Post Mortems
X-Files Revival Darin Morgan Scully Immortal

X-Files' Darin Morgan, Rhys Darby Talk Mulder's Speedo, Scully's Immortality and the Fan Nod That Wouldn't Fit

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Episode 3 of The X-Files‘ revival.

 If longtime X-Files fans felt all green and scaly warm and fuzzy after watching this week’s revival episode, they have executive producer Darin Morgan to thank.

Morgan wrote and directed the revival’s third episode, titled “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” and packed it with loving nods to episodes from the sci-fi drama’s original run.

The story seems simple at the outset: The FBI agents are called to Oregon to investigate some mysterious deaths, which happen to coincide with sightings of a man-sized, lizard-esque creature. But when Mulder gets to the bottom of the phenomenon, it turns out there is a big reptile running around… but he’s the victim of a human (played by Silicon Valley actor/huge X-‘Phile Kumail Nanjiani) whose bite turns the stymied “were-monster” into a human each day.

x-files-manners-graveRhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords) plays the baffled creature, who calls himself “Guy Mann” in a halfhearted attempt to pass as human. The hour tackles deep topics with a light, funny touch — a hallmark of Morgan’s scripts from the original series (such as “Humbug” and “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space“). And it rewards longtime fans’ loyalty with Easter Eggs both visual (the grave for deceased X-Files producer Kim Manners!) and verbal (the discussion of Scully’s immortality!).

Read on to hear Morgan and Darby give us some behind-the-scenes details on the episode… including how the production cajoled David Duchovny back into that red Speedo.

TVLINE | You’ve said the shoot for this episode was challenging. What was the toughest part?
MORGAN | Physically doing The X-Files requires a lot of nighttime shooting and a lot of location shooting, so you’re shooting in the middle of a forest at 3 or 4 in the morning consecutive nights, and it really exhausts you. Usually shooting in Vancouver, the problem is rain. We didn’t have any rain. They were having a heat wave, so the problem was mosquitos. [Laughs] So it was crazy. It was hot and mosquito-y, and then it’s middle of the night and you’re tired. So it’s just a physical challenge surviving the show.
x-files-darby-bedDARBY | I’m somewhat allergic to mosquitos. I’m one of these guys that they go for. I was naked for a lot of the time in the forest. As you can imagine, I took to dancing quite a bit just to keep my body moving. For some reason I thought my legs would be lesser targets to the mosquito squadron if I kept them dancing.

x-files-darby-duchovnyTVLINE | Darin, did you have Rhys in mind for the Guy Mann part from the beginning?
MORGAN | I didn’t have him in mind at all, but then after it’s good to go, I’ve got to cast someone. Who can play this part? And you realize no one can. So you start wracking your brain about who could pull off this kind of comedy. I’m a huge Flight of the Conchords fan, and… I always liked Rhys a lot, too. He gave the kind of humor where he’s a very smart character, but yet at the same time kind of oblivious or kind of in a befuddled state of what’s going on around him, which most people would play off as just being dumb.

TVLINE | Rhys, was it always you in the makeup? Or did you have a body double?
DARBY | I had a body double. There was another guy that was fully in the costume/ makeup… You see him a lot running around in the distance and things like that…. It was four hours to do me up, and that was just the top half of my body. So much detail, it’s amazing. Prosthetics. I’d never gone through that before. It was very creepy to see myself slowly dissolve into some creature while looking at the mirror.

TVLINE | The episode has so many Easter Eggs and little inside jokes for fans. Were there any that you wanted to include but couldn’t make happen?
MORGAN | One that didn’t get in was in the scene at the motel when Mulder is giving his big, long speech to her, and he’s sitting on the bed. [Scully] was supposed to be wearing an old New York Knicks T-shirt but we didn’t get legal clearance to do that.

The others ones that came in just came in organically. If they fit the story and there was a reference I could use, I did. It’s weird, because I’ve always written stand-alone episodes…. People now call them Monster of the Weeks. But you kind of have to address in some way the idea that you’re coming back after all this time, so I guess the way I decided was to have as many of these kind of references to the old show as I could, so people would feel like there was some continuity there or something. Just because it’s fun to do, I guess.

TVLINE | How did David Duchovny react to finding out he had to wear the red Speedo again?
MORGAN | Well, he did it. [Laughs] He didn’t voice his displeasure, but you could tell he wasn’t crazy about it. But I think instinctively he knew that it would get a very good reaction, that there was a very good reason to do it. He’ll do something if he knows it’s the right thing to do, I guess is what I’m saying.

TVLINE | Darin, you were in two X-Files episodes as an actor (Season 2’s “The Host” and Season 4’s “Small Potatoes”). Was there ever any though that you might pop up in this one, even if just in the background somewhere?
MORGAN | Oh, believe me, I tried to get the Flukeman popping up somewhere in this episode, and it just didn’t fit at all. You’d want to have the monster in this episode have a little fight scene with the Flukeman. That would have been great, but I didn’t have the time and we probably didn’t have the budget for that, either. If you have more than one monster in your episode, you break your budget. [Laughs]

x-files-scull-dogTVLINE | The Scully-is-immortal thing comes up again in this episode; series creator Chris Carter has said it’s true. But seeing as how the idea started in an episode that you wrote [“Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”], Darin, I think you’re probably the best person to address it. Was that ever your intention, or is that something that fans just absolutely went crazy with?
MORGAN |[Laughs] That was not my intention. That was something fans went crazy with — and they’re free to go as crazy as they want.

TVLINE | Rhys, Guy has his own moment with Scully via the retelling of their interaction in the cell-phone store. What was it like, shooting that scene with Gillian Anderson?
DARBY | All I could think about was how many fans would be salivating if they thought of the power that I had: I got to be a monster, I got to fight Mulder, and I got to rub up against Scully. [Laughs] All I could think was, “Wow, how many geeky boys would love to be in my shoes right now?”

What did you think of the episode? Hit the comments to let us know!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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38 Comments
  1. Sandra says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes ever, right up there with Bad Blood.
    Amazing & hilarious

  2. aaj says:

    soooooo gooooood!

  3. Gabriel Anthony says:

    What an amazing episode. So sad that there are only 3 episodes left. Season 10 it’s really great so far. Looking forward to the conclusion of it

  4. Sandra says:

    Two words … RED SPEEDO

  5. Lysh says:

    Darin’s such a great writer. I loved tonight’s episode. I definitely felt the fan love.
    Any idea what’s on Kim’s memorial tombstone? Let’s K…… Ass.

    • Drew says:

      “Let’s Kick It In The Ass”
      I read that it was what Kim Manners would always say before a scene.
      The other tombstone in the scene was for Jack Hardy, who worked on Millennium, The Lone Gunmen and I Want to Believe (which I still say never happened)

  6. Drew says:

    This wasn’t just the best episode of the miniseries (which it was), it was also one of the best of the series. It was great seeing Mulder and Scully show their lighter sides again, because The X-Files was always best when there were elements of humor in there.
    I loved the easter eggs. Stoner and Chick (Tyler Labine and Nicole Parker) getting high in the woods… As soon as I saw them back on the show, I knew the episode was going to be great. After that, it non-stop fun. As much as the easter eggs added to it, the episode definitely stood on its own. The werehuman was classic!

  7. luke says:

    What an amazing episode!!! Why can’t all TV be like this?!?

  8. Aly says:

    Not just geeky boys, Darby, not just geeky boys…

    I really enjoyed this episode; very funny. I just wish we could have seen Scully more. Perhaps her takedown of the killer or something.

  9. Brilliant episode! But then, Morgan’s eps always are. The man is simply genius when it comes to the quirky, classic, brain-twisting, pop culture, hysterical eps. (And as a massive Supernatural fan, I really wish Morgan would write a few eps for SPN! Not only did X-F influence SPN–Kim Manners guided the show for five years, until his death–but the show is ideal for Morgan’s skewed and ironic viewpoint.) Regardless, this was classic X-F at its best. Thank you, Darin Morgan!

  10. Chris says:

    It took a while to get into it, but it was a fun episode. Duchovny is so dead-pan he is almost phoning it in, but I am enjoying the revival. Timeless things just get better and better.

    • tyranthraxus says:

      THats why i love Duchovny as an Actor. His dead pan delivery reacts so violently with what we know about Mulder.. an obsessed personality who risks everything for the truth.. or what he perceives about the truth.

      Most would expect him to have a very frenetic voice and the fact he does sound like hes phoning it so confronting.

    • teena says:

      You watched the scene where Mulder literally debated himself and think Duchovny is “almost phoning it in”? Wow.

  11. When I started reading this I was hoping for some acknowledgement of the Kolchak reference, heh. You can even see it in the picture above.

  12. opus says:

    FOX, it is time to go ahead and renew X-FILES. What a fantastic episode. Thanks Darin!!

    • Steven says:

      I’m sure Fox would love to. It’s really up to Chris, David, and Gillian finding time to do more at this point. I’m hoping for an annual mini series. That would be nice. All the old throwbacks in this episode were great. I still get upset thinking about poor Queequeg.

    • ? says:

      Duchovny has a series on NBC (Aquarius) and Anderson has one for ITV (The Fall), but the latter is ending soon and she may have more time. Seems like trying to do both might not be possible for David, but if they only did 10 X-Files episodes, or if Aquarius gets cancelled (no one’s really watching anyway, although the show wasn’t bad), they might be able to get it to work. Fingers crossed!

      • kmw says:

        It’s a no brainer that FOX wants The X-Files back, but you are wrong that Gillian Anderson isn’t busy. She lives in London, two of her kids are still really young and she is very busy with theater and other work over there.You may not see much of her work over here but she is very busy. And yes David has Aquarius but he is probably either shooting this right now or about to start. This show returning is about getting their schedules to mesh and I think it might be difficult for awhile, but I definitely think they will be back

  13. ndixit says:

    If anyone was not in hysterics during the entire scene where Mulder conducts an entire conversation between him and Scully all by himself, while Scully watches, fondly perplexed, then I question your health. Go see a doctor, or the psychiatrist from this ep!!! Surely he will make you laugh. Duchovny was on fire tonight and Anderson was back on point despite having a reasonably small role tonight.

  14. lane says:

    Loved that they dressed GuyMan like Dabney Coleman from Kolchak!

  15. ninamags says:

    This was hysterical!!!!

    Definitely old school X-Files! Loved it!!!!

    I especially loved the Kim Manners tribute.

  16. KCG19 says:

    Anyone else notice that the animal through which Mulder could see Scully asleep in her room was a fox? Cute

    Also I found it quite troubling that Mulder didn’t report the peeping tom manager.

    Other than that AMAZING episode. So glad it’s back to it’s true brilliance.

  17. Becky says:

    Had to say how much I LOVED this episode. I’ve always enjoyed the silly ones and this was just sooo on point! I was laughing the whole time – great timing overall from everyone and an awesome ep. Would love it if they could come back for annual mini series.

  18. Couch Mom says:

    What a great episode! It made me laugh out loud so much. Great one liners. The comparison between Fox’s life and the Were-Monster’s was really a piece of inspired writing. Loved it! Will miss this when it ends in 3 episodes. Happy and sad at the same time. Hope it can come back sometime as everyone’s schedule allows.

  19. Karen Poole says:

    Loved this episode! I laughed out loud it ranks as one of my all time favorites! Mulder in the motel talking to himself classic! Also loved the tribute to Kim Manners as both an X-FIles and Supernatural fan! Awesome! Hate that is is only 6 episodes but will enjoy every moment of the 6 we get!

  20. Barbara says:

    Loved it. Hope they go past this season.

  21. Billy says:

    David and Gillian still have that chemistry. Laughed all the way through. The person who played the creature did a GREAT job. Hope they have a couple more seasons.

  22. Weezy says:

    Want to know how I know that we have devolved as a society? They couldn’t get legal clearance for Scully to wear an old t-shirt…lol. Of course that does line up with most of the Knicks managements’ terrible decision making. Gee I don’t want free publicity on a show watched by more than 5 million people because I have to protect the brand. Or maybe it was the “slippery slope” argument, that is somehow seen as normal, but is typically just the optimal fear mongering strategy for mass manipulation.

  23. Bob says:

    It was so horrible! Looked like a cheap episode of Supernatural

  24. Paul D says:

    It was simply amazing! It felt as if Scully and Mulder had never gone away. This episode ranks up among my favorites of all time! I would love to see this become a regular series again, or if that isn’t possible, is there any chance that we might be able to get at least another 6 episodes? Please Chris! Please Fox (TV)? Please?

  25. It is already one of my top five. I ABSOLUTELY loved it. Truly is up there with Bad Blood. It is just so good to have Mulder and Scully back again and this episode had them at the top of their game!

  26. Nathan says:

    Watched on Hulu today, but they cut out the speedo scene. I didn’t know about it until I read this tonight….was it inappropriate or something?

  27. tatjanav2 says:

    Fantastic episode, thank you!

  28. I Loved it! I’ve been so excited to have Mulder and Sully back. I’m hoping for more episodes!

  29. My new all time fave episode ever. Hilarious.