The X-Files Season 10: Our Final Thoughts

In lieu of the best and worst roundup we wrote each season while rewatching The X-Files’ original run, we’re going to summarize our thoughts on season 10. Here’s what we thought worked, didn’t work and what we hope to see in what seems to be an inevitable season 11.

Founder's Mutation

20th Century Fox

Radhika: The six-episode miniseries that was highly anticipated by even the most cynical of X-Philes has drawn to a close and this has us mulling quite a few things over. After solid ratings, a cliffhanger ending and interviews indicating that the show will probably be back in some form, it looks like we’ll get to see more of The X-Files at some point. But is it what we need?

Despite the fact that the revival ultimately left me with mixed feelings, I remain interested in seeing what more the show has to offer. What we received in this mini season was not the show at its highest quality, but it affirmed my belief that as much as I enjoy The X-Files: Fight the Future, The X-Files is best in the medium where it got its start: Television. Continue reading

X-Files Bulletin: Smartphones with Caller ID make obsolete “Mulder, it’s me.”

Mulder and Scully

20th Century Fox

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 Sure, times have changed and our old boxy CRT televisions have been replaced by sleek Internet-connected flatscreens, but that classic Mark Snow theme still sends shivers down our spines. Continue reading

X-Files Revival Sees U.S. Premiere at New York Comic Con

NYCC 2015

Chris Carter, David Duchovny and Mitch Pileggi at New York Comic Con 2015. (Radhika Marya)

We interrupt our blogging hiatus for a quick report: I have seen the first episode of The X-Files revival, thanks to its U.S. premiere at this year’s New York Comic Con. And that means there’s no way I could not acknowledge it on this rewatch blog. We may have successfully completed rewatching the series’ original run over the summer, but as mentioned in our previous “final” post, we fully intend to come back here and write when the new episodes air. And since I’ve had the chance to check out the first episode, I’m happy to report back.

Note: This blog post will be spoiler free. However, it may refer to points that have already been brought up in various interviews 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 the events of the episode itself, so if that sounds fine to you, go ahead and read! Continue reading

Some Final Words… Until January 2016

Bad Blood

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Those of you who have followed this blog, or have just stumbled across it, can see that we’ve hit the final point of our X-Files rewatch. We’ve watched it all — from those dimly lit Vancouver seasons to the big budget first movie and later seasons, full of California sunshine and sleek wardrobes. And just last week, we wrapped things up by watching I Want to Believe. It’s been a really fun ride for us, even when we found ourselves grumbling about some of the final episodes.

I first started thinking about rewatching The X-Files from the beginning to the end, and blogging about it, about three years ago. When Max expressed enthusiasm and asked if he could join in — more than once — it became a reality. We’re not the first ones to document revisiting the show: Some have attempted it half-heartedly, some outlets like The A.V. Club went through it all as well, and others with a little more fame than us have started podcasts with a fairly respectable amount of listeners and guests. But it felt like something we had to do, and so in July 2013, somewhat in line with the show’s twentieth anniversary, our little project began.

It’s been a really rewarding experience overall and it was delightful to see people from all over the globe visit our little blog. It was neat to see exactly which episodes held up, which ones were no longer enjoyable to us, and even though we had both rewatched the show in parts ever since it ended — revisiting old favorites or introducing friends to Mulder and Scully — it was the first time we both really viewed it through a critical lens as adults, as the show’s first run overlapped with our school years. We intend to tune in when The X-Files returns on January 24, 2016. We intend to revive this blog by then, if not slightly sooner, and chime in with our thoughts. But before we do that, here’s a little conversation between Max and me, looking back at our experience and looking ahead at the future of the show: Continue reading

The X-Files: I Want to Believe

“That’s not my life any more.” — Dana Scully
“I know that.” — Fox Mulder
“You’re not understanding me. I can’t look into the darkness with you any more, Mulder. I cannot stand what it does to you or to me.” — Dana Scully

Six years after they were forced to go into hiding, Mulder and Scully find themselves needed by the Bureau again — utilizing their particular set of skills to locate a missing agent.

I Want to Believe

20th Century Fox via chaoticfae

Max: By 2006, I had already completed my original rewatch of The X-Files with my roommate Kenji, and had befriended a group of Philes on the IMDB messageboard. Rumors of another feature film began virtually the moment the series went off the air, but legal issues plagued the development of a movie for years. That is, until Frank Spotnitz let on that everything had been resolved, David and Gillian were on board, and that filming would commence soon. X-Philes like Radhika and me experienced a resurgent interest in their beloved program that would only be matched by the moment this past March when we all learned about the new episodes to air in 2016. We later learned that Carter and company were crafting a Monster of the Week tale for the big screen, virtually dispensing with any references to the mythology. Continue reading

Before and After X: The Mythology of The X-Files

“We didn’t invent it. Charles Dickens invented it, in a sense, and I’m sure there are examples before him. It worked for us, but it was a happy accident. It was something that was instinctual, but not necessarily a conscious decision. When we saw that the stories about Mulder and Scully were best told through the mythology — that they were more personal — it gave the show an emotional grounding, that I think the mythology of a show does. So it’s simply a good way of telling the most personal kind of stories.”
— Chris Carter, on the mythology

The Mythology

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Most people when asked about The X-Files think of three things: Mulder and Scully, freaky monsters, and aliens. Over the course of nine seasons and two feature films, agents of the X-Files division have come face to face with some pretty creepy adversaries, from liver-eating contortionists to sentient machines and the essence of evil. But what captured the attention of those who would consider themselves X-Philes was the developing story of a race of extraterrestrials bent on retaking the planet, and the people who endeavored to keep this a secret (The Syndicate) and those who wanted to bring their misdeeds into the light (Fox Mulder, chiefly). The result was a sprawling, highly complex, somewhat messy but mostly compelling narrative that served as the backbone of the series and informed the wonderful character work which made things memorable for audiences worldwide. The X-Files — writ large — became then a template that influenced countless television series in its wake, an object lesson for writers rooms and the next generation of showrunners.

It wasn’t always going to be like this though. In fact, Chris Carter scarcely had the idea in his head of a long running story when conceiving of The X-Files and later during the initial stages of its production. Alien abduction was the topic of the very first episode, but it was only one of a panoply of ideas that Carter and the writers had. Continue reading

The Lone Gunmen: Extreme Government Watchdog Group for Hire

“Oh, I love you guys. I really do. I mean, you’re the ‘Lone Gunmen,’ aren’t you? You guys are my heroes. I mean, look at this crap you print.” — Morris Fletcher
“We uncover the truth.” — John Fitzgerald Byers
“Oh, the truth. Well, see that’s what’s so great about you monkeys. Not only do you believe this horse pucky that we create you broadcast it as well.” — Morris Fletcher
The X-Files, Episode 6×05: Dreamland II

We’ll soon be reviewing “Jump the Shark,” an episode that brings The Lone Gunmen’s story to a close. The episode also concludes the storylines presented in The Lone Gunmen’s short-lived spinoff program, which we’re taking a look at in this post.

The Lone Gunmen

20th Century Fox

Thirteen episodes of network television is not really enough to make any kind of real impact in the media landscape at the turn of last century, let alone in today’s oversaturated cable and streaming megalopolis. This was the case in 2001, when Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz, Vince Gilligan, and John Shiban cooked up the idea to have a show about The Lone Gunmen. Sure, we’ve hung out with the characters many times since their brief introduction in “E.B.E.” (most notably in TLG-centric episodes in the fifth and sixth seasons), but Carter and company were in expansion mode, even when Millennium and Harsh Realm were canceled.

The show runners set up The Lone Gunmen’s namesake show as one about a type of high-tech detective agency, with the trio using its expertise to uncover decidedly non-paranormal activity. Continue reading