'I don’t know what was most disturbing. His description of the inner core, reincarnated souls sex orgy... or the fact that the whole thing is written in screenplay format.'

Title: Jose Chung's From Outer Space
Season: Three (1996)
Duration: 43m
Written by: Darin Morgan
Directed by: Rob Bowman
Rating: ***

After Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose (see separate entry) writer Darin Morgan scripted the decent War of the Cocrophages then ended his scripting run on The X-Files with this episode, claiming to be burnt out. Afterwards he wrote a couple of episodes of the X-Files sister show Millennium, including one where the character of Jose Chung made a return appearance.

Jose Chung's From Outer Space is included in these 18 key episodes as it's widely regarded as a seminal work for the series. However, while undeniably clever in its Rashomon-meets-Communion way, I've always personally felt that the episode showed an unusually high rate of indulgence from Morgan. It's not helped by the self-consciously quirky music from the normally reliable Mark Snow, and overall this is an episode in love with its own conceits and in-jokes to staff behind the scenes. When a joke's funnier to the people making the show than to the audience that they're making it for – such as a foul-mouthed Detective that's named after foul-mouthed Director Kim Manners – then there's misplaced priorities on behalf of the production team.

Perhaps I'm being a little hard on this one... I still maintain that Morgan was one of the best writers ever to work on the show, and there's still lots of nice self-referential bits of humour, such as remarks about Anderson's hair colouring and Duchovny's lack of range. But as amusing as such moments are, there's a higher level of smugness than in Morgan's other works, and the sound throughout of a production team constantly patting themselves on the back. The broadness of the performances and their mannered ‘aren't we being funny?' disposition tend to take any sense of genuine humour and let it die a slow death in the cold. But to others this is an episode of comic genius, the best the show had to offer. And if nothing else, then Jose Chung's From Outer Space showed us the importance of differing perspectives...

Select A Track
1 Rocks Off: Never Again

2 Rip This Joint: Redrum

3 Shake Your Hips:
The Post-Modern Prometheus

4 Casino Boogie:
The Goldberg Variation

5 Tumbling Dice: Improbable

6 Sweet Virginia: Small Potatoes

7 Torn and Frayed: Home

8 Sweet Black Angel: One Breath

9 Loving Cup: E.B.E.

10 Happy:
Musings Of A Cigarette Smoking Man

11 Turd On The Run: Tooms

12 Ventilator Blues: Anasazi

13 I Just Want To See His Face:
Clyde Bruckman's Finale Repose

14 Let It Loose: Humbug

15 All Down The Line: X-Cops

16 Stop Breaking Down:
Jose Chung's From Outer Space

17 Shine A Light: The Pilot

18 Soul Survivor: Beyond The Sea

Online Store
Visit X-File On Main St.'s Online Store in association with Amazon for gifts on the series.

Content c. Anorak Zone 1999-2016