• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

The X-Files – Soft Light (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.

Soft Light is a bit of an oddity. It’s primarily notable for being Vince Gilligan’s first credit on The X-Files, coming a few years after the release of Wilder Napalm, a film based on his screenplay.

Gilligan, of course, would go on to become a wildly influential television writer. He would join the staff in the show’s third year and produce some of the series’ most memorable episodes. He would also manage the day-to-day running of The Lone Gunmen spin-off. Although, at the moment, Gilligan is probably best known for creating and producing Breaking Bad, which has already been ranked among the best television series ever produced.

Everything burns...

Everything burns…

It is very tempting to look at a writer’s early work and to try to retroactively over-analyse it – to spot familiar themes and images, as if to incorporate it into a large oeuvre. That becomes a bit more complicated in television, where an early screenplay is quite likely to have been written and re-written several times before it reaches the screen. As a freelance writer submitting a script, Gilligan’s work would have been heavily reworked to make it fit within the context of The X-Files.

While there are traces of Gilligan’s later work to be found here, Soft Light is a rather awkward late-season episode, one that seems a little out of place.

Shadows on the wall...

Shadows on the wall…

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: Pride

Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners is an oft over-looked chapter in the history both the labour and the gay rights movement. Based around the fundamental principle that oppressed groups have a great chance of achieving their goals standing side-by-side (or shoulder-to-shoulder) than they would ever would apart, the alliance forged during the 1984 coal strikes went on to have a lasting and important influence on both the mining community and the gay community.

Pride is perhaps a little bit too whimsical and twee for its own good, going for any number of easy feel-good smiles and affectionate chuckles, but there’s something quite compelling about this tale of two different groups forging an unexpected and unprecedented alliance in pursuit of a common good. Pride is a light and charming “opposites unit” story with enough wit and soul to win over even the most cynical audience members.

Labour of love...

Labour of love…

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: Limitless

Limitless has an epiphany about half-way through its runtime. We follow our lead, Eddie, as he discovers a miracle drug which manages to somehow make you a genius (he boasts he has “a four-digit IQ”). However, he is stunned to discover that coming off the drug isn’t exactly pretty. Those who haven’t given up have all died. He meets a survivor in a small café, where she recounts how wonderful the experience of using the drug was, but how hallow life seemed afterwards. Having tasted that sort of greatness, she relates how the world seemed boring afterwards, she couldn’t focus and nothing could hold her attention for more than ten minutes. She seems to have been speaking on behalf of the film.

It's all falling into place...

Continue reading