Australian Conne-X-ion The Cast: The Lone Gunmen
While most actors go through rigorous auditions for roles on popular television shows, Tom Braidwood's professional acting career began while he worked behind the scenes of The X-Files. He was in his regular job as first assistant director on the set when "E.B.E." (1X16) director William Graham, trying to describe the casting of Frohike, pointed him out. Tom served in both occupations for five years, continuing to play Frohike through season eight and The X-Files feature film. He will reprise that role as one of the leads in the spin-off series, The Lone Gunmen.
Besides The X-Files, Tom was first assistant director on such series as The Sentinel, Pittsburgh and Mercy Point. He directed second unit for the series Millennium, The Sentinel and Strange World. His behind-the-scenes work also allowed him to be a writer, script editor, producer, production manager and production assistant on various series, features, documentaries and made-for-television movies. As an actor, Tom was in residence at Canada's Tamahnous Theatre Workshop Company, where he wrote and performed as a musician.
Short, unshaven, and clad in combat boots, Melvin Frohike is the Frog Prince of the Lone Gunmen editorial board. Next to Langly and Byers, he looks like the proverbial dirty old man. From his first leering appearance in "E.B.E." (1x16), he has made no secret of his attraction to Agent Scully. He once loaned Mulder a pair of night-vision goggles only after extracting Scully's phone number. Yet he has shown a tender side as well, being the only person to bring Scully flowers when she lay dying in "One Breath" (2X08).
Frohike is the photographic and surveillance specialist in the group and he formerly made money selling illegal cable descramblers under the Frohike Electronics Corporation name. In many of the Gunmen's sting operations, he has been known to ironically single out those suspects being observed as "men of distinction." The possessor of small quips such as "She's tasty," Frohike becomes more loquacious only when Mulder teases him. He succinctly summarized the atmosphere of suspicion and paranoia in Mulder's apartment during "Anasazi" (2X25) with one bon mot: "weirdness."
Of the three actors playing Lone Gunmen, Bruce Harwood has the most experience, with years of work on stage, screen and television. He had a recurring role on the series MacGyver, and made numerous appearances in The Outer Limits and 21 Jump Street. He also performed in the critically acclaimed Wiseguy and the family show, Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Bruce was a principal actor in the made-for-television version of the musical Bye Bye Birdie. In feature films, his credits include The Fly II, The Experts and Bingo.
Bruce has played Byers in the feature film version of The X-Files, as well as in the past seven years of the series. He reprises that role in the new Fox television show, The Lone Gunmen.
John Fitzgerald Byers
Born on November 22, 1963 and named after the thirty-fifth president who was killed on that day, John Fitzgerald Byers looks like a professor who has wandered into a CIA rendezvous by mistake. His background as a public affairs officer for the Federal Communications Commission explains his current look. But while his neat beard and dapper suits seem out of place among his grungier colleagues in the Lone Gunmen, his sharp mind and no-nonsense demeanor attest to an encyclopedic knowledge of conspiracy theory and current speculation on everything from the Kennedy assassination to the latest in DNA research.
The military and information systems expert of the Lone Gunmen cabal, Byers has an on-going crush on Suzanne Modeski, a scientist whose life is perpetually in danger. He becomes involved in saving her from a secret shadow group, which opens up Byers' eyes to the real conspiracies in the government. The Gunmen join forces trying to protect her, meeting Mulder for the first time. Byers occasionally indulges in a wit as sardonic as the FBI agent, as when he tells him, "That's why we like you, Mulder: Your ideas are weirder than ours."
In "One Breath" (2X08) Byers unerringly recognizes and describes the bizarre recombinant chemistry that lies at the heart of Scully's disease, and quietly expresses sympathy to Mulder. Unlike co-conspirators Langly and Frohike, he is the least liable to crack a joke or even a smile, but his calm intelligence lends authority and believability to the unlikely trio's offices.
After training with Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg, Canada, Dean received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University. Later, he appeared on television in The Commish, Sliders, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and the animated Robocop. His role as one of the Lone Gunmen led to a part in the feature film of The X-Files and a lead role in the Fox spinoff series, The Lone Gunmen.
Dean began in stand-up comedy, and still performs at comedy clubs across North America. He has written a variety of fringe festival and corporate stage shows. Dean also co-wrote Channel 92, a situation comedy pilot that aired on UTV in Canada
Richard "Ringo" Langly
Sporting black-rimmed glasses, long blond hair and T-shirts from a dozen hard-rock bands, Ringo Langly is not the picture of a conventional conspirator. As the computer wizard and communications expert of the Lone Gunmen editorial collective, he is the one most likely to joke with Mulder or invite him to "hop on the Internet to nitpick the scientific inaccuracies" of a new science fiction show. Langly's skills once allowed him to tap into Maryland's DMV mainframe and secure a handicapped parking permit. In "Fearful Symmetry" (2X18), his colleague Byers explains Langly's absence in a meeting as a philosophical aversion to having his image bounced off a satellite.
An avid paranoid, Langly automatically records every incoming phone call, and is evidently as conversant with current conspiracy theory as his two colleagues. But he is a master at the Dungeons & Dragons game, and is always ready with a joke any time Mulder's theories get a little "out there." Nevertheless, when Mulder insists that Langly turn off the taping device in "E.B.E." (1X16), Langly does not hesitate to lie to him and record the entire conversation.