RIP Kim Manners

Mulder and Scully clutching hands after being unearthed from the tendrils of a giant killer fungus. Mulder finding new ways to stumble around his soaked apartment as he loops through a terrible version of Groundhog Day. Giant hearts made of ice falling from the sky. Michael McKean and David Duchovny playing each other (and dancing!). Mulder hallucinating that his parents handed his sister over. A wedding ring that looks like a castle and an erased letter. The revelation that Scully has cancer (and oh, that one hurts today). Mulder trapped under chicken wire, the Black Oil dripping onto his face. The origins of the Lone Gunmen. Inbred brothers dragging their armless, legless mother out from under a bed. Roaches, roaches, roaches. Corpses encased in clay. Lucy Householder drowning in the back of a police car to save a kidnapped girl (Jewel Staite!). Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black watching car wrecks. A Satanic substitute teacher making a small town eat itself alive. And a circus community at the mercy of the Fiji Mermaid.

If you’re an X-Files fan, some of your favorite moments were directed by Kim Manners, who also directed episodes of Supernatural, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr, 21 Jump Street, and Simon and Simon, among others (you can see him directing Gillian Anderson in eating a cricket above). Manners, who died in Los Angeles Sunday of lung cancer, blew open the X-Files world with “Humbug”, expanded the visual look of the show, and guided the actors to some of the best performances of the series. Pull out your favorite X-Files (or Supernatural, or Sledge Hammer!, or even Baywatch) episode, which Manners may well have directed, in tribute, and when you’re done with that one, watch “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space'” and enjoy the character named in his honor, the hard-swearing Detective Manners. Just as Jose Chung says about Detective Manners, film crews up and down the West Coast were familiar with Director Manners’ colorful vernacular, too, and they loved him for it. He will be missed.

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