12 June 2007

Season 5: Kill Switch (5X11)

Writers: William Gibson and Tom Maddox
Director: Rob Bowman

When computer genius and co-inventor of the Internet, Donald Gelman is killed in the cross fire of a shoot out between a gang of drug dealer and two deputy marshals in a downtown diner. Mulder recovers his lap top computer and an unmarked CDROM, which he takes to the Lone Gunman. But they are unable to crack the disk's security code. Scully suggests they check Gelman's e-mail. They find a message containing an ID number for a shipping container from someone named Invisigoth.

Mulder and Scully trace the shipping container but as they attempt to inspect it, Mulder is nailed with a stun gun. Scully manages to apprehend a suspect, Esther Nairn, a young woman who knew Gelman. The shipping container is full of her computer equipment, as they question Esther, her attention is drawn to one of the screens. She tells Mulder and Scully that a Department of Defence satellite is locking on to their location. Despite their scepticism the agents leave the shipping container which is destroyed moments later.

Esther claims that Gelman had succeeded in creating a sentinel Artificial Intelligence, a self aware computer program, which he released on to the Internet so that it could evolve. Now the AI is targeting the people who created it and killing them off one by one. Gelman was working on a virus program nicknamed 'Kill Switch' to search out and destroy the AI. Mulder and Scully must find the AI and use the 'Kill Switch' before the AI can kill anyone else.

Guest writer William Gibson is best known for his many "Cyberpunk" sci-fi novels and is also the writer of 1995's Johnny Mnemonic starring Keanu Reeves. He and long-time writer friend Tom Maddox will return in season 7 as the writers of 'First Person Shooter'.

In early drafts of the script included a scene in which Scully sees a piece of hardware lying in the Lone Gunmen's pile of spare parts, picks it up and models it for herself in the mirror. She holds it up to the side of her nose until someone interrupts her and she guiltily tosses it back into the pile.

The tasks of creating a 3D cybernetic image of Scully was commissioned to a freelance computer artist. Although the producers had some kind of wire-frame model in mind, the artist churned out a 3D model of Scully naked.

(Mulder is searching the car and finds a CD)
Scully: Mulder, that's evidence!
Mulder: Gee, I hope so.

Scully: Earth slime in silicon?
Esther: The primordial slime. The ooze out of which all life evolved. Only this time it's artificial slime. Artificial life. One man alone achieving the equivalent of Copernicus, Magellan, and Darwin.
Scully: What was your role in all this - were you the bass player?

Frohike: She is SO hot!
Esther: Are you gonna take off these cuffs or do I have to do this with my tongue?
Mulder: You don't want to take a vote.

Highlights from ''Kill Switch''

Episode Number: 108
Season Number: 5
First Aired: Sunday, February 15, 1998
Production Code: 5X11

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