The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 9: Space  » TV  »
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  • The commander says that they don't want us to know is the best we get and even that doesn't really count as a satisfactory answer
  • Surprisingly, Scully isn't really all that impressed by it
  • I guess the writers wanted to keep that dynamic where the two disagree, but this is one instance where it seems like that shouldn't have been the case
  • It's disappointing, because they could've done some interesting things with the concept
  • Even giving this episode the first season curve that I normally appropriate, I can't recommend this episode


    • by David Finniss

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      From what I’ve read, this episode was critically lambasted. To its credit, the episode does have some strong ideas behind it, but the execution of it ends up doing the plot a disservice. There are several instances where astronauts have reported seeing something out in space during missions, as such it makes sense to utilize that in a story centered around investigating extra-terrestrial life. Sadly, it doesn’t work out as well as one would hope.

      For the first 25 minutes or so, it doesn’t do that bad a job. Sure, it’s nowhere near as gripping as the previous episode, but that’s a rather high bar to jump. At worst, some of the line readings are a little wonky, but all in all, it isn’t terrible. Than the last act hits and it pretty


      much falls apart. The acting gets bad and the resolution comes off as rushed. Even the scene where mission control is waiting to hear back from the shuttle after the last minute trajectory change is nowhere near as tense as it could’ve, or most likely should’ve been.

      The mysterious entity could’ve been a lot scarier than he was. The CGI effects surrounding it and its interaction with others is quite bad, robbing it of any menace. The fact that we’re not given any real explanation for why its doing what its doing doesn’t help. The commander says that “they don’t want us to know” is the best we get and even that doesn’t really count as a satisfactory answer. Is it a ghost? An alien? An alien ghost? Or maybe it’s some other ...


      • sort of cosmic horror, we never get a clear idea. Sometimes being vague and not explaining can add to the mystery of a villain, but this doesn’t give us enough to care, rendering it as nothing more than bland and generic.

        As the plot centers around a space shuttle, Mulder and Scully are pretty much relegated to the sidelines. They investigate what they can, but they pretty much act as spectators. The only real character bit comes when Mulder reveals that he was a huge fan of astronauts as a kid and idolized the aforementioned Commander. Surprisingly, Scully isn’t really all that impressed by it. You’d think that she’d be all about investigating space and unlocking the secrets of the universe. It falls in with her scientific rationale, but instead, she comes off

        as oddly cynical about the whole thing. I guess the writers wanted to keep that dynamic where the two disagree, but this is one instance where it seems like that shouldn’t have been the case.

        With a stronger script, this episode could’ve been a lot better. It had potential, but it goes untapped here leading to a lackluster episode. It’s tolerable, for the most part, but it gets downright bad by the end. It’s disappointing, because they could’ve done some interesting things with the concept.

        Even giving this episode the first season curve that I normally appropriate, I can’t recommend this episode. There’s not enough good here to outweigh the bad, and man, as I said before, those last 15 minutes or so are baaaad. Pass on this one folks, you won’t be missing much.




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