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The X-Files – Signs and Wonders (Review)

This November, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the seventh season of The X-Files and the first (and only) season of Harsh Realm.

Religion is a major part of The X-Files. After all, what is the show but a meditation on faith?

In a way, this is an aspect that dates the series. While the show’s conspiracy theories and surveillance culture paranoia resonate as effectively in 2015 as they did in 1995, the show’s religious themes seem innocent and naive in the wake of 9/11 and the War on Terror. Signs and Wonders was broadcast towards the end of January 2000. It is hard to imagine the episode being produced even two years later, once the world had been so thoroughly shaken by acts of religious zealotry.

Snaking along...

Snaking along…

The X-Files exists as a product of the nineties, pre-dating what many have termed “the new atheism.” It exists against the backdrop of the Clinton era, in the space between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the start of the War on Terror. There are points when the shew resonates beyond that; The X-Files is often a profound and thoughtful meditation on issues like trust and faith. However, there are also points where The X-Files almost seems fused in time; where it seems like a moment has been captured in celluloid like a mosquito trapped in amber.

Signs and Wonders feels like one of those moments, sitting between the failed impeachment of President Bill Clinton and the triumphant election of President George W. Bush. This is what the last gasp of the nineties looks like.

Snake handling...

Snake handling…

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