiem", throwing him down a flight of stairs, where they presume him to be dead.[9]

Until the ninth season episode "William", the Smoking Man is presumed dead until Spender reappears. It is learned that his attempted murder of his son failed, which led him to subject his son to terrible experiments.[10] In the series finale, "The Truth", Mulder and Scully travel through remote New Mexico and reach a pueblo where a "wise man" reputedly lives. It is in fact the Smoking Man. He is shown to be in the same condition as when he disappeared, but has degenerated further. He lives a primitive life in hiding from the "New" Syndicate. He tells Mulder and Scully all he has left to reveal (including the fact that the aliens are scheduled to invade in 2012), and shortly after is finally killed by a missile shot from a helicopter ordered by Knowle Rohrer.[11
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Equantez
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« Reply #62 on: September 27, 2011, 12:32:21 am »

Characterization

Kim Manners, a director of several X-Files episodes, said that the Smoking Man was the show's version of "Darth Vader.[4] Some X-Files fans have categorized the Smoking Man as "evil", making him out to be the villain. Carter on the other hand, once called him "the devil", which was received mixedly by fans. Other fans, along with the portraying actor, see him as a "hero", as he is forced to make choices others do not.[12]

On the surface, it may seem that the Smoking Man merely tries to hide information from Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, but there is much more to him. He is involved in the Syndicate, a shadow organization which includes members of the United States government that exists to hide from the public the fact that aliens are planning to colonize Earth. Smoking Man often ruthlessly protects the secrets of the conspiracy, and serves as the main antagonist to Mulder, who has an equally consuming devotion to reveal the truth in the first seven seasons.[13] Although his actions can be described as monstrous for the most part, his stated justification is a desire to prevent the alien colonization for as long as possible, and he is at times shown working towards that goal, particularly in connection with developing a vaccine to protect people from the "black oil", a parasitic agent which the alien Colonists use to propagate themselves.[7]
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Equantez
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« Reply #63 on: September 27, 2011, 12:32:48 am »

Development

"I tried to put myself in the character’s shoes and see the world from his point of view. After all, villains don’t think they are villains."
— William B. Davis talking about his character.[14]

When first cast for the role, portraying actor William B. Davis thought a show about the paranormal wouldn't last for long.[15] Before joining The X-Files cast, Davis had not smoked a cigarette in twenty years. For the first two episodes he appeared in, he smoked "real" cigarettes, but later changed to herbal cigarettes, giving the reason that it was "dangerous" for his health.[16] In at least one early script draft from the "Pilot", a Special Agent named Lake Drazen is present at the meeting near the start of the episode, having chosen Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) for an assignment to evaluate the validity of Fox Mulder's (David Duchovny) work on the X-Files. The scene was eventually deleted and replaced, many staff members hints to that Drazen became the Smoking Man.[17]
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Equantez
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« Reply #64 on: September 27, 2011, 12:33:09 am »

Kim Manners said that it seemed all the prominent pieces created for The X-Files were created by "accident". According to Manners, Davis was nothing more than an extra leaning on a shelf. At the start, the producers of the show were not sure about making the Smoking Man the main antagonist. Paul Rabwin commented once that he didn't know if Davis could handle the role, because he was not sure if he was a "good enough" actor for the role. Manners later commented that Davis knew that the Smoking Man had two different characters, the first being the one played by Davis and the second was the cigarettes. He further stated that the cigarette smoke could tell a "whole story" by itself, thanks to Davis' talent.[4]

Fans of the series were active in debating if the Smoking Man was actually dead after the events of the season five premiere "Redux". In his first response, Chris Carter said he had left clues in the episode, and he later officially announced that the character would appear in The X-Files movie. In one of his last comments on the matter, he said "Not that we haven't brought deceased characters back before, in flashbacks or more paranormal ways. The great thing about The X-Files is that anything can happen."[18]

The Smoking Man is the only character in the series, in addition to Mulder and Scully, to appear in both the first episode, "pilot" and the last, "The Truth" of the series. Portraying actor William B. Davis was listed as CIA Agent in the first season episode "Young at Heart", instead of his usual character, the Smoking Man. Actor Chris Owens for a time portrayed the Smoking Man as a young man in flashbacks. He later plays his son, Jeffrey Spender.[19] Young Cigarette Smoking Man was first played by Craig Warkentin, with Davis's voice dubbed over in "Apocrypha".[20]
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Equantez
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« Reply #65 on: September 27, 2011, 12:33:32 am »

Reception

While not being nominated for any of his work alone on The X-Files, William B. Davis and several other cast members were nominated in the category "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series" by the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 1997,[21] 1998[22] and 1999 but did not win.[23] The character was regularly voted "The Nastiest Villain" on television polls during the 90s. According to portraying actor, the character had garnered protest from "pro-smokers".[24] Entertainment Weekly writer Jennifer Armstrong cited the character as an example of the old tradition of only having "bad guys" smoking on television.[25]

Davis was included in Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Biggest Emmy Snubs, the list's author saying that the presence of the "Cigarette Smoking Man" was as important as "black oil, alien implants, and Scully's skepticism".[26] The Malaysian newspaper the New Straits Times called the Smoking Man one of the most "intriguing" character of the show.[27] However, Christianity Today said that the mystery behind the Smoking Man had evaporated by the late season episodes.[28] Likewise, Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly felt that "the monotonous evil of Cancer Man" had "become actively annoying" in later seasons of the show, being that his lurking presence did not seem as mysterious anymore.[29] Salon reviewer Jeff Stark felt the show was at its best when you "didn't exactly know the motivations of the Smoking Man".[30]
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Equantez
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« Reply #66 on: September 27, 2011, 12:33:57 am »

Notes

   1. ^ Silber, Kenneth (October 27, 2000). "'Requiem' Resurrects X-Files Mythology". Space. http://www.space.com/sciencefiction/tv/xfiles_722_000522.html. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
   2. ^ "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man". Glen Morgan, Writ. Glen Morgan. The X-Files. Fox Home Entertainment. No. 7, season 4.
   3. ^ "Pilot". Robert Mandel, Writ. Chris Carter. The X-Files. Fox Home Entertainment. No. 1, season 1.
   4. ^ a b c Spotnitz, Frank, Carter, Chris, Shiban, John , Manners, Kim and Gordon, Howard among others. (2004). Threads of Mythology. [DVD]. Fox Home Entertainment.
   5. ^ "The Erlenmeyer Flask". R.W. Goodwin, Writ. Chris Carter. The X-Files. Fox Home Entertainment. No. 24, season 1.
   6. ^ "Two Fathers". Kim Manners, Writ. Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz. The X-Files. Fox Home Entertainment. No. 11, season 6.
   7. ^ a b "One Son". Rob Bowman, Writ. Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz. The X-Files. Fox Home Entertainment. No. 12, season 6.
   8. ^ "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati". Michael W. Watkins, Writ. David Duchovny & Chris Carter. The X-Files. Fox Home Entertainment. No. 2, season 7.
   9. ^ "Requiem". Kim Manners, Writ. Chris Carter. The X-Files. Fox Home Entertainment. No. 22, season 7.
  10. ^ "William". David Duchovny, Writ. David Duchovny, Frank Spotnitz & Chris Carter. The X-Files. Fox Home Entertainment. No. 16, season 9.
  11. ^ "The Truth". Kim Manners, Writ. Chris Carter. The X-Files. Fox Home Entertainment. No. 19 & 20, season 9.
  12. ^ Kowalski and B. Davis 2007, pp. 142–143.
  13. ^ Tomashoff, Craig (December 5, 1999). "Television/Radio; Where Have the Confident, Happy Heroes Gone?". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/12/05/arts/television-radio-where-have-the-confident-happy-heroes-gone.html?scp=5&sq=Cigarette%20Smoking%20Man%20fox%20mulder&st=cse. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  14. ^ "Exclusive interview – William B. Davis". Expedientes X. http://www.expedientesx.es/2009/03/exclusive-interview-william-b-davis/. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  15. ^ Doherty, Brian (October 22, 2009). "An Interview". Space. http://www.space.com/sciencefiction/xfiles_davis_intv_991022.html. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  16. ^ Nuytens, Gilles (October 11, 2005). "Interview with William B. Davis". The Sci Fi World. http://www.thescifiworld.net/interviews/william_b_davis_01.htm. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  17. ^ Carter, Chris, Anderson, Gillian, Duchovny, David, B. Davis, William and Williams, Steven. (1998). Inside The X-Files (Season 5). [DVD]. Fox Home Entertainment.
  18. ^ Baldwin, Kristen (November 21, 1997). "Dead Man Smoking?". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,290362,00.html. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  19. ^ Carter, Chris. (2005). Audio Commentary for "The Red and the Black". [DVD]. Fox Home Entertainment.
  20. ^ Carter, Chris and Manners, Kim. (2005). Audio Commentary for "Apocrypha". [DVD]. Fox Home Entertainment.
  21. ^ "3nd Annual SAG Awards Nominees". Screen Actors Guild Award. http://www.sagawards.org/3_award_nom. Retrieved July 10, 2009. [dead link]
  22. ^ "4nd Annual SAG Awards Nominees". Screen Actors Guild Award. http://www.sagawards.org/4_award_nom. Retrieved July 10, 2009. [dead link]
  23. ^ "5nd Annual SAG Awards Nominees". Screen Actors Guild Award. http://www.sagawards.org/5_award_nom. Retrieved July 10, 2009. [dead link]
  24. ^ Rampton, James (February 7, 1998). "Where there's smoke...". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/where-theres-smoke-1143452.html. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  25. ^ Armstrong, Jennifer. "TV smoking makes doctors gag". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,254432,00.html. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  26. ^ "50 Biggest Emmy Snubs: No. 50-26". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20213197,00.html. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  27. ^ "Trust Is Out There...". New Straits Times. February 11, 1998. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=L2gWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=PhUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6683,2906134&dq=cigarette+smoking+man. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  28. ^ Hertz, Todd (January 1, 2002). "Opinion Roundup: Is The Truth Out There?". Christianity Today. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2002/januaryweb-only/1-21-31.0.html. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  29. ^ Tucker, Ken (May 16, 1997). "The X-Files (1993 - 2002)". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,287949,00.html. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  30. ^ Stark, Jeff (January 16, 2001). "The X-Files: Fight the Future". Salon. http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/dvd/review/2001/01/16/x_files_movie/. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
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Equantez
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« Reply #67 on: September 27, 2011, 12:36:54 am »

Marita Covarrubias (AKA "UN Blonde", typically pronounced as "unblonde") is portrayed by Laurie Holden. Covarrubias becomes an informant to Fox Mulder after the death of his former source, X. Assistant to one of the Special Representatives of the UN Secretary General, she is a mysterious character with little known background, though it is known Cigarette Smoking Man (CSM) was her direct superior.[60] She is somewhat more reluctant than Mulder's previous informants, often only offering information when approached by him, however at times her help proved invaluable to Mulder's quest for the truth – a cause she once mentions she supports.[61]

During the fifth season, the Syndicate discovered that Marita had betrayed them and was providing information to Mulder. As a result, she was used as a guinea pig for the vaccination that the Syndicate had been developing to fight the black oil after she became infected with it.[32] The tests, having been conducted on Marita for about a year, disfigured her. In the following season, Covarrubias is spotted by Mulder at a decontamination facility. She is later discovered by Jeffrey Spender with whom she pleads to help her escape the facility, addressing him by name as well as giving him information about the whereabouts of his mother. Alex Krycek, also present at the facility, declines to help the pair, and leaves Covarrubias for dead.[24][34]

Later in season 7, she returns, having been restored to normal, presumably in exchange for helping the Cigarette Smoking Man. At his request, she sets off to secure Krycek's release from a foreign prison and informs the newly released Krycek of the ailing CSM's imminent demise. After the pair returns to the United States, CSM informs them of his plans to have the pair reinstate the conspiracy and sends them off to track down a downed alien craft. She and Krycek contact Walter Skinner and Mulder to inform them about the alien spaceship, and later turn on the Cigarette Smoking Man pushing him down a flight of stairs, presuming him dead.[52]

In the series finale, Skinner seeks Marita as his star witness in Mulder's murder trial. After Skinner fails to track her down, a ghostly image of X hands Mulder a scrap of paper with Marita's new address scribbled upon it. She is soon called upon to testify, and speaks about her involvement with the conspiracy to some extent. However, when Skinner pushes for further information about the continuation of the conspiracy, Marita clams up, and at Mulder's request, is dismissed from the witness chair out of fear that if she divulges certain information, she would be killed.[28]
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« Reply #68 on: September 27, 2011, 12:38:57 am »



Laurie Holden promoting The Mist at the 2007 Comic Con
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« Reply #69 on: September 27, 2011, 12:39:30 am »

Deep Throat is portrayed by American actor Jerry Hardin. It is suggested in "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man" that his real name is Ronald.[58] Deep Throat first appears in the episode "Deep Throat", warning agent Fox Mulder of the danger he is in, and later offers to help him. He subsequently becomes Mulder's covert information source. Whenever Mulder needs Deep Throat's help, Mulder places a black light lamp in his window. This is similar to how the real-life reporter Bob Woodward would "call" his informant known as Deep Throat during the Watergate scandal, in which he claimed to move a potted plant on his balcony a certain way to signal a meeting.[62]

During the first season of The X-Files, the paternal-like Deep Throat provided Mulder and Dana Scully with information they would have been otherwise unable to obtain, leading to some interesting investigations. Being a member of the then-unseen Syndicate, he was in a position to know a great deal of information. Generally, Deep Throat used his power to help Mulder, though without jeopardizing his own security, and so his information was sometimes vague and needed to be decoded by Mulder. Deep Throat felt that the truth the Syndicate kept secret from the public needed to be known, and believed Mulder to be the one person capable of doing so.[14] However, Deep Throat had at least once provided Mulder with false information in order to divert him, later explaining that he believed the public was just not ready to know some truths.[41]
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« Reply #70 on: September 27, 2011, 12:40:01 am »

During the Vietnam War, and while still part of the Syndicate, Deep Throat worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. When a UFO was shot down over Hanoi by the US Marines, the surviving extraterrestrial was brought to Deep Throat who, following Syndicate policy, executed it. He later claimed that his assistance of Mulder is his way of atonement for what he had done. He also stated that he was "a participant in some of the most insidious lies and witness to deeds that no crazed man could imagine". He became disillusioned with the Syndicate, although -- unlike Bill Mulder or Alvin Kurtzweil -- remained a member.[41]

In the first season finale of The X-Files, "The Erlenmeyer Flask", Mulder was taken hostage by a group of Men in Black operatives,following his investigation into an alien-human hybrid program. Fearing for Mulder's life, Deep Throat helped Scully gain access a high containment facility, where she managed to secretly remove a cryogenically preserved alien fetus for use as collateral in saving Mulder. In the subsequent meeting between the operatives and Deep Throat, he was gunned down by a Syndicate assassin, the Crew Cut Man, on orders from the Smoking Man. Deep Throat was buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.[59]

After his death, Deep Throat was succeeded by X, who also becomes somewhat of an informant to Mulder.
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« Reply #71 on: September 27, 2011, 12:40:29 am »



   

Jerry Hardin as Deep Throat in The X-Files.
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« Reply #72 on: September 27, 2011, 12:41:53 am »

First Elder

The First Elder is portrayed by Don S. Williams. He was a high-ranking member of the Syndicate. His exact position in the Syndicate was unclear, especially in regard to the Well Manicured Man, though at times he seemed higher-ranking than the Smoking Man. He contacted Scully in person while Mulder pursued evidence of an alien autopsy on a train.[56] He also obtained photographs taken by X of a meeting between The Smoking Man and Teena Mulder as proof that one of the Smoking Man's henchmen was a traitor. The First Elder set up a trap to reveal the identity of the traitor and dispatched an assassin to kill him. Sure enough, X fell for the trap and was executed.[57]

After Mulder shot Department of Defense agent Scott Ostlehoff in his head to obscure his identity, Mulder and Scully used the situation to effectively fake Mulder's death. CSM spoke with the First Elder at a horse track about Mulder's death, which CSM saw as unfortunate and unhelpful. However, the fact that Mulder was alive soon became known to both men, upon which the First Elder ordered one of his operatives to carry out a specific task. The operative followed CSM as he tried to recruit Mulder to work with the Syndicate, watching their movements through the scope of a sniper rifle. Shortly after the discovery of Scott Blevins' betrayal, the First Elder's operative shot CSM, who had been holding a photograph of Mulder and his sister.[12] He was killed along with the rest of the Syndicate by a group of Alien rebels in 1999.[34]
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« Reply #73 on: September 27, 2011, 12:59:21 am »

Second Elder

The Second Elder is portrayed by George Murdock. He is a member of the Syndicate. While it was never made clear what power the Second Elder held in the Syndicate, it is clear that he did not have the same power as the First Elder or Conrad Strughold. He seemed to be a skeptic and wanted to collaborate with the Colonists since he did not believe in the Alien rebels. The Second Elder made his first appearance in "The Red and the Black" in season 5.[32] The Well-Manicured Man showed photos of the Faceless Rebel to the Syndicate Elders at the hospital. The First Elder and Second Elder discussed what appeared to be self-mutilation, but deduced it was some sort of protection against the black oil. The rebel was the lone survivor of a crashed spacecraft at a military base in West Virginia. Already possessing the Russian vaccine obtained by Alex Krycek, the Well-Manicured Man and the Elders realize that their ultimate goal of stopping the alien invasion (whilst maintaining the facade of assisting it), may be achieved by creating an alliance with the alien resistance. To test the effectiveness of the vaccine, Marita Covarrubias was injected with it.[60]

The Second Elder's final appearance was in "Two Fathers". The Cigarette Smoking Man called the Second Elder at his home to inform of the Rebel attack. He had called an emergency meeting of the Syndicate and encouraged the Second Elder to attend. The Second Elder indicated that he would catch the next plane, then hung up the phone. Shortly afterward, he was killed by a Rebel, which then infiltrates the Syndicate's meeting disguised as the Second Elder. The rebel in disguise is later killed by Alex Krycek after a failed attempt by Jeffrey Spender.[24]
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« Reply #74 on: September 27, 2011, 01:02:01 am »

Third Elder

The Third Elder was a character on The X-Files portrayed by John Moore. He was a high-ranking member of the Syndicate who worked on the so-called "Project" which involved the alien colonists.[45][46] The Third Elder was killed in 1999, along with the rest of the Syndicate, by a group of faceless aliens.[24][34]
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