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Title: En Ami
First screened in Australia: 28 June, 2000
First screened in the USA: 19 March, 2000
Director: Rob Bowman
Writer: William B Davis
- William B. Davis as Cigarette-Smoking Man
- Tom Braidwood as Frohike
- Dean Haglund as Langly
- Bruce Harwood as Byers
- Michael Shamus Wiles as Black-Haired Man
- Michael Canavan as Cameron McPeck
- Jacqueline Schultz as Irene McPeck
- Cory Parravano as Jason McPeck
- Thomas Roe as Guard
- Louise Latham as Marjorie Butters
- Tom Bailey as Apartment Manager
- Timothy Landfield as Scientist/Cobra
Scully stumbles on one of the Cigarette Smoking Man's projects - code named 'Terra Incognita Simulator', which involves the implanting of a microchip in the back of the neck. This metallic implant can be used to monitor peoples' immunity and could potentially be used to kill them. But her investigation leads Scully to believe that it is the key to curing cancer.
My Rating: 9/10
A cool episode where Cancer Man gets the starring role and takes Scully for a ride, literally and figuratively. The ending is clever as Scully takes Mulder to confront CSM only to find the offices cleared out. In between there's a bit of "road movie" feel and some revealing information on Cancer Man. It is interesting that he throws the disk with his cure into the lake.
Where Have I Seen That Face Before?
Michael Canavan (Cameron) has appeared in movies such as "Striking Distance" (with Bruce Willis) and "Bloodfist 8". On TV he's starred in the soap "General Hospital" and had guest roles on "Star Trek Voyager" and "Star Trek Deep Space Nine".
Jacqueline Schultz (Irene) is another soap star to appear on The X-Files in season seven. She's had lengthy roles in "As The World Turns" (3 years) and "Search For Tomorrow" (2 years). She's also had guest spots on "Friends", "ER", "Star Trek Deep Space Nine" and "Matlock". Her movie roles include "Love Bites" and "Braceface Brandi".
Michael Shamus Wiles (Black-Haired Man) previously appeared in The X-Files Movie and The End episode. He's appeared in some well-known movies such as "Fight Club", "Magnolia", "The Negotiator", "Fallen", "Steel", "Conspiracy Theory", "Up Close And Personal" and "Hellraiser V: Inferno".
William B Davis Interview:
Questions & Answers with William B. Davis on "En Ami"
Question: Did you approach Chris Carter about writing your own episode?
WBD: Actually I approached Frank Spotnitz.
Question: Did you come up with the story yourself, or did you work on it with the writing staff to fit into the mythology of the show?
WBD: I proposed an idea for a story and submitted a treatment. The idea was based on the famous scene in Richard III where Richard comes upon Lady Anne who is mourning the death of her father-in-law as well as her husband, both killed by Richard. She is incensed to see him but he is such a clever villain that fifteen minutes later she agrees to marry him. In my proposal, Mulder had been killed, and CSM comes upon Scully in the funeral home and begins a process of winning her allegiance. It later turns out that Mulder is not dead but is in on the scam with CSM as he proves to him that Scully is not a worthy partner. Scully realizes that Mulder is really a wimp and that she is actually attracted to real power and decides to leave Mulder and join CSM. At the very end we learn that it is all happening in her mind and the story is really her nightmare of CSM. Frank really liked the CSM/Scully dynamic but felt they had done too many dream episodes and fake Mulder deaths. He wanted the story to be real. From there we started working on a story where CSM works on Scully for his own purposes.
Question: Regarding CSM's illness, did you have any knowledge of his ultimate fate when writing this script?
WBD: Well I still have no knowledge of his ultimate fate but no, I did not know of his illness when I began working on it, although serendipitously I had CSM pretend to Scully that he was dying as a way of convincing her that he had changed. When I started CSM was not ill and Fowley was still alive. We had to make some adjustments.
Question: Was your goal to make CSM somewhat more sympathetic?
WBD: Oddly I guess it was to make him both more villainous and more sympathetic. Certainly I hoped to make him a more complete person.
Question: Why did you choose to have CSM interact one-on-one with Scully, instead of his usual Mulder scenes?
WBD: One reason behind doing the script was so that I could finally work with Gillian. I had joked that if they didn't give me a scene with her I would write one. So I did!
Question: CSM makes a reference to Mulder and Scully's relationship. What do you think should happen with that relationship?
WBD: Well I think it's obvious that Scully should leave Mulder and marry CSM.
Question: Do you personally think CSM is Mulder's father?
WBD: It could be that he has become ill because the operation where he transferred brain tissue from Mulder failed. Perhaps the reason the operation failed is that CSM believed that his DNA matched Mulder's but complications arose because the DNA does not match. Frankly I don't know at this point.
Question: Do you have any immediate plans for life after "The X-Files?"
WBD:Nothing specific but a number of projects are being thought about. I will continue acting, directing, writing, and teaching but I don't know which of those will predominate.
Question: Do you have aspirations to write another screenplay?
WBD: I definitely want to write more.
From: The X-Files Official Site
William B Davis article:
Cancer Man takes pen in hand
This weekend marks the debut of William Davis as a writer on The X-Files.
By Alex Strachan
Sun Television Critic
Saturday, Mar. 18, 2000
The actor who plays a character known as the Cigarette-Smoking Man or Cancer Man on The X-Files is on a health kick. William B. Davis -- one-time stage director with England's Royal Shakespeare Company, acting teacher (at Vancouver's 10-year-old William Davis Centre for Actors' Study) and arch-villain of The X-Files -- takes a bite out of a vegetarian sandwich, guacamole, onion, tomato and sweet peppers spilling out the sides as he ruminates about life, death and his recurring role on one of television's most influential series. Davis has stopped for a late-night chat at a West End coffee house on his way between his Blaine, Wash. home and a weekend of recreational skiing at Whistler.
This weekend marks the debut of Davis' new role as an X-Files writer. He penned the script for Sunday's episode, En Ami (Global and KCPQ-Fox at 9 p.m.), in which the Cigarette-Smoking Man embarks on a mysterious journey with FBI Special Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). Davis may have written the script and may appear in every other scene, but he has yet to see the final cut. He will have to tune in with everybody else to see how this story ends. "I'm suspicious of the method," Davis says, suddenly sounding a little like his character before adding diplomatically, "but it was a great experience."
Davis views the uncertainty philosophically. The X-Files' motto is "Trust No One." Davis trusts the editing process to a point -- but he also understands it took a leap of faith on the part of show creator Chris Carter and his producing partner, Frank Spotnitz, to trust Davis in the first place. "I'm not sure they did," Davis says, laughing.
This may be the X-Files' final season. The contracts of Carter and lead actor David Duchovny expire at the end of May, and Anderson's expires next year. Davis feels the show's fate may come down to whether Duchovny can settle his dispute over residual payments with the show's production company, 20th Century Fox Television.
By now, the story of how Davis became The X-Files' signature villain is the stuff of cult legend. He had a non-speaking part in the show's March 1993 pilot as a shadowy figure in a dark suit standing at the back of a room smoking a cigarette while Scully is being debriefed by her FBI superiors. Something about the silent but menacing cipher in the background caught Carter's eye and the rest, as they say, is history.
As of late, Davis has been preoccupied with film roles -- he just completed filming Becoming Dick in Vancouver opposite Robert Wagner and Harland Williams -- and raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society, for which he recently wrote a cheque for $20,000, the proceeds of his annual online auction of film and television memorabilia. He has not had much time to stand back and reflect. Even so, when asked to place The X-Files in its pop-cultural and historical perspective, he is quiet for almost a full minute before replying.
"The aspect that I think about is, what was it about the show that struck a nerve with so many people?" Davis says. "To me, there was a certain magic in its madness. It came out when the Internet was first really growing; people were discovering it for the first time. It's my Marshall McLuhan theory of The X-Files: I compare why Shakespeare was so influential in his time with why The X-Files has been such a phenomenon.
"Shakespeare stood on the cusp between an old world and the new world. Shakespeare lived during the beginning of the print culture and the printing press. Now we are moving from a print culture to an electronic culture. It has changed our perception of the world. The whole question of
what is real and not real has become much more blurred. My generation had a very sharp, very clear view of the world. The present generation is very vague, very uncertain, and that is reflected in the computer culture. That culture has bred a paranoia that there could be powers out there doing things that are malevolent. That, to me, is what The X-Files tapped into. To me, the key about the paranormal is that it is about the enigma of not knowing what's real and what's not real.
"It has always interested me that clones of The X-Files haven't fared that well. They'll do a story about a ghost and you know it is a ghost. You can see the ghost, there's no question it is a ghost. The X-Files is more about people saying, 'I think it was ghost;' 'Yes, maybe it was a ghost;' 'Mulder
says it was a ghost;' 'No, that couldn't have been a ghost.' It's an interesting distinction. The X-Files was not a ghost story -- it was a story about not knowing whether there was a ghost or not."
Trivia and Research:
"En Ami" roughly translates from French into "like a male friend," although the phrase is a play on words to sound like "enemy" in English.
The exterior of the restaurant in the CSM/Black-Haired Man scene is actually the Old Writers Building on the Fox lot which houses the writers and producers of "Chicago Hope."
In the restaurant scene, Scully wears a backless Richard Tyler Couture dress.
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