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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 7, Episode 7 (“Orison”)

With The X-Cast moving on to coverage of the seventh season of The X-Files, and the legacy of Millennium lingering on, I was thrilled to be invited back on to talk about the episode Orison, which feels in many ways like Millennium folding back into The X-Files – it marks the first X-Files script from former Millennium showrunner Chip Johannessen and the return of the serial killer (“death fetishist”) Donny Pfaster.

Orison marks one of the rare times that The X-Files has returned to a pre-existing monster outside of the mythology; the only other major examples are the first season episode Tooms and the fifth season episode Kitsunegari. However, what’s particularly striking about Orison is that Donnie Pfaster is just one facet of an episode that has a lot going. In many ways, it feels like a companion piece to Johannessen’s third season scripts for Millennium, episodes like Saturn Dreaming of Mercury and Bardo Thodol.

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

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 7, Episode 4 (“Millennium”)

With The X-Cast moving on to coverage of the seventh season of The X-Files, and the episode Millennium fast approaching, it seemed like a good time to resurrect the Time is Now podcast. So I joined Kurt North to talk about the controversial episode.

Millennium is a very strange episode of television. It is designed to serve as a de facto series finale for Chris Carter’s Millennium while folding it into the mythology of The X-Files. However, it is an episode where two of the three credited writers have never worked on Millennium, and which builds to a climax of the mythology of Millennium which doesn’t really fit with anything that appeared on screen. However, it is also the episode that builds to the first on-screen kiss between Mulder and Scully, which creates an interesting tension in terms of the episode’s priorities.

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

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 7, Episode 2 (“Amor Fati X-tra: The Last Temptation of Mulder”)

With The X-Cast moving on to coverage of the seventh season of The X-Files, I was thrilled to join Kurt North and Marlene Stemme to discuss the seventh season premiere – The Sixth Extinction and The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati – in the context of Martin Scorsese’ The Last Temptation of Christ.

Scorsese’s biblical epic was one of the most controversial major studio releases of the late eighties, attracting death threats and protests for its portrayal of Jesus Christ. It formed the basis for Mulder’s journey in The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati, with the two-parter directly lifting several scenes from the film. It’s interesting to interrogate, in large part because – despite the influence of seventies cinema on The X-Files – it feels like the show’s only real point of intersection with one of the most influential filmmakers of the seventies.

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 3, Episode 22 (“Goodbye to All That”)

Last year, I was thrilled to spend a lot of time on The Time is Now discussing the second season of Millennium. Since the podcast has moved on to the third season, I have taken something of a step back as a guest. That said, I have been a bit more active in the second half of the third season. I was flattered to get an invitation to discuss the show’s final episode, Goodbye to All That, with host Kurt North and guest Chris Knowles.

The series finale of Millennium is a strange beast. It tries to do a lot, and doesn’t always accomplish what it attempts with particular grace or finesse. Still, it does represent an attempt to reconcile the show to itself, to bring the characters and the narrative to a place where something resembling closure is within reach. It doesn’t entirely work, but it is a valiant effort.

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 – Season 3, Episode 21 (“Via Dolorosa”)

Last year, I was thrilled to spend a lot of time on The Time is Now discussing the second season of Millennium. Since the podcast has moved on to the third season, I have taken something of a step back as a guest. That said, I have been a bit more active in the second half of the third season. I was flattered to get an invitation to discuss the show’s penultimate episode, Via Dolorosa, with host Kurt North and guest Chris Knowles.

The series finale of Millennium is an episode that I’m admittedly divided on. It’s a two-parter that attempts to a staggering amount: to tell one last serial killer of the week story, to pull back and look at the bigger picture around these monsters, to wrap up the major character arcs for both the season and the show, and to serve as a satisfying conclusion to an uneven season and to a wildly disjointed series as a whole. It’s a lot to ask of a two parter, and Millennium certainly makes a valiant – if imperfect – effort.

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 – Season 3, Episode 18 (“Bardo Thodol”)

Last year, I was thrilled to spend a lot of time on The Time is Now discussing the second season of Millennium. Since the podcast has moved on to the third season, I have taken something of a step back as a guest. That said, I have been a bit more active in the second half of the third season. I was flattered to get an invitation to discuss Bardo Thodol with host Kurt North.

As with Saturn Dreaming of Mercury two episodes prior, there’s an appealing oddness to Bardo Thodol, which often feels like something of a waking dream. It is an episode that seems to exist as a collection of dream imagery combined and compressed into an episode of television. It’s an episode that I struggle to properly makes sense of which, which is undoubtedly part of the appeal.

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 – Season 3, Episode 16 (“Saturn Dreaming of Mercury”)

Last year, I was thrilled to spend a lot of time on The Time is Now discussing the second season of Millennium. Since the podcast has moved on to the third season, I have taken something of a step back as a guest. That said, I was flattered to get an invitation to discuss Saturn Dreaming of Mercury with host Kurt North.

To describe Saturn Dreaming of Mercury as a “strange” episode is something of an understatement. It’s an ambitious and thematically rich meditation on the idea of parenthood, and the responsibilities and fears that come with that, but framed through a lens close to abstract surrealism. It’s one of the most distinct and unusual episodes in the larger Ten Thirteen canon, even if I am not entirely sure that I can explain what exactly happens in it.

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 – Season 3, Episode 12 (“The Sound of Snow”)

Last year, I was thrilled to spend a lot of time on The Time is Now discussing the second season of Millennium. Since the podcast has moved on to the third season, I have taken something of a step back as a guest. That said, I was flattered to get an invitation to discuss The Sound of Snow with the fantastic Kurt North and the wonderful Chris Knowles.

The Sound of Snow my favourite episode of the third season of Millennium, serving as a nice epilogue to the second season finale The Fourth Horseman and The Time is Now. It is an episode that is largely about grief and moving on, about coming to terms with loss and about working through it. In some ways, it feels like a necessary story for the third season of Millennium as a whole, and it is only a shame that it takes half a season for the show to reach the point where it can tell this story.

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

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209. Shutter Island – Summer of Scorsese (#156)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn, Jay Coyle and Darren Mooney, with special guest Kurt North, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every Saturday at 6pm GMT.

This time, continuing our Summer of Scorsese season, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island.

Martin Scorsese is one of the defining directors in American cinema, with a host of massively successful (and cult) hits that have shaped and defined cinema across generations: Who’s That Knocking at My Door?, Boxcar Bertha, Cape Fear, CasinoThe Aviator, The Departed, Silence. The Summer of Scorsese season offers a trip through his filmography via the IMDb‘s 250.

Federal Marshall Teddy Daniels makes a trip across Boston Harbour to visit the psychiatric institution on Shutter Island, investigating the mysterious disappearance of one of the patients. However, as Teddy probes deeper and deeper into the workings of the facility, it becomes very clear that things are not as they appear.

At time of recording, it was ranked 156th on the Internet Movie Database‘s list of the best movies of all-time.

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