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Some Theef Trivia

Behind the Scenes
Originally, the episode was not planned to be produced during the seventh season. However, just before the writing crew prepared to take their Christmas break, one of the scheduled scripts was removed from the line-up. In order to meet the deadline, Frank Spotnitz, John Shiban, and Vince Gilligan decided to write a script about "modern medicine versus backyards supernatural arts". Gilligan later joked that "I think I was enlisted for the fact that I'm Southern, and they thought I was the closest thing they had to a hillbilly on the staff".

Producer David Amann explained that the inspiration for the story was "What if you have a doctor who is prosperous but has a dark page from his past that comes back to haunt him?" Spotnitz later elaborated that the story initially was "going to be how do you get rid of something you can't get rid of". However, the writers soon found this storyline difficult to develop, and, by Spotnitz's own admission, the story "started to evolve into a Cape Fear type of situation". The episode was finished by the writers over the Christmas break and then "handed over" to Kim Manners, who became the episode's director.

Kim Manners later noted that "Theef" was difficult to shoot because the cast and crew had inadequate time to prepare. He explained, "It was kind of a rush thing and we got the script very late. We were totally winging it while we were shooting it". Manners later stated that the episode "came together" in the editing room: "When I looked at the footage, it was like I was looking at somebody else's film. But it cut together real nice and the end result was that 'Theef' turned out to be a decent little episode".

Manners later admitted that the episode was his only credit for the series during which he experienced illness. With Manners out for a day due to his sickness, Rob Bowman took over directing duties for a day.

Cheri Montesanto-Medcalf, one of the show's makeup creators, was extremely pleased with Drago's makeup in the episode. She later noted, "I remember Billy Drago was awesome–he looked so creepy after makeup. I just wanted this guy to look super-creepy and disturbing to look at, but real enough that you might be scared if you looked out your window at night and saw him standing there".

Noted actor Billy Drago was brought in to play the role of Orell Peattie, a casting decision that series creator Chris Carter later called "especially lucky". His son, Darren E. Burrows, had previously been cast as Bernard in a season six episode, Monday.

Actor James Morrison, who played Dr. Wieder, was a former cast member of the science fiction series Space: Above and Beyond, and had previously been cast as detective Jim Horn in an episode of Millennium called "Dead Letters".

Both Space: Above and Beyond and Dead Letters were written by former X-Files writers Glen Morgan and James Wong.

Leah Sanders, who was cast as the background character Reporter #1, was a childhood friend of John Shiban who had not been in contact for twenty years. Shiban was reportedly delighted to discover that his former friend had been coincidentally cast in the episode. Carter noted that the episode "was very well cast".

The woman who owns the shop which Mulder and Scully go to for information descibes Billy Drago's character (Orel Peattie) as 'charmed.' Billy Drago is a semi-regular guest star in the television series 'Charmed' (1999-2004).

This episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Make-up in a Series.

Dedication: In Memoriam, Rick Jacobson 1951-2000. Rick Jacobson was president of Twentieth Television (the syndication arm of Fox) who died of cancer in March of 2000.

The name of the reporter covering the flesh-eating disease story is John Gillnitz, marking the 5th appearance of the name in an X-Files episode. This long-running in-joke is a combination of the names of the writers John Shiban, Vince Gilligan, and Frank Spotnitz.

When Peattie is in the break room he's having a lot of trouble operating the vending machine and failing to realize his poppin' corn needs to be microwaved. A med student just tells him to use the microwave to get his popcorn. Peattie then rants on like he's heard of it but has never used one before. But then he simply presses the correct POWER and TIME buttons, without any further instructions.

Dr. Wieder: Folk Magic, you mean like Baba Yaga.
Baba Yaga was a witch from Eastern European folklore who supposedly kidnapped and ate children. She reputedly lived in a house that stood on chicken legs.

Mulder: Insert Dan Quayle joke here.
This is an allusion to the embarrassing incident when Dan Quayle informed a young spelling bee contestant that the word "potato" had a dangling "e" at the end of it. Commonly referred to as the Dan Quayle "potatoe" incident.

The Complete X Files Behind the series, the myths and the movies
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