The Excalibur encounters a pair of aliens who are convinced that humans
have visited their world and their government has conspired to cover
the contact up.
Production number: 104
Original air date: August 25, 1999
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Jerry Apoian
- A few hundred years ago, the inhabitants of an unknown
planet began to pick up broadcasts from other worlds, including Earth.
The planet was undergoing a constant series of civil wars at the time,
so its government hatched a plan to create a scapegoat for its domestic
problems: fabricate fake visits by humans and establish the appearance
of a conspiracy to cover up the "truth." The plan worked; when the
people believed that the government was secretly under alien control,
revolting no longer seemed useful, and the civil wars came to an end.
After learning of that conspiracy, Gideon took the Excalibur to the
planet and dropped a series of probes near several large cities,
each containing a copy of the Interstellar Encyclopedia as well as the
details of what he'd learned about the nature of the coverup.
- The alien world must be quite close to Earth. If, as
claimed, they first started picking up human transmissions a couple
hundred years before the encounter with the Excalibur (and assuming the
alien year isn't substantially different than an Earth year) that would
mean they first started receiving the broadcasts no later than about
the mid-21st century. That would put their world within about 150
light-years of Earth, since the first video signals from Earth were
sent in the early 1900s and travelled at lightspeed.
- The new telepath regulations permit Matheson to project
thoughts into another being's mind in life-or-death situations.
- Gideon enjoys feeling the wind on his face when he's
visiting a planet.
- This episode is a parody of the TV series
References to that show abound:
- The subtitle showing the location and time (Eridani Sector,
May 13, 2267 2:37PM EST) is ubiquitous on "The X-Files."
- The red color of Lyssa's tentacles suggests Agent Scully's
- Cell phones are a constant presence on "The X-Files."
- Kendarr's cigarette addiction is like that of the Cigarette
Smoking Man, one of the heads of the "X-Files" conspiracy.
- The "Y" in masking tape on Durkani's office window is a
reference to the "X" Mulder placed on his window in early
"X-Files" episodes when he wanted to contact Deep Throat.
- The alien wearing a human mask under an alien mask is a
reference to the X-Files episode, "Jose Chung's 'From Outer
- Arguably, Durkani's name is a variant on "Duchovny."
- Durkani's closing line, "The truth is out..." and Kendarr's
conclusion, "...out of fashion," is a reference to the
X-Files tagline, "The Truth is Out There."
- In addition, there are references to real-life conspiracy
- The photo of Mount Rushmore is a reference to the
Face on Mars.
- The report of a crashed Earth ship, with human bodies
taken away and the whole thing explained away as a weather
balloon, is a reference to the crash in
Roswell, New Mexico
- The blimp being dismissed as "swamp gas" mirrors a frequent
explanation for UFO sightings.