Transcript of the DVD Audio Commentary by R. W. Goodwin for the episode 'Anasazi'

Transcribed by: Libby
Edited by: X_Follower

[A home in a Native American village. Night. An earthquake occurs.]

Hi, I'm Bob Goodwin, and I directed this episode, 'Anasazi', and here we are in beautiful Arizona with cliffs that look a lot like Sedona, Arizona, only thing it wasn't, it was really in Vancouver and that was a match shot there at the beginning. A little village, a mining town called Britannia that's north of Vancouver. And this was a tribute to our special effects guys because they had this whole set rigged up so everything was shaking like a leaf. And this is our Indian family, the Navajo family, led by Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman, that man with the long white hair, he was an incredible guy, very spiritual and very magnetic, and apparently a bit of a hottie because there was always a whole lot of ladies waiting for him at the end of the day to get his attention.

[Albert Hosteen warns that the earthquake was an omen.]

He was a Dakota, I believe, and had done quite a bit of work before. The other gentleman, I think Byron Chief-Moon who played the father, and the young man who played the son, this was a sort of beginning experience for them, so Floyd was a great help to them. Now here again, here's another thing we did, this is again supposedly somewhere in Arizona and in point of fact what this actually is is a stone quarry. We found a big stone quarry out east of Vancouver that had been abandoned and that had a cliff face on it. I had my guys from my art department, the paint department, go in and paint this entire cliff. They painted about a half mile of it this red color that would match the cliffs of Sedona, Arizona, then later on we went back to Sedona for one day with the second unit crew and by careful moving match shots and motion control and things like that they made it appear that our principal actors were actually in Arizona which of course they never were.

[Eric goes back to his home, having found something unusual in the quarry.]

Now here again is another tribute to the art department, this is one of many times that we've had to create aliens and alien carcasses and that sort of thing.

[Eric shows his father and grandfather the object - an alien skeleton.]

I can't tell you how many of those things I have in my closet.

[The tag line reads: "EI 'AANIIGOO 'AHOOT'E".]

I don't know what that means (laughs), it's in Navajo so how do I know. I forget already.

[In an apartment in Dover, Delaware, a geek is attempting to hack into a Defense Department computer system.]

This was The Thinker, this was guy who is hacking into all the great government, the secret government codes and he's been running a program and all of a sudden it works. This is one of the first times that the mythology of what's been going on with our dubious and secret folks like the Cigarette-Smoking Man and those people is starting to unravel and this was one of the first times that Mulder actually would gain access to this kind of thing. And now word is traveling all over the world so we have to cast various actors who could speak different languages. This is a guy named Umberto, the older guy sitting at the desk is Umberto, who has a chain of restaurants, very good Italian restaurants in Vancouver and a cooking school in Italy.

[The word is passed from the Italian official to a Japanese, then a German, that the hack has occurred.]

Clearly, something terrible has happened, and clearly this is going to get directly to ...

[The next person contacted is CSM.]

Bill Davis, of course, had to learn to speak German for this but did a pretty good job.

[Black Ops guys break into The Thinker's apartment. In Mulder's apartment, he gets a drink of water and takes some pills. There's a knock at the door - the Lone Gunmen.]

This show's an interesting one for David, because Mulder is obviously undergoing some unusual problems here. He doesn't feel too good physically and mentally, and later we're going to find out of course what the secret is. The Lone Gunmen, they came in an episode in the first season and they were a great bunch of guys. Frohike, the guy with the hat, is a guy named Tom Braidwood and Tom was one of our assistant directors and when the episode came up when these guys first appeared, the director at that time, Billy Graham, suggested that Tom play the part and of course this led to great things for him and for Bruce Harwood and Dean Haglund who played Langly and Byers.

[The Lone Gunmen tell Mulder about The Thinker who wants to meet with Mulder. Suddenly, there's a gunshot from elsewhere in the apartment block. A woman, very hysterical, has just shot her husband.]

Clearly, something is amiss. We later will start putting this all together that it's not just Mulder. But watch David, watch how good he is, the subtlety that he plays, the troubling, whatever it is that's going at him. This is where he meets The Thinker and there was an incredibly wonderful scene here in this garden that started the scene originally where Mulder goes to a very handsome gardener who is just cleaning up for the night and asks directions, and unfortunately this show was a bit long so they cut me out of the picture because I was that gardener.

[The Thinker tells Mulder that he has the original Defense Department's UFO Intelligence files starting from the 1940s.]

Clearly, this is a huge piece of the mythology and this was the second year's season finale so we really wanted to really put out something that would entreat the audience and make them come back at the end of the summer to see what happened.

[He gives Mulder the tape. He takes it to his office, and puts it in his computer just as Scully arrives.]

Unfortunately, the tape proves to be a bit more difficult to interpret than he had hoped. Watch this scene as Mulder's troubling behavior and whatever it is that's going on is becoming more and more evident.

[Mulder accesses the document. The first page shows 'Department of Defense Top Secret'.]

Of course, it would be just too good if this were the truth, that were there plainly written in front of them, and it's not, of course, because it turns out it's in some kind of code or language that seems to be ...

[Mulder loses his temper, kicks the wastepaper basket.]

This is very un-Mulderish behavior. As you know, Mulder's always been a very cool customer and able to kind of breeze through these things but obviously he's reacting in a way that's not typical.

[Scully looks at the screen and suggests it could be Navajo.]

Of course, I knew it was Navajo the minute I saw it.

[Mulder asks Scully to find a translator. She is obviously concerned about his unusual behavior. He says he hasn't been sleeping well, then he leaves to meet with Skinner.]

Good old Scully. She spots it immediately. Now look at this, this was a great scene. This was a really unusual scene. It was a lot of fun for us to shoot and to stage.

[Mulder meets Skinner in the hallway. He is less than polite to Skinner who says he's heard rumors that Mulder may be in possession of some sensitive files. Mulder denies that and turns away. Skinner grabs his shoulder and Mulder hits Skinner.]

Glasses went flying, that wasn't planned. All of this was done without stuntmen because it was just too intimate, too tight for the fights of the two guys. Mitch Pileggi and David just did all their own work, did a great job.

[Scully is called into a meeting with senior FBI Agents.]

This group of actors we kind of gathered together for this particular sequence, some had appeared earlier in other episodes and they sort of became our regular FBI elders who were constantly questioning Scully and Mulder and they came back many, many times, it was Michael David Simms and Ken Camroux, and Chris Carter. I don't know if this was the only time, but this was first time that Chris did a cameo, and it was interesting because here was the man that I'd been working with since the beginning and I've known him for years and years and years, and all of a sudden I was directing his acting debut and he did a good job.

[Scully is told that if she is covering something up she could face dismissal.]

I guess the interesting thing was that the part that Chris played was pivotal and couldn't be cut like the gardener could in the opening sequence. That lady at the desk was our casting assistant, a wonderful lady who was with us the first couple of years. And now we go off to Martha's Vineyard where we meet Mulder's father. Peter Donat was a wonderful actor. Unfortunately, just prior to him arriving for this shoot he had been in a terrible car accident in California and this was a tribute to our make-up people because his face was very badly bruised and he was a real trooper here, he worked through a lot of pain and did a great job.

[CSM reveals that Mulder has obtained the DoD documents.]

I always liked this scene because it's two really good actors who had really only met just I think not too long before this scene was shot, and you really get the feeling that there is a real history between them, that between the lines, you know, the performances give a real sense of long, long experiences with each other and probably not as pleasant as either of them would like, especially the father.

[CSM reassures Mulder's father that the files are only as real as their possible authentication.]

Bill didn't smoke, by the way. He may have smoked in distant time but he did not really smoke cigarettes, these were always these fake cigarettes made out of vegetables or something like that. He, in fact, is very fit and athletic, he's a champion water skier and holds a bunch of records in Canada and he teaches water skiing as well.

[Bill Mulder is concerned that CSM might harm Mulder, but CSM says he's protected him so far and the last thing they need is a martyr or a crusade. CSM stands to leave and puts his hand on Bill's shoulder. Bill flinches.]

I love that, that little touch on the shoulder and the recoil like that when he's touched. That's what I like about these guys, they could convey so much without using the words.

[Mulder's apartment. He's sleeping on his couch when a figure approaches him.]

Here's a nice little piece of misdirection. Who is this, is this somebody coming to kill him?

[Mulder suddenly awakens and scrambles for his gun, then sees it's Scully. She tells him about her meeting.]

Gillian was just becoming this wonderful - I mean she started as a wonderful actress but she just grew and grew and grew, and you can see in this episode too how wonderfully subtle she's playing these moments and her concerns and her confusion over what's going on with Mulder.

[She tells him she put her job on the line because she lied. She asks him if those documents are worth risking everything. He responds harshly, telling her to find someone who could break the code.]

This is a great scene for these two. Mulder is so out of character and she's so confused and scared by it, and of course she's putting herself on the line with the FBI, this is going to lead to even more difficult and harrowing experiences later on in the series.

[Scully says she needs some reassurance that she's doing the right thing. Mulder tapes an X on his window. She asks him why he attacked Skinner but he doesn't know.]

The dynamic between Mulder and Scully is obviously very strained and everything in this episode and I think some of our best episodes were like that, what was originally a pretty clear-cut relationship and fairly clear-cut characters have become much more complex and layered.

[Scully has taken part of the document to a Navajo woman who recognizes some words - merchandise and vaccination.]

"Vaccination". This is the mythology now starting to come to light about what was the government doing in conjunction with all of this UFO research and that sort of thing.

[Back in Mulder's apartment, later that night. The phone rings but instead of Mr. X, it's Mulder's father asking him to come over right away.]

I think Peter Donat and Sheila Larken, who played Mrs. Scully, I think they're about the only two people that ever called Mulder by his first name, Fox.

[Scully enters Mulder's apartment but it's empty. As she stands near the window, there's a gunshot through the window, the bullet grazes her head and ends up in the opposite wall.]

We're going to start amping up now the danger that they're clearly facing by delving into these issues that they shouldn't be delving into. I think actually Gillian may have gotten a little bit of a real scratch on this particular sequence, the bullet hole.

[Mulder arrives at his father's house.]

The great part about this sequence is that we get to have one of our favorite villains make an appearance. We don't know what was going to happen, what the father was going to tell Mulder at this point.

[Mulder's father talks about how it was so complicated back then, and the choices that had to be made. Before he begins to explain further, he has to take some medicine.]

And, of course, it's all very cryptic and hopefully, you know, he'll be able to flesh out what he's saying to him and be clear to him, but he had to just go take his medication which leads to an unfortunate event.

[He goes to the bathroom and takes some pills from the medicine cabinet. As he closes the cabinet, we see in the mirror that Krycek has been hiding in the shower cubicle.]

And who do we see as he's getting open the medicine cabinet? Krycek, rat boy.

[In the sitting room, Mulder hears a gunshot and runs to the bathroom.]

See how David maintained throughout the whole episode, this sort of harrowed, troubled, gnawing thing that was going on inside of him.

[Mulder finds his father dying on the bathroom floor.]

You know, I hate to say this, but I killed off more series regulars on The X-Files than anybody else, I think. I directed the episode that Deep Throat died, I did a number of other episodes where key characters died, X, Scully's sister, and of course here Mulder's father. I thought David was terrific in that.

[Mulder calls Scully.]

So now it's going to be up to him to determine, now it's going to be up to Mulder to determine what the father was trying to tell him, what had gone on in that past troubled life of his.

[Scully asks him if they were arguing. Mulder tell her he didn't do it. She tells him to get out of there but he can't come back to his apartment. They meet up in Scully's apartment and it's clear that Mulder is in a bad state.]

Clearly, they're all in big trouble here. Now this is the sequence where she brings him in, puts him to bed, tries to help him. I remember David had a little fun with us on this one because there's a scene later where he wakes up in bed.

[Scully helps him take off his jacket and gets him to lie down on her bed.]

A little provocative here. Scully undresses Mulder.

[Next morning, Mulder awakes in Scully's bed, wearing just his underpants.]

This is one of the great things that the writers did and Chris did, was that they put these two in these situations where, you know, there was different layers of meaning and who knows, you know, what could happen between the two of them. This was the sequence that David had a little fun with us because the first time we did it he was under the covers and when he pulled back the covers he was wearing some silly thing.

[He climbs out of bed and picks up his jeans, noticing that his gun holster is empty and Scully's not there. She has gone to the FBI firearms unit where a technician is testing Mulder's gun.]

Now Scully's questioning with good reason what Mulder's been up to. You know, he has been behaving oddly, fighting with Skinner and, you know, obviously troubled and angst, but to steal his gun and to get it tested at the FBI, I mean, really potentially exposed him to great problems. So this sort of paranoia that you're seeing from Mulder is not totally unwarranted.

[Mulder phones Scully. He gets very angry with her. Scully goes to Mulder's apartment and digs out the bullet from the wall.]

Poor Scully, I mean, she's really got herself out there, she's being attacked from both sides, the FBI is questioning her loyalty and her complicity with Mulder, and of course now she's got Mulder who is paranoid, deeply troubled, and now accusing her of all sorts of things, but fortunately Scully's pretty smart and things like this suddenly give her some clues to what might be going on.

[She sees a man wheeling out a container from the apartment block. She investigates down in the basement.]

If you remember throughout the whole beginning of this thing, whenever we saw Mulder in his apartment he was drinking glasses of water, water kept playing this sort of recurring theme throughout the scenes and now she finds somebody who had removed one of the water softeners from the building.

And she's clever enough to see that the connections are new as opposed to all of the other old worn connections, and that something clearly is up.

[She removes a component from the new water softener. Mulder arrives in a cab, but as he approaches the front door of the apartment block he notices someone sneaking around the side. He goes through the building and out the back. Looking round, he sees Krycek. He waits around a corner until Krycek is close then attacks him. During the fight, Krycek loses hold of his gun and Mulder picks it up and aims it at him.]

This is one of those moments that fans of The X-Files probably remember pretty clearly because it's not often that two leads in the series interact the way they're about to interact here. Here comes Krycek, Nick Lea was a wonderful guy, I mean, he was absolutely the sweetest person in the world and of course got to play this smarmy, evil, duplicitous character. But watch now, what Scully does. Scully shows up here and watch what happens. Again, this fight, the two actors, I had stuntmen there, we worked it out. You know, actually, I remember now the night we shot this film, the stuntman had a car problem or something and we were sitting there waiting and so Nick and David and I kind of sorted this whole thing out between the two of us without a stunt coordinator and all of this stuff was pretty much done by the two of them, I don't think we used stunt doubles for any of it.

[Scully arrives and points her gun at Mulder telling him not to shoot Krycek.]

Uh-oh, watch out. What's she gonna do.

[Mulder starts squeezing the trigger and Scully shoots at him. Krycek escapes.]

Unbelievable. Scully shoots Mulder. I hope she was a good shot and missed all the vitals.

[Much later, Mulder wakes up in a motel room to see Albert Hosteen.]

I love this guy, Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman. He was just so fascinating, such a charmer. And his manner of speaking and everything else just was so perfect.

[Scully assures Mulder that he'll be fine. Mulder complains that Scully shot him.]

"You shot me." (laughs)

[She tells him she didn't have much choice as he was about to kill Krycek with probably the same gun as Krycek used to kill his father and if Mulder had shot him there would have been no way to prove he hadn't killed his own father.]

And so now, we find out what the source of Mulder's problems were.

[She tells him what she had found in the water softener and that given the level of Mulder's psychosis the substance being put into the building's water system was possibly LDS, amphetamines or some exotic dopamine agonist.]

So there was acid in the water system. That's why that poor lady in the beginning shot and killed her husband, and all kinds of other odd things went on in that building. These people would stop at nothing. They'd drive a whole building full of innocent people psychotic just to get to one guy.

[Scully explains where they are and introduces Albert Hosteen who says Mulder is lucky Scully's a good shot.]

He is lucky that she is a good shot.

[Scully explains that Albert is translating the document and that he had worked on the original encryption.]

It's nice to see Mulder getting back to normal here.

[Scully relates how she found him but says that Albert knew they were coming. Albert says they had an omen last week.]

He had an omen.

[Scully explains that Albert has proof, buried in a Navajo reservation and he will take Mulder there. She has to go back to Washington, having already missed a meeting with Skinner.]

This is one of those great moments where you really sense the mutual affection between these two characters, you know, now Mulder is back more in his normal state of mind and I think there's some relief on Scully's part that he is and they can actually go back to their relationship that existed before the psychosis set in.

[Scully then tells Mulder that her name appears in those documents along with Duane Barry's. Mulder and Albert travel to the reservation.]

And once again, this is Britannia and now those cliffs in the back were all not there. What actually exists in the background behind these places is a north western forest of fir and cedar.

[Albert tells Mulder about a tribe that lived in that area 600 years ago, the Anasazi - the name means ancient aliens.]

And now we see why the show is called 'Anasazi'. "Ancient aliens".

[Albert says historians say the tribe disappeared without a trace.]

Again, this is one of those ways in which The X-Files took actual events and actual historical sort of events and wove them into this mythology because the Anasazi in fact were a tribe of people that lived all through this southwest for years and years and years. They had a very sort of thriving culture, they were cultivating large portions of the southwest and growing beans and that sort of thing, and then suddenly they just disappeared now.

[Eric and Mulder travel to the quarry on Eric's bike.]

These again are not actually Mulder and the Indian gentleman, these are two doubles, and here, this is one of those motion control shots because in reality what's in front of them is that trail but the trail goes down into just a flat empty stone quarry so we shot this portion of it with the two of them on the bicycle in the stone quarry and used the system called motion control where the movement of the camera was recorded on a computer and then we took that camera and that computer to Sedona, found this beautiful canyon and shot the same shot, the camera just repeats the exact same move because of the computerized memory, and then when they meld the two together it becomes that pretty spectacular shot of these two guys going into this incredible canyon. And it's one of the reasons everybody honestly believed we were there, but we never were, this again, this portion here is in the stone quarry in Vancouver. The interesting thing was that all the time we'd been shooting X-Files up to this point, we didn't really care much about what the weather was like, you know, in Vancouver it changes all the time, you get rain then snow and then rain and snow and sun, you never know what you're going to get. But we purposely had covered set to go to on the days we were supposed to shoot this stone quarry because we had to have sun because I had to have it match the Arizona desert and I knew I was going to go down to the desert a couple of weeks after or a week or so after, we finished filming the episode in Vancouver. And of course the irony of it was that when we went down to shoot in Sedona, by the way it was perfectly sunny all the time we shot in the stone quarry so that worked out great, then we got to Sedona and it was raining so we kind of had to wait that out. (laughs)

[CSM phones Mulder and attempts to persuade him to ignore whatever his father told him. Mulder says he's going to expose CSM and his Project. Mulder's phone call has been traced to a coordinate and CSM gets into a helicopter to find him.]

One of the fun things you had to do with X-Files because, you know, so much was dependent upon all of the government intrigue and everything, was you got to have a lot of toys like helicopters and cranes and all kinds of things like that. I'm not much of a fan of helicopters but I was in them quite a bit for X-Files.

[Mulder and Eric discover a boxcar buried in the sand at the bottom of the quarry.]

The art department again did this wonderful job for us here. Creating this buried boxcar out in the middle of the desert.

[Eric finds a hatch.]

Again, everything you see behind you, all that background was all painted, it was all painted red, it was not that color originally.

[Mulder phones Scully from inside the boxcar. He has discovered many skeletons.]

So this next sequence of Mulder inside the boxcar is one of the sort of iconic images of The X-Files. This was of course built on stage.

[Scully tells him that she's found references to experiments carried out by Axis power scientists who were given amnesty after the war. She tells him there were tests carried out on humans, but they were referred to as "merchandise".]

"Merchandise". That's what his father had told him.

[Mulder tells her that the bodies in the boxcar aren't human, they look alien.]

Now, you know, wonderful job creating these alien, or whatever they are, carcasses. And he's looking now and he sees the vaccination mark. Smallpox vaccination. I mean, does this mean that every person who's been vaccinated for smallpox in the United States since the 40s has been tracked or injected with something?

[Eric hears the approaching helicopter and closes the hatch. Scully loses contact with Mulder.]

Now, wait for the great mystery for the end of the episode. We know there's no way out of that boxcar, we've been down there with him, we saw it inside, the only way in was that hatch on top.

[CSM and his troops arrive. They search the boxcar but say it's empty.]

I love the repeated phrases and themes about things. Remember how they talked about the Anasazi disappearing without a trace?

[CSM: Nothing vanishes without a trace.
Soldiers place explosives in the boxcar and as the helicopter leaves, flames shoot out of the boxcar.]

"Nothing vanishes without a trace. Burn him." So now, as far as we know, Mulder's trapped in that boxcar with those alien corpses and the last we see as this episode ends is that he's more than likely been incinerated. If you want to know what happened, I guess you gotta come back at the end of the summer.

["To Be Continued"]