Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Some Chimera Trivia

Behind the Scenes
he premise behind "Chimera" was "a compelling examination of the evil that lies beneath a prototypical white-bread suburban existence." These themes had previously been explored in the season six episode, "Arcadia". However, the show wished to explore the same ideas in a more "straight-ahead scare" style, rather than supplementing the horror of the episode with humor, as was done in "Arcadia". Series creator, Chris Carter, saw the episode as "a chance to do something bold and new." Carter wanted the story to revolve around a crow, an image that he described simply as "scary". With the story, he wanted to "bust pretense and perception and expose the underbelly of a white-bread community."

The episode was written in "a burst of twenty-hour days". Greg Walker, who assisted David Amann, described the finished script as "a suburban parable about perfection." Matt Hurwitz and Chris Knowles noted in their book, The Complete X-Files, that "David Amman's script is an insightful commentary on suburban repression and self-delusion, which made a major comeback in the conservative late '90s."

The episode soon went into pre-production, but first, several issues had to be addressed. Most notably, while the episode was being produced, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were also busy directing their own episodes—"Hollywood A.D." and "all things", respectively. To cope with this hectic schedule, the writers planned "Chimera" so that Duchovny and Anderson only had to be together in a limited number of scenes. Anderson was only needed for one day of filming for her auxiliary sub-plot involving the prostitute murderer.

Rick Millikan, the show's casting director, was tasked with finding "normal-looking suburban people" for the cast. Millikan later noted that "the show necessitated casting perfect people. But it's not that easy to find [...] normal-looking people. We've used so many people over the years that it's gotten harder and harder to find them. Several of the individuals cast had previously played parts in "obscure genre films": Michelle Joyner first appeared in the 1990 anthology film Grim Prairie Tales, Gina Mastrogiacomo first was noted in her 1989 movie Alien Space Avenger, John Mese had a part in the 1995 movie Night of the Scarecrow, and finally, Wendy Schaal had appeared in the 1985 film Creature.

Most of the opening scenes were shot in a local Los Angeles backyard, however, finding suitable "tree-lined elements" proved difficult. Ultimately, a museum in Hollywood allowed the crew to film in a tree-filled section on its grounds.

The episode ran into several snags during filming. Director Cliff Bole had trouble trying to get the crows to "act on cue". Eventually, several ravens were brought in as doubles. Bole later noted, "we got two ravens. One was very good at cawing and one was good at hopping."

The ending sequence had to be re-shot several times. Producer Paul Rabwin explained, "Originally, we wanted to show a mirror image of the woman being attacked by the monster, but it didn't really sell." Eventually, the crew decided to glue candy glass onto a piece of plywood. In this manner, the camera was able to see the action through the shattered panes of glass.

Originally, the episode was going to feature a subterranean monster and was aptly going to be titled "Subterranean Monster Blues".

Scully appears only in brief cameos in this episode. She is in the usual Mulder/Scully 1st scene of act 1, and then all her conversations with Mulder are short, by phone, and spread throughout the episode.

Writer David Amann's wife Michelle Deschamps is mentioned in this episode. The little girl in the teaser is named Michelle, and the psychiatric hospital featured is the Deschamps County Hospital.

Michelle Joyner played Ellen Adderly. Ellen's baby, Katy Adderly, was played by Ms. Joyner's real-life twin boys.

When the sheriff goes to visit Jenny in the hotel room, he gets up in the middle of the night. In spite of the room being murky you can see daylight coming in through the windows, the same daylight that is coming through the next morning when Jenny is being attacked by the chimera.

Even with Easter Sunday at its latest, you would not see blooming roses, fully green trees, and other blooming flowers in Vermont at that time of year. In most cases, foliage would just be budding out and in some cases there might even still be significant snow on the ground.

There is much made of ravens in the episode, but from the look of it, the birds used weren't actually ravens. The common raven is a very large bird - up to almost 30 inches in length at maturity. They also have little 'beards' of feathers. These look more like crows, which belong to the same family.

Ellen Adderly's scar switches from being on the left shoulder, to the right, and back to the left.

Title: Chimera
This is a reference to the fabled monster from Greek mythology, said to be made up of different parts - usually a lion's head (or three heads, one of which is a lion) a goat's body and a dragon's tail - and breathing fire. Descriptions have changed from story to story, and it's even a description of a particular medical condition when two twins fuse in the womb to become one and have traces of DNA from each. Though the monster in this episode is not really a chimera in the distinct sense of the word, it works on the idea of one person with two separate personalities, one of whom carries out the atrocities the other couldn't countenance.

Mulder: Are you sure her last name wasn't Stewart.
Given the impeccable housekeeping and the character's first name of Martha, this is an obvious reference to the queen of house and home, Martha Stewart, whose advice on cookery, centrepieces, decor and all kinds of things have been followed by people everywhere for quite a few years.

Mulder: ...and, then, of course, there's Poe's raven and, "nevermore", an-and all that stuff.
This is in reference to the writer Edgar Allen poe who wrote a poem called "The Raven". In the poem the word "Nevermore" is repeatedly used.

The Complete X Files Behind the series, the myths and the movies
All Things: The Official Guide to the X-Files Volume 6


Into The Woods Tonight - X-Files Rewatch

Latest Month

April 2013


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner