31 May 2007

Season 5: Post-Modern Prometheus (5X06)

Writer: Chris Carter
Director: Chris Carter

Mulder and Scully find themselves on the trail of a modern day Frankenstein when a single mother, Shaineh Berkowitz sends a letter to Mulder, after seeing him on Jerry Springer show, asking him to investigate the appearance of a strange monster eighteen years earlier when her son was conceived. The two agents travel to Bloomington, Indiana to meet with Shaineh and hear her story. The creature she describes who attacked her is the exact likeness of a comic book character her son Izzy created called The Great Mutato. But Izzy claims that other members of the local community have seen the monster also.

He and his friends take the two agents to a wooded area where they lay a trap for the monster using a peanut butter sandwich. They soon encounter the creature from a distance and the group gives chase but they loose track of the monster in the darkness. Mulder meets an old man who claims the monster is his son, Dr. Francis Pollidori, a renown scientist who experimented in genetic manipulation, possibly a tragic victim of his own genetic tampering.

Mulder and Scully find themselves the centre of attention in the local community following a newspaper article quoting Mulder confirming the monsters existence. They realise that Izzy has been recording their conversation. The two agents endeavour to locate the creature and find themselves wondering who the real monsters are as wild hysteria and mob mentality takes control of the town.

The title is a homage to Mary Shelley's famous book ''Frankenstein'' - which is actually titled Frankenstein: Or the Modern Prometheus. From Greek mythology, Prometheus was a demi-god who made men out of clay, and is probably best remembered as being the one who stole fire from Olympus and taught mortal men how to use it - an act that got him punished by Zeus. His punishment was to be chained to a rock and to have an eagle eat his liver every day.

''The Post-Modern Prometheus'' was nominated for seven Emmy awards in 1998; Outstanding Writing, Directing, Art Direction, Cinematography, Single-Picture Editing, Makeup and Music Composition. Graeme Murray, Greg Lowren and Shirley Inget walked away with the award for Outstanding Art Direction.

Mulder and Scully were originally supposed to kiss as they dance at the end of this episode. However, Chris Carter thought it was too much, so he cut it.

At the end of this episode (during the famous dance scene) the song playing is "Walking in Memphis" and sung by Cher. The role of Cher was written for Cher herself, a major X-Files fan. She declined at the time as she thought that her appearance would be a bit tacky. She regretted this decision after viewing the episode when it aired.

Jerry Springer makes a cameo playing himself.

The role of Shaineh Berkowitz (played by Pattie Tierce) was originally written for, and offered to, comedienne and actress Roseanne but she turned down the offer.

Chris Carter asked the hairstylist Anji Bemben to make certain people look like certain animals. The newspaper reporter had to look like a chicken, another one had to look like a goat, and yet another one like a pig.

An ad lib by David Duchovny was cut from the final version. After the waitress at J.J.'s County Dinner dumps coffee in his lap, he complains: "Why'd you go and do that for? Now my crotch is going to be up all night!".

Shaineh Berkowitz: Hey! Hey, that's it! That's the song that was playing when I got knocked up!

Scully: Mulder, I'm alarmed that you would reduce this man to a literary stereotype. A mad scientist.
Mulder: I'm alarmed that you would reduce these people to a cultural stereotype. Not everybody dreams to get on Jerry Springer.

Scully: Peanut butter sandwiches?
Mulder: You think baloney would be more effective?

Mulder: This fly has legs....
Scully: ... growing out of his mouth.
Mulder: Why you would do that?
Pollidori: Because I can.

Mulder: This is all wrong, Scully. This is not how the story's supposed to end.
Scully: What do you mean?
Mulder: Dr. Frankenstein pays for his evil ambitions, yes. But the monster is supposed to escape, to go search for his bride.
Scully: There's not going to be any bride, Mulder. Not in this story.
Mulder: Well, where's the writer? I want to speak to the writer.

Mulder: Scully, do you think it's too soon for me to get my own 1-900 number?

Scully: But common sense alone will tell you that these legends, these unverified rumors are ridiculous.
Mulder: But nonetheless, unverifiable, and therefore true in the sense that they're believed to be true.
Scully: Is there anything that you don't believe in, Mulder?

End scene from ''Post-Modern Prometheus''

Episode Number: 102
Season Number: 5
First Aired: Sunday, November 30, 1997
Production Code: 5X06

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