"The Sixth Extinction"
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Title: The Sixth Extinction
First screened in Australia: 8 March, 2000
First screened in the USA: 8 November, 1999
Director: Kim Manners
Writers: Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz
- Mimi Rogers as Agent Diana Fowley
- Mitch Pileggi as A.D. Walter Skinner
- Michael Ensign as Dr. Barnes
- Warren Sweeney as Dr. Harriman
- Conrad Roberts as Primitive African Man
- Jo Nell Kennedy as Amina Ngebe
- Mari Weiss as ICU nurse
- Anthony Okungbowa as Barnes' driver
- Abdoulaye N'Gom as driver
- John Finn as Michael Kritschgau
Scully attempts to decipher the strange symbols covering a submerged spacecraft in hopes of finding a cure to Mulder's affliction.
My Rating: 7/10
Comments to be added soon ...
Where Have I Seen That Face Before?
Michael Ensign (Dr Barnes) has appeared in well-known movies such as "Titanic", "Midnight Express", "War Games", "Mr Mom", "Ghostbusters" and "Superman" while he's had a starring role on TV in "General Hospital" and also appeared in two episodes of "Friends".
The Pain Factor:
Mulder is in excruciating pain throughout much of the episode, locked in a psych ward.
Astute viewers of "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati" likely noticed something odd about the final scene in Mulder's doorway near the end of the episode. A few weeks ago, Gillian Anderson changed her hair style to a new, shorter cut. This transformation took place long after the conclusion of filming of "TSE:AF." But there it was on screen on November 14 - in the persona of Dana Scully - in the hallway outside Mulder's apartment.
This is not normal. Television production crews strive for continuity within an episode. While they may not always succeed, the effort is there. The shocking change in Gillian/Dana's hair within the confines of a single episode sent off little alarm bells among the fans. It was immediately apparent that the final scene had been reshot sometime after Gillian changed her appearance. The next question to be answered was why the reshoot was done. Was it David Duchovny's influence, or yet another instance of a Chris Carter rewrite?
The scene in question is one that resonated with most X-Files fans. 'Shippers focused on the heartfelt emotions of the scene, as well as the lengthy forehead kiss. NoRoMos noticed that Mulder referred to Scully as his "friend." Wherever fans were on the relationship issue, there was consensus that it was a very well-written and -acted scene.
One fan passed on information from a confidential source that the scene was reshot because Chris Carter wanted to keep it under wraps. The thinking was that the power of the scene warranted extra effort to protect it from being "spoiled" through leaks to the Internet fan community.
Yet another well-connected fan opined that the real purpose of the reshoot was to make a critical mythology/sweeps episode of the series better, pointing out similar redubs, edits, and reshoots that have been done in the past.
And then, late last week, came the proof - the original ending to "Amor Fati," distributed to several sources, and verified by someone who has seen the original script. You be the judge - here is a synopsis of what was originally planned for the scene in the hallway:
The original ending had Scully coming into the office and finding Mulder there. There is typical Mulder dialogue about not wanting to lay around the house and there is typical Scully dialogue about resting up and recuperating. Mulder says he's interested in hearing about what she went through.
SCULLY: "A wise man once told me there is more worlds than what you hold in your hands."
She then tells him about Albert and says there is no way he could have visited her. He asks what she thinks about that and she says she knows the mind is far beyond it's ability to fathom and hands him a wrapped book. She says she had it dusted for prints and it was sent by someone they both may have misunderstood..."who may have given their life for yours."
SCULLY: "Diana Fowley was found murdered in her car this morning. AD Skinner has the details for you if you want them. He's back at work."
Scully stands looking at Mulder for a moment, as he sits down. He's stunned, to say the least. He lays his head down on the desk so that Scully cannot see his face, his eyes. She touches his hair, then turns and leaves. Mulder remains like this, as ...
Mulder and the Dream Boy are at work on something, busy together. Happy, diligent. As we SLOWLY CRANE UP we see what it is: a large and spectacular sand sculpture of a space ship. [The shot should remind us of the last shot of Season 6.] And we keep pulling back and back until we FADE TO BLACK.
I think you'd have to agree that the reshot ending is far superior. What resulted from this effort was what one fan called "the most awesome five minutes of Scully/Mulder interaction in the show's history - ever!"
That should put to rest any thought that the cast and crew were going to mail it in this season. Continue to expect great things from this (likely) final season.
From The Official X-Files Web Site:
The symbols translated from the spacecraft are a map to the genetic makeup of mankind. Much research has been done on human genomes. Scientists construct detailed genetic and physical maps of the human genome to determine the complete nucleotide sequence of human DNA, to localize the estimated 50,000-100,000 genes within the human genome, and to perform similar analyses on the genomes of several other organisms used extensively in research laboratories as model systems. The products of such studies will comprise a resource of detailed information about the structure, and the organization and function of human DNA which constitutes the basic set of inherited "instructions" for the development and functioning of a human being. Scientists must, however, take into account the ethical, legal, and social implications of genetic knowledge.
For more information on the Human Genome Project, go to www.nhgri.nih.gov/HGP.
The passage from the Koran that Scully refers to is about Al-Qeyaamah, from the Quran, Sura 75 (Koran Chapter 75). This event of Al-Qeyaamah has many different titles (not to mention spellings). The most frequent usage is known as The Day of Resurrection. The character Amina calls it The Overwhelming Event and The Day of Final Judgement.
The passage reads:
Nay, I swear by the Day of Resurrection;
To find the English translation of the Koran online go to http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/koran.html or http://mama.stg.brown.edu/webs/quran_browser/pqeasy.shtml.
Nay, I swear by the accusing soul (that this Scripture is true).
Thinketh man that We shall not assemble his bones ?
Yea, verily. We are Able to restore his very fingers!
But man would fain deny what is before him.
He asketh: When will be this Day of Resurrection ?
But when sight is confounded
And the moon is eclipsed
And sun and moon are united,
On that day man will cry: Whither to flee!
Alas! No refuge!
Unto thy Lord is the recourse that day.
On that day man is told the tale of that which he hath sent before and left behind.
Oh, but man is a telling witness against himself,
Although he tender his excuses.
Stir not thy tongue herewith to hasten it.
Lo! upon Us (resteth) the putting together thereof and the reading thereof.
And when We read it, follow thou the reading;
Then lo! upon Us (resteth) the explanation thereof.
Nay, but ye do love the fleeting Now
And neglect the Hereafter.
That day will faces be resplendent,
Looking toward their Lord;
And that day will other faces be despondent,
Thou wilt know that some great disaster is about to fall on them.
In the hospital, the doctor orders the drug Haloperidol for Mulder. Haloperidol is used in the management of manifestations of acute and chronic psychosis, including schizophrenia and manic states. It may also be of value in the management of aggressive and agitated behavior in patients with chronic brain syndrome and mental retardation and in the symptomatic control of Tourette's syndrome.
Kritschgau instead injects Mulder with the drug Phenytoin. Phenytoin is an antiepileptic drug that can be useful in the treatment of epilepsy. Phenytoin tends to stabilize the threshold against hyperexcitability caused by excessive stimulation or environmental changes. Phenytoin reduces the maximal activity of brain stem centers responsible for the tonic phase of grand mal seizures.
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