The X-Files (1993) – Pilot, and Deep Throat

10 September, 1993. Man, that feels like a long time ago, despite the fact that my mind tells me that the 80s were only a couple of years ago. Weird. Sounds like an x-file.

Much like my watching of Star Trek, tons has been written by other fans and critics about Chris Carter’s creation, so I’m not sure what new things I can bring to it, but I decided to revisit the series anyway.

The series pilot was written by Chris Carter,shot in Vancouver, and introduced us to David Duchovny’s Fox Mulder, a brilliant mind working in the basement of the FBI on his personal obsession, the x-files, unsolved cases, usually with a paranormal bent. Supposedly, and initially, to keep an eye on Mulder’s work, Gillian Anderson’s Dana Scully, a sceptic, doctor, and fellow agent, is paired with Mulder and screen magic was born, in a move overseen by the as yet unchristened Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) – in fact he says nothing at all just chain smokes with quiet menace.

The series opens without the familiar music, just the series title and the reveal that the events portrayed are taken from actual events.

The events in this episode seem to be UFO related, something we learn that Mulder has a personal interest in because he believes that his sister was abducted, spurring on his interest in the x-files.

On 7 March,1992, the newly paired agents head to Bellefleur,Oregon where a number of strange deaths have been occurring centring around the class of ’89. Mulder leads the charge, and Scully is introduced to things that may challenge her belief, but may have a scientific basis, no matter their appearance. And, of course, with the ending of the episode, the viewer learns that there are members of the government involved in a cover-up, as CSM stows evidence deep within the Pentagon.

It’s a great introduction to the series, one of the best written pilot episodes I’ve ever seen, and was everything I wanted from a spooky show in the 90s. Smart, scary, occasionally funny, and a lot of fun, I remember watching the show on its original airdate, and when it was repeated a couple of days later.

Much like Mulder’s poster, I want to believe, and it was so cool to see things and subjects that I had read about brought to life on screen, UFOs, alien abduction, missing time. The pilot filled me with a lot of excitement for what was to come. This was going to be my Friday nights for the foreseeable future.

Deep Throat was also penned by series creator Chris Carter, and it had an original air date of 17 September, 1993. This episode introduced us to the now iconic title sequence featuring a theme by Mark Snow, who scored the entire series, and ended with the driving phrase of the series, ‘The truth is out there.’

Mulder and Scully head to Ellens Airbase in Idaho, to investigate the strange behaviour of a test pilot, Lt. Col Budahas (Andrew Johnston), having been contacted by the colonel’s wife, Anita (Gabrielle Rose). Mulder is drawn to the case not only by the pilot’s behaviour but by the rumour that the craft the pilots have been testing may have been created using extra-terrestrial technology (a rumour that has long been running through UFO circles, since the supposed Rosewell crash in 1947).

Mulder is also advised to not investigate by a shadowy figure who may be part of the government that is working on the hidden agendas that we suspect CSM may be involved with. He is referred to as Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin) in a nod to the Watergate investigation.

The episode also features a young Seth Green! And on a behind the scenes note, this is where Anderson met Clyde Klotz, the assistant art director, whom she would marry and later divorce, and have a daughter with, causing her pregnancy to be hidden and then used during the second season.

The chemistry between Mulder and Scully is already palatable, and the dialogue is smart, sharp, and a joy to watch. This and the pilot episode begins the trope of Scully being unavailable to see the possible paranormal events that Mulder is witness to, it almost becomes a bit of a running gag for fans.

Shot a year after the pilot was made, the series already had all the pieces in position, and the characters feel completely fleshed out and filled with details, right down to Scully’s cross.

There is more truth out there, and I’ll work to uncover more of it on Thursday, as I explore The X-Files.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s