Frank DiGiacomo: There are moments when Under Our Skin felt to me like an episode of The X Files. I knew Lyme disease was controversial, but I was completely unaware of the politics surrounding the definition and treatment of the disease.
Andy Abrahams Wilson: Well, I was a big fan of The X Files, so I take that as a compliment. As a matter of fact, one reason that I was initially attracted to this issue is a conspiracy theory that the bug that causes Lyme disease was actually engineered as a biological warfare agent. There’s a whole book dedicated to this theory.
It’s called Lab 257 [Subtitle: The Disturbing Story of the Government’s Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory, by Michael C. Carroll]. Lab 257 was, or is, an animal research laboratory off the coast of Long Island. There was even a Nazi doctor who was hired to run the lab after World War II, and he had previously worked on biological agents using ticks as possible carriers. And Plum Island is right across the sound from Lyme, Connecticut, which is Ground Zero for the disease. So, there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence, but we weren’t able to find the smoking gun so we didn’t even include this in the film, but that certainly piqued my interest in the beginning.