The X-Files A-Z: K is for KILLERS

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Baz Greenland continues the alphabetical breakdown of The X-Files by looking at the many killers the FBI has faced over the years…

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The X-Files is a world populated by some of the most memorable killers ever seen on television. Hannibal might have delivered a chilling adaptation for the modern TV age, Criminal Minds might have seen the FBI profiling the darkest aspects of humanity and crime dramas from CSI to Castle might have delivered some memorable serial killers, but they are all influenced heavily by The X-Files, which gave audiences some of the worst monsters from the small screen.

Some of these were literal monsters, like Eugene Victor Tooms with his need to kill his victims for their livers but there were also some very human monsters too; people driven by the need to kill. And then there are those characters driven to murder, traitors and villains like Alex Krycek, who killed without impunity, either at the behest of the shadowy masters of their own nefarious schemes. I could write ten articles about all the many killers audiences have witnessed over ten seasons and two movies, but here are some of the most memorable ones…

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Eugene Victor Tooms: No killer ever quite got under our skin than this monster, with his ability to squeeze through the tightest spaces, up through the toilet or down the chimney and when he caught you he would rip out and devour your liver. A terrifying killer indeed…

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Luther Lee Boggs: We never saw Brad Dourif’s character kill on screen, as he was already behind bars when the season one episode ‘Beyond the Sea’ began. But with his psychic connection to a new case and the death of Scully’s father and an utterly chilling performance, this was one killer that certainly got under the audience’s skin.

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Donald Addie Pfaster: This death fetish was one of the creepiest killers ever seen on the show. Nick Chinlund’s deeply unsettling performance and the horrifying subject of necrophilia made Pfaster one of the most memorable killers in the show’s history, so much so that they brought him back again five years later.

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Alex Krycek: Mulder’s former partner was a traitor working for the Cigarette Smoking Man, who not only enabled Scully’s abduction, but also had a hand in her sister’s murder, killed Mulder’s father William, tortured Skinner and killed without hesitation, making him one of the most dangerous recurring characters in the show’s history.

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Robert Patrick Modell: Imagine if Derren Brown decided to become a serial killer. That’s what you would get in Modell, a man with the ability to suggest his victims deaths without physically killing them. Aside from the tense Russian roulette scene in ‘Pusher’, which put the lives of Mulder and Scully at stake, his best kill has to be suggesting FBI Agent Burst have a fatal heart attack while on the phone. Another killer so great, they brought him back once more.

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John Lee Roche: Perhaps the most understated killer on this list and the most disturbing, this very human monster kidnapped and murdered children, keeping trophies of cloth hearts cut out of his victim’s clothing. The possibility that he murdered Samantha made ‘Paper Hearts’ one of the most chilling episodes of season four.

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Detective Van Allen: While The X-Files still had plenty of great stories to tell in its later years, there were few killers as memorable as those on the lost above. But Van Allen from season nine’s ‘Hellbound’ might be the most interesting, a reincarnated soul of a skinned victim from the 19th Century, and his modern acts saw him skin the reincarnated killers alive in an act of revenge. The discovery of the skinned victim strung up and still alive might be one of the most horrifying moments the show ever did.

The list of The X-Files killers goes on and on. Who were your most memorable ones?

You can follow Baz at @BazgGreenland on Twitter or follow his Facebook page www.facebook.com/BazGreenlandWriter

Baz has spent 18 months working his way through The X Files, revisited classic episodes and reviewing them at http://www.Thedigitalfix.com

Next time… L is for LUUUUUUURVE…

IN DEPTH: The X Files and its Influences on Modern Television

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Baz Greenland talks about The X-Files and how it’s influenced popular modern television…

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While it is easy to cite the influences of shows like Kolchak: The Night Stalker and Twin Peaks on the creation of The X-Files, it is also interesting to note just how much of an influence The X-Files has had on modern television. While it is known for monsters and aliens, its ability to tell varied stories week by week is what kept the show fresh year after year.

One week Mulder and Scully would be hunting a gruesome monster, the next involving themselves in a political thriller in the highest reaches of the US government. The week after that they would find themselves profiling a serial killer and the week after that a comedy drama involving absurd aliens and characters. It was never just one genre.

Ir is easy to see just how much of  an impact on TV the show has had in the years since Mulder and Scully began their long quest for the truth. It opened a window to the FBI, which was largely shrouded in mystery in the years before. FBI-based shows have taken crime procedurals to another level, from criminal profilers in Criminal Minds (a show I will discuss in much greater detail shortly), to Fringe, which was largely seen as The X-Files‘ successor and now shows like BonesThe Blacklist, Blindspot and Quantico.

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Let’s talk about Fringe first, a show that began as an obvious The X-Files clone, as FBI agent Olivia Dunham and her team investigated ‘Fringe’ cases that sat outside the norm. In the first season we had a plane full of people dying mysteriously, a baby that aged 80 years with ties to a serial killer, a man with the ability to manipulate electricity, people with liquified brains, parasites wrapped around their victim’s hearts, a man that can predict the future, people killed by dreams and murder victims who died by having every orifice sealed. These all sound as if they have been ripped straight out of The X-Files (in fact there are many similarities with classic episodes). But the ironic thing is that it only went from good to great when it moved away from this formula and expanded its own mythology; the concept of a war between alternate realities.

But just because a show follows The X-Files formula, that doesn’t mean it can’t be successful. If Fringe tried to be The X-Files, then Supernatural was the true successor. By changing the setting – two brothers who hunt supernatural creatures – it felt a lot less obvious but it does follow the pattern Chris Carter established with a mix of mythology episodes (usually centred around an upcoming apocalypse) and monsters of the week. In fact, the narrative of the first five seasons was about the end of the world, culminating in the rise of Lucifer, but like The X-FilesSupernatural  struggled the more it went on. Both shows wrapped up the majority of their myth arcs (The X-Files with ‘One Son’ in season six) and both struggled to continue it after the natural end. In The X-Files we had super soldiers, in Supernatural we had Leviathans, the Darkness and angels falling to Earth.

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Supernatural was arguably more successful on the mythology front in its early years as that show had an end game. The X-Files meanwhile has produced more memorable monsters like Tooms and the Flukeman. Interestingly, where they both excel are the comedy episodes. If The X-Files classics like ‘Jose Chung’s “From Outer Space”‘ and ‘Mulder and Scully Meet The Were-Monster’ are considered comedy gold, then Supernatural has proved itself in its ability to provide equal hilarious episodes like ‘Changing Channels’ and ‘The French Mistake’.

At the other end of the scale, The X-Files ability to delve deep into the dark psyche of terrifying killers like Donnie Pfaster, Luther Lee Boggs and John Lee Roche has led to another facet in television crime drama. Fox Mulder was a criminal profiler before his time investigating the supernatural and that experience led to audiences meeting some truly chilling monsters.

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Episodes like ‘Irresistible’ led to retroactive-spin off Millennium, but the show was also responsible for dramas like the long running Criminal Minds, which focuses on a specialist FBI unit’s attempts to understand and capture some of the US’s most deadly serial killers. When Criminal Minds is at its best, it can deliver some truly horrifying storylines, killers that can chill the audience to the bone. Would it be as accessible without The X-Files introducing audiences to the worst of humanity? Perhaps. But The X-Files brought serial killers into the mainstream; not all of them were supernatural, but they were just as terrifying as the likes of the Mothmen or Eugene Victor Tooms.

Shows like Person Of Interest, which deal with a deep distrust of the government, owe a lot to The X-Files too. Even in the much derived season nine, episodes like ‘Trust No 1’ created the idea of an ever watching secret government watching our every move and knowing our deepest, darkest secrets. Person Of Interest is all about the concept of a government that has the untapped power to surveil the lives of every citizen, while using those secrets to predict crime and save lives.

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The X-Files also gave us writers like Vince Gilligan, who would go on to produce Breaking Bad, Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, the masterminds behind 24 and Homeland and Frank Spotnitz (The Man In The High Castle). Most importantly, it gave is David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. While both would do well, it is Anderson who is arguably the critical star of modern television, with prominent roles in HannibalThe Fall and American Gods. 

The X-Files may not be at its height but its popularity continues, with many desperate for season 11. Most significant is its influence on modern television; without Mulder and Scully TV might look very different…

You can find Baz on Twitter @bazgreenland.

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

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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…

You can follow Baz at @BazgGreenland on Twitter or follow his Facebook page www.facebook.com/BazGreenlandWriter

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

The X-Files A-Z – D is for DOGGETT

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Baz Greenland continues the alphabetical breakdown of The X-Files by looking at Scully’s season eight partner and unfairly dismissed John Doggett…

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The idea of any character replacing Fox Mulder as the lead on The X-Files should have been unthinkable. The idea that this character could then potentially carry on the show without Scully was even more absurd. And yet that was the situation the show faced when David Duchovny announced that he was only coming back for half of season eight.

Enter Robert Patrick as John Doggett…

Doggett was a character with integrity, dedication to Scully and the X-Files and a grounded sense of reality; he was just the breath of fresh air The X-Files needed. Many fans dismiss him as a product of the declining years of the show but having just worked my way through season eight, I’m going to admit something quite controversial. John Doggett is a brilliant character.

What is so great is that he wasn’t dismissive of his assignment. He spends his first weekend on the job reading up on every case so that when he comes face to face with alien shapeshifters and the black oil he is fully up to scratch on the situation. He shows great respect for Scully even when she is arrogant and dismissive of him in the early days of their relationship and proves time and time again that he is a man of honor, saving her life on several occasions and standing up to the villainous Deputy Director Kersh  when the facts present themselves.

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By the time the episode ‘Medusa’ came around halfway through season eight, there was a strong, respectful working relationship between Doggett and Scully; he demonstrated his ability to take command of an expedition into the subways of Boston while Scully has his back on comms as they investigated the latest threat. Doggett protects Scully’s secret but calls her out when needed and so by the time Mulder returns and is immediately dismissive of this new presence in their lives, Scully is quick to defend Doggett as a man above reproach.

And he really is. His working relationship with Mulder is just as interesting in those late season eight episodes; he has Mulder’s back when they go up against the black oil and he quickly proves himself to the most paranoid man in the universe. It isn’t long before Mulder willingly hands over the keys to the X-Files to Doggett and calls on him to help protect Scully from the threat of alien super soldiers.

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Come season nine, we fully see ‘skeptic’ Doggett investigating the X-Files with ‘believer’ Reyes and it is an interesting new partnership. Doggett isn’t dismissive, even though he is a man that – like Scully – needs hard evidence. He is respectful of the work to the very end. It’s all down to Robert Patrick’s grounded, engaging performance.

Of course, like a lot of the later years, Doggett was cast aside as part of a bad era, but that is unfairly dismissive of the character. He at least deserved a mention in the revival and I am hoping we get at least one appearance from the great John Doggett when season eleven eventually rolls by…

You can follow Baz at @BazgGreenland on Twitter or follow his Facebook page www.facebook.com/BazGreenlandWriter

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

The Craziness and Hilarity of Darin Morgan’s The X Files

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Baz Greenland walks us through Darin Morgan’s comedy outings…

When you think of the great comedy episodes of The X Files, you generally think of Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose or Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’.  Fans tend to remember each season of the show having a few comedy classics among the multi-episode mythology stories and the gruesome monster of the week tales. But while there was always an element of black humour, those comedy gems didn’t really appear before Darin Morgan wrote season two’s circus-freak episode Humbug (his first script and second story contribution to the show). What’s more, they stood out because there weren’t that many all-out comedy episodes. Season five’s Bad Blood is an obvious contender and season six’s body-swapping two-parter Dreamland another, but there were actually quite rare.

What’s even more interesting is that Darin Morgan, the master of The X Files comedy only wrote three more comedy episodes after Humbug, all in season three and  – for me – some of the biggest highlights in an consistently great year. We’ve had many more monster stories, more dark and tragic serial killer episodes and numerous tales of alien abduction and human conspiracies and yet comedy episodes are still regarded as a subgenre on a similar level when anyone talks about the makeup of the show. It’s no surprise that when The X Files returned for six new episodes in 2016, there was a comedy episode (from Darin Morgan no less) amongst them.

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So what was it about them that worked? Well with the classic formula of mythology, aliens, monsters and serial killers well-embedded and the popularity of the show increasing tenfold in season two, The X Files was allowed a moment to take a step back, reflect on itself and poke fun at its successful formula.

Humbug is the first gentle step towards this; there is a great moment where circus freak Dr. Blockhead rants to Scully about how the unique ands special people will be a thing of the past.

“Twenty-first century genetic engineering will not only eliminate the siamese twins and the alligator-skin people, but you’re gonna be hard-pressed to find a slight overbite, or a not-so-high cheekbone. You see, I’ve seen the future, and the future looks just like him. [points to Mulder] Imagine, going through your whole life looking like that!”

Mulder standing on the steps of trailer, hands on hips in the classic all-American pose is a great moment of poking fun of our hero. It is an episode filled with a raw fish-eating tattooed man in a loin cloth and nasty, deformed, parasitic siamese twin creature, detaching from Vincent Schiavelli’s Lenny and it starts to capture Darin Morgan’s unique style of storytelling. Humbug isn’t an outright comedy episode but it is the forerunner to the comedy episodes to come.

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Season three delivered three fantastic comedy episodes or varying subtlety. Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose is a sublime story, a a perfectly timed comic tour de force that delivers one of the greatest guest spots in the show’s history; Peter Boyle’s Clyde Bruckman. It embraces and mocks the idea of psychic abilities, a theme across several episodes of The X Files. Bruckman is a world-weary guy who just happens to pick up  psychic vibes as Mulder and Scully hunt a psychic killer; the joke of course is that all those psychics fail to predict their own death. Contrasting him is the marvelous, over the top Stupendous Yappi (Jaap Broeker) who rants that Mulder is filled with negative energy in his non-beliefs, one of the most hilarious sequences in the show’s history. The fun of Darin Morgan’s script – and Boyle’s delivery – is the way the episode plays with the visions of the future as the agents and Bruckman close in on the killer.

Clyde has a vision of Mulder chasing the killer through a kitchen, stepping on a cream pie and having his throat slashed from behind; the tension is broken as Bruckman switches between coconut cream pie and banana cream pie. And then in a clever twist, as Mulder steps on that pie later in the episode he turns to confront the killer only for his knowledge of that action to almost kill him as the killer strikes from the front instead. It’s a wonderful play on what we think will happen and how knowledge of future events can have adverse consequences. It is easy to see why this ranks as one of the greatest episodes the show has ever done.

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I have a very deep soft spot for Darin Morgan’s next season three entry War of the Coprophages, an episode that sees Mulder team up with the sexy Doctor Bambi to solve the mystery of cockroaches rampaging through a small town. Morgan claimed this was his least favourite and that might be true, but given his standard it still ranks high on my list of favourite episodes. The juxtaposition of Scully talking to Mulder while at home, washing her dog, cleaning her gun and trying to live a normal life while debating one ludicrous theory after another really sells this episode Add in some truly horrific, gruesome scenes and sheer panic running through the town and it shows yet again why Morgan is the master of comedy.

His final entry in the show’s original run is my all time favourite comedy episode of The X FilesJose Chung’s “From Outer Space” is as over the top as the show ever got (well at least until 2016’s Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster). Morgan’s script plays on what is real through Chung’s recounting to Scully the events detailing in his book by several eyewitnesses. It is an episode that takes great delight in poking fun at the show – and Mulder and Scully…

“One of them was disguised as a woman, but wasn’t pulling it off. Like, her hair was red, but it was a little too red, y’know? And the other one, the tall, lanky one, his face was so blank and expressionless. He didn’t even seem human. I think he was a mandroid.”

The two central agents become caricatures of themselves in a stories of two teenagers encountering UFOs, grey aliens that smoke, mysterious men in black and the stop-motion cyclops that is Lord Kimbolt, who was there to save the planet, travel to inner space (the Earth’s molten core) and take part in an alien sex orgy. Its utterly bizarre, it’s The X Files on acid and it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but the meta nature of this episode would lead to cult classics like Buffy The Vampire Slayer‘s The Zeppo and Supernatural‘s The French Mistake.

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After this, there would still be some great comedy episodes – season four’s Small Potatoes (featuring Darin Morgan in an acting role), Bad Blood in season five which was surely influenced by Jose Chung’s “From Outer Space” theme of perception. Season six would have a lighter, comic tone that largely worked and allowed for experimental episodes like Mulder time travelling with Nazis in Triangle and the Groundhog Day-like exploits of Monday. They are all great episodes, but when fans remember that comedy classics on The X Files, it is Darin Morgan’s four entries that are most fondly remembered. Which out of 202 episodes, is quite an achievement.

When The X Files returned for its season 10 limited run of six episodes, Chris Carter wanted fans to have a buffet of different genres and themes to enjoy. We had two mythology episodes, a tale of military experimentation, a gruesome creature stalking the streets and a reflection on modern society (something the show often did extremely well, through the ‘War of Terror’ take that was Babylon was largely flawed). And we had a comedy episode. For the first time since 1996, Darin Morgan was back to write for the show and there was no other choice of writer in the the fans’ minds.

“We’ve been given another case, Mulder. It has a monster in it.”

Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster was viewed as the best of the entire run and one of the best TV episodes of 2016. It is almost as zany as Jose Chung’s “From Outer Space” but it also has a lot of heart. After all the drama of The Truth through to My Struggle, this see our heroes letting loose and having fun. Mulder doesn’t believe in monsters anymore but he finds that passion again and Scully remarks that she loved this kind of cases. It has moments that made me laugh so much it hurt; Mulder trying to use the camera on his phone to capture the monster. If Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose showed that Morgan could deliver great twists in storytelling, he does it here again with the twist that the monster was bitten by a man and transformed into Rhys Darby’s Guy Mann (a great pun of a name).

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Comedy is an essential part of The X Files mythos. Lord Kimbolt and Clyde Bruckman are just as key to the show’s success as Tooms and the Flukeman.Darin Morgan defined a special kind of craziness and hilarity in his episodes and that influenced all the comedy episodes to follow. When we get a season 11 (hopefully the official announcement is coming soon), the show would be missing a trick if we didn’t add another Darin Morgan comedy classic to the mix.

You can follow Baz at @BazgGreenland on Twitter or follow his Facebook page www.facebook.com/BazGreenlandWriter

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

Introductions: 20 Years of The X Files – Baz Greenland

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Baz Greenland introduces us to two decades of X-Files fandom…

I’ve been a fan of The X Files since near the beginning; I was vaguely aware of the show during its first season on BBC2 back in the mid-nineties and started watching the show a couple of episodes into season two. It was after ‘The Host’ (I would definitely have remembered the Flukeman) but before Scully’s abduction. I watched her kidnapping at the hands of Duane Barry with keen interest and was mesmerised by her dramatic return a couple of episodes later. By the time Mulder and Scully were back investigating the X Files, I was hooked and stuck with the show for many, many years after.

Before the full series release of each season on VHS, came the multi-episode stories, starting with The Unopened File, the epic three-episode story beginning with the season two finale ‘Anasazi’ and continuing with season three openers ‘The Blessing Way’ and ‘Paper Clip’, adapted into one feature-length TV movie. I watched it with awe and continued to buy every subsequent video release; the second video combined the Eugene Victor Tooms episodes of season one, giving me my first glimpse of the ultimate monster of the week. I continued to buy the videos right up to the end of season five and the release of the first movie The X Files: Fight The Future. I remember the thrill of seeing it at the cinema. It might not have met expectations (I don’t think it ever could), but it was still a rewarding experience. The 90s were a great time to be fan of The X Files.

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Around season seven I began to drift away (like many fans of The X Files), as the show began to feel a little tired; season six might be one of the best but there was such a drop in quality in the final full series to feature Mulder and Scully that I no longer felt inclined to watch each episode. Then came university and The X Files became a show I used to watch. A couple of years later I caught the season nine finale ‘The Truth’ and remarked at how different the show had become.

But I always considered myself a fan and collected each season VHS boxset (when VHS was still a thing), working my way through every episode. Much of season seven through nine was new to me and I appreciated that the show was still as good years later, even if it didn’t quite nail the classic status of early seasons. Of course VHS died and steadily I began to replace each season on DVD. I always intended to watch them but they sat there on the shelf gathering dust, a memento of the show I loved. When the new ‘event series’ was announced, I was over the moon. The X Files still had some unanswered questions and I was eager to see what Mulder and Scully would be like in today’s golden age of television.

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In July 2015, I set about the mammoth task of re-watching The X Files in preparation for the revival, putting those DVD box sets to good use. With a day job and a family, I was never going to be able to get through 202 episodes and two movies, so I went for the simpler approach; watching all the key mythology episodes and classic stories from each year – about 15 episodes a season. As a writer and TV editor for The Digital Fix, this was a great opportunity to watch and review the show for the site. I made it to episode 100 before the show returned (it was a bigger task than I expected!) Post revival I’ve continued to ‘revisit’ old episodes, picking my way through season five, the first movie and beyond and am currently deep into season eight with the arrival of Doggett and the hunt for Mulder.

It has been a fantastic experience and I’ve loved every minute it. As a writer and TV reviewer, it has been a wonderful opportunity to pick apart the mythology, the stories, the characters and the mesmerising performances. I might remember about 90% of what is coming but the show continues to absorb even on the third or fourth viewing. What’s really fascinating is how much of a mark The X Files made on TV history; its influence ranges from everything from Supernatural to Criminal Minds to Lost.

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As for the revival? Well it was certainly an interesting experience; it didn’t quite match the classic status of the original run but there was no denying the chemistry was still there between the two leads after all these years. ‘Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster’ was hilarious and ‘Home Again’ perfectly recaptured the gruesome horror of the early years. The mythology episodes…I’ll need to re-watch again but on first viewing there were lots of issues. As for ‘Babylon’… I wasn’t a fan. But I still loved the revival regardless and I remain hopeful for more.

I’ve been a fan of The X-Files for over two decades and that will continue for many more. It is an iconic show for so many reasons, some of which I’m sure I will discuss in detail in the future

In the meantime, you can check out all my ‘The X Files Revisited’ features over at www.TheDigitalFix.com, from the pilot to the first movie and my latest feature, season eight’s Redrum

Baz’s favourite favourite episodes are ‘Home’ and ‘Triangle’, his favourite season is Season 2, and his favourite character is Dana Scully.