Luther Lee Boggs was a criminal on death row who claimed to be psychic. In exchange for a commuted sentence, he promised assistance to FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, with a murder investigation they were carrying out. The agents' discussion with Boggs was especially troubling for Scully because Boggs claimed to be able to speak to Scully's recently deceased father and provided strong evidence that he could. Mulder was not convinced and did not believe Boggs to be a psychic. Although Boggs actually somehow solved the murder through his psychic abilities, his assistance was insufficient to commute his sentence and he was executed. (TXF: "Beyond the Sea")
The character of Luther Lee Boggs developed from "Beyond the Sea" co-writer Glen Morgan wanting to "do a psychic thing." Morgan continued, "You start thinking, well, this guy's got to have something at stake." The intent to jeopardize Boggs led to making him a prisoner on death row. Due to Fox deeming the premise of "Beyond the Sea" as too similar to that of The Silence of the Lambs, Morgan and writing partner James Wong conceived Boggs as "this manic high-strung cracker" rather than the "cool intellectual" of Hannibal Lecter. "I was directly trying not to write Hannibal Lecter," Morgan noted. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 26/27, No. 6/1, p. 42)
An initial description of Luther Lee Boggs in the script of "Beyond the Sea" states, "Boggs has the expressionless face of a pure killer. Dull, deadly, ignorant eyes. A deep black goatee." A later page of the teleplay notes how his knuckles are tattooed with the words "kiss" and "kill" then continues, "His eyes stare into a personal abyss. A pair of small dice are tattooed on his neck. He's thin, cracked, and ugly." The script additionally refers to his first visit to the North Carolina gas chamber as having been in November 1992, though this information is not in the final version of "Beyond the Sea".
Due to a financial dispute, the role nearly didn't go to Brad Dourif. Series creator and Executive Producer Chris Carter explained, "I remember calling Peter Roth, the president of Twentieth Century Fox, at home on Thanksgiving and saying, 'This is the guy we need for this episode.' There was a money issue. He was the person who signed off on that. I pulled him away from the Thanksgiving table and he said, 'Just cast him,' and that was it. The timing to call him was perfect, though it was inadvertent." (X-Files Confidential, p. 60) Glen Morgan recalled, "[Dourif] wanted like $5,000 more than what was supposed to be our top dollar. But Jim and I said, 'We'll give up our script fee.' They backed down then and we didn't have to do it, but we would have." (Sci-Fi Universe, issue #10, p. 36) Morgan also said, "We fought pretty hard for Brad Dourif, and Chris came through for us." (X-Files Confidential, p. 59) Carter persuaded Roth to pay $15,000 to cast Dourif. Noted Carter, "I think the only reason he said yes was because it was a holiday, and he had to get back to the dinner table." (The Complete X-Files: Behind the Series, the Myths and the Movies, p. 44)
Glen Morgan felt Brad Dourif was vital for playing the part. "To have Brad Dourif saying our lines just meant the world to me," Morgan related. (X-Files Confidential, p. 59)
- "Beyond the Sea"
- "All Souls"
- "Patient X"
- "The Red and the Black"
- "Folie à Deux"
- "The End"
- "The X-Files: Fight the Future"
- "Agua Mala"
- ’’The Amazing Maleeni’’
- "All things"
- "Brand X"
- "Lord of the Flies"
- "The X-Files: Resist or Serve"
- "The X-Files: I Want to Believe"
Director David Nutter felt the portrayal benefited from he himself assisting the actor, later stating about Dourif, "I thought I helped bring him to where he should have been, and we were able to capture what he could really do onscreen." (X-Files Confidential, p. 60)