TV REVIEWS : Mystery of ‘X-Files’ Keeps You Hanging


Former high school classmates are turning up dead in strange places from no apparent cause. On their lower backs, though, are these warty little things that aren’t acne.

Yikes. Looks like the work of a serial alien.

Premiering at 9 tonight on Fox (Channels 11 and 6), “The X-Files” is a sort of alien busters , a not-to-be-taken-seriously hour in which a pair of FBI sleuths investigate unexplained cases that appear to involve paranormal phenomena.

For some reason, maverick agent Fox Mulder’s creepy superiors want to discredit his probes of the allegedly supernatural. So they assign Mulder (David Duchovny) a partner to spy on him to help them debunk his work. She’s agent Dana Scully (Gilliam Anderson), a medical doctor and a skeptic. She’s a scientist, he’s a romantic. She has doubts, he has answers.


Their first case together (a routine investigation into aliens controlling humans through nose implants) takes them to an Oregon town where Mulder believes the victims with warts were abducted before dying.

“By who?” she asks.

“By what?” he corrects her.

He’s attractive and she’s comely, and the subtle sexual tension between them is at least as compelling tonight as their cadaverous adventures, as Mulder appears to win Scully’s confidence even with such otherworldly dialogue as: “When convention and science offer us no answers, might we not finally turn to the fantastic as a plausibility?”

There’s not much suspense here, but the two leads, and the hour’s teacup worth of mystery, are just enough to keep this flying saucer aloft.