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Since this is the pilot episode, I'll briefly review the series as a
Before I saw the X-Files, my only exposure to extra-terrestrials was shows like Star Wars and Star Trek. But these were in distant galaxies. It's true that E.T. visited our planet, but he was just a lone visitor who tried to return home as soon as possible. The X-Files dealt with aliens visiting our planet, but with a more sinister purpose in mind. To discover what, how and why they were doing what they were doing was the driving force for this show. What made this show unique though were the characters, especially Mulder and Scully. You knew you were in for something different right from the start when they referred to each other by their last names only. The intelligent and witty dialogue between the two is captivating.
Now, just for the pilot:
It's interesting to note that right away Scully has an uncomfortable reaction to Cigarette Smoking Man(CSM). Maybe she can already sense his evilness.
The music in the pilot is quite different from the rest of the series. It's a little bit corny, actually.
I like how Mulder gets right to work and tests Scully to see what her reaction will be. Mulder continues to challenge her "science" throughout the episode, but she stands firm.
Although she is serious, we see that Scully has a sense of humor when she smiles at Mulder's "plausible" joke. Also, later in the cemetery scene, she smiles and laughs at Mulder at his "outrageous" ideas. Take note, because Scully laughter is quite rare in 'The X-Files'.
In the Pilot, we see the agents for the first and only time on an airplane. Just a little piece of trivia.
Mulder and Scully go to Oregon to investigate some alien abductions. I'll never forget my first impression when I saw that coffin open for the first time. Mulder's excitement for physical evidence of alien existence tempered by Scully's scientific rationalizations for everything they witness help establish the most unique relationship you'll see between two people. The gloomy, rainy surroundings from being shot in the Pacific Northwest make for a unique atmosphere. Put all these things together and you've got a show unlike anything you've ever seen before.
The Pilot is a great start to an unforgettable series.
The X-Files became a cult phenomenom in its first season, gaining a rabid
following strong enough to convince FOX to pick up the show for another
year, and to sign the cast and producer Chris Carter to long-term deals.
Looking beyond the commercial success and fan base rivaled only by Star
Trek's "Trekkers", however, you find a serial drama that really was the
revolutionary show of the 1990's, and one of the most daring of all time.
broke all the rules - it was dark, both visually and emotionally. So dark
that at times, especially during the first two seasons, the only lighting
was that of flashlights held by the lead actors. It avoided stereotyping
the "sex sells" mentality of most mainstream shows (i.e. NYPD Blue). It had
an incredibly strong female role model in Gillian Anderson's character of
Dana Scully. It found an enemy where Hollywood had failed - instead of
looking overseas and creating further false impressions of foreign nations,
it pointed the finger at domestic governments. Big Brother, if you will,
back. To steal one of the show's catch phrases, the decade became the
No One 90's", especially not your own government. Given the state of
politics today, the show was probably right.
With an eighth season on the way, FOX has decided to issue the entire show on DVD. Season one is really the introductory year. Stars David Duchovney and Gillian Anderson look young, unsure of themselves, yet the chemistry is there. The seeds for future storylines are planted. While seasons two and five (leading up to the first feature film, with a potential of more to come) are probably the best, fans and potential fans alike should consider this boxset despite its somewhat hefty pricetag. It is a true television masterpiece.
Everyone should watch the X-Files because the writing is superb, the acting is excellent, and the special effects will blow you away. The plots are always interesting and keep you on your toes, watch for tie-ins to other eps and numbers that keep popping up all over, special numbers. It keeps us hard core fans looking. Watch the X-Files and you will not be disappointed!
"Agent Mulder. I'm Dana Scully, I've been assigned to work with you."
"Oh, really? I was under the impression that you were sent to spy on
me." That classic exchange marks the beginning of one of the most
intriguing small-screen partnerships of all time, and also of one of
the most influential and accomplished genre shows since The Twilight
The collaboration between Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) isn't born out of the best circumstances: as he implies, she has in fact been asked to spy on him. They're both highly qualified FBI agents, but whereas Scully uses her medical abilities to boost her career, Mulder has seemingly thrown away his potential (he's one of the Bureau's best profilers) to pursue his own paranoid projects. He is now in charge of the X-files, i.e. all those unsolved cases which have been dismissed as unexplainable. He, of course, is convinced that there is an explanation for each of them, no matter how extravagant his theories might get. What else to expect from a man whose office (basically an FBI basement) is filled with newspaper articles about the Roswell incident, aliens and whatnot, not to mention a poster with a flying saucer and the phrase "I want to believe" written on it?
The duo's first assignment is classic X-Files: a series of bizarre teenage deaths in a small-town community. All the bodies present two unidentified pink marks, and when the exhumation of one of the corpses reveals there's more to the case than meets the eye, it's no wonder Mulder asks Scully: "Do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrials?" Meanwhile, back in Washington D.C., the mysterious Cigarette-Smoking Man (William B. Davis) might know more about these events than anyone at the Bureau is willing to admit.
This pilot episode is a virtually seamless blend of the two kinds of stories that marked the show over the course of its nine-year run: on the one hand, it's a standalone tale with the main function of introducing the protagonists and the basic structure of the series' narrative - weird case, wild theory, investigation, possible rational solution (or not); on the other, it inserts the first small hints of the program's more complex story lines, the so-called mythology or "mytharc", at the beginning and at the end of the episode (the presence of the Smoking Man is the clearest evidence of this). In doing so, series creator Chris Carter ensures casual viewers might feel compelled to give it another try without the obvious cliffhanger gimmick, while those who pay more attention to details will find enough reasons to follow the slow, gripping unfolding of the conspiracy-style subplot.
Besides, the thriller-like plotting is the only major ongoing story that takes place in the series, or at least in the early seasons: one of the main pleasures of watching Mulder and Scully together, aside from the palpable chemistry between Duchovny and Anderson, has to do with the fact that whatever sexual tension there is between them, they're too busy chasing little green men to respond to those urges. If there has to be a deeper discussion about anything, it will have to do with the everlasting debate: faith or science? This episode, like the show in general, doesn't give a straight answer, and that's just another ingredient that makes The X-Files such an exquisite televised dish.
Mulder and Scully meets each other for the first time. Scully is in her
own words sent to debunk the X-Files, Mulder's current self-imposed
assignment, while he's under the impression that she's sent to spy on
him. Their first collaborative assignment is to investigate a series of
mystical deaths where the victims have some strange marks on their
This episode shows exactly what's at the center of the X-Files and was an instant turn on that secured at least seven seasons of intensely viewing. Duchovny and Anderson hit it off from go on and this chemistry coupled with the subject of the series is what makes this series such a great success. This episode is also the first time we see the Cigarette Smoking Man, but it's only a forerunner of what is to come.
This episode gets a 9 out of 10.
This show is absolutely incredible. Stunning imagery and creative imaginations by Chris Carter and crew help to make this the most interesting show on television. It's a pleasure to own each of the episodes from all seven seasons on videotape. The best news of all is that season one is coming to DVD in 2000. A gem like this deserves the best home video format around! Duchovny and Anderson are easily the most gifted actors on television today.
It's difficult to judge the pilot episode of a TV show, especially if the show is successful in being "picked up" by its producer. Pilot episodes for TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer aren't exactly great pieces of television, but it's hard to place damning on the episode if it achieves what it sets out to do. Fortunately there's no such confusion with the Pilot of The X-Files; simply put it is great television. Before reaching the complexities of the mythology in seasons 2-6, or the contrived story lines of seasons 8-9, we must remember that there was a time when The X-Files dealt with simple stories about little green men. The very first X-Files episode was one of these instances. The Pilot focuses less on plot and more on developing the show's two main protagonists; the recusant and open-minded Fox Mulder and the grounded and skeptical Dana Scully. Character development in the Pilot is fantastic; the show immediately let's us into the minds of our lead characters. Aside from excellent character work, the episode boasts intelligent dialogue and a storyline that intrigues and disturbs the viewer to the dying moments.
The pilot episode is fantastic because it establishes the dynamic
between Mulder the believer and Scully the skeptic - plus it has a
great plot with an alien abduction mystery. Gillian and David already
have great chemistry. They're so young here! And the 90s fashion is
kind of hilarious.
It's a very quotable episode too: "Nobody down here but the FBI's most unwanted!" "Do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrials?" "We lost nine minutes!" "Time can't just disappear! It's a universal invariant!" "Not in this zip code!" "Agent Mulder believes we are not alone." and so on.
My only complaint is that the indoor scenes look like they were filmed in the dark. Overall it's one of my favorite episodes.
I was just a teenager when it first aired and as many other viewers I was mesmerized by its so many brilliant ideas and fascinating elements. Fifteen years have passed since I first saw it and all I can say is that it hasn't aged. But now it's even more interesting because you can relate it to the great productions that haven't been released in the past few years. For example I only discovered Twin Peaks later so watching it I was able to compare their music and visuals for example. The efforts done to make The X-Files fictional world believable is really impressive. But of course all the work would be wasted without the most important and appreciated element in the series, its characters. Dana Scully and Fox Mulder are as charismatic and likable as they used to be. From their very first scenes you can already feel the chemistry between Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. Moreover the time has passed but our memories haven't faded as seeing the "I Want To Believe" poster, the X mark and other fan goodies is as delightful as it used to be. The dialogs are also pure candies for viewers interested in decrypting everything single words as they contribute to clearly identify the characters. Scully is the skeptical and rational scientist and Mulder is the freaky but brilliant FBI agent opened to most paranormal and conspiracy theories. In fact they reminded me of the duality between Jack Sheppard and John Locke from Lost, science versus faith. It's quite fascinating as it demonstrates how much influence the series had on a generation of artists, writers and directors for example, eager to develop their creativity and open their mind to new realms of wonders. The contrast between Scully and Mulder is also further developed thanks to the recurring jokes the second always say in the less expected scenes. I also greatly appreciated their investigation as the puzzle to solve didn't seem like it could be. Scully always had a rational theory and was looking for evidences when Mulder kept fast forwarding. However they both walked in the fog and events were so broken that you never knew what would happened next. So even if the story wasn't that original, even back in 1993, I think all these elements greatly contributed to make this pilot a model of its kind. Last but not least you couldn't write such a review without mentioning the Cigarette Smoking Man. From the very first minutes you could feel his dark and enigmatic presence at every corner. Moreover the last scene he's featured in was really a smart move as it opened a book full of myths, driving the experience even further and convincing the few skeptical viewers to stick around a little more.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Before anything, excuse my English, but I juts have to comment on this
So this is how it all started. The first time they meet,their first investigation, the first time Scully looks at Mulder thinking "What the hell is he talking about?". Well,it's always nice to see these scenes years later, after all those episodes. Apart from that, it's nice episode, just strange and scary enough, kind of "Twin Peaks" like. I especially liked the missing time scene and the fact that it happens just at the spot that Mulder marked with an X. That's the scene that made me stay tune for other episodes.
It's not the best episode ever, but it's still a can't miss episode. (especially for Scully's hair cut).
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