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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 3, Episode 24 (“Talitha Cumi”)

I’m back on The X-Cast this week, covering Talitha Cumi with the one and only Tony Black, a nice companion piece to last week’s episode covering Wetwired.

Talitha Cumi is a controversial and divisive episode, particularly among fans of the series. It is relatively unique as far as season-finales go, in that it is perhaps the only season finale in The X-Files that could not also serve as a series finale as well. It is very poetic and very lyrical story, but also one that largely eschews a lot of the structures and rhythms that audiences expect from narratives. I have always had a soft spot for it, and I think I get a chance to articulate why on the podcast. As little sense as the actual plot of Talitha Cumi makes on a beat-by-beat basis, it works very well as a thematic piece meditating on big ideas.

It was, always, a pleasure and an honour to discuss the episode with Tony. I’m always flattered to be asked back. There were a few recording hitches with the episode that meant we had to record it, and some of that giddiness shines through a little bit. I hope it’s enjoyable to listen to, as it was one of my favourite podcasting experiences. We also talk a little bit about the third season of the series as a whole, about whether it is the best season and even how we measure such things. It’s quite an extended episode, but I hope you enjoy it.

The truth is in here. You can listen to the episode here, or click the link below.

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 3, Episode 23 (“Wetwired”)

I’m back on The X-Cast this week, covering Wetwired with the one and only Tony Black. We took you into this season, and we can take you out of it too.

Wetwired is a curious beast. It’s an episode that a lot of people compare to Blood, but I’ve always seen it as being a lot closer to the first half of Anasazi. Which perhaps makes sense, if you consider it part of the third season finale in spirit. Wetwired is also an episode about which my opinion has shifted a great deal in recent years. I thought it was pretty fine when I reviewed it a few years ago, but – like a lot of The X-Files – it seems increasingly prescient in the modern context.

The truth is in here. You can listen to the episode here, or click the link below.

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 3, Episode 17 (“Pusher”)

I’m back on The X-Cast this week, to cover a very special episode. Pusher is host Tony Black’s favourite episode, and we recorded this close to his birthday. So no pressure, then.

Pusher has long been a favourite of mine as well, a crackerjack suspense-filled episode from the powerhouse team of writer Vince Gilligan and director Rob Bowman. It’s an episode that works very well both within the confines of The X-Files itself and beyond. Even more than Soft Light, it is an episode that informs a lot of Gilligan’s core themes and ideas going forward. There is a surprising amount of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul to be found in the episode, for example.

The truth is in here. You can listen to the episode here, or click the link below.

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 3, Episode 16 (“Apocrypha”)

I’m back on The X-Cast this week, to cover the second-part of the late third-season mythology two-parter Apocrypha.

Picking up where Piper Maru left off, this conclusion finds Mulder and Scully continuing their separate investigations. Mulder is chasing down the missing tape from Anasazi, The Blessing Way and Paper Clip while Scully is dealing with the fallout from the assassination attempt on Assistant Director Walter Skinner that brings her face-to-face with the man who killed her sister. Justice, legacy and guilt are all major preoccupations, tying into the broader themes of the season as a whole.

Once again, a pleasure to substitute in for Tony Black as host of The X-Cast for an episode, and absolutely thrilled to be joined by the great Christopher Irish from The X-Files Lexicon.

The truth is in here. You can listen to the episode here, or click the link below.

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Listen In To The X-Cast Live! All Day Saturday!

That mad man Tony Black over at The X-Cast has done something completely crazy.

He is doing a twenty-four hour live X-Files podcast. However, it’s okay. He’s doing it for charity, to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Society. You can still donate to the cause, which is very worthy of your support.

I’m thrilled to be joining Tony at a couple of points during the day. The full schedule is below, and Tony’s put together a fantastic line-up for a great cause. In the meantime, you can listen to the podcast at Mixlr. It will be kicking off at 9am BST and running straight through for twenty-four hours.

https://mixlr.com/the-x-cast/embedThe X-Cast is on Mixlr

 

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Stefan Petrucha on The X-Files Topps Comics (Season 2 & 3)

This was fun.

I occasionally guest on The X-Cast with Tony Black, discussing The X-Files. I’ve been very proud to be part of the show’s discussion of individual episodes and also to participate in its ambitious beginning-to-end podwatch. However, this episode is particularly exciting for me, because it’s an interview that I managed to organise with Stefan Petrucha.

Petrucha was the first writer to work on the X-Files tie-in comic books published by Topps, and he wrote the book through the second half of the second season and through most of the third, before departing the book. Working with artist Charles Adlard, Petrucha crafted some of the most ambitious and most exciting tie-in comics ever. Highlights include A Dismembrance of Things Past, Silent Cities of the Mind, Feelings of Unreality, Falling and Home of the Brave.

These were stories that were very much in the mould of what was being published by writers like Grant Morrison and Neil Gaiman over at the Vertigo imprint at DC comics around the same time, bold and ambitious narratives tackling big existential ideas within a genre framework. In some ways, the comic seemed to signal where the series would go in its fourth year; trepanning, militias, existential questions about overlapping realities.

I’m very happy with the interview, and very thankful for Stefan’s generosity with his time. You can check it out here, click the link below, or just play it from this post.

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New Podcast! The X-Cast – Season 3, Episode 1 (“The Blessing Way”)

I was thrilled to join Tony Black to launch the third season of The X-Cast, a podcast taking a tour through Chris Carter’s The X-Files.

I’ve been lucky enough to guest on a number of episodes, including the one covering the second season finale, Anasazi. After finishing up the second season, Tony took a bit of a break to rush through a podwatch of the entire series; I was thrilled to be invited to take part in that, commenting on episodes from Aubrey to Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man to Never Again to The Post-Modern Prometheus to The Unnatural and beyond. It was a real pleasure to be a part of that. And to contribute to Tony’s coverage of the eleventh season, including the final two episodes, maybe forever, Nothing Lasts Forever and My Struggle IV.

However, with Tony having covered all of that, we jumped right back into the regularly scheduled coverage. It was an absolute pleasure to talk about The Blessing Way, which is the third season premiere. I’ve gone on record in the past as both being a tremendous fan of the third season as a whole, which I think is one of the best twenty-odd episode seasons of television ever produced. I’ve also been a bit skeptical of The Blessing Way at the same time. I hope I’m fair to it here, where I confess why it’s both one of my least favourite episodes of the season and something that I’m very glad exists in this form.

As even, Tony was a fantastic host, and we had a fun and wide-ranging discussion about everything from abstract concepts of “truth” to why we love the Well-Manicured Man so much to the recurring theme of mirroring and doubling that plays through this three-parter in particular and the X-Files in general. Check it out the episode here, or click the link below.

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