“Knowing the way Chris likes to name characters, I’m surprised we haven’t met one named Cliff Hanger…. Special Agent Cliff Hanger.” — David Duchovny, New York Comic Con,
Oct. 8, 2017
Chris Carter, Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny and Mitch Pileggi at New York Comic Con on Oct. 8, 2017. (Radhika Marya)
The X-Files’ 11th season, the second season of the show’s recent revival, will be on our television screens in 2018, so it’s no surprise the series was the focus of a panel at New York Comic Con today. I was personally a little torn about whether I’d make the effort to go to said panel, having had the luck of attending a couple of other panels in recent years, but surprise to nobody — I went. So here’s a little blog entry to show you we’re still here before season 11 graces us all with its presence.
The panel, moderated by Michael Ausiello and featuring Chris Carter, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and Mitch Pileggi, was mostly fun to watch with banter that involved stories about a bear disrupting filming. But it seemed like the actors were simultaneously guarded and loopy. Perhaps this is due to the fact that they didn’t want to give up any spoilers (very little information was given to us about the upcoming season) and perhaps because they were tired as the show isn’t done filming. While there was plenty of laughter, I don’t think there was quite as much as there was back in 2013, around the time of the show’s 20th anniversary. Regardless, the panel filled up fast with enthusiastic attendees, so it seems that season 10 — despite the mixed feelings it evoked in some fans — has not chased Philes away.
Things kicked off with a trailer brimming with themes of saving humanity. It’s now readily available on the Internet (and below):
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 →
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 →
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 →
“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.
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 →
“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
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 →
“I have lived with a fragile faith built on the ether of vague memories from an experience that I can neither prove nor explain. When I was 12, my sister was taken from me, taken from our home by a force that I came to believe was extraterrestrial. This belief sustained me, fueling a quest for truths that were as elusive as the memory itself. To believe as passionately as I did was not without sacrifice, but I always accepted the risks to my career, my reputation, my relationships, to life itself.” — Fox Mulder, Episode 2×16: Colony
Fox Mulder: It’s a name that has gone down in pop culture history as one half of a dynamic duo that helped propel The X-Files toward becoming a worldwide phenomenon. It’s also a name synonymous with a staunch belief in paranormal activity and extraterrestrial life — sometimes to the detriment of others. And yet, despite having some rather stubborn and even insensitive moments on The X-Files, Mulder became a character loved by many — the underdog everyone was rooting for and the character many people didn’t want to watch the show without during his absence for a season and a half. After all, Mulder’s quest to find his sister and to uncover the truth about the paranormal was the spark that fueled the series. So what was it about Mulder that drew the fans in? Continue reading →