Spooky happenings! Weird goings on! Alien abductions! Werewolves! Wendigo! Other crazy shit! Deep in the bowels of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s headquarters in CANADA THE USA lies a pokey basement office, within which toils FOX “SPOOKY” MULDER , laughed at by his colleagues despite being an ace criminologist and profiler for working on all those things that science cannot explain! Appended to this tiny department is the lovely DR DANA SCULLY , a flame-haired sceptic who, through no fault of her own, finds herself in James Randi’s shoes as rebutter of MULDER’S crazy theories! Roll up roll up, ladies and gentlemen. Spend a third of the next nine years trying to puzzle out the series’s increasingly silly mythology arc, and two thirds of the time enjoying a succession of variably gripping monster of the week moments! (Oh, and you might need to use Babel Fish to understand haf the episode titles.)
Ext. shot: An isolated clapperboard house at night [ NOTE TO LOCATIONS DEPARTMENT , I saw a good one down the road from the three isolated clapperboard houses we’ve used in the last three episodes]. We are in CANADA VERMONT . A sign promising a new theme park flaps in a listless wind from lamppost. Dark pines, indicative that we are in CANADA VERMONT , rustle in most sinister fashion.
Int. shot: A young boy gets into bed. His MOMMY kisses him goodnight. The boy appears SCARED . Both are trying hard to disguise their CANADIAN VERMONT accents.
Boy: Mommy, I’m scared!
Barry’s Mommy: Aw, Barry, there is no such the Bloogeyman.
Boy: There is! There is! I saw him! He lives in that creepy unfinished room with nothing but a creepy wardrobe in it.
Barry’s Mommy: Come on Barry, we’ve talked about this, that room’s dusty and unused for reasons that have nothing to do with narrative foreshadowing.
BARRY’S MOMMY smoothes BARRY’S hair and leaves. The boy lies there in terror. His NIGHTLIGHT begins to flicker. We hear a creak of a floorboard. BARRY sits up and screams.
The faint sound of “Bloogey, bloogey, bloogey” and wet slobbering sounds assault our ears as BARRY is dragged out of view. BARRY’S MOMMY rushes back into the room, stops dead in the door and reaches up her hand to her mouth.
Barry’s Mommy: AIEEE!
An eerie theme, like that of a THEREMIN played by a whistling DOG , sounds over a collection of images of PARANORMAL PHENOMENA – UFO pictures, KIRLIAN photography, GHOSTLY FACES , plus captions that say helpful things like PARANORMAL PHENOMENA , so the audience is left in no doubt whatsoever as to what is going on.
A young FBI AGENT walks down a corridor. He is a bit fat and wears a cheap suit so that we can be SCORNFUL ourselves of the SCORN he is about to pour on our heroes. He carries a large armful of files that he struggles to rearrange before knocking on a door leading into the POKEY BASEMENT X-FILES OFFICE . SCULLY , a pout-mouthed, short, ginger chick who somehow never looks as beautiful on the X-FILES as she does in anything else is within, peering into a microscope. (She also does not smile much, but that might be because she is being paid significantly less than her CO-STAR . So much for our show rewriting the rules on female television leads).
Overweight FBI Agent: Where’s Spooky?
Scully [sighs – she does this a lot, like she’s patiently dealing with a truculent toddler at 4am and she really, really just wants to get some sleep. She is a saint. I love her]: He’s out masturbating round the back.
There is no other sound. It is always very dark and very quiet in CANADA THE X-FILES .
Overweight FBI Agent: Oh, well, I’ll leave these here. They’re more your area than ours. Bye!
He hurriedly leaves, guffawing loudly into an enormous early ’90s cellphone about the freaks in the basement. SCULLY wanders over and looks at the files.
Car, exterior, at night, a small town in CANADA VERMONT . MULDER and SCULLY are within. MULDER is older than SCULLY and has the lugubrious face of a BEAGLE that has been used in medical experiments for years and, though now free for some time, has not yet recovered. MILLIONS of WOMEN fancy him. Go figure.
Scully: It’s a simple case of child abduction. I’ll bet it has something to do with that theme park they want to build here. Someone is trying to scare the developers away. The kids always turn up again, after all.
Mulder: It’s the Bloogeyman, Scully. This is not Scooby-Doo. He often frequents run-down ex-industrial areas such as this one, that have recently lost their primary industries and suffer from the collective shame of the entire populace. The Bloogeyman, by targeting the children of the townsfolk, is a psychopomp, a projection of this collective lack of purpose, a sublimation of shared loss in a sense of redundancy and futility. It happened in 1912 in Okatuck, Cana… I mean, Pennsylvania, and in 1886 in New York, then in 1948, there was a spate of Bloogeying…
Scully [sighs]: It’s just a man Mulder. Anyway, don’t you mean the Boogeyman?
Mulder: No, Bloogey. Our investigations often bypass famous folkloric constructions in favour of crazy entirely made-up creatures or odd takes on American folklore that kind of ignore all the old horrible campfire stories in favour of some TV nonsense. This one falls into the latter section, I think.
They arrive at the house. It is dark inside. Police tape surrounds the front door. The pair step under it and nod at the SHERRIFF’S DEPUTY OUTSIDE . There is no LIGHT in here. It is always dark in CANADA , because they have limited shooting hours VERMONT, because it is nighttime. They are met at the door by BARRY’S MOMMY , who has red-rimmed eyes and clutches a handerchief.
Barry’s Mommy: Thank god you are here!
Scully: Mrs Barry’s mommy. We’re just here to ask a few questions…
Mulder: It’s the Bloogeyman! He’s tickling your son’s feet in a parallel, fur-lined pocket reality conjured up by the fevered imaginings of tired children and psychically activated here when the old mill closed down and the theme park people bought it up!
Scully [sighs]: Shut up Mulder.
A SCRAPING NOISE can be heard from upstairs.
Barry’s Mommy: There it is again! Every night at the same time – the time he disappeared!
Mulder: The Bloogeyman!
Scully: It’s just a man, Mulder.
The door CRASHES open. A strange, hairy, stooped creature prances from foot to foot in the doorway before running away giggling.
Bloogeyman: Bloogey, bloogey, bloogey. Hooga, hooga, I’m gonna eatcha!
SCULLY , surprised, produces her weapon, held in on-screen FBI approved double-handed grip, but the BLOOGEYMAN runs out of her flashlight beam. The agents follow him into a room, where SCULLY’S MAGLIGHT illuminates the room’s only contents, a large and OMINOUS WARDROBE . It shakes violently.
Wardrobe [muffled]: Bloogey, bloogey, bloogey!
Mulder: Open your mind to the possibility that there is more to our existence than that which we’re conditioned to expect, Scully.
Scully [sighs]: But it’s just a man, Mulder. He’s wearing a boiler suit with red paint on it. He’s got hairy monster gloves on and I saw the price tag on his mask.
Mulder: The human eye sees what it wants to see, Scully.
Scully: Open the cupboard door and I’ll shoot him. We all know you can’t shoot straight. It’s a running joke, like your porn collection.
The WARDROBE DOOR bursts open. The BLOOGEYMAN and BARRY burst out.
Bloogeyman: Don’t shoot! It was all an ill-conceived jape! I surrender.
Mulder: Aw! But I want to believe! The truth is out there!
SCULLY puts away her gun and reaches up very high to pat the even sadder looking MULDER on the shoulder.
Scully [sighs]: Mulder, I have seen 312 inexplicable things in the course of our professional relationship. That I still pigheadedly cling to my rationalist beliefs is surely proof in itself that the unlikely and, indeed perhaps the downright impossible, co-exists with our mundane consensual reality.
Mulder: I miss my sister.
Two burly local SHERRIFF’S heavies come in and grasp the BLOOGEYMAN . MULDER unmasks him.
Mulder: Why, it’s Old Man Withers, the ex-mill owner!
Scully: I told you he didn’t want the town to build that theme park on his land.
Bloogeyman: And I would have got away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids!
Mulder: You know, what really upsets me is that this show is only any good when it’s sending itself up.
Scully [sighs]: Shame.
Mulder: Okay, I’m off to our basement to refute the absolutely obvious happenings that I have seen here, insist that both Old Man Withers and the Bloogeyman proper co-exist at the same time, and dictate it into a tape recorder while moping about aliens.