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The X-Files – Leonard Betts (Review)

This February and March, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the fourth season of The X-Files and the first season of Millennium.

Leonard Betts is a big one. In fact, it may just be the biggest one.

Leonard Betts attracted the largest audience in the history of The X-Files, with almost thirty million people tuning in to watch the episode. This audience was largely carried over from Superbowl XXXI, but it arrived at a fortuitous moment for the series. The X-Files was exploding into the mainstream. Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz had spent Christmas 1996 in Hawaii plotting The X-Files: Fight the Future, a blockbuster movie based on the series. The week before, Mulder and Scully had paid a visit to Springfield in The Springfield Files.

What a waste...

What a waste…

The show’s moment had arrived. Leonard Betts makes for quite the moment. It might not be the best episode in the history of the show; it might not even be the best episode of the season. However, it ranks with Pusher as one of the great archetypal episodes of The X-Files. The show captures so much of what makes The X-Files great, almost perfectly distilling the appeal of the show into a tight forty-odd minute package. It is a beautifully-crafted piece of television that checks all of the right boxes. This is a pretty fantastic introduction to the show and its world.

Leonard Betts is an episode that has been put together with incredible skill, one that demonstrates why The X-Files had such an impact on the popular consciousness.

Comfortable in his skin...

Comfortable in his skin…

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Non-Review Review: Robo-Cop

I think Robocop might be on the shortlist of most influential B-movies ever made. Certainly, coming out of the eighties, I think that Robocop defined what an audience expected from an incorporated future – the notion that big business would eventually replace local government in the lives of citizens. It’s not a novel theme, it’s one that science-fiction has been throwing out for decades, but I think that Robocop almost redefined that argument. It’s hard not to detect the influence of the film in a lot of movies that followed, so effortless and all-consuming was the “not too distant future” presented by Verhoeven.

I wonder if that's a manual or an automatic...

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