The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 9

Space (12 Nov. 1993)
"The X Files" Space (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 2,195 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 3 critic

When a space shuttle mission is sabotaged, Mulder suspects it may be the work an alien spirit that inhabits the body of a former Gemini astronaut.


(as William Graham)


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Title: Space (12 Nov 1993)

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Episode cast overview:
Lt. Col. Marcus Aurelius Belt
Michelle Generoo
Tom McBeath ...
Terry David Mulligan ...
Mission Controller #1
French Tickner ...
Norma Jean Wick ...
The Reporter (as Norma Wick)
Mission Controller #2
David Cameron ...
Young Scientist
Tyronne L'Hirondelle ...
Databank Scientist
Paul DesRoches ...


Mulder and Scully travel to Houston after a NASA employee, Michelle Generoo, shows them evidence that a space shuttle may have been sabotaged. They had recently had to abort a launch just seconds before lift-off and another launch is now scheduled. The man in charge of the program is a legendary Gemini astronaut, Col. Marcus Aurelius Belt. He claims there's nothing to the scrubbed launch that they weren't aware of and the talk of sabotage is nonsense. The second launch goes off without any problems but ground control is soon encountering difficulties communicating with the craft. It's all related to something that happened to Belt during his last Gemini flight and it's now affecting his judgment. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

12 November 1993 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The interior shots were filmed on a set constructed at an old Molson brewery site. See more »


(at around 22 mins) Launch pad personnel in orange suits are seen at the base of the main Shuttle engines less than two minutes before launch. In reality, all close-out crew depart the launch pad three hours prior to launch. See more »


Scientist: Look. There are about 17,000 things that can wrong with the shuttle, and about 17,000 people to make sure they don't.
See more »


Referenced in Gone Home (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

We send those men up into space to unlock the doors of the universe, and we don't even know what's behind them.
22 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Oh "Space." Such a unanimously-maligned, easily discarded mess of an episode, often considered the worst of the series's nine-year run. Does it really deserve all the hate? Probably. But is it all bad? It's a subject of debate.

I could have easily rated this one star and found a way to justify said rating but I feel like that would be unfairly looking the episode's (few) highlights. Somewhere beyond this train collision of a script lies some unbridled ambition and a few kinda cool ideas from the mind of Chris Carter. Astronaut goes up into space, is possessed by a ghostly entity, comes back down and undermines future shuttle launch. Despite its ridiculousness it was an idea that could have worked, and had this script been preserved on the drawing board for five or six years, it probably could have spawned a decent episode.

Unfortunately this early in the game time was of the essence and funds were scarce. Allegedly Fox only gave the production personnel eight days to complete the show. Much reliance was given to stock footage, and the script itself just didn't live up to the caliber of previous episodes like "Squeeze" and "Ice," which, though completed on smaller budgets, proved to be much more compelling.

The guest acting doesn't do the show any favors, although it is not quite as bad as others would have you believe. Ed Lauter is annoying in his role as Colonel Belt, yet even his accent gives his character a certain charm from time to time. Michelle (Susanna Thompson) is equally horizontal, yet still not poorly acted per se.

I think the episode's biggest problem is that it confines Mulder and Scully as spectators rather than participants, and relegates them to the sidelines for the entirety of the episode. Is there a single scene without the two of them running around NASA like chickens sans heads? This was the first episode to make this mistake (and probably the biggest offender) and like future episodes that would repeat it, the end result is a crippled mess.

There were a few likable things strewn throughout: the wallpaper in Belt's office, the cleverly hidden "starwars.doc" that shows up on his computer, the scene where the "ghost" exits his body. Unfortunately these are just a few juicy spots in an undercooked slab of meat. On the whole this episode failed to provide any real sense of tension or character development, and as such it remains one of the weakest of the series. Maybe not THE worst, but certainly nowhere near the top 50%.


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