The X-Files: Season 2, Episode 19

Død Kalm (10 Mar. 1995)
"The X Files" Død Kalm (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,463 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 4 critic

When some people on a ship are rescued, it is discovered that they are aging and later, dying. Mulder takes it upon himself to investigate the ship, which he believes has been the target of Philadelphia Experiments.

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Title: Død Kalm (10 Mar 1995)

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Captain Barclay
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Olafsson
Stephen Dimopoulos ...
Ionesco
Claire Riley ...
Dr. Lascos
Robert Metcalfe ...
Nurse
Dmitry Chepovetsky ...
Lt. Richard Harper
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Storyline

After a US destroyer vanishes for 42 hours, a group of sailors are rescued but all have aged tremendously. All but one quickly dies and the survivor is under guard in a military hospital. Mulder's archive has reports of a number of ships disappearing in the same area just off Norway. He believes it's all related to the Navy's World War II Philadelphia experiments where the government was trying to find a way to make ships invisible to radar. They find the missing ship, the USS Ardent, in the North Sea abandoned and with all of its crew dead but one, the Captain. Both the ship and the Captain are quite old and they seem to have gone through some type of time anomaly. Scully has a scientific explanation for what has happened but they are going to have to solve the mystery quickly as they begin to age rapidly. Written by garykmcd

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10 March 1995 (USA)  »

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Trivia

The title "Død Kalm" is probably meant to resemble Norwegian for "Dead Calm" (referring to the movie Dead Calm (1989)) but it's gibberish. While the word "død" actually means dead, "kalm" is not a Norwegian word. The literal translation would be "Dødelig ro" (a deadly calm), whereas the proper translation (a quiet sea without waves) would be "Vindstille" or "Blikkstille". And in any case for a Norwegian title only the first letter is capitalized (Død kalm). See more »

Goofs

When Mulder lists the ships that had gone missing, he says a Royal Navy Battleship left Leeds. Leeds is a landlocked city in Yorkshire. See more »

Quotes

Dana Scully: I found a children's book of Norse legends. From what I can tell, the pictures show the end of the world - not in a sudden firestorm of damnation as the Bible teaches us, but in a slow covering blanket of snow. First the moon and the stars will be lost in a dense white fog, then the rivers and the lakes and the sea will freeze over. And finally a wolf named Skoll will open his jaws and eat the sun, sending the world into an everlasting night. I think I hear the wolf at the door.
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References Dead Calm (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting yet atrocious
6 April 2009 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

Before I talk about the atrocious bits, however, I will try to review the episode without a Norwegian perspective. The plot itself is pretty much average as X-files plots go, which is to say perfectly OK. It didn't really draw me in, but neither did it bore me. The acting was pretty standard, though David Duchovny gave a pretty good performance. Like many X-files episodes, however, this one suffers from the fact that 40 minutes really isn't enough time to properly develop the plot or the characters.

OK, now for the bad news. I'm Norwegian, but I think even non-Norwegians with any knowledge of the language would hear the thick accents here. Thank goodness for the subtitles, because much of the time I could not make out what they were saying. I did, however, pick up certain *Danish* words (like "bliver" instead of "blir", meaning "becomes"). Now, written Norwegian is almost identical to written Danish, but when spoken the two languages are very different. I don't think we'd hear that difference from the actors used, though, so it might well be that the language coach used an English/Danish book for reference. Or a really, really old Norwegian one, seeing as Riksmål (essentially Danish) hasn't been our primary written language for at least 90 years. A telling phrase is Olafson's "gå (ad) helvede til" ("go to hell"), a Danish construction which is absolutely not used in Norwegian (the Norwegian phrase would be "dra til helvete").

I don't think picking up a random Norwegian schmoe from the streets to help them out would have been that difficult, nor that expensive.

Now, language aside, there are some other embarrassing elements, which probably only a Norwegian would care about. First of all, Trondheim is hardly a common surname. I was surprised to find that there ARE actually some who have this surname. Nine, to be exact (for the alternative spelling, "Trondhjem", the statistics reveal a grand total of 17).

Second, I have yet to see a Norwegian flag in a Norwegian pub/tavern. Made me think that this must be a place where far-right extremists hang out. Flag use is pretty reserved in Norway compared to our American counterparts.

Third, "pirate whaler", indeed. I'm half surprised they didn't include a burly Norwegian killing baby seals with his teeth. The same Norwegian schmoe from before could have told them that the only form of "pirate whaling" going on is if someone was to exceed their quota of minkes, but this hasn't happened in decades.

Fourth, maybe they DID use a really, really old book as reference. Because the patrons of the Norwegian tavern made me think of the way certain places might have been half a century back.

I don't know, maybe I'm overly anal about these things because I'm Norwegian. That's why I am only deducting one star for that. For those who ARE Norwegian, however, this episode has an unusually high face-palm factor. Best seen with friends over a pizza and something good to drink.


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