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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 2, Episode 6 (“Ascension”)

Previously on the X-Cast…

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

I got to return to the show to talk about the second part of the series’ (and the podcast’s) first two-part episode, Ascension. Wherein we discuss the unrelenting forward momentum of the second part of X-Files two-parters, the recurring sense that Krycek thinks all of this is just a little bit beneath him, and the joy of Roger Moore style stunt sequences. As ever, it was my pleasure to appear on the show, and Tony was as wonderful a host as ever. Check it out the episode here, or click the link below.

podcast-accension

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

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

I had the privilege of guesting on the show to talk about the first two-part episode of the series in the first two-part episode of the podcast. First up, Duane Barry. Wherein we discuss the directorial debut of Chris Carter, the point of intersection between The X-Files and regular procedurals, and the vandalism of supermarket scanners. Once again, it was a joy to appear on the show, and Tony was as gracious a host as ever. Check it out the episode here, or click the link below.

To be continued…

podcast-duanebarry

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The X-Files – Ascension (Review)

This August (and a little of September), we’re taking a trip back in time to review the second season of The X-Files. In November, we’ll be looking at the third season. And maybe more.

Ascension is effectively a giant chase sequence and an epilogue to the first six episodes of the second season. While lacking the tight focus of Duane Barry, Ascension moves fast enough and provides enough plot momentum that it feels like a satisfactory conclusion. For an episode that was essentially written to deal with a cast member’s unexpected pregnancy, it’s a pretty fantastic piece of television.

Keep watching the skiis... er, skies!

Keep watching the skiis… er, skies!

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The X-Files – Duane Barry (Review)

This August (and a little of September), we’re taking a trip back in time to review the second season of The X-Files. In November, we’ll be looking at the third season. And maybe more.

Duane Barry is Chris Carter’s directorial début on The X-Files, and it’s a staggering confident piece of work. From the opening scene where Carter’s camera stalks through Duane Barry’s run-down house through to the memorable abduction sequences and decision to play the episode’s big action sequence against a black screen, Duane Barry looks very impressive. It’s an episode that stays with the viewer, one that is every bit as visually distinctive as Blood earlier in the year.

It’s also a demonstration of how versatile The X-Files actually is. The show has already proven its horror bona fides, carving out a niche for itself on the Friday night line-up on Fox with a variety of spine-tingling adventures. While Duane Barry retains the show’s alien mythology, it arguably works best as a straight-up hostage suspense thriller. Mulder is drafted in to assist with a hostage crisis, and then finds himself getting more and more caught up in the story told by the raving gun man.

Duane's world...

Duane’s world…

This is pretty far outside the “procedural” format that has been loosely established by the show, and Duane Barry plays out rather differently than any of the earlier cases-of-the-week. Of course, The X-Files would go on to get more and more experimental in later seasons, but Duane Barry sees the show consciously stepping outside the box. This is a demonstration of how strong the show’s foundations are, proof that it can carry itself as a legitimate drama. Duane Barry is an episode that argues The X-Files is not cult television, but just good television.

It’s no wonder that Duane Barry picked up the show’s first two Primetime Emmy nominations and a significant number of Creative Emmy nominations on top. It’s also a damn fine piece of television.

The Truth is up there...

The Truth is up there…

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