26 April 2007

Season 3 : Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space' (3X20)

Writer: Darin Morgan
Director: Rob Bowman

Renowned writer Jose Chung, researching for his book on alien abductions, interviews Dana Scully, who relates to him the case of a teenage couple, Chrissy Giorgio and Harold Lamb, who claim to have been abducted while on a date in Klass County. The only problem is, the victims and witnesses all have different versions of the events that took place. From Chrissy first belief that she had been a victim of date rape, to the re-appearance of Harold with his tale of alien abduction. Chrissy is hypnotised and is able to confirm Harold's story.

Which is also verified by an independent witness to the abduction, electrical company employee Roky Crikenson and his tales of harassment by the Men in Black, mysterious government agents who visit witnesses to alien abductions to discredit and confuse them. When an alien body is discovered by a UFO fanatic, Blaine Faulkner. Scully performs the autopsy only to discover that it is really an Airforce pilot in an alien costume.

When Chrissy is hypnotised again she recants the same story but with the aliens replaced by Airforce personnel. Were Chrissy and Harold abducted or are they making it up, and if they were, by who, aliens or humans. Is it an attempt by the Airforce to cover up their intelligence operations, or a conspiracy to discredit witnesses to real abductions. Mulder and Scully find themselves lost in a web of deceit, maybe Jose Chung's book will reveal the truth, unless he too is part of the conspiracy to cover that truth.

Actor Alex Diakun, who plays Dr. Fingers the hypnotist, makes his third and final appearance in the series. His first was in episode 44, season 2X20, ''Humbug '', in which he played the museum curator, and episode 53, season 3X04, ''Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose '', in which he played the tarot card reader.

The videotape of Scully's alleged alien autopsy is hosted by none other than The Stupendous Yappi (Japp Broeker). Yappi is the famous paranormal investigation "expert" from episode 53, season 3X04, ''Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose''.

The gray alien in this episode says, "This is not happening!" over and over. In season 8, 'This Is Not Happening' is the name of an episode in which this phrase is said more than once as well.

Detective Manners is named after Director Kim Manners, who is well known on the set for his 'colourful phrasing'. Manners was even offered the chance to play the part, but he declined.

The character of Jose Chung is named after an aspiring writer who kept phoning the office inquiring about an unsolicited script he had submitted.

The opening sequence to this episode, where what appears to be the underside of a huge spaceship moves slowly across the scene, is an obvious reference to the opening of the original ''Star Wars'' film. The fact that it turns out not to be a spaceship is very fitting with the rest of this episode.

Jose Chung: Evidence of extraterrestrial existence remains as elusive as ever, but the skies will continue to be searched by the likes of Blaine Faulkner, hoping to someday find not only proof of alien life, but also contentment on a new world. Until then, he must be content with his new job. Others search for answers from within. Roky relocated to El Cajon, California, preaching to the lost and desperate. Seeking the truth about aliens means a perfunctory nine-to-five job to some. For although Agent Diana Lesky is noble spirit and pure of heart, she remains, nevertheless, a federal employee. As for her partner, Reynard Muldrake... that ticking timebomb of insanity... his quest into the unknown has so warped his psyche, one shudders to think how he receives pleasures from life. Chrissy Giorgio has come to believe her alien visitation was a message to improve her own world, and she has devoted herself to this goal wholeheartedly. Then there are those who care not about extraterrestrials, searching for meaning in other human beings. Rare or lucky are those who find it. For although we may not be alone in the universe, in our own separate ways on this planet, we are all...alone.

Mulder: Don't write this book. You'll perform a disservice through a field of inquiry that has always struggled for respectability. You're a gifted writer, but no amount of talent could describe the events that occurred in any realistic vein because they deal with alternative realities that we're yet to comprehend. And when presented in the wrong way, in the wrong context, the incidents and the people involved in them can appear foolish, if not downright psychotic. I also know that your publishing house is owned by Warden White, Incorporated ... a subsidiary of MacDougall-Kesler, which makes me suspect a covert agenda for your book on the part of the military-industrial-entertainment complex.
Jose Chung: Agent Mulder, this book will be written. But it can only benefit if you can explain something to me.
Mulder: What's that?
Jose Chung: What really happened to those kids on that night?
Mulder: How the hell should I know?

Man in Black: Even the former leader of your United States of America, James Earl Carter Jr., thought he saw a UFO once, but it's been proven he only saw the planet Venus.
Roky: I'm a Republican.
Man in Black: Venus was at its peak brilliance last night. You probably thought you saw something up in the sky other than Venus, but I assure you, it was Venus.
Roky: I know what I saw.
Man in Black: Your scientists have yet to discover how neural networks create self-consciousness, let alone how the human brain processes two-dimensional retinal images into the three-dimensional phenomenon known as perception. Yet you somehow brazenly declare seeing is believing? Mr. Crikenson, your scientific illiteracy makes me shudder, and I wouldn't flaunt your ignorance by telling anyone that you saw anything last night other than the planet Venus, because if you do, you're a dead man.
Roky: You...can't threaten me.
Man in Black: I just did.

Opening teaser from Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'

Episode Number: 69
Season Number: 3
First Aired: Friday April 12, 1996
Production Code: 3X20

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