#TheXFiles201days Update: The truth had better be in here

In celebration/shameless promotion of the new episodes of The X-Files they're producing, Fox started a campaign on July 7th aimed at getting fans to watch all 201 episodes of the series to date in the 201 days there are between July 7th and the show's US air date of January 24th.

Because I am a) an X-Files fan, b) an idiot, c) in desperate need of yet one more thing to fill my time, I've joined the fan endeavour effort to give Fox more material to tweet about for the next 200-odd days.

The first thing to say is that there is not a single chance in Fox Mulder's mullet that I'll be able to keep up with the 'one a day' effort. By the time the undertaking finishes I'll be a year older, Christmas will have happened and England will have won The Ashes. If there isn't a single day in all of that where I don't have 45 minutes spare, I'll eat my sunflower seeds.

There's a table at the bottom of this update, which I'll keep regular whenever these posts happen, showing my progress relative to the wider aim. Hopefully I'll stay close to everyone else watching but, hey, at least if I do go off on a tangent every so often the that's in-keeping with the spirit of the show.

I've actually watched the first season relatively recently. Even just two years or so on, starting Season One again, my impressions are different. Yes, the pilot is a great example of how to lay out a series at inception, but bloody hell is some of it terrible.

Mulder and Scully's confrontation with a county sheriff (see: #XFilesBingo below) is ripe and then some and the gobbledegook we're expected to believe starts early on with Mulder's completely poker-faced claim that he knows some of what he knows because of 'deep regression hypnosis'. A lot of the episode is solid though and the sexual tension between Scully and Mulder crackles, with the former rather unsubtly turning up at Mulder's door in her smalls and declaring 'I need you to look at something'. Oo-eer, etc., etc. Lucky the next episode is called Deep Throat or we could have been in all sorts of murky territory.

Said episode treads the slightly uncomfortable line between The X-Files stand-alone 'monster of the week' offerings, of which there are several excellent examples in season one and the conspiracy episodes. The 'monster of the week' element (a mystery about disappearing air force test pilots) isn't satisfying and the conspiracy equates to Deep Throat turning up to warn Mulder that he has 'much work to do'. Watch out for Seth Green, the first of a handful of guest stars throughout the nine seasons who aren't quite as you know them now. Duchovny both towers above him and struggles to keep a straight face whilst saying 'dude'.

I mentioned Tooms (S1:E3) at length in the review above, so I'll skip over that, but rest-assured: it is still a perfect piece of television. Scary, disgustingly inventive and beautiful in how it advances the characters. There's more of that in The Jersey Devil (S1:E5), as Scully rejects a date to follow a case with Mulder (OR IS IT REALLY THE CASE SHE WANTS, etc. etc.). Conduit (S1:E4) is a little bit of a non-entity, but does show a terrific example of Mulder's ill-fitting costuming, as he flounces away at the end in a suit trousers that wouldn't look out of place on a circus clown.

Most notable in the run from The Jersey Devil to Fire (S1:E12) is the three episode offering of Fallen Angel (S1:E10), Eve (S1:E11) and Fire itself. The latter is a terrible 'mystery' but shows all sorts of great X-Files storytelling choices, such as the way Mulder and Scully are eventually set up against the world, where initially that looked to be anything but the case. Fallen Angel marks the first of many times The X-Files is threatened with closure, whilst Eve is a cracking little chiller, again marking the first point Mulder moves away from the supernatural to favour an explanation at least approaching regulation.

Episode reached at time of this update: 18/7/15 - Fire
Episode that should have been reached: 18/7/15 - Fire
Over/Under: On target!
Episodes watched since the last update: 12
Next episode: Beyond The Sea (S1:E13)
#XFilesBingo: At least five episodes with radio/phone problems. At least three disgruntled sheriffs.
Over-riding feeling: There's some treading water going on before the return of the conspiracy episodes.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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