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Bardo Thodol

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  • Elders (Moderators)

I've just finished the transcript for this episode. As usual, I checked the synopsis (from The Abyss) and there are two scenes included in the synopsis that aren't in the episode. Both of these involve Peter Watts. In the first missing scene, at the start of the episode, Watts is called before the Group to answer questions regarding recent unauthorized actions. That rings a bell with me, but it may be something in a different episode. The second is at the end: Watts smashes the red bowl and tells Mabius that he retrieved the wrong one and believes Frank as the other. In the episode, a chipped red bowl is placed inside a display cabinet. The next scene is the funeral scene where Frank is holding a red bowl.

This is a somewhat confusing episode since it raises many more questions than it answers. I wonder if the inclusion of these scenes, which were obviously part of the script to quite a late stage for them to be included in the synopsis, would have given more sense to the episode than what was aired.

I know that scenes are often cut because the filmed episode runs over time, but I wonder why these two scenes in particular? I suppose they do clarify Peter Watts' situation, and maybe the producers wanted to leave this aspect obscure. On the other hand, this episode aired out of sequence (in production order it comes before Darwin's Eye but was aired after) so maybe they had a lot of problems with it. We really, really do need a "behind the scenes" book as was produced for early X-Files seasons.

What is even more intriguing is that this episode is credited as being written by Virginia Stock and Chip Johannessen. Now, I think it's part of the Writers' Guild rules that on a full season show, like MM and TXF, two episodes have to be written by outside writers, as a way of giving non-staff writers the opportunity to get their scripts filmed. So I wondered if Virginia Stock was one of those outside writers. A search on imdb only gives her credit (other than this ep) as a producer on a short comedy film in 2002, and nothing else. This seems a bit strange.

Looking through the writing credits for S3, these names are ones I don't recognise: Larry Andries (sole writer of Closure) and Jordan Hawley (co-writer with Chip of Saturn). Both of these, according to imdb, have other writing credits. If those two scripts fulfill the Writers' Guild requirements, then who is this Virginia Stock? I could understand if she was involved in some way with MM (as was Ken Hawryliw who was the property master on TXF and wrote a S6 episode) but she doesn't appear to have any connections to MM or 1013 at all.

It's bad enough that I can't figure out what the heck the red bowl was all about, now I can't track down any information on the co-writer.

Sometimes I think I should stop thinking quite so much about such details - but in a confusing episode as this one, any information of any kind might help to make sense of it.

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  • Elders (Admins)

Hi Libby,

It certainly was a confusing episode (at least for me!).

All that I can tell you is that the synopsis at the Abyss is the same as that published on the original Fox 1996 Millennium website and this particular episode's synopsis has always been known to be different from the broadcast episode. It would be great if one day we could have someone explain 'officially' what happened with this episode and how the changes came about. Sorry I don't have any answers! It would be great if someone who won the Script for this episode could provide any information/differing scenes that might be listed in there.



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  • Elders (Moderators)

Thanks, Graham. At least I know that nobody else (as yet) knows what happened to this episode. I did do some googling of alt.tv.millennium, but even though a couple of staff people posted there, no-one had anything enlightening to say. As you say, whoever bought Lance's copy of the script might have some information. And maybe they'll become a member of TIWWA some day and tell us what they can.

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Guest Loomis

yeah... that was one of the episodes I didn't get 100%...

what the hell was the red bowl? One of the worst episodes in the series.

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