The X-Files

The Unnatural

Season 6, Ep 19, Aired 4/25/99
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  • Episode Description
  • Mulder meets with Agent Arthur Dales' brother (also named Arthur!) and is told a tale of a talented negro baseball player from Roswell, New Mexico in the 1940's who may have been an alien that ran away from his colony because of his love for the game.

  • Cast & Crew
  • David Duchovny

    Special Agent Fox Mulder

  • Gillian Anderson (I)

    Special Agent Dana Scully

  • Jesse L. Martin

    Josh Exley

  • Fredric Lehne

    Young Arthur Dales

  • Lou Beatty Jr.


  • Fan Reviews (22)
  • The Unnatural

    By TrueTvWatcher, Aug 24, 2012

  • David Duchovney writes and directs this odd episode about aliens in 1947 and baseball.

    By JaCkKbAuEr2424, May 02, 2011

  • One for the Shippers

    By KennyRogersLove, Mar 14, 2009

  • This episode is just a joy to watch and a daring episode overall in terms of the subject matter that it covers.

    By Frankburnsflagg, Jan 27, 2009

  • First I thought "What a weird episode" but as it continued I began to enjoy it more and more.

    By Gilmoregirl999, Aug 21, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (13)

    • Scully: Mulder, can I ask you a personal question? Mulder: Of course not. Scully: Did your mother ever tell you to go outside and play?

    • (Scully opens a paper bag and pulls out an ice cream cone) Mulder: Did you bring enough ice cream to share with the rest of the class? Scully: It's not ice cream. It's a non-fat toffuti rice dreamsicle. Mulder: (Groans) I bet the air in my mouth tastes better than that. You sure know how to live it up, Scully.

    • Dales: Do you believe that that passion can change your very nature? Can make you shape-shift from a man into something other than a man? Mulder: (Leans in and asks quietly) What exactly did your brother tell you about me?

    • Dales: Of course you don't care about the baseball, Mr. Mulder. You only bothered my brother about the important things... like government conspiracies and alien bounty hunters and the truth, with a capital "T." Mulder: Wait a minute, I like baseball. Dales: You like baseball, huh? How many home runs did Mickey Mantle hit? Mulder: (Thinks) A hundred and sixty three. (Dales scoffs and moves to close the door, but Mulder pushes it open again) Mulder: Righty. 373 lefty, 536 total.

    • (Dales and Mulder meet for the first time) Dales: What in hell took you so long? Mulder: I'm sorry sir, I'm looking for Arthur Dales. Dales: I'm Arthur Dales. Mulder: No, you're not. Dales: Don't be a wiseass, son. Mulder: No, I'm-I'm sorry sir. I know Arthur Dales, and you're not Arthur Dales. Dales: Arthur Dales is my brother. My name also happens to be Arthur Dales. It's the same name, different guy. The other Arthur, he moved to Florida, the lucky bastard. Our parents weren't exactly big in the imagination department when it came to names. If it'll help you wrapping your little head around this stupefying mystery, Agent Mulder.. We have a sister named Arthur too. And a goldfish. Mulder: How do you know my name? Dales: My brother told me all about you. He said you were the biggest jackass in the bureau since he retired. Yeah we're big fans. Sometimes we'd stay awake for hours at night, just talking about you. Just fascinating. Now unless you're hiding some chinese food, let's call it a day. (Slams door shut in Mulder's face)

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    Notes (8)

    • "Ex" is played by Jesse L. Martin, the original Broadway cast member of RENT in the role of Collins. Perhaps knowing this is what prompted David Duchovny to allow Martin a small scene where he sings with that "beautiful voice" of his.

    • Although budget problems initially prevented Vin Scully from being hired as the baseball announcer, the famed sportscaster - who is the original inspiration for the name of Gillian Anderson's character - agreed to meet an X-Files sound crew in his Dodger Stadium broadcast booth and record the part for free.

    • David Duchovny's older brother, Daniel Duchovny, plays the role of bench jockey Piney.

    • This episode marks David Duchovny's writing and directorial debut.

    • The Coach's jersey identifies his name as "Shiban", for producer John Shiban.

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    Trivia (4)

    • The baseball scenes in the episode were filmed at Jay Littleton Ballpark in Ontario, California.

    • The name of the Black baseball team at the beginning of the episode is the "Grays", an obvious reference to the alien nickname. Also X's name is Josh, which references Josh Gibson who is the all time Negro-League Homerun King. Gibson played for the Homestead Grays.

    • The "Cozy Cactus" sign should have been reversed in the bus window, since it was a reflection.

    • It seemed strange that Mulder was surprised not to find the Arthur Dales he knew at his apartment when in 'Agua Mala' we (and Mulder) learned that he had moved to Florida.

    Allusions (5)

    • Scully: So, I get this message on my answering machine marked "urgent", from one Fox Mantle..... This is an allusion to Mickey Mantle. Mantle played for the New York Yankees for 18 years and has been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

    • Arthur Dales: Speaking metaphorically is for young men like you, Agent MacGyver. This is a reference to the 80's TV series MacGyver starring Richard Dean Anderson as the extremely resourceful secret agent Angus MacGyver.

    • Mulder: ET steal home, ET steal home. Said to Dales regarding the possible alien baseball player. An obvious allusion to the Steven Spielberg film ET: the Extra Terrestrial,made in 1982, in which one of the most famous film phrases 'ET phone home' was used. 'Steal home' is a baseball term, hence the pun.

    • The Title: The Unnatural
      The title of this episode makes reference to the title of a novel by 20th-century American writer Bernard Malamud: The Natural which is also baseball. The book was made into a film starring Robert Redford and Glen Close.

    • Name: Josh Exley
      The baseball loving alien Josh Exley was modeled on Josh Gibson (whose jersey Mulder was wearing at the end of the episode) who played for the real-life Homestead Grays. Gibson was one of the greatest batters ever, and if he had been allowed to play in the major leagues he would probably hold the home run record.

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