Monday, 18 February 2013

Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man

"Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of the science fiction television series The X-Files. It premiered on the Fox network in the United States on November 17, 1996. It was written by Glen Morgan, directed by James Wong, and featured a guest appearance by Chris Owens, appearing as a younger Smoking Man. "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man" earned a Nielsen household rating of 10.7, being watched by 17.09 million people in its initial broadcast. The episode received moderately positive reviews from television critics.

The show centers on FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) who work on cases linked to the paranormal, called X-Files. Mulder is a believer in the paranormal, while the skeptical Scully has been assigned to debunk his work. In this episode, Lone Gunman Melvin Frohike (Tom Braidwood) finds a tell-tale magazine story supposedly revealing the history of The Smoking Man (William B. Davis). The episode illustrates his possible involvement in several historical events and assassinations, although the reliability of the source is unresolved at the end of the episode.

Executive producer Frank Spotnitz later noted that, while parts of "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man" may indeed be factual, the majority is not actual canon. The production of the episode did not require extensive use of Duchovny and Anderson on screen. The former's voice is only heard and the latter appears only in archival footage. Davis, who portrayed the titular character, was pleased with the episode, although confused with some of the contradictions in the script. Although not directly furthering the series' overarching mythology, the episode involves several of its events and characters.