The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot  » TV  »
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  • So, much like with the aforementioned cartoon, I decided to give it a watch through now
  • In most shows, I've noticed writers try to have the main characters butt heads
  • This is, of course, to make for interesting conflicts, but here that doesn't seem to be the case
  • Even after 20 years, it held up rather well and I enjoyed watching it

    • by David Finniss


      Much like “The Real Ghostbusters”, I’ve had the complete X-Files series on DVD for some time, yet never got around to sitting down and watching them. So, much like with the aforementioned cartoon, I decided to give it a watch through now.

      This was a frustrating show to get into for me. Back when it was on the air, I was still a kid in school and thus, like most kids, had a bedtime, 9:30. Of course, this show aired Sundays at 9, so when new episodes came on, I was only able to watch half an episode. Try as I might, I couldn’t negotiate a compromise. Yes, there were summer reruns and, if I recall correctly, that’s usually when I did watch it, but it’s not quite the same.

      In any case, I’m watching it now and we’ll get to see how the show holds up after over a decade of being off the air. As any pilot should, this episode gets us introduced to its main characters and gives us a taste of what the show is going to be about. We get most of the necessary background information on our two leads when FBI Agent Dana Scully is assigned to work with fellow agent Fox Mulder to investigate

      cases that are deemed unsolvable for whatever reason. Most of these cases involve what is purported to be paranormal activity. Scully is told that she is to work with Mulder to give her own perspective as a scientist on these cases.

      Normally, exposition dumps like this can be clunky and awkward, but somehow Carter managed to pull it off. As Scully is in an interview, it would make sense to be a bit more formal for the sake of being official.

      This sets up the dynamic that would last through a majority of the show, with Mulder coming up with theories that involve fantastical ideas while Scully plays the skeptic. This, of course, comes into play here as the pair investigate mysterious deaths in Oregon. As the episode progresses, Mulder is convinved that Extra-terrestrials are involved.

      I’m surprised Scully’s that dismissive of life on other worlds. Given the size of the universe, it’s quite likely that life exists. Of course, she argues that given the vast distances one encounters in space travel, the odds of them being here are slim, but still.

      This episode also does quite a bit to set the stage for the overall mythos. We have the shadowy government organization that is trying to keep a ...

      • lid on the whole thing, even going so far as to set fire to Scully’s hotel room in order to destroy the evidence, Mulder brings up his missing sister, and there is of course, the infamous cigarette smoking man.

        In most shows, I’ve noticed writers try to have the main characters butt heads. This is, of course, to make for interesting conflicts, but here that doesn’t seem to be the case. While Mulder acknowledges that Scully is part of the government agenda to debunk his work,he gets along with her rather well. Scully, for her part, seems amicable to him as well. Obviously, we’re not into the “shipping” era yet, but it was nice to see that the two could still get along despite their radically opposing views on things.

        Both Duchovny and Anderson do a good job of giving life to their characters. Where they easily could’ve been two dimensional foils, they have enough personality that they feel like real people. Mulder feels a bit more fleshed out than Scully, but then again maybe that’s just because I’m more partial to his deadpan humor and open mindedness.

        The episode wasn’t quite as creepy as the later episodes get, but it was able to build a believable atmosphere and give

        the two agents a case that, while complex, wasn’t overwhelming to someone who was just tuning in.

        I also have to note the obvious reference to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when CSM “files” the implant. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a rip off, but the parallels are there. To the show’s credit, it does feel like a natural thing to include as we see that there is plenty of evidence regarding alien life, it’s just buried in a basement in the Pentagon. It also makes for a dramatic ending as we see that Mulder is very correct in saying that some people are actively working to hinder his efforts.

        Most pilots don’t immediately achieve the status of “great”, heck most shows need a season or two to really gain some momentum. This was a pretty solid pilot. It set up the premise, introduced you to the characters, and told a story that is indicative of what’s to come. It also left a lot of things open, leaving the writers options for future stories. All things considered, it did a good job. Even after 20 years, it held up rather well and I enjoyed watching it. I look forward to getting back into this series and watching it in its entirety.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in August, 2011. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1026081525250231/k2311a0826/8.26.11
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