The X-Files
Nothing Important Happened Today

Starring: Gillian Anderson, Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish
Twentieth Century Fox
RRP 14.99
Certificate: 15
Available now

A mysterious woman has set about drowning people associated with a water-processing project. Meanwhile, Agent John Doggett realises that his investigation of Deputy Director Kersh is being hampered, and discovers that Fox Mulder has disappeared...

This feature-length episode comprises the opening two instalments of the ninth - and, we now know, the last - season of The X-Files. As such, it is a direct continuation of the previous release, Existence, taking place just a few days after the birth of Scully's baby.

However, having established Agents Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Reyes (Annabeth Gish) as the new duo assigned to the X-Files (Gillian Anderson's Scully is involved in little more than an advisory capacity at this stage), the producers immediately back-peddle on certain recent developments. Doggett's investigation of Kersh (James Pickens, Jr) all but grinds to a halt, and - unavoidably, given David Duchovny's departure from the show - Mulder goes into hiding, for reasons that remain shrouded in mystery for now.

Despite the absence of Mulder, there's an amusing allusion back to one of his episodes as Reyes discovers a collection of pencils still embedded in the ceiling above his old desk. Unfortunately, during the lead-up to this incident, Gish breaks a pencil in a rather unconvincing way - even I could have performed that action more naturalistically!

X-Files season openers tend to be a little slow-moving, and this one is no exception, although it doesn't drag nearly as much as the previous season's opening two-parter, Within/Without. And curiously for a "mythology" episode, Nothing Important Happened Today does not directly involve aliens or UFOs, although the "superior humans", who were introduced in Existence and who reappear here, may or may not be human-alien hybrids. All in all, however, this story falls into the "bad science" category of X-Files narrative.

Ex-Xena star, Lucy Lawless, guest stars as the mysterious aquatic assassin, although quite why she needs to get naked whenever she goes underwater - apart from the obvious titillation value - is never made clear.

These episodes provide an intriguing start to the ninth season, but they are less satisfying when viewed out of context like this, because many aspects and characters are set up principally for the purpose of future development. Some important things do happen in this episode, but not quite as many as I would have liked.

Richard McGinlay

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