X-Files pilot – episode structure part ii

So, what else should we take away from this scene-by-scene breakdown?

First, let’s determine how many scenes our two protagonists are in (or, perhaps more importantly, not in).

Like Criminal Minds, and the UK’s Silent Witness, the opener is the crime to be solved.

Next, we head straight to Scully’s recruitment by the FBI – her task: to investigate Mulder.

Her task set, Scully meets Mulder. They are then in every scene EXCEPT an exterior cutaway of their car driving along the road (scene 8) until the commercial break.

(This must have been written in a time when writers had to leave a cliffhanger before the commercial break). It happens here between scene 16 and 17.

Then, it’s Scully and Mulder again until another car cutaway in scene 20.

Scene 23 is 11 seconds of words being typed by Scully on a computer screen.

Scene 27 is 5 seconds of a mysterious man loitering outside Scully’s motel room.

Then, it’s Scully / Mulder right through until Scully reports back to the FBI suits in scene 39.

I suggest the next 3 scenes are the resolution:

Scene 40 – Scully wonders who the Strange Man is at the FBI.

Scene 41 – Scully takes a call from Mulder while in bed.

Scene 42 – the Strange Man at FBI revealed to be a storeroom clerk at the Pentagon

So, in conclusion, Scully and Mulder are in a total of 32 of the 42 scenes together.

(Of those 32 scenes, 19 scenes are only Scully and Mulder and 13 involve other characters).

Scully and Mulder are absent from 7 scenes.

Of those 7 scenes:

2 scenes are the crime opener

2 scenes are exterior cutaways

1 scene is words being typed on a screen by Scully, and

2 are mysterious men.

Scully is in a total of 5 scenes without Mulder.

Scully has 1 scene alone.

Stay tuned for the next post when we will step outline the episode.

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