20 Year Anniversary: Revisiting X-Files – Season 1, Episode 8: ”Space” Review

To commemorate the 20 years since the X-Files saw the light of day I decided to rewatch all the episodes and share my opinions and thoughts the episodes provoke.

Ending Shot

Season 1, Episode 8: “Space”

Director: William Graham

Writer: Chris Carter

Space, the final frontier. Fooled by the title, for a moment I thought that Mulder and Scully would go to space themselves, but alas, that is not the case. No, they just go to NASA, where a shuttle launch was presumably sabotaged and perhaps there’s some paranormal stuff involved. Meanwhile, the head of the mission control (Ed Lauter) has disturbing nightmares that involves the mysterious and well-known face-shaped rock formation comes to life and attacks him…and right about here “Space” goes off the rails.

Penned by Chris Carter, I expected something better. It’s a cool enough idea to have the Federal Duo inside NASA, but it was a huge miscalculation from Chris Carter’s part to involve the paranormal stuff in it. One could assume that the NASA stuff would somehow contribute to the overall alien-story arc the show has going on, but instead having the episode talk about aliens, it’s about ghosts. Space ghosts.

"Good job, Chris!"

”Good job, Chris!”

Let me facepalm for a moment.

Not only do ghosts in space make no sense, it also halts the suspension immediately. And not only does it kill the suspense, it makes one unintentionally hilarious episode.

Ed Lauter has to do some ridiculous mime-acting when he is possessed with the white space-ghost and his mental breakdown is beautifully over-acted.

"GOOOOAAAAAAL!"

”GOOOOAAAAAAL!”

Director William Graham’s (the same guy, who made Return To The Blue Lagoon) directing is awful, and the episode’s depiction of a car crash is straight out of someone’s first home-made VHS movie. I know the show is restricted by a tight budget, but seriously, twirling your camera and having off-screen crash sounds? Is that really the best you could do? Also, SPACE GHOST!

I’m having hard time removing my palm from my face.

The only good thing in the episode is Mulder’s geeking out with the space stuff. It was nice to see him get giddy about his boyhood interests.

But that doesn’t matter much, because SPACE GHOST!

Best scene: Mulder’s fanboy reaction to astronaut stuff.

Most memorable bit: SPACE GHOST!

Rating: +½

 

Astronaut: There’s some kind of ghost outside the ship!

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