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New Podcast! The X-Cast – “Chris Carter’s Harsh Realm”

With The X-Cast moving on to coverage of the seventh season of The X-Files, it seemed like a good opportunity to talk about Chris Carter’s Harsh Realm, the short-lived series that Carter launched in the wake of Millennium.

Harsh Realm is an oddity. The show was hyped as the next great American television show, developed by Chris Carter under a lucrative production deal with Fox. However, with the arrival of Doug Herzog, the network’s priorities shifted and Harsh Realm was effectively dead on arrival. The result is an interesting and disjointed run of episodes, brimming with potential that is never fully realised. In some ways, Harsh Realm is the forgotten Chris Carter television show, which offers an interesting snapshot of his sensibilities at this moment in time.

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

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 6, Episode 22 (“Biogenesis”)

Coinciding with The X-Files‘ move from Vancouver to Los Angeles, there has also been a shift at The X-Cast. Tony Black is no longer running the show, but it is instead now being run by Sarah Blair, Kurt North and Carl Sweeney. I was thrilled to join Carl to talk about the sixth season finale: Biogenesis.

Following Two Fathers and One Son in the middle of the sixth season, Biogenesis is a very odd season finale for The X-Files. It’s the only season finale that doesn’t have the luxury of hanging on the central mythology and which isn’t designed to serve as a potential finale for the series as a whole. As a result, it’s a very odd episode of television, and offers an interesting prism on the tropes and conventions of The X-Files.

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 15 (“Owls”)

I have had the immense good fortune to appear on The Time is Now quite a lot lately, but was particularly flattered to be invited on to talk about Owls and Roosters, the big “mythology” two-parter in the late second season of Millennium. It’s an honour to join Kurt North for the conversation.

Owls and Roosters rank among my favourite mythology episodes in the Ten Thirteen canon, largely because they serve as a conscious unravelling of conspiracy theory. It is very common to compare Millennium to The X-Files, and with good reason. There’s considerable thematic overlap between the two shows; in fact, Patient X and The Red and the Black work as interesting companion pieces to Owls and Roosters. Both are stories about the limits of conspiracy, and the idea that entropy must eventually kick in and erode these empires of sand.

However, while The X-Files maintained a consistent belief in a singular unifying mythology, a belief in a single account of history, however convoluted that arc might be, Millennium opted for a more adventurous and postmodern approach. Millennium suggested a world in which all conspiracies were true, in which there were multiple competing narratives of history struggling against one another, with no clear or correct answer. Owls and Roosters offer the culmination of this approach, a car crash of competing narratives trying to account for a period of great instability.

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

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New Podcast! The Time is Now – “The Nature of Evil in Millennium”

The Time is Now has been on hiatus for a little while, after a frantic rush to get the Midnight of the Century episode released in time for Christmas. However, the show has returned with a very special treat, a deep dive into the idea of evil in the world of Millennium.

It’s a fascinating discussion, and it was an honour to be asked to join Russ Hugo and James McLean for a broad and varied discussion. It’s fascinating, because it’s the first time I’ve really got to talk on The Time is Now podcast about the unique structure of Millennium as a show that basically rebooted itself between seasons. This means that Millennium arguably has three very different ideas of what evil actually looks like across its runtime, which makes the discussion of the topic a fascinating and wide-ranging discussion.

As ever, you can listen directly to the episode here, subscribe to the podcast 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 1, Episode 2 (“Gehenna”)

Thrilled to be asked back to join The Time is Now podcast to follow up on last week’s discussion of The Pilot.

This week, I’m joining Kurt North to discuss the second episode of Gehenna. It’s often tough to nail the early episodes of a new show, especially as the creative team slip into the demanding cycle of television production. It has been observed that many television series spend their first six (or even thirteen) episodes just remaking the pilot in order to get a feel for the texture of the show. As such, Gehenna has quite a lot to accomplish, mostly demonstrating that Millennium can work as a weekly television series.

It was a delight to be asked back, and I’m really looking forward to popping up once or twice more before the end of the first season. You can listen to the episode here, subscribe to the podcast here, or click the link below.

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

The wonderful folk responsible for The X-Cast have launched another podcast, covering another beloved Chris Carter property, and I’m thrilled to be a guest on it.

Millennium is a massively underrated (and largely underseen) show. It is one of the most striking television series of the late nineties, and a show with an impressive cultural footprint and reach. I’m on record as arguing that the second season of Millennium is one of the best twenty-odd-episode seasons of television ever produced, but the first season also has a lot to recommend it.

Tony has already recorded a primer or introduction to Millennium, but I’m honoured to be the guest invited on to discuss The Pilot. Indeed, The Pilot is a remarkable piece of television, and one of the most striking pieces of television that Carter ever produced. Millennium struggles a bit in the first half of the season to establish a sense of tone and to figure out how to tell the stories within this framework.

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 11 #40 – Chris Carter and Season 11 (“My Struggle IV”)

In what is likely my final appearance of The X-Cast‘s coverage of the eleventh (and possibly final) season of The X-Files, I sit down with Tony Black to discuss the legacy and role of series creator and showrunner Chris Carter. I hope it’s an interesting discussion of what has been a controversial season overseen by a controversial showrunner.

It has been an absolute pleasure to discuss these episodes with Tony and Carl, and I’m thrilled to have been part of the coverage of the revival. With a bit of luck, I should be back when The X-Cast jumps back in to its regular coverage; the rewatch of the series will be hitting the third season shortly.

Click here, or check it out below.

New Podcast! The X-Cast Season 11 #38 – Mulder and Scully X (“My Struggle IV”)

Guesting on The X-Cast to cover the season (and possibly series) finale of The X-Files with Tony Black.

With Gillian Anderson adamant that this is the end of the line for her involvement in the show, there is every possibility that My Struggle IV might be the last ever episode of The X-Files. And what an episode it is, with a lot to unpack. We broke our wide-ranging discussion of this episode written and directed by Chris Carter down into three parts covering various aspects of the episode, so they’ll be released over the next few days.

The first of the three episodes covers the episode in general and its focus on the Mulder and Scully dynamic (or perhaps even lack-thereof), along with some general thoughts on the tone and content of the episode. Click here, or check it out below. The next part will be landing tomorrow.

New Podcast! The X-Cast – Episode 80 (Chris Carter’s “The After)

Just a quick link to a recent guest appearance on a lovely bonus episode of The X-Cast, a great X-Files podcast run by the prolific Tony Black.

Taking a quick break from the show’s coverage of the second season, I chatted with Tony about Chris Carter’s pilot for Amazon, The After. The After is an interesting addition to Carter’s filmography, and in many ways prefigures the direction in which he would take his six-episode revival of The X-Files. We got to talk about all sorts of fun things, from Irish stereotypes to dead bees to capitalising most effectively on the lack of broadcast standards and practices. Check it out the episode here, or click the link below.

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