NEWS: The Season 11 ‘glitch’

Tony Black takes a look at the recent news this week about Season 11…

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It’s been a few months since we had some concrete news about The X-Files Season 11, news not disseminated from spam sites like Gamenguide or Parentherald (which sadly get loads of traction and commentary, when they’re utter bullshit). Yesterday word broke, however, via two interesting sources which suggest the continuing adventures of Mulder & Scully might be in jeopardy.

Firstly a Reuters interview with Gillian Anderson about her new role as an anti-slavery campaigner in which, at the tail end, she suggested when asked that she didn’t think Season 11 was happening. Her words were:

Probably not. I think it is finished.

This seemed to be the trigger for scientist Dr. Anne Simon, a vocal voice on Twitter in terms of updating the fandom about Season 11 progress, to admit the future wasn’t as rosy as we’d been led to believe from positive noises by the likes of FOX supremo Dana Walden in the summer.

Simon seems to be suggesting here that the sticking point may be with the amount of episodes FOX want. Mark Snow, in our recent podcast with him, believed 13 episodes was a possibility or perhaps even more, so could this be what FOX have been pushing for? Accepted wisdom has been we’d get more than Season 10’s 6 episodes but the number would more than likely sit somewhere between 8-10. Maybe Anderson & David Duchovny have been put off at the prospect of spending what would probably be a good six months or more in Vancouver filming.

There is even the veiled suggestion there certain political realities have put a spoke in the wheel. Remember that FOX aren’t exactly the most liberal-minded network on US television and their part in the election of Donald Trump to office could well have also played a part in certain key players cooling on the idea of making FOX more money. Simon doesn’t suggest this in any way directly, but is it just coincidental this went south right after Trump won?

It’s hard to say at this point. Duchovny hasn’t weighed in at all, Anderson hasn’t officially spoken about it, nor has Chris Carter or FOX. There are no official statements one way or the other. Negotiations appear to have hit an impasse but this could be temporary. Until we hear any official word from the powers that be, nothing is certain. Season 11 could still be a reality, even if perhaps it may take a little longer than we hoped to put together.

At times like this though, let’s all remember we waited 8 YEARS for The X-Files to come back last time, and much scarier forces than Donald Trump have closed the X-Files before but they always come back. Let’s keep believing.

What do you think of this news? Let us know in comments here, on Twitter or on our Facebook page or group.

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REVIEW: The X-Files Season 10 (comic) – ‘Monica & John’

Tony Black reviews issue #18 of The X-Files: Season 10 comic run, ‘Monica & John’…

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Written by Joe Harris

Art by Matthew Dow Smith

Joe Harris addresses a very open, dangling thread in The X-Files Season 10 with ‘Monica & John’, a one-shot which calls back to the opening story, ‘Believers’, and serves to answer the question: what happened to Agents John Doggett & Monica Reyes, of course the mainstays of the last two seasons of the show before the revival. Much like they were sidelined for the actual season 10, Harris understandably chose to do the same in the comic to place the focus on Mulder & Scully, but it feels at the expense of two key characters in the latter half of the show’s mythos. It’s very likely Harris planned it this way all along, but it’s at the same time a long time coming.

With only a few pages to spare, Harris spins a story which brings Doggett & Reyes back into the fold in unusual circumstances, with at the outset the twist that Doggett appears to have been Reyes’ captor for eighteen long months. In the end, the revelations concern the strange Deacons from ‘Believers’, the alien hooded beings who seemed to be involved in the new conspiracy, and this just serves to deepen the enigma of the new mytharc and in time-honored X-Files fashion, pose more questions than it answers.

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Why were Doggett & Reyes being held? What connection does it have to the Deacon monitoring star patterns & presaging his own death? This merely establishes the complication and gets the Agents back in the FBI radar by the end, and thanks to some grimy panels and good drawing of the captured, harried Doggett & Reyes by Matthew Dow Smith, you do feel that sense of atmosphere to an otherwise brief piece which doesn’t have time to do much but catch us up.

Oddly it also lacks any presence of Mulder, but that’s perhaps a conscious choice so the focus can zero in more on the missing Agents, and the way Scully nicely reacts to seeing Doggett reminds us she was always the one with the bond with him, and Reyes, not really Mulder. It’s just a shame ‘Monica & John’ just seems to come out of nowhere, with no reminders since the opening story that anyone at the FBI was concerned they’ve been gone, and it’s all too brief to really feel much more like a minisode filling in gaps.

Rating: 6/10

You can follow Tony on Twitter @Mr_AJ_Black.

INTRODUCTIONS: The Show I Wish I’d Grown Up With – Danielle Kasper

Danielle Kasper introduces herself by talking her late blooming love of The X-Files…

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My introduction to The X-Files was late. I had just turned 13 when the final episode aired on UK TV and, thanks to strict bedtimes, the show passed me by. It passed me by so completely that, until my brother suggested I watch it in 2015, I didn’t know anything about the The X-Files. The benefit of arriving late to the party was that I could binge watch all 202 episodes and 2 movies which led me up to about August 2015; just in time to get really really excited about season 10.

It was love from the pilot episode. With hindsight, this is unsurprising. I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, and reading Goosebumps and books about spontaneous human combustion and stigmata from the non-fiction section at my local library. By the third episode I was taking notice of the storytelling – it didn’t rely on gore or gratuitous violence to induce fear. Instead, the horror came from the combination of Glen Morgan and James Wong’s clever script, Mark Snow’s sinister soundtrack, and Doug Hutchison’s brilliant acting. The final scene with Tooms in a prison cell viewing  the hatch on his cell door with a sinister smile was deeply unsettling. The X-Files did horror well and it got my attention.

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I had watched the pilot episode with no expectations and by the end of the third episode knew that this was the TV show for me. And so began my X-Files journey… Mulder and Scully, the believer and the skeptic: two unlikely heroes that I just got. They were smart and endearing, intriguing and kind of annoying. I consider The X-Files to be a brilliant character study, as well as one of the greatest love stories. As Chris Carter put it – “theirs is an intellectual romance…It’s the most potent kind of sexual energy or what I would call the meeting of the minds. Everything else is easy and fleeting. Ephemeral. But that – I’ll call it a soul connection – is the greatest romance”. I didn’t need Mulder and Scully to fall in love but watching them go through personal tragedy and heartache together, to literally go the end’s of the earth for each other, their romantic involvement felt inevitable.

The X-Files is the show I wish I’d grown up with because Scully was the idol I never had. She was confident, complex, stood up for her beliefs and questioned authority. She was a loyal and caring friend. At times she was wickedly funny. And she was never sexualised like so many female heroines. At 26 years old I still want to be Dana Scully when I grow up.

This Summer while traveling around the US I took a trip up to Vancouver and saw a few of the filming locations which was sort of a glorious, geeky pilgrimage which I try not to tell people about lest they think I’m insane. I climbed Grouse Mountain, aka Skyland Mountain in ‘Duane Barry’ and ‘Ascension’, watched the sunset at English Bay, the beach where Mulder and Scully have their heart-to-heart on a log in season 10’s ‘Home Again’, and headed to the sketchiest part of town to check out the Ovaltine Cafe, where Mulder eats pie in ‘Jose Chung’s From Outer Space’.

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At home, I hide my obsession well. You might see ‘The Complete X-Files’ on my coffee table and my Funko POP! Scully on my DVD shelves but for the good stuff you have to know where to look. My DIY X-Files bomber jacket, ‘I Want To Believe’ t-shirt and UFO necklace are in my closet. In a drawer in the kitchen I keep my trading cards and a 90s X-Files magazine – my favourite junk shop find ever. And in a bedroom drawer….my red wig, black suit, FBI badge and giant torch which only come out at Halloween.

To say watching The X-Files was an emotional roller-coaster would be an understatement. It made me laugh and cry, and then it tore my heart out à la Phillip Padgett in ‘Milagro’.  I re-watch a couple of episodes every week and spend an embarrassing amount of time reading about the series. I have tried to convince everyone I know to watch it, unfortunately with little success. Seasons 8 and 9 bordered on disaster and season 10 was a little disappointing, but they didn’t take away from the pure joy I got from seasons 1-7. The X-Files is absolutely my favourite TV show and I eagerly and somewhat apprehensively await season 11.

Favourite Episode: Bad Blood

Danielle will be a regular contributor the blog. You can find her on Twitter @spookydk

1013 Radio: Over the Rainbow

Carl Sweeney returns for another 1013 Radio, talking a classic from Season 6’s ‘The Rain King’…
overtherainbowausIn the early days of The X-Files, it was almost impossible to imagine an episode ending with ‘Over the Rainbow’ playing on the soundtrack. By Season 6, though, the series had changed considerably, and ‘The Rain King’ does indeed conclude with Judy Garland’s Oscar-winning song

The song itself is one of the most famous American songs ever recorded. ‘Over the Rainbow’ (referred to by many as ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’) was written in 1939 by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, for MGM’s The Wizard of Oz. It’s an emotional ballad, sung in the first few minutes of the film when Dorothy is daydreaming about a better place than Kansas. The song won the Oscar that year for Best Original Song, and would remain Garland’s signature tune throughout her career. It’s not, however, a natural fit for The X-Files.

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‘The Rain King’ is a sweet little episode, perhaps most memorable for a scene where Mulder dodges a flying cow.  It’s a romantic comedy, really, about not just Mulder & Scully’s investigation in the local resident apparently able to control the weather for financial gain, but about the unrequited love meteorologist, Holman Hardt feels for Sheila Fontaine. Unusually for The X-Files, there’s even a happy ending. Holman & Sheila get together, and normal weather patterns are restored to the town. There’s a short postscript, set one year later: we hear ‘Over the Rainbow’ as we see Sheila cradling her newborn baby. Your mileage may vary, but I think it’s a nice little scene. But the question remains: how did The X-Files, renowned for its scares and its chills, get to the point where it could use a Judy Garland song?

The X-Files moved production to Los Angeles between Seasons 5 & 6. The move had an immediate effect on the series. Gone was the atmospheric drizzle and mist that were such a hallmark of filming in Vancouver. LA’s warmer climate was reflected in the brighter, warmer look of the series. ‘The Beginning’ would open the season with an image of the baking desert sun. ‘Drive’ and ‘Dreamland’ would make notable use of the different types of location that the series now had at its disposal. The show as a whole now had a generally lighter feel than before, which would last until Season 8 attempted to go back-to-basics. If the series hadn’t moved to LA, ‘The Rain King’ may have ended up a very different episode in look and feel.

The move to LA, in my view, not only changed the look of the series but also broadened the types of music that could be appropriately used on the show. Mark Snow’s scores for Season 6 are more varied and more comedic than before (listen to the music that accompanies Mulder’s mirror dance in Dreamland for a particularly stark example of this), and songs which would once have felt out of place now warrant inclusion. ‘Over the Rainbow’, which is very difficult to imagine being used in the early years of the show, feels suitable when used in ‘The Rain King’.

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* ‘The Rain King’ wasn’t the first time that the series had tipped its hat to The Wizard of Oz, of course. ‘Triangle’ is heavily indebted to the film, and in ‘Fight the Future’, Mulder jokingly refers to The Lone Gunmen as “Cowardly Lion…Scarecrow…Toto” (Frohike is the one who was unfairly compared to Dorothy’s canine companion).

You can follow Carl @csweeney758 on Twitter.

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: If you could reverse any X-Files character’s death, who would it be & why?

For our next roundtable chat based on a key X-Files question…

If you could reverse any X-Files character’s death, who would it be & why?

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TONY: “I think I’d go for Krycek. Much as part of me loved his death, I also love Rat Boy hanging around causing trouble and popping up every now and then. It would have been great seeing him in Season 10!”

ANDREW: “Well, I think the way The Lone Gunmen were killed off was just lazy… so I’d say them.”

BAZ: “I would have loved Krycek in season 10 but he also needed to go when he did. The show didn’t know what to do with him at that point. I also second the Lone Gunmen. My choice would be Mr. X. As dramatic as his death was, there were never a decent replacement for him. The revelation that he worked for the Cigarette Smoking Man shortly before could have added an interesting dynamic to future stories.”

CARL: “Tough question. I’ll say Samantha Mulder. I wasn’t a fan when it first aired, but I’ve actually grown to like Closure a bit more over the years. However, I’m still not entirely convinced it was a fitting conclusion to Mulder’s quest to find his sister. I’ll cheat and pick another death to reverse, this time from the standalones. I really liked Tooms, and I wouldn’t have been at all upset if he’d lived to make a third appearance at some point.”

BAZ: “I completely agree about Samantha. A terrible ending to her character and the mystery of her abduction.”

SAM: “Margaret Scully- too fast and not explored enough in my opinion… I get that that was probably on purpose, but I would have liked a bit more story around it.”

TONY: “Samantha is an interesting one. Did she even die? In the traditional sense? Personally I think the walk-ins idea was a fascinating and different way to resolve an almost unresolvable plot point, so I don’t know if I’d save her. I wouldn’t want to lose the ending of ‘Closure’. Lone Gunmen though? Hell yes. What the frak were they smoking when they thought taking them out was a good idea?”

BAZ: “Another choice from me. Admittedly he probably would have died with the rest of the shadowy consortium a few months later in season six’s One Son, but I hated that the Well-Manicured Man died in the movie and for no real reason other than he betrayed his group’s secrets to Mulder. John Neville’s ability to deliver the phrase ‘dear God’ was brilliant and he was by far my favourite of the Cigarette Smoking Man’s group.”

CARL: “Do we think that The Lone Gunmen shouldn’t have died under any circumstances or do we think that Jump the Shark just wasn’t a fitting end?”

BAZ:  “I don’t know. I’m going to watch it this week so I’ll let you know. But no, there was no reason for them to die.”

TONY: “While I really like the way WMM dies, I agree Baz. Such a shame to see the great John Neville go. And yeah Carl, I don’t think they needed to die at all. You could have kept them around, always bums, always fringe elements, fated to die together as old men. Fine. A heroes death like that, great as they were, didn’t suit them.”

CARL: “I think I agree, no need to kill them as things stood in Season 9.”

SARAH: “I’m totally with you all on The Lone Gunmen. Taking them out was completely unnecessary. As far as Samantha goes, I didn’t care for the explanation the first time around, but watching the episode again with more perspective, I found it appropriate and very poignant. I think her end was a fitting resolution. So many other things on the show were shrouded in mystery without solid answers, driving Mulder to further his endless quest, but this one mystery is something he was finally able to believe and find comfort in. Another person I wish had survived is Agent Pendrell. I always imagined an alternate universe in which he and Scully got married and filled Grandma Scully’s house with lots of little red-headed uber babies at Christmas. Uncle Mulder would stop in to bring inappropriately noisy and annoying gifts, and talk about the good ‘ole days with Scully.”

BAZ: “Absolutely! Poor Pendrell! Okay, I just watched ‘Jump The Shark’ and it really is a rubbish ending for The Lone Gunmen. They might have gone out saving a hotel full of people from a deadly contagion, but it was an episode that felt totally disconnected from the rest of the series. No Skinner or Scully until the end. No Mulder, their greatest ally. Just three heroes stuck in a room, unable to escape. There was no sense in killing them.”

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know your choices in the comments below or on social media!

REVIEW: The X-Files Season 10 (comic) – ‘Immaculate’

Tony Black reviews issues #16-17 of The X-Files: Season 10 comic run, ‘Immaculate’…

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Written by Joe Harris

Art by Colin Lorimer

Following the huge dose of mythology, it makes a lot of sense for Joe Harris to switch gears for Season 10 and tell a story covering the other large scale mythology that was prevalent in The X-Files universe: demonology. ‘Immaculate’, in both parts, is a close as an episode of Millennium, The X-Files spin-off series, as Harris can realistically get away with in the prism of Mulder & Scully, and that’s regardless of the fact Millennium‘s protagonist Frank Black himself crops up in the story to provide a specific tether to that show. It’s a dark and sinister tale which connects the thorny subject of abortion, and militant-right-to-lifers, with the Devil’s continued corruption of the innocent. Even without much time in which to tell his story, Harris paints a creepy tapestry alongside artist Colin Lorimer to strong effect.

Joanie Cartwright is a young girl who, in a great opening hook, walks pregnant into an abortion clinic which promptly blows up while she walks away without so much as a scratch. It’s enough to have A.D. Morales (who by the way we know now is in the Syndicate’s pocket, so keep that in your minds eye) assign Mulder & Scully to look deeper as a strange presence appears on video footage – and while Harris oddly doesn’t tap into the maternal aspect around Joanie’s connection to a demonic force from Scully’s perspective (given her angst as a mother), he does capture that element whenever the duo faced a case with religious overtones, i.e. Scully being the one taking a leap on theories while Mulder quickly tries to rationalise everything out and move on. That’s present in Harris’ writing and while it’s subtle, as is Scully priming her own religious convictions, it’s definitely there.

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Lorimer gives us some striking and scary imagery in his panels too across the story, which helps illuminate the sense of enigma in Harris’ writing about just what is happening to Joanie, and in truth ‘Immaculate’ is a story more about mood and atmosphere than everything tying up at the end. Frank’s inclusion is perhaps a little forced and out of the blue, as are mentions of the Millennium Group and suggestions of a connection, but they’re welcome and he’s captured well, even if he doesn’t particularly provide much in terms of story except someone for Mulder to bounce off; a little more understanding and motivation as to why Frank was there might have been welcome, but these are the restraints of just having two parts, and Harris is wisely more concerned with keeping the plot moving and allowing for the demonic, Satanic imagery to leap off the page.

Though not the strongest ‘episode’ of Season 10, ‘Immaculate’ is a welcome change of gear from the long-form mythology, tells a creeping and unnerving story which does touch upon a thorny issue in abortion rights, and weaves an enjoyable connection to Millennium in the bargain. It’s certainly an X-File you can imagine the show having made and it may well leave you slightly chilled, come the open-ended and devilish denouement.

Rating: 7/10

You can follow Tony on Twitter @Mr_AJ_Black.

IN DEFENCE OF… I Want to Believe

Andrew Blaker leaps to the defense of the second X-Files movie, I Want to Believe…

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In July 2008, after years of anticipation, the second X-Files film arrived in theaters. Released a mere week after the enormously successful The Dark Knight, the film debuted at #4 at the U.S. Box Office, earning $10.2 million. After 11 weeks, the film had amassed nearly $30 million, and earned an additional $47 million internationally.

The critical response to the film was decidedly mixed. And fan response was mixed, with many fans feeling shorted after a six-year absence. The film is a stand-alone piece which has much to say about Mulder and Scully as characters, and their relationship, but nothing to say about the mytharc that spanned nine seasons and the 1998 feature film, Fight the Future. It was, to say the least, underwhelming. Fans expected something very, very different, and I believe it’s fair to say that is why fan reaction to the film was so mixed.

Because, by itself, it is a solid film. Robert Ebert wrote a largely positive review of the film, remarking that “the movie works like thrillers used to,” and calling the film a “skillful thriller.” The film has little-to-no CGI effects but relies on atmosphere, dialogue, and the acting chemistry between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. In early 2016, just before the debut of Season 10, film critic Keith Uhlich of The AV Club wrote a reconsidered review of the film, remarking that “if Fight the Futurewas The X-Files in summer blockbuster mode, I Want to Believe was its attempt at an intimate chamber drama—more Ingrid Bergman than Michael Bay.”

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Fans expected a blockbuster return to the franchise. But the film is a well-crafted character study, realistic to where Mulder and Scully are in their lives and in their relationship with one another. The film deals with weighty moral issues and a thoroughly disturbing case in the cold Virginian winter. Were this a two-parter within the series, it likely would have been heralded as one of the hallmark episodes.

On a personal note, I think that overall the film is a testament to the characters of Mulder and Scully, their relationship and the passage of time, as well as capturing the essence of the series and the agents’ pursuit of the truth. Their years in the FBI has cost each of them, professionally and personally, and they are attempting to live a life approaching something like normal. For the past eight years, I Want to Believe was the final chapter in the series—and while it is great to have the series back, in this fan’s opinion, I Want to Believe came much, much closer toward capturing the characters and their relationship than the revival series.

I certainly hope that when the series comes to a definite end the series creator, Chris Carter, brings the characters and their journey to a satisfying and emotionally true conclusion.

You can follow Andrew Blaker on Twitter @andrewblaker620.

REVIEW: The X-Files: Secret Agendas – ‘Love Lost’

Tony Black looks at the sixth story in The X-Files: Secret Agendas anthology, ‘Love Lost’…

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Written by Yvonne Navarro

Edited by Jonathan Maberry.

An intriguing tale from Yvonne Navarro for the sixth story in The X-Files: Secret Agendas anthology, as ‘Love Lost’ taps into a piece of mysterious history from Dana Scully’s childhood heretofore unknown. Set during the revival series, taking place roughly late 2015 chronologically, it sees Scully being reminded of a titular lost love in Marcus Damicke, who vanished in 1982 after getting on a flight & leaving Scully for what was considered to be a brief time. It’s an unusual but well-constructed story, which principally gives Scully more focus (which has been admittedly lacking in Secret Agendas so far). Where it falls down is in, oddly, trying hard to find connections to the myth arc and with characters who don’t quite seem to fit the nature of her narrative.

The actual mystery of Marcus is well told, however, and you genuinely do get the sense that Scully compartmentalized his disappearance as a teenager looking for that connection. It’s also nice, even after so much time working with Mulder, that Scully still feels certain elements of her past & life are private – that’s very Scully, who Navarro captures well across this story as her investigation leads her to old faces, while Mulder attempts to understand how the seeming reappearance of Marcus, having not aged in over 30 years, links to a series of strange power outages at a major airport.

Navarro’s short is strongest when it’s exploring Scully’s character in relation to the mystery, not when Mulder is linking up with Marita Covarrubias of all people; don’t get me wrong, Marita is long overdue some kind of return in The X-Files, but her involvement in this story seems really off – she doesn’t have a personal enough link to either of our leads to really work as anything other than a mysterious antagonist, allowing Navarro to call back to lingering, enigmatic plot points from Season 9 finale ‘The Truth’. It’s even weirder when she suggests a legendary, long-gone X-Files character may also be steering the mystery of Marcus behind the scenes, and it almost feels too much like fan service – the story didn’t need either of them.

Regardless, while ‘Love Lost’ isn’t the strongest story in Secret Agendas, it flows well, doesn’t drag, retains a genuine mystery which Yvonne Navarro doesn’t see the need to tie up in a neat bow or even specifically give explanations for by the end, and crucially it shines a light on Scully’s past as a woman and her emotions connected to a previous, youthful love in her life which allow for some nice interplay with Mulder. A story worth telling.

Rating: 6/10

You can follow Tony on Twitter @Mr_AJ_Black.

INTRODUCTIONS: Can’t Escape The X-Files – Amy Walker

Amy Walker can’t escape The X-Files, and here’s why…

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The X-Files has been something that has always been around in the world as long as I can remember. The series started in 1993, when I was just 6-years-old, and as such has always been something that I can remember being around.

I’m not sure how I first became aware of the show, whether it was one of my uncles who introduced me to it, or if my parents or grandparents happened to have it on whilst I was with them, but like all major cultural phenomena it quickly became a standard part of life. People just knew about the X-Files, and primary school me was no exception.

When I was younger my uncles would let me watch things that really weren’t age appropriate, such as Aliens and Predator, or rather, they’d want to watch them and not care if I was in the room. As such I quickly became a fan of science fiction and horror and The X-Files completely captured my imagination.

Whilst I think that I saw some of the earlier season on the BBC when they were airing (I remember random episodes from the first three seasons that I never had on video so I definitely saw them somewhere) it was the the VHS releases that I absolutely adored.

I remember very clearly watching the ‘Tooms’, ‘Abduction’ and ‘82517’ over and over again growing up. I have a strong memory of visiting Bedford on a shopping trip one day and seeing a huge poster for ‘Abduction’ in what I think was Virgin Megastore’s window and being so excited that it was coming out. I also remember going round a friends house in primary school because his mother had rented us ‘82517’ the day it had come out and we were desperate to watch it.

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Whilst I wasn’t able to follow the main mythology of the show at such a young age, and with not being able to watch every episode, the show still captured my imagination. I loved the monsters of the week, I loved the aliens, the horror, the shadowy conspiracy and most of all I loved Mulder and Scully.

As the years went by it became harder to follow the show. It had moved off of the BBC, the videos were still sporadic as to what was being released and the general ‘X-Files Fever’ was dying down. Throughout this time I was still aware that the series was going on, and still very much loved the episodes that I remembered, but I felt that I couldn’t really call myself an X-Files fan anymore.

Sadly, I drifted away from the show. I got rid of my VHS tapes when I moved over to DVD, I got rid of the books that I had and I think I even threw out my old trading cards (please don’t hate me too much for that).

Years later, around four years ago, I stumbled across season one of the DVD’s in the pre-owned section at Blockbuster for £5. Remembering how much I loved the show I bought it without hesitation (at £5 who wouldn’t?) and began to re-watch my way through the show again.

Suddenly I found myself falling back in love with the series, the characters and the stories they told. I ended up going out and picking up seasons two and three and watched through them too. I’m not sure what happened next, I think life may have just taken over, but I ended up not watching another episode for years.

When moving house I found the box-sets and thought to myself, ‘well, I haven’t watched them in years, I might as well sell them’, and off went the X-Files again.

It wasn’t until The X-Cast came out that the show grabbed me again. Having listened to and enjoyed many of Tony’s other shows I decided to give the X-Cast a listen as a form of nostalgia. As I began listening to the episodes I found myself fondly remembering them and really enjoying what was being discussed.

Not wanting to miss out on what was being talked about and not trusting the holes in my memory I started listening to the series as they were covering the episodes. Next thing I know I’ve shot ahead, am half way through season six and gone out and bought the complete box set.

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Now I’m completely hooked on the show again, I’ve gone out and picked up some of the old books (I’m actually half way through reading ‘Ruins’ at the moment), I’m subscribed to the ongoing comics and the Origins series, I’ve even got a huge pile of the old trading cards again.

Whilst I can’t guarantee that I won’t drift away from the show again I’m pretty certain that this time I won’t be getting rid of the box sets or books. The X-Files has taken a hold of me like it never had before and I’ve fallen in love with what is easily one of the best shows of the 90’s, a series that wowed the world and paved the way for so many modern television series.

The X-Files is something from my childhood that I hold incredibly dear, and absolutely adore now as an adult.

Amy will be a regular contributor to the blog. You can follow her on Twitter @amazingamyw.

FAVOURITE X-FILES – Triangle (AKA Mulder vs Nazis)

Baz Greenland discusses his favourite X-File, season six’s Triangle…

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Choosing a favorite episode of The X-Files is a very difficult process. Do I go with a classic monster story like Tooms’ introduction in ‘Squeeze’? My favorite mythology story, season three’s ‘Nisei / ‘731’?  The ridiculously funny ‘Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose’? I wholeheartedly agree with Carl Sweeney that ‘Home‘ is a dark and legendary masterpiece. But I think what makes all those episodes so special are the boundaries they pushed in storytelling. The great episodes of The X-Files are the ones that played with the classic TV formula and none did it better than season six’s ‘Triangle’.

It is one of the most fun episodes in the show’s history, as Mulder sneaks aboard the Queen Anne, a cruise ship that disappeared in 1939 and has now reappeared in the Bermuda Triangle in the present. Rather than find himself wandering the abandoned decks of the ship he finds himself back in 1939, surrounded by Nazis hellbent on capturing a U.S. scientist… and many of them wear familiar faces. There is no explanation as to why one of the passengers looks like Scully, while the Nazi officers wear the faces of the Cigarette Smoking Man, Jeffrey Spender and Walter Skinner or why the crewman in charge of the engine room looks like Assistant Director Alvin Kersh. But the bizarre nature of the episode is unashamedly wrapped up in a big bow that is the weirdness of the Bermuda Triangle and ‘Triangle’ fully embraces every minute of it.

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It’s a beautiful episode too; apparently, there are only twenty-four individual shots in the whole episode and the sweeping grandeur of the ship – it’s ornate corridors, magnificent ballroom, steamy engine room – is captured perfectly as the camera follows the confused Mulder as he evades German soldiers and is captured. David Duchovny is clearly having a lot of fun, his bewilderment at finding the alternate Scully or seeing the nazis wearing the faces of his enemies perfectly delivered. There’s even a great story arc for alternate Skinner, who gradually fights against his superiors as he did against the Cigarette Smoking Man in seasons two and three.

The second act is one of the best scenes in the show’s history, one long tracking shot that starts with Scully visited by the Lone Gunmen in the FBI offices and then racing through the corridors of the J Edgar Hoover Building in search of the answers she needs; the co-ordinates to where Mulder was last seen.

At this point in the show’s history (Mulder and Scully are thrown off the X-Files), she is completely ostracized from everyone and that desperation shows as she demands information from Spender. It quickly backfires as he goes to Kersh and the Cigarette Smoking Man and her race through the levels of the building are magnificently tense. It is capped by a brilliant moment when she kisses Skinner as he finds her the co-ordinates and escapes through the parking lot with the Lone Gunmen, Spender in pursuit. The fact that it is all done in one shot shows the massive amount of work that must have been done to transition each level of the building and shows that when Chris Carter was good (he writes and directs the episode) he was really good!

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It all culminates in a thrilling final act filled with split screens and Mark Snow’s brilliant playful score as Scully and the Lone Gunmen search the ship in the present while Mulder and alternate Scully battles Nazis as a full rebellion takes place in the past. That shot of both Scully’s moving towards the same point on-screen and then crossing paths is a masterpiece in editing. And it is capped off by the fabulous kiss before Mulder jumps off the ship and travels back into the present…

…yes that last part doesn’t make a lot of sense but I don’t think it needs too. ‘Triangle’ is a bonkers episode, visually stunning, filled with action, humour and the cast having a whole load of fun getting to place different versions of themselves. It even has that final moment where a hospitalized Mulder tells Scully he loves her and she scoffs in disgust. That must have had shippers everywhere squealing with delight, though they wouldn’t have their first proper kiss until next season’s ‘Millennium’.

How can I describe ‘Triangle’ in  a few words? A bonkers masterpiece. It elicits a grin of joy every time I watch it. For me, it’s The X Files at its very best…

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Baz is currently working his way through The X Files, revisited classic episodes and reviewing them at http://www.Thedigitalfix.com