It’s amazing looking back now just how much of what defines The X Files is in the first episode. The chemistry between Mulder and Scully, the Cigarette Smoking Man, Samantha Mulder’s abduction and Mulder’s boyish exuberance over his crazy theories they’re all here and for most of the episode you wouldn’t realise this was the very first episode.
It’s nigh on impossible to watch this episode through the eyes of a first time viewer again. I started watching The X Files during season 2 (this was back before video streaming and DVD box sets) so by the time I first saw this episode the characters were already well established in my mind. It’s kind of a shame that I’ll never know what it’s like to have this as an introduction to the series as a whole but I’m pretty sure my eight year old self would have loved it.
There is enough intrigue and excitement in this first episode to hook you in on what could have been a very hokey premise. We see enough that like Fox Mulder we are ready to believe. More than twenty years on it’s incredible just how fresh this series feels. Technology might date it slightly but there is still a rich story of conspiracy that becomes eerily relevant every day.
How weird is it to start the episode without that iconic theme tune though? And how young does everyone look? An that ending! You remember just how badass Cigarette Smoking Man used to be. Overall a great start!