The Post-Modern Prometheus Kiss Scene

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Event: Mandela Effect
Participants: The Post-Modern Kiss, the Lost PMP Dance scene
Date(s): 1998 - today
Type: alternate scene, deleted scene
Fandom: X-Files
the allegedged screengrab
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The The Post-Modern Prometheus Kiss Scene is a fandom myth that is perpetuating in the X-Files Fandom since the late 1990s that there is an alternative scene that shows an unscripted kiss between Mulder and Scully at the end of the season 5 episode The Post-Modern Prometheus. Until this day, no video material of this alleged scene has appeared.

"Hi. Let's talk deleted scenes!

Allegedly, there is a deleted scene from The Post-Modern Prometheus where, at the end, when they're dancing, Mulder twirls Scully around and then this happens:

I just got season 5 on DVD and I can't find it! It does say that PMP comes with two deleted scenes, but because it's a watch-the-episode-and-select-the-button-at-the-right-moment type thing, rather than watch-when-you-feel-like-it deleted scene, I haven't seen them yet. However, according to the description, neither of those scenes is the one I`m after anyway.

So, is this like, an Easter egg, or a dream, or what?"

Dina (un_sedentary) in xfiles on 2010-07-23


I just saw this post with two pictures of unscripted kisses between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, one from Momento Mori and the other from Post Modern Prometheus. Apparently, the authenticity of the picture from PMP has been questioned - that it isn’t real but a photoshopped image. Intrigued, I used my google-fu and found this post from Frank Spotnitz' blog.

September 14th, 2010

The Pos Modern Kiss,


The myth has been around since the late 1990s. It's primarily based on alleged screengrab from the episode that looks like Mulder and Scully are kissing. The picture is very likely a photo manip created by MSR-Shippers.

Source of the confusion

Version for the episode

Actually there are two version of the ending scene. The version that was aired in the episode shows Mulder extending his hand to Scully and them dancing for a few seconds.[1]

Version from the Season 5 special

At the end of a one-hour television special (that was also included in the Season 5 VHS and DVD collections) called The Truth about Season 5 showed an alternate take of the dancing scene. In this Duchovny twirls Anderson around before dancing for a few seconds.[2]

Presumibly false memory by X-Files executive producer Frank Spotnitz

In the 2010s, X-Files Executive Producer Frank Spotnitz answered Fan question on a section of his website called the Mailbag. On Fan asked him about the picture (that they provided in their question) and whether the kiss was real. Spotnitz replied that is was an unscripted scene:

Hi Frank,

Another X-Files related question for you here (apologies if you’re getting fed up of answering these!). “Post-Modern Prometheus” is one of my favourite MOTW episodes and I would have sworn a year or so ago I saw a video on YouTube which showed Mulder and Scully kissing as they dance at the end (like in this ‘screencap‘). I haven’t been able to find the video since, but I have read that they were supposed to kiss but Chris thought it was too much and cut it from the episode. So I was wondering — did Mulder and Scully actually kiss at the end of the episode, and if so does that exist on film anywhere (preferably somewhere us Philes can watch it)?


South Wales

Bethan, the kiss was not scripted, but David and Gillian wanted to do a take with a kiss, so it was filmed. I honestly don’t know whether 20th Television has saved all the unused footage from the television series.

Faked animated Gif

In a discussion on the X-Files Universe message board,[3] User SpecialAgent88 posted on June 14, 2011 three animated gifs of the dance scene. The first two show the aired version from the episode and from the season 5 special. A third gif has been edited to make it look like the rumored kiss scene.[4] All three gifs were credited from being take from the tumblr blog of a user called scullymementomori. A careful analysis, however, shows a weird/impossible placement of shadows which show that the gif, just like the Photoshop altered image, to be fake.


While many fans believe that the picture is real and that they have indeed seen a video of this scene ("on Youtube", "on television", "it was aired in a special", "I have a recording of it on a VHS in my cellar"), nobody was able to actually proof the existence of this kiss/scene since today by uploading/sharing a video of the scene.

"Well, apparently the video was on YouTube, some people said they could have sworn they had seen it. I'm almost certain FOX removed the video."

Re:"Post-Modern Prometheus" kiss Postby GillyDreamer78 » September 16th, 2010, 8:20 am on X-Files Universe

Re: Post by xf4life » September 18th, 2010, 9:17 am
Anyyyanka88 wrote:
I also can remember that I watched the video some time ago on youtube, but i also always thought that it is manipulated..
crazy!!!!!!!!!! Im going crazy, wanna watch this again, and some other outtakes we have no idea about oO :?
I remember seeing a video where they kiss too!! You are not the only one that saw it. I thought they had kiss and no one believe me.

Re: "Post-Modern Prometheus" kiss, Posted by xf4life » September 18th, 2010, 9:17 am on X-Files Universe

Since the resolution of the picture is rather poor and editing is quite well done, it does looks real, but won't hold a detailed comparison with the actually screen grabs of the scene as done by tumblr user fuckyeahdavidgillian:

"The main reason is that it looks like a manip. I haven’t gone to the trouble of comparing it with the actual stills from the scene, but look at the area right behind Gillian’s head and back. It’s been “cloned” in parts, and you can tell her hair has been “softened” at the edge where the photoshopper had to move her in closer. Look at David’s shirt and tie – it’s been painted in where it meets her body. Why is the shadow on his face so dark but his shirt below his chin (and behind her neck) so white? Just look at the angle and foreshortening of their bodies. Look at the odd shadow-halo around where her boob meets his chest – again, someone had to cut and paste her closer in, and tried to cover up the edges. Try and figure out where their mouths meet. It can’t be real.


"This is the first time I see this after soooo long. Yea, I can tell in fact is a manipulated version. I had to take several screen shots to be able to see the mistakes. It’s just another manip. I’ll love if ppl specify that."


The Post-Modern Prometheus Kiss can be taken as perfect example of a False memory which is shared by several people. Wikipedia quotes: "In 2010 the phenomenon of collective false memory was dubbed the "Mandela Effect" by self-described "paranormal consultant" Fiona Broome, in reference to a false memory she reports, of the death of South African leader Nelson Mandela in the 1980s (when he was in fact still alive), which she claims is shared by "perhaps thousands" of other people." Ironically, the Mandela Effect was also a topic of a Season 11 episode written by Darin Morgan.

The dance scene seen in the episode, however, was an impromptu take on the scene that according to the official FOX website for The X-Files' 25th Anniversary that episode's director Chris Carter liked so much that it was kept in the episode. This might explain Spotnitz' who served as Carter's right hand during that time and was heavily involved in the production process as a co executive producer[5]) false memory about the scene mention above. On the other hand, Carter had repeated several times, that he never wants to get Mulder and Scully romantically involved, but yet enjoyed teasing the audience with close near-miss encounters like the Hallway scene in the first X-Files feature film.

See also