The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 8

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

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,886 users  
Reviews: 20 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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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)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was intended as a "bottle episode" to save money by being shot in a single location, but still went over budget. See more »


(at around 28 mins) Michelle was involved in a car accident, which left her bruised at several places on her face. In the scenes following Col. Belt's press interview, there is absolutely no hint of any scar or injury on her face. 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

Mulder and Scully try to stop someone out to scuttle the shuttle.
14 January 2013 | by (Edinburgh.) – See all my reviews

Until coming here to check out this episode and write up my review, I had no idea that it was such a maligned X File. While watching it, I didn't love it but I certainly didn't hate it either. It struck me as one that I'd rate as just above average because although there were a number of failings, I loved seeing Mulder getting to meet one of his heroes and spend time with NASA.

The story is as follows - Mulder and Scully are approached by a NASA staff member (Susanna Thompson) who believes that the shuttle launches are being sabotaged. A recent launch was cancelled with only a few seconds to go when a fault was discovered and she's worried that the next one, with her husband on board, will end in disaster. Mulder and Scully head along and meet Lt. Col. Marcus Aurelius Belt (Ed Lauter), one of Mulder's heroes, before investigating further and trying their hardest to avert any possible disaster. Meanwhile, some astronauts end up having a very bad day at the office.

Okay, so it may be one of the more ridiculous ideas that Chris Carter has come up with (the plot also involves an energy or spirit that doesn't look entirely unlike "the face of Mars") and it may seem a bit callous to drop in references to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in order to attempt to lend the whole thing something approaching a grounding in reality - which it never manages anyway - but this is an enjoyable, if far-fetched, yarn that allows for some particularly enjoyable moments for Agent Mulder, as he gets on with his job and tries not to be too disappointed in his childhood hero when he sees the twists and turns required to keep NASA on the right track.

Susanna Thompson isn't great, though she's stuck with a badly written character, and Ed Lauter struggles with the more ridiculous moments but Anderson and Duchovny are as consistent as ever.

Director William A. Graham doesn't do the best job possible, but with the script coming from series creator Carter I doubt he had a chance to change and improve things much.

Still watchable though many other fans of the show might try to convince you otherwise.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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