Note: This blog post will be relatively spoiler free. However, it may refer to points that have already been brought up in various interviews and media with Chris Carter and company — so if you’ve been avoiding all news of the show, maybe you don’t want to read this. But I will not be delving into any plot particulars whatsoever, so if that sounds fine to you, go ahead and read!
Ladies and gentlemen, the last time both of us had the opportunity to talk to you was last August, when Radhika and I finished rewatching and writing about the 202 episodes and two feature films that made up The X-Files corpus at that time. Earlier that year, all of us got an amazing present. Mulder and Scully were coming back, and they would be appearing in a familiar place — our television screens. Sure, times have changed and our old boxy CRT televisions have been replaced by sleek Internet-connected flatscreens, but that classic Mark Snow theme still sends shivers down our spines.
Radhika had the opportunity last October to see the first episode of the new miniseries, as part of a panel at New York Comic Con, and you can reread her spoiler-free thoughts of the event and the screening. We’ve learned a lot more about what we should expect from these episodes, and Fox has released a making-of special to whet the appetites of fans both new and old.
Obviously there is a lot to unpack from the new footage and interviews. Friends and foes previously thought dead (The Lone Gunmen, the CSM) are back, as are trusted allies like AD Skinner and Monica Reyes. At this point we do not know how these characters will fit into the storyline. As Radhika mentioned in her post, Christ Carter has made it a point to say that these episodes are the official tenth season, which de-canonizes the comic book series and its extension of the famed mythology.
There was also some controversy when Carter described the Mulder and Scully relationship as platonic, which naturally sent some shippers into an apoplectic fit, generating memes to disprove what they see in their eyes as a complete and utter falsity. It is kind of comforting to see the old shipper/noromo clash continue to this day, as it shows just how committed fans still are to a 23-year-old science-fiction property.
I also have to give Fox a lot of credit for pulling out all the stops in promoting the return of one of the shows that put the network on the map, including a clever #TheXFiles201Days social media campaign where people could take part in an episode-a-day marathon leading right up to the debut of the first new episode this Sunday. I know a few people who got their friends, family or significant others into the show this way, swelling the horde of Philes everywhere.
In just three days, the moment we have all been waiting for will be upon us. New episodes, on our television screens, for this first time since May 2002. It is going to be interesting for us here at the blog, because our write-ups will be more like first impressions rather than the reconsiderations you are used to. To whit, expect a post about the latest episode to appear a day or two after it airs, to give both of us some time to reflect and compose our thoughts on what promises — and hopes — to be five exciting weeks of television.
Flashlights? Check. Badges? Check. Outre thinking tempered by hardened skepticism? Hell yes!