By Chris Knowles and Matt Allair
Contributor Chris Knowles recently brought to my attention once source that might have been the inspiration for the season six episode Triangle. In an issue of the comic book The Shadow, #5 from July 1974, it deals with a scenario that is strikingly similar to the situation in Triangle.
In this issue of The Shadow, which seems to be set in a similar time period, the Nazi's weren't after a nuclear scientist but a peace envoy. The Shadows agent, Margo Lane is similar to the 1939 Scully. There is also an FBI agent in the story who interferes with the Shadow character.
The writer was Denny O'Neil and the artist of this issue was Frank Robbins.
Then compare the following script page that was transcribed by CarriKendl and taken from The X-Files Scripts Archive / Inside The X site: (* indicates English translation)
(The NAZIS drag MULDER through the ship, through the rain, and up to the deck. They begin beating him. Mulder fights back, taking one of them down. They restrain him.)
NAZI 1: Auf schnell! (shouts angrily in German ) ---*Get up fast!*---
MULDER: Same to you, Adolf!
NAZI 1: Los! Mach schon. ---*Go! Get on with it!*---
(They drag MULDER off. The NAZI that MULDER attacked gets up and follows. They end up at the helm. CAPTAIN MARBURG stands defiantly in front of the wheel. He is surrounded by NAZIS. We can't see the NAZI OFFICER's face yet.)
NAZI OFFICER: Bringen sie dieses schiff auf fahrtrichtung Deutschland oder wir schaffen sie vom steuer weg. Verstanden? ---*Turn this ship in the direction of Germany or we will remove you from the wheel, understood?*---
CAPTAIN MARBURG: I'll not give up this ship!
NAZI OFFICER: Zeig ihm was ich meine. ---*Show him what I mean.*---
CAPTAIN MARBURG: You can put me down, man, but I'll not let go of this wheel so 'till we meet in hell... (spits)
NAZI OFFICER: Ershiess ihn. ---*Shoot him.*---
FIRST MATE: No!
(Camera pans around until CAPTAIN MARBURG is hidden behind the NAZI OFFICER. NAZI 2 shoots the CAPTAIN in the head. CAPTAIN falls dead. NAZI OFFICER turns. He is a 1939 version of CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN. He lights a cigarette and looks at MULDER.)
1939 CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN: Wer ist dieser mann? ---*Who is this man?*---
NAZI 2: Er hat einen meiner leute zusammengeschlagen und seine uniform gestohlen. Er ist spion. ---*He beat up one of my people and stole his uniform. He is a spy.*---
1939 CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN: Wo sind die waffen versteckt? ---*Where are the weapons?*---
MULDER: No sprechen.
1939 CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN: Die waffen haben sie an bord, nicht? ---*You have the weapons on board, no?*---
MULDER: I don't speak Nazi.
1939 CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN: Erschiess ihn auch. ---*Shoot him also.*---
(NAZI 2 levels the gun at MULDER's head.)
MULDER: (slight panic) Wait a minute. Why are you shooting me? Why are you killing me? What have I done? I don't understand what you're asking me.
(Another NAZI, who looks just like SKINNER enters the helm.)
1939 SKINNER NAZI: Halt! Nicht schiessen. Dieser mann ist Amerikaner. Es heisst sie vollen mehr leute an dem krieg beteiligen. (hands MULDER's badge to 1939 CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN.) ---*Stop! Don't shoot! This man is American. They say more people want to take part in the war...*---
1939 CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN: Bring ihn nach unten. Bring alle nach unten. ---*Bring him under. Bring them all under.*---
(MULDER's captors drag him back out of the helm.)
Based on the fact that Chris Carter was born on October 13th, 1956, in July 1974 he would have been around 18. Therefore it is entirely possible, depending on if he was still a comic book enthusiast at that age, that he might have read this issue of The Shadow and it might have eventually impacted him enough to build the episode Triangle around this scenario.
It's something to ponder.
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