The X-Files: Season 3, Episode 10

731 (1 Dec. 1995)
"The X Files" 731 (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 1,189 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 4 critic

Now aboard the mysterious train, Mulder locates the car containing the scientific equipment and what appears to be the autopsy room he saw in the video he purchased. There is also an ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Michael Puttonen ...
Don S. Williams ...
Elder #1


Now aboard the mysterious train, Mulder locates the car containing the scientific equipment and what appears to be the autopsy room he saw in the video he purchased. There is also an assassin on board who claims to work for the NSA. When they are locked in, he reveals that there is a bomb aboard which is set to go off and destroy any evidence on the train. Scully meanwhile traces her implant to a medical research facility in West Virginia which she feels provides a logical explanation for what has been happening - rogue medical research by a Japanese scientist working without authority. Mulder remains convinced the work was to create a human-alien hybrid. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

1 December 1995 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


"731" refers to Unit 731, a real Japanese chemical and biological army unit that performed horrific experiments on Chinese civilians during World War II, which forms a central aspect of the plot. See more »


The conductor states that the train is near Murray, Iowa, which is South of Des Moines in the center of the state. Mulder asks him to reroute the train to a remote area due to the bomb in the car. With little more than 1.5 hours left on the bomb's timer, the trains must still be in Iowa when it stops to uncouple the car in a mountainous area. There are no mountains in Iowa. See more »


Scully: Don't you see Mulder, you're doing their work for them. You're chasing aliens that aren't there, helping them to create the story that covers the shameful truth. And what they can't cover they apologize for. Apology has become policy.
Mulder: Maybe. Maybe you're right, Scully. But I don't need an apology for the lies. I don't care about the fictions they create to cover their crimes. I want them held accountable for what did happen. I want them to apologize for the truth.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The tagline reads "Apology is Policy." See more »


Featured in El comisario: Secreto a voces (2005) See more »


On a Train
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by Mark Snow
See more »

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User Reviews

The plot thickens!
25 June 2009 | by (Portugal) – See all my reviews

I've been recently reminiscing on this great series, and saw this episode (and its first part brother) yesterday. For those who are not yet quite familiarized with it, this is a kind of series in which you have very specific main characters, Mulder and Scully, two FBI agents in charge of the most peculiar investigations that come across the FBI. Each episode of the series deals with a different subject, but every now and then (or every five or six episodes ) you have what you might call continuity episodes, witch deal with that same subject and are often called by its creators and fans as mythology episodes. They are in deed a good change of pace in the series, as most of the other episodes, for as good as they are, don't quite grab you as the mythology episodes do. One might say they are the "back bone" of the show!

This one, "731", starts where "Nisei" left of, that is when Mulder jumps on to the train with the mysterious Alien-human hybrid and the government killer on its heels. What makes this episode so interesting to me is how Chris Carter develops the story in such a way that you are getting answers _ like Scully was in deed abducted by men working for the government with a particular agenda in mind_ but in fact you are left with much more questions in the end, particularly the ambiguity between what Mulder uncovers on the train and what Scully is told in the abandoned Lepers colony. You can't help to feel lost between the plausible and logical explanation by Scully, and Mulder's instinct about the alien hybrid plot.

Rob Bowman's directing is worth mention. He had already proved himself capable to tackle the difficult subject of the mythology episodes in "End Game", witch justifies Carter's decision of putting him behind the cameras for the first X-Files movie. The way in witch the action and suspense revolves around the confinement of a train car is worthy of such masters as Alfred Hitchcock.

Watch out for X's role in this episode. That particular finale is a classic X file bit and gives Steven Williams character a much more interesting depth as Mulder's ambiguous helper than Deep throat ever had.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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