Welcome to “My First Time,” a recurring section on the blog where we query fellow X-Philes about how they came to the show, and then later on how their fandom developed and evolved over the years.
Case File: RR042813
Subject: Rebecca Ross
This next interview in our continuing series profiling Philes is with Rebecca, a good friend of mine from the UK whom I met online via the messageboards on The X-Files‘ IMDB page. Here we reminisce and explore what drew her to the series and sparked an obsession.
Max: So Becky, what was your first episode that you remember seeing?
Rebecca: My first episode was ‘F. Emasculata.”
Max: What do you remember about watching the episode? Did you watch it when it first aired over there in the UK or was this a bit after that?
Rebecca: It would have been a day or so after it aired in 1995 when I was 10 as my mum insisted on recording it to see if it was suitable or not, I’m surprised she let me watch bearing in mind the episode. A girl called Francis had mentioned there was a show I might like while were were getting ready for a PE lesson and I asked my mum if I could watch. I watched it alone in my bedroom on a roll mat on the floor which I had there as I was going on a guides camping trip that weekend. I can remember hoping all the way through that Scully didn’t die as I didn’t know anything about the show, I fell in love with the character immediately. I have always loved anything gross or a little gory from being a kid so it was a great introduction to the show.
Max: Indeed. That episode was filled to the brim with gore. In terms of the fandom, what was it about the show, or was there a specific moment that turned that interest into a passion or obsession?
Rebecca: I honestly don’t know what it was exactly, I think it was a combination of the relationship between the two characters and the fact I’d just never seen anything like it before. I’d never seen a character like Scully. I wanted to be a forensic pathologist for the longest time as a kid, it caused some strange looks from adults if they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up! Obsession is the word, I used to have to turn the sound on the TV down when the theme tune came on so my mum didn’t know I was watching!
Max: How deep was this obsession? Did you go all out and collect memorabilia? How about reading or writing fan fiction? What made you an X-Phile.
Rebecca: I used to carry an X-Files book around with me to every class at school, I think that says enough! I am always surprised I didn’t get picked on when I look back at being 10/11. I had a lot of stuff, posters, books, VHS, magazines, cassette tapes of the music and books, T-shirts, the PC game, whatever you could buy I had. I didn’t have internet at home at the height of my obsession so I didn’t read any fan fiction until I joined the IMDB board much later when I was about 19 and people recommended certain ones. I have no talent whatsoever at writing so no definitely never written any.
Max: Ah yes, the IMDB message board. We met each other on there. I logged on to the board because my roommate Kenji and I were rewatching the series and I was getting back into being obsessed. What led you there?
Rebecca: I was on a placement for my teaching degree and quite frankly feeling miserable as I hated it so much. The girl I was on placement with mentioned her boyfriend had been making her watch The X-Files and I thought I’d buy myself a boxset for nostalgia’s sake and to cheer myself up. By that point it had been a few years since I’d actually watched it and before I knew it I was hooked again and once I’d watched them all I started looking up things about the possible second movie on the internet which led me to IMDB.
Max: For a while there, we had a pretty amazing little group of regulars just gabbing on an on about the show, our random craziness in the Hot Coffee Talks, episode review threads, plenty of inside jokes, and massive group Skype/MSN sessions! We’ve carried this over to a group on Facebook. It’s been almost ten years later, what do you think about and how do you feel about the face that we are all still in touch?
Rebecca: I absolutely loved our time on IMDB, I met such an amazing group of people and had a lot of fun with the Mulder’s hair votes and random chat in the HCT, etc. I probably would never have thought I’d still be in touch with the majority of people from there 10 years later and even though we don’t talk as much as we did back then its nice to be able to see how everyone is doing. It’s strange to think it all stemmed from a TV show!
Max: Twenty years later, what does The X-Files mean to you?
Rebecca: Oooh that’s a hard one. I grew up with this show and I wonder if I’d be the same if I’d never seen it. It’s something that if I’ve had a bad day I can watch and it will cheer me up. Without it I wouldn’t have met all the amazing people I have.
Max: Thanks for taking the time out Becky!
Rebecca: No problem!