I used to love the X Files my early to mid-twenties were spent being almost fanatical about the programme. The first two and a half series were shown on BBC2 regularly on Thursday evening at 9pm. I would set my video, disconnect the telephone and chill out on the couch while I watched the unfolding adventures of Mulder and Scully.
Then, mid-way through the 2nd or 3rd series, the BBC decided in it’s infinite wisdom, that BBC2 was not the proper home for prime time viewing programme and so they shifted it over to BBC1. But because of broadcasting standards, it was only fit for showing after 9pm. At the time BBC were still showing the news at 9pm so this meant that if the news over ran then the Xfiles would be shunted behind 5 or 10 minutes.
Now, in this day and age of smart HDD recorders this wouldn’t have been a problem. But at that time I was a lowly scrote living above a fishing tackle shop in Wavertree L15. All I had was my Ferguson VideoStar (VHS front loader) which was slowly approaching retirement age having served the family since 1983. To cap it all, it was shown in the dead of winter at a time when I was trying my hand at becoming a legal executive and the only place that ran an ILEX course in the Liverpool area was in Southport.
Now you can guarantee that even though the course finished at about 8pm of an evening, even if I ran and caught the 8:15 train (which I did frequently) I still wouldn’t get into Liverpool until 9:15 which meant I either had to leg it like a bastard to the bus and pray that the news was over running so that I could hit the record button or get home and pray that the ageing advanced record feature of the ageing VHS recorder had decided to work that day. 6/10 times it hadn’t and often I would miss the first 15-20 minutes of the episode.
I then realised that BBC1 were showing the series OUT OF SEQUENCE. Not only was this putting my Video cataloguing system out of kilter but it was also causing me to miss the running story arcs.
Eventually. I gave up. I think I managed to watch about 8 episodes or so of the third series. This was bobbins. So, like I said, I gave up. In fact I don’t seem to recall ever seeing the other series on TV after that. I believe the BBC shunted it about the schedule and eventually it ended up being shown with signing on a Sunday night between The Sky at Night and re runs of Eldorado. I even didn’t bother with the film until 3 years after it was shown on the cinema.
**sigh** The one thing, since the original Doctor Who I was geeky and fan boy about and it was snatched from me by a conspiracy between an overzealous programme scheduler and a clapped out video recorder. So these days, when the likes of Lost(pinched by Sky), Enterprise(schedule poker by Channel4), Dexter (decades behind the rest of the world on ITV) or Heroes (due to be shunted to BBC1) come on TV I make sure I’ve sucked them off Usenet…..just incase…..
My favourite Xfiles? The one with the Valley girls that have magic powers…..third series I think. I only ever saw the last 25 minutes of it.