X-Files Pilot part viii – Active Questions

On the MA Writing for Script and Screen recently we covered how screenwriters use active questions, so I thought this was worth sharing.

Scene (15) 19.04 – 20.18

The scene is structured in 5 parts.

  1. Question.
  2. Theory.
  3. Opposition.
  4. Case update
  5. Active questions.

Let’s look in more detail:

(The writing is my transcript.)


  1. Question: Scully asks Mulder how he knew Peggy would have the same marks as the victim.
  2. Theory: Mulder says he believes the kids have been abducted.
  3. Opposition: Scully has a rational scientific explanation and ridicules Mulder’s theory that they have been ‘riding around in flying saucers.’
  4. Case update: Scully says: “You’ve got four victims. All of them died in or near the woods. They found Karen Swenson’s body in the forest, in her pyjamas, ten miles from her house.”  
  5. Active questions: Scully asks two active questions: “How did she get there? What were the kids doing out there in the forest?”

I thought it interesting that these active questions are asked directly, by the character, to the audience.

What do you think? Do you agree? Can you think of any other examples where these kinds of questions are asked in other TV shows?

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s