TV Review: The X-Files Revival Episode One “My Struggle”

“I’m Always Happy To See You…”

Here we are at last. After fourteen years of a anxiety-ridden wait. remedied slightly by the second feature film in 2008, The X-Files finally returns to the small screen, once again helmed by the creative genius of Chris Carter and starring, of course, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Agents Mulder and Scully respectively. Picked up by those over at FOX for a six episode event, this ever-so short revival of one of TV’s greatest ever cult shows has a lot riding on it, particularly in the case for its’ hard-hitting fans, myself included, who have watched endless repeats of the first nine series, due in part to the wonder of Netflix, and who most definitely have questions to answer and notions to convey but most importantly, should be the sole basis and focus of the shows’ return. Sure, the series has a lot of plot lines to fill over the course of just under five hours worth of alien-goodness, but the main concern of the revival is its’ desire to not let the reputation of the past be tarnished by something not entirely up to scratch. So, speaking from the heart of a true X-Files fanboy, the first episode of the series’ return is everything you would expect, alien conspiracies, the end of the world, and men in black suits, but the real question remains; Is it any good?

Beginning with a heavy dose of X-Files exposition, which strangely enough doesn’t even scratch the surface on the underlying mythology of the series, “My Struggle” quickly delves into the lives of present day Mulder and Scully, with the former seemingly hibernating in a dingy, dark hideaway whilst the former continues to blossom in the career of medicine, yet these lives are swiftly combined once again when they are asked to meet up with celebrity online forecaster, Tad O’Malley whose heavy sense of paranoia and strong beliefs mirror that of a much younger and much fresher looking Agent Mulder. The rest of the episode then attempts to cram pretty much everything you could think of when it comes to the plot lines of original series. Men in black. Roswell. Alien abductions. Whistleblowers. It’s a strange and overly rushed start to the revival, with little chance for characterisation on anyone’s part, whilst the word cameo doesn’t even come close to the return of fan favourites such as Assistant Director Skinner and of course, spoilers incoming, William B. Davis as the rather aged and decrepit Cigarette Smoking Man, whose fleeing appearances seem rather thrown in for good measure.

On the other hand, the unbreakable bond of familiarity between the two leads is still fresh and ripe, even after 23 years, and its’ the two central characters in Mulder and Scully which makes the episode strangely hypnotic and engaging despite its’ rather obvious flaws. Beginning with a mythology led episode was inevitably going to be the way to go and for fans of the original series, it is undeniably exciting to witness its’ return in the 21st century with added conspiracies of governmental control on money, resources and even food. Those poor chickens. If it was any other show, it would have lost me, but the undeniable sense of happiness to see Mulder and Scully on-screen together for the first time in years cannot be disregarded and amongst a sheer ludicrous plot, slightly ear-bouncing dialogue, and dodgy CGI, the return of The X-Files is a time for rejoicing, not one for critcising. Welcome back Agents, it’s been too long.

Episode Score: 7/10

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Posted on 25/01/2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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