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Second Coming

"I am standards and pratices!!!"

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I was thinking about this line in "Somehow Satan Got Behind Me". Where the network censor kept spouting this and went crazy. I was thinking "I bet the writers of MillenniuM had to deal with a censor all the time. Especially with the content of the show. I bet this was a little jab at them. Since they probably gave all the writers a headache. :smokin:

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You are absolutely right.  Darin Morgan was always filling his scripts with inside jokes.  In fact, this segment of the episode "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me" was inspired by a real life event in which a pair of Millennium writers had a particularly nasty clash with the Fox Network censor.

(This is an exceptionally long story so I'm going to give you the abbreviated version.  You'll get the general idea.  This is the sort of background material I'm hoping to add to a revision of the Abyss episode guide sometime soon.)

Darin Morgan, during the second season of the series, was visiting the offices of Fox Broadcasting when he spotted through an open office door staff writers Erin Maher and Kay Reindl meeting with one of the network's censors.  As it turns out, Maher and Reindl were discussing an early draft of their script for "Anemnesis."  Morgan, making his way around the building on various errands, returned hours later to find the two women still arguing fiercely with the same censor over the same script!

The censor, as it turns out, went completely bonkers when he eventually figured out that, by its very nature, the duo's script implied that Jesus Christ had had sex.  Morgan observed that the censor continually shouted, as a sort of justification, "I am broadcast standards and pratices!  This is completely unacceptable.  I am broadcast standards and practices and I'm telling you this is completely unacceptable."  It's amazing, in a way, that the episode was even allowed to be produced.

Thus, Darin Morgan had the inspiration for his most outrageous "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me" character.  The network censor was, absolutely, based on a real life individual.  In fact, his very motto is taken from his real life counterpart.  This was Darin's quirky way, as you say, of taking a stab at those demanding network censors which continually provided the Millennium production crew with such headaches.

(This tale always leads me to wonder which of the Fox censors was the one to proofread Darin Morgan's script for "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me."  Whoever it was must have either been entirely amused or downright insulted.  Now that's funny.)

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Outstanding Brian!

Thanks for sharing that with us!

Regards,

Graham. :ouro:

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Fantastic anicdote if you have anymore keep them coming!

Oh, there's plenty more where that came from!  Don't you worry.  That's one of the reasons it's great to have these enthusiastic discussions.  The questions and comments provide me with both a prompt and an outlet for many of the trivia details and exhaustive background information I've collected over the years and haven't yet put someplace in the Abyss' episode guides.

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Guest

Really great stuff to hear, Brian!  I am with Cookyman... keep them coming!

I pretty much figured it was just Darin Morgan sort of having a good laugh at the expense of this whole part of the industry.

Now, the other thing that I think is sooooo funny is how much writers are made fun of in Doomsday Defense, and other episodes of the show.  It is just sooo funny to me because it seems like they are sort of making fun of themselves and their whole profession!    :laugh:   Which makes it even funnier to me!  The same exact kind of thing strikes me about 13 Years... it just seems like they can't help themselves from making fun of the entire industry - from the writers to the actors to the producers to the execs to the directors and so on!

I mean, when I tell people about the show, this is one of the most endearing quality of the writers and producers... It's like the ultimate way not to take yourself too seriously.  I laugh so much when I am just trying to explain to people how the writers make fun of themselves and the entire show biz thing!

Are there any stories or specific behind the scenes situations that were the direct inspiration for any of these other things I have mentioned?

Upbeat and Over the Top,

Scott

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Darin Morgan has always relished lampooning both the very premise of the series he is writing for and the very industry he's working within.  He seems to have a good sense of self deprication as a writer.  In fact, I read an interview with Lance Henriksen very recently which revealed that this is what drove the personality conflict between Morgan and Henriksen on the set of "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense."  Henriksen was at first offended by the way in which Morgan was outright spoofing Millennium and the efforts of all those creative minds involved in bringing the show to the screen week after week.  (This conflict between writer and actor is reportedly what led Morgan to make Frank Black's presence in "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me" nearly nonexistent.)

Speaking of "...Thirteen Years Later" and network censors, however, that comedic Halloween episode contains a direct reference to one Fox Network censor that was particularly cooperative when dealing with the series' crew.  The quote that begins the episode ("Never believe anything you see on Halloween." -- Reverend M. Goodman, October 31, 1985) was created as a deliberate nod to Mr. Morry Goodman.  Michael R. Perry, the episode's writer, has noted that Goodman was one of the censors working on the show's third season and that he often gave the series great leeway when it came to presenting the necessary gore, violence, and sexuality.

Some of the most entertaining behind-the-scenes stories alway seem to emerge from the production of the show's outrageous comedy episodes.  I suppose that's not surprising.

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I remember reading that David Duchovny had the same reaction when Morgan first brought in The X-Files episode "Humbug". He thought he was making fun of the show and didn't like it until he saw the final product. Very funny. Darin Morgan is a kind of genius.

And the aforementioned self-depricating stuff in "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense" about writers, is absolutley true. Which is why it's so funny.

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