Review: ‘The X-Files’ Revival is Off and Running

The X-Files make it’s highly anticipated return to television and finds itself in a world not all that different from the one it left behind. The X-Files was groundbreaking and ushered in a new age of science fiction television. However, the show fizzled out in May of 2002 as the world sought out television that had heroes thwarting terrorists and avoided programming where the government was the bad guy.

It’s 14 years later; The X-Files certainly has a place in the post-Snowden world. The mistrust of our government is at an all-time high, and outsiders like Fox Mulder are getting more brazen as they attempt to figure out the truth. Even with the right sentiment, the premiere episode of this revival will turn the hardcore fans into skeptics. At the beginning of the first episode, the audience is treated to a rousing refresher course on the X-Files and opening notes of Mark Snow’s iconic theme song hits positive notes that few shows have during the recent TV revival craze. FOX is not trying to play only to the die-hard fans of the series but appeal to a new audience in concert. It gets fans, new and old, hooked right away.

This first episode is a bit of a slow burn. Writer and Director Chris Carter didn’t attempt to cram a whole mess of nostalgia into the first episode but certainly laid the groundwork for a potentially fantastic six episode arch. Joel Mchale plays a political pundit whose interests are similar to Mulder’s. Mchale’s character claims to not only know the truth about aliens but claims to have proof, which he will share with the world on his TV Show. Mulder and Scully stumble into a conspiracy that could center around government deceit about the alien phenomenon. Are we alone? Not likely… but are there darker presences controlling all of this? That’s the question left unanswered.


David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have a realistic amount of chemistry in the first episode. It would have been highly suspect if Scully and Mulder picked up right where they left off, so having a guarded amount of chemistry was the right call. We have to remember, Scully and Mulder have a history together, and it wasn’t all moonbeams and sunshine.

Carter does an excellent job laying out a plausible set of events that not only draw Scully and Mulder into investigating the X-Files, but it sets up who potentially could have been at the center of all this intrigue from the start. Carter does this in such way, X-Files superfans will swoon. And the new fans (like myself) will be deeply satisfied and wanting to see where this all leads. Overall, after a 14-year-old layoff and everything that this first episode had to accomplish, the first episode of the X-Files revival is a rousing success, and there is ample reason for optimism.

At the helm of the middle episodes are Glen and Darin Morgan, who wrote or co-wrote some of the series’ all-time classics (“Blood,” “Humbug”, and “Jose Chung’s from Outer Space”). “The Truth is Out There” and the truth is that the X-Files reboot is off to a great start.


Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.