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Showing posts from May, 2018

Crossing the Atlantic with the X-Files, The Avengers and Some Other Region 1 Matters

I have passed up writing about the X-Files episode where all the animals get pregnant without having had intercourse and Mulder explains to the zoo keeper that obviously they have been abducted by aliens. For some reason she is doubtful about this explanation so they ask the gorilla who conveniently knows 100 words in American Sign Language, which it turns out are enough to give a convincing description of being abducted. Oh, and perhaps I should say that the zoo keeper seems to have left professional boundaries far enough behind to become really quite enmeshed with the gorilla in question. Nonetheless this post is about several transatlantic matters. Some time ago I bought a nearly new laptop. It's a Dell which flips over  to make  a  tablet, and the only thing I don't like about it is the sticky keyboard but I won't be using that. For someone with joint problems it actually turns out to be perfect because obviously I can type using the onscreen keyboard. It has windows

The X-Files: Die Hand Die Verletzt

It wasn't intended but this series of posts seems to be becoming a series of posts on religion in the X-Files. This episode is as confused as the one in my last post however I feel that confusion serves a plot purpose here in preventing the viewer knowing what's going on and drawing on the common fears and confusion of the time to press buttons in the viewer. For a start, what's not to love about the school in this episode? Merely to be able to say that you went to a school where the PTA were Satanists would be enough reward and guarantee that your school reminiscences would beat everyone else's for life. The question it raises is how to respond to this situation. And the essential difference between the situation in this school and the Imagined situation in many a school at the time, is that it's really happening. The strength of this episode is that it draws upon the Satanic panic of the time, and its weakness is that Mulder will believe any old rubbish he is

The X-Files: Red Museum

I feel the show doesn't really get into its stride until series 2, when it really ramps up the weird and layers the elements of the shoe's mythology to confuse the viewer. This episode manages to include many of the popular fears of the nineties - dodgy inoculations, new age stuff, paedophilia and so on - which can make the episode seem rather dated. I have mentioned the role of religion in the X-Files before and in fact commented that it is frequently contextualised within American society and often used as an element in what I like to think of as the 'American dream' episodes. Of course in the X-Files the point is either to use the American dream as the bedrock of stability within which religion is enshrined or else the religion portrayed is seen as kooky and a dangerous intrusion (as is the case in this episode). The irony is that in a country with guaranteed freedom of religion you can only expect to get some colourful new religious movements. So the members of

The X-Files: Duane Barry and Ascension

Back to bulletpoint blogging! I haven't veered off from the X-Files yet and have just watched the episodes Duane Barry and Ascension - the latter being the continuation of the first. I found them profoundly dissatisfying on this viewing - primarily because I feel that it's as if too much material has been used in one go. 1. The alien abductee who goes off on one would be enough. 2. I do like very much that Mulder believes him, and of course it's typical that the sceptical Scully is the one who gets abducted! 3. I love the introduction of the mountain which reappears in the series. 4. What the hell was Mulder playing at when interrogating Barry? Rewatching this show at this length of time brings out the sheer unprofessionalism of much of what happens, which rather lets it down. 5. I do love that Barry was also FBI. 6. I can't remember whether he is actually mentioned in the episode but the name of Phineas Gage is often mentioned in connection with this episode.

The X-Files :Miracle Man

While I have been off work I have watched a lot of my boxed sets right through. The exception was The X-Files, simply because I didn't get round to it. So now I am back at work I have started a mammoth viewing of the series. The other thing I have been doing is reading some blogs, among them David Stimpson's always excellent blog about The Prisoner. I see he has a book coming out and I'm sure I will get it when it does. I think in future I might try to emulate the format of his blog with much shorter posts: you will notice that I haven't been writing the longer posts I normally write at all. I am noticing the ambivalence of the X-Files towards religion on this viewing. I suspect this is because it is part of the American dream which is such a significant background to the show. It is part of the stability of society and yet for the most part its adherents tend to be seen as naive if not frauds. The healing ministry here is a rather obvious target and yet Samuel tells

Spike Milligan, Boobs and Custard Pies

Mitchell Hadley kindly mentioned me once more in his last weekly review of the cult TV blogosphere. Thank you. I doubt that he will feature this post because it is mostly about boobs and custard pies! I have been watching some comedy programmes while unwell recently. The Golden Girls make me roar with laughter. I have also been watching the BBC comedy classics DVDs that I have. Personally I think their one - disc selection of Milligan superior to the boxed set of his series Q. Milligan's humour is truly anarchic. You won't like him if you can't ignore the fact that some of his jokes would now not be considered suitable for polite society. Oh, and if you don't like gags about boobs you won't like it either. My absolute favourite sketch on the disc is a spoof game show in which the contestant, a housewife, is overjoyed to lose everything in her house as a result of being unable to answer the questions, ultimately being evicted. We see the furniture and even the bat

The Omega Factor: Second Impressions

I have watched through the whole series in a day while I have unwell and have some impressions. 1. When you watch the show like that its different authors and abrupt cancellation really do show. 2. This isn't a bad thing - it goes with the plot of an occult conspiracy. 3. The theme music and visuals give exactly the right impression. 4. My original impression that in places it's a gallery of 1970s pyjamas, remains. 5. Bizarrely for the age, while there is obviously a sexual relationship going on, Anne remains fully dressed. 6. Also bizarrely, Tom wears progressively less as the series goes on, and not just to a bare chest, but has a conversation with his brother wearing only his underpants, when elsewhere in the show we see he owns a dressing gown. 7. I feel a certain bleakness about the show is deliberate. 8. How did the writers know the plot of the X-Files, twenty years later? I quite like this format of post, actually, I know I tend to be a bit verbose.