#TheXFiles201days Update: Trust no-one, particularly not me when I say I'll keep up with this.

As predicted, I'm now hugely behind on this mass attempt to watch all 201 The X-Files episodes in 201 days. The best part of a whole season behind actually, which is verging on embarrassing. I'll persevere and perhaps just attempt to even get through the whole thing at all, never mind with an imposed time limit.

Part of the problem is with Season One which, as I've mentioned, I do like, but which also grinds to a halt frequently and repeats itself often. The monster of the week episodes are not blessed with good production values and, though the conspiracy episodes are as understandable as they ever will be throughout The X-Files, they also largely consist of Deep Throat giving Mulder some information and watching as it leads to little or nothing new.

In amongst those two types of X-File, things that are different or particularly good examples stand out. I've always loved Shapes (S1:E19) and I loved it all over again here. There are plentiful examples of genre efforts within the series, but arguably none that embraces the hokum as much as this does. It also attempts a genuine 'whoodunit' mystery, which is simple but, with a forty-five minute episode, needs to be so. It also, rather subtly, reflects the wider series: 'maybe she saw something she wasn't ready to understand', Scully says at one point, talking about another character, but of course really talking about herself.

Other highlights from the first season include E.B.E. (S1E17), which is a conspiracy episode done very well, the second part of the Tooms arc (S1:E21) and Darkness Falls (S1E20), which is a very, very simple episode but somehow becomes compelling. X-Files fashion fans should also look out for the shellsuit-like waterproofs Mulder and Scully sport for their trip to the mountains.

Scully in medical coat, not out on a mission. Expect a lot of this.
As the start of Season Two rolls around, The X-Files starts to punch heavily. The Host (S2:E2) and Blood (S2:E3) are both excellent episodes. As someone who can't stand blood, the latter particularly claws away well at barely hidden anxieties, including Mulder's (look for him pointing out 'I played right field', as the atypical sheriff gives a very downbeat obituary for a victim).

Before that point though there is a lot of fairly unimaginative Season One to wade through. Time and again Scully, particularly in her own home, is relied on as the victim, rather than an equal partner in the relationship. Notable examples include Tooms and Young At Heart (S1E16). Episode setups are also lazily done. #XFilesBingo (below) is a bit of a light-hearted look at the series repeated motifs, but in Season One there would only be one 'winner': the repeated 'an old colleague' setup, where one or the other of the agents is asked for help on a case deemed 'a little spooky'.

Season Two then is welcome relief... apart from the fact that Scully seems to have been relegated even further to behind a medical table, whilst Mulder gets all of the excitement with Krycek (boo, hiss, etc.). Onwards (slowly and behind schedule).

Episode reached at time of this update: 26/8/15 - Blood (S2:E3)
Episode that should have been reached: 26/8/15 - Paperclip (S3:E2)
Over/Under: Behind by 24(!).
Episodes watched since the last update: 15
Next episode: Sleepless (S2:E4)
#XFilesBingo: Plentiful examples at the start of Season Two of Scully carrying out unrelated medical examinations, only to be called by Mulder to do something X-Files related. Does Scully only now do medical examinations! 'Deep regression hypnosis' again in Born Again (S1:E22). Over-use of twinkly sound effects.
Over-riding feeling: Glad that Season One is over. Season Two already showing production value improvement (just look at the monster in The Host).

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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