The Return of the X-Files

I remember when The X-Files first started. People think of television series as “hits” now, but they really pale in comparison. I guess you have to remember that back in 1993 when the X-Files first appeared, broadcast television still dominated. People would plan their week around watching particular shows – internet access for most was still very much the domain of Compuserve, and AOL. The World Wide Web didn’t really gain traction until several years later.

You also have to remember that Gillian Anderson’s Scully appeared on our TV screens at a time when female role models were typically the product of gymnasiums, or plastic surgeon’s operating tables. Baywatch ruled prime-time weekend television. We finally had an intelligent, well written, “real” character. It also helped that The X-Files was one of the most “cinematic” shows of it’s time – where each episode looked and felt like a movie you might see at a theatre.

It was still the mid 1990s though – where “lad mags” dominated. I can rather sheepishly say that the mid-20’s version of me owned the issues of FHM magazine that Gillian Anderson appeared in. FHM was famous for talking actresses into taking risks with photo-shoots – and hers vaulted her from “pretty girl on the TV” to posters on teenagers bedroom walls around the world.

So. Many years have passed since production stopped on the X-Files. Many might suggest that it ran for too long anyway – that the stories had been played out. Both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson went on to stellar acting careers – so why would they ever want to return?Maybe because millions of people around the world wanted to see them together again. Who remembers all the hullabaloo in the press about “the kiss” in the spin-off X-Files movie ?Given that the UK is being made to wait before being allowed to watch the new series of the X-Files, which began airing a couple of days ago in the US, I did the natural thing that lots of others are doing – I “Oatmealed” it. If you’ve never heard the term, it refers to a comic strip called “The Oatmeal” that detailed the exhaustive lengths the author went to in order to acquire the latest season of “Game of Thrones” by legal means – his eventual failure – and his ability to instantly acquire a copy via the internet until such time as a legal route presented itself – whereupon he would spend the money to watch it.

So. I watched the first two episodes of Season 10 of the X-Files last night. How can I sum it up without ruining the story for those that haven’t seen it yet? Perhaps I might say that it’s better than it ever was, that a huge twist is thrown into the story to make much of the conspiracy story new again, and that loose ends are intentionally being left hanging on purpose.

I guess my only complaint might be that the preview footage of the third episode portrays a return to the more weird and wacky storylines that occasionally surfaced in the original show (remember Eugene Tooms?) – rather than focussing on the classic convoluted military industrial complex / conspiracy theory madness. I get it – different people like different kinds of stories, but as a child of the internet generation that read about Area 51, MJ-12, The Robertson Panel, Project Blue Book, Red Book and Yellow Book, I would have loved to see more of it. I guess you can’t have everything.

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