TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: End Game vs Founders Mutation / Unrequited vs Trevor

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

December 14th/15th

END GAME vs FOUNDERS MUTATION

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Tony: “FOUNDERS MUTATION – by virtue mostly of being new & one of the better S10 episodes, but End Game deserves the nod more.”

Carl: “I’m conflicted actually as to what deserves the nod. I agree with your reasoning though: FOUNDER’S MUTATION to win.”

Baz: “FOUNDERS MUTATION might win by virtue of being one the better episodes of the recent revival. END GAME is better; it’s the culmination of the first colonization story in the show with Samantha revealed as a clone and of course the shapeshifting bounty hunter. It will have a lot of fans – me included. However, I agree with most that FOUNDERS MUTATION will likely win due to being good and recent.”

Sarah: “Agreed, both strong episodes but in different ways. I think FOUNDER’S MUTATION will win, because it’s fresher in everyone’s mind.”

Michael: “END GAME, come on.”

UNREQUITED vs TREVOR

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Tony: “UNREQUITED – probably the more memorable of the two, but they’re both ropey. Neither will survive round two unless they’re lucky.”

Carl: “Not sure either episode has many fans. UNREQUITED has Skinner and Marita, so let’s say that.”

Baz: “As for UNREQUITED and TREVOR? Neither are that remarkable. Maybe UNREQUITED for being slightly more memorable as Tony mentioned and also because it sits in a stronger season (four rather than one). Really couldn’t call this one though…”

Sarah: “UNREQUITED because Skinner.”

Charnette: “I like UNREQUITED. That one never gets love.”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

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TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: Detour vs Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’ / The Field Where I Died vs Zero Sum

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

December 12th/13th

DETOUR vs JOSE CHUNG’S ‘FROM OUTER SPACE’

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Tony: “JOSE CHUNG – if Detour was up against almost anything else, it’d probably win. It’s gonna take a titan though to knock out Jose.”

Carl: “I wouldn’t rule out an upset here. Detour is well-loved, has some shippy stuff and may benefit from being the underdog. JOSE CHUNG, but could be close.”

Sam: “Jose all the way I reckon. The way the relationship between M&S is built on is too good, like Bad Blood.”

Andrew: “Toughest match-up yet! I pick JOSE CHUNG, but Detour is a great MOTW.”

Sarah: “This one is a tough match. As much as I’d love to say DETOUR could come away with a win, I think it’ll be JOSE CHUNG this round.”

Baz: “It has to be JOSE CHUNG, the best comedy episode I think the show ever produced. But I have a lot of love for DETOUR- it should go through to the next round, but it shouldn’t beat JOSE CHUNG,. I think it will be more balanced though between votes, with JOSE CHUNG edging out to win.”

Paige: “Jose Chung all the way. I will disavow the fan base if Detour wins. Detour is a nice episode, but Jose Chung is the end all be all for me.”

THE FIELD WHERE I DIED vs ZERO SUM

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Tony: “TFWID – relatively comfortable win. It’s got lots of Mulder moments, a touch of romance, and Zero Sum isn’t much remembered – sadly.”

Carl: “I’m not sure. TFWID had lots of detractors back in the day, many upset by the idea that Scully wasn’t Mulder’s soulmate. Not certain how I’ll vote here, but I’ll say ZERO SUM will win.”

Baz: “I agree with Carl. ZERO SUM is a great story for Skinner – but then we saw how AVATAR turned out (it still got my vote though…)”

Sam: “Tough call I reckon. Shippers will probably angrily vote for TFWID but ZS has the mythology. Think I’d vote for ZS…”

Sarah: “TFWID is probably the more memorable one between these two, so I think it’ll take the win.”

Andrew: “Having just rewatched TFWID yesterday, my vote would be for Zero Sum. Both eps are non-starters for me, but the only redeeming thing in TFWID is the acting.”

Paige: “TFWID was so reviled by the fan base for insinuating that Scully was not Mulder’s soulmate. I’m not counting out Zero Sum.”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: Teso Dos Bichos vs Paper Hearts / Brand X vs Colony

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

December 8th/9th

TESO DOS BICHOS vs PAPER HEARTS

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Tony: “PAPER HEARTS – let’s not even debate this one. Rout.”

Carl: “PAPER HEARTS in a landslide.”

Andrew: “PAPER HEARTS.”

Sarah: “Incredible writing, directing, acting vs stuffed cats? Gee, let me think….”

Baz: “Teso…er…no, sorry. I think I’ll go for the brilliant PAPER HEARTS instead. My question is, will it win by 100% or are there people who like TESO DOS BICHOS?”

Paige: “Paper Hearts vs. Teso isn’t a fair fight. But basically that would be true about almost any matchup vs. Teso, wouldn’t it?

BRAND X vs COLONY

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Tony: “COLONY – not the most beloved mythology episode (though it’s one of the best) but nobody remembers or much cares about Brand X, so…”

Carl: “I just can’t see any reason people would care strongly about Brand X. Easy win for COLONY.”

Sarah: “I think being a mythology episode COLONY will take the win. Though Brand X is a hidden gem.”

Tony: “Brand X has one of the best solo Mark Snow scores. Plus Tobin Bell. It’s a good one… but Colony is Colony.”

Baz: “I agree, COLONY introduced the shapeshifting alien bounty hunter and the clone storyline and rode off the high of abduction story arc. Brand X…I honestly can’t remember more than having something to do with a tobacco company. (I didn’t include it in my Revisited though so I can’t be clear). This should be an easy win.”

Paige: “Brand X is a very interesting episode, but Colony can’t and won’t be beaten here.”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

INTRODUCTIONS: The Truth is in Here – (Paige Schector)

Paige Schector invites us to explore the truth as she introduces her X-Files fandom…

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The X-Files fit right into my proverbial wheelhouse. Growing up, my favorite film was Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I would watch it over and over ago, just totally bemused by the idea of aliens coming to this  planet and being friendly. I would sketch Devils Tower all over my school notebooks and pads. In fact, I still kind of do that today.

So a series about the paranormal? Let’s just say I was all in from the get-go.

I loved the fact that not all the episodes were about the conspiracy, the mythology. A lot of my favorite episodes were stand alones (a.k.a. monster-of-the-week) stories. The first season had some truly dazzling works of art. We got an inkling of the acting powerhouse Gillian Anderson would become in “Beyond the Sea” and then saw a blueprint for Mulder and Scully simultaneously being on each others’ side while still retaining their own sensibilities in “Ice.”

Back in the day, you were a shipper or a no-romo. I was kind of neither. I didn’t mind the idea of Mulder and Scully getting together, nor did I think it was necessary to advance the plot or hold my interest. What I gravitated to were stories reminiscent of The Twilight Zone and just the bond Scully and Mulder had — that was what seemed so unique and fresh to me. To kiss or not to kiss, that wasn’t my question.

nickAnd then the second season brought my favorite character, Alex Krycek, onto the canvas. I’m not sure I knew of Ratboy’s effect on me until I met Nick Lea at the 1998 X-Files Expo in Florida. It didn’t matter that Krycek’s motivations would seemingly change from story arc to arc, I just loved how he was giving it everything he got. He was fun … and easy on the eyes as well.

Third season brought my favorite TV writer to the forefront. Darin Morgan dazzled late in Season 2 with “Humbug,” but he really hit his stride with the trifecta of “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” “War of the Coprophages” and “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space.” I call the latter my favorite hour of television ever — except when I’m watching the Millennium-istic  sequel “Jose Chung’s Doomsday Defense.”

By this time, I was totally obsessed with the show. I was buying memorabilia on eBay and participating actively in chat rooms and message boards. Anyone else remember “keepers?” I was keeper of Krycek’s jeans and Mulder’s leather jacket. I went to the aforementioned Expo and saw ‘Fight the Future’ a handful of times in the theater.

Along the way, I was not only becoming a diehard fan of the likes of David, Gillian, Nick, Mitch Pileggi, Bill Davis, etc., but I was also starting to appreciate certain styles. I loved late great director Kim Manners’ approach before seeing in gag reels and interviews that he seemed like a real cool guy. Vince Gilligan’s quirky scripts quickly became favorites as well.

One of my treasumitchred memories revolves around the Season 6 episode “S.R. 819.” I remember where I was and what I was doing. In the years before text messaging and Twitter, my friend and I were on the phone every commercial break. “It’s Krycek! It’s Krycek!” … “I know! I know!” Television viewing ain’t like that any more.

I didn’t stop watching because David Duchovny left the show — I actually thought Robert Patrick did a fine job as a different type of character. It was when they took Krycek out at the end of Season 9 that I lost my taste for it. (Although I still believe he can and should be brought back as a Super Soldier.) I did, of course, watch the Season 9 finale. Ghost Krycek helps Mulder? Well, he never was predictable.

Since then, I’ve gone back and now I really treasure Season 9. It has some of my favorite episodes of the series run — specifically “John Doe,” “4-D”  and “Audrey Pauley.” I valued The X-Files as a concept beyond Mulder and Scully … although I don’t believe trying to reboot their relationship with Agents Einstein and Miller from Season 10 is the way to do that.

guysThe X-Files remained important to me after it went off the air. For the past five years or so, I’ve attended pop-culture conventions with my sister and started getting people from the show to sign my copy of The Complete X-Files. I call it my X-Files yearbook project. So far I’ve gotten David, Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz, Darin and Glen Morgan, Robert, Nick, Mitch, Bill, Jerry Hardin, Martin Landau, Brad Dourif, Veronica Cartwright and James Remar. Before the “project” started, I also met and talked X-Files with Gillian, Robert Patrick and Tom Noonan — so obviously I hope to see them again (and others like The Lone Gunmen).

Nowadays, we keep tabs on Gillian and David at Facebook and Twitter. We all experienced Season 10 together and we can see X-Files panels that took place at different conventions on YouTube soon after. And message boards have given way to fabulous Facebook groups and blogs like that of X-Cast.

Most recently, I started writing a rewatch blog with my sister. Starting with the pilot, we do an episode a week. I serve as the resident “expert,” she’s the “amateur,” and we have a lot of fun bonding over my favorite show. And now I’m very excited about adding X-Cast to my proverbial list of credits.

Paige is a sports editor by trade and an X-Files blogger on the side. Her favorite episode is Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space,’ her favorite season is Season 3 and her favorite character is Alex Krycek.

Introductions: I Never Really Wanted to Believe – Andrew Brooker

Andrew Brooker talks us through his battle to become an X-Phile…

Honestly, I’m not sure I ever wanted to believe.

I know just how offensive that must sound to a lot of people, I do. But the thing is, when I was eleven or twelve, just as The X-Files was beginning to air in the UK, I was never allowed to watch it! While all my mates were raving about this cool new TV show about aliens and monsters and god-knows what else, my interest became less about wanting to watch an awesome new show and more about pissing my parents off by watching something I really shouldn’t have been.

Wouldn’t you know it? Me being a rebellious asshat actually paid off with a positive outcome. I discovered a show that has influenced so much of my life since I first saw Deep Throat tell Fox Mulder that “…They’ve been here for a very long time.

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While so many fans will have similar stories of how they fell in love with The X-Files and followed the conspiracy religiously; my story focuses more on episodes like ‘Squeeze and later ‘Home in that what it influenced more than anything else was my love of horror. While science fiction was never really my bag – still isn’t really – I am wholly grateful to Files for igniting a passion that has stuck with me for more than twenty years.

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Now, that’s not to say that the adventures of Mulder and Scully didn’t hook me in, not at all. Beyond horror, a long-favourite genre of mine is thriller, the more twists and turns in it, the better; the less sense it makes when you get to the end, the better. And the escapades of our favourite FBI agents were the most convoluted of them all.

Somewhere around the time the first film, Fight the Future, was hitting cinemas was when I really started to take notice of this show for real. In a terrifying moment of realisation that I hadn’t been paying much attention to this show that I really liked – I was sixteen at this point, I think it was ok – I took the garbage money I was making from my apprenticeship and hit my local Choices Video (for those not in the UK, it was a poor man’s Blockbuster) and rented out the preceding five seasons on a tape by tape basis to make sure there wasn’t an episode I missed, a twist I forgot or an X-File I hadn’t opened before the film came out. In four episode instalments, I watched those tapes twice before I took them back, I fell in love with this show and everything about it. I stayed up late watching episodes and stayed up later trying to untangle the web of conspiracy in my head.

I became an expert in all things X-Files that summer. I collected all those tie-in compendiums and encyclopaedias; I read every single novelisation that I could find and by the time Fight the Future was gracing the screen of my local flea-pit, I was a damn authority! I saw that movie three times in the short amount of time it was on the screens and I thought I’d unpicked everything until it came out on DVD and I was watching it again and again. By this time, the TV show had become the first show I collected religiously on disc – followed very closely by Millennium – and they were in my player whenever there was a lull in new stuff I was watching.

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As always happened, life went on and the show we love so much eventually stuttered it’s way to a finale that to call unsatisfying would be a level of politeness that ‘The Truth’ has never and will never deserve. Despite that, and a badly thought out second film that teased us for years and left us all wondering what the hell was going on; The X-Files remained, and remains, a go-to show for me.

Nowadays, it’s a show that is saved for binging at least once a year, usually followed by Fox’s equally great Fringe, and revisiting every now and then for a certain podcast. And those binges, when they happen, I’m transported back to that sixteen year old’s bedroom watching this mesmerising show and I fall in love with it all over again every single time.

Now, if only I could get my wife to feel the same way.

Brooker will be a regular contributor to the blog. You can follow him on Twitter @brooker411.

Introductions: 20 Years of The X Files – Baz Greenland

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.

Introductions: The Power of X – Sarah Blair

Sarah Blair introduces us to her X-Phile fandom…

Over 20 years ago, a little show called The X-Files premiered on FOX television network. I was 11 years old, and still thought a kid named Urkel was funny. That particular night, all those years ago, I had no idea that a show I wasn’t watching would change my life forever.

Unfortunately, I was one of those annoying kids who did everything opposite of whatever was “popular” so as soon as I heard people talk about this show, I made the decision that I would absolutely not take part. Every time my cousin mentioned how awesome it was, I replied with, “Mulder and Scully? What kind of weirdo names are those?”

Okay, I was a total idiot. I didn’t miss out on many episodes but missing even one at all, I soon found out, was too many.

One Friday night, the phone rang and my best buddy Jessica said, “Sarah! I’m home alone and I’m watching The X-Files and it’s dark in my house and I’m so scared! Turn it on and watch with me!”

So I did.

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The episode was “The Calusari.” It scared the crap out of me. It was also the most amazing show I’d ever watched ever. And holey buckets this dude called Mulder was goooood looking. An obsession was born. Here are a few true facts about me as relate to The X-Files:

*My first car was a Ford Taurus.

*I painted a giant black X on my wall exactly like the one in the opening credits.

*I carried around packs of David Sunflower seeds everywhere I went.

*I played The X-Files drinking game with plain ‘ol iced tea because I didn’t know what a drinking game actually was and I figured that’s what Mulder would have done.

*I take my coffee with milk and no sugar because I remember reading somewhere that’s how Scully likes her coffee. (Note: I can’t remember where I read this. It very likely could have been a fanfic, or an Unauthorized guidebook. Either way it stuck with me. I also hope it’s true, because I actually do enjoy my coffee this way.)

*I made my debut on the World Wide Web using the AOL screen name BigBlue82.

There have been many fandoms that I’ve geeked out about in my life, but The X-Files was my very first. It’s a special thing when you experience an addiction so intense you quite literally just. can’t. get. enough.

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I bought every guide book, authorized and unauthorized. If Mulder and Scully were on the cover of a magazine, I snatched it up without even blinking. If I saw anything with an alien or an X on it? Into my stash it went.

All those nights I spent frantically trying to record the show on my VCR, keeping meticulous track of every episode name and what tape it was on in a green notebook with a big X taped on the front, and I never once imagined I’d be able to hold each episode in my pocket to pull out and watch any time I wanted, almost anywhere I wanted, on my phone. My inner teenage Sarey, still can’t wrap her brain around that.

When the movie came out, our local radio station held a special premiere party, and I stayed glued to the radio for an entire week trying to win tickets. I was desperate to be the 100th caller, but no matter how fast I dialed, no matter how many times I hit redial, I couldn’t make it happen. The day of the premiere finally arrived and I was ticketless and heartbroken.

Being an Aries, the idea that other people in Knoxville would see this movie before I would was absolutely unbearable.

So I called the request line at the radio station and begged the DJ if he would please, please, please with whipped cream and a cherry on top give me tickets?

And… he did!

Thinking back on that night, it’s hard to remember much of anything other than the way my heart actually stopped when that black oil filled the screen and the logo came up.

It was all kind of a blur, really. But the coolest thing about that night? There were around 340 people in that movie theater, and one of them turned out to be the man I would grow up to marry. We didn’t know each other yet, but we were both there in that same room for 121 minutes. Maybe I’m a sap, but I think that’s pretty special.

Chris Carter has mentioned many times how he was inspired by a show called Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Well, Mr. Carter, you went on to inspire millions more with your very own show. There are many reasons I’m a writer today. The X-Files is very high on the list of those reasons. It taught me so much about suspense and pacing, characters and storytelling, and how to develop and add depth to plot.

Some of the first stories I ever wrote were pieces of (very terrible) fanfiction. But the thing about writing is that you have to write a lot to get better. So practicing writing with Mulder and Scully, helped me hone my craft and gave me the ability to test the waters with my very own characters. The dark, mysterious world of The X-Files, helped me see the world in a different way so that I would be able to create my own mysterious world filled with paranormal creatures. I love The X-Files, and I wanted to read a book that would make my inner fangirl swoon, the only thing was, I had to write it first.

I owe a lot to this show. It’s been an integral part of my existence, it’s shaped who I’ve become as an adult, how I view the world around me, how I interpret current events, and I’m so excited that the internet and current technology has made it possible for me to connect with other fans and share so many insights about this amazing experience.

Sarah will be a regular contributor to the blog. You can find her on Twitter @SarahLBlair.

Introductions: How I Became a Fan – Andrew Blaker

Andrew Blaker discusses his journey to becoming an X-Phile…

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I had not seen a single episode of The X-Files prior to 2008, when I Want to Believe hit theaters.

Looking to see a movie with a high school friend of mine, the film’s premise sounded interesting. A good throwaway summer film, I figured. I knew the series has to do with aliens and alien abduction. So we saw the film shortly after its July 25 release. That film made me a fan.

I was taken by the characters. I really enjoyed the film, and stand by that initial opinion. The film was a mature and well-crafted thriller that relied on the film’s atmosphere and stellar acting by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. I decided to take a look at the series, knowing absolutely nothing about the mythology.

I found a used DVD set of Season 3 and started watching. Surprisingly, watching the season straight through, including the mythology-heavy episodes, didn’t confuse or throw me too far off course; it made me eager to watch the series from the beginning. I checked out the DVDs from my local library and a year later, having made my way through the series and two films, purchased the complete series DVD set.

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In college, my best friend and I watched the series straight through in about a year and a half. We gathered together earlier this year to watch The Event Series.

The X-Files is my favorite television series, and I love revisiting the series on a frequent basis. I favor the Monster of the Week episodes over the mytharc episodes, but love to read anything about the series and listen to podcasts recapping the episodes.

I’m excited for the chance to write about the series I love, and the characters and episodes I love.

Andrew will be a regular contributor to the blog. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewblaker620

Introduction: My History with X – Michael J. Petty

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I have been an X-Phile since as long as I can remember.

Unlike other X-Philes who were well into their adult life or their teens when the show originally aired, I was born in between Season 2 and 3 into a home where my parents watched The X-Files live. Although the young me kept them from watching regularly, they remained fans. I still remember when we got a DVD player in the house, my Dad bought the Mythology Collections: “Abduction”, “Black Oil”, “Colonization”, and “Super Soldiers”. I remember watching them when I was in elementary school, and watching “Fight the Future” even earlier. I fell in love with Mulder and Scully and continued to watch, needing to understand how all the pieces fit together. Technically, The X-Files was the first science fiction television drama that I got into to the point of obsession at times, even predating my love of Smallville (my personal favorite TV show for many reasons, though X-Files comes at a close second).

Over the years my love for all things X-Files continued to grow. As my parents began to search for truth through the Bible, a truth that I have come to believe as well (Jesus is Lord), they also began searching for other hidden truths throughout the globe. The Illuminati, other dimensions, aliens, MK-Ultra, Bigfoot, Area 51, Project Paperclip, Roswell, JFK’s assassination, Watergate, Freemasonry, the history of the Catholic Church, 9/11, etc. all became common household conversation, to the point where many of their friends and family wrote us off as “spooky” due to our beliefs in the supernatural and the paranormal, albeit from a biblical worldview. These experiences and beliefs allowed me to come to The X-Files in an entirely new light, a new way of looking at the show and its spin-offs. What truths were The X-Files actually revealing, how much of the show was really science-fiction. Even now, I still believe many of the conspiracies talked about on the show have some merit, no matter how outlandish they sound. I guess that’s the Fox Mulder in me.

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One summer, on a trip to visit some family in Texas, my parents decided it would be fun for us to visit Roswell, New Mexico. I loved it and kept finding X-Files memorabilia all over town! This rejuvenated my love and appreciation for the Chris Carter series. Then I got really into his other show (an X-Files spin-off) Millennium with my Dad, which I will be talking about here on this blog sooner or later as it is another one of my favorite shows as well, making its way into my “Top 10”. Along with all that, one of my best friends, Dan Schmidt, started a podcast in 2010 called “Across the Airwaves”, which ended up becoming more of a podcast network covering everything from Game of Thrones to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, other sci-fi and genre shows, and everything DC Comics TV!

I’ve hosted and co-hosted various podcasts over the years (and am currently co-hosting the DC Nation Podcast as well as It’s Tangent Time if anyone’s interested), but when the IDW comic series, written by the genius that is Joe Harris, “The X-Files: Season 10” came out, I began writing monthly reviews of the comic for the website (sadly I only did this for the first two story arcs as I fell behind due to lack of funds to buy the comics each month). I needed my X-Files fix! With the return of The X-Files to television, I finally watched both Harsh Realm (which I actually did enjoy, wish there was more) and The Lone Gunmen (which I immediately fell in love with, and will have to write an article about eventually), both of which sparked my “conspiracy radar” (especially the “Pilot” to The Lone Gunmen…). During the revival this past winter, I joined Dan and his co-host Nico on Across the Airwaves in talking about the revival, specifically the finale “My Struggle II” and my love of all-things X-Files Mythology.

Speaking of, I feel the need to get this off the table right now, the X-Files Mythology is one of my favorite story arcs in all of television because of it’s use of science, history, character arcs, and keeping us waiting for over twenty years as to what is going to happen next. In fact, my favorite part of the X-Files as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, is the mythology and the mystery, suspense, and excitement behind it (this explains my love for the S10/11 comics looking back on it), though in my most recent years of re-watching the series, I have gained a respect and love for the monster-of-the-week episodes that I didn’t have before.

Some of my favorite memories with various people throughout the years has been talking about The X-Files. My manager at work, my Dad, my brother, Dan, and so many others have always been easy to connect with due to The X-Files. I am so excited to be a part of the X-Cast and cannot wait to share with all of you fellow X-Philes my thoughts on all things X (especially Millennium…)!

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Michael is a follower of Christ, a filmmaker, writer, and occasional podcaster. You can find him on Twitter @MJPETTY7

His favorite mythology episodes of The X-Files include (but are not limited to) “Fallen Angel”, “End Game”, “One Son”, and “Requiem” while his favorite monster-of-the-week episodes are a tie between “Die Hand Die Verletzt” and “X-COPS”, with “Triangle” and “Drive” on the side. His favorite season is Seasons 5 and 6 (with The X-Files: Fight the Future as one of his favorite films) and his favorite character besides Fox Mulder is Richard “Ringo” Langly. He is also an avid Millennium fan.

Introductions – Growing up Spooky – Sam Turton

Friend: “Did you see the pilot episode?”

Me: “Oh yeah, it was amazing.”

Friend: “I thought the chimp body in the coffin was really scary!”

Me: “Yeah me too.”

This was my very first conversation regarding The X-Files. I had no idea what The X-Files was, I had no idea what a ‘pilot episode’ was. I thought it must be an episode about a pilot. Seems legit.

It was the ‘one to watch’ programme and I didn’t want to be the one kid who didn’t watch it, even though it sounded terrifying, was on at 9pm on Sunday, and I was in Y6 (11 years old). I got home that day and told my mum all about it and begged her to let me watch it that coming Sunday: I wasn’t disappointed. I think my journey started with ‘Squeeze’. You can’t get a much better episode to be your own personal pilot episode!

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Mum was worried I’d have nightmares and never sleep with the light off again; how wrong she was! I was hooked. It became the last ray of weekend light before school again on Monday; it also became a great bargaining tool for the parents. It was The X-Files then bed. So, it became the reason I got in the bath when I was told, the reason I didn’t leave my homework till the last minute, the reason I made my bed in the morning…

I loved being able to join in conversations with my best friend about our new favourite show; we bought T-shirts, made our own collages, got loads of merchandise for Christmas and birthdays… I do remember my auntie questioning my mum’s decision to let me watch it:

“Isn’t that a bit scary? It’s all monsters, and blood, and aliens…”

Yeah it is! That’s what made it amazing! It was all make believe told in a real life way; you didn’t have to be scared because you knew they weren’t real. It was the greatest escape into your imagination.

Anyway, how could you be scared when you knew that the two greatest heroes would save the day? The two most amazing adults in the world! Dana Scully became my heroine, my idol; Fox Mulder became the first boy I ever fancied. It was perfect; perfect episode after perfect episode.

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Obviously, looking back, there are some pretty shaky episodes in series one, definitely not all perfect! In my opinion, ‘Fire’ is the worst episode of the entire canon (‘Babylon’ is a close second: don’t get me started!) ‘Beyond the Sea’ blew me away, and it still remains one of my favourites, probably top ten. Luther Lee Boggs also makes my top ‘monster’ list: amazing acting from Brad Dourif. I remember it being the episode when I really fell in love with Mulder and Scully and really began to care about what happened to them. Of course, as a kid, I also really wanted them to get together: I think they became my generation’s Scott & Charlene.

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The love for this ground-breaking series followed me all the way through secondary school; it formed major parts in science projects, prose writing, and Scully became the reason that I started dying my hair red with semi-permanents at age 13 and carried on with permanents all the way until about a month ago: almost 10 years! I was, and still am, one of those people that can’t believe that there are some people who have never seen it, or have seen it and don’t love it. It became a bit of a mission to convert non-believers: this culminated this year with finally getting my boyfriend to watch all 9 series, and now he loves it too! Series 10 is on the cards.

Throughout the years, one thing has remained constant for me: Scully is the greatest character (possibly in any TV show EVER) and Gillian Anderson is an absolute legend. I love that woman. I loved Science at school: all the dissections, experiments and wearing the white coat. I always pretended I was Scully and some possible major disaster hung on me mixing my bases and acids properly. When I was dissecting a liver, I pretended it belonged to a suspected alien, or had been recovered from Tooms’ lair…

Then, as an adult, I became a teacher (English, not science) and I saw how between the ages of 11 and 15, girls started to lose a love of science. They stopped looking forward to experiments, to making volcanoes with baking powder and vinegar, to throwing small bits of magnesium into water… what was happening? It was then that I became aware of the ‘Dana Scully effect’: the increase in women and girls pursuing STEM subjects at school and University in the 90s/early 00s. I think that says it all. A character so amazing that she inspired young women to follow their passions, and change the world, even though they might have been told that it wasn’t ‘feminine’ (I’m going to blog about this at another time).

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Oh, and can we take a minute to bathe in the glory that is Stella Gibson? Wow. Is this possibly the greatest example feminism around at the minute?

Gibson: “That’s what really bothers you isn’t it? The one-night stand? Man f*cks woman. Subject man, verb f*cks, object woman. That’s okay. Woman f*cks man. Woman subject, man object. That’s not so comfortable for you is it?”

It’s Wednesday 28th September today and series 3 of The Fall starts tomorrow. I can’t wait.

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For me, The X-Files will always be my favourite ever TV show, starring my two favourite actors in my favourite roles. It’s only by re-watching the whole series recently that I can see how much it affected my teenage life. I love it and I always will, even the really bad episodes with the really bad special effects. Series 10 wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea; it certainly wasn’t mine, but roll on series 11!

Sam Turton will be a regular contributor to the blog. You can find her on Twitter @yorkshireramble.