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The X-Files – Unruhe (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.

Unruhe was the first episode of The X-Files to air on Sunday nights.

The show had vacated its traditional Friday evening slot to make room for Millennium. It had been moved to Sunday evenings. Although the production team were initially quite cautious about the move, it would ultimately pay dividends for the show. The show had already become a mainstream hit, but the Sunday night slot would help to push it into the stratosphere. Airing alongside Fox’s other long-running success story, The Simpsons, the show would secure its highest ratings ever less than six months after moving into its new slot.

Photo copy?

Photo copy?

Of course, this also draws attention to another interesting facet of Unruhe. This was the first episode of The X-Files to air after Millennium hit the air. Unruhe aired two days after the pilot. The impact of Millennium has already been keenly felt on the fourth season of The X-Files in a number of ways; deadline and production issues hindered Herrenvolk, while James Wong and Glen Morgan had been drafted back to The X-Files to help shore up the fourth season. However, Unruhe seems to directly (and perhaps pointedly) acknowledge Chris Carter’s younger series.

Unruhe is an episode that would probably have been quite at home on Millennium. It is an episode that could easily have been re-worked or re-tooled for Carter’s new show – with only a few minor changes. With its serial offender, fascination with forensic psychology, and its grim reflection on mankind’s capacity for evil, it feels like an story that could comfortably have been told using Frank Black. While it serves to welcome Millennium to the genre neighbourhood, it also seems to suggest that Millennium might be a little redundant.

A walk among the tombstones...

A walk among the tombstones…

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