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The X-Files

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Author Topic: The X-Files  (Read 5805 times)
Jennifer O'Dell
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Posts: 4546

« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2007, 04:00:59 am »

Jeffrey Spender (Chris Owens) was a new character in season 5. Owens also played "The Great Mutato" in Chris Carter's "Post-Modern Prometheus," a black-and-white Frankenstein adaptation.

Season 5 (1997-1998)

When season 5 opened, to the show's best numbers ever[4] (with the exception of "Leonard Betts"), it turned out Fox Mulder was still alive, having gone into hiding after becoming involved with Michael Kritschgau, a renegade Department of Defense employee. The continuation of the three-part arc with "Redux" and "Redux II" brought Scully's metastasizing cancer to the fore, as Mulder continued to question his own ideas about aliens and government conspiracies, while working to find a cure to a disease he believes the government gave Scully. Scully is finally cured, though it's unclear what has caused the intervention, and what sacrifices have been made for the end. Skinner's loyalties are in question, and the Cigarette Smoking Man is seemingly put out of commission by the Syndicate.

These events were soon followed by Chris Carter's "The Post-Modern Prometheus", which he both wrote and directed. It was the show's only episode filmed entirely in black-and-white, a retelling of the story of Frankenstein (subtitled by author Mary Shelley, The Modern Prometheus), mixed with allusions to Young Frankenstein, Jerry Springer, comic books, David Lynch's The Elephant Man, and Cher. Carter earned his second DGA nomination for his work. A few months earlier in 1997, The X-Files had received its largest awards recognition yet for its fourth season, with 12 Emmy nominations including best drama series, sound mixing, makeup, music, directing, writing, two nominations for editing, and wins for sound editing, art direction, and Anderson. Duchovny was also nominated at both this event and at the Golden Globes, where along with Anderson's win, he won best actor in a TV drama and the show itself won that category for a second year—taking all three top awards. The X-Files also won a second Saturn Award for best genre television series, and Anderson won for best actress; these awards were given by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films.[52]

Chris Carter's contract with FOX ran through the fifth season,[39] and he and the stars had originally preferred to stop there,[71] turning The X-Files into a series of films; but the show was such a hit that FOX was intent to continue it on TV in some form, and Carter was convinced to sign a new contract, retaining creative control.[77] In a very rare move for a show still in production,[1] a feature film of The X-Files had been planned by Carter ever since the show achieved commercial success in season two.[29] The movie's scripts were printed in red ink to ensure secrecy,[46] and it was largely filmed in California between season four's "Gethsemane" and season five's resumption of the plot with "Redux", pushing back the debut date for the season to November 1997 and resulting in the fifth being (until the ninth) the shortest season, only 20 episodes.[78]

As a result, several episodes in season five featured either Scully or Mulder at the expense of the other, to make time for personal projects or re-shoots on the film throughout the season (both stars were now reportedly receiving the same pay, $100,000 per episode[46]). "Christmas Carol" and "Emily", written by the team of Spotnitz, Gilligan and Shiban, were the first mythology episodes mostly centered around Scully. In "Christmas Carol", she receives further information about her abduction, coinciding with the mysterious arrival of a young child into her life.

Another result was that two episodes of the season, "Unusual Suspects" and "Travelers", focused on the origins of The Lone Gunmen in 1989 and the origin of the X-File cases at the FBI during the McCarthy era in the 1950s, respectively. Duchovny appears only briefly in the episodes, and Anderson is in neither. Richard Belzer guest starred in "Unusual Suspects," playing Detective John Munch of Homicide and many other series. "Unusual Suspects" was later followed up in the sixth season with "Three of a Kind," and these episodes about Lone Gunmen John Fitzgerald Byers (Bruce Harwood), Richard "Ringo" Langly (Dean Haglund), and Melvin Frohike (Tom Braidwood) later became the basis for a short-lived spinoff in 2001.

Early in 1998, the show, largely written by a staff of regulars,[29] aired its first episodes by well-known guest writers. Stephen King contributed "Chinga", about a demonic doll, which was co-written with Chris Carter and featured Scully investigating the case, between tongue-in-cheek phone conversations with Mulder. The episode, directed by Kim Manners, received mixed reviews. Next up was "Kill Switch", written by cyberpunk author William Gibson along with Tom Maddox. The episode covered issues of virtual reality and received better reception.[79] Then an episode aired where both Mulder and Scully's diverging viewpoints on a vampire case were presented, and humorously contrasted. Vince Gilligan's "Bad Blood", another pairing with "Small Potatoes" director Cliff Bole, was a fan favorite[80] and featured Luke Wilson in a guest role as a young Texas sheriff with or without "buck teeth".

In February, the fifth season continued a tradition of mythology episodes in sweeps month and aired the dramatic two-part episodes "Patient X" and "The Red and the Black", the latter of which was again directed by Carter. These dealt with the beginning of colonization, and introduced two new characters, Cassandra Spender (a chronic alien abductee, played by Veronica Cartwright, who was nominated for two Emmys in the role) and her estranged son Jeffrey Spender (a colleague of Mulder and Scully at the FBI, played by Chris Owens). The episodes also juxtaposed Mulder's ongoing crisis of belief in the existence of aliens, with the machinations of the Syndicate and Scully's own personal experiences. Krycek and Covarrubias were involved, while the Cigarette Smoking Man continued to be largely out of the picture during the fifth season. Leading up to the end of the year, more monster of the week episodes were aired, including "Mind's Eye" (guest starring Lili Taylor as a blind woman suspected of murder, and written by season 5 story editor Tim Minear), "The Pine Bluff Variant" (about Mulder's involvement in a plot to spread deadly biological terrorism, with tie-ins to the ongoing mythology) and "Folie a Deux" (about Mulder and Scully's investigation into a telemarketing employee who claimed his boss could turn into an insect).

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