Transcript of the DVD Audio Commentary by Vince Gilligan for the episode 'Small Potatoes'

Transcribed by: Libby
Edited by: X_Follower

[A young woman, Amanda, is wheeled down a hospital corridor. She is in labor.]

Hi, my name is Vince Gilligan. I'm a writer on The X-Files and this is an episode I wrote back in Season 4, called 'Small Potatoes'. This actress is Christine Cavanaugh. She did a great job. You will be familiar with her because she was the voice of Babe the pig in the movie Babe, she did a great job in that, I love that movie, I thought that it was great.

[A nurse is trying to ascertain the name of the baby's father. She asks if he's from out of state, but Amanda says he's from another planet. Then Amanda gives birth.]

Now she's being rushed into the delivery room, giving birth to what we'll soon see is a baby with a tail. And this tail coming up that you'll see is all computer animated, no babies were harmed in the making of this episode. The tail you'll see on this little newborn baby, it's probably a week or two old, this little baby, the little tail is computer animated like the way they do Toy Story. And I think on the day we shot this, they had a little dot of green, a little green sticky dot on the baby's behind and that was what they call a tracking mark, and then the special effects producers animate the tail in from scratch using the tracking mark to go by. Here it comes, here. I thought they did a very nice job on that tail, it's nice the way they had it swinging back and forth, but none of that was real, it's all added later.

[Main titles]

This episode was my first comedic episode and I had a lot of fun writing it. I had bugged Chris Carter for a while to do a funny one. I came from comedy, I was writing comedy scripts, movie scripts, before I got this job. And it was nice to be able to do a funny one here in Season 4 because Season 4 is pretty dark on the whole - Agent Scully got cancer, this was the season we found out she had cancer and it was pretty grim for a long time, so it was nice to lighten things up.

[Mulder and Scully driving along a highway. Scully is reading an issue of The World Weekly Informer. She explains that fetuses have caudal appendages which disappear as the fetus develops but occasionally doesn't, so babies born with tails are extremely rare.]

I love this prop of the Weekly World Informer. If you look closely, if you rewind it back and look closely, the guy holding up the mugshot is one of our assistant propmen.

[Mulder points out that five babies with tails have been born within the last three months in a town with a population of less than 15 000, more than a statistical anomaly. Scully agrees it warrants investigation but by the local health department.]

Mulder and Scully here are driving to West Virginia where they will investigate the strange occurrence of babies born with tails. The original conception of this was babies born with wings instead of tails. I was afraid… I sort of shied away from the idea of tails because I didn't want the babies looking too creepy, I thought it'd be better if they were really cute and have wings, but we realized early on that wings would be very hard to digitally animate or to add on to the babies in some fashion, and the truth is tails are funnier, and the babies to me look just as cute with tails as they would have with wings.

[Mulder and Scully meet with Amanda. She says the father is from another planet. Mulder thinks she's saying the father is an alien but Amanda says that his name is Luke Skywalker.]

Star Wars is a favorite movie of mine, as it is with a lot of people, I'm sure, and it was nice to be able to incorporate it into the plot. Coming up here, Christine Cavanaugh's character, Amanda Nelligan, is a huge Star Wars fan and I am too, and a lot of people are, and it was nice to be able to work that in. As I recall, George Lucas was very good about letting us refer to his creation in this episode. Amanda Nelligan here, by the way, is named after a good friend of mine who is a movie producer who was tickled to have her name used in the episode, although I have to stress she does not have a baby born with a tail, as far as I know.

[Amanda hums the song the baby's father sang to her - the theme tune from Star Wars. She says she has seen Star Wars three hundred and sixty eight times, and should break four hundred by Memorial Day.]

David and Gillian, as I'll probably say many times throughout this, did a wonderful job on this episode, and I recall they liked it when they first received it, they liked to be able to stretch and play comedy. And David is, of course, wonderful as you'll see throughout this when he becomes Eddie Van Blundht but Gillian is just as good to me because she does a great job as a straight man, and every comedy needs a straight man, in this case a straight woman. You have to have someone who plays it straight and who all the jokes sort of bounce off of, and she does a wonderful job with that.

[Mulder and Scully walk down the corridor to the nursery where they can see Amanda's baby wagging its tail. Other people are also looking.]

Here's another animated tail here. We did not put that on to the baby, that was added later. There's our first glimpse of Eddie Van Blundht of course. Eddie Van Blundht is played by a former writer of The X-Files, Darin Morgan, who is our only Emmy Award winning writer. He wrote some wonderful episodes. He only wrote, I think, four episodes of The X-Files and then he left the show to pursue other things. He's a wonderful writer, and I figured he could be a wonderful actor because I'd seen him in a student film he did back when he was at Loyola University, and he was very funny and I figured it'd be great to get him in an X-File. And it took a bit of arm-twisting but he gave in and did it, which I'm glad about.

[Looking at DNA stuff showing all the babies had the same father.]

Coming up here, Mulder is gonna give his theory which is that a fertility doctor is behind the impregnation of these four women who have given birth to monkey-tailed babies. This, if you'll remember a case a few years back, this bit of the plot is based on a Virginia doctor, a doctor from my home state, a fertility doctor who did in fact impregnate a bunch of his patients and that was a little bit unseemly (laughs) - way to go Virginia! But at any rate, that's what he's giving now.

[Mulder and Scully visit the Ob/Gyn.]

You'll see in the legend down at the bottom, it says The Office of Dr. Alton Pugh - that's what we call those, by the way, we call those legends, the little thing at the bottom that tells us where we are. Pugh is the last name of the family that lived across the street from me when I was a little kid, it stuck in my head for obvious reasons, the name Pugh is definitely memorable, so I wanted to work it in here. Here we have the irate parents of the monkey-tailed babies, giving the what for to the doctor. You'll notice in this scene, if you look closely at it, and in other scenes, particularly this one though, there's a lot of off-screen dialogue and in this case what it means is, the scene as shot didn't have quite this amount of dialogue and so in this scene in particular when someone's talking off-camera, it most likely means that we recorded it in a sound stage, much like I'm doing now, weeks and weeks later, and in this case I wanted to add some extra dialogue to the scene after it had been shot, to help it flow and make it make more sense, and actually to insert a joke or two. For me, a couple of the funny little moments coming up in the episode were added weeks later, were off-screen loop lines added later.

Of course, Agent Mulder hears a little off-screen sound here that gets him walking down the corridor, he hears a little pipe clanging. I was worried that it wasn't loud enough for the audience to know where he was going, but hopefully it is, hopefully people hear that. And he goes down the hallway here, and here of course is Mr. Darin Morgan, a friend of mine, and I think a very good actor. And, as I said, Emmy-winning writer of The X-Files. Darin was a real sport about this plumber's butt crack moment here. He was very accommodating, I must say. I was lucky enough to be here, to be on the set for not just this scene but the entire shoot which was very enjoyable, and I remember in this particular scene asking him if he could show a little more butt crack and he was very accommodating about it. He's a good guy.

[Eddie runs off but Mulder tackles him to the ground.]

This scene here, this slide in home scene, was fun. Same story here with the butt crack - the wardrobe loosened up his pants a bit and when Mulder says, hey, Scully, check this out, and pulls down the back of his trousers, the first time around, the trousers came way down and shooting stopped for about ten minutes while everybody laughed vigorously. I just about burst a blood vessel in my eye, I was laughing so hard, that was fun.

[Eddie being interviewed by Mulder and Scully. Eddie spells out his name, as people always get it wrong by missing out the 'H'.]

The silent H thing here, I can't remember where this came from, but it was a fun little bit. It was fun for me as a writer because it was a very nice repeatable way to show that the character of Eddie Van Blundht had these sort of self-esteem issues. Everyone always spells his name wrong, they always miss the H, and of course repeating a joke in comedy is a fun thing to do, providing you don't drive it into the ground, but we go by what's called ' the rule of 3' which is you mention it three times; I think there was about three mentions in this episode of the H being silent.

This character is a fun character. It's meant as a comedy but the deeper I got into writing it and of course the way Darin played it, it was just wonderful because this guy really... I feel bad for him personally. I mean, I don't dislike the character, I think he's just a sweet guy and I understand where he's coming from, he's sort of a self-described loser and an underdog, and I think I've seen myself that way before, I think a lot of people know that feeling, so I think in that sense he's kind of a universal character.

[Mulder and Scully talk. Scully suggests that the women had been given Rohypnol and therefore this is a case of rape.]

This place we're shooting here was an interesting place. It was an old warehouse, I think, in Vancouver. Our stages were full. We shot - this was back when The X-Files was shot up in Vancouver - and we shoot in stages built by Stephen Cannell, famous for the A-Team and many other shows, but I think our stages were full this day and we had to shoot in an old warehouse with a bunch of standing police sets that were used on the show The Commish, so if you're a big fan of The Commish, you might recognize this bullpen area here, because I think that's what it's from originally.

[Eddie having his details entered into the computer by a deputy.]

There's a funny bit there. Here we go with the silent H thing again. The pig, if you'll notice the cop piggy bank, was a prop they had to specially build because you're going to see the cop is going to get whacked on the head with it in a minute, and it's made out of some sort of sugar glass or wax or something, it's expensive to build these things, I think it was like three grand a piece to make these things and they had to make a bunch of them. I may be wrong about that but the prop master on The X-Files, a friend of mine named Ken Hawryliw, and he put the name Vince on the badge, on the pig's badge, you can't ever see it, but I know this because I have one of the original pigs, and I managed to keep it for the last five years without breaking it, which is a coup.

[Eddie has morphed into the deputy. He picks up the pig statue and hits the cop on the head.]

Wham - there you go. The fun thing here was that this actor who gets whacked on the head, I guess it's a Screen Actors Guild rule, he had to get paid stunt pay for getting whacked on the head, and I think it was four hundred bucks every time he got whacked, and it didn't hurt him at all and he kept saying, let's do another take, let's do another take, because of course it's four hundred bucks a shot. But luckily they saved one pig for me.

[Later, the deputy, now recovered, tells Scully what happened and the sheriff says he saw the cop leaving the building.]

I should probably mention at this point, before we get too deep into this episode, that the director, I should talk about the director, Cliff Bole. He's a wonderful director. He did this episode and two other X-Files for us. One other episode of The X-Files is an episode called 'Bad Blood' which I also wrote, and I also had the pleasure of sitting through the entire shooting on that one. He's a great guy, Cliff, he's done something like three hundred, four hundred episodes of television, and he has such wonderful stories, it's always a pleasure to be on a set with him because he runs a really relaxed ship and yet he knows exactly what he wants and what he's doing. He did a wonderful job with this one and he's done so much stuff, I think like a pilot for Fantasy Island and all these great shows and all these classic shows and a lot of movies and whatnot. He's a good guy.

[Scully puts forward a scientific explanation to Mulder of the experiences of both the deputy and the sheriff. Mulder puts forward a theory about how the five women could have mistaken Eddie for their partners and that they both have seen something like that before. Mulder and Scully go to Eddie's address.]

I think here Mulder is mentioning the idea that Scully and he have seen this before, of course he's referring to the Alien Bounty Hunter, played by Brian Thompson. Here's another legend, 17 Prospect Parkway - that is the address that my girlfriend, Holly Rice, used to live at when she was growing up in Portsmouth, Virginia, I had to slip that in there. You'll notice here some funky weather. It was raining when they were shooting this, so they gave the actors an umbrella. Of course you can't actually see the rain, that's a funny thing about the way photography works, you can't really see it coming down unless it's super heavy. And look at this, here it comes, sunlight in this next cut, bingo, there's all this sun. It's something you can't really help sometimes when the sun is in and out from behind the clouds and you're shooting on a schedule, it's just one of those things you have to live with.

[Mulder and Scully are on the porch. Scully peers through the window in the front door while Mulder looks around.]

Here Mulder sees a leaf blower guy next door. I wanted Glen Morgan, who's Darin Morgan's brother, to play this part, because the idea is that Mulder is thinking is this Eddie Van Blundht in disguise, so I thought it would be fun to have Glen, who also used to write for us, doing that part but unfortunately he was not available.

[Eddie Van Blundht Sr has opened the door. Scully explains that they are from the FBI and are looking for his son. Eddie Sr allows them into the house. Inside, Mulder looks out the window at the man next door who notices that he is being watched.]

This actor here, Lee de Broux, is a neat guy. He's done tons of stuff. He was in Chinatown, he was in RoboCop. He's a good guy. There's that leaf blower again. The idea of the leaf blower, from a writer's point of view, is that I was really afraid, writing this, that the audience would see that this was actually not the old man but Eddie Van Blundht pretending to be the old man - I was afraid the audience would be way ahead of me, so I figured I had to play this leaf blower guy as a bit of misdirection, and if Mulder's thinking is the leaf blower guy Eddie Van Blundht, hopefully the audience would be thinking that too.

[Mulder sees a poster on the wall that shows a man with a tail. Eddie says it was him and his son also had a tail but had it removed when young.]

This scene for me is a lot of fun, I was proud of this scene because when you think hard about it, it's so weird. I mean, this is Eddie Van Blundht, it turns out, pretending to be his old man right down to the last detail, so this is essentially Eddie Van Blundht talking about what a disappointment his son is, or rather he himself is as seen through the eyes of his father, so there's some weird heavy psychology going on here, and it was fun to write. And of course this catch coming up was fun to write too, with Mulder being really smart and realizing that he had never actually told the old man his name. Uh-oh, so now we realize this is of course Eddie Van Blundht and he goes running.

We had a bunch of footage of the chase that we had to cut out for time, this was just the tail end of it. We had this chase with a stunt double who we built a mask for, that our wonderful special effects make-up guys built a mask and put it on the stunt double so that the stunt double looked very much like Lee de Broux, the actor, and there was a big chase with jumping fences and, you know, ducking under clothes lines and all that kind of stuff, but as is often the case with TV, you've got to kill your darlings, and you've got to cut stuff out for time because of course TV has to fit within the prescribed amount of time.

[Eddie, now morphed into Fred, rushes into Fred and Baboo's home.]

These two actors were local Vancouver actors and they were very funny. They did a good job, both of them, I think. I think the husband here, you see him in a lot of commercials nowadays, I saw him in some the other day but I can't remember what it was. But of course this is really Eddie Van Blundht.

['Fred' rushes into the bathroom and locks the door. He looks at himself in the mirrors. He splashes water on his face and looks at his reflection again but now he's back to being Eddie.]

You'll notice these mirrors are all gimbled to reflect him perfectly, you don't think mirrors in a bathroom would really be like that, but of course it, you know, works for TV.

The name Baboo here is borrowed from some friends of Holly and myself, a married couple who call each other Baboo, I thought that'd be fun to sneak that in there.

[Mulder and Scully have gone back into the Van Blundht house and are searching it.]

And of course, we're back in Eddie Van Blundht Sr's house. The amazing thing to me when I joined The X-Files is this is a real house, this is really the interior of that house you saw them walking up to in the previous scene with the umbrella. Now the upstairs, I think, that's the funny thing, that's right, upstairs is on stage, this part here is on the sound stage back at our studios, but the downstairs was in the actual house and it's amazing how they integrate together seamlessly. This shows that I forgot myself that this was not all one house. And I think they had to build this part because I don't think the real house had one of these drop attics.

[Mulder tugs on the pull string for the attic stairs and a body tumbles out onto the hallway.]

There's a funny line coming up here, I think one of the funniest lines in the episode for my money, that David Duchovny added on the set, which is when he says: do you think the fall killed him, I thought that was very good.

[Back at Fred and Baboo's house, the real Fred has now returned.]

This episode took about 14 days to write, which back when I wrote it was blazing fast for me, so it took about two weeks. Nowadays we have to knock them out even faster. This job is something like one of those conveyer belt assembly lines where you just have to go at this superfast pace and then someone keeps turning the belt up faster and faster, and I remember thinking when I wrote this that I didn't have much time to write it, but nowadays we have even less. I look back on it and think it was a pretty leisurely pace.

[Fred and Baboo walk towards the bathroom. The door opens and Eddie as Mulder exits.]

I think this is actually on the sound stage too, this house interior. This is just a set that they built. And, of course, now we see David as, or Mulder as Eddie van Blundht, or rather Eddie van Blundht as Mulder.

[Scully is in the morgue, the body from the Van Blundht's house is on the table.]

This was a very nice set our production designer Graeme built. He's a wonderful production designer. I like the blue light. We had a great DP too, and a great crew. This was funny, this striker saw Scully is using is real forensic autopsy equipment. The only trouble was we only had one dead monkey-tailed corpse and we wanted her to cut the top of the corpse's head off, but it would have ruined the prop, so you'll notice if you rewind it back that the camera moves very neatly to obscure what she's grinding away at, which is actually a block of plaster or something to make that smoke come up.

[Scully says that the man had a thin stratum of voluntary muscle tissue underpinning the entire dermal layer of his skin. Mulder handles the tail, which breaks off.]

Scully, of course, is doing this autopsy because she is a doctor of forensic pathology and this scene is fun because… for me it was fun because you have this whole bit here with Mulder breaking off the corpse's tail and yet they play it very straight otherwise, it's very dry dialogue about the hidden musculature underneath the corpse, which if you want to be picky, I don't know how she knows that yet without having actually cut the thing up in little pieces, but that's one of those things you just have to buy. But he was very funny, David was hilarious during the shooting of this scene, it was a pleasure to be there because he did a great job with this tail gag, and he took what otherwise would have been a pretty dry scene with all the information that needs to be gotten across, and he made it very funny. And as I said before, the idea of the straight man, Scully, plays it wonderfully straight, and this looks here she gives at the end is very nice, when she realizes the tail is broken off. Of course, it always occurred to me: what's the big deal about breaking off the tail, she's in the process of cutting the body up into little pieces, but it's hopefully funny nonetheless.

[Amanda's hospital room. 'Mulder' enters.]

Now we're back with Eddie Van Blundht as Agent Mulder, and I say that not to give anything away here, because I think if you look at him from the moment he enters the room you can tell that he's Eddie Van Blundht. I think David Duchovny did a wonderful job. I think, actually, for my money this is some of the best acting he's done on the series, and he's done a lot of good acting, as has Gillian Anderson, but this to me is priceless stuff and I could always tell the moment he walked in that he was actually Eddie Van Blundht. And I think that's OK if the audience picks it up too. The way the scene is constructed, you're supposed to realize about a minute or so into the scene and say to yourself: oh, man, this is not actually him, is it. And David makes it very easy because… David of course is a friend of Darin Morgan's and vice versa, they've known each other ever since the show went on the air pretty much, and David spent some time around Darin. He had spent plenty of time with him before but he spent some time… he specifically made some time with him on the set, to copy his mannerisms and his somewhat dour expression that he puts forth. And then of course in-between takes Darin was imitating David so it was fun, it was fun to be around. I love this little thing he does with his teeth here, that's very much Darin Morgan.

[Amanda gives 'Mulder' her opinion of Eddie, which is not very flattering.]

There's a joke coming up here with… once the scene is ending, there's… I was speaking earlier about off-screen dialogue and there's a fair amount of it in this episode, stuff added later to help the show flow along and to even add a few jokes. So, coming up here, once he leaves, she says 'may the force be with you', and he says, 'uh-huh', and that's all added in later. Here it comes right now. And it was just an opportunity to add an extra little laugh or chuckle after the fact, weeks after the fact.

['Mulder' leaves Amanda's room and sees Mulder at the nurse's desk.]

This is what we call a motion control shot. This was done with a very expensive and time-consuming to set up bit of machinery called a motion control head, and it basically can repeat the exact same camera movement an infinite number of times and they used… our special effects producers use that to make it appear that there were two Agent Mulders out in that hallway just now.

[Mulder enters Amanda's room and Amanda continues her conversation from a few moments before, puzzling Mulder. Then his phone rings and it's Fred and Baboo, asking if they can get into the bathroom and why Mulder took one of Fred's suits.]

Of course, this is the real… for anyone keeping score this is the real Agent Mulder, of course. I was proud of this little bit. I thought it would be funny to have a guy call you up out of the blue and say: 'can I get into my bathroom now', so that gave me a chuckle when I wrote that part. Of course Mulder doesn't know what the heck he's talking about. And the suit, if you look at it very closely you'll notice that the tie and the suit are close but they're not identical.

[Mulder goes back into the hallway and asks the nurse where the man who looked exactly like him went.]

The fans really like this episode, they seemed to like it a lot, and I think it's just because of the wonderful job David and Gillian did, and it was just fun to see them playing a different part, different roles, they're stretching in their roles, especially David.

[Mulder goes into the locker room. He points his gun at a man there.]

This scene is shot in an abandoned mental hospital, I believe is what it is, in Vancouver, and if you're a fan of The X-Files, I don't think during the Vancouver days there was a single episode that didn't shoot one scene or another at this facility. And this is a real locker room at that facility. This place was a godsend. It wasn't just The X-Files but a lot of different TV shows and probably movies shot there.

[Dr. Pugh comes into the locker room from the showers. Mulder points his gun and Pugh puts up his hands, his towel dropping to the floor.]

That's a funny bit of business David does with lowering his eyes here, that was David, that was really funny. He says here that he's waiting for a blood test to come back. Of course, anyone who knows anything about blood tests knows that these guys are going to be waiting for a long time, but that's just one of those things you have to do sometimes when you're writing a script, you just sort of have to… it's what we call 'poetic license', and hopefully that doesn't throw anybody too bad.

[Mulder phones Scully and says she's got to get down to the hospital right away.]

And coming up here, there's a little blink of the overhead light. This was added in digitally later, added in post-production, because that's what you have to do sometimes to sell, we needed the light to blink to sell the fact that there is somebody up here. And then this bit, Darin Morgan was suspended in a harness and shot separately as a separate element and then added in later, falling through the suspended tile.

[Scully arrives at the hospital to find 'Mulder' standing with the two men from the locker room, both now dressed, and both unhappy about their treatment by Mulder.]

Of course, here is, again, Eddie Van Blundht as Agent Mulder, and this bit coming up, I thought, was fun where Scully says, is this an X-File, and of course Eddie Van Blundht doesn't know from Adam what an X-File is so he pauses there a bit and mentions that his take on this is it's just small potatoes, which is definitely a major clue to the audience.

And the real Mulder is trapped down in the basement. This is actually the basement of that building, and all the steam and stuff is added in, special effects smoke put in there. And David was a trooper to actually be in this tiny little room, because this room is as small as it looks, it really is this weird little room in the basement of this place. And this was also probably two in the morning. I can't even remember how they got the camera in this little place but of course we see Eddie Van Blundht is a nice guy for leaving him a sandwich and some Perk cola.

[Later. Skinner's office.]

This was one of my favorite scenes in the show. This, act four, is actually where it really kicks in because this is, for me, this was where David really gets to play Eddie Van Blundht playing Agent Mulder. And speaking of straight men, Mitch Pileggi as Walter Skinner does a wonderful job in this scene. I love his bit about the spelling 'Federal Bureau of Investigation' wrong, twice. Mitch is a good guy. He really does a great job in this scene, I wish he'd been in more of the episode.

['Mulder' says that Eddie was definitely not a murderer, but Scully points out that he was a rapist.]

There's a great reaction coming up here where Scully says that he is indeed a rapist and the truth is Eddie Van Blundht is really, I mean, as I said before, I sort of feel sorry for the guy and he's sort of a sweet-natured character for the most part, but, you know, when you get right down to it, he really does need to be locked up. It's probably not a bad ending that he winds up in the pokey.

['Mulder' and Scully go down the steps to the basement office.]

This is, of course, Mulder's office set, which is a standing set on the sound stages up there in Vancouver. And now it exists on the sound stages here in Los Angeles now that we've moved production to Los Angeles. And of course Eddie Van Blundht doesn't even know which key to use. These are all very nice touches David Duchovny added in to the thing that weren't scripted on the page.

[Scully walks away, leaving 'Mulder' still standing outside the office door.]

This little bit, by the way, is not actually Gillian Anderson, that's her photo double. We needed a little bit there to bridge a cut and we ordered a separate piece of Scully walking away and that wasn't her at all, that was someone else with a red wig on.

['Mulder' eventually finds the right key and enters the office.]

Some awful nice stuff David does here. Again, not necessarily in the script, some of it is in the script, a lot of it isn't. A lot of these touches are very nice and for my money this was a situation where the actor was really embodying the character, in this case embodying this guy Eddie Van Blundht. This little bit here is nice, this is not scripted. A little bit of a fall here.

['Mulder' sits on the chair and leans back, almost falling.]

I think David's actually a very good comedian. I think Gillian is too, for that matter. She does a great straight woman, and in later episodes, especially in an episode in Season 6, I believe, or Season 7, 'Three Of A Kind', she plays some very funny stuff herself.

['Mulder' pulls out Mulder's driver's license to find his address. He goes to Mulder's apartment.]

That's a Virginia driver's license all right, that's what mine looked like. The prop department does such a great job of getting all the details right. And this is Eddie checking out his new digs, and not being real impressed with them. He mentions of course that… he says, 'where do I sleep' and we didn't establish a bedroom for Agent Mulder until a couple of years later, so a valid question. Up until this point, Mulder just slept on the couch as far as we know.

[Answering machine message from the Lone Gunmen.]

It was fun being able to put the Lone Gunmen into this voice-over, this phone message.

[Answering machine message from a woman.]

The woman on the voice message refers to Mulder as Marty. This was a little homage to an episode called '3' in which Mulder goes under the assumed name of Marty Mulder, I think that's what he called himself.

['Mulder' looks at himself in a mirror and practices pulling out Mulder's badge, saying 'FBI', and then pulling out his gun.]

This bit was classic. This was again all David. I mean, it's in the script that he riffs on de Niro in 'Taxi Driver' looking in the mirror and saying 'You're talking to me?' but David basically took a couple of lines of dialogue in the script and came up with all this stuff, and it was so much fun to watch. Again, I was lucky to be here. It's not usually the case the writer's on the set for the entire shoot, but in this case I wasn't needed elsewhere and I got to stay up here for the two weeks it took to shoot this, and it was a real pleasure and I learned a lot from it too.

I like the spin of the gun on the finger thing. And of course here he says, again, the line is 'a damn good-looking man' and that to me is just Eddie trying to convince himself that he's not a loser, but he sees himself as such and it's a hard thing to break.

['Mulder' goes to Scully's apartment.]

There's a shot coming up here I thought the director shouldn't bother to get, and it turns out to be one of the best shots in the show, it's this fisheye lens shot with Mulder smiling in the hallway. I thought it was not necessary, I thought it was better to surprise us by having her open the door and reveal Mulder, but it turns out to be one of those classic shots and again Cliff Bole knows what he's doing.

I should speak here too about our editor, Heather MacDougall did a wonderful job editing this episode and I think it particularly shows in this sequence coming up. There's just some wonderful interplay between these two, between Scully at the counter opening the wine and then Eddie Van Blundht here, with his great reactions. Just very nicely edited, this sequence in particular, the whole show I think but this sequence, this scene is just nicely put together. The song coming up is performed by Al Green, one of my personal favorite artists, and it was fun to get it into the episode. I wished it'd been mixed a little bit louder, I wish I could hear it just a little bit more, but it's 'Funny How Time Slips Away' and it's just a great song. We don't do a lot of what we call 'source' music on The X-Files, it was fun to be able to do some of that source music referring to the fact that it's not score composed by Mark Snow but instead a pre-existing song from elsewhere.

['Mulder' and Scully sit on the sofa, sipping the wine. 'Mulder' says to Scully that they never really talk.]

None of this happened in a vacuum. There was a huge amount of input from Frank Spotnitz and John Shiban and of course Chris Carter during the phase of this where we're coming up with a story and as they always do they helped very much coming up with… we're very much a team, the four of us, we work hard and well together, and are pretty much in sync on just about everything. We disagree on a few things but they were hugely helpful in figuring this thing out.

[Scully relates her story.]

As I recall, and I don't want to speak for her here, but Gillian Anderson was not… she was a little nervous about the idea of the potential kiss in this scene. I think she was worried about the thought that Agent Scully with a little wine in her would maybe give in and kiss Mulder, and I remember talking with her about it on the set and she had a very good point - you don't want it to come across that all it's about is getting your inhibitions loosened up a little with the wine. But to me it was always about… there's a great deal of affection these two characters have for each other and it's always just underneath the surface and as Mulder says, at the end of the show, he's no Eddie Van Blundht, meaning Eddie Van Blundht puts his emotions more on the surface and he's more open with his feelings and he's a bit of a rascal too, I mean he's out to score, as it were, but that's sort of what Mulder's saying at the end when he says, 'I'm no Eddie Van Blundht'. Maybe in some ways he should be more like Eddie Van Blundht, maybe he should be a little more open with his emotions.

[Mulder breaks down the door. Scully leaps away from the sofa. Eddie morphs back into his own face.]

This is what we call a morph, morphing into Eddie there. And I love this look Darin gives here, this little… (laughs).

[Later. Eddie is in a reformatory. Mulder visits him.]

This 'Cumberland Reformatory' - Cumberland County is where I grew up in Virginia. As always, I'm slipping these references in right and left, so that my friends at home and my family can have a smile.

[Mulder mentions the hat that Eddie is wearing.]

I always wished I grabbed one of these hats. I don't think I have one of these. But this bit was funny. We had to reshoot the close-up on the hat, we had to reshoot the bit with the hat because the first prop, the 'Superstar' was too small and you could barely read it. So we had to reshoot Darin's side of this bit so that you could read it a bit better. Of course, here is where Darin explains, or rather Eddie Van Blundht explains his operating theory that he's a loser by birth and yet Mulder's one by choice, which I guess is the message, if there is one, of the episode, which is that you should live your life and you should make the best of it and the most of it, and you should, you know, seize the day, 'carpe diem'. As Darin says, as Eddie says, 'treat yourself' which is a line borrowed from a mutual friend of ours, David Nutter, a wonderful director who's directed many great episodes of The X-Files, that's sort of his catch phrase: 'treat yourself', and that's why we slipped that in there. I think it was Darin's idea to put that in.

[Mulder leaves the interview room and joins Scully outside.]

But that's about it. This last nice shot is a oner - this whole thing takes place in just one take, and Cliff Bole did a great job getting it. Coming up here is a little joke I don't think quite worked, but you see a guy in the hallway behind them with a Superstar hat on and I've since found out a lot of people think that's supposed to be Eddie Van Blundht and it's not, it's just a guy who stole one of Eddie's hats.

But there you have it.