A crash guide into the X-Files

2015-03-27

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Gillian Anderson + David Duchovny

Gillian Anderson + David Duchovny

Image source: Gage Skidmore

It has been a big few days for the television industry in the wake of the announcement that The X-Files will be returning after a 13-year break.

With 202 episodes and two feature films, you will find it fairly difficult to find the hours to completely get to grips with the show. However, do not worry, we have selected some key episodes that will give you a crash course in all things X-Files.

“Pilot” – S1 E1

It would be pretty stupid to not at least watch the pilot. You need to know how agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) meet. You need to watch the first episode to see whether or not you can wrap your head around the mythology. For many, it can be too much.

“Duane Barry” S2 E5

“Duane Barry” sees the show’s creator, Chris Carter, step into the director’s chair for the first time. It is a role in which he flourished. This is very heavy in mythology. If you can get through this, then you can get through the entirety of the show without a problem.

“Ascension” S2 E6

Following directly on from “Duane Barry” is “Ascension”, an episode of imperative importance for the show as a whole. In this episode, Scully gets abducted by Duane Barry.

This forces Mulder to track him down. He ends up finding Barry, who claims that she has been taken by “them”. Has Scully suffered a similar fate to Fred Valentich, or is Barry not letting on?

“Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” – S3 E4

The episode of the X-Files can be placed into two categories. You have the “mytharc” episodes, which were comprised of the central storyline, and the Monster of the Week (MOTW) episodes, which were usually standalone. “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” falls into the latter category. As there will probably be one MOTW episode in the new series – it would be sacrilege not to – then watch this episode to give you a clear idea of how they function.

“Home” – S4 E2

Considering the show is doused in the supernatural, it is bound to be frightening. As episodes go, this is probably the scariest in the entirety of the show’s history. If you cannot deal with the creepiness in this episode, then perhaps it is a good idea to pass on the X-Files, or at least just leave the lights on whilst viewing.

“The Truth” – S9 E19/20

This two-parter served as the show’s swansong, and what a finale it was. “The Truth” is of huge importance as it finishes the story arcs of the previous series whilst also setting up new storylines to be expanded on in the film world. However, as a franchise the X-Files movies never really got off the ground. So, expect these storylines to be touched on in the new series.

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