Orison | K Files | X Files Podcast | Case 407 | Gillian Anderson
Glory Amen! The K Files continues the investigation into Donnie Pfaster in Orison in a NEW episode.
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About the Episode
“Orison” is the seventh episode of the seventh season of the science fiction television series The X-Files. It premiered on the Fox network in the United States on January 9, 2000. It was written by Chip Johannessen, directed by Rob Bowman, and featured guest appearances by Nick Chinlund.
In this episode, Reverend Orison releases Donnie Pfaster, Scully’s former kidnapper, from jail in the hopes of passing judgment on him. What he discovers instead is that he has released pure evil, and it’s headed for Scully.
“Orison” was written by Johannessen, who had formerly been an executive producer on the television series Millennium. Johannessen’s first draft featured an escaped prisoner who could stop time. Executive producers Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz, and John Shiban enjoyed the premise and decided to bring back Donnie Pfaster. However, instead of continuing in the style of “Irresistible”, the episode went in a “substantial new direction.”
“Orison” was written by Chip Johannessen, who had formerly been an executive producer on the Chris Carter-created television series Millennium. In Johannessen’s first draft, the episode’s main antagonist was a prisoner with the ability to stop time. Executive producers Carter, Frank Spotnitz, and John Shiban found the episode’s premise promising. However, Carter enjoyed the story because it bore stylistic similarities to the first season episode “Beyond the Sea”.
After reading the first draft, Spotnitz and Carter decided to reintroduce Donnie Pfaster, a character from the second season episode Irresistible. Carter noted that, “we had talked about possibly revisiting some old monster this season, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.”
The writers and producers decided to take Orison in a “substantial new direction.” Although Donnie Pfaster was originally portrayed as a “death fetishist,” his nature was non-supernatural. In Orison, however, it was decided to make Pfaster into a true demon. Shiban explained “we decided late in the process to turn him into this totally demonic character, essentially evil as an entity.”
Spotnitz was very excited about bringing closure to the Pfaster-Scully story. He explained, “For me, what really justified bringing Donnie back was the final act of the script when Donnie comes for Scully and she ends up shooting him full of holes.”
The final scene, however, proved difficult to script. Director Rob Bowman noted, that the act “was a tough scene. Frank and I had spoken on the phone about the dialogue in the wrap-up scene with Mulder and Scully. Even though she shot him in the heightened state, you couldn’t deny the fact that she killed Donnie Pfaster in cold blood. How do we deal with that?”
The song that Scully keeps hearing in the episode is “Don’t Look Any Further” by former Temptations singer Dennis Edwards. Production staff went through several cover versions in order to find the right one for the episode. Unfortunately, according to producer Paul Rabwin, none of the songs “really worked.” Rabwin wanted Lyle Lovett to record a cover for the episode, but the singer was unavailable, so the staff asked singer-songwriter John Hiatt. Rabwin called Hiatt’s version “chilling, eerie, and soulful.”. Mark Snow, the show’s composer, used musical effects for emphasis. He explained, “There’s a slo-mo scene where Mulder comes in the room with Scully and guns are drawn. They’re looking around, and I do these big boom single hits with a lot of reverb. There’s nothing else but that. Sometimes, that is really effective.” Love you, Mark Snow.
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