We are pleased to present Christopher Irish’s review of The X-Files FAQ by John Kenneth Muir. Published by Applause books, 2015 – Matt Allair
The first three chapters of the book address inspiration for the series, and the creative power and actors involved. I found the chapter regarding the inspirations for the series particularly interesting. There are a few that are fairly well known to most fans, like The Twilight Zone and Twin Peaks, but there are less-known series that Muir mentions, like The Invaders and Beyond Reality. This is a great source for anyone who might want to watch any of these shows. The next chapter covers the talent behind the camera: the writers and directors, including Chris Carter, who have all put in hard work making the series what it is today. It’s a great chapter to me because I always found the writing for the series to be excellent, and each writer has a distinctive style, and each episode they made has a certain feel. Almost the same as each season has a different tone and arc to them. Muir details each director and writer excellently. Another entry in the chapter discusses Mark Snow, whose contribution to the music of the series was indispensable. Muir acknowledges that the whole series was a special epoch for American pop culture, not just in the 90s, but also beyond. His chapter that covers the stars of The X-Files is also very informative. David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, and others are featured in this chapter. It’s not a very long chapter, but it does include some interesting information regarding the actors we’ve spent so long following both on The X-Files and in their various other projects.
Still from season seven, "Closure", FOX publicity
Still from season four, "Home", FOX publicity
Muir picks up on the technology-based episodes after he discusses the monsters. This is another running theme in the series as a whole, and definitely warranted a chapter devoted to it. The chapter covers a few technology-based episodes, including “Ghost in the Machine,” which I always felt got overlooked by a lot of fans. The way Muir reviews the episodes he selected make it so you want to take a harder look at them since the points he makes are valid. After he addresses this topic, he gets into another large subject The X-Files touches on: Christianity. Interestingly, this subject has always been an area where Mulder and Scully’s roles are reversed. Muir picks out a few highlight episodes with poignant moments regarding religion and The X-Files.
Still from season three, "Talitha Cumi", FOX publicity