When The X-Files debuted on Fox in 1993, it stood out on a fall schedule that leaned heavily on comedies (The Simpsons; Married…With Children), soaps (Beverly Hills, 90210; Melrose Place), and the endless failures of mankind (COPS, America’s Most Wanted). The broader network landscape didn’t have much use for science fiction programming, either — Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and seaQuest DSV debuted the same year, but neither would have the long-ranging cultural impact or the longevity of The X-Files. Created by Chris Carter and starring the little-known Gillian Anderson and the mildly-known David Duchovny, the show ran nine seasons, two feature films, and one spin-off. The storytelling was smart, the plotting was complex, and the creepy bits were really, really creepy.
But I don’t need to tell you that, right?
We’re going to rewatch The X-Files together. From now until a point sometime in the future, I will be discussing select episodes. These won’t be strict blow-by-blow recaps — I think the rest of the internet’s got you covered there — but a chance to dig into the show’s themes and to track its evolution. I’ll try to untangle the mytharc, revisit some classic monsters of the week, and probably I’ll get very excited about some things. Because this show is a lot of fun, you guys.
My credentials are as follows. The X-Files was my first real fandom. I was young, and I was on the internet, and somehow I ended up on USENET and if you think you remember me from alt.tv.x-files you’re probably not wrong. I was there a lot. I had a sig file with a lot of acronyms in it. I also managed what I believe was The Internet’s Premiere Alex Krycek Fan Site, you’re welcome. I loved the show like a fan loves something: fiercely, openly, and sometimes, angrily. When things didn’t go the way I thought they should go, I took it personally. This rewatch is an opportunity for me to watch the show on its own merits, as a strong piece of television instead of the object of my obsession. We’re going to re-open the X-Files and find ourselves some perspective.
So I hope you’ll join me and Mulder and Scully and the Cigarette-Smoking Man and Skinner and Blevins and Krycek and Pendrell and Spender and Deep Throat and Fowley and Luis Cardinal and X and Byers and Langley and Frohike and Marita and Bill and Teena and Melissa and Kersh and Bill and Doggett and Cassandra and Reyes and Gibson Praise and the whole gang in working this conspiracy out, once and for all. Let’s watch it, let’s talk it over, let’s head on down to the basement and find ourselves some truth.
Meghan Deans is a playwright and fiction writer living in New York City. She has a very exciting Tumblr, a website called Daytime Prize Winner that is full of short stories, and also a second Tumblr where she writes about the television show Justified. If you’d like you can follow her on Twitter @meghandrrns.