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New Podcast! The Time is Now – Season 2, Episode 9 (“Jose Chung’s Doomsday Defense”)

With Christmas coming up, The Time is Now is firing up again. This week, I finally got to talk about a Darin Morgan episode, joining I was flattered to join Paige Schector and Kurt North to discuss Jose Chung’s “Doomsday Defense.” It remains one of my favourite episodes of television ever, in one of my favourite seasons of seasons of television ever.

If you have never watched Millennium, this is actually the perfect opportunity to dip your toe in the waters. Jose Chung’s “Doomsday Defense” is an episode of Millennium through and through, suitably “millenniumistic” and concerned with the themes of the show around it, but it is also an accessible Darin Morgan script feature Charles Nelson Reilly reprising his iconic role from Jose Chung’s “From Outer Space.” It is playful, funny and deeply moving. It is all that one could want from an episode of television.

As ever, you can listen directly to the episode here, subscribe to the podcast here, or click the link below. I really hope you enjoy.

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 5, Episode 2 (“Redux II”)

It’s a bit of a change up on The X-Cast this week. Last week, I joined Tony Black to discuss the first part of the fifth season premiere Redux I. This week, Tony swapped out with Russell Hugo, whom I joined to discuss Redux II.

Redux II is an interesting beast. I am actually appreciably fonder of Redux II than I am of Redux I. I think the second part of the premiere does a lot of the stuff that the first half attempts, but in a much more interesting and compelling manner. It’s not quite as good as Gethsemane at the end of the fourth season, but it’s still a surprisingly ambitious and adventurous story for The X-Files to tell at this point in its run – the moment at which the series is at the peak of its popularity and The X-Files: Fight the Future is looming large in the horizon. I hope this was a fun and interesting discussion.

You can listen to the episode here, or click the link below.

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 5, Episode 1 (“Redux I”)

The X-Cast just kicked off its season coverage, and I’m back with Tony Black to discuss the first part of the fifth season premiere Redux I.

Redux I was famously the second-most watched episode of The X-Files, behind Leonard Betts. It’s easy to see why. Not only was the episode following on from an edge-of-the-seat cliffhanger involving the supposed suicide of the male lead on one of the buzziest shows of the decade, but it was also the launch of the season that would lead into the feature film adaptation, The X-Files: Fight the Future. As such, it was a pretty daring move on the part of Chris Carter to devote so much of the premiere to purple prose monologues playing over Mulder walking down grey corridors.

I think this is a pretty fun and interesting discussion. Redux I is always an episode that I’ve have complicated and conflicted feelings about, and the podcast was a nice opportunity to work through some of those strange emotions. Anyway, I hope there’s something worthwhile in here.

You can listen to the episode here, or click the link below.

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New Podcast! The Time is Now – Season 2, Episode 6 (“The Curse of Frank Black”)

Because it’s Halloween, The Time is Now has a special treat. I was flattered to talk about The Curse of Frank Black with the one and only Tony Black. A perfect piece of Halloween viewing, it is one of my favourite episodes of Millennium, and so was a huge honour to be asked to sit in on this one.

I’ve gone on record about this before. The second season of Millennium is one of my favourite twenty-odd-episode seasons of television ever produced. It is hard to pick a single favourite from a season that features episodes like Jose Chung’s “Doomsday Defense”, Owls and Roosters, and The Fourth Horseman and The Time is Now. Nevertheless, The Curse of Frank Black is one of those episodes of television that has really stayed with me over the years. I have lost track of how many times I have watched it, and every time I still find something new. So this was a delight.

As ever, you can listen directly to the episode here, subscribe to the podcast here, or click the link below. I really hope you enjoy.

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New Podcast! The Time is Now – Season 1, Episode 22 (“Paper Dove”)

Recently, I had the pleasure of stopping by the first season of The Time is Now to talk about Millennium, joining the great Kurt North to discuss Paper Dove. It was a delight to be asked back, particularly because it’s the first season finale.

Paper Dove is a fascinating episode. Because every season of Millennium essentially reboots and reinvents itself, each season finale also becomes a sort of series finale. Each season-ender essentially bids farewell to a certain vision of what Millennium was or could be. This is very much the case in Paper Dove, which stands as one of the series’ most compelling and engaging “serial killer of the week” episodes right before the second season makes a conscious effort to move away from that approach to storytelling. It’s a wonderful illustration of how far Millennium has come since those early episodes, and a fantastic piece of television.

As ever, you can listen to the episode here, subscribe to the podcast here, or click the link below.

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 4, Episode 24 (“Gethsemane”)

So The X-Cast has reached the end of its fourth season coverage, and I’m delighted to be joining Tony Black to discuss the fourth season finale Gethsemane.

Gethsemane is an interesting season finale, and a defining episode of The X-Files. It opens with what appears to be the suicide of Fox Mulder, and then builds to that as a season-bridging cliffhanger. Of course, the audience knows from the outset that the cliffhanger will be Mulder’s death, and the audience also understands that Duchovny is going to spend the summer shooting The X-Files: Fight the Future. So there’s an incredible tension there, right at the moment when the series had become one of the most popular television shows of the decade.

More than that, though, there’s something very lyrical and poetic about Gethsemane, which eschews the sort of action and adventure beats that defined a lot of The Erlenmeyer Flask or Anasazi or Talitha Cumi. There is a sense that writer Chris Carter (working without partner Frank Spotnitz) is meditating upon some of the internal contradictions of the show, and trying to work through some of the tensions that simmered through a complicated and scattershot fourth season as a whole.

The truth is in here. You can listen to the episode here, or click the link below.

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New Podcast! The Time is Now – Season 1, Episode 19 (“Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions”)

Wrapping up a late-first-season exploration of Millennium with the incomparable Christopher Knowles, I was thrilled to pop onto The Time is Now to discuss Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions.

In case the title doesn’t give the game away, Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions is a delightfully weird episode of television. It finds Frank Black confronting the loss of his best friend Bob Bletcher by becoming embroiled in an epic and existential conflict that exists at the very limits of his understanding. It might involve a ritualistic killer and a corrupt lawyer, but it may also involve renegade angels and the forces of hell operating on the mortal plane. The beauty of Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions lies in the ambiguity.

Indeed, that ambiguity was a huge part of the fun in discussing the episode with Chris. I think we both had slightly different reads on what the episode was about and where it was coming from, which speaks to its strength as an episode of television. It’s a staggering piece of work, one that obviously lays the groundwork for Patient X and The Red and the Black in the fifth season of The X-Files.

As ever, you can listen to the episode here, subscribe to the podcast here, or click the link below.

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