Advertisements
    Advertisements
  • Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

  • Advertisements

The X-Files – Schizogeny (Review)

This May and June, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the fifth season of The X-Files and the second season of Millennium.

Schizogeny has a pretty terrible reputation among some (or even most) fans of The X-Files.

During The A.V. Club’s coverage of the show’s fifth season, Todd VanDerWerff suggested that it “just might be the very worst episode of The X-Files.” Andrew Payne described the killer tress as the series’ “worst monster of the week.” Moving away from any sort of objective coverage, The X-Files Wiki lists the fact that Schizogeny is “generally considered by fans to be one of, if not the worst, X-Files episode” at the very top of “notes” section on the episode. It is fairly safe to say that Schizogeny is not well-liked.

The woodsman...

The woodsman…

And there are a lot of very valid reasons for this. There is a lot about Schizogeny that is not good; more than that, there is a lot that is just plain terrible. The writing is clumsy, the plotting is hazy, the special effects are jumbled, the dialogue is awkward. It is very difficult to tell what is going on at certain points in the story, and a truly woeful central performance from Chad Lindberg as Bobby Rich does not help matters. Schizogeny is not a classic episode of The X-Files, by any stretch of the imagination.

However, it is nowhere near as bad as its reputation suggests.

Go climb a tree...

Go climb a tree…

Continue reading

Advertisements

Millennium – Dead Letters (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.

Dead Letters is the first Millennium episode credited to writers James Wong and Glen Morgan, and to director Thomas J. Wright. These are three creative forces that would come to be massively influential in the development of the show.

As with Gehenna, the obvious point of comparison in this early stage of development is with The X-Files. Chris Carter wrote the first two episodes of both shows, outlining the core themes and larger direction. However, the crucial third episode was handed to the team of James Wong and Glen Morgan. They would be the first writers other than Carter to write for Fox Mulder, Dana Scully and Frank Black. They were tasked with demonstrating that these concepts could work in the hands of writers other than Chris Carter.

A hair's breadth away from insanity...

A hair’s breadth away from insanity…

The first script that Wong and Morgan wrote for The X-Files was Squeeze. It was the show’s first stand-alone monster-of-the-week episode, and effectively codified a very flexible subgenre of The X-Files, while also creating a very popular and iconic monster. Dead Letters does something vaguely similar for Millennium, even if it is not quite as effective. Free from a lot of the millennial anxieties that drove The Pilot and Gehenna, Dead Letters offers an example of a fairly pure-blooded “serial-killer-of-the-week” story.

For better or for worse, Dead Letters sets the tone for the rest of the show’s first season.

Bits and pieces...

Bits and pieces…

Continue reading

Space: Above and Beyond – Level of Necessity (Review)

This November (and a little of December), we’re taking a trip back in time to review the third season of The X-Files and the first (and only) season of Space: Above and Beyond.

Coming hot on the heels of Who Monitors the Birds?, Level of Necessity was almost destined to be a little disappointing. Who Monitors the Birds? is perhaps the quintessential episode of Space: Above and Beyond, encapsulating the show’s core themes and utilising its world in a clever and constructive manner. In contrast, Level of Necessity seems almost rote. It is an episode that might have been written for any other nineties science-fiction show.

There are some nice ideas here, but Level of Necessity feels far too generic. In fact, it seems like the episode is centred around Damphousse not because the story makes any more sense for her than it does for any other character, but because she is the only character who has yet to occupy the centre of a story. Thomas J. Wright directs quite well, and Richard Kind makes for a solid guest star. However, Level of Necessity suffers from the fact that it could be an episode of any other show.

Stars in his eyes...

Stars in his eyes…

Continue reading

The X-Files – Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose (Review)

This November (and a little of December), we’re taking a trip back in time to review the third season of The X-Files and the first (and only) season of Space: Above and Beyond.

Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose is a masterpiece.

It is one of the best episodes that The X-Files ever produced. It is the only episode of The X-Files to win the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series. It was the first episode to take home an Emmy for a performance on the show, with Peter Boyle winning the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. It was Boyle’s only Emmy win of ten nominations. It was the only episode of The X-Files to air on the 13th October, a symbolically important date for Carter (“1013”). It was also Friday the 13th.

No bones about it...

No bones about it…

As part of the recent resurgence in interest in The X-Files, the story has enjoyed even more focus. It was one of three episodes voted by fans to air as part of the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival in 2013 as part of the series’ twentieth anniversary celebrations. Chris Carter himself chose it to represent The X-Files at the Austin Film Festival in 2012. It is very frequently ranked among the best the show ever produced.

And all of that praise is very well earned.

Crystal clear...

Crystal clear…

Continue reading

The X-Files (Topps) #7 – Trepanning Opera (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.

Trepanning Opera is something of a one-shot story, albeit the story where Stefan Petrucha begins to concede that his first year writing The X-Files tie-in comic is really one single long-form story. Initially, Trepanning Opera looks like a standard monster-of-the-week (or perhaps that should be “monster-of-the-month”) story, only to eventually reveal that the connections to the rest of Petrucha’s run are more than simply thematic in nature. “Everything is connected, Mulder,” his contact assures him. “Everything.”

Head's up...

Head’s up…

Continue reading