The X Files Source
your newest fansite for The X Files

01/13/2016  •  Posted By admin  •  0 Comment(s) Press

Spoiler-free review of the first Revival episode from

Episode one of The X-Files revival, feat. Duchovny and Anderson, makes for unexpectedly satisfying viewing for long-term fans…

The X-Files is back.

My Struggle is the first episode of a mini-series that aims to pull off something very rarely attempted. It’s a (short) tenth season of a show that premiered over 22 years ago, that was last on screen 8 years ago, and last on television 14 years ago. However, this is not a re-boot, with new actors going back to the beginning. It’s not a spin-off, with new characters in a new story. It’s not a re-tooling or a re-imagining, no characters possess the ability to regenerate, and aside from the short episode count, even the format is much the same. It is simply the show, on again in a very different world from the one for which it was created. It sounds like it really shouldn’t work.

But it does.

The world has not remained in stasis since 1993, and nor has The X-Files. This new season acknowledges that. Direct references to 9/11, footage of recent U.S. Presidents and discussions of current global issues all make it clear that this is a story that has been written for the now, not a story mired in 1990s conspiracy theories (these are definitely twenty-first century conspiracy theories). A significant character works through his website and online videos, ensuring that the changes in technology have not been ignored either. Outside of the story, the production also makes much more use of some pretty good CGI than it ever has before.

And yet, there is a clandestine meeting in Washington, D.C. at night. There is a scene set in a dark car park. The cinematic language of older conspiracy theory drama, of All The President’s Men and JFK and The X-Files itself, is still there. This first episode expertly blends everything that made The X-Files what it was with a series of elements that bring it into today’s world.

And at the heart of it, of course, are Mulder and Scully. Older but not necessarily wiser, their dynamic is, like the episode itself, the same and yet different. In some ways, their interactions are the same as ever, and one or two conversations could even be taken verbatim from a number of other episodes over the years. But there is a lived-in, and a rather melancholic, quality to their relationship that is a reflection of all the years that have gone by.

If you’ve never seen The X-Files before, this episode does open with a quick summary of the most important information, and other major background events are referred to over the course of the episode, so it should be possible to follow easily enough. Like the original pilot, this episode sets up the basics of the show in a compelling and effective way.

But the happiest will be long-term fans, for whom this unexpected return to a long-gone show is unexpectedly satisfying. As a long-term fan, judging the overall quality of this first episode is almost impossible because it got the most important things so very right – it is The X-Files. Any problems pale into insignificance in the face of delight that, somehow, you are watching a new episode of The X-Files. As the opening theme comes on, the chill that runs down your spine will tell you – against all expectation, The X-Files is back, and that is a very, very good thing.

The X-Files Miniseries starts on Sunday the 24th of January on Fox in the US and on Channel 5 in the UK on an as-yet-unconfirmed date.


Submit A Comment