1

(27 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Slide OVerride wrote:

To go back to the original point, to just take the old actors and start from ground zero ... it just would never work, for anyone involved.

I can't ever agree with the reductionist, absolutist approach. It would be very difficult. It would be a challenge. But to say it would never work? That's a little too extreme for me.

2

(27 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

JWSlider3 wrote:

I really don't think there would be any royalties involved. I mean, doesn't Universal own it outright. Otherwise Tracy Torme could take it somewhere else?

For example, who is the new Lost in Space aimed at?

I believe the standard arrangement is that the creators would own 10 per cent of the franchise. Such as it is. Anyone developing TV would be better off calling their parallel show by a different title and they'd have more freedom, recognition, ownership and profit.

LOST IN SPACE is a known and recognizable brand for the general audience.

3

(27 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

The problem is that if you recast, why call it SLIDERS at all? Why pay royalties when a new title and characters with different names would see a new creator receive the full share of the money?

I'm really enjoying all the shows this season. SUPERGIRL's been a delight with Kryptonian sleeper warriors, Alex dealing with her breakup and the crossover was amazing. THE FLASH has been terrific in giving our heroes a villain who can outthink them at every turn. LEGENDS has been a revelation and done the impossible by making Wally West a viable character and finding a way to humanize Damien Darhk to the point where he regrets Season 4 of ARROW as much as Stephen Amell and Informant.

ARROW has continued with its return to street-level action and had Oliver progress while still having the same flaws.

I thought the argument between Oliver and John this week in "Brothers in Arms" was incredible. Both make completely valid criticisms of each other's leadership, but both refuse to acknowledge their own flaws. Oliver dismisses John's point that his leadership style is fundamentally alienating while John ignores how he hid his medical problems from the team and endangered all of them. But John presents Oliver's human resource failures as tactical disasters when they weren't. Oliver portrays John's secrets as facilitating a criminal takeover of the city rather than the moral failures they actually were.

Oliver calling out John for killing Andy was truly cruel when Andy was declaring his intention to murder John's wife and child when John shot him. John was out of line to say that Diaz had won the city because of how Oliver had handled the recruits. In the end, neither are happy with themselves for how they've steered their teams but direct their frustration at each other rather than inwardly.

I also really like how, on THE FLASH, Iris has remained in charge at STAR Labs, something that I didn't entirely notice until Ralph snapped at Iris that she contributes nothing and she replied that she is the leader of the team. Candice Patton has such a gentle screen presence that it was only then that I realized she's been giving orders since the Season 4 premiere; it always felt like her instructions were suggestions that the others found so instantly clear in their logic and purpose that they would follow them.

On one level, it's trying to hammer the female lead into a meaningful role outside being the damsel in distress of Season 1. On another, this decision really works; Iris isn't a scientist or a fighter, but she is an excellent human resources person who grasps each team member's abilities and can distribute and direct them well, giving them the right attitude and direction for their skills and body of knowledge and allowing their specialities to inform her choices. And it really puts Oliver and John's leadership to shame. Slider_Quinn21 is constantly wondering why Team Arrow doesn't call Barry; I wonder why they don't call Iris.

5

(27 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Slide Override wrote:
crouteru_ wrote:

I've enjoyed reading all your thoughts on this. Personally, I would reboot everything from scratch; same characters played by new actors, same basic premise and beginning as the pilot episode. The original cast could make guest appearances in later episodes playing a different character as a nod to fans of the original series.

This is the only way it would work.

Polite disagreement with both you and myself -- as much as recasting appeals, Slider_Quinn21 is right to point out that anyone wanting to do a parallel universe show could do one without using the SLIDERS title. So what makes SLIDERS worth resurrecting in the first place? If you recast, you're creating different characters who just happen to have the same names at which point you might as well have different names for both the people and the series.

So, what defines SLIDERS is, in the end, the four original characters as played by the four original actors.

Which is why, if we're being reductive, the only way a SLIDERS reboot could work is to have Jerry O'Connell, Sabrina Lloyd, Cleavant Derricks and John Rhys-Davies return as the leads of a new series. And the best route for that is to do a rebootquel. The original cast, at their current ages, discover sliding for the first time in a version of reality where Quinn makes the first slide in 2019 instead of 1994.

Whether this version of reality is (a) a parallel universe or (b) a new version of reality after the Kromagg-human war ripped sliding out of the multiverse is open to debate. You could do both, however, by presenting the TV show entirely as Option A and leave the Option B information offscreen in media tie-in novels, comics and webisodes.

6

(27 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I think the most likely route to a reboot happen is NBCUniversal having some sort of development deal with a producer who is a huge fan of SLIDERS and pushes for NBCUniversal to take the property off the shelf. It's not terribly likely at all, but it happened with DOCTOR WHO. BBC had no desire to revive the series because they'd done it very cheaply in the past, saw no way to revive it inexpensively, knew science fiction in 2005 was pricey -- but they wanted to work with Russell T. Davies after the success of QUEER AS FOLK and THE SECOND COMING. And Davies didn't want to do anything but DOCTOR WHO. Once that starts, Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo whether played by the originals or new actors, have a lot of obvious marketing avenues to become icons to a new generation of viewers.


I do think Slider_Quinn21 went way too far, way, way too far -- but the ideas themselves were pretty solid even if I objected to torturing and imprisoning the original cast. If you forced me to go with his next generation approach...

SLIDERS - SECOND GENERATION
Sarah Nyugen is a tech support worker who failed out of her physics program in grad school. Kai Geoffrey is a YouTube star who failed to hang on to his 15 minutes of fame after an ill-advised stunt at a suicide scene. John Galen is a politician who failed to retain office after a scandal involving a blimp, some helium tanks and a hot dog stand.

Geoffrey, in a desperate attempt to revive his career, attempts a video at the supposedly haunted Mallory house only to experience computer problems that send Sarah to his aid.

Sarah, fascinated by the remnants of Quinn's technology, accidentally triggers a vortex that ensnares her, Kai and John (who just happens to be driving by). They are sent to an Earth where Galen is the wealthiest man in America and he lives it up -- until it turns out identity theft is a capital crime and Galen is marked as an impostor. On the run, the three are aided in surviving this parallel Earth by a mysterious stranger who reveals himself to be Dr. Quinn Mallory.

Sarah triggering his tech drew his attention. Quinn slid to this Earth to investigate. But in helping these new sliders, Quinn accidentally damages his own system and now the four find themselves sliding randomly through the interdimension in a search for home with Quinn serving as an experienced slider who is hiding a secret of his own, a dark past from which he's running, a terrible reason for why he can never go home again...

I think it'd also be neat to have one episode of PHASE II in which Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo are called in to investigate the new sliders' disappearances and reassure us that our old friends are indeed alive and well and not... like, in jail or something. *casts a curious look at Slider_Quinn21*

But written all this, I think you'd be better off just starting over again with Quinn opening the vortex for the first time whether he's played by Jerry O'Connell or Lucas Till.

7

(27 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Tracy Tormé is currently very sick. He also doesn't have the power to make a SLIDERS reboot happen; a studio and network have to want to see it happen. It's also unlikely that NBCUniversal would sell the rights as just owning them makes them worth more as a conglomerate that owns an extensive library of intellectual property.

**

I think Slider_Quinn21's next generation idea is too convoluted. And we shouldn't be telling the SLIDERS fanbase (such as it is) that Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo were shot and blown up and got their brains sucked out and put in a joke box and merged and lost and probably died -- but somehow survived all that only to be incarcerated and tortured. 

The next gen route is fine, but I'd just have three new characters discover sliding (with some leftover Quinn tech in his basement being a leap forward) only for them to get lost and be rescued by Dr. Mallory who serves as their mentor. Keep it simple. I think it'd be fine if Dr. Mallory was tortured and escaped, but I'd advise saying that Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo are free and clear and fine.

But even then, I don't think it makes sense to attempt a second generation. STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION was drawing upon a lengthy and revered legacy and legions of fans. As far as the audience is concerned, any new SLIDERS whether sequel or reboot *is* the first generation.

Temporal Flux's brilliant approach is less a reboot, more a gentle segueway. It serves both us and the general audience. Who would Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo be if sliding had never affected their lives? TF's genius takes us there. 

And Transmodiar cleverly proposed: what if these aren't alternate versions but the originals living their lives after the reality-warping Kromagg-human war erased sliding from existence, its discovery delayed by several decades?

This is generally where Slider_Quinn21 points out that John Rhys-Davies has no business bungee jumping and fleeing the police at his age and that Sabrina Lloyd can hardly play the youthful adventurer today. But that would only make the show better; they're not suited to sliding, they're out of place, in the wrong world, far from home. 

For people like Slider_Quinn21 who don't like reboots, this REDUX is not a reboot. It's the aftermath the Season 4 Kromagg war. For the general audience, it's a new beginning. 

Or you could recast. I'd like Lucas Till to play Quinn, Elle Fanning to play Wade, Colin Salmon to play Rembrandt and Victor Garber to play Arturo. And I'd like Jerry and Sabrina to play Quinn's mother and father, Cleavant to play Rembrandt's brother and John to play Arturo's mentor.

8

(27 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I once asked Temporal Flux how a new SLIDERS could start over again without all the baggage of the past. Could we reboot without losing what makes SLIDERS special? TF replied that he would love to see a reboot with the original cast, and he gave me his idea, which I updated for today with some ideas from Transmodiar:

  • In 2019, Wade Welles is a fortysomething tech journalist who failed to build a life beyond reviewing smartphones and laptops.

  • Rembrandt Brown is a coffee bar owner in his sixties who failed to hang onto his 15 minutes of fame.

  • Professor Arturo is a genius in his seventies who failed to find a career outside of writing high school study guides for science students.

  • Quinn Mallory is a fortysomething tax accountant who lost his passion for science after failing to create anti-gravity -- but 25 years after giving up, he realizes that he discovered something else instead.

  • Quinn has not spoken to Wade Welles or the Professor since a strange day in 1994 when they accused him of strange behaviour he didn't recall and ended their respective associations with him.

  • Quinn has never been able to explain why the Professor recalls him being rude and abusive in class or why Wade remembers Quinn kissing her.

  • In fact, those hours of his memory are missing, which he attributes to sleep deprivation over his failed science project.

  • When Amanda Mallory dies, Quinn goes back to his old house to clear it out and sell it. He uncovers his old anti-gravity machine and his video cassettes. Watching one of them, one he doesn't remember making, he is struck by inspiration.

  • He restarts the machine with some adjustments and opens a new vortex.

  • After an initial slide, he eagerly invites the Professor and Wade, finally realizing what happened in 1994.

  • They open a gateway to explore once again, accidentally drawing in a passing Rembrandt -- and the adventure begins again.

  • SLIDERS: A journey through what could be and might have been. Sometimes, getting lost is the best way to be found.

Here's how I think the plot could unfold:

  • Opening scene: same footage from the Pilot where Quinn knocked out the power in 1994.

  • Cut to 2019.

  • Quinn, a tax accountant, has been assigned to income tax duty.

  • Wade and Arturo are sent to his desk, where, as he does their taxes, they rant at him for various sins (giving up on science, ridiculing Arturo in his class, abandoning his life's passion, kissing Wade and pretending it never happened).

  • Quinn tells them he has no idea what the hell they're talking about and he's done fine for himself. He failed in his ambitions for science -- he moved on. Wade leaves in disgust. Arturo tells Quinn he should be ashamed of himself.

  • ARTURO: "You abandoned your gift! You could have changed the world with your intellect and body of knowledge, but what have you done with it instead? Learned how to fill out forms and reduced yourself to a calculator on legs!"

  • The phone rings. Quinn picks it up. Then he hangs up. He looks blank and lost.

  • ARTURO: "What the devil is wrong with you now?"

  • QUINN: "My mom had a heart attack. She's dead."

  • ARTURO: " ........................... but on balance, Mr. Mallory, perhaps you shouldn't be too hard on yourself."

  • A blur of funeral arrangements, farewells, followed by Quinn going to his old house.

  • He explores his basement, which he has not visited in years.

  • He finds a video cassette on the floor, one of several. Pops one of these into a VHS player and TV.

  • He sees his younger self (Jerry in young-age makeup, obscured by low VHS quality video) talking about adjustments to make to the anti-gravity machine.

  • Quinn can't remember making this video or these adjustments -- but now he makes them. He triggers the machine. It doesn't work. But these adjustments inspire him to try a subsequent configuration. He triggers it again.

  • A vortex opens and sucks Quinn in.

  • He ends up in a parallel universe, explores it, and then the sliding machine back home re-opens a tunnel to bring him home.

  • (Some explanation about how Quinn set up a double-entry gateway, purely by accident.)

  • Quinn returns to his basement, excited. Starts playing more of the VHS cassettes -- and urgently calls the Professor and Wade to his house.

  • He plays them the videos, saying that his alternate universe double must have left him these tapes all those years ago -- probably as an apology for screwing up his life.

  • They review the footage, although some is missing due to some tapes having been broken over the years. They construct a timer while various segments of VHS-Quinn play.

  • VHS-Quinn speaks in reverent, eager tones about what must be out there in the multiverse, how excited he is to explore.

  • (Presumably, Quinn recorded these entries in 1994 between speaking to Smarter-Quinn and welcoming Wade and Arturo into the basement.)

  • Quinn, Wade and Arturo slide out, accidentally ensnaring a passing Rembrandt as they do, who happens to be driving past the Mallory house for reasons too terrible and complex to explain here (read: I haven't thought of any yet).

  • They have another adventure, but triggering the timer early causes them to be lost in the multiverse.

  • All the video journals are left behind on Earth Prime except for fragments here and there that Wade finished converting to keep on her smartphone (as a convenient aid for future episodes if the writer gets stuck for a plot device).

And then, on the website! We have some exclusive web content. We have:

  • Clips of VHS-Quinn talking. It's established that he's recording these segments in 2001. We have him recap individual episodes of the 1995 series from his perspective along with worlds we never saw.

  • We have clips of Quinn explaining the function and properties of sliding.

  • We have clips of Quinn talking about his childhood, which is precisely the same as "The Guardian."

  • And then a final clip.

  • It's Quinn in 2001, saying that terrible things have happened.

  • His friends are all dead.

  • His world is gone.

  • The only reason he's alive now is because a fellow slider sacrificed himself to bring Quinn back from quantum limbo.

  • Quinn has been forced to make a terrible choice.

  • He has commandeered a Kromagg weapon.

  • It is a reality warping weapon. He has modified it. He has reprogrammed it.

  • He can alter reality. He can change the past. He can make it so that no one has ever created sliding, not himself, not his doubles, not the Kromaggs.

  • Everyone will live the lives they'd have had if sliding had never been created.

  • But this is only a delay; he knows his amnesiac self will reconstruct some variant on the technology eventually. So he's left him these tapes to guide him.

  • He hopes his amnesiac self has the wisdom and perspective in the future that Quinn lacked in 1994 and wishes his future self luck in his adventures, speaking of the infinity and wonder of the multiverse and everything that awaits him once again.

9

(771 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Bruce Timm is still writing and producing the animated films.

I just don't have the patience for DC Original Animated Films anymore. I saw everything up to JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR. NEW FRONTIER and GOTHAM KNIGHTS were excellent, the two GREEN LANTERN features were good, but the rest suffered from a terrible combination of medicore animation, weak production and poor adaptation.

The animation isn't outright *bad*, but there isn't a lot of camera movement and the motion isn't fluid. That's a problem for fight scenes because they never feel exciting or perilous; it's like watching a turn-based animatic in a video game. All the JUSTICE LEAGUE, WONDER WOMAN, SUPERMAN and SUPERMAN/BATMAN movies were devoted largely to 'epic' fight scenes that were slow and tedious.

NEW FRONTIER dodged this because it used very simple character designs that allowed smoother animation (much like the TV shows). The GREEN LANTERN films also had smoother animation, I'm guessing because they were set in space or on barren planets and there was less to animate.

Then there's the production problems. The BATMAN AND SON, BATMAN VS. ROBIN and BATMAN: BAD BLOOD features are focused on the relationship between Batman and his homicidal son, Damian. But, for whatever reason, it sounds like actors Jason O'Mara and Stuart Allan performed separately when recording their dialogue. There is no sense of them reacting to each other or playing off each other's performances. Bruce Wayne and Damian feel like they're in different rooms due to overlong pauses between exchanges and a lack of matching in their respective vocal presences. The BATMAN AND SON series creates no chemistry between Batman and son.

And finally, the adaptations make a lot of poor choices. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN offered a charmless adaptation of the comic without any of the story's wit and humour. UNDER THE RED HOOD adapted only a fragment of Jason Todd's story and it felt like an unaired pilot that never went to series. FLASHPOINT featured an alternate universe story that failed to first establish what's going on in the original universe (as it had no continuity with previous features).

I think everyone who works on these films is very talented, but for whatever reason, the budget, production schedule and development process is leading to material that's mediocre.

10

(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

There is a sad irony in watching Season 11 and noticing that SUPERNATURAL started out as a cheap X-FILES clone, but over the course of five seasons, SUPERNATURAL has corrected most of THE X-FILE's flaws, improved on almost all of its strengths and Season 11 seemed like an inept and overbudgeted clone of SUPERNATURAL.

THE X-FILES is a terribly incoherent show because of the freedom accorded to each episode's writer and the lack of concern for linking each episode even when they're meant to be sequels to each other.

This freedom is often cited as a strength of THE X-FILES where the blockbuster BOURNE movie heroics of "My Struggle IV" exist alongside a surreal comedy like "Forehead Sweat" and the buddy cop drama of "This" and the sci-fi lunacy of "Familiar." But SUPERNATURAL has shown that it can easily integrate a variety of tones and styles -- horror, action, comedy, metatextual commentary, theology, hopeful stories and bleak tales -- into a collective whole by making sure the lead characters have ongoing arcs and consistent voices even if the story around them this week has a different tone and genre from last week and next week.

THE X-FILES has also been applauded for isolating the myth-arc episodes from the monster of the week episodes, allowing standalone adventures that any audience member can tune into at any point with even myth-arc episodes being somewhat accessible. As Slider_Quinn21 notes, his inability to remember the details of the myth-arc actually helps him avoid confusion because he doesn't notice contradictions.

But SUPERNATURAL handles this so much better too. There are myth-arc episodes and there are monsters of the week, but SUPERNATURAL capably builds the myth-arc into the ongoing characterization and personal arcs, allowing standalone episodes to be thematically relevant to the myth-arc even if they aren't significant to the plot.

Sometimes, the monster of the week stories offer small pieces of information or equipment that may be useful in a myth-arc episode, but SUPERNATURAL is generally successful in making sure that each episode has a beginning and an end while serving as a chapter in a larger story. In addition, SUPERNATURAL is aware that it exists in an era of box sets and streaming whereas THE X-FILES seems terrified to let elements progress between episodes.

Both SUPERNATURAL and THE X-FILES are dealing with a complex mythology that can often be confusing. But THE X-FILES frequently denies its own history through blatant retconning and rewriting and refuses to acknowledge its own revisions. Mulder confronts the Smoking Man but the change from Colonization to the Spartan Virus isn't even mentioned; he later visits Deep Throat's grave and doesn't observe that Deep Throat seemed to be involved in a completely different conspiracy than what was unveiled in Season 10.

In contrast, SUPERNATURAL has wisely given its myth-arc separate chapters, closing one off before starting another. The apocalypse gave way to a civil war between angels which transitioned into the Leviathans and battling for control of Hell and moved into the Mark of Cain and shifted into the Darkness and then moved towards the Men of Letters and so forth.

You don't get SUPERNATURAL without THE X-FILES, but I think it's safe to say that SUPERNATURAL has surpassed its predecessor and is an improvement in nearly every area except budget and women and even that last one might change soon.

11

(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I just can't make you people happy, can I?

12

(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I think Slider_Quinn21 raises a good point that a reboot could alienate old fans. And admittedly, when Chris Carter killed off Mr. Y, Erika Price and the Smoking Man, he freed the show from ever having to address the myth-arc again. There is no need to delve into Colonization or the Conspiracy of Men or the Spartan Virus any further. A reboot creates a clean slate, but we already have one.

So, here is my soft reboot proposal (without Gillian Anderson):

FBI Agent Tamlin Rivers (obviously played by Summer Glau) is in disgrace after a botched meth lab raid blew up in her face and killed 12 agents. She has scarring that's only partially hidden by her hair. She is reassigned to the most dead-end division in the bureau, the X-Files. She is briefed by Skinner (who is in a wheelchair after his injury).

Skinner says that the X-Files was shuttered by Kersh but then reopened under classified directive and he can't tell her too much about the past except that Rivers will be joining Agent Scully who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in paranormal investigations.

Rivers, a skeptic, heads down to the basement and is greeted by Agent William Scully (Miles Robbins). Glau protests that William is too young to be in the FBI; he's 18, the average recruit is 30. William dismisses all this with a smile and paperwork indicating he's a genuine FBI agent. He drags Rivers into their next case.

At one point in the premiere, William calls Mulder on the phone to ask for advice. We see Mulder in his house, holding a bag of breast milk by the fridge. William says he's not sure he can pull this off. Mulder assures William that he'll be great but reminds William that he's no longer immortal or telepathic and needs to not take crazy risks.

The conversation is interrupted by the sound of Scully screaming for Mulder off camera (using reused audio from Season 8's "Without" of Anderson screaming for Mulder in the desert) and a crying baby in the background (stock). Mulder apologizes and hangs up.

As Season 12 progresses, Rivers researches Scully and guesses that Scully is some sort of outside operative from deep in the Department of Defense somehow planted in the FBI with a false paper trail; this is thrown off by multiple colleagues at the FBI claiming to have known Scully for years.

Rivers has also heard of Agents Mulder and Scully, but when she tries to look up their records, their personnel files have been classified and their names and details have been redacted from the casefiles. As the season unfolds, Rivers finds William's peculiar ignorance of procedure and protocol to be frustrating and disturbing. He barely seems to consider the FBI a job. He sleeps on a sofa in the office.

At one point, Rivers discovers that William doesn't even get paid: payroll's never heard of him and he's been living off lottery ticket winnings (which are running out).

He's immature and juvenile, an obnoxious quality for Rivers who is a professional, precise and highly experienced agent. However, he is loyal and self-sacrificing and completely trustworthy despite being an unknown quantity, and William and Rivers develop a heated rapport of respectful teamwork.

After several standalones, we get a William focused episode and a revelation: William, losing control of his powers, broke into the defunct X-Files office to try to find answers. Reading the casefiles made him feel connected to Mulder (whom he considers his father even though they're brothers) and Scully, whom he considers his mother. The basement felt like home.

In a final burst of telepathic and psychokinetic energy, William rewrote the memories of everyone in the building to think of him as Agent William Scully and assigned to the X-Files (and had them fake the records). This burnt out his abilities, leaving him only human but having found a place where he belonged.

William called Mulder and Scully who were relieved to hear he was alive and encouraged him to take the X-Files Division forward. After more standalones, the Season 12 finale could have Duchovny (and maybe Anderson) guest-star to officially hand over the show to Rivers and William.

I can't see Chris Carter accepting this. Despite all the ridiculousness that Carter has written into his series and scripts -- Carter would balk at an 18-year-old boy being presented as an FBI agent.

13

(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

At this point -- I think Disney would be wise to offer Chris Carter a mid-budget series finale TV special -- maybe three 90 minute films done for a budget that would usually be assigned to make six episodes. Mandate that it is to be a conclusion. Wrap up this show. Make it an event, clear the deck for the X-FILES brand name. If Carter refuses, then hire Joel Wyman and Jeff Pinkner (FRINGE) to write the finale instead. The important thing is that the X-FILES be presented not as an abandoned product but as one that was resolved and concluded.

After that, I think it's time to reboot THE X-FILES. The concept of a paranormal procedural is fine, but a lot of thoughtless, unconsidered choices have marred the franchise over the years from missing the opportunity to wrap up the original myth-arc in a big budget finale to the anti-climax of I WANT TO BELIEVE and the clumsy retcon of the Revival.

I think Disney should bring the original show to an end in 2020. Then, in 2022, we should have a reboot. Fox Mulder, played by Summer Glau (yes!), is a 30-year-old FBI recruit on academic probabtion and voluntold to work on the X-Files Division. She becomes fascinated and enthralled by the paranormal cases to the dismay of full-fledged agent and medical doctor Dana Scully, played by Rupert Grint (with an American accent) who was also banished to the X-Files for some undisclosed indiscretion. Dr. Scully has spent his days debunking all the crazy, absurd reports with which no serious FBI agent could ever hope to make a career.

I think by gender swapping, you could avoid recasting and instead engage in a vivid reinterpretation and you could hire Duchovny and Anderson to play the parents of the rebooted Mulder and Scully.

14

(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I think Season 6 was pretty definitive: even without being assigned to the FBI's X-Files division, Mulder and Scully still investigate weirdness the way other couples go bowling. Going private allows them to bring their trainee, William, on cases. I think it's fine for them to be outside consultants to the bureau, but I don't think the show needs a myth-arc. It's never really had one, just a scattered number of episodes that are (mismatched) sequels to each other. Even the four "My Struggle" episodes were detached. Colonization had nothing to do with Sveta's story which had nothing to do with the Spartan virus which had nothing to do with William's mental manipulation powers which had nothing to do with the CSM actually wanting William for his immortality. The show would've been better with character arcs over a myth-arc.

15

(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I don't think Carter *really* meant to say that adopted children or children of surrogacy don't deserve to be loved. He wanted to dramatize Scully accepting that William didn't want her as his mother, but he wrote the dialogue carelessly. Carter seems to write in a very hurried, improvised fashion without much revision, thinking in terms of moments rather than stories.

The finale felt like a first draft where an editor would then declare that the action should be scaled back and the dramatic scenes -- Mulder and William reuniting, Scully discovering William is CGB Spender's son, Skinner and Reyes turning against the Smoking Man, William asking Scully to let her go, Mulder confronting CGB Spender -- should then be expanded. Carter doesn't outline, doesn't plan, just writes moments upon moments, then goes ahead and films. He doesn't believe in planning ahead; he says he likes to let inspiration strike him. But sometimes, inspiration only offers him B-movie action tropes.

**

I'm home sick today and maybe not thinking so clearly, but here's my proposal for "My Struggle V" -- which I actually imagined as "My Struggle IV," but it works just as well after the fourth installment.

It *does*, however, need Duchovny and Anderson back. So, here's how we go: we open with a voiceover shared between Mulder and Scully speaking to an unknown party, describing what the X-Files Division does from its origins in the 60s to Mulder and Scully discovering it in the 90s. The voiceover is overlaid on a sequence of an unknown figure breaking into the FBI headquarters (and passing by Skinner who is alive but walking with a cane). The figure comes to the door of the X-Files basement office. Begin opening titles.

After the titles, we see Mulder and Scully sitting on the floor of the office, opening file folders. Mulder, speaking to an unseen listener, shows a casefile and begins describing an X-File set during Season 3 and we get a 10 minute 'short' in which he's investigating a werewolf in Paris, Texas (although we see only the final confrontation in a zoo with Duchovny in deaging makeup and a hairpiece where Scully comes to his rescue).

Then Scully shares an X-File set during Season 9 where she was investigating a series of mass hallucinations alone, was exposed to a fear toxin (with Anderson in deaging makeup), but the Lone Gunmen and Mulder talked her through it over a phone call. This sequence also includes introducing the Lone Gunmen (old footage only that shows their magazine office, voiceovers for the phone call). Scully speaks of how it was never really about the X-Files or an alien invasion plot but instead the friendships and partnerships and trust between her and Mulder and all their friends -- Byers, Langley, Frohike, Danny, Pendrell, Doggett, Reyes, Skinner.

We end this flashback with Mulder and Scully revealing that they are packing up the X-Files after Kersh has closed it; Kersh required that they file everything away to get their severance. They have been addressing the intruder; the intruder is William. William said after he survived being shot in the head and drowning, he needed answers and sneaked into the X-Files office only to discover that there is no X-Files office. But maybe there could be. He holds up several winning lottery tickets.

Cut to: the former office of the Lone Gunmen magazine, abandoned and vacant. The door opens. Mulder, Scully and William enter. In a timelapse video, they move in furniture, workstations, TVs, whiteboards. A framed photo of the Gunmen is hung on the wall. In the next shot, we see William attaching a sign to the door of the office. The sign reads: X-FILES INVESTIGATIONS. Roll credits.

Post credits scene: the X-FILES INVESTIGATIONS website's contact form. Sound of a keyboard. Text appearing in the contact form describing a ghost sighting. Screen splits to another contact form shot with a municipal government wanting to hire Mulder and Scully to investigate a monster attack. The screen continues to divide we are seeing hundreds of case submissions from people seeking Mulder and Scully's services.

This isn't really an X-FILES sort of story, though. This is FRINGE. This is SLIDERS. This is STAR TREK. X-FILES doesn't really seek to be uplifting and hopeful. Even the finale, showing Mulder and Scully in each other's arms, left us knowing that Skinner could be lying dead under a car nearby.

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

"Nothing Lasts Forever" and "My Struggle IV," despite being written by two different writers, seemed to have the same writing style: both Karen Nielsen and Chris Carter write scenes and moments instead of stories. In "Nothing Lasts Forever," Nielsen has written some truly creepy and compelling gore-horror scenes and some genuinely heartfelt character interaction scenes for Mulder and Scully matched with some superb superhero action with Juliet spiking murderous organ harvesters. There's a linking theme of youth and age and how some seek to defy it with supernatural-paranormal science, some expend it on vigilante exploits that lead to prison and some go with the flow.

But the end result: Mulder and Scully wander through the story and don't make any difference except for the worse -- which is to say that had they not gotten involved, the story would end with Juliet having killed the organ harvesters and set off to rid the world of more evildoers. Instead, because Mulder and Scully are involved, Juliet will now go to jail and the world of THE X-FILES is now deprived of a badass lady who stakes evil, bloodthirsty lunatics through the heart. Mulder and Scully have therefore made the world worse and the episode is simply a collection of nice moments.

"My Struggle IV" is much the same except Chris Carter isn't really a character oriented writer. His cool moments are action: car chases, William making people explode, Mulder and Scully running through the dark halls of an abandoned factory, a shootout, a car possibly running Skinner over. He's all about the action sequences and thriller escapades and as a result, there isn't much space for Mulder and William to reunite, for Scully to process William's parentage, for Mulder to grapple with the revelation.

There are truly nice scenes throughout: Mulder hugging William, Scully's revelation, Skinner explaining he helped the Smoking Man to gather more information, but they're so crowded out by empty action that they have no room to breathe. The shootouts and car chases and multiple sequences of Mulder getting close to William only for him to slip away add little to the story beyond delaying reunions and confrontations that come too quickly to have impact.

As a final episode (and it probably should be), it's effective enough in concluding the mess that is the myth-arc and ending with Mulder and Scully together and the X-Files Division shut down again (although it's unclear why it was reopened in the first place). Skinner's fate being left unknown is the only plot point that truly calls for resolution and it's irksome that Carter left that dangling for no real reason beyond the wish for a Season 12 despite Season 11 being Anderson's last (or so she says).

I think THE X-FILES under Chris Carter has come to a belated, awkward, strangely rushed yet overlong finale that wasted a lot of time but found some nice notes on which to conclude despite Skinner's frustratingly unknown status.

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(576 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

While I'm happy for Slider_Quinn21 to have wedded, I wonder if we as a community should have weighed in on this life decision and discussed it amongst ourselves and arranged for the wedding to be held at the Alamo Drafthouse with Informant officiating.

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

THE X-FILES was the first show I ever saw where small children were acceptable victims of the week. It really disturbed me and I don't really know what to say about it. SMALLVILLE also really troubled me with the way it casually massacred teenagers (even if they were played by actors in their late 20s).

My main problem with the X-FILES formula for monsters of the week: Mulder and Scully never accomplish anything. Had they not appeared, the story would have unfolded in much the same way. THE X-FILES does it deliberately to represent how our world is at the mercy of inhuman, unknowable and otherworldly forces whether they're technologically advanced aliens or supernatural beings. It's not something I enjoy.

I don't really feel comfortable saying whether "Familiar" was good or bad except to say I don't really like THE X-FILES, I never have, I study it rather than enjoy it and it always makes me appreciate FRINGE.

With FRINGE, the victims of the week are played for tragedy and grief, but their deaths also lead Fringe Division to preventing further bloodshed and loss of life with every case-of-the-week building to the Season 5 finale in which Fringe Division saved the entire human race.

In every FRINGE episode, there is a scientific explanation. Sometimes, that science is absurd emotionalism masquerading as empirical analysis, but the show is commited to something resembling rationalism whereas THE X-FILES is an abstract horror show one week and a technology driven thriller the next and the lead characters are helpless. That's not what I personally want to see.

I will never say that THE X-FILES is a bad show, but it's not *my* show. No thank you. I'll watch it. I'll study it. I'll never buy DVD sets to revisit its narrative. I'll never like it and I'll never write a six part series of screenplays for it.

But people should be free to create work that I don't like.

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(217 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

This video claims a high level of behind the scenes information that is based largely on empty supposition blanketed liberally in "allegedly"s and "we have received word that"s. God help us if the future of sci-fi news is portentous voiceovers declaring little or nothing over episode footage.

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(2 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Hey, when's the ebook of THINK OF A ROULETTE WHEEL coming?

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

And I am happy to swoop into X-Files fandom at the tail end and assume a massive role of importance after all the previously important fans gave up and moved on with their lives,

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Didn't we already have this conversation when talking about "This"?

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(217 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Well, they have nine seasons until the 60s show to explain how the spore network went away?

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(217 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I honestly don't mind. The DESPERATE HOURS novel still exists and is still a great read. It was a terrific volume for the time in which it was published, presenting a very amusing thought experiment by having the 1960s sets and costumes right alongside the 2017 sets and costumes and having the characters declare that the 1960s design is more advanced.

But it is equally valid to declare that the 23rd century through DISCOVERY is a visual re-interpretation in the way a SPIDER-MAN comic looked one way when Steve Ditko drew it in the 60s but looks another way when Steve McNiven draws it in the 21st century.

From a scripting standpoint, nothing's at odds with the original STAR TREK except for aspects that should be ignored anyway like "Turnabout Intruder" saying no woman has ever captained a starship. Gaffes like "Vulcan Hello" contradicting "Tholian Web" (in which Spock said there's no record of a mutiny aboard a starship) have been patched with Burnham's record being expunged. Spock has never been forthcoming about his family, not even acknowledging his parents when they were standing right in front of him.

It kind of reminds me of SPIDER-MAN and IRON MAN comics. In SPIDER-MAN comics, flashbacks almost always reprint panels from the 1960s comics even though they're completely at odds with the 21st century designs because the 1960s issues are so iconic. With IRON MAN, however, flashbacks tend to take place in the modern world with scenes always redrawn and updated because Iron Man wasn't terribly popular when he first began. DESPERATE HOURS took the SPIDER-MAN route, but the DISCOVERY finale took the IRON MAN path.

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I think that Skinner collaborating with the Syndicate while helping Mulder and Scully was less of a problem in Seasons 1 - 6 because he appeared more often and, because Mulder and Scully were at a distance from him until Season 7, the ambiguity surrounding him made sense.

But what made sense when Mulder and Scully had only known Skinner for 1 - 6 years makes no sense when they've known him for a quarter of a century, especially he helped Mulder break out of jail in "The Truth," came Mulder's rescue in I WANT TO BELIEVE, and reinstated Mulder and Scully in "My Struggle."

The EatTheCorn.com webmaster messaged me this morning asking me if I had any way of reconciling Kersh's appearance in "Kitten" with his Season 6 - 9 character arc. It's a sad day when *the* X-FILES expert comes to ME for help. "Kitten" broke him.

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(217 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

(Except that it's a Discovery-ized version of the Enterprise....which sorta goes against the tie-in novel, right?  ireactions?)

How does the DISCOVERY-style Enterprise fit in with DESPERATE HOURS declaring that Constitution class starships have a different design style and uniforms? GO FUCK YOURSELF, that's how.

... I'm sorry. Slider_Quinn21 has jokingly needled me about how I take media tie-ins like novels, comics, video games and audioplays as canonical and invest emotionally in them and refuse to ever call them 'unofficial,' constantly asserting that this plothole or that unfinished arc is addressed in this comic and that novel. Unfortunately, when it comes to DESPERATE HOURS and DISCOVERY, I must concede defeat.

This is a difficult time for me as I must confess the unspeakable -- STAR TREK novels aren't canon. It was really hard to type that.

What happened here: David Mack was writing DESPERATE HOURS when Bryan Fuller was working on the show. Fuller suggested that Mack write a Spock/Burnham story as Fuller didn't want to do a crossover. As Mack was writing the novel, Fuller left and the costumes changed from the neo-Cage look to the more ENTERPRISE-styled uniforms.

Mack described the onscreen Enterprise exactly as it appeared in the 60s and point-blank had Spock declare that the Enterprise looks more advanced than the 'older' DISCOVERY ships. But now, Fuller's successors have chosen a route Fuller wasn't going to use; they want to do a crossover and DESPERATE HOURS no longer fits.

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

"Kitten" seems to think THE X-FILES is a more modern series than it's been. If Skinner had featured prominently in Season 11 doing questionable things for the first five episodes, "Kitten" would have been a midpoint in his arc where Mulder and Scully realize that while they don't know what Skinner's doing with the Smoking Man, they can trust it's for their benefit.

But what's actually happened: Mulder and Scully stopped trusting Skinner in "My Struggle III" for vague reasons (he smelled like smoke), but have continued to use him as a plot and expository device for brief guest-roles with no real progress or development. "Kitten" then has Skinner explain his attitude to authority -- but Mulder and Scully inexplicably don't demand an explanation as to his recent collaboration with CGB Spender.

It's awkward. The best way to handle this plot and keep THE X-FILES' preferred standalone concept: Mulder should never have been suspicious of Skinner. Skinner's partnership with Spender should have been known to the audience but not Mulder -- and then this episode could serve as a clarification of Skinner's loyalties to the audience.

As aired, this conflict demands ongoing development. What we're getting instead is the characters alluding to Skinner's allegiances, then ignoring it. It doesn't affect the story and its presence is therefore deeply distracting.

A modern series would have had Skinner and the Smoking Man working together in an ongoing arc (like Castiel and Crowley did on SUPERNATURAL) and then built to a confrontation where Mulder and Scully find out (like where Sam, Dean and Bobby set a trap for Castiel to expose him) and either sever ties or choose to trust him. Instead, the arc has just clumsily meandered in a half-alive state; we're told that Skinner may be compromised, but he's wheeled out to give Mulder and Scully information in "This," for a joke in "Forehead" and for more exposition in "Ghouli."

Due to the standalone format, "Kitten" isn't permitted to make any advancement in Skinner's arc. It just reiterates that Skinner was in Vietnam and learned not to trust authority. We already got this information in 1996; "Kitten" reveals absolutely nothing new about Skinner, lends no insight whatsoever and the most critical aspect of Skinner's life -- his role with the Smoking Man -- isn't addressed.

The reappearance of FBI Deputy Director Alvin Kersh is another awkward note of continuity. His presence raises so many unanswered questions. He was consistently sabotaging Mulder and Scully in Seasons 6 - 9, but then in the Season 9 finale, he helped Mulder escape from jail. Did Kersh believe in Colonization? Or was he led to believe that Mulder and Scully were a disciplinary issue? Was he working for the Syndicate or was he making the best choices he could when managing Mulder, a talented agent who was considered insane? Was he genuinely hostile towards Mulder, Scully and Doggett or was it an act? He shows up in "Kitten" and all that's expressed is that he finds Mulder and Scully annoying and considers them the reason Skinner's career at the FBI stalled.

This raises some serious questions that "Kitten" in its standalone format can't address. Why were the X-Files reopened? "My Struggle" didn't address it, simply having Skinner text Mulder and Scully to say, "Situation critical, need to see you ASAP" and the following week had Mulder and Scully back in the office. If Kersh thinks so poorly of Mulder and Scully, why did he permit them to be reinstated to the FBI? Would it really have been difficult for Kersh (who outranks Skinner) to refuse to see two former federal fugitives cleared for duty a good 15 years since they quit and were fired? Why would Kersh, who came to Mulder's side by the end of Season 9, derisively call Mulder's truth "imaginary"?

THE X-FILES is just not on the ball with characterization. And in fact, Mitch Pileggi did an interview where he described how the "My Struggle III" script had Mulder smelling smoke on Skinner and throwing a punch leading to an intense fight scene. But Duchovny and Pileggi protested: their characters had been friends for two decades and Carter, rather than rewrite the scene, toned it down to the silly shoving between the two that aired. It's a bad situation when the creator of the show writes a fight scene between two friends for no good reason whatsoever.

THE X-FILES has all of its writers working separately, the showrunner is not overseeing ongoing progression and episode-to-episode consistency and "Kitten" suffers like no other episode aired this year due to these issues.

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(870 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Sorry for the delayed response on some of these items.

I have no interest in debates over whether or not the alt-right qualify as Nazis or if white nationalist Richard Spencer should be considered one when he claims he doesn't identify as such. He calls for ethnic cleansing and for racial extermination and was punched in the face; I wouldn't have punched him, but I wouldn't shed a tear for his pain given his rhetoric. I can't say I'm all that concerned with getting to grips with how Informant categorizes different hate groups.

I'm also not terribly interested in explanations on how Trump bragging about sexual assault doesn't count as a confession and how he hasn't professed racist views -- except to say that people are free to offer their views but have no business declaring that those who disagree are mentally ill.

My view: the 2016 election was subjected to an unprecedented level of hacking from Russian agents. The FBI is investigating whether or not these agents coordinated and collaborated with the Trump campaign, a worthwhile avenue of inquiry. Christopher Steele's distaste for Trump is not a disqualifying factor in his information being used to open an investigation as espionage and law enforcement constantly rely on informants biased against the party on whom they're reporting and such information is not treated as proof in itself, but as information that must be corroborated or disproven in the course of an investigation. A biased informant is a given in any investigation as such parties tend not to be neutral.

In addition, Trump's denials of collusion have been matched with (a) firing James Comey which Trump confessed on TV was to interfere with the investigation (b) being unable to keep his story straight on why he fired Comey and (c) seeking to fire Mueller for the same reasons. Nobody goes to this level of effort if they're not scared of what will be discovered.

Devin Nunes misrepresents law enforcement (and now espionage) to stir phony outrage and Nunes' claim that Hillary Clinton colluded with Russia (to sabotage her own campaign?!) is unbelievably stupid. Nunes is another person to add to the list of dubious alt-right white nationalists, Birthers, Men's Right Activists, Sarah Palin, Cassie Jaye, James O'Keefe, Paul Elam, Roy Moore and other peculiarities in the current political climate.

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(576 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

One of the fun things about being a SLIDERS fan is looking at other shows and movies and trying to find glimpses of the original sliders in other characters. Ever since MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION, I've seen Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt as the perfect distillation of what Quinn Mallory would be in his 50s: a cunning, resourceful, hypercompetent, unstoppable force of limitless knowledge and ability whose absurd proficiency at everything is balanced by... actually, I dunno. Ethan Hunt never seems to have any weaknesses, Quinn would have lots. Ethan Hunt is really the hyperathletic and heroic aspects of Quinn.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have Chuck from CHUCK who is without question what Quinn would have been had Jerry played the character as scripted rather than as himself: an awkward, insular, troubled, lonely geekboy thrust into situations of danger and peril that bring out his inner Ethan Hunt, but it's always an uneasy fit.

Sorry. I meant fun for me.

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I sometimes think THE X-FILES might have been better as a low-rated, low-budgeted cult series that muddled along, always drawing in slightly more ad revenue than it cost to actually make it, supported by a legion of diehard fans and largely ignored by the general public. Like FRINGE! Like SUPERNATURAL! Except the fate of cult shows in the 90s was, well, pretty much what we saw with SLIDERS: a slow death by a thousand cuts with endless retooling and recasting until the fanbase was reduced to six people and the ending to the series was scripted by the fanbase's village mental patient (twice over).

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(870 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I would like to thank Informant for his sterling service in using the Nunes memo to indicate the validity of the Nunes memo by citing the different sections of the Nunes memo that support the assertions of the Nunes memo.

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

It’s funny how THE X-FILES comic books, the SEASON 10 - 11 series, were originally billed as a canonical conitnuation of the series. Chris Carter, who did little more than read the comic book scripts, had his name put on the covers. The publisher understood that Carter’s name at the top of the credits lent the comics a credibility among fans that was instantly lost the second THE X-FILES was announced as returning to TV.

SEASON 11 ends with Mulder confronting an alien ship that warps spacetime in order to traverse great distances. A rip in reality shows glimpses of parallel universes — one of which shows Mulder and Scully in their “My Struggle” outfits: Mulder with his sunglasses and green jacket, Scully with her parted down the center hair. The implication was that SEASONS 10 - 11 were in a parallel universe to the Revival — except that given the Revival’s liberties with the myth-arc and continuity, the actual effect upon readers (or at least me) was that the comics were canon and it was the Revival that was set in a parallel universe to the original TV show.

The televised Season 11 seems determined to pepper every episode with the theme of alternate realities whether they are visions (“My Struggle III”), computer simulations (“This”), perceptions through multiple personalities (“Plus One”), false memories (“Forehead Sweat”) and telepathic illusions (“Ghouli”).

**

In terms of the downfall of THE X-FILES as a cultural force — this is strictly my opinion, but Seasons 2 - 5 were the height of the show in terms of ratings. After the movie, the ratings started to fall. My suspicion is that the Mulder/Scully case-of-the-week format with occasional myth-arc episodes was effective for five years. After five seasons, however, the audience craved a new take. FIGHT THE FUTURE suggested that there would indeed be a new emphasis on the Mulder-Scully relationship and the myth-arc where Seasons 1 -  5 hadn’t really done character arcs or developed the myth-arc all that much.

Season 6, however, didn’t deliver. There was a lot of teasing for both the Mulder-Scully relationship and the myth-arc, but there was nothing concerete. The romcom episodes came to an end without any real changes. The “Two Fathers”/One Son” revealed the mythology and killed off the Syndicate, but the aliens were still coming and the Smoking Man carried on his plotting, so nothing had really changed. Speculatively, I wonder if “Two Fathers”/“One Son” made it clear that both the relationship and the myth-arc would only ever be teases and doubletalk and the audience gave up.

Later shows like HOUSE and BUFFY were careful: each season had a year-long myth-arc that would be resolved by the season’s end. Each year also had some revisions to the format. As David Shore (HOUSE) would remark, you want to be making little changes to the show before the audience starts asking for them as opposed to after they’ve gotten bored — and you maybe want to commit to the changes wholeheartedly instead of in the wishy-washy fashion THE X-FILES did. That said, Informant would not agree with commiting fully and totally to a Mulder-Scully romance...

Personally, I would have had FIGHT THE FUTURE be the climactic, widescreen action conclusion to the alien invasion arc — and it ends with the X-Files Division burned to the ground and Mulder and Scully banned from the FBI premises for life. Season 6 ends with Mulder working at a tabloid and Scully working at a blood bank — until the Lone Gunmen call. Frohike won the lottery. Frohike wants to expand the Lone Gunmen into a national enterprise of exploring paranormal events — and he wants to re-name the magazine THE X-FILES and he wants Mulder and Scully to be his lead investigators. Season 6 starts a more ensemble approach where it’s now Mulder, Scully, Langley, Frohike, Byers and then it widens to include Jeffrey Spender, Diana Fowley and then it turns out that Frohike didn’t actually win the lottery, but the Smoking Man staged it...

With Season 7, I would have THE X-FILES go global with Mulder and Scully mentoring trainees as a new generation of X-Files investigators. With Season 8, Mulder goes missing and we focus on Scully and the trainees. With Season 9, Gillian Anderson is at last released from her contract and the trainees take center stage, shepherded by FBI agents Reyes and Doggett who have been made liaisons as the FBI consult with the X-Files Magazine.

TV works best when the concept evolves a bit each year. THE X-FILES refused to grow. It’s still refusing to grow.

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Personally, I would have preferred William join the cast from this episode onwards. But I've come to accept that the show has a house format (as opposed to style) that isn't ever going to change. It would bother me if not for SUPERNATURAL and FRINGE having pursued the ongoing development that TXF just won't ever do.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Informant wrote:

No, I just literally see nothing remotely homophobic in his joke. I have seen a lot of different shipper fandoms over the years, both hetero and gay, and I have seen many actors laugh at the thought of many of those couplings, insisting that they're just friends, or they're... Y'know... Brothers. He didn't say anything homophobic (and isn't likely to, considering his history), and didn't even reference the gay element in his joke. If anything, he was treating them the same way he would treat any highly unlikely coupling. And it's probably also likely that the cast had been laughing at the shippers on set for a while prior to that, because that's what actors tend to do when the shippers pop up. Do you think Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins are taking their shippers seriously?


If the shippers want to he offended by the fact that he didn't take them seriously... Okay. I guess. But if they're claiming that he is doing so because he's homophobic... Honestly, I find that ridiculous.


Let me ask you a question. How do you think the audience would react to the pairing of Curtis and Dinah?

I think it's one thing for Ackles and Collins to blow off Destiel given that for three seasons, Dean Winchester had been established as a ladies man who gets nervous in the face of homoeroticism. I'm not sure Castiel even has much of a sexuality. I am pleased for the Destiel ship, however, because I've noticed that whenever my niece is upset or distraught, casual references to Castiel as "Dean's boyfriend" and Dean as "the love of Castiel's life" immediately calm her down.

In the case of SUPERGIRL, Kara's sexuality was a relatively blank slate with her schoolgirl crush on Jimmy that was immediately dropped with Season 2 and her reluctance and distance with Mon-El throughout most of Season 2. There was a lot of chemistry between Melissa Benoist and Katie McGrath that could have potentially gone romantic or not, certainly moreso than with the female-male pairings the show selected instead. There was nothing to indicate Kara couldn't or wouldn't be attracted to women as well as men.

My niece was in favour of it but understood that the show might not and probably wouldn't go there; at the end of the day, SUPERGIRL is a copyright owned by a fundamentally conservative corporation that took nearly eight decades to let Wonder Woman be bisexual.

There was nothing to indicate that Kara and Lena *couldn't* be bisexual -- until Jeremy Jordan led the cast in *laughing* at the notion, effectively mocking the idea that two powerful, equally matched women in lead roles on a television series could be attracted to each other, laughing at the idea Supergirl could ever have a sexual orientation outside of what was heteronormative. It was very hurtful for the LGBTQ segment of the audience to see that and my niece hasn't gone near SUPERGIRL since.

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Season 8 was very strong as THE X-FILES committed fully to serialization, something it had declined to engage in despite being the first show to attempt an ongoing mythology over multiple episodes and seasons. Season 9 suffered badly because Mulder was inexplicably made the center of the show despite the actor refusing to return and there was also a lot of awkward scripting to include Scully in stories because they had the actress on contract but didn't have anything for her to do.

**

I don't think we need anymore standalones where William is represented through a surrogate (Christian in I WANT TO BELIEVE, the genetically altered children in "Founders Mutation," the trash man monster in "Home Again"). It was time for William to step back into the story and James Wong made it happen albeit in that classic X-FILES fashion of being elusive and always out of reach, much like Samantha and the truth behind the conspiracy.

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

There's another continuity peculiarity -- William was adopted by Wyoming farmers in Season 9. But in Season 11, they're now a wealthy Virginia family. Ah, continuity. Doesn't exist on this show.

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I think Season 8 is one of the show's best years. Season 9 was bad.

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(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I wonder if the Vancouver air just doesn't agree with her throat.

**

I feel like Informant's issue with this week's episode of THE X-FILES is that it's an episode of THE X-FILES and THE X-FILES isn't for everyone. Even I don't really like it; I don't enjoy it as much as I study it. If I want a show with strong continuity, ongoing character progression and logical links to previously established concepts that avoids an anthology approach, I'd watch FRINGE. (I might do that anyway.)

THE X-FILES is fundamentally about absence, loss and the search for that which is missing. The Pilot was centered around missing time. Writer/directors Glen Morgan and James Wong left THE X-FILES after Season 4, came back for Season 10, watched Seasons 5 - 9 and declared that William could under no circumstances be brushed off as easily as Season 9 seemed to suggest. So, James Wong presents "Ghouli" in which Mulder and Scully search for their missing son and are met with absence and loss at every turn. By the time they find William, he's a corpse and his story is over. Scully gets her worst nightmare to come true: sending William away only made him troubled and damaged and monstrous. And when she gets her reunion with William, she only finds out about it after the fact. That's THE X-FILES.

THE X-FILES is also very focused on ambiguity. William has two girlfriends; is it because he's a lying, cheating player or is he polyamorous but struggling to understand his sexual identity? William induces his two girlfriends to attack each other; does he truly have no regard for human life or was he trying to master his powers and racing the clock against the Spartan Virus?

There's also tremendous ambivalence with regards to continuity. In Season 9, Spender injected William with magnetite that should have negated his powers; this is ignored. Season 9 also established that Scully's abduction had tampered with her physiology and that William would benefit from alien DNA -- but Season 11 now declares that it wasn't about aliens but instead supersoldiers as part of Project Crossroads, an awkward retcon that goes undiscussed and James Wong carefully scripts the story to acknowledge the myth-arc but sail right past the discrepancy.

Deliberate anti-climaxes, cautious ambiguity, unclear continuity -- that's THE X-FILES. For better or for worse. (Informant could be right to say it's worse.)

Sorry, I forgot to add this footnote:

*Informant would consider anyone who was hurt by Jordan's remark to be an overly sensitive snowflake seeing phobia where none exists.

I'm enjoying ARROW and THE FLASH this year. Is LEGENDS still on the air? I forget.

**

While I'm mostly enjoying SUPERGIRL, I'm at a bit of a loss with the Samantha character. Odette Anable's a great actress. But I don't understand why Lena's new hire to run L-Corp is suddenly attending the Danvers family gatherings. Why Alex is suddenly babysitting Sam's kid. Why Alex is so close with Sam that she's performing her medical examinations. Why Sam is having heart to hearts with Lena? These people barely know each other; Lena only knows Sam's resume and references. What the hell is going on?

I'm also not thrilled with the Lena/Jimmy romance which strikes me as little more than an effort to pair the spares. There was also a shocking level of homophobia from Jeremy Jordan remarking on a Kara/Lena pairing, a sad and unworthy outburst from a man who crowdfunded money to extricate his cousin from an anti-gay conversion camp.

The rest of the show is pretty great, though. I adore J'onn's father, the Maggie-exit, the crossover was fun, Mon-El's return was tragic and heartfelt, the Reign character terrifies me -- but I wish that SUPERGIRL wouldn't declare that characters are best friends or in love without earning it.

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March 31, 2016

TRANSMODIAR: "Hey, check out the redesign at www.earthprime.com/reborn "

ME: *begins weeping*

TRANSMODIAR: "Zuh!?!?"

ME: "It is beautiful."

TRANSMODIAR: "You're crying FROM THAT?!?"

ME: "It's a dream come true."

TRANSMODIAR: "Well, I'm glad to be your genie. And once it's done, you can move on with your life!"

ME: "I was thinking that after SLIDERS REBORN, I'll turn my attention to REDEARTH88."

TRANSMODIAR: "What is that, a video game?"

ME: "It's this unfinished web series about a video blogger who's unknowingly the center of a mysterious espionage operation involving two rogue spies. The fun thing about it is that the vlogger's videos tend to be very dramedy and romcom-esque while the spies' videos are a mix of paranoia and surveillance footage and intense action. I think maybe I could convert the existing vlog entries to blog format, then spin the story in a direction where -- "

TRANSMODIAR: "Stop."

ME: "I'm thinking one of the spies is actually an artificial intelligence developed by -- "

TRANSMODIAR: "What the **** is wrong with you?"

ME: "What?"

TRANSMODIAR: "Jesus Christ! Would you take a good look at yourself? You are not ******** patron saint of every unfinished story ever **** out there and left to rot. You have wrapped up LONELYGIRL15. You have wrapped up SLIDERS. Now you're doing SLIDERS again -- like once wasn't enough! Stop writing fanfic, you ******** moron. Finish this ridiculous twentieth anniversary special you roped me and Nigel Mitchell and whatshisname Informant into with your ******** Status Updates thread -- and move the **** on. Why do you spend so much time and energy on writing you can't sell?"

ME: "I think you fail to understand the joy and pleasure of writing a pastiche, of recreating -- "

TRANSMODIAR: "You've done enough recreating! Isn't it time you actually created? SLIDERS REBORN was supposed to be three chapters, now it's six parts, four hundred ******** pages of script, that novella, the posters, that stupid social media campaign -- enough is enough. If you devote your writing skills to fanfic, I swear to God that I will start to hate you. I will have to hate you if you keep doing this."

**

June 2, 2016

ME: "Could use some advice here."

TRANSMODIAR: "WHY?! Every time you ask me to do this, you ignore what I say and do what you want."

ME: "That's not true. I didn't write the REDEARTH88 story."

TRANSMODIAR: "I did not know that, kudos on your restraint, what's up?"

ME: "So, when Quinn asks Mallory if he's really there or if he's just a hallucination, is it really Mallory or is it just Quinn's survival instinct?"

TRANSMODIAR: "Oh for ****'s sake."

**

December 22, 2016

ME: "It's done! It's all done! I finished the last SLIDERS REBORN script! Now you'll never have to hear about it again!"

TRANSMODIAR: "Music to my ears! Congratulations. You did what no one else except for Chris Carter could do -- you put a bow on a 90s cult sci-fi series long after everyone stopped asking for one. Time to do some original work!"

**

I continue to agree with Transmodiar about the importance of original work, but I constantly feel like SLIDERS REBORN was the greatest (and only) achievement of my life.

Anyway. I have bought Informant's last three books.

43

(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

It's weird -- I liked Season 10 of THE X-FILES. It often wasn't *good,* but not for lack of trying, if that makes any sense. I had accepted somewhere around 1998 that THE X-FILES would only ever offer an anti-climax to its alien mythology. I enjoyed how "My Struggle" didn't recapture the plot, but it recaptured the atmosphere: brooding conversations and ambiguity and mystery. I enjoyed how "My Struggle" dismissed the old conspiracy and declared it a smokescreen for a new one more in tune with 21st century threats.

When Mulder says that Colonization was him "being led by my nose through a dark alley to a dead end," it didn't fit the show's continuity -- but it had a ring of real-world truth about how the myth-arc was never going anywhere. I liked that and I liked how how "My Struggle II" brought about a version of Colonization in a human-driven, viral form suited to the procedural paranoia of THE X-FILES.

But then Season 11 came and it wimped out terribly. Rather than let the conclusion of "My Struggle II" stand (Colonization came, Scully found a cure) and use the time gap to wrap up the cliffhanger (say the cure was distributed between Season 10 and Season 11 and move on, focus on monsters of the week and characterization), Chris Carter again tried to artificially extend a plot that's completely out of content with William's parentage.

Now I'm rewatching Season 10 and... the flaws that seemed excusable in the name of wrapping up THE X-FILES' storyline years too late are no longer excusable because there's been no wrap up.

*sigh*

44

(185 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I will not watch THE RED PILL. I will not watch any more PROJECT VERITAS videos. I will not read any more Ben Shapiro.

................................................. but I will watch and read and listen to and buy anything Informant produces. God damn it.

Loyalty can be a terrible thing.

It's weird how I didn't even realize how Cisco never takes the lead as a hero. I always thought of him as the lab technician and now Slider_Quinn21 quite correctly notes that Cisco has outgrown being just that.

**

I'm enjoying the Barry-in-jail plot. I really like how Grant Gustin gives Barry this lightweight optimism in such a dark situation. I'm sorry you guys don't like the joking, humourous tone of this season. I'm really appreciating it and the levity warms my heart.

46

(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I feel like you guys don't really get THE X-FILES although that could be said of pretty much everyone who has ever written for the show as they were encouraged to do STEPHEN KING's X-FILES/DARIN MORGAN's X-FILES/________'s X-FILES rather than aim for any sort of house style. Across 11 seasons and two films, however, the show has always been set *now*. Not in the past, not in the future, not in a parallel reality -- so the modern day references are how the show has been.

In the 90s, the anxieties were about cyberspace, tobacco, faith healers, the space program, AIDS, human trafficking, Indigenous peoples and government cover-ups. It's part of why the endgame of Colonization always seemed so unbelievable. THE X-FILES is set in our world and it will always have more continuity with reality than with its own episodes. 90s era X-FILES is dated by the fashions and the cell phones, 2015+ X-FILES is dated by its politics and that's every TV show that was ever made.

But it's pretty fair to dislike the jokes if you feel they don't work. That's valid criticism.

47

(217 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I think DISCOVERY is an interesting exploration of Starfleet's dual purpose as a military and exploratory force. The scripts are strong. But the production is so distant from the 1960s STAR TREK that it's hard to grasp why it's a prequel. Bryan Fuller seemed to be pushing hard for including hints of the classic designs (red/blue/gold turtlenecks) and I imagine that under his control, DISCOVERY would have had a modern look but with orange highlights to be reminiscent of the pastels of the original series and the tech would have *looked* state of the art but had a somewhat more primitive function compared to the original series. Cooks instead of food slots, drones instead of holo simulations, etc.. The writing is perfectly in tune with the original series, but the production is at odds and many of Fuller's aesthetic wishes seem to have been discarded.

48

(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

To me, Dr. They's remark about how we are all deluged in so much information we don't know whether or not to believe anything at all -- it's a comment on the mythology where between Colonization, Sveta, the Spartan Virus and William's parentage, the myth-arc has gone back and forth upon itself so many times that the viewer is completely lost as to what to believe. Dr. They also declares that in this post-conspiracy/post-cover-up era, Mulder search for truth has become irrelevant and Darin Morgan is by extension calling THE X-FILES redundant and out of date.

I'm not sure I agree with that. I think that the myth-arc is most definitely out of touch with modern concerns and Chris Carter's efforts to update it broke continuity and also presented some truly hamfisted and inane storytelling. THE X-FILES no longer works when it's about two FBI agents trying to break open a conspiracy that keeps morphing into a new form that's in stark contradiction to its previous incarnation with an alien invasion becoming a means of population control becoming something about supersoldier infants. Jesus.

But. I think that THE X-FILES is highly effective as a paranormal procedural about a skeptic and an investigator delving into mysteries of a supernatural or science fiction nature in a world that is more or less our own. That's a concept that continued to thrive long after THE X-FILES went off the air. It flourished with FRINGE, it was a success with SUPERNATURAL. Monsters of the week is a good format.

The fixation on the myth-arc has created a lot of bizarre characterization because the show seems uncomfortable with having the characters note that Colonization and the Spartan Virus are two contradictory conspiracies. Mulder confronted the Smoking Man in "My Struggle II" and didn't remark once upon how CGB Spender made him waste at least nine years investigating a phony invasion plot, he later visits Deep Throat's grave and doesn't wonder if Ronald tricked him into believing in Colonization or if he was pawn as well.

THE X-FILES still has value as a paranormal procedural, but the myth-arc is past its sell-by date. I take no pleasure in saying that, however. I understand that a lot of fans have a lot of fondness and devotion to it. I respect that -- I just don't share it.

49

(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Mulder ranting at the young FBI agents was hilarious to me on account of how Mulder is bragging about his conspiracy credentials when he spent Seasons 1 - 9 investigating a plot to invade Earth that turned out to be a hoax and he failed to ever expose the conspirators at all. It seems to me that aside from being gainfully employed by the FBI for a career spanning three decades (with six years as a federal fugitive and nine years doing nothing), Mulder has no meaningful achievements whatsoever, something Darin Morgan has always been keen to highlight.

One of my favourite X-FILES websites, www.EattheCorn.com, spent almost the entire length of the show documenting the myth-arc across the nine seasons, two films and then the Season 10 & 11 comic books. The webmaster was dismayed when Chris Carter declared the bulk of the myth-arc to be a hoax in “My Struggle,” attempted to reconcile alien colonization with the Spartan Virus in “My Struggle II” and gave up halfway into his review.

With “My Struggle III,” however, Eat the Corn seemed to squeal with delight at two lines of dialogue where Mr. Y declares that he was part of a Syndicate to bring about alien colonization but that it’s not happening due to environmental damage. The webmaster was later gushing on Facebook about how pleased he was that the Season 1 - 9 myth-arc was validated by these two lines. He then suggested a new approach to the myth-arc with Seasons 1 - 9 being genuine but the colonization aborted some time between 2000 and 2012 with the Spartan Virus being a new conspiracy that was devised colonization was cancelled.

I thought it was hilarious how passionate he became over Chris Carter throwing him a bone in this fashion when to me, it was very grudging and dismissive. And, to me, “Forehead Sweat” is a (gentle) way of mocking fans like the Eat the Corn webmaster who are trying to make sense of it all when the people pumping out this information have no concern for sense whatsover.

(But we’re all crazy passionate about silly things; I’m ridiculous with SLIDERS and I think this gentleman is my X-FILES counterpart.)

50

(291 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Setting aside all the political commentary, I don't think there's any doubt that Darin Morgan is skewering, mocking, criticizing and ultimately debunking Chris Carter's approach to the myth-arc whether it's Colonization, the Spartan Virus or William's true parentage. Carter has always permitted his writing staff to make fun of him with his blessing.

"Forehead Sweat" is composed entirely of people standing around talking in ominous foreshadowing, teasing grand payoffs that only come in the form of very sad anti-climaxes. Reggie Something offers a secret history behind the world we know only for his grand revelations to be exposed as a delusion. Dr. They is a silly figure of absurdity whose every statement underscores not a word should be taken seriously.

In addition, all the clues regarding Reggie's identity are contradictory and nonsensical: his ID appeared in the digitized X-Files records in "This" and Skinner recognizes him, he's being pursued by FBI agents and henchmen -- except given Scully's revelations, Reggie shouldn't be known to anyone save the orderlies at the Spotnitz Sanitarium.

Every time "Forehead Sweat" provides any sort of master narrative on disparate, disconnected and confusing events, the pieces fail to fit into a cohesive whole and Dr. They points out that there is so much trivia and information and theory that it's impossible to know what's true and what's not anymore.

This has always been the case with THE X-FILES specifically in terms of the alien conspiracy. The pieces have never fit together. Season 1 has the US government executing any and all alien life on sight for which Deep Throat expresses his deep regret -- except Season 2 indicates that aliens have infiltrated every level civilization and formed a shadow government.

Season 3 indicates that aliens are conducting rogue experiments in combining human and alien DNA and they're creating clone upon clone of Samantha, but Season 5 and FIGHT THE FUTURE declare it's actually the Syndicate trying to create an alien human hybrid so that the conspirators can... survive the alien invasion by... what? 
The black oil it its first appearance is merely a 'medium' for an alien life force to transfer its essence into a human host, but in its subsequent appearance, it becomes a virus designed to turn a human into an alien, but then later on, the black oil is in fact an alien life form that possesses and controls humans. What?

The bees are being used to spread the virus to exterminate human victims except the plan as revealed in FIGHT THE FUTURE is to use humans as a slave race, so the bees are for... what again? Season 6 at last explains that the invasion plot is for the black oil aliens to invade Earth and use human bodies as incubators to repopulate the planet with their offspring... so the bees are... what? And the clones are for... what?

THE X-FILES was composed of all these little clues thrown out randomly in separate episodes with a later episode attempting to impose a master narrative upon all these disparate hints except half of them don't fit the overarching story declared afterwards.

If Reggie Something is a delusional mental patient, how could Dr. They be a real person whom Mulder oculd meet? If the endgame of the myth-arc was ultimately the Spartan Virus as a a human-devised means of population control, why was there an alien bounty hunter killing off alien-human conspirators? If the Cigarette Smoking Man plotted his apocalyptic scenario from the start, why was he presented as middle management within the Syndicate in Seasons 1 - 6?

"Forehead Sweat" is noting the sheer futility of trying to make sense of any of this incoherence by deliberately offering a mini-myth-arc with miniature hints that add up to a miniature level of myth-arc meandering that leaves us none the wiser.

I liked it, although at times, I despaired at how long we were spending in that parking lot.