Having played the sinister Cigarette-Smoking Man on The X-Files for seven years, William B. Davis seemed like a natural to guest star on The Outer Limits as a scientist with ethics so dubious that he doesn't think twice about experimenting on a survivor of a nuclear holocaust. Nonetheless, one teensy problem did arise from the veteran villain's casting in the "Worlds Within" episode (airing tomorrow night at 10 pm/ET on the Sci Fi Channel): The way that he approached the character, his ethics seemed — believe it or not — a little too dubious.

"I was seeing him as being committed to resolving the scientific possibilities," the actor explains to TV Guide Online, "and if lives have to collapse in the process, then lives have to collapse.

"But," he adds, "they kind of held me back a little on that. They wanted me to be upset that we were losing out [on the research opportunities in the end], but not quite so willing to sacrifice people to the cause of it."

Despite his long-term X-posure as a bad guy, Davis doesn't believe that viewers will have a hard time buying him on The Outer Limits or, for that matter, in any role that allows him to exchange his trademark black hat for a grey one. "The first look [at me] may remind people [of the Cigarette-Smoking Man]," he concedes, "but once the story starts to unfold, I think people take it for what it is."