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The X-Files: Season One (Topps) #4 – Conduit (Review)

This May and June, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the fifth season of The X-Files and the second season of Millennium.

Conduit is an interesting choice for a Season One comic.

It is the last of the first season mythology episodes to be adapted by Roy Thomas as part of the Season One brand. The Pilot and Deep Throat had launched both The X-Files and the mythology, but Conduit was really the show that emphasised that The X-Files would be returning to the idea of alien abduction quite frequently in the months and years ahead. Conduit paved the way for later first season episodes like Fallen Angel or E.B.E. Neither Fallen Angel nor E.B.E. were ever adapted for the Topps Season One range. Neither was solicited when the line was cancelled.



At the same time, Conduit is an episode that has not dated particularly well. As the fourth episode of the first season, it was quite effective at spelling out who Mulder was and how the abduction of Samantha motivated him to do what it was that he was doing. It was not subtle or nuanced character development, but there was a certain blunt appeal to it. Viewers had only just been introduced to Fox Mulder, so it was perfectly reasonable to bludgeon them over the head with his motivation and his back story.

However, the show has marched on. Mulder has developed and grown into a multifaceted character. Samantha will always be an essential part of his character arc, but she is no longer the only motivating factor. Indeed, David Duchovny even improvised a line into Oubliette that criticised Scully for behaving like Samantha was the only motivating factor in Mulder’s life. As such, it feels strange to go back to Conduit after all this time, and to see a very basic and early take on Mulder’s character. It underscores how far the show has come.

Far afield...

Far afield…

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