My First Time: Passing the Torch

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: JAM022116
Subjects: Josh and Molly

Pilot

This is definitely not the body of Ray Soames!

Before the new episodes premiered, the official X-Files Facebook and Twitter accounts held a “201 Days of The X-Files” rewatch campaign, an episode a day until “My Struggle” aired on our television screens after waiting through agonizing post-game football coverage. It was the perfect time for many longtime fans to get their friends and family into a show that was and is a part of their lives.

My good friend Josh recently told me that he has been getting is 13-year-old daughter into the show, and I thought it a nice opportunity to bring back our “My First Time” segment, with this unique multi-generational wrinkle.

Max: Do you remember the first episode you watched?

Josh:Darkness Falls.” First one, didn’t know anything, I was blown away. It was Friday night, and I convinced all my friends to sit down and watch it instead of going out. We were all in college, sophomore year I believe, and we made a ritual to watch it before going out for the night. Continue reading

Some Final Words… Until January 2016

Bad Blood

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Those of you who have followed this blog, or have just stumbled across it, can see that we’ve hit the final point of our X-Files rewatch. We’ve watched it all — from those dimly lit Vancouver seasons to the big budget first movie and later seasons, full of California sunshine and sleek wardrobes. And just last week, we wrapped things up by watching I Want to Believe. It’s been a really fun ride for us, even when we found ourselves grumbling about some of the final episodes.

I first started thinking about rewatching The X-Files from the beginning to the end, and blogging about it, about three years ago. When Max expressed enthusiasm and asked if he could join in — more than once — it became a reality. We’re not the first ones to document revisiting the show: Some have attempted it half-heartedly, some outlets like The A.V. Club went through it all as well, and others with a little more fame than us have started podcasts with a fairly respectable amount of listeners and guests. But it felt like something we had to do, and so in July 2013, somewhat in line with the show’s twentieth anniversary, our little project began.

It’s been a really rewarding experience overall and it was delightful to see people from all over the globe visit our little blog. It was neat to see exactly which episodes held up, which ones were no longer enjoyable to us, and even though we had both rewatched the show in parts ever since it ended — revisiting old favorites or introducing friends to Mulder and Scully — it was the first time we both really viewed it through a critical lens as adults, as the show’s first run overlapped with our school years. We intend to tune in when The X-Files returns on January 24, 2016. We intend to revive this blog by then, if not slightly sooner, and chime in with our thoughts. But before we do that, here’s a little conversation between Max and me, looking back at our experience and looking ahead at the future of the show: Continue reading

My First Time: When Cartoons and Creeps Collide

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: SG010515
Subject: Shaenon K. Garrity

For our last edition of this feature, I reached out to someone who I have had no prior interactions with. Wonderfully, she accepted my invitation to be “interrogated” about her Philedom. Tonight’s interview is with award winning cartoonist and writer Shaenon Garrity, creator of the comics Narbonic and co-creator of Smithson. Her skills with pen and paper led her to make Monster of the Week, an online strip devoted to playfully ribbing our beloved show.

Monster of the Week

comic written and drawn by Shaenon K. Garrity.

Max: We here at Apt. 42 Revisited usually have basic interview questions, things we would like to know. Naturally if there is something you want to elaborate on feel free.

Shaenon: All right!  Let me give it a go…

Max: What was your first X-Files episode?

Shaenon: I can’t remember, but back in the ’90s I started watching around the second season.  “Blood” is an early episode I remember making a big impression on me.

Max: Tell me more about your early experiences with The X-Files.

Shaenon: To be honest, I was only mildly into the show the first time around.  I liked the weird, paranoid episodes like “Blood” and “Jose Chung” (and really anything scripted by Darin Morgan), but the more typical episodes didn’t grab me.  I was more of a Babylon 5 fan at the time.  As ridiculous as it sounds, The X-Files wasn’t quite nerdy enough for my college self. Continue reading

My First Time: The X-Files Changed My Life

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: JA120114
Subject: Ja

Today, we’re talking to Ja, another person I knew from The X-Files forums back in the day, who went on to have some very interesting Phile adventures after becoming a fan.

Chris Carter

Ja with Chris Carter at San Diego Comic Con in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Ja)

Radhika: What was your first episode of The X-Files?

Ja: My first episode was actually the pilot! I watched the premiere because a spooky (pun intended) show about aliens and conspiracies sounded right up my alley.

Radhika: What was special about the show to you?

Ja: There are quite a few things that were special about The X-Files to me. I loved the way the show was set in the “real world,” but took things that most people are already afraid of and explored them in ways that usually made them even scarier. Monsters living in the sewer? Things that go bump in the night? Fire? Cockroaches? Serial killers? If you were worried about those before, just wait till The X-Files tackled them. I also loved that there was an overarching mythology that fans could [enjoy] debating and analyzing to death. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Cities: The Move from Vancouver to Los Angeles

Mulder and Scully

And so it began, filming the pilot.

“There’s an odd feeling tonight. It’s sad and yet celebratory, marking kind of a milestone, at the same time. We’re so used to getting the work done, going home and getting back the next day. David flew to L.A. last night, Gillian’s flying to L.A. in a minute and I’m flying to L.A. tomorrow morning. And none of us will come back up here for work on The X-Files ever again. That is a very strange feeling, and I haven’t quite come to terms with it yet.”     – Chris Carter

The Beatles

The Beatles with Yoko Ono and producer George Martin.

Max: As a devoted Beatles fan, I have had my fill of people who immediately go into Yoko Ono attack mode and vilify her as the cause of all the ills that broke up the band in 1970. Anybody who even reads a basic biography of the group knows that tensions were starting to creep into the Fab Four’s working relationship as early as 1967, when the sudden death of their manager Brian Epstein sent the band into an existential quandary. With X-Philes, we have a similar scapegoat to the decline the series experienced during its later years, David Duchovny’s then-wife Tea Leoni.

Somewhere around the beginning of the fifth season, David began to express his desire to spend more time with his new wife, and proposed that production on the series be moved to Los Angeles. Or at least that is the common refrain passed along the highways and byways of X-Files folklore. Continue reading

‘Fight the Future’ Week is Coming

“How many times have we been here before, Scully? Right here. So close to the truth and now with what we’ve seen and what we know to be right, back at the beginning with nothing.” — Fox Mulder, The X-Files: Fight the Future

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: Just a little more than a year after starting this X-Files rewatch blog, we’re about to hit a major milestone: Revisiting the first movie. In honor of the occasion, we’ll be doing things differently at Apartment 42 Revisited by celebrating “Fight the Future Week,” starting Monday. Instead of the usual single post devoted to an episode, containing both summary and analysis, we’ll break up our look at Fight the Future by themes each day. It may not be the most straightforward way of discussing our rewatch, but let’s face it: Most of you are pretty familiar with the plot.

The X-Files started out as a relatively obscure, low-budget show, focusing on creatures that go bump in the night. It aired Friday nights on Fox, a channel that wasn’t even a decade old when the show launched. There was no indication of its forthcoming immense popularity.

But the show’s actors and its influences, such as The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Kolchak: The Night Stalker, drew an audience. That audience stuck around thanks to the smart writing and compelling monsters, which were pretty spectacular despite the low budget. Suddenly, this cult show was a pop culture juggernaut — by its fourth season, it received a post-Super Bowl slot and moved to Sunday nights. Mulder, Scully and the Cigarette Smoking Man became water cooler gossip. And as The X-Files drew closer to its fifth season, we learned a motion picture was coming. Continue reading

My First Time: Close Encounters Of An Irreverent Kind

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: HD081814
Subject: Holly Dubin

We continue our series by interviewing Holly, a friend I’ve known since we were very little, growing up together. I share her wry observations here.

Duchovny On Twin Peaks

That’s what she said.

Max: Ok, so here we go. What was the first episode you remember seeing?

Holly: I actually watched the Pilot even though I was only in third grade because I couldn’t wait for it to air.

Max: Oh wow, that is pretty hardcore! How did you hear about the show then? Ads on television?

Holly: Yeah, I was probably watching The Simpsons or something.

Max: Compared to you I was a late-comer, only discovering it during the second season. What excited you about the show and kept you coming back for more?

Holly: It was dark, it had aliens, it had an incredibly attractive leading man, plus Scully was a scientist and at the time, I wanted to be a scientist. Also, my dad was into it and I was pretty much into anything that he was into. Continue reading