The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 14, 1995 · Page 44
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 44

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, May 14, 1995
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Page 44
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for the 'The X-Files' keeps even jaded viewers on the edge of their couches. Here's a sweeps-month look at TV's scariest show. BY JIM SEXTON CONSIDER THESE RECENT NEWS ITEMS: • A parasite infects the water supply of a large city; 400,000 people become ill and 100 die. The parasite later is found in the water of other cities. • A flesh-eating virus kills a 71-year-old woman by entering her body through a small cut. An 8-year- old boy, weakened by measles, contracts it and dies. • An investigation reveals secret government experiments in which terminally ill patients were unknowingly exposed to high levels of radiation. Now consider these episodes of The X-Files: • Investigating the deaths of crew members, FBI agents discover bacteria in a ship's drinking water that cause humans to age one year an hour. more prescient. "Our sense of fear is increasing," says Kenneth Manges, 39, a Cincinnati psychologist (and X-Files fan) who specializes in treating people with post-traumatic stress syndrome. "People are afraid of • Scientists die studying ice samples in the arctic. Agents learn the scientists had discovered deadly prehistoric parasites. • The agents uncover a Marine Corps —, , , experiment conducted in Vietnam in llUJSnOWS which soldiers were surgically deprived of »tth DhraSfiS — v ' ruses ' they're afraid of getting sleep to make them fierce. v.«uui pu cues AIDS, they're afraid of the more If CV«.>,, I-.;* It — V !?.•/«« l rt ~l,,, « IA + 1M,~ * | nA tfllfn 1C !~*~ — * -* :_,. mC 4...L.n«milyxc>io " AnH out there' and Trust no one' — av*aimg uiw aiuiiiug uut UL inciii uy laiuiig • • • • • papcrDciCKS were ciuuui ucaiii am* real science and stretching it to extremes. efflDOdy tnC Spirit near-death experiences. The No. 2 The show, on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET, fol- O f «.U p f jmpc hardcover book, The Hot Zone, and lows the exploits of FBI agents Fox Mulder unica (played by David Duchovny, 34) and Dana Scully, If Fox's hit The X-Files looks a lot like today's most chilling headlines, that's by design. This moody, mysterious Twilight Zone for the '90s is grabbing viewers and scaring the stuffing out of them by taking resistant strains of tuberculosis." And apparently they're fascinated by those possibilities. Three of last month's top five Afew York Times non-fiction paperbacks were about death and Scare tactics: Many It-Files' are left unresolved, letting viewers speculate about the (Gillian Anderson, 26) who investigate supernatural phenomena and visits by extraterrestials. In another era, The X-Files might seem like strange sci-fi. But at a time when AIDS and deadly nerve-gas attacks have entered the the realm of polite dinner conversation, the show often feels like real- life drama, just as scary as the evening news. Its timing couldn't be one of the nation's hottest movies, Outbreak, deal with killer viruses on the loose. "The X-Files plays upon the fears of the "90s," says Hayden Dawson, 25, a student in Sacramento who co-directs the X-Files fan club. "They raise questions about areas we're just starting to get scared about." Indeed, with Russia no longer the bogeyman of old, and nuclear destruction an '80s flashback, we live in a time that may be the age of personal fear. Today our dreads could fit under a microscope — and into an hour-long TV drama. Now in its second season, The X-Files is TV's fastest-growing show, with ratings up 44 percent since last year. It's the No. 1 Friday show among adults 18-49 (No. 23 out of 129 shows overall with that age group) and is seen in 60 countries. Critical acclaim has followed: The X-Files beat ER and 4 USA WEEKEND • Muy 12-1-1, 1W5 COVER AND COVER STORY PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICHAEL GRECCO

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