The Lone Gunmen (TV series)
|The Lone Gunmen|
|Created by||Chris Carter
|Country of origin||United States and Canada|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||43 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Millennium Canadian Productions Ltd.
Ten Thirteen Productions
20th Century Fox Television
|Original run||March 4 – June 1, 2001|
|Related shows||The X-Files
The Lone Gunmen is an American science fiction thriller drama television series created by Chris Carter, Vince Gilligan, John Shiban and Frank Spotnitz. The program originally aired from March 4, 2001 to June 1, 2001 on Fox. It is a spin-off of Carter's science fiction television series The X-Files and a part of The X-Files franchise, starring several of the show's characters. Despite positive reviews, its ratings dropped. The show was canceled after thirteen episodes. The last episode ended on a cliffhanger which was partially resolved in a ninth season episode of The X-Files entitled "Jump the Shark".
The series revolves around the three characters of The Lone Gunmen: Melvin Frohike, John Fitzgerald Byers, and Richard Langly, a group of "geeky" investigators who run a conspiracy theory magazine. They had often helped FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files.
Unlike The X-Files, whose storylines deal mainly with paranormal events and alien conspiracies, episodes of The Lone Gunmen feature non-supernatural plots, such as government-sponsored terrorism, a creeping "surveillance society" under the eye of the government, cheating husbands, corporate crime, arms dealers, and escaped Nazis. The show has a light atmosphere and focuses heavily on physical comedy. The trio are often aided (and sometimes hindered) by a mysterious thief named Yves Adele Harlow (Zuleikha Robinson).
The plot of the first episode, which aired March 4, 2001, involves a US government conspiracy to hijack an airliner, fly it into the World Trade Center and blame it on terrorists, thereby gaining support for a new profit-making war. Parallels of this scenario to the September 11 attacks are noteworthy, if not uncanny, since the episode was aired six months prior to 9/11.
Cast and characters
- John Fitzgerald Byers is portrayed by Bruce Harwood. Byers was born in Sterling, Virginia on November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and was named after the fallen president – his parents were originally planning to name him Bertram after his father. Byers idolized his namesake, but always had suspicions about the real cause of his death. Byers worked as a public affairs officer for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Baltimore until May 1989. Byers appears to have some working knowledge of medicine, genetics and chemistry.
- Melvin Frohike is portrayed by Tom Braidwood. Frohike was born circa 1953 in Pontiac, Michigan. Prior to joining The Lone Gunmen, he was an acclaimed tango dancer in Miami. On giving up the tango, he toured the country with hippies before founding Frohike Electronics Corp., specializing in cable pirating hardware.
- Richard “Ringo” Langly is portrayed by Dean Haglund. Langly was born circa 1968/69 in Saltville, Nebraska. He showed an aptitude for computers from an early age, which was frowned upon by his parents. Langly is The Lone Gunmen's expert in computers, hacking and programming. He is possibly the most paranoid of the Gunmen, taping all incoming phone calls, including those from Fox Mulder.
- Yves Adele Harlow is portrayed by Zuleikha Robinson. Harlow is a femme fatale thief who sometimes works with the Lone Gunmen trio (although sometimes she is their rival). The alias Yves Adele Harlow is an anagram for Lee Harvey Oswald. She plans to star in a biopic about Jean Harlow. It was later revealed in The X-Files episode "Jump the Shark" that Yves' real name is Lois Runtz.
- Jimmy Bond is portrayed by Stephen Snedden. Though Bond shares the bravery and physicality of his namesake, he initially appears to be rich but not very bright, and is fascinated with the Lone Gunmen, who often consider him a nuisance. His saving grace is his boundless optimism, coupled with an idealistic view that the jaded Gunmen wish they still held.
Broadcast and release
Episodes are approximately 43 minutes in length.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|1||"Pilot"||Rob Bowman||Chris Carter & Vince Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz||March 4, 2001||1AEB79||13.2|
|While The Lone Gunmen are thwarted in their attempt to steal a computer chip by Yves Adele Harlow, John Fitzgerald Byers receives news of his father's death and the trio soon find themselves unravelling a government conspiracy concerning an attempt to fly a commercial aircraft into the Twin Towers, with increased arms sales for the United States as an intended result.|
|2||"Bond, Jimmy Bond"||Bryan Spicer||Vince Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz||March 11, 2001||1AEB01||8.2|
|While searching for the killer of an infamous hacker, the three Lone Gunmen find a fourth member when they stumble upon a practice of a football team for the blind.|
|3||"Eine Kleine Frohike"||David Jackson||John Shiban||March 16, 2001||1AEB02||5.4|
|With help from Yves, Melvin Frohike attempts to convince a woman suspected of being a Nazi war criminal that he is her long-lost son—and survive to talk about it.|
|4||"Like Water for Octane"||Richard Compton||Collin Friesen||March 18, 2001||1AEB03||8.9|
|While searching for a water-powered car, the Gunmen encounter missile silos, rude government clerks, and cows.|
|5||"Three Men and a Smoking Diaper"||Bryan Spicer||Chris Carter||March 23, 2001||1AEB04||4.9|
|The Lone Gunmen turn into babysitters while working to expose the truth behind a murder linked to a Senator seeking re-election.|
|6||"Madam, I'm Adam"||Bryan Spicer||Thomas Schnauz||March 30, 2001||1AEB05||6.1|
|A man contacts The Lone Gunmen, believing his life has been stolen after being abducted by aliens. They end up getting caught in a love triangle involving a one-eyed stereo salesman, brainwashing, and a wrestling dwarf.|
|7||"Planet of the Frohikes"||John T. Kretchmer||Vince Gilligan||April 6, 2001||1AEB06||
|The Lone Gunmen receive an email from an ingenious chimp, a self-named Simon White-Thatch Potentloins, attempting to escape a government laboratory.|
|8||"Maximum Byers"||Vincent Misiano||Vince Gilligan & Frank Spotnitz||April 13, 2001||1AEB07||6.3|
|At the behest of a man's mother, Byers and Jimmy Bond pose as prisoners on Death Row in a Texas penitentiary to prove the man's innocence.|
|9||"Diagnosis: Jimmy"||Bryan Spicer||John Shiban||April 20, 2001||1AEB08||5.3|
|While recovering in a hospital, Jimmy begins to suspect that his doctor is a wanted killer. Meanwhile, the Gunmen attempt to stop a man who kills grizzly bears to sell their gallbladders.|
|10||"Tango de los Pistoleros"||Bryan Spicer||Thomas Schnauz||April 27, 2001||1AEB09||3.9|
|Yves and Frohike go undercover as tango dancers to stop a man from selling government secrets.|
|11||"The Lying Game"||Richard Compton||Nandi Bowe||May 4, 2001||1AEB10||5.1|
|While investigating the death of Byers' college roommate, The Lone Gunmen find evidence implicating FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner.|
|12||"The Cap'n Toby Show"||Carol Banker||Vince Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz||June 1, 2001||1AEB11||3.6|
|The Lone Gunmen try to solve the murders of two FBI agents who were working undercover on Richard Langly's favorite TV show.|
|13||"All About Yves"||Bryan Spicer||Vince Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz||May 11, 2001||1AEB12||5.3|
|The Lone Gunmen team up with Man in Black agent Morris Fletcher to find Yves. What they uncover is Romeo-61, a secret government organization responsible for decades of major incidents.|
"Jump the Shark" (The X-Files episode)
|No.||#||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|197||9.15||"Jump the Shark"||Cliff Bole||Vince Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz||April 21, 2002||9ABX15||8.6|
|When Morris Fletcher approaches agents Scully, Dogget, and Reyes with information related to the super soldiers, they turn to the Lone Gunmen. But the Gunmen and Jimmy are already knee-deep in a bio-terrorist’s plot to release a deadly toxin, and his links to the mysterious Yves Adele Harlow.|
|1||Friday 9:00 pm (episodes 3, 5-13)
Sunday 9:00 pm (episodes 1-2, 4)
|March 4, 2001||13.2||June 1, 2001||3.6||#111||5.3|
Although the debut episode garnered 13.23 million viewers, its ratings began to steadily drop.
Home video release
Fox Home Entertainment officially released the series (along with the episode of The X-Files titled "Jump the Shark" which finishes the cliffhanger that ended The Lone Gunmen as an additional episode) on a three-disc Region 1 DVD set in the United on March 29, 2005. In the UK, it was released on January 31, 2006.
The Lone Gunmen received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Julie Salamon of The New York Times gave it a favorable review, stating it is "well done: shrewdly filmed, edited and written". Los Angeles Times writer Howard Rosenberg gave the series a moderately positive review, saying a "bit of it is pretty funny". Aaron Beierle, writing for DVD Talk, awarded the show 4 stars out of 5. Beierle considered the stories "enjoyable, intelligent and well-written" and described the characters as "terrifically memorable". Eric Profancik, writing for DVD Verdict, stated the material is "pretty good" and described the plots as "strong and unusual stories".
|2001||Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards||Best Cinematography in TV Drama||Robert McLachlan||"Pilot"||Won|
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