Introductions: A Short History of My X-Fandom – Carl Sweeney

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I saw an interview with Chris Carter once where he said, talking about Kolchak the Night Stalker, that he could have watched that show every day of the week. Well, for a few years I felt exactly the same way about Carter’s The X-Files.

I was a little young to be watching, truthfully. My first experience of the show was an abandoned attempt at watching ‘Shapes’. My 8-year-old self was terrified, though looking back I’m not sure why. I saw a couple of episodes over the next year or so, but it was mid-Season 3 when I got fully on board.

I think The X-Files appealed to me for a number of reasons. I loved the interplay between the main characters. I really liked the way the show could switch genres from week-to-week. Even at a young age, I could tell that the best episodes were extremely well-written. It was also clear from occasionally looking at internet message boards at the time that the fanbase was very smart and literate.

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For a few years, I became a little obsessed with The X-Files. Recording each new episode onto VHS. Buying all the books and magazines I could get my hands on. Talking about the series with anyone who showed even the slightest interest. At one time I was even keeping a scrapbook of sorts (long since discarded, sadly).

Nothing lasts forever, of course. My interest began to wane during Season 7 (though I like Season 8 a lot more than many people do). I kept watching until the end, although I wasn’t that upset when Season 9 proved to be the end of the road. My life moved on. I went to university, met my partner, had a child. I saw I Want To Believe on opening day, but it didn’t do much for me. I didn’t spend much time thinking about The X-Files, honestly.

I was pleased when the revival was announced. I decided to rewatch the original series for the first time in a few years. I was slightly worried that it wouldn’t be quite as good as I remembered. It wasn’t. It was better.

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The X-Files will always be my favourite show, without doubt. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity on this site to write about some of the things that I love most about it. It’s still the one show I could watch every day of the week.

Carl will be a regular contributor to the blog. His favourite episode is ‘Home’, his favourite season is Season 3, and his favourite character is, of course, Fox Mulder.

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