Read an Excerpt
Jose Chung's From Outer Space
"The truth" goes for a wild ride when author Jose Chung comes to the Bureau. He is documenting a purported abduction of two teenagers in Klass County, Washington, and wants to include Dana Scully's version of events, since she and Mulder investigated the case. Of course, Chung has no more certainty of what actually happened in Klass County even after speaking with Scully, but here are some possibilities.
Depending on your viewpoint: Two teenagers either were or were not abducted by gray aliensor they were abducted by a big red alien who abducted the gray aliens as well. Roky Crikenson may or may not have witnessed the abductions, but in either case he managed to pen a screenplay about a red alien named Lord Kinbote, who spoke in King James English. And the gray aliens may or may not have been aliens at all but merely air force personnel, in alien costumes, one of whom may have spoken with Mulder. On the other hand, Mulder simply may have spent that evening eating pie in a diner. Either way, at least we know that Mulder spent the following night in Scully's room, although he slept in a chair, and that may or may not have been because of a visit from the infamous Men in Blackone of whom may have looked just like Alex Trebek!
Klass County Washington
What actually happened to Harold and Chrissy?
There is no Klass County in Washington State.
Call me old-fashioned, but it just seems odd. We join the two young people featured in this episode, Harold and Chrissy, as Harold drives along some backwoods road and tells Chrissy that he's crazy about her. Chrissy smiles and says that she likes him a lot but it's their first date and she thinks they need time to get to know one another. Sage advice, indeed. Here's what I find strange: They are abducted moments later, andin timeit is revealed that they had intercourse before the "aliens" appeared. In other words, Harold picks her up. They jump into the backseat. They jump each other. They have sex. They get dressed. Harold begins to drive her somewhere. Harold tells her he loves her. And Chrissy responds by saying that they need time to get to know each other?! Does anyone else out there think there's something wrong with this scenario?
Reading from Crikenson's screenplay The Truth About Aliens, Mulder learns that Crikenson approached the abduction site as Lord Kinbote flailed over the heads of two cowering gray "aliens." (Harold and Chrissy were lying unconscious on the ground beneath the trio.) From all indications, this moment is very close to the beginning of Crikenson's tale of aliens. Yet, when the camera cuts to Mulder holding Crikenson's script, it looks like he's about a third of the way through! What came before this? Did Crikenson open the screenplay with his childhood? (Gotta get that character development in!)
At the end of the program, Blaine Faulkner lands Roky Crikenson's old job as a lineman for the electric company. He rises slowly to a transformer that is mounted on a pole. Sparks begin to fly. Faulkner gives a plaintive scream. Yes, it's cute. But is it really likely that Faulkner would be hired as a lineman for the electric company, given his ineptitude? And if he was, is it likely that he would still be alive after getting crossways with a power transformer that large?
Where does Jack Schaeffer get the cigarette he smokes aboard Lord Kinbote's vessel? Do those naked-alien costumes have pockets?
And while we are on the topic of the aliens' costumes, it's very impressive that the eyelids work! When Scully removes the alien mask during the autopsy, the camera provides a quick view inside. There doesn't appear to be any special machinery, butwhile incarcerated by Lord KinboteSchaeffer squints and even closes his eyelids altogether! Kudos to the military men who designed the outfits.
In the footage of Yappi's alien-autopsy video, Scully holds a skull saw and uses it to begin cutting into the real-live dead alien's head. Oddly enough, when Scully later removes the alien mask, Robert Vallee's head is intact!
I am really impressed with the amenities in the motel room that Scully rents while staying in Klass County. After the visit from the Men in Black, Scully is awakened by a telephone call. A shot of Mulder shows a telephone on the small table beside him. Across the room, Scully reaches over and grabs the handset on a second phone, beside her bed. Two phones in the same room of a motel.
A milestone to note. At the very end of the episode, there's a shot of Mulder in bed, watching a video of Big Foot. This may be the first time that we see Mulder's bedroom. Prior to this, I wondered if Mulder even had a bedroom. Before this episode, we always see him sleeping on his couch. I assumed that he rented a small one-bedroom apartment and used the bedroom for a living room instead. (Remember, at one time there was a door between his entry area and the living room.) Unfortunately, there's really no way to prove that the room seen at the end of the episode is really in Mulder's apartment. Maybe he got tired of sleeping on the couch and rented a motel room for the night! On the other hand, if Mulder does actually have a bedroom in his apartment, it would have to be off his kitchen. His entryway only leads to his living room straight ahead and his kitchen to his left. The living room has a door hard to the right when you first enter, but it appears to be blocked off in "Grotesque," so it's probably a closet. That only leaves the "never before seen on terrestrial TV" area beyond his kitchen. (We get a glimpse of Mulder's kitchen in "Deep Throat" and "E.B.E." It's really scary that I know this stuff, isn't it?)
Continuity and Production Problems
Keep your eye on JosÃ? Chung after he tells Scully that she has good taste as well as brains and beauty. He walks around Mulder's desk to take a seat on the opposite side, and when he rounds the corner, he runs into the side! You can hear this big thunk just before he sits down. (Yes, it would happen in real life, but this is television, and it's always amusing when creators don't bother to reshoot a scene.)
The first scene where Harold comes to Chrissy's house deserves a bit of scrutiny. Chrissy looks out the window and sees an alien shadow that eventually changes into Harold's shadow as he walks away from her house. Except, a bit later, the scene cuts to a reverse angle of the house and there's no light that could have caused the shadow in the first place! (There is a porch light off to the side, but that would have created an angled shadow.)
Reincarnation is alive and well on The X-Files. The tarot card reader who was killed in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" reappears in this episode as a hypnotist!
It's a common problem and nearly impossible to avoid, but Schaeffer's cigarette grows in length just as the military come to take him from his conversation with Mulder.
1. Not including From Outer Space, name two books by JosÃ? Chung.
2. According to its proprietor, in what cafe does Mulder eat piece after piece of sweet potato pie?
1. The Lonely Buddha and The Caligarian Candidate.
2. The Ovaltine Cafe.
"Well, hey, I didn't spend all those years playing Dungeons and Dragons and not learn a little something about courage."
Faulkner, after Chung wonders why Faulkner would disclose his version of the events, given the death threats from the Men in Black, Mulder, and Scully! (This line puts me on the floor every time.)
From the eBook edition.