A staple of my younger days was a regimented weekly viewing of a show that has went down in history as must-see TV. Revisiting this show almost 30 years later there are lessons to be learned and observations to be made….
At the time, this show was the height of pop culture. It’s been parodied to death and even became a blueprint for serial drama viewing from Season 1 onwards.
This series aired in 1993 and seemed quite unsure which way it wanted to go from the pilot, but at the same time it has always remained true to that initial introduction.
The music in the pilot stylistically flits between lethal weapon and made-for-tv true crime story soundtrack. The first episode does however do a good job of setting up the dynamic – Scully – the eternal skeptic. Mulder – the eternal believer.
It also sets up a few staples of the brand – Mulders love of sunflower seeds, Scullys pant suits.
The opening credits (introduced in episode 2) are stylistically low budget, but the theme obviously more than makes up for this and remains as iconic as ever.
Hank Moody and Stella Gibson FTW!
Here Are 10 Lessons We’ve Learned From Rewatching X-Files Season 1 :
- You don’t need a big budget to get the job done – This one isn’t exactly all it seems. The budget of the pilot alone was $2 Million USD. Set that against the airing and repeat viewing figures, merchandising and brand : you’re talking pennies.
- The show is morally-centered – At the heart of the show theres a very tangible sense of doing whats right in the pursuit of truth.
- Shit goes down in the woods – It’s almost like a drinking game at this stage. Any time Mulder and Scully put on their big coats and go into the woods something serious is about to go down, whether it’s an invasive alien insect swarm or potential UFO crash site.
- “Get to the choppa!” – The Fallen Angel episode from season 1 is essentially Predator. Awesome.
- SCIENCE ! – Dana Scully‘s perpetual reluctance to accept the things shes experienced as anything other than science is staggering. Mulder even asks her – “Dana, after all you’ve seen, after all the evidence, why cant you believe?” to which she replies “I’m afraid. I’m afraid to believe”.
- Everybody Loves Fox – Women and serial killers alike – they all love Mulder.
- Everybody Still Loves Fox – Fox. Mulder. Is. Always. Right. Listen to Fox Mulder.
- Did anyone watch the show and side with Scully? – I feel like the way the cases are presented the audience is pushed to side with Mulder and his “Its aliens!” analysis.
- The recipe – The show is essentially 1 part Twin Peaks, 2 parts Unsolved Mysteries (with Robert Stack).
- Worth a rewatch? – The casting and execution on this show is the reason it is so seared into the pop culture psyche. Do yourself a favour.
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