• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 8, Episode 21 (“Existence”)

The X-Cast is covering the eighth season of The X-Files. This is one of my favourite seasons of television ever, in large part because it’s a season that manages to build a convincing narrative and character arc around a very challenging production reality, and in doing so forced the show itself to evolve and change. I’m thrilled to join Carl Sweeney, Kurt North and Cathy Glinski for a discussion of the episode that draws the curtain down on the season as a whole.

Existence is an interesting episode of television. It is the season finale, and so closes out what is a phenomenal season of television in a way that is mostly satisfying. However, it’s also somewhat debatable how effective Existence is as an episode in its own right. It’s a very satisfying finale, but it’s also somewhat clumsy in how it delivers its various set-ups and pay-offs. Still, it’s an episode that is very efficient in doing what it needs to do, its relative simplicity arguably making it much more effective than the various season and series finales that would follow.

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

Continue reading

New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 8, Episode 14 (“This Is Not Happening”)

The X-Cast is covering the eighth season of The X-Files. This is one of my favourite seasons of television ever, in large part because it’s a season that manages to build a convincing narrative and character arc around a very challenging production reality, and in doing so forced the show itself to evolve and change. I’m thrilled to join Kurt North for a discussion of the episode that effectively closes out the second act of the larger season.

There is a solid argument to be made, at least in the context of the original television run of The X-Files, that This is Not Happening is the last truly great episode of The X-Files. The eighth season is unique in the show’s history for having a very clear three-act structure across its twenty-one episodes. This is Not Happening is positioned at the bridge between the second and third acts of the season, marking the return of David Duchovny as Mulder. It is a very elegiac and mournful episode of television, thoughtful and introspective, moving the season confidently into its endgame.

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

Continue reading

New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 8, Episode 2 (“Without”)

The X-Cast is covering the eighth season of The X-Files. This is one of my favourite seasons of television ever, in large part because it’s a season that manages to build a convincing narrative and character arc around a very challenging production reality, and in doing so forced the show itself to evolve and change. I’m thrilled to join Sarah L. Blair for a discussion of the second half of the season premiere.

Without is a very meditative piece of television, which is a bold and interesting choice for the second half of a season premiere. It is essentially an episode about absences, about the lack of resolution or even meaningful linear progress. It’s an episode that is about confronting the reality that The X-Files no longer has one of its two leading characters available to it. What does that version of The X-Files look like? Without is essentially a story about wandering through the desert.

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

Continue reading

New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 7, Episode 22 (“Requiem”)

The X-Cast is covering the seventh season of The X-Files. It is a season that arrives at an interesting point in the larger arc of the series, with the creative team trying to both prepare for the end of the show without actually committing to it. I joined Carl Sweeney, Cathy Glinski and Kurt North to discuss the season finale, which perfectly encapsulates this tension.

Requiem is an episode that existed in a variety of contexts between production and airing. When it was filmed, there was every possibility that it could be the last episode of The X-Files ever. Chris Carter wanted to use it as a launching pad to a series of spin-off movies. However, between filming and broadcast, its meaning shifted dramatically. Following a disastrous season, Fox had no choice but to greenlight an eighth season of The X-Files, and David Duchovny reached a settlement in his lawsuit against Fox. Requiem went from being a series finale to a season finale, without changing a single shot.

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

Continue reading

New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 7, Episode 11 (“Closure”)

The X-Cast is covering the seventh season of The X-Files. It’s an interesting and divisive season of the show, a season that seems to have been intended to serve as the end of the show’s run, but is now closer to the middle of the series’ run. Although the sixth season had wrapped up a lot of the mythology in Two Fathers and One Son, the seventh season still had some tidying up to do. I was thrilled to join Carl Sweeney and Chris Knowles for an episode doing some of that tidying up: Closure.

Samantha Mulder had haunted the show since the very beginning. In The Pilot and Conduit, Samantha’s mysterious disappearance was positioned as the reason for Mulder’s quest. Over the years, in episodes like Colony and End Game or Redux II, Samantha remained pivotal to the show’s central mythology. She was perhaps the biggest remaining plot thread as the show entered its seventh season. Closure is an attempt to wrap up that dangling plot thread, and to provide a satisfying answer once and for all to one of the show’s biggest remaining mysteries.

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 6, Episode 12 (“One Son”)

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 one of the most important episodes in the show’s history: One Son.

With One Son, the show closes the book on one of the most important chapters in its history. Kind of. Sort of. A little bit. Of course, it was also about drawing down the curtain in other ways. There’s a very credible argument to be made that this mid-season two-parter marked the last time that The X-Files was truly event television. This makes One Son an interesting and complicated piece of television, a bit of ambitious storytelling that has to cover a lot of ground very ruthlessly. The result is an episode that isn’t entirely successful, but is still fascinating.

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

Continue reading

New Podcast! The X-Cast – Fight the Future Minute #55 (“The Syndicate III”)

So The X-Cast reached the end of the show’s fifth season, and approached The X-Files: Fight the Future. This naturally meant it was time for another breathtakingly ambitious project, so the podcast is going literally minute-by-minute through the first X-Files feature film. I’m joining the wonderful Kurt North for two brief stretches featuring the Well-Manicured Man.

This episode wraps up my first stretch of episodes discussing Fight the Future, taking a look at the end of the conversation between the Well-Manicured Man and the rest of the Syndicate around him. It’s a fun discussion that finally gets to the heart of Fight the Future, bringing Mulder and Scully back into the story and communicating the stakes clearly to the audience munching on their popcorn.

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

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

It’s a bit of a change up on The X-Cast this week. Last week, I joined Tony Black to discuss the first part of the fifth season premiere Redux I. This week, Tony swapped out with Russell Hugo, whom I joined to discuss Redux II.

Redux II is an interesting beast. I am actually appreciably fonder of Redux II than I am of Redux I. I think the second part of the premiere does a lot of the stuff that the first half attempts, but in a much more interesting and compelling manner. It’s not quite as good as Gethsemane at the end of the fourth season, but it’s still a surprisingly ambitious and adventurous story for The X-Files to tell at this point in its run – the moment at which the series is at the peak of its popularity and The X-Files: Fight the Future is looming large in the horizon. I hope this was a fun and interesting discussion.

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

Continue reading

New Podcast! Not Another X-Files Podcast Podcast #602 – “Drive”

I was delighted to be invited to join Carolyn and Vanessa for the latest episode of Not Another X-Files Podcast Podcast, discussing Mulder’s impromptu roadtrip.

The guys had just finished coverage of The Lone Gunmen and the eleventh season of The X-Files, so I joined them to talk about the second episode of the sixth season, Drive. Any long-time reader of the blog will know that Drive is probably my favourite episode of the sixth season, and probably the last of my top ten X-Files episodes chronologically speaking. (I’m still sleeping on Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster and The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat.)

It was an absolute pleasure to do a guest slot with the guys, to talk about everything from the O.J. Simpson car chase to the American frontier to the amount of highway in California. You can check out the podcast here, and past episodes here. Or click the link below.