Dana Scully, an FBI agent with a medical background, is assigned to work with Fox "Spooky" Mulder on the X-Files, unexplained cases with a paranormal bouquet. She is given the duty of debunking Mulder's work by Section Chief Blevins while a shadowy figure (dubbed the Cigarette Smoking Man) lurks in the background at this meeting.
Scully and Mulder's first case sees them investigating the mysterious deaths of high school class-mates in Oregon which Mulder believes involved abduction and experimentation by aliens.
A young FBI Agent is assigned watchdog duty over a fellow agent, but finds herself drawn into his investigations of paranormal and unexplained phenomena.
Fox media release.
My Rating: 10/10
An excellent pilot episode which I missed at the time unfortunately. A friend at work said "You've gotta watch this new show called "The X-Files" but I thought it was one of those hokey quasi-documentary shows so I didn't bother. The next day she was raving about it but I had to wait three years before I eventually got to see it! I missed the next episode too because of other committments when it first screened but became hooked from "Squeeze" and addicted from "Ice".
Looking back after all this time, the episode stands up exceedingly well with the mythology that Chris Carter has weaved since then. After all, there was Cigarette Smoking Man right from the start. Little did we, and Chris Carter I bet, know what a significant role he would play in future episodes.
The episode gives the viewer a taste of what would come ... the alien background, the conspiracy, the trust, the humour and the passion.
In this case there are aliens, unseen, who abduct and carry out experiments on a group of teenagers with one, a supposedly comatose Billy Miles, acting as their conduit.
In this case the conspiracy is the fact that Scully is sent "to spy on" and debunk the work of Mulder. We would also find out later that M&S's first meeting was being listened to by CSM.
In this case Scully trusts Mulder even though she's supposed to report on him. She runs to him when she finds two unexplained red marks on her back.
In this case the humour includes numerous remarks by Mulder including those in my Notable Quotables below.
Where's the passion you ask? Well, Mulder obviously has passion for his work. What else did you think I was talking about? Well, the shippers will tell you there was a spark between M&S in this very first episode and they're probably right.
The ending, despite the "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" similarity, is very effective.
What better way to introduce the stars of the show and what it's all about than ...
FBI Man: "Are you familiar with an agent named Fox Mulder?" Scully: "Yes I am." FBI Man: "How so?" Scully: "By reputation. He's an Oxford educated Psychologist, who wrote a monograph on serial illers and the occult, that helped to catch Monty Props in 1988. Generally thought of as the best analyst in the violent crimes section. He had a nickname at the academy,...Spooky Mulder." (she smiles at the cigarette smoking man but gets no reaction) Blevins: "What I'll also tell you is that Agent Mulder has developed a consuming devotion to an unassigned project outside the bureau mainstream. Are you familiar with the so-called X-Files?" Scully: "I believe they have to do with unexplained phenomena." Blevins: "More or less. The reason you're here Agent Scully is we want you to assist Mulder on these X-files. You'll write field reports on your activites, along with your observations on the validity of the work." Scully: "Am I to understand that you want me to debunk the X-Files project, sir?" Blevins: "Agent Scully, we trust you'll make the proper scientific analysis. You'll want to contact Agent Mulder shortly, we look forward to seeing your reports."
Mulder: "Sorry, nobody down here but the FBI's most unwanted." Scully: "Agent Mulder? I'm Dana Scully. I've been assigned to work with you." Mulder: "Oh, isn't it nice to be suddenly so highly regarded? So, who did you tick off to get stuck with this detail, Scully?" Scully: "Actually, I'm looking forward to working with you. I've heard a lot about you." Mulder: "Oh really? I was under the impression that you were sent to spy on me." Scully: "If you have any doubt about my qualifications or credentials th..." Mulder: "You're a medical doctor, you teach at the academy, (Mulder takes out a folder from one of the trays on the desk) you did your undergraduate degree in physics, "Einstein's twin paradox - A new interpretation" Dana Scully senior thesis. Now that's a credential, rewriting Einstein." Scully: "Did you bother to read it?" Mulder: "I did. I liked it. It's just that in most of my work, the laws of physics rarely seem to apply."
Mulder: "The guy obviously needed a longer vacation."
Mulder: "You're part of that agenda, you know that." Scully: "I'm not a part of any agenda. You've got to trust me. I'm here just like you - to solve this."
Scully (reporting to Blevins): "Agent Mulder ... believes we are not alone."
Where Have I Seen That Face Before?
Charles Cioffi (Blevins) has had a career stretching back to the late 1960's and has appeared in movies such as "Shaft", "Klute", The Thief Who Came To Dinner", "Missing" and "All The Right Moves". On TV he's had starring roles in "Days Of Our Lives" and "Caroline In The City" and guest spots on "Kojak", "Cannon", "Bonanza", "The FBI", "The Streets Of San Francisco", "Hawaii Five-O", Law and Order" and "The Practice".
Cliff de Young (Dr Nemman) appeared in "Sunshine", "Harry and Tonto", "Shock Treatment", "The Hunger" "F/X", "Glory" and "The Craft". TV guest roles include "Harsh Realm", "JAG" and "The Practice".
Leon Russom (Det. Miles) has appeared in the excellent "The Big Lebowski" plus "The Phantom", "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country", "Fresh Horses", "He Said, She Said", "No Way Out" and "The Seinfeld" episode "The Hot Tub".
Ken Camroux (Third Man) also appeared in "Herrenvolk", "Anasazi", "Redux" and "Redux II". Movie roles include "The Fly II", "Bird On A Wire", "Jennifer 8", "This Boy's Life", Happy Gilmore" and "Reindeer Games".
Zachary Ansley (Billy Miles) has appeared in "The Journey Of Natty Gann", "This Boy's Life", "Sleepers", "Second Date", "The Spring" and "The Sports Pages". On TV he appeared in an episode of "First Wave".
Doug Abrams (Patrolman 1) also appeared in the episodes "Genderbender", "Die hand Die Verletzt", "Hell Money" and "The Field Where I Died". He's also appeared in episodes of "Millennium" and "First Wave" plus the Morgan/Wong movie "Disturbing Behaviour".
Katya Gardener (Peggy O'Dell) also appeared in the "Fresh Bones" episode. her movie roles include "Careful", "Sin and Redemption", "Live Bait", "Henry's Cafe" and "Happy Face Murders".
Stephen E Miller (Pruitt) has had a prolific career with 75 movies in 20 years including "First Blood", "The Grey Fox", "Iceman", "Runaway", "The Journey Of Natty Gann", "The Stepfather", "The Accused", "Chaindance", "This Boy's Life", "Arctic Blue", Air Bud", "Free Willy 3" and "Disturbing Behaviour". On TV he appeared in the "Pilot" episode of "Millennium" and later returned in a recurring role as an FBI Assistant Director. He's also appeared in an episode of "First Wave".
Sarah Koskoff (Theresa Nemman) has appeared in the movies "If These Walls Could Talk" and "That Thing You Do" and starred in the TV series "Great Scott". She's also appeared in episodes of "Millennium", "Chicago Hope" and "SeaQuest DSV".
JB [John Paul] Bivens (Truck Driver) also appeared in the The Pine Bluff Variant episode. He's been seen in numerous TV movies such as "A Mother's Justice" plus "Look Who's Talking Now", "Ernest Rides Again", "Arctic Blue", "Duets" and "Head Over Heels" plus an episode of "Stargate SG1".