The X-Files

Season 1 Episode 9


Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Nov 12, 1993 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (34)

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out of 10
531 votes
  • An Exorcist ripoff gone wrong

    The conspiracy angle and a couple effective space/houston scenes form the meat of this episode. Aside from that, it had nothing.
  • Intriguing and Thought Provoking

    I was fascinated by this episode and didn't find it boring in the least. I am happy to insert this perfect 10 score amongst all of these dismal ratings! The core question of the value of the space program and who has to pay for it was emotionally and intellectually intriguing and I was pleasantly surprised at how the show was able to keep my interest with what were essentially talking heads and voices considering that it would have had to have been a cartoon in order to tell the spaceward side of the story for the budget of an episode. The character of Michelle Generoo gave one emotional through line as someone who didn't want to sacrifice the astronauts lives in one sense and the Colonel's character gave an equal but opposite through line for the same reason. Both characters demonstrated wonderful heroism and I say 'Bravo!' to Carter for telling a story with such feeling.
  • great episode

    We get to see a Space shuttle mission saved by Mulder, some more ghost stuff and lots more.
  • Not Even Mulder Could Decipher This Script

    I wasn't sure what was going on at some points in this episode. What was up with the Face-on-Mars subplot? Okay, I got it at the dude was possessed. Ripped-off from "The Exorcist", since the best way to teach a demon a lesson is by throwing yourself through a plate glass window to the pavement far below. Until then, I didn't have a clue, but it was so bad that I didn't really care.

    Cringe-inducing absurdity as Mulder and Scully hang out in NASA's control room, keeping everything under control. What will NASA do without them?

    THIS EPISODE WANTS US TO BELIEVE IN: Demonic possesion that causes sabotage of the space program.


    Deep in this script, I can see that there was actually a good and believable story about sabotage and the space program. But for some reason, (I guess it wasn't "X-Files-ish" enough), someone had to throw in a good bit of nonsense about something that has to do with Mars or something and possession or something. Whatever.
  • One of the worst episodes

    In overall this episode is not bad but from "The X-Files" point of view is sucks as hell. Full of mistakes, lacks of continuity. It is strange that it was written by series creator. I guess that normally the script, if it was written by any other writer, wouldn't have been concived approved.
  • Space

    Again, conspiracy theories and assumptions of government manipulation save another episode of "The X Files", highlighting the NASA space experiments, heavily guarded by the U.S. government, and the space race between USA and USSR, which occurred in the Cold War, with a healthy dose of conspiracy and concealment of information about the Apollos and Sputniks, the programs of the U.S. company, forging evidence refuting the existence of real alien, all designed in a shallow way. The episode is quite messy, with a crappy "high" and a story that is not decided in focus between the ghost of mars, the threat of exploding ship or research on sabotage (poorly explained, by the way), taking full glare that could have and even the protagonist couple. Not to mention the special effects poorly made because of lack of budget that the series obtained, and ended in embarrassment scenes quite ridiculous. Not boring, but it's trash ... And trash really does not fit with "X-Files."
  • Space

    Space was a fair episode of The X-Files and I did enjoy watching certain parts of the episode though the whole didn't really captivate my attention like previous episodes. I liked the mystery, suspense and intrigue. There wasn't really anything too special about this episode but it was still worth watching. I liked seeing Mulder getting to know Astronauts better. I like how Scully stays skeptical and always searches for the logical truth. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!
  • Not a Crowd Favourite

    What can I say, Space, my least favorite episode of the X-Files. The Martian faced man/ghost was what turned me off in the episode. I don't know what CC and company were thinking when they created this MOTW. Maybe the limitations of technology for television shows is what to blame for the sad excuse of a Martian ghost. This episode reminded me alot of Apollo 13. If it could go wrong in this episode, it did. Multiple malfunctions of the shuttle, the entire episode was whether or not the crew would live or die.

    However, this episode did have two redeeming qualities. First, the Mulder-Belt relationship. If you want to divulge deep into a literary analysis of it, you could say they had a faux "father-son" relationship. Mulder idolized Belt from his childhood, Mulder learns of Belts treachery to that childhood dream, and Mulder sees Belt for what he is, a man. This \"rite of passage\" for Mulder could be interpreted as his first realization that he can't trust even those he thought he could. Second, the man vs. self concept. Belt is constantly struggling with the "Martian Ghost" throughout the episode. Is he really trying to fight his own inner demons; brought on by the knowledge of the defective equipment he himself ok for the mission?

    In conclusion, on the surface, Space royally sucked. The monster was terrible, the characters were out of place (a space mission in the middle of the X-Files), and I'm still confused regarding what exactly the storyline was in this episode. However, if you look just below the surface, there is some depth and reason to Chris Carter's madness in this episode. By using classic literary devices and struggles, Carter begins to mold his brilliant technique of story-telling. This episode was the foundation upon which the rest of the X-Files would flourish.

    Overall, I rate Space a 7
  • Houston we have a problem...

    This eppisode is aruguably one of the worst i've ever seen. No offence to all you people who loved it but... it sucked. Anyway astronauts are about to send supplies to the space station. Someone from nasa informs mulder that some body sabotaged the shuttle. no one wants to do anything and the shuttle is launched. one of the mrn in charge at nasa is being 'haunted' (for lack of better word' by a mask like face he first saw in space. the man happens to be one of mulder's childhood heros. anyway...
    Houston we have a problem...we may crash and burn.
  • A space shuttle mission is in danger and the man in charge at NASA, a chidhood hero of Fox, is being haunted by mysterious ghost-alien.

    One of the worst episodes in the entire series run. The problems are, largely, due to script, which feels rushed and incomplete. The acting is all solid, with an interesting father-son dynamic with Fox and his childhood idol. It is also nice to see Scully given more screentime and allowed to be more assertive in a crisis. Their are many great ways that the X-Files could have dealt with the NASA space program, but this isn't it. Almost nothing about this episode, script-wise, is clear or even remotely convincing. The ghost-alien is not only a ackward idea, altough it could have worked, but looks horrible, even for early 1990's network television. It is said, "In space no one can hear you scream", but people may very well hear audiences across the globe sceaming in horror at the shabby writing in this episode.
  • Definitely not the worst episode, as Mulder and Scully are nicely in character, but nowhere near good.

    This episode is often quoted as the worst X-Files episode, but I have to disagree. At least Mulder is his easily excited self, Scully provides the usual logical thinking and there's an odd scary moment.

    The use of the "face on Mars" in this episode is... interesting. It's left hanging what the space ghost actually is, but as far as monsters of the week go, it's creepy enough. Does it make sense? No. And the plot is a weary drudge, hardly managing to hold any suspense. But at least this episode doesn't make me feel embarrassed for the characters and actors, like some of the episodes in the last seasons.
  • Not as bad as some fans say, but definitely not in the top echelon of episodes either.

    I thought Mulder seeing a "cover-up" so to speak with the Colonel Belt lying to the press about the mishaps. Their reasoning seemed logical though, that failure could end NASA or funds for it in the future. I almost skipped this episode due to all the bad reviews, but am glad I did watch. I think what some maybe didnt realize is that Belt jumping out the window didnt end the "space ghost" entity. I think as they show the funeral, you see that the MC's husband looks a bit off, like he may be suffering a fate similiar to Colonel Belt, maybe not however since not of the crew went outside the ship during the mission.
  • A waste of time

    I'm really sad to say this, but what a boring episode. What a waste of talent and time of characters. I don't think its the bad special effects, I think what killed this episode was the pace of the plot and probably the bad acting. As much as I like Ms. Thompson (I loved her in Once and Again), I'm not very convinced by her performance. And I didn't like to see Mulder all desperate and enthusiastic to meet a astronaut, in my opinion it was way out of character. So, how can Mulder call for a doctor with Scully by his side? If I had been Scully, I would've been very much disappointed, for clearly not having my partner believing in my skills.
    For all of the above, I don't think I have a favorite moment.
  • Hack-kneed. Writers gave up after sketching out a story board. There is no real substance or conclusion.

    The acting is quite consistent with other episodes but there is no real explanation whatsoever of the cause of the possession, consequences (e.g. how did parts made of materials able to withstand re-entry temperatures and the near absolute zero of space manage to get sabotaged), or conclusion of the entity. There are so many inconsistencies, glaringly illogical conclusions and flat out unanswered questions that it seems like the writers had a good idea but then didn't quite know what to do with it. The movie Mission to Mars would years later also investigate the potential significance of the "face." Although not a great movie it at least had some form of conclusion!
  • It doesn't get much worse than this (but if you want worse, you could watch Ghost in the Machine instead).

    This episode could very well receive the title of worst episode of The X-Files ever. The creators get a few points for at least attempting to create something supernatural or alien, as opposed to the equally bad Ghost in the Machine, where there was nothing unexplained really involved at all. But overall, this episode feels like more of an excuse for Mulder to run around like a ten-year-old kid at NASA, reliving his childhood dreams of being an astronaut. The plot is flimsy and not very well-explained, the nature of the supernatural being or whatever it was is left ambiguous, and we're so far removed from the characters that it is hard to feel anything like sympathy for them. Put this one on the do not watch list.
  • I thought it was an alright episode; not the better of X-Files, but it wasn' too bad.

    This particular episode was not one of the better X-Files at all. It was a bit painful getting to the conclusion of it too; the story line wasn't well thought out. I'm not too sure as to why this episode aired. The end of the episode was pretty good, the space shuttle crew made it back to Kirtland AFB, NM in one piece. No one ran out of any oxygen either. Though the comm specialist did lie about the status of the mission; more likely covering up for the Col. that was running the Houston controls. I wasn't sure on why the COl jumped out the window, maybe to kill the spirit that had taken over while he was an astronaut; who knows.
  • Horrible episode!

    So, this is by far the worst episode that The X-Files ever produced! This whole thing was so bad that it can't even be classified as a 'filler episode.' There was no real point to it. So, yeah? A ghost in space? No my favorite story line. A bit lame. Mulder and Scully didn't really seem to do much. A sabotaged shuttle...ok? So now what?

    I know the guy (I can't even remember the guys damn name because it was so bad) was Mulder's hero and all but, ugh! And then he turns out to be the source of the whole problem? The whole thing was just bad. I can't even state how bad it is.

    In all...not worth watching. Worth forgetting though. I found the acting in it to be a bit shaky as well. Not in the GA and DD area but in the guest stars. The woman bothered the hell out of me!

  • Arguably the worst X-Files episode ever made, but it isn't THAT bad.

    I was skeptical of watching this episode because of how many people hated it but I watched it anyway. It was definitely not as bad as I thought it would be but it doesn't really do anything for the show. My first thought was "What the hell is NASA getting the FBI to look at a problem that they would obviously not have any clue about?" The idea of this episode is promising but it is put forth in such an unrealistic way that it just doesn't convince and thus it is boring.

    The only thing that brought this episode any sort of hope was David and Gillians acting and some of the ghost scenes were intriguing but half the episode spent in friggin mission control staring at a screen....just doesn't work. The other annoying thing is Mulder and Scully don't make any essential difference to the outcome of this episode.

    There is definitely some intriguing moments in the episode but it is clouded over by poor writing and Mulder and Scully really don't do anything interesting in this episode. I can agree that this is probably the worst X-Files episode made but it isn't as bad as you would think. Mostly all X-Files episodes have something intriguing to them and this episode shares that trait, it is just bogged down by a horrid storyline, boring character interaction and a sense of nothing reall going on. To put it in simple terms it feels "empty", it feels like an X-File but it is empty.
  • Stupid and Pointless

    In my opinion, seasons 1-7 are the best, but even seasons eight and nine were better than this. This is one of the worst episodes ever. Or at least one of the most boring. Nasa stock footage is used way too much, and the special effects, like the "Mars face", are horrible. The story line makes almost no sense. Something about a "space ghost" or some type of spirit that causes trouble for a astronaunt. I think it possessed him or something. Anyway, avoid "Space" at all costs, unless maybe you are curious and want to see just how bad it really is.
  • This is the worst episode of the first five seasons (at least). 45 minutes you will never get back.

    When one is discussing the problems with this episode, it is difficult to know where to start. The premise of this episode, that an astronaut brought back a ghost after a spacewalk, is neither here nor there. It is a weak idea, but the problem here lies wholly within the execution. First of all, Mulder and Scully play a minor role, the reason for the ghosts presence is barely explained (saved for Bent's moaning "They don't want us to go" which makes little sense), and the overuse of stock footage is annoying. Mulder's hero worship of Bent is useless, we never hear of it again, and it doesn't really play a role in the story, aside from giving it credibility. The episode itself is little more than social commentary on the space program, and that is shown by the serious amount of stock footage (that everyone and their grandmother has seen) that is needed to pad a sub-par story. This is the failure of the first season, and the only loathsome episode of the first five or six years (at least).
  • A space ghost terrorizes a NASA flight commander

    Probably one of the coolest concepts for an X-Files episode, with unfortunate production issues resulting in a semi-poor execution. Allow me to defend this episode:

    1. Who cares about special effects? There were scheduling problems in this particular episode resulting in not enough time being alotted to make them look good. But it's a TV show in the early 90s in its first season. Who expects them to be good? And who ever decided that The X-Files depended on its special effects to be good? 2. I don't really see how anyone can say nothing happened in this episode or can deny that the plot was intriguing. A creepy looking geological formation on Mars that has some connection to a sentient GHOST in SPACE? That's not cool to you? It's never totally explained, but if it was, the myseriousness would be completely ruined. Only philistines would demand an explanation.

    3. There was some effective editing, especially in the suicide scene.

    The episode isn't without its flaws (some lame control room/astronaut communication dialogue, very obvious and occasionally inconsistent stock footage, etc.), but this is nowhere near as bad as everyone seems to be suggesting. I don't get how Ice gets a high 8 rating and then everyone pans this episode. Space is an unsettling and original concept. Ice, while very tightly written and suspenseful, is, let's face it, a total rip off of The Thing.
  • Not as bad as I expected, but come on Chris Carter! You can do better!

    The concept behind this episode is very good, and more than a little creepy, and there are a few good Mulder scenes. And that's it really. The effects, sets, acting, writing are all poor, and the stock footage just irritates. Why write it if you can't make it look good? After the great Ice, Space is a waste of space. Could have been so much better...

    Mulder: [about seeing a shuttle launch from the control room] I have to admit, that fulfilled one of my boyhood fantasies. Scully: Yeah, it ranks right up there with getting a pony and learning how to braid my own hair.
  • i liked this episode.

    .. i think its only me and one other person in the world who did like it, though ("fallen angel"). i thought it was suspenseful in the "houston we have a problem" kinda way. the only knock i have on it is the ridiculous special effect on the character's face, it was funny instead of scary. it was a unique idea. i don't think this episode is as bad as everybody says. it's no flukeman! i feel the same way as a do about tons of x files episodes.
    with more money and time, if they would have made a movie out of this, it would have been cool. i give it a thumbs up. believe me, i dont approve of all episodes, about 50% of the season 1 and 2 im not blown away by... i stand by this episode however...
  • BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    EGH! What were they thinking when they did this episode? It's HORRIBLE! It lacks exictement and an entertaining plot. You'd think this was from Season Nine than it would have had an excuse for its ultra crappy behavior. It was so boring and drawn-out. Chris Carter should have just used Muppets or something for the visual effects, because it would have been more interesting and he would have saved a bundle on his budget. I just can't believe that they put this on the air- its BAD! Nothing about it is exicting and even Mulder and Scully seem sickened with this story line.
  • How Much Money Did They Spend on This?!

    Mind-numbingly boring episode. I don't understand how Chris Carter could have come up with this sorry excuse for an episode after so many great ones. Mulder and Scully got almost no screen time actually DOING anything. The only person who got to do anything exciting was the woman playing the Mission Control Communications officer - she got to do the car flip stunt. The entire episode consists of Mulder and Scully standing around and watching the action, wondering how to put the pieces together, and making a few futile attempts to investigate the possible sabotage.

    I really wonder what they were trying to achieve here. Even the ploy of Mulder's fascination with the space program was trite and over-emphasized, as well as Scully's sarcasm in regards to it. I can barely make myself watch this episode.
  • If you ask me it’s a waste of space.

    Space- If you ask me it’s a waste of space. This is one of the most boring episodes of the first season. It has lots of stock footage of space shuttles taking off, and is about NASA. In the end so guy from NASA is haunted by the ghost of an Alien or something- I honestly can’t remember because all I remember is that it was a boring episode. Mulder meets one of his idols and then all havoc lets loose as space men see Aliens, blah blah blah. As always I urge you to watch it and make your own decision, because I know some hardcore X-Files fans like it, but it just wasn’t for me.
  • The most painful episode ever, and that includes the last two seasons, which is no small feat.

    Ghost In The Machine is a treasure compared to this dog. The fact that Chris Carter wrote this, and subsequently treated his protagonists so poorly is a mystery that I will never understand. This episode is by far the absolute worst episode of the series. I don't think I am exagerrating here when I say this either.

    Scully acts like a complete bufoon, Mulder goes from awestruck teenage boy to NASA whiz in the span of a few mere scenes and then back again, Mulder forgets his partner is a frigging medical docter when he calls out for someone to get one, then when she reminds him by trying to save Belt's life he ignores her. The fact that she allows him to try and pump this dying man for info when she knows it is wrong and is killing him is even more amazing. And he does die. Oh yes, Mulder actually killed this man in his attempt to find out what was going on.

    As I am sure others have said, the idea here could have been really good, but some of the worst SE the show ever produced compounded by some bad acting and a script that seems like it really needed a rewrite or three turns this into a complete chore to watch.

    Unless you're a completist who has to see it, skip this painfully bad episode.

    I wanted to rate this thing a 0.5, but for some reason it wouldn't accept anything below a 1.0 Don't think it's not horrid though because it's got a slightly higher number because it sure is.
  • The Worst nearly fell asleep

    I know people say jersey devil is the worst but this by far is one of the most boring episodes in the collection of X-files episodes. Has to be the worst episode ever. I mean they had no reason to even air this. The X-files is too good a show for this episode.
  • Proves the X-Files trend of masterpieces followed by crap.

    No the X-Files did not jump the shark with Space. Instead the show proved from the beginning that Chris Carter had sparks of genius mixed with utter stupidity. The previous week the X-Files delivered Ice a great character study and masterpiece. After watching DVD sets 1-7, it is still one of my favorite MOTW episodes. Then the following was Space, one of the worst episodes of the show. This is the most shoddy X-File in direction and production, though the writing is merely pedestrian. Worse episodes were to come, and each followed this trend. Teso Dos Bichos followed Pusher. A series classic followed by a train-wreck. Sound familiar? Then there was One Son, an excellent conclusion to the mythology of the first six seasons, and it was followed by Agua Mala, the worst episode in years. So with shoddy dialogue, and sets worse than most 50s sci-fi, Space gets my vote as WORST. X-FILE. EVER.
  • The one with the (not so) scary space face

    I'm someone who likes to rank episodes as high as possible but I couldn't give this one a higher rank than a '5.9' and is also the only episode of my favourite shows to rank under the 6.

    The episode wasn't all bad. It had it's good moments.
    The car accident was probably the most exciting moment of the episode. I also loved the space scenes, the space shuttle looked really cool and ofcourse Mulder and Scully where in the episode.

    So...what went wrong? where shall I begin.
    -first: The whole space storyline. I have one word for it 'yawn'
    -second: the teaser is very important but it completely failed and turned out to be probably one of the silliest teasers I have ever seen.
    -third: What was up with that lame face? did I fall asleep or didn't they even explain? was that supposed to be a ghost? this is probably the biggest disappointment.
    -fourth: Boring or annoying casting. and some moments that made me role my eyes so much that they hurt.
    -fifth: last but not least, the unbelievably unnecessary and lame death of the colonel.

    all in all, I kind of feel ashamed to say this but I don't think it actually even deserves a '5.9'
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