werewolf, werewolves and lycans

Revisiting the Classics: THE X-FILES “Shapes”

I caught this one on the telly the other night and it brought back waves of the nostalgia, both for the early 90s, which weren’t a particularly good time for me, as well as hearkening back to much better days, the glorious 80s, making me think of the short-lived series WEREWOLF, a show so much ahead of its time and a show that offered a far superior werewolf than did “Shapes,” the nineteenth episode of the inaugural season of THE X-FILES, originally airing on April 1, 1994. Not that “Shapes” isn’t good. It is, although the same thing that bothered me back in the day still bothers me when watching reruns: how the hell can Scully stay a skeptic, having seen all she has seen? T’ain’t realistic!

I was only an “on the fringes” fan of THE X-FILES. I loved the standalone episodes, like “Shapes.” The connected ones, stretching out across several seasons and featuring the shady government conspiracy, didn’t do much for me.

Oh, and seeing Michael Horse back in a policeman’s uniform so soon after his performance (back then) in the second season of TWIN PEAKS as Deputy Hawk was kinda surreal—in the best possible way. David Duchovny, or course, starred in TWIN PEAKS too, before he got the gig as Agent Mulder in THE X-FILES, and he and Michael Horse were good friends in real life. (I assume they still are.) I’ve never seen TWIN PEAKS given the credit it deserves as an inspiration for the latter series. Sure, one can see the parallels with KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER, which IS credited, but there are just as many parallels with TWIN PEAKS. An FBI agent travels to a small town to investigate a crime with supernatural overtones and much weirdness ensues. Sound familiar? Just add an extra FBI agent and you get THE X-FILES, but TWIN PEAKS did it first—and did it better.

So re-watching “Shapes” had me wishing for what could have been with WEREWOLF—they totally should’ve brought back the Rick Baker-designed beast from that series for “Shapes”—and missing TWIN PEAKS.

THE X-FILES would revisit the werewolf as a plot device in its sixth season with the episode “Alpha” and in the seventh season with the delightful “X-Cops.” But those are fodder for a different article.

The Evil Cheezman • August 12, 2018

Previous Post

Next Post