WE are close to solving the mystery of Dana Scully's disappearance from The X-Files (Pearl, 8.30pm). She missed last week's episode. At the time rumour had it she was, like the rest of us when we fancy a day off, having a tooth pulled or visiting a sick grandmother. This turns out not to be the case. Scully was abducted by the government and returns this evening, albeit in a coma. And very pretty she looks too, on a life-support machine. Mulder (David Duchovny), who increasingly looks like a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown, rushes around blaming everybody, tries to resign, as he does in every episode, and finally, in the nick of time, receives important information from the 'smoking man' - as he does in every episode. The X-Files, which looked as fresh as a daisy last year, is running out of stories. There are three main variants: Mulder discovers evidence of alien visitations and ensuing government cover-ups; Mulder discovers that a psychopathic multiple-murderer is haunted by extraterrestrial demons; Mulder invents a conspiracy theory and asks Scully to perform the autopsy that will help him prove it. There is, however, no serious harm in being short on ideas. Star Trek has got by for more than 20 years with only one plot (aliens abduct crew member) and so has Superman (Lex Luthor launches bid to control the world). The X-Files continues a television tradition. Now if Scully dies, that would be a surprise. IN times of adversity, when Hollywood needs to convince itself people are still watching, it makes an awards programme. The Blockbuster Entertainment Awards (Pearl, 9.30pm) is the latest. These awards are given for no other reason than, well, to give awards. Cindy Crawford and William Baldwin are the hosts and Sylvester Stallone gets the Icon Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures, which really says it all. I can think of hundreds who are more deserving, Donald Duck and the lion who appears on the MGM logo among them. THE long but sometimes majestic Ben-Hur (World, 9.35pm) reaches its climax, with our brawny but kindly hero (Charlton Heston), having survived the life of a galley slave, finally getting his chance to seek revenge on his enemy Messala (Stephen Boyd, who's not your bulk standard Hollywood villain, but a man who has motivation for his apparently blind dedication to the Roman Empire). The rest of the facts were dealt with in this column yesterday, before part one: big-budget, gigantic sets, many dead horses and so on. The musical score deserves a mention. It's by Miklos Rosza and contributed a great deal to the spectacle. The film took 10 months to make at Rome's Cinecitta Studios and was a fitting climax to Sam Zimbalist's career as a producer. He died of a heart attack in Italy when the film was near completion. AMERICAN situation comedies cannot be funny for the sake of being funny. They have to have a grave message - and they have to bang their audience over the head with it. Something Wilder (World, 7pm) takes up the cause of the native American Indians, for which I'm sure the native American Indians will be eternally grateful, and goes on, as if that wasn't enough, to say something terribly profound about jealousy and trust. The benefits of a good script and the occasional joke are overlooked. Gene Wilder stars and, in this episode only, Marla Maples Trump guest stars as a woman called Donna with a reputation as a flirt. FILMS on Cable Movie Channel: Boss No Balls (12.30pm). Taiwanese comedy about an embarrassing affliction that strikes the wedding tackle of a number of middle-class businessmen. Alligator Eyes (7pm). Three friends on holiday in North Carolina pick up a mysterious young blind woman who alters the course of their trip, leading them into trouble. The independently-made psychological thriller introduces a fine group of promising actors to the screen.