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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.

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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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The X-Files – Season 10 (Review)

This June, we’re going to be taking a look at the current run of The X-Files, beginning with the IDW comic book revival and perhaps taking some detours along the way. Check back daily for the latest review.

The six episode revival miniseries is a strange beast.

It is hard to think of it as the tenth season of the show. In fact, the marketing of the DVD and blu ray sets describes it as “the event series”, perhaps a tact acknowledgement of that fact. There are a number reasons why it is difficult to think of these six episodes comprising a tenth season. Most obviously, the season is only six episodes. Even in the current context of truncated episode orders and split season, that is a short season. By modern standards, it would be a short half-season. Referring to it as the tenth season of The X-Files feels like false advertising.

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However, there are other reasons that it is difficult to think of these six episodes as constituting a season. Quite frankly, the six episodes are wildly variable in tone and quality, to the point that it is difficult to distill a singular unifying theme or meaning from. They are six random episodes of television, some good and some less good, with one masterpiece and one boldly ambitious mess. It is almost easier to talk about the episodes individually than it is to discuss them as a single season television.

Then again, that’s what makes them feel so much like The X-Files.

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The X-Files – My Struggle II (Review)

This June, we’re going to be taking a look at the current run of The X-Files, beginning with the IDW comic book revival and perhaps taking some detours along the way. Check back daily for the latest review.

“This is the end,” the opening credits tease.

This is not the end.

This is not the end.

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The X-Files – Babylon (Review)

This June, we’re going to be taking a look at the current run of The X-Files, beginning with the IDW comic book revival and perhaps taking some detours along the way. Check back daily for the latest review.

There are two schools of thought on Babylon.

The first school of thought is that the episode is quintessentially X-Files. It is Chris Carter taking advantage of the flexibility of the show’s form to produce an episode of television that looks utterly unlike anything else on television. This is the series at its most creative and its most gonzo, the free-spirited free association that powered early Carter episodes like Syzygy, The Post-Modern Prometheus, Triangle, Fight Club, First Person Shooter and Improbable. It is crazy and “out there”, but… well, so is the truth.

Party on, Mulder.

Party on, Mulder.

The second school of thought is that the episode is spectacularly and recklessly ill-judged. Although undoubtedly well-intentioned, Chris Carter produces a script that is deeply problematic and even potentially inflammatory. Given that so much of the script hinges on the idea that thoughts have “mass” and that ideas can be dangerous, the resulting episode is definitely clumsy and borderline reckless in its exploration of a sensitive issue. This is just as problematic as “classic” episodes like Teso Dos Bichos, Teliko or Badlaa.

Both of these things can be true.

"... I just don't think it'll understand..."

“… I just don’t think it’ll understand…”

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The X-Files – My Struggle I (Review)

This June, we’re going to be taking a look at the current run of The X-Files, beginning with the IDW comic book revival and perhaps taking some detours along the way. Check back daily for the latest review.

This is journey that began for me – I’m sorry if I get emotional – twenty-three years ago. Things just don’t last in culture, these days. They… culture gobbles them up and they go away. It’s… it’s rare when something sticks around. Thanks for being part of the journey. The idea is that this is not the end. This is maybe a new beginning. And maybe we’ll do more of these if we do a really good job.

– Chris Carter’s opening remarks at the first production meeting on My Struggle I

The truth is still out there...

The truth is still out there…

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