Irresistible (The X-Files) - Production


The episode's initial script where Pfaster was a necrophiliac was rejected by the Fox Broadcasting Company for being "unacceptable for broadcast standards". As series creator Chris Carter described it, "When I handed the script in, it was really for a necrophiliac episode, and that just didn't fly. You cannot do the combination of sex and death on network television." Carter was forced to tone down the script by changing Pfaster from a necrophiliac to a death fetishist and diminishing Pfaster's sexual obsession. He considered that the sexual content was "implied and understood by audiences", and that Pfaster still resulted in a creepy character, particularly his "creepy arrogance" in using shampoo on the hair of his victims. The episode's original title was "Fascination".

The episode is one of the few in the series that has no paranormal elements to it. Carter said of the episode's conception, "My first chance to work with David Nutter in a long time, and I wanted to give him something he could sink his teeth into. It's a little bit different for us. It doesn't really have a paranormal aspect, except for Scully's perceptions of her deepest fears. I felt that I had to figure out what she is most afraid of, and she is most afraid of those things that most of us are afraid of. The idea of dying at the hands of someone - creature or not - and she is helpless to do anything about it. I thought it was a very good way to explore Scully's character." The scene where Dana Scully imagines Pfaster appearing as a devil was influenced by real-life accounts, as described by Carter: "There are reports of people who had been under the spell of Jeffrey Dahmer, who actually claimed that he shape-shifted during those hours when they were held hostage; that his image actually changed." Nutter said "In many ways, Chris wanted to sell the idea that, as established in Mulder's closing dialogue in the show, not all terror comes from the paranormal. It could come from the person next door."

Carter said of the casting of Nick Chinlund as Pfaster, "I thought it was a wonderfully creepy villain. The casting of that show was very difficult. We saw many actors, but there was a quality I was looking for and I couldn't put a name on that quality. I finally figured out what it was when Nick came in and he had a kind of androgynous quality that worked. I thought he looked like Joe College, but he could scare the hell out of you." Producer Glen Morgan said Chinlund's performance was outstanding. Nutter stated "Nick Chinlund was wonderful to work with. The guy was like putty in my hands. He was great. If you're looking for someone to underline the weirdness and strangeness of the character, he did that."

Nutter said of the episode "I really worked hard to make it a special show, because I thought it was special. It was Gillian's post-traumatic stress episode, because she had not really had the opportunity to vent her feelings about the whole Duane Barry situation. This was an opportunity to sit back and let all that happen." Carter particularly liked the scene where a clearly disturbed Scully hugs Mulder, claiming it was a "tender moment" between two characters that had not shown that much affection for each other.

Read more about this topic:  Irresistible (The X-Files)

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