30 July 2007

Season 6: Dreamland (6X04)

Written by: Vince Gilligan, John Shiban and Frank Spotnitz
Directed by: Kim Manners

Mulder drags Scully deep in the Nevada desert to meet a "source" who supposedly works at Area 51 and is going to give Mulder proof positive of the government's experimentation with alien technology. Unfortunately, before they can rendez-vous with the informant, they are stopped by other Area 51 officials who tell them they must turn around.

As Scully tries to haul Mulder back into the car, a UFO flies overhead. It emits a massive heat ripple which switches the personalities of Mulder and Morris Fletcher, one of the Area 51 officials. Unbeknownst to anyone other than Mulder and Morris, Morris (who now inhabits Mulder's body) climbs back into the car with Scully, leaving Mulder (who is now in Morris' body) with the Area 51 goons.

Entrenched behind the walls of the mecca of UFO lore, Mulder tries to untangle the mess he's found himself in. Morris, on the other hand, is just happy to be given this new life as a single FBI agent; he doesn't lift one finger to try to reverse the situation.

Mulder tries to prove to Scully that he is not Morris, though Scully is skeptical at best. He tells her he will give her scientific proof via a flight data recorder which was recovered from another plane that crashed during test flights at Area 51. Unfortunately, Morris (aka Mulder) gets wind of Mulder's plan and informs A.D. Kersh. Kersh then orders Scully to set a trap for Mulder. The Area 51 police arrive and capture Mulder. And as Scully watches the MPs drag off this man who looks like Morris Fletcher, but claims to be Mulder, she wonders if there may be any truth to the odd turn of events.

As noted, Dreamland is the nickname for Area 51, the Air Force base near Groom Lake, Nevada which is reputed to be the US Government's base for conducting experiments with alien technology. "Dreamland" actually stands for "Data Repository Establishment and Management Land".

This episode has less than 10 takes. One of the things that makes ''Dreamland'' special it's that is has some really long shots, the one with Scully's walk inside the FBI is a 10 minute, 29 second long scene!

One of the signature backstage moments of the entire 6th season occured during a particularly bleak morning at the distant Lancaster location during the filming of the two-parter. David Duchovny emerged from his trailer and said, "When is this show moving back to Los Angeles?". Within days, dozens of X-Files insiders were wearing T-Shirts emblazoned with the exact same question.

The scene in which Mulder encouters his own reflection - as Fletcher - in Morris' bedroom mirror is a near-recreation of the famous mirror scene between Groucho and Harpo Marx in the classic 1933 comedy ''Duck Soup''. This scene was also reenacted by Harpo and Lucille Ball in a famous 1955 episode of ''I Love Lucy''.

The man-in-black Morris Fletcher is named after Michael McKean's son, Fletcher McKean.

The scraggly desert gas station had to be built from scratch.

Mulder: Milepost 134. Two miles to go.
Scully: I'm all a-tingle. So, Mulder, this supposed clandestine source who's contacted you. How do we know that he's not just another crackpot, whose encyclopedic knowledge of extraterrestrial life isn't derived exclusively from reruns of Star Trek?
Mulder: Because of where this particular crackpot works. Groom Lake. Area 51. Where the military has conducted...
Scully: ...for the past 50 years, classified experiments involving extraterrestrial technology.
Mulder: It's all our questions. The proof that we've suspected but never been able to hold in our hands. That... that proof is here.

Terrence: Yo, Dad.
Mulder: Hey Terry.
Terrence: Not Terry.
Mulder: Chris?
Terrence: Terrence. Terry's for wusses.
Mulder: (mutters) And Terrence isn't?

Scully: Mulder!
Morris (As Mulder): Hey... Hey, Dana. How's it going?
Scully: Mulder, where have you been?
Morris (As Mulder):Oh, sorry, I just got a little lost on my way in.
Scully: You got lost.
Morris (As Mulder): I'm just a little, you know, little lost in my head.
Scully: Yeah.
Morris (As Mulder): Yeah. One of those days. Yeah.

Joanne: Morris! What about Chris?
Mulder (as Morris): Chris?
Chris: You said you'd give me an answer today.
Joanne: Her nose. You said you'd give her an answer about her nose.
Mulder (as Morris): Um . . . I think . . .
(Chris gives him a little girl look.)
Mulder (as Morris): I think she's a little young for plastic surgery don't you think?
(Chris cries again.)
Joanne: Oh, for God's sake, Morris... a nose ring! She said she wants a nose ring!
Chris: I hate you! I wish you were dead.
Mulder (as Morris): Well, my work here is done. Have a nice day.

Mulder (as Morris): I'm Mulder. I'm really Mulder. I switched bodies, places, identities with this man Morris Fletcher the man that you think is Mulder, but he's not. Of course you don't believe me. Why was I expecting anything different? Your full name is Dana Katherine Scully. Your badge number is... Hell! I don't know your badge number. Your mother's name is Margaret. Your brother's name is Bill Jr. He's in the Navy and he hates me. Lately, for lunch, you've been having this six-ounce cup of yogurt, plain yogurt, into which you stir bee pollen because you're on a bee pollen kick even though I tell you you're a doctor and you should know better.
Scully: Look... Any of that information could have been gathered by anyone.
Mulder (as Morris): Even that yogurt thing? That is so you. That is so Scully. Well, it's good to know you haven't changed. That's somewhat comforting.

A clip from ''Dreamland''

Episode Number: 121
Season Number: 6
First Aired: Sunday, November 29, 1998
Production Code: 6X04

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