Topic: The X-Files

SPOILERS










THE X-FILES is back! Very compelling stuff in that it's intense, riveting dialogue and scripting -- it's a well-told story, although I'm not entirely sure if the story is worth telling. It's a nice little reunion with Mulder and Scully followed by Mulder talking to a UFO abductee, collating that information with a mysterious man he met between the Season 9 finale and this mini-series premiere -- at which point Mulder declares that the entire alien myth-arc of Seasons 1 - 9 has been a lie. The Colonization plot, the war between the Rebels and the Colonists -- that was all the conspiracy using purloined alien technology from a crashed spaceship for their own purposes. There are aliens, but there is no alien invasion, no alien conspiracy -- just human beings having rebuilt alien tech to take over society while creating the diversion of an invasion plot to obscure the truth. The goal behind this deception? Unclear.

Hunnh. On one level, I pretty much always thought it would turn out this way. By that, I mean, when the SEASON 10 comics were announced, I figured writer Joe Harris would use the time gap between the original series and the SEASON 10 comics to declare the alien myth-arc over and done with.

Instead, Harris embraced the mythology whole and sought to build and expand on it while making it clear that the X-FILES myth-arc wasn't about answers, it was about paranoia and terror. The alien myth-arc, in the comics, was treated as like the Cthulu Mythos or the Doctor's name -- something fundamentally unknowable and understandable only as a metaphor.

Chris Carter, however, has decided to blow up his own mythology, declaring his prolonged, overstretched, nonsensical, peretually stalled distraction of a mythos to be a prolonged, overstretched, nonsensical, perpetually stalled distraction in-universe as a way to keep truthseekers like Mulder busy. Honestly, I think this is ridiculous, but actually no more ridiculous than any other aspect of the alien invasion arc on THE X-FILES and actually serves as a means to explain all the inconsistencies and plotholes and lack of payoff over the years.

By treating Colonization as a long-term practical joke, THE X-FILES is actually free to focus once again on the standalone monsters of the week and not get tripped up over long-running threads it couldn't adequately address.

It's an interesting choice. Some long-term viewers are protesting this development. Mulder's had crises of faith before! Mulder's seen plenty of aliens! There were plenty of conspiratorial meetings where shadowy figures discussed the impending alien invasion. But Carter's massive retcon doesn't dismiss the existence of aliens, just the invasion of Earth and also allows for many, many, many parties to have been deceived in order to maintain the deception. It could just about work -- and while some fans are offended, this massive, blanket explanation might be the only means of wrangling the myth-arc into something sensible and suited to broadcast TV again.

While this is indeed the biggest retcon in TV history -- nine years of a show! -- it's also arguable that the alien-episode to monsters-of-the-week ratio means that the aliens were only ever a small part of THE X-FILES no matter how much importance was placed on a few alien episodes at the start and end of each season with a few scattered in between.

It's interesting. I'll withhold judgement on how it could turn out until the end. It is a complete 180 from THE X-FILES of Seasons 1 - 9, but there were plenty of 180s in those nine seasons as well (Samantha Mulder was abducted by fairies, not aliens! Mulder's been dying throughout all of Season 7, but we only find out in Season 8!).

Admittedly, the mini-series might end with declaring that this whole retcon is just a bluff and the myth-arc is real after all.

Re: The X-Files

My friend blogged: "Mulner and Scuzzy are apparently not fighting the aliens anymore and i am disappointed. I can see people fighting people anytime"

I wrote a lengthy reply.

TLDR: There have been 203 episodes of THE X-FILES and only 67 were about aliens. The rest were about various paranormal phenomena and supernatural creatures. Aliens amount to only 33 per cent of THE X-FILES, so doing away with that part of the mythos still leaves plenty for the show to explore. It might be for the best as the alien plot had gotten convoluted and unworkable over the nine seasons of the show.

Origin Story

•  Originally, THE X-FILES wasn't meant to have an ongoing arc of any kind.
•  This was the 90s era of characters remaining static and unchanging.
•  The aliens were really no different from the shapeshifters or the vampires -- they were unexplained monsters.
•  In the alien episodes, a mysterious government official would usually be seen stealing any evidence of aliens and storing it away.
•  No answers were planned; the mystery was more compelling than any explanation.
•  The aliens and monsters of THE X-FILES were meant to be like the Cthulu Mythos -- inexplicable, unknowable, understandable only in terms of metaphors.
•  THE X-FILES' aliens were metaphors for the forces of light and darkness.
•  Then Gillian Anderson got pregnant.

Explanations are Required

•  The writing team decided to have her abducted by aliens to account for her absence during her character's absence during maternity leave.
•  This decision compelled the writers to start offering concrete explanations for the aliens: what they were doing on Earth, why they abducted people, their relationship with the government.
•  Season 2 revealed that the aliens were harvesting human tissue to create clones for some reason.
•  It also established the mysterious government agent as part of a Syndicate; a shadow government controlling most world governments who'd made a deal with the aliens in some unknown endgame.
•  Season 3 would reveal that the aliens were creating alien-human hybrids and also introduce the black oil, an alien lifeform that would enter a control a human host.
•  Season 4 would reveal that the Syndicate, while collaborating with the aliens, were also working against them, creating a vaccine that would prevent humans from being controlled by the black oil.
•  Season 5 would introduce a second set of aliens, a race of shapeshifters, called the Faceless Rebels, who wanted to stop the black oil.
•  These Rebels were just as hostile to humans, often killing abductees to interfere with the black oil's plans.
•  The feature film, FIGHT THE FUTURE, along with Season 6 would finally offer an explanation for the aliens' plans.

Answers at Last

•  The black oil is the original inhabitant of Earth before the human race. It's a virus.
•  The ice age brought on the black oil's main weakness, extreme cold.
•  Aliens visited Earth and encountered the black oil and it infected them.
•  The two lifeforms evolved into symbiotic partners.
•  They decided to leave Earth and return after the ice age and use the evolving life, humans, as their hosts.
•  Only some of the aliens were able to resist the black oil -- these are the faceless rebels.
•  The black oil aliens spread the virus across the cosmos while the faceless rebels sought to stop them, with Earth as one of their battlefields.

Invasion

•  The aliens returned to Earth in the 1940s, but their presence was detected by the US Government.
•  A shadow government, the Syndicate, determined the aliens' plans to colonize Earth and use humans as hosts for their reproduction.
•  Seeing no means to stop them, the Syndicate attempted to stall.
•  They offered to facilitate their Colonization of Earth by creating the ideal means of allowing the black oil to infect hosts while sustaining their hosts.
•  Human abductees would be experimented on to determine the best way to use them as hosts.
•  The Syndicate determined that the alien virus would be best spread through using bees as a delivery system.
•  They discovered that an alien-human hybrid would be the perfect host for the black oil to reproduce itself.
•  They slowed progress on creating this hybrid, hoping that the hybrid would be a way to develop an an anti-black oil vaccine to save themselves.
•  The Syndicate's betrayal was discovered in Season 6 and the aliens killed most of them.
•  In Seasons 8 - 9, the aliens begin deploying supersoldiers -- genetically engineered alien-human hybrids deployed to key government positions.
•  These supersoldiers would replace the Syndicate in facilitating the alien invasion.

Lack of Payoff

•  All of the above was revealed over the course of nine seasons.
•  The secondary plan, after THE X-FILES began to develop its myth-arc in greater detail, was to do five seasons of the show and end with a movie.
•  This feature film would feature the climax of the alien invasion and end THE X-FILES.
•  However, the show was renewed for a sixth season and the plans to do a conclusion in the film were scrapped.
•  The film became big budget episode that didn't end the show.
•  Once THE X-FILES was denied its climax, the problems of the alien myth-arc became very clear.

A Troubled Mythology

•  The alien myth-arc was not planned in advance, resulting in continuity errors throughout.
•  How can creating an alien-human hybrid help the Syndicate survive the invasion? •  The answer that it  could lead to a vaccine doesn't explain how they'd survive violent and technologically advanced aliens.
•  Why are bees being used to deliver a virus that consists of oil?
•  Why has it taken the aliens since 1940 to get started on this invasion and why have they still not begun?
•  If the aliens can create supersoldiers, why do they need humans to create the alien-human hybrid?
•  The individual pieces of the myth-arc, as revealed, did not fit together into a cohesive whole.
•  Further revelations served only to confuse.

A Format That Resists a Myth-Arc

•  The other problem is that tone and format of THE X-FILES was ill-suited to an alien invasion.
•  The show was largely presented as a criminal procedural drama where the heroes investigated monsters.
•  The stories had extremely grounded, down-to-Earth settings with mundane characters.
•  The plots were based in Mulder and Scully observing paranormal phenomena but rarely having any effect on the situation, being mere humans in an unknowable universe.
•  This format is fundamentally incompatible with an alien invasion story.
•  If the aliens invade Earth, the criminal procedural drama format is lost; the story must be focused on fighting a war against aliens.
•  An alien-human war would deprive THE X-FILES of its grounded, down-to-Earth presentation and step entirely into fantasy.
•  This invasion story would also end THE X-FILES as a series.
•  If the aliens win, there are no more X-Files.
•  If the aliens lose, the X-Files serve no purpose; an invasion makes it clear to the world at large that the paranormal is a known fact.
•  Therefore, the alien invasion story was a story that THE X-FILES could never tell or show onscreen in any way.
•  It couldn't fit into the format of the series.
•  It would invalidate any future installments.

Stalling Tactics

•  As a result, the alien myth-arc of THE X-FILES became an exercise in delaying and stalling.
•  Information would be doled out piecemeal.
•  The alien invasion would always be described as coming soon, but it would never arrive.
•  The series finale indicated that the alien invasion would come in Season 20 of THE X-FILES (2012).
•  This finale was yet another instance of kicking the can farther away.

My Struggle: The Retcon

•  THE X-FILES 2016 mini-series opens with an episode declaring that the alien colonization plan was a hoax.
•  It indicates that there was only one significant alien encounter on Earth; the Roswell crash.
•  All alien incursions and events since then have been the government or its shadow controllers using technology stripped from the Roswell ship to create a massive distraction from their true purpose.
•  Their actual endgame has been to control and reshape society into a corporate controlled military industrial complex with a society driven by consumerist capitalism.
•  The alien colonization and its various events were a way of diverting attention away from how the technology was actually being employed.
•  Mulder has suspected this for some time, developing this theory some time after THE X-FILES' ninth season.
•  This episode confirms his suspicions.
•  Reviewers have protested Mulder’s sudden turnaround in abandoning his belief in Colonization; however, dialogue establishes that Mulder has been doubting Colonization ever since 2006 and when the stated 2012 invasion date came and went, his suspicions must have deepened.
•  The Roswell medical doctor ridicules Mulder’s former certainty in the reality of the faceless rebels at war with the colonists at setting people on fire, which happened onscreen.
•  This retcon is entirely at odds with the majority THE X-FILES episodes that featured the alien myth-arc.
•  This retcon is entirely at odds with the majority THE X-FILES episodes that featured the alien myth-arc.
•  The abductions, the Syndicate's desperate attempts to develop a vaccine, the alien human hybrids, the faceless rebels, the bees, supersoldiers -- all were presented as genuine from a third person point of view.
•  The idea that these were all actors or deceived Syndicate members who bought into the hoax is absurd.
•  However, the retcon is no more contradictory to the mythology than the numerous contradictions already within Seasons 1 - 9.

An Admission?

•  If anything, the retcon is an acceptance of reality.
•  Once THE X-FILES failed to deliver an alien invasion in the feature film, the myth-arc was doomed to offer endless stalling until an inevitable anti-climax.
•  There is no way to do an effective alien invasion story in 2016 that serves as a solid finale to THE X-FILES after nine seasons of delaying tactics.
•  The time has passed.
•  There is no way to fulfill the alien invasion story in a manner that does not render the X-FILES format and storytelling platform irrelevant.
•  Therefore, this retcon effectively concedes defeat.
•  From an in-universe perspective, the X-Files must redefine themselves without the alien mythology or the impending invasion.
•  Even without aliens, it still has 67 per cent of its mythos left -- the supernatural and paranormal material that's unrelated to aliens.
•  The absence of aliens creates a void.
•  That void is easily filled by creating new material and new purpose for the X-Files in the twenty-first century.
•  The continuity contradictions resulting from the retcon are unfortunate.
•  They are, however, irrelevant to the majority of THE X-FILES' stories about investigating monsters of the week.
•  The anti-climax of "My Struggle" was an inescapable inevitability THE X-FILES' format once the series missed its chance to do a climactic alien invasion in its feature film.

Disclaimer

•  It is entirely possible that the debunking of the myth-arc in "My Struggle" will be overturned at a later date.
•  In that case, these bullet points about the necessity of doing away with the alien myth-arc may be invalidated.
•  The explanation of the alien colonization plot is based on my recollections of the series and may be inaccurate in various places.
•  The author apologizes for any errors.

3 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-01-25 16:58:01)

Re: The X-Files

The strong ratings were great to see. I really enjoyed the episode. It wasn't perfect, and I think they had to cram in a lot, but it more or less hit the spot and delivered on what I think the majority of the public was hoping for.

Re: The X-Files

Wow. You put it all out there in a really nice way. Good job on that. smile

Season 5 of the show was pretty interesting. Mulder comes to believe that everything he has been led to believe was a lie. There were no aliens. It was all a government conspiracy. This felt like a natural conclusion to that story, and it should have ended there. But it didn't. They went on to disprove that idea in pretty definite terms.

The miniseries appears to be trying to go back to that concept, more or less. But it only serves to further muddy the waters. The question is, would the reboot have been better off just shrugging off the alien arc and moving on without making it the focus of the first episode? Mulder has come to realize that it's all been a lie. 2012 came and went, and nothing happened. So much of his life has been wasted that he ends up the depressed mess that we meet in "My Struggle". Did they need to do a whole episode about that? Or would it have been better to keep it vague?


I have issues with "My Struggle". Before I go into them, I want to make it clear that I was excited to go into this miniseries. I still hold onto excitement about the middle three non-Carter episodes. I've been rewatching the series and just got into season 6... I think the move to LA destroyed the vibe of the series, but that's a different conversation.

So I'm a fan. Since day 1. I'm not what the kids today call a "hater" who just enjoys hating things for no reason. I'm an old school geek who still hangs out on a bboard for a series where most of the fandom will agree the show mostly sucked. My kind of geek rants with the best of intention. So, here we go...

Chris Carter can't write to save his life. Like Joss Whedon these days, you feel the writer in the room when you're watching his stuff, because it seems to be mostly about him and not the story or the characters. I "My Struggle", Carter welcomed back the fans after 13 years away by kicking half of them in the teeth. He did this by jumping into politics right away, making snide comments at the expense of a large part of the fandom.

The concept of "My Struggle" in itself isn't too bad. Even my own new novel series deals with a big conspiracy against the people. I don't mind politics in general. However, Carter fails to understand the topics that he is discussing. So, he ends up attributing ideals to the wrong sides. If you're going to get political, you need to know what you're talking about. If you're just in it to make stupid, juvenile comments about the side you disagree with, you will not win fans. Carter also did this in "I Want to Believe" with a truly out of place pan over to a picture of George W. Bush while the X-Files theme played.

In the 1990's, Carter usually kept real world politics out of it. There were references here and there, but he made no attempt to get into the deep stuff. Clinton was in office and Carter is a liberal, so he kept his massive government conspiracy largely non-political. And in rewatching the show, it's obvious that that method worked. It actually made the show more timeless.

Now, Carter is trying to get into real world politics that are over his head. He makes vague, general comments about something in an attempt to sew together a patchwork quilt of conspiracy, but he ignores the meat of those issues. The quilt is made out of Kleenex and will fall apart as soon as you pick it up.

One of the stranger elements of the reveal of this conspiracy was that they completely ignored the man in the White House. Yeah, Obama appeared during a lighthearted clip at the beginning. However, during the monologue of evil, they showed clips of George W. Bush more than once... All while talking about a lot of stuff that either all happened under Obama, or which were expanded under him. Obama has been President for almost 8 years and they're still showing images of Bush... it's the same mentality that kept politics out of the show in the 90's, but with the added weird twist of blame shifting to a guy who hasn't been in charge for almost a decade.

I'm also not sure that I'm comfortable with shifting the blame for 9/11 off of the people who really did it. I know that the show has always played with historical events this way, but it seems like it might be in poor taste, especially when the same people are still killing people to this day.


So... the fabric of the new mythology is flimsy.


The first scene with Mulder and Scully was awkward. Not in the way it was supposed to be, but in a way that made it feel like the editing was off and we were seeing responses to comments that were edited out. Likewise, I didn't like their argument on the porch. Both were yelling and going nuts, but neither one of them was actually saying anything. If either one of them just said what they were thinking, it would have turned into a conversation rather than a fight. The show used to do this well, having the characters go back and forth. Unfortunately, I don't think that Carter even knew what they were arguing about, so they were just aimlessly yelling.

The conservative host guy could have been so much richer as a character if they thought of him in the same way that they thought of the Lone Gunmen. But again, they didn't seem to have a firm grasp of the character or his views. Do they like him or is he part of the problem? He came across as a caricature.

I've recently had experience with trying to write characters who don't think the way I do or believe what I do. It's hard, but you have to at least make an effort.


Ultimately, "My Struggle" was a struggle to get through (see what I did there?). That said, I am still hopeful that the other episodes will be solid X-Files fun. At the very least, three of them should be good... I hope.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

Ib, how'd you manage to fit all that into one tweet?!

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: The X-Files

It was a blog post.

**

Oddly -- at one point, I joked to Matt that Joel McHale had a role in THE X-FILES and he'd be playing Informant. This was before I knew that Tad O'Malley would be a 9-11 Truther.

I did get the sense that Mulder and Scully were just spouting their catchphrases at each other. It worked for me in that these two people have known each other for so long that they just speak in shorthand.

I think Chris Carter is a fine writer, but he has constantly written stories he doesn't want to write. It's very obvious that Carter doesn't want to write epic alien invasion stories or fate of the world situations. He wants to write grounded, done-in-one procedurals with supernatural overtones. Any time he tries to write an epic, he stumbles. "My Struggle" had to reintroduce THE X-FILES and pay off the overdue alien invasion without interfering with letting the next four episodes' writers do their monsters of the week in their way in their own style. In that sense, Chris Carter did a nice job.

The only thing that really, really, really did not work -- the majority of the fans are complaining that Mulder talked to one alien abductee, saw one man-made spaceship and declared that the alien invasion was a hoax and totally changed his beliefs in ten minutes. This isn't actually accurate. The dialogue clearly establishes that Mulder has doubted the alien invasion for ten years, ever since he met the Roswell doctor who autopsied aliens and declares the faceless rebels setting people on fire to be absurd nonsense.

However, for this transition to work -- I think "My Struggle" needed to make it clear from the first scene: Mulder no longer knows what to believe. So ideally, the first scene should have been Mulder and Scully in a bunker on December 26, 2012. Mulder is ranting about how the world has been destroyed, doomsday is here. Scully says she understand why he thinks that, she just doesn't *feel* it. She turns on a radio. A TV. Everything is normal. They ascend to the surface. There was no invasion. Scully is overjoyed. Mulder is crushed. And that is where Mulder lost his way and his relationship with Scully -- Scully couldn't be with a man who found the absence of an alien invasion to be cause for misery.

Instead, Carter's characterization -- like Tim Kring's -- is vague and unspecific and Mulder having been doubtful of Colonization for ten years is thrown out so suddenly that one could easily miss it. That's why that plot point doesn't land, in addition to the retcon being in total contradiction to pretty much every onscreen myth-arc event ever, albeit no more contradictory than all the other contradictions in that mythos.

Re: The X-Files

The more I think about Mulder switching from believing in an alien invasion to a consortium of men with commandeered alien technology, the less I believe it -- at least as it's presented onscreen. This is a massive 180 from nine seasons and 203 episodes in which the alien invasion was presented as genuine and real. And I think the problem is that Carter hasn't really thought through how to debunk the alien conspiracy. The last time THE X-FILES was on TV, Carter laid out the impending alien invasion with an hour of characters sitting in court explaining various clips. Fourteen years later, the alien conspiracy is declared to be non-existent, the faceless rebels are ridiculed -- because Carter says so now. The reality around the characters has shifted. Nobody could possibly go back and watch the myth-arc episodes and think, this is totally building to a story where it's all debunked!

In fact, there is no real debunking to be found onscreen. So, if there is no colonization plot, who were the faceless rebels and what's the black oil and were the Syndicate also tricked and if there's no alien invasion then who created and deployed all the supersoldiers!?!?!?!? Paradoxically, I absolutely believe this retcon was an inescapable necessity, but I'm not sure the execution was quite right. I think the problem is that I don't believe the script for "My Struggle" is actually *informed* by any clear sense of how to debunk the mythology -- it's simply been declared as fraudulent by authorial decree.

Apologies for the blatant self promotion here, but I decided that, regardless of logic, sense or reason, Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo would be alive and well for SLIDERS REBORN. But I did know how they came back to life. I could explain it. I could explain how they ended up back home and why the Kromagg invasion never happened. I just didn't think it was interesting enough to put in the scripts. But I did have an answer. It wasn't necessarily a great answer, but I can certainly tell you what they did after Season 5 and what happened. I just preferred to do Season 20.

Well, we're on Season 24 of THE X-FILES and I get the uncomfortable sense that Carter doesn't really know what happened between Seasons 9 - 24 and he doesn't really care how Season 24 reflects on the nine seasons he's retroactively altering.

I think we need a webcomic or a digital novella to offer a retconned view of Seasons 1 - 9 to really sell this reworking.

Re: The X-Files

I was worried about the Joel McHale character from the second I heard about him. I knew that it meant that Carter would be going political, which I knew was a bad idea after "I Want to Believe". I just don't think that Carter can write characters who he doesn't believe with and have them make sense. It isn't just him. It's actually pretty difficult to do, which is why so many TV "conservatives" end up looking like cartoon characters and terrorists.

I agree with the issues that you have. I think that's why so much of the dialogue meant like it was randomly generated and no real conversation was having place. In the old days, you would have two strong points of view with Mulder and Scully. They would argue, and both would make valid points. Usually, Scully was a little unwilling to believe what was right in front of her, but that was just who she was. In "My Struggle", I don't think Carter knew what he wanted to do beyond broad strokes. He wanted to bring the conspiracy into the modern world, so he needed to make it about the Patriot Act and Wall Street or whatever. He never knew how to do that, and I think that it's because it really shouldn't have been the same story. It should have been a different arc, separate from the alien mythology. A new conspiracy for a new age. A whole new show, really.
If the writer doesn't believe in what he's writing, there is no way for the characters to have conviction. So, they stood there telling vague comments at each other, hoping that the audience would fill in the gaps in their own minds and call it brilliant.


I get what you're saying about your writing. I did the same thing with my new book series. I mapped out how each element of their world was changed from what we know and became what it is in my story. In some drafts, I tried to explain more of it than I had to, but people found it boring. But I have a whole whiteboard with charts and timelines. Even if the facts aren't stated in my story, the ripples of those facts are still there.



Which brings us to "Founder's Mutation", which was an X-Files episode right from the start. The teaser was just like one of the classics. The emotional pull of the monster storyline echoed the Mulder/Scully personal storyline. I wish they had more time to let their emotional arcs play out a little less jarringly, but they don't have that time.

I might have restructured the imaginary world flashes, putting a flash at the beginning of each act or something like that, rather than dumping them all at once. But that really just comes down to my style.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

ireactions, that post was super-impressive.  Kudos to you.  You need to work in television, my man.  I think you have an intimate knowledge for how stories work and, more importantly, HOW, they work.  If I ever sold my television pilot, I'd have wanted you to be in every writer's meeting to make sure everything worked. 

I agree with the majority of what's been written here, but I keep coming back to the same conclusion.  Both Info and ireactions are super-fans, and Carter is trying to make this for more than just super-fans.  Maybe I Want to Believe showed him that he can't just make it for super-fans.  I don't know.  But if you were to survey the populace about "what the X-Files is about", I think you'd get three distinct categories:

- Super-fans would cite ireactions' stat - 67/203 were about aliens.  Less than a third.  Most people's favorite episodes wouldn't be about aliens.  They'd probably admit that, while the alien arc drove the show, it was a convoluted mess and best left that way.

- Casual fans would say that aliens were the big deal.  They'd remember/acknowledge the monster of the week episodes, but they'd either be disregarded as important or less cool.  Being casual fans, they'd probably have a lesser grasp on how convoluted the alien plot became or how stalled the storyline ended up.  They'd expect any sequel series to be heavily about aliens.

- Non-fans would think the X-Files was all about aliens.  Every week they'd do alien stories and chase down abductions/UFOs.  They'd expect the sequel series to be all about aliens because that's the entire series.

And I think that's the problem.  You have a show that was, for the most part, at it's best when it wasn't doing the alien arc.  But a show that is primarily known for the thing it did the worst (or, at least, did increasingly worse as time went on).  The first movie was aliens.  And if you only knew about the X-Files from promos while you were watching NFL football on FOX, you'd only really be reminded when a big episode happened.  And the big episodes were always aliens.

So it puts Carter in a bit of a bind.  He wants this to be successful so he needs more than just super-fans.  He needs casual fans, and if possible, new fans.  And as time goes by, the show's backbone is all people really remember.  And the alien arc was the backbone.  I watched the show pretty religiously for a great deal of the run, and as I was writing this, I had to struggle to remember some of my favorite non-alien episodes.  I wanted to do what Info did and do a re-run through the entire series.  But I already watch 15 or so shows at any time - to rewatch 9 seasons of television is time I choose to use elsewhere.  So I rewatched the pilot and that's all I did.

So he makes it about aliens.  He ties it into the current landscape.  Ties it into the way media works now.  Ties it into the political conspiracies of the day.  Makes it about the NSA and drones and surveillance because that's the scary monster for certain people.  I see why he did it, and I see why he had to try and come up with *something* to explain why, in 2016, colonization wasn't 4 years underway.  Why he'd want to reboot/retcon what happened during his run.

Re: The X-Files

My question is: With this new mythology that is all about splicing human DNA with alien DNA and all of that, are they going to tell us that all of the X-Files were alien related? Was lightning kid another genetic experiment? The witch girls? The Texas vampires?

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

Informant wrote:

My question is: With this new mythology that is all about splicing human DNA with alien DNA and all of that, are they going to tell us that all of the X-Files were alien related? Was lightning kid another genetic experiment? The witch girls? The Texas vampires?

Almost certainly hmm

Re: The X-Files

Sigh.

Then they'll have to retcon that reveal. smile

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

The sad truth is nearly everything My Struggle points out is in fact true. It looked more like a documentary than anything. I believe it's a way of Chris Carter getting out the truth in his own way. The NDAA, the Tuskegee experiments, the Patriot Act, preparing to round us up, the spying etc are all true but people will sugar coat it with "you're a paranoid conspiracy theorist, you're bending the truth." They're even mixing human and animal DNA in cow fetuses. Until people actually get off the couch stop drinking fluoride and eating GMOs and investigate the truth themselves they will indeed become complacent and be overtaken by a one world government. But they won't. They will insist they are right and refuse to take the time to research these topics which has been heavily documented and can be proven. It seems completely outlandish and something beyond the realm of possibility. It's something Alex Jones has been covering for many years excluding the alien part. You don't believe the man you do the research and prove it yourself. I'm surprised this episode even aired. In case your were wondering I'm not trolling. Good night all.

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Re: The X-Files

Yeah -- one of the issues I took with the conspiracies Carter presented was this: we are all slaves of the corporate military complex at this stage. So it is lost on me how Mulder and O'Malley seemed to think that there was an additional endgame -- or some further end than what it already is. What exactly is there to prevent?

And it's amazing that it aired on FOX! That said, I'm not convinced there are risks to drinking water with fluoride or that genetically modified foods are riskier than organic foods.

I posted on Reddit: I think "My Struggle" was a good story but it wasn't told quite right. Here's how I would have done retconned the myth-arc with Carter's new take.

In declaring that there is no conspiracy, I think "My Struggle" needed to: (a) show at the beginning that Mulder is no longer sure he knows anything about the aliens or colonization (b) provide strong evidence that debunks colonization and (c) choose specific scenes from previous episodes and explain how they took place in this new version of continuity where colonization was a hoax.

I would not have used the New Mexico Doctor to establish and confirm Mulder's new theory. Instead, I would do the following.

Establishing Mulder's Doubts: I think our opening scene needed to be a flashback to December 22, 2012. It's Mulder and Scully in a bunker. Mulder is telling Scully what he thinks the aliens are doing to the population -- the bees, the black oil. He couldn't find any way to stop it, all they can do now is hide. But Scully feels doubts; there were no signs in the days leading up to the invasion; they locked themselves in the bunker one day in advance -- Mulder's afraid to turn on the satellite TV or radios and hear what horrors are taking place.

Scully turns on the TV and radio. Everything is normal. There is no invasion. Scully drags Mulder to the surface, leads him into the city. Everything is fine. No alien attack. Scully is overjoyed and relieved. Mulder is crushed and shattered.

So, this immediately sets up how everything Mulder believed in was wrong and it broke him. Later scenes set in the present establish very specifically why Scully dumped him: the man was depressed over not being murdered by aliens. For God's sake.

This would weight to Mulder being irritated by people joking about alien invasions.

Debunk Colonization: I think the evidence that Tad O'Malley showed should not have been an alien replicant vehicle. Instead, it should have been the contents of a military bunker he uncovered. The bunker contains the black oil -- but it's a highly advanced prop.

There's also facial prosthetics for people to dress up as the faceless rebels. An apparatus for setting people on fire. Prop aliens and alien costumes. Holographic emitters to create the illusion of UFOs. Stockpiles of hallucinogenic drugs that could create the illusion of missing time.

In short, Tad shows Mulder the prop closet for 1013's productions and this now makes Mulder realize that what he's seen could have been staged.

Reviewing Previous Episodes: So, when Mulder shares his new theory with Scully -- that there is no alien conspiracy -- I would have Scully respond with recounting the events of previous episodes. The spaceship in FIGHT THE FUTURE. The supersoldiers. Mulder's abduction. Mulder then replies with his opinions on how those events could have been staged. Scully points out the Syndicate members all believed in colonization. Mulder suggests that contact with aliens might have been limited to one person who would filter and alter any information he received.

Mulder's theory: war is the primary means by which society is industrialized and now the primary factor in controlling the population of individual countries. A falsified, simulated war against an alien race would be a means to global control.

Basically, I don't think Chris Carter's ideas were bad. I think his ideas are brilliant! I just think maybe he didn't do as great a job as he needed to on selling these ideas to his audience.

Re: The X-Files

Wow, that would've been great. smile

Re: The X-Files

It was very kind of you to say that I should be working in TV -- but if you'd read the original SLIDERS REBORN outline (and you're welcome to see it), you would eat your words.

I'm more of an editor, I think. When people have ideas, I'm good at helping them present those ideas with visual impact and emotional resonance. "I want to reveal that Seasons 1 - 9 were all a trick and there's no alien invasion!" I can help you do that. "I want to have my two heroes locked in the trunk of a car for 12 pages but I can't come up with a good reason!" I can sort that out for you. When it comes to coming up with original ideas, however -- eeeek.

Pretty much every good idea in SLIDERS REBORN was either created by Matt Hutaff and Nigel Mitchell or done as a reaction to them pointing out that something was nonsensical / silly / confusing / stupid. I think I'm just really good at presenting the final version.

Re: The X-Files

That would have worked much better. But I'm still not sure that any of this works. We saw a flashback to thousands of years ago, with a caveman being attacked by the black oil. That same black oil was uncovered by a boy in "Dallas" (a desert version of Dallas, with mountains in the background) and sparked the first movie.

The show got less and less vague about the their alien stories as they went on. By the end, there was very little doubt. And now they are telling us that it was all fake, but there is no way for them to show their work with that problem.

Maybe they should have had the scene in the bunker and the return to a seemingly unchanged world, but maybe that should have been it. No answers. Maybe the world was invaded in some way, but it is still a question mark. And then they move on.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

ireactions wrote:

It was very kind of you to say that I should be working in TV -- but if you'd read the original SLIDERS REBORN outline (and you're welcome to see it), you would eat your words.

I'm more of an editor, I think. When people have ideas, I'm good at helping them present those ideas with visual impact and emotional resonance. "I want to reveal that Seasons 1 - 9 were all a trick and there's no alien invasion!" I can help you do that. "I want to have my two heroes locked in the trunk of a car for 12 pages but I can't come up with a good reason!" I can sort that out for you. When it comes to coming up with original ideas, however -- eeeek.

Well I'd already written everything for my pilot (fully edited) and 9 additional episodes.  I'd have just needed you to tell me all the stuff that was stupid smile

Re: The X-Files

Informant wrote:

That would have worked much better. But I'm still not sure that any of this works. We saw a flashback to thousands of years ago, with a caveman being attacked by the black oil. That same black oil was uncovered by a boy in "Dallas" (a desert version of Dallas, with mountains in the background) and sparked the first movie.

Agreed. This retcon was never going to be perfect. I think the only way to get around that stuff would be for a later episode -- maybe the finale -- to show clips of that stuff along with the Syndicate members worrying about the hybrids and the virus and the whatnot -- with the voice of the Cigarette Smoking Man narrating --

And then end with him saying to Mulder: "A tale of terror from before the dawn of life on this planet -- stitched into every page of the story of the human race -- and the most perfect fabrication of falsehoods to lead you and a hundred other self-important fools on a merry chase to nowhere." With the implication that all those historical scenes are part of the Smoking Man's false web of lies and that the Dallas stuff was also staged -- or maybe it was the black oil, but it wasn't part of a colonization plot, that was something the CSM let loose.

Never going to be perfect, but there's ways to make retcons easier to swallow. I think retcons can work so long as the audience can feel like if they're willing to accept the alteration, they're getting something worthwhile in return.

It's kind of funny how this kind of retcon is usually seen in comic books with multiple writers of differing intentions -- whereas Carter was always in charge of THE X-FILES and he's blowing up his own work.

Re: The X-Files

Or... Unblowing it up? Re-blowing it up?

Season 5 made sense when Mulder discovered that it was all a government conspiracy. I hate that they didn't end it there.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

I have to admit -- while I am clearly fascinated by THE X-FILES, the truth is that I'm more intrigued by what could have been on screen rather than what's actually there.

"My Struggle" actually reminds me of a series of Spider-Man comics -- in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2, Spider-Man was getting a radio fixed and discovered that the workshop was also a base for aliens plotting to invade the Earth. The lead alien was a villain called the Tinkerer and Spider-Man thwarted their invasion. In the years to come, however, other writers presented the Tinkerer as a human being. Also, as Spider-Man comics progressed, Spidey fighting aliens was just weird.

About twenty years later, another writer brought the aliens back and Spider-Man fought them again, only to discover they were humans in costumes. It was pretty funny.

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.co … -an-alien/

Re: The X-Files

What if they'd just set the reboot in 2012?  Do the lead up to December and colonization.

Or what if everything from season 1-9 happened the way we thought, but between the end of the show and 2012 the humans won?  What if the human conspirators found a way to defeat the alien colonists, and then they took over whatever operation the aliens were doing?  So there were aliens but now it's all a bunch of shadowy humans that have already out-smarted more-advanced aliens?

Re: The X-Files

That could have been cool.

I just can't get over the politics angle. It irks me. Mulder, by his nature, cannot be a hardcore liberal who is highly critical of anyone who believes in the 2nd Amendment. He has to distrust the government. He has to believe that people have the right protect themselves. Was he supposed to be a hypocrite in the episode? Was it supposed to be a sign that he was falling for the narrative?

I've been going back and forth in my head, trying to decide which one of them should be a conservative and which one should be a liberal (since they should be on opposite sides. it's their nature). Scully is Catholic, from a military family. There is good reason for her to be more conservative... but then again, she turned her back on a lot of that upbringing, only returning to the church after her cancer scare. So, a lot of her core beliefs could be in contrast to that upbringing.
Mulder was raised by a man who was obviously a big government type. He's not religious. His personality tends to lean toward "do what you want"... but then, he bucks the system at every turn. Like Scully, a lot of who he is runs counter to his upbringing.

I haven't settled on Scully yet, but Mulder seems like a libertarian to me. After everything he's been through, he should be all about the government getting out of the way, and he should be all about the people having more control over their own lives. I don't understand the decision to make him more liberal (aside from Carter being liberal and wanting his characters to echo that).
Even if he were libertarian, I would still disagree with Mulder on a lot of things, but at least the character would make more sense.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

Mulder's politics -- I dunno! I'm sure he votes, but given his opinions on the shadow government, I'm sure he thinks the electoral system is a joke. That said, I too find it difficult to believe that Mulder would not broadly support the right to bear arms, although where he stands on registration, permits, concealed and open carry laws is another issue entirely. As someone who worked in law enforcement as a forensic psychiatrist, he might support restrictions on sales, background checks, registration, permits, etc..

I don't think doing THE X-FILES set in 2012 would work if the show airs in 2016. THE X-FILES tries (and often fails) at realism, and the point of the series was that all these strange events take place in visually and physically plausible environment that's our world. It's not really worthwhile to strand THE X-FILES in the past just to get around the alien invasion deadline when it's a dead end anyway.

I was pretty much expecting the colonization plot to be declared to have been dealt with offscreen in some fashion. I expected it to be dealt with in the 2008 movie in a somewhat oblique manner or with some declaration that pollution / reality TV / blue light from smartphones / wifi signals / whatever had rendered Earth unfit for colonization and the aliens had decided that Earth wasn't worth the trouble anymore -- and that while Mulder was disappointed not to see aliens, there were still plenty of vampires / ghosts / werewolves / sorcerers / psychics / telekinetics and whatnot to deal with, so he had plenty to occupy his time.

My favourite casual dismissal would have been the alien colonists' plan involving using human reproductive urges as part of the telepathic drive needed to reproduce their species in human hosts, except their reproductive process would require male/male and female/female pairings -- but a significant portion of the human population had their prejudiced attitudes so deeply engrained that aliens realized it'd be impossible to use the humans as a host race long-term.

MULDER: "Yeah, that's right. Homophobia saved us all." SCULLY: "That's one truth we need to keep buried, Mulder."

I always thought maybe THE X-FILES should have done a "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome" -- a faux series finale of sorts, just to explain why it couldn't happen. We sort of got this -- in that FIGHT THE FUTURE had Mulder urinate on a poster for INDEPENDENCE DAY.

Re: The X-Files

ireactions wrote:

I don't think doing THE X-FILES set in 2012 would work if the show airs in 2016. THE X-FILES tries (and often fails) at realism, and the point of the series was that all these strange events take place in visually and physically plausible environment that's our world. It's not really worthwhile to strand THE X-FILES in the past just to get around the alien invasion deadline when it's a dead end anyway.

I could see that.  But it also necessarily wouldn't be that much of a stretch.  Gotham takes place at an indefinite time period.  There are tons of period pieces.  And 2012 from 2016 wouldn't really be that big of a deal.  For the most part, things are identical.  It'd be slightly smaller iPhones and slightly different models of car.  Same president.  The ages of David and Gillian would still add up.  It'd just be a matter of it being, slightly, a period piece.  And I don't think that's a stretch for Sci-Fi folks.

But, yeah, I can see why they didn't go that route.

I do like the idea that humans somehow defeated the colonists, though.  I've been watching Colony, and it's a sort of post-colonization world.  And the aliens are unseen and everyone is terrified of them.  The arrival happened in a matter of hours, apparently.  You can almost plug it into the X-Files timeline seamlessly.

But now imagine that these aliens who were so powerful over the course of the series.  So scary.  Such a force to be reckoned with....were simply defeated.  You might feel safe for a second knowing that the big threat is gone....until you realize that someone who beat an invincible enemy must be pretty damn scary themselves.

Re: The X-Files

But if Mulder views the government as horribly corrupt, abusing power and violating every right that ever existed (they were shown repeatedly to be violating people physically and sexually), would he really approve of licensing, registration, etc? Or would he view that as just one more database for the government to abuse?

It's probably futile to try to pinpoint the political party of TV show characters, since they will always end up siding with their creators. It's just something that I have a habit of doing, just to pass the time.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

I think it's likely that Mulder, as a criminal profiler who's come face to face with sadistic serial killers of every stripe, wouldn't want any nutcase out there to be able to purchase firearms without the necessity of permits, background checks, registration, mandatory training, etc.. But I dunno. In Mulder's line of work, guns have regularly proven to be useless and worthless. But I can see Mulder feeling that anyone without a criminal record and sufficient safety training should be permitted to own a gun.

Re: The X-Files

That reminds me of another comment that I hated... Mulder made a snarky comment about the bullet-proof windows, saying that the Tad guy must be scared of all of the gun toting liberals that want to shoot him up.

It implied that most of the shooters that we see in the news are conservative, pro-gun types. As a profiler, he should know better. A large number of them lean socialist, though their political ramblings aren't always widely reported. But it really has more to do with being crazy than their politics.

The attack just down the street from me was targeting a group that was largely conservative. The shooters weren't crazed liberals, they were Muslim extremists... Which is another recurring theme in many of the shootings.

I'm not trying to be super political, but it is just lazy writing. Chris Carter needs to be careful when he is having someone like Mulder say something like that. Just like he has to be careful when Scully gets medical.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

I was watching "Triangle," "Dreamland" (1 - 2) and "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas." The four episodes have Mulder and Scully encountering ghost ships, body swaps, UFOs, government conspiracies, haunted houses, going about X-Files investigations business as usual. Except these four episodes are set during a period when Mulder and Scully had been fired off the X-Files. They've been reassigned to little more than data entry work.

Which means that when they go out to the Bermuda Triangle and Area 51 and spend Christmas ghost hunting, they're not engaging in their profession. It's not their job. So, if Mulder and Scully are engaging in X-File investigations together, it's because hanging out and chasing paranormal creatures is their default approach to life now. Before, it was a job. Now, it's simply all they know -- with the show often poking fun at how Mulder has no personal life outside the X-Files.

On another level, this is also THE X-FILES' peculiar inability to deal with continuity. Despite the show having the FBI reassign Mulder and Scully, they still continue to investigate X-Files cases with a scene here and there where their new boss reprimands them for unauthorized work or use of resources. Outside of that, these stories could just as easily take place before the resassignment or after their reinstatement.

The overall effect, however, is that it's hard not to see Mulder and Scully in a romantic light when they choose to be with each other in what's now their private time and engaged in their former professional pursuits.

Re: The X-Files

In another offbeat choice -- Scully is immortal. THE X-FILES, as I said above, was never awesome about continuity, but they did a few neat things now and then. The episode "Dreamland II" had Mulder bodyjacked by a man in black who cleans Mulder's apartment and destroys Mulder's room of pornography, replacing it with a waterbed. Nine episodes later, "Monday" opens with Mulder waking up in this same waterbed and telling his landlord he doesn't know where it came from. And in Season 3, a psychic who can tell how people will die is unable to read anything off Scully, for some strange reason. In Season 6's "Tithonus," Scully encounters an immortal photographer chasing Death; the photographer explains that someone took his death for him and now Death can't see him. The episode ends with Scully fatally shot -- until the photographer takes Scully's death for her.

So, Scully is immortal. Given Scully's doubts about the man, she doesn't seem to believe or even be aware of this. Four episodes later, in "Monday," Scully dies in an explosion -- and then time is looped back to the beginning of the day. The timeloop continues to repeat -- until Scully lives.

... this is completely insane and something the show is now compelled to avoid referring to too often -- in that the 'realism' of the show is severely impeded if Scully becomes aware that she can't die. In the fictional reality of the series, we know Scully can't die so long as the actress lives. But it is a really peculiar choice to remove even the illusion of peril, to the point where every subsequent episode endangering Scully depends on you not immediately remembering that she is protected by a timeloop. In fact, some of the more ludicrous and random ways in which Scully has survived may be due to the timeloop repeating (offscreen) with the onscreen events being the version where she lived.

"Tithonus" is a great episode and Scully is a great character, but I question the wisdom of declaring in-universe that the character is indestructible.

Re: The X-Files

I always thought that was cool. I just watched "Tithonus" and was wondering what would happen if the photographer was thrown in a wood chipper or something. The time loop explains that. I wonder if that means it's safe for Scully to remove the second implanted chip that cured her cancer.

She has continued to age though, which makes her different than the photographer. Is it possible that she passed it on to someone else already?


In the new episodes, William is a recurring theme for Scully and Mulder. It's understandable that she is still sad about the son who is still out there, and she is missing his life. But it has seemed weird to me that she never mentioned Emily. Both times she had a chance at a child, it was taken from her. She used to look at pictures of Emily, the same way she looked at the picture of William in her desk. I just wonder if she still feels that loss.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

32 (edited by Arturo6 2016-02-02 13:19:34)

Re: The X-Files

ireactions wrote:

So, Scully is immortal. Given Scully's doubts about the man, she doesn't seem to believe or even be aware of this. Four episodes later, in "Monday," Scully dies in an explosion -- and then time is looped back to the beginning of the day. The timeloop continues to repeat -- until Scully lives.

... this is completely insane and something the show is now compelled to avoid referring to too often -- in that the 'realism' of the show is severely impeded if Scully becomes aware that she can't die. In the fictional reality of the series, we know Scully can't die so long as the actress lives. But it is a really peculiar choice to remove even the illusion of peril, to the point where every subsequent episode endangering Scully depends on you not immediately remembering that she is protected by a timeloop.



**Spoilers**


















Thoughts on Scully saying she's immortal in last night's episode?  Definitely thrown out as a joke... but maybe meaning more, in the larger continuity sense? Especially considering the episode's writer was the one who wrote the Clyde Bruckman story pointing out Scully won't die.

I very much enjoyed the Kolchak outfit the were-lizard adopted.  Nice reference.


                                                                                                                                           Rantin' and Ravin' as Usual,

                                                                                                                                                                      Arturo6

Re: The X-Files

"Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster" was definitely the best of the revival so far, and it was actually a stand-out episode for the entire series as a whole. It was a fun episode that could stand on its own, but it also had a ton of easter eggs for the fans of the show. This was when it really felt like Mulder and Scully were back for me. I was smiling as soon as I saw Stoner and Chick in the teaser, and I didn't stop until after the episode was finished (actually, I watched Galavant afterward, so it took a while to stop smiling)

I don't think that the immortal thing was ever supposed to be as huge of a deal as it's become, but I like that the writers are embracing it for what it is at this point. The question is, will they go for the twist and have Scully sacrifice herself at some point?

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

Looks like it was also a way back for Mulder as a character.  I liked how the writer had him give voice to various complaints people have had and could have had about a revival via Mulder's doubts.  But at the end of the episode, his faith was restored, so to speak.  And perhaps so for many more in the audience.

                                                                                                                                         Rantin' and Ravin' as Usual,

                                                                                                                                                                      Arturo6

Re: The X-Files

SCULLY: "So now you're saying that you were attacked by a six-foot horny toad?"
MULDER: "Whoa! Let's just keep this within the realm of the natural sciences."

Let's be clear. This was a brilliant episode. And I know I'm being a killjoy, but Scully being aware that she's immortal isn't a very good idea. If it weren't for the fact that this is only a six episode season, it would be disastrous. As much as I love HIGHLANDER, THE X-FILES really does depend on physical threat and danger and the characters being aware that they can be harmed.

Setting that aside, however, it raises all sorts of issues the show is seriously ill-equipped to address. Why would an immortal Scully give up William? She'd be the human shield of infinite uses. Why would an immortal Scully allow Mulder to get depressed over lacking tangible proof of the supernatural? If she's aware that she can't die, she might have cheered Mulder up by stabbing herself through the heart a few times. Why hasn't Scully run a full range of tests on herself to determine how her immortality works and used that to help Mulder in proving the existence of the paranormal?

Why is Scully afraid of the were-monster in this episode? Why does Mulder worry about her confronting suspects alone? Why was Mulder worried when Scully got thrown into a wall last week? When did Scully come to realize and accept her immortality? How has she coped with knowing she'll outlive everyone and everything? What's her stock portfolio like with her longevity in mind?

The immortality is neat if Scully isn't aware of it. The timeloop of "Monday" suggests that Scully probably gets killed *all* the time -- it's just that the onscreen events are the final version in which she didn't die. But that prevents Scully from being aware of her immortality.

It's probably best if this one line is treated as a joke, because it's a bit like the magic blood that cures death in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.

Re: The X-Files

I think it was a joke. The dog reminded Scully of Queequeg, which reminded her of where she got the dog, which was from the goofy old psychic who made a joke about her not dying. Mulder was worried about her, and since they'd been discussing their belief/disbelief of the supernatural, she decided to defuse the moment by making a joke about how she couldn't be killed because of the supernatural.

I don't believe that Scully actually views herself as immortal.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

I think it was a joke too.  Because, well, the whole episode was a joke.

It was a totally bizarre episode, and I thought it was so much fun.  As soon as I understood exactly what was happening, it was just insanely awesome.  Plus, I have a horned frog on my license plate - it was fun to see one on TV.  Although I'm pretty sure they're endangered, so Fox would've been in pretty big trouble if he'd actually killed him.

Rhys Darby is so funny.  Love that guy.

Re: The X-Files

Wouldn't Torme and Darin Morgan have a lot of potential as collaborators?

Re: The X-Files

The problem with Darin Morgan is that he is, by his own admission, a slow writer. The only reason he was able to contribute a script to the Revival: "Were Monster" was originally an unfilmed script for the NIGHT STALKER reboot that was bought shortly before the show got cancelled. Morgan was able to rewrite his existing story for the Revival.

I think he could be a great story editor, but he apparently got burnt out on THE X-FILES after two seasons and he only lasted eleven episodes on FRINGE in a similar role.

Clearly a man meant for film.

Re: The X-Files

ireactions wrote:

The problem with Darin Morgan is that he is, by his own admission, a slow writer. The only reason he was able to contribute a script to the Revival: "Were Monster" was originally an unfilmed script for the NIGHT STALKER reboot that was bought shortly before the show got cancelled. Morgan was able to rewrite his existing story for the Revival.

I think he could be a great story editor, but he apparently got burnt out on THE X-FILES after two seasons and he only lasted eleven episodes on FRINGE in a similar role.

Clearly a man meant for film.


Interesting. To his credit, even if he can't be prolific, he certainly has established a legacy with a couple of his X Files contributions (Clyde Bruckman and this).

Re: The X-Files

That could be the benefit of short seasons like this. He had one episode, and he made it a classic. That's pretty cool.

It'd be interesting to mix things up if they come back for more. Of course they should have the all-star writers come back, but it could also be interesting to see episodes written and directed by people who actually grew up with the show. They could play up the aspects that they loved the most and tell stories from a perspective that I don't know that the original writers possibly could.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

Informant wrote:

Of course they should have the all-star writers come back, but it could also be interesting to see episodes written and directed by people who actually grew up with the show. They could play up the aspects that they loved the most and tell stories from a perspective that I don't know that the original writers possibly could.

I'm sure I've said this before, but long-running series have benefited from this immensely in the past.  The two best examples that I'm aware of are SNL and the Simpsons.  Both were able to have renaissances once the kids/teens that grew up watching the show get old enough to write it themselves.  SNL had a revival in the late 80s/early 90s when people who grew up with the late 70s gang.  Same thing with the Simpsons, as episodes became more about the thing that people loved when the show was new.  A lot of people say the Simpsons sucks now, but they're mostly talking about a similar lull that SNL had in the early/mid 80s.  I've watched the last 3-4 seasons pretty religiously, and the show still is able to hit pretty high notes these days.  It was also harder to notice as much of a dropoff when the whole "Every Simpsons Ever" happened on FXX.

Re: The X-Files

Comic books do this too. They hand off writers for specific arcs pretty regularly.

Actually, Arrow could benefit from this right now. I get the feeling that the writers working on that show would rather be doing The Flash or Legends. At least, that's what I feel when I watch the show.

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44 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2016-02-06 03:50:55)

Re: The X-Files

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:
Informant wrote:

Of course they should have the all-star writers come back, but it could also be interesting to see episodes written and directed by people who actually grew up with the show. They could play up the aspects that they loved the most and tell stories from a perspective that I don't know that the original writers possibly could.

I'm sure I've said this before, but long-running series have benefited from this immensely in the past.  The two best examples that I'm aware of are SNL and the Simpsons.  Both were able to have renaissances once the kids/teens that grew up watching the show get old enough to write it themselves.  SNL had a revival in the late 80s/early 90s when people who grew up with the late 70s gang.  Same thing with the Simpsons, as episodes became more about the thing that people loved when the show was new.  A lot of people say the Simpsons sucks now, but they're mostly talking about a similar lull that SNL had in the early/mid 80s.  I've watched the last 3-4 seasons pretty religiously, and the show still is able to hit pretty high notes these days.  It was also harder to notice as much of a dropoff when the whole "Every Simpsons Ever" happened on FXX.

A Sliders revival pretty much needs this if were to come back in some form. Someone with at some influence in the industry who grew up loving it and wants to bring it back.

Unfortunately, the most influential person I've been able to find is comic book artist/writer Judd Winick, who is busy and probably wouldn't be a good fit given his artistic style.

So I am not sure that person exists.

Re: The X-Files

Another pretty solid episode of THE X-FILES, and one that neatly repairs something I always despised about this series -- I hated how the monsters of the week were never resolved, and I hated how there was often no personal stake for Mulder and Scully in the cases of the week. Here, that lack of resolution is compared to Scully's grief over how her mother's death leaves her with unanswered questions and the case of the week is matched against Mulder and Scully's loss of their son.

Re: The X-Files

I kinda had the opposite reaction. I didn't hate the episode's individual pieces, but they didn't work together for me. It just felt like too much was crammed into it, and the emotional points were weaker because of it.
They're pushing the William elements too much, and it is killing the buzz of this whole miniseries.
Scully's mother's death was sad, but throwing in the random point of the estranged brother (who I forgot existed, despite rewatching the series) was distracting.
Are they going to combine the William and Charlie elements and reveal that Charlie has been raising William?

The monster... I just rewatched "Arcadia" this weekend, and it was a huge rehash of that episode's monster, without so much as a reference to the fact that they've done it before.

Like I said, it wasn't bad. I just seemed unrefined.

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Re: The X-Files

William has been brought up so much that he's gotta play into the endgame

Re: The X-Files

I agree, but I think that they've reached the point of diminishing returns with William. I turned the show on to see Mulder and Scully back together, as partners working on X-Files. But so much of that has been dragged down by Scully brooding over the child that she gave up and constant reminders of the horribly non-romantic, awkward romance between Mulder and Scully. It's dragging down the series, when some quiet moments or distant looks could sell Scully's longing well enough.

Did we need them to dwell on William after we saw Scully's reaction to seeing her caller ID?
Did we need drawn-out conversations about wanting to make sure that William doesn't feel like he was treated like garbage?

I think that most of us got the point of those scenes before they started explaining them. Sometimes you have to let the audience figure out what is going on and trust that they're smart enough to get it.

If the show is going to be mostly brooding and longing, I don't know that it should come back. The characters had their issues on the original series, but they didn't weigh down every episode with those issues.

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Re: The X-Files

On William: the Season 10 comics were, originally, going to feature William as a villain with telekinetic and telepathic powers. Carter, in his consulting capacity with the comics, vetoed this. He said he had plans for William and making him a villain didn't fit those plans. This was part of why the Season 10 writer thought his material would be canon, and that was the intention -- until "My Struggle" declaring that there is no alien conspiracy made the comics and the Revival completely at odds.

So, there are plans? That said, I think it's obvious that planning is not and never has been one of THE X-FILES' strengths.

As for Informant's issueI wonder if part of the problem is the messed up episode order. Had the episodes aired as intended, "Home Again" would be episode 2 and Scully's mother dying and referring to William would have been the start of bringing up Scully's agony. After a hiatus for episode 3 and who knows what for episode 4, "Founder's Mutation" would have been episode 5 where we see a different take on the William issue, seeing the imagined joy and warmth in Mulder and Scully's fantasies of their son.

Instead, the fantasies were the introduction to the arc and then the follow-up was reiterating the pain when the reiteration had been meant as a reintroduction.

Re: The X-Files

I'm just not sure that with six episodes they should have spent (at least) two of them on William drama. It's like the Serenity movie... after waiting so many years to have the whole gang back together, Joss ruined it by killing off a couple of them. That's not what we signed up for. It's not what we were looking for. Maybe it could happen at some point down the road, but right now people just want to be excited to have their characters back in that world. Which is why I think Veronica Mars is the perfect example of how to do this. Everything was as it should have been. It respected the old show and the relationships there, while moving things forward in a natural way.

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Re: The X-Files

I think they had to spend at least two episodes on William. His departure from the series was a massive emotional blow and there is no way he could be ignored. Also, Carter intends to use him in some fashion. I think the problem is that there is no sense of progress due to the altered episode order. The plan was Episode 2 presents William as a source of grief and loss and agony and regret while Episode 5 shows the strange and twisted joy and the maddening longing Mulder and Scully have when they think of him, leading to Episode 6 where... who knows?

Instead, what we have is the reverse and instead of progression, it's repetition. This messed up airdate order has also caused other problems. The X-Files office makes no sense. It's fully furnished in Week Two, yet bare and nearly vacant in Week Three. Week One has Mulder realizing the alien conspiracy is a hoax and who knows what else as well. Week Two has Mulder casually referring to the Syndicate's alien human hybrid colonization plot like it's real and believing in the paranormal. Week Three has Mulder with no belief in the paranormal and regaining that belief. Mulder's character arc is seriously confused now.

It's pretty awful that 21 years after SLIDERS, FOX still can't air episodes in the right order.

Re: The X-Files

That is true.

I'm also confused about the Lauren Ambrose and Robbie Amell characters. In the preview, they look like spoof characters. They look like something from a comedic episode, rather than serious additions to the team. However, they're appearing in both of the final episodes, which means that they are legit characters who just happen to be carbon copies of Mulder and Scully. Why would they do that? People thought that those two might be spun off into their own show, but how will anyone be able to take them seriously?

Doggett and Reyes were at least characters of their own.

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Re: The X-Files

Babylon--

There were some strengths and a lot of weaknesses here. First, I will talk about the weaknesses (so I can end on a positive note).
Chris Carter can't write. That is a weakness. He forces the episodes and the dialog to be far more convoluted than they have to be, in order to make them feel super deep. But sometimes depth doesn't come from a five minute monologue, using the biggest words you know. Sometimes depth comes from a quick glance, and you have to trust the audience to pick up on it. He needs to learn how to be subtle. This also goes for the mushroom trip... what the hell was that? (though I'm glad that this was the only way the Lone Gunmen came back and they are still dead).
Carter has never depicted Texas well. In the first movie, it was just poorly filmed (they used deserts and mountains as their Dallas location. Not remotely accurate). In this case, he allowed his disdain for Texas show through like a spotlight. His version of Texans, with their cowboy hats and their blind hatred of anything that wasn't white, is arrogant, self-righteous, and wrong. This episode was based on the attempted attack in my own town (though the outcomes were quite different). There are a lot of Muslims around here, and the number seems to be rising. We don't just go around giving them the evil eye or making comments about their color, or else we would have no time left in the day. Newsflash: We have quite a lot of non-white people around here!
Also, nobody wears cowboy hats and boots, unless they're going to a country-themed club or they actually work on a ranch. Even then, probably not. People claim that this episode was racist toward Muslims. I disagree. All that stuff was based on the news, and Carter went out of his way to sympathize and humanize them. If anything, the episode was racist toward Texans.
Once again, he also showed his inability to relate to or sympathize with anyone he doesn't agree with politically. The nurse who tried to kill the terrorist could have been a really interesting character, but he turned her into a rambling idiot who started going off about random political issues that weren't even related to the situation. Who does that? And if she is that crazy, why would she have been put on that patient? Why would she still be working in the hospital, instead of being a patient there?
I know that it is hard to write characters who don't share your values or opinions. We all struggle with it. But you don't usually just throw in the towel and make the whole lot of them cartoon characters!
Argh.

Miller and Einstein. I don't get it. Why did they have to be such copies of Mulder and Scully? Again, it lacks any hint of subtlety. We don't need to be bashed over the head with it. The characters could have been great new characters without all of that. As it was, they seem like failed parodies. Failed, only because they were actually pretty interesting on their own, once you cut through the crap.
Unfortunately, the energy that the new agents brought to the episode only highlighted the lack of energy in Mulder and Scully lately. Their spirited debates and excitement over new cases has turned into monotone exchanges, with neither seeming like they care much at all. Is this because Duchovny and Anderson don't feel excited to be there, or is it just because the characters have been bogged down for the entire six episode run, with broody stories about dying mothers and a lost child?

Okay, now the positive...

I did actually like Miller and Einstein, aside from the over the top similarities to the original actors/characters. Robbie Amell and Lauren Ambrose were fun to watch, and worked well with Duchovny and Anderson.

Mitch Pileggi seem exactly the same! How is he the one who didn't age?

I'm glad that they didn't bring the Lone Gunmen back to life. They found a way to include them without ruining another element of the old show.

And the terrorists were terrorists! This never happens anymore! Since it's considered racist to depict Muslims as terrorists on TV, we usually get the "shocking twist" where the crazy Christian extremist is actually behind the attack on whatever show they're on. I can't remember the last time I saw a Muslim attack like this on TV. They did almost go there, with the "he decided not to do it at the last second, so he's not too bad" thing, but overall, I was impressed that they actually went through with this storyline. Especially since it was based on a real story.

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Re: The X-Files

I enjoyed this episode a lot, although I would've liked it more if it had aired as Episode 4 rather than 5. This was clearly meant to come after the lighthearted were-monster adventure, following up on Mulder's mid-life crisis with Agent Einstein's cutting and accurate condemnation of M&S's careers. (That said, they must have something going for them given that they were hired back to a security-clearance heavy job after a 14-year hiatus during which six of these years were spent as a wanted federal fugitives.)

I don't disagree with your criticisms, in an odd turn for us both. I'm as flabbergasted as you are. However, I sometimes find myself not worrying too much that a writer's view of reality doesn't reflect actual reality. Sometimes, it's interesting just to live on Planet Carter and its knotty, contradictory complexity. This is without question one of Carter's most lighthearted efforts ever and one of the *very* few happy endings he's ever offered. This is quite possibly one of the few X-FILES stories where the lead characters actually managed to save some lives.

To me, this episode was what I WANT TO BELIEVE wanted to be as a film -- a criminal procedural that, due to Mulder's presence, suddenly takes on paranormal and supernatural overtones. But where I WANT TO BELIEVE was a hackjob scripted in a mad rush in a few weeks before the writer's strike, "Babylon" was clearly someone enjoying what they're doing.

It's weird. As you can tell from my posts, despite talking a lot about THE X-FILES, I don't actually like it very much. It's just that it's from an era I care about (being contemporaneous with SLIDERS) and it defined genre fiction and received everything denied to SLIDERS (creative freedom, secured actors, high budgets, a feature film, grounded production values) while still being quite a lot like SLIDERS (long, drawn out, confused, incoherent and kind of pointless). I'm not a fan of THE X-FILES as much as a polite acquaintance -- but I actually like this mini-series.

Re: The X-Files

Yeah, I'm the last guy who should demand that a writer should reflect reality all the time. I just think that Carter could be so much better if he had a really good writing partner. Someone who could take his ideas and reel them in when necessary. One more pass on this script could have made a huge difference.

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Re: The X-Files

Informant wrote:

Carter has never depicted Texas well. In the first movie, it was just poorly filmed (they used deserts and mountains as their Dallas location. Not remotely accurate). In this case, he allowed his disdain for Texas show through like a spotlight. His version of Texans, with their cowboy hats and their blind hatred of anything that wasn't white, is arrogant, self-righteous, and wrong. This episode was based on the attempted attack in my own town (though the outcomes were quite different). There are a lot of Muslims around here, and the number seems to be rising. We don't just go around giving them the evil eye or making comments about their color, or else we would have no time left in the day. Newsflash: We have quite a lot of non-white people around here!
Also, nobody wears cowboy hats and boots, unless they're going to a country-themed club or they actually work on a ranch. Even then, probably not. People claim that this episode was racist toward Muslims. I disagree. All that stuff was based on the news, and Carter went out of his way to sympathize and humanize them. If anything, the episode was racist toward Texans.

Had the exact same thoughts.  I'm from Texas too, and it was annoying to see the same, tired stereotypes.  Has Carter really never been?  I don't own a pair of boots or a Cowboy hat.  I was born in Texas, and I've lived here my whole life.

The first movie drove me crazy with their version of "Dallas"

What was weird about this one, outside of the honkey-tonk stereotypes and the overtly-racist Texans, was the oddity of the location - where was it supposed to be?  I think they mentioned "southwest Texas" at the beginning, but every other reference was just "Texas."  "Our flight to Texas."  "You'll have to meet me in Texas" Then, to top it off, the airport just says "Welcome to Texas."  I wouldn't put it passed a Texan airport to say this, but "Texas" is a pretty big place with a diverse geography.  Not that Carter would know anything about that.

Re: The X-Files

I'm from New Jersey originally, but I've been in Texas for over 23 years now, so I consider myself mostly Texan (the foodie part of me is still from New Jersey). It is really starting to upset me when I see snotty, elitist east coasters/west coasters acting like everything in the middle of the country is white trash and meth heads.

It started to bother me more since I started watching YouTube videos by foreigners who come to the US, and then talk about the culture and their experience here. Some of them are genuinely shocked to visit the south and see white people talking to black people, or big tough southern men interacting with gay guys. They really expect us to be the version of the fly-over states that are written into TV shows, by people who have obviously never been anywhere without a coastline.

Hell, I've had family members from the northeast come to visit and act as though we live in the wild frontier, where we don't even get real news! It is insane!

Texas might have crappy pizza, Chinese food, bagels and seafood, and the salt water taffy sold here may be a joke, but it is still a big, modern, civilized state!

The Mexican food is good. And the steaks are... I saw a steak for sale in Georgia, and I took a picture because it was so laughably small to me.


I got off track here.

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Re: The X-Files

Informant wrote:

Texas might have crappy pizza, Chinese food, bagels and seafood, and the salt water taffy sold here may be a joke, but it is still a big, modern, civilized state!

The Mexican food is good. And the steaks are... I saw a steak for sale in Georgia, and I took a picture because it was so laughably small to me.

I can direct you to some good pizza (NY or Chicago style).  And I've had some decent seafood - not in DFW but closer to the coast.

We do barbecue (I recently found my new favorite spot in North Dallas), Mexican food, boutique tacos, and burgers really well.  I'll buy Carter some pretty solid brisket if he ever wants to visit.

Re: The X-Files

NY is the only true pizza. smile
I actually do have a solid NY style pizza place, owned by some Italians from New Jersey (that is a weird sentence since Italians can't be from New Jersey, but you know what I mean). But it isn't like up north, where you can throw a rock and hit an awesome pizza place.

What is your North Dallas barbecue place? I don't eat out much, but I was thinking of finding a good place for the next time family comes to town.

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Re: The X-Files

http://www.ten50bbq.com/

It's East Texas style barbecue - you can/should order by the pound, and they just cook as much meat as they have.  Really good sauce, really good sides, delicious desserts.  They also have bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos (chicken or brisket) that are fantastic.,  They're supposed to have the best fried okra in Texas, but I'm not a fan of fried okra.

Re: The X-Files

That's the one that I was looking at! It caught my eye on my way home from Dallas. Now I will have to try it.

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Re: The X-Files

"Sliders BBoard - come for X-Files discussion, get barbecue suggestions."

Let me know if you enjoy it.  I've been a bunch and love it.

Re: The X-Files

So essentially the x file was Mulder hallucinating? I didn't enjoy Babylon, I mean there really was no X-File. Where's the mystery? Where is the science fiction? Is there a episode in this season that is really a true X-File? I enjoyed "My Struggle" but it seems every single episode is more comedic, lighter and seems it must have a political statement in every episode. Whether it be homosexuals, religion, arabs, culture, etc. it's forced and so obvious. Remember the dark nights, the dreary Vancouver skies and abandoned buildings? The mystery is gone.

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Re: The X-Files

I have to agree. I mean, there were always episodes where Mulder was called upon to use his profiling skills on a normal case, or Scully had to do something medical. In those situations, the X-File element could be minimal. So, talking to a comatose terrorist could fit with some of those stories. But the way it was executed just felt off to me. Their approach to introducing the concept of talking to someone in a coma wasn't elegant at all. Maybe the nurse should have had the ability, instead of turning her into a political cartoon. Or maybe Miller could have been coming to Mulder to inquire about a specific person from an X-File, and see if Mulder could help track them down. But as it was, they all come up with the idea of talking to someone in a coma, as though everyone could do it if they had just thought of the possibility in the first place.

Like I said, there was a good episode in here somewhere. They just needed to sculpt it a little more smoothly.

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Re: The X-Files

I think "Requiem" can only be understood by reviewing both the aired episode and the original script by Michael Reaves on EP.COM.

Re: The X-Files

"My Struggle II" truly was... my struggle.

It was one of the most nonsensical, convoluted, poorly written, horribly shot pieces of television that I have seen in a long while. I don't think that there was one element that made sense or felt natural. I don't think there was one moment where I actually cared about what was going on. The whole thing was... the second season finale of Millennium. And just like that, they will eventually have to come back and undo the mess left in this episode.


As excited as I was for this revival, and as much as I still want the show back, Chris Carter simply has to go. Because of him, half of this revival was thrown away. It was garbage. Of the three remaining episodes, one of them had a villain that was a repeat of something that we've already seen on the show (a sign of a poor showrunner here). Because of him, this revival is two thirds wasted.

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Re: The X-Files

I thought it was perfect.

:-)

I really think the finale was very well done and it solved a long-standing problem with THE X-FILES.

Re: The X-Files

Seriously?

Okay, putting aside the actual plot... Traffic wasn't moving at all. AT ALL. But Scully magically makes it through traffic? She stops looters by... asking them nicely? These aren't huge examples of what went wrong with the episode. There were far bigger issues, involving everything from plotting to characterization. But I'm just saying that even the smallest, simplest elements of the episode were a complete mess that could have been avoided with simple fixes, like thinning out traffic or cutting the stupid looting scene. Neither one of these things was necessary.

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Re: The X-Files

There are certain levels of unreality I am prepared to accept with television, such as Barry Allen recovering from a lengthy coma and immediately resuming work as a forensic scientist in a crime lab he and only he seems to use when in Real Life, any court case with Barry's work would see his mental stability and competence questioned. With the driving, I imagined that it was actually a slow and gradual process of weaving in and out between cars, with us seeing only the edited highlights to indicate Scully's frantic state of mind where what took hours seems to happen in seconds.

With the looter -- I loved it. This is the end of the world. The foretold apocalypse. The destruction of the human race teased since 1993 and made explicit in the Season 2 finale (Colonization) followed by the feature film's description of impending doom. Teasing madness, terror, insanity -- and in the middle of it is a stalwart woman calmly intoning that we just need to go to the hospital. We just need to behave thoughtfully. Rationally. Scientifically. Open-mindedly. And we'll survive.

The threat of Colonization has always been *impossible* to square with the criminal procedural format of THE X-FILES; in "My Struggle II," the battle to save mankind is revealed as being nothing like INDEPENDENCE DAY (the poster of which Mulder peed on in the first movie). Instead, the battle to save mankind is a hospital scene like so many other hospital scenes -- the threat, having been recontextualized as part of the conspiracy of men using alien technology, finally functions in this world.

The world is ending. All that desperation and fear, all that panic. "Stop! Stop it, please! Everybody, get to the hospital! Get to the hospital, help is on its way." The end of the world isn't unknowable, beyond our power -- it's simply a problem and one that we can solve. And then at the end, even with everything laid out and revealed (albeit through some retcons and ignoring huge portions of the past and implications rather than exposition), THE X-FILES ends on a moment that shows there will always be something unknown.

Yeah! I really liked it! And I was kind of glad to see it while I'm working on the final phase of SLIDERS REBORN. It's been super-instructive.

Re: The X-Files

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watchi … he-revival

I'm somewhere in the middle between the two of you.  I didn't think it was awful, but I didn't think it was great.  They were able to capture the feeling of a global apocalypse with a TV budget.  That's something.

Re: The X-Files

It was just an attempt to make a big, grand episode that will ultimately have to be reduced and explained back to a small-scale blip on the radar when next season premieres. It's what happened with Millennium. The world ended, and Frank was forced to choose between saving his wife and his daughter. Obviously he and his wife saved their child, and his wife died. The world ended.
Then season 3 started. Turned out that the hype over the outbreak was overblown. The world went on, as though nothing ever happened.

Without fail, it is a bad idea to show an apocalypse on TV. What you have are a bunch of extras running around, screaming nonsensically, creating chaos in the background. Some fires burning in garbage cans. The sound of helicopters overhead. It always looks cheap, because it always is cheap. This episode didn't pull it off any better than when Smallville did it. The best thing that Supernatural ever did was directly avoid going this route in season 5. They kept it small and personal, which ended up making it feel bigger and more dangerous.

Scully's scene with the looter made her look stupid. She could have pulled her gun and told the guy to back away, and that would have been somewhat less stupid. But ultimately, it was still nonsense. The guy would have smacked her over the head with the sign, stolen her medication, and left her for dead.

The whole plot was so vague that it seemed like an afterthought in the middle of writing riot scenes and the bridge scene. We have seen terrorist attacks on a massive scale in this country. We have seen the threat of dangerous outbreaks. We have seen natural disasters that threaten thousands of lives. Those things don't lead to riots and looting. What leads to riots and looting is political outrage over perceived injustice... and sometimes the wrong team winning a game of some sort.

Chris Carter wanted it to look big and epic on screen, so he thought of these sequences that would attempt to give his episode that scale. What he failed to realize was that throwaway scenes of chaos don't make things feel bigger to an audience. Having Reyes spend a few more minutes explaining exactly how this all worked (similar to Lucifer revealing how every detail of Sam's life had been controlled) would have made the story feel more real and scary. But then, I don't believe that there was enough thought put into the plot to fill such a scene. I don't believe that he had any idea how to explain his vague concepts. He threw a bunch of crap at the wall, hoping that people wouldn't notice everything that didn't stick, and hoping that the audience would fill in the blanks with their own imagination.


Damn, that episode was useless.

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Re: The X-Files

Wow. I agree with HitFix! They hit a lot of the points that I did in their review of the season.

The bottom line is that you have to know what your limits are with something like this. They had six episodes, and they knew that going in. Of those six, Carter knew that two of them would be mythology. Trying to tear down nine years of mythology and completely rebuild it in two episodes was a stupid idea. Adding to that his horrible writing, and the nonsensical nature of the retcon... even if it could have been smoothed out over six episodes of its own, the mythology still has a lot of problems. They should have wrapped up that story, so that whatever comes next is new. Instead, they set us up for another year of this same mess. After spending the season promising William (by mentioning him every frigging five minutes), they didn't deliver. If this episode had been Scully realizing that Mulder had been infected with something and that William could save him, and that was it, it could have been so much better. Instead, they didn't follow through on William, which means that they dragged the whole season down for no reason.

Damn, that episode was useless.

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Re: The X-Files

Actually, I think this episode has pretty much wrapped up the whole alien crisis and resolved the fate of the world.

I don't disagree with a lot of the complaints towards this episode in the overwhelmingly negative reviews. But I'm not looking at THE X-FILES from that perspective; I'm looking at "My Struggle II" as a climactic chapter at the end of a book that was written without a clear outline and written with many improvised hints and clues towards a future that was not in any way mapped out.

In many ways, I saw the Spartan virus as a metaphor -- a metaphor for the alien conspiracy myth-arc that had infected the show, slowly killing it over nine seasons that must now be cured.

THE X-FILES has always had a central problem: it's building to a climactic story it cannot tell within its TV format. The original and vague plan to break the format with a big budget feature film finale was set aside when it became clear FOX had no intention of cancellation at Season 5.

So, my interest in THE X-FILES is: how does it handle a story it cannot tell? How can we tell the story of an alien invasion when interstellar dogfights and ray guns and laser swords don't remotely fit into THE X-FILES' office sets and hospital hallways and rural locations and shadowy Vancouver streets? Furthermore, the threats have always worked best as humans.

The Cigarette Smoking Man has always represented how power corrupts and corruption infects; he craves power and importance, his own body is a metaphor for that, riddled with self-inflicted disease to which he is an addict. In contrast, aliens are faceless, personality free and anonymous. Carter's solution was always a non-solution: he stalled for time. He kicked the can down the road, kicking the can 10 years away in the original finale. Now he has to wrap it up. What the hell is he to do!?!?!?!?!?

(Personally, I always thought Mulder and Scully would recruit the ghosts, vampires, werewolves, cultists, demons, shapeshifters and parasites to fight the aliens.)

Anyway! Carter's solution is: the alien menace isn't Reticulans and ray guns. The menace is in our blood, in our cells, in the very air we breathe. The enemy isn't in the skies above; it's in the darkness of our hearts, the sense that humanity is doomed to destroy itself and the Cigarette Smoking Man will speed up the process so he can rule over the rebuilding with only the ones he likes and can control.

So, in this fashion, the alien invasion is recontextualized as an invasion of our bodies, of our immune systems, of our resistance to infection. And this new context makes it a story that THE X-FILES *can* tell in its office sets, in its hospital hallways, in its rural locations, in its shadowy streets. Finally, the myth-arc and the format are merged into a unified whole.

But I understand if you don't see it that way, if you just see incoherent nonsense. I'm seeing it from what is probably a *very* peculiar and eccentric perspective. Both THE X-FILES and SLIDERS were left in a very bad state in their finales and I'm admiring the surgery being done to revive the patient. In my view, if the patient is back on his feet, the fact that he needs a cane and some heavy duty painkillers and a lengthy term of rehab isn't cause for complaint?

I don't feel this is a big cliffhanger. The solution was already laid out; a cure is being made from Scully's DNA and all of the Cigarette Smoking Man's chosen survivors, including Monica Reyes, can be used to mass produce it. I also don't feel that the situation is analogous to MILLENNIUM: the so-called cliffhanger was meant to be a series finale with the idea that a third season would be set in this post-disaster setting, doing a TV version of Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD. Unfortunately, the Season 2 creators were replaced by a new team who discarded the Season 2 team's intentions.

The other stuff I liked:

Reyes
•   The way Monica Reyes came into the show; her contempt for the Cigarette Smoking Man is palpable and her reasons for collaborating with him are presented clearly and without dialogue.
•   Even without being spoken, it's clear: Reyes agreed to help the Smoking Man because she hoped to learn everything she could to stop him, hence her meeting with Scully and Scully later calling Reyes "a friend."
•   Annabeth Gish played her hatred for the Smoking Man beautifully, especially with her disgust as she gives him his cigarette.

The Smoking Man
•   His character has always been a figure of corrupted power and I liked how William B. Davis played the Smoking Man's cruel glee as he motions for Monica to give him his nicotine.
•   He shows twisted pleasure in controlling a beautiful woman with a gesture -- the relationship he attempted to build with Scully in Season 7's "En Ami" and a joy he took in using Skinner as a henchman in Season 4's "Zero Sum."
•   He seems to especially enjoy that Monica hates him yet has to do his bidding.
•   His reasoning for the entire Colonization lie and controlling Mulder through the myth of the alien invasion was presented succinctly and clearly and, like Monica's collusion with him, done without dialogue.
•   The line where he remarks that the aliens foresaw mankind destroying itself is a grim and cutting recontextualization of the original show's prophecies of doom and indicates the arrogance of man to think it would take an outside force to obliterate our race as opposed to us doing it ourselves.

Scully Saves Us
•   I really enjoyed the rapid-fire scientific discussions between Scully and Einstein, although I only understood bits and pieces of it.
What I loved was very simply, the grandeur and horror of Colonization being reduced to Scully in a lab, surrounded by bloodwork and DNA sequences, looking absolutely determined.
•   The Smoking Man says earlier that our destruction is really our own doing; he's just changing the timetable.
•   Scully shows that he's not the only one who can do that and the solution is brute force, hammering away at the problem until a cure is found.

The Cliffhanger
•   I don't think it's much of a cliffhanger. The world was saved in the hospital.
•   Monica Reyes knows who the Smoking Man wanted kept alive; Scully would not have called Reyes "a friend" unless Reyes offered that information; Reyes would not have colluded with the Smoking Man unless she was trying to secure that information.
•   There are lots of people out there who can help mass produce the cure now that Scully's devised the method to do so.
•   The world will be fine.
•   At this point, Scully has kicked Colonization's ass and the alien conspiracy has been laid bare.
•   But the appearance of the spaceship makes it clear: there's always more to learn.

Achievements of the Revival
•   The Colonization arc has been resolved.
•   The Syndicate has been explained.
•   A countermeasure to the alien threat has been devised.
•   The X-Files have been reopened and the ability to tell criminal procedural stories with supernatural overtones and content has been re-established.
•   The full gamut of X-FILES stories has been re-established as well: supernatural thrillers, conspiracy thrillers, metatextual humour, tragedy and drama, and social commentary.

Season 11
I would probably open Season 11 with an episode set however long it's been since "My Struggle 2" where Mulder and Scully have been missing since the End of Days of 2016. Start with Agent Einstein on a case with paranormal overtones, in danger, about to die -- then Mulder and Scully appear to save her. Where the hell have they been for the past year / two years? Not now, Mulder and Scully say: let's focus on the monster of the week.

Re: The X-Files

Loved it. I only wish they got the 10 episodes fox originally wanted.  6 was too tight. They needed 8 minimally.

Re: The X-Files

I see the potential in the story that was presented, but the execution was still incredibly bad. It's like Tim Kring... maybe Carter is good to have for ideas, but he doesn't know how to bring those ideas to the screen in a way that makes any amount of sense.

Since I'm sitting here with some free time, allow me to take you through my version of the season finale...

For starters, I would rewrite the premiere. No alien DNA. CSM would not appear. Scully would check Svetta's DNA and find nothing alien. They can still find something anomalous, but the alien aspect doesn't really seem necessary... If the plan is to remove things from people's DNA, disabling their immune systems, then all they would have to do in order to save people like Scully is... not f*** with her DNA!

Okay, so the finale...



Scully's voiceover as we saw it, ending with her turning into an alien. Only, I would have her wake up from that dream. Show us that it's been on her mind, and that it's something that scares her. I might have played up some of the violence and victimization that she suffered over the course of the original series. She is a strong woman, but she's been through hell.

Scully shows up in the basement office, but Mulder is nowhere to be found. She finds the laptop with the Tad video on it, and presses play. He isn't as frantic as he was, but he also isn't in his studio. He is recording his video from a cell phone, talking about finally discovering proof that the government has been genetically experimenting on American citizen ever since the beginning of the smallpox vaccinations. During the video, he would make reference to the children that Mulder and Scully investigated in episode 2... he has been in contact with Mulder. Scully looks at her watch, looks around the office once again because Mulder should be there, and then walks out.
Scully walks into Skinner's office and takes a seat. Skinner asks where Mulder is, and Scully says that she has no idea. Skinner can't help but smile at that. They've started off countless meetings the same way. Before they get down to work, there is a knock at the door. Agent Miller walks in. Skinner asks where Agent Einstein is, and Miller replies by saying that he doesn't know. Scully and Skinner look at each other.

In a hospital (preferably one that doesn't look like something from a 1950's horror movie), Mulder begins to regain consciousness. He is pale and sweaty, and at first, he thinks that Scully is sitting beside his bed. He smiles. But as his vision clears up, he realizes that it's Einstein. His smile fades considerably.
She explains that Mulder was found on the side of the road the night before, beaten and delusional. The police found her card in his pocket, and called her. At first, she assumed that he was on another mushroom trip, but something else is going on. His brain scans are irregular somehow (insert medical mumbo-jumbo here) and he is fighting off a severe infection of some sort. His blood work is insane. She's having it run again, because it looked like he was infected with about three types of disease, all of which should be covered by his vaccinations.
Mulder wants Scully. Einstein says that Scully is her next phone call, but before that happens, she wants to know what the hell is going on. What happened to Mulder on that street?
Mulder says that Einstein needs to get Scully now. He tells her to let Scully know that "He's alive. The son of a bitch is alive..."
"Who?" asks Agent Einstein.

Cut to some time later. Scully and Agent Miller arrive at the hospital. Scully gets an update from Einstein, including the information that “Some cigarette smoking man is still alive...” Einstein has no idea what that means, but Scully stops walking and says, “You have to be kidding me.”
When she sees Mulder, he tells her that he was supposed to meet with Tad O'Malley at his house the night before, but when he got there, his house was a mess and O'Malley was gone. His bodyguard was dead on the front porch.
Mulder was attacked by a man who tried to use chloroform on him, but Mulder fought him off. He couldn't get to his car, so he ran for his life. That's when he was found on the road and brought to the hospital.
Scully asks about CSM, and Mulder tells her that he saw him as he was being loaded into the ambulance. He was there, smoking his cigarette through a hole in his neck and talking on his cell phone.
Einstein cuts in to say that a man who's “smoking through a hole in his neck” would probably have a hard time talking to anyone.

Anyway, a series of tests on Mulder ensues, and Scully even sequences his DNA to check for alien DNA. There is no alien DNA, but there are certain abnormalities. Blah-blah-blah, immune system being turned off through manipulation of his DNA. This is something that could have been done to him as a child, through immunizations, but somehow triggered now.
Miller jumps in to suggest that the man at Mulder's house wasn't using chloroform, he was triggering whatever was in Mulder's DNA. Mulder starts to put together that Svetta's alien DNA wasn't about them putting something into Svetta, it was about them taking something out. What if everyone who was ever vaccinated has these genetic bombs that are waiting to go off, with certain people being altered to remove the threat.

All of this is just mumbo-jumbo to get to the point that Scully needs to find a way to reactivate Mulder's immune system. Einstein says that they would need a donor who was a genetic match. Scully says that Mulder's mother died six years earlier.
“Does he have any siblings?” Einstein asks.
“That's a loaded question,” Scully comments. “But it's not an option.”
“Kids?”
Scully pauses. Of course they have a kid.

Mulder doesn't want to put William in danger That could be exactly what CSM was trying to do when he attacked Mulder. He'd rather die than put William back in CSM's sights. Scully isn't convinced that this is an issue. She thinks that Mulder was delirious when he saw CSM. He's dead. Reaching out to William might not be the threat that it once was.
Mulder points out that Svetta an Tad might think otherwise, since they're both missing or dead.

While they debate that issue, Einstein points out that if this is a widespread issue, with specific people being given immunity, there is obviously a threat for a large-scale attack here. If everyone in the country were suddenly to have their immunizations turn on them, they'd be dealing with countless types of outbreaks, all at the same time. It would be an apocalyptic event.
“For what purpose?” Miller asks.
“So that he can rule over the survivors,” Mulder explains.
“The cigarette smoking dead guy?” Miller asks, not entirely following.

And so this becomes the finale. Scully is on a search to find William and get a sample of his blood that could be used to cure Mulder. She discovers that William was adopted by a family named the Van De Kamps, but both parents fell ill soon after. Though both recovered, it wasn't until after they were forced to give up the child that they'd just adopted.
Suddenly, Scully's dream of William's adopted family is shattered. She is terrified.
Her search continues. She finds a social worker who handled William after the Van De Kamps gave him up. The woman says that the baby was nearly adopted by another family, but an FBI agent discovered that the couple wasn't actually married and their identities were faked. The child was in danger, so the agent managed to work out a sort of witness protection-type adoption for the baby. The circumstances were far from typical.
Scully asks the name of the agent who helped William survive. The social worker tells her, “Monica Reyes.”

Scully breathes a sigh of relief. She tracks down Reyes and the two talk. Reyes says that going to William would be incredibly dangerous. There are still people who would love to get their hands on him. Scully says that she needs this. She doesn't need to see him personally, but she needs his help and... she needs to know that he's okay.

Reyes reluctantly agrees to help, but she will meet with the adopted family, not Scully. Scully agrees to the terms, and waits for Monica to contact her.

While this is happening, Miller and Einstein are tasked with finding out what happened to Tad O'Malley. The investigation leads them to a big chase of some sort and a revelation about the apocalyptic plans of a mysterious group of people who have been faking alien abductions, etc... basically, it's like a season 1 Mulder/Scully investigation.

Scully returns to Mulder's side while he continues to deteriorate. She's trying her best to help him, but there's nothing that she can do. Finally, at the last minute, Reyes arrives with a sample of William's blood, as well as an envelope. In the envelope, there is a letter from William, telling his birth parents that he is okay and that he has had a good life, with a family that loves him. He knows that they didn't have a choice in giving him up, and he knows that they love him. He loves them too. He tells them to stay safe.

There is also a picture in the envelope. Scully pulls it out and looks at a picture of a teenaged William, with his adopted family. She immediately gasps, recognizing the people who have raised William. It's her brother, Charlie. William has been with family this whole time. He wasn't estraned from the family because of a falling out, he was estranged because he had taken on the task of protecting Dana's child.

She finally has closer, not only in regards to William, but in regards to her brother as well.

The blood saves Mulder, but Miller and Einstein warn Mulder an Scully that the potential for the apocalypse outbreak is still a very real threat. They don't have the answers they need to stop it yet.
Mulder tells them that they will find the answers. The truth is out there.
Scully rolls her eyes.

fin.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

This is a great story. As always, you are a great writer. But I don't feel it's the story Carter needed to tell. In 2016, Carter needed to (finally) tell the god-damn Colonization story, pay off 23 years of build-up and resolve it. That said, the world at large seemed to hate "My Struggle II," so you could be onto something.

In my view, THE X-FILES had been building to a global catastrophe. Seasons 3 - 5 and the movie make it clear that the endgame is "Colonization." The original inhabitant of this planet, the black oil, parasitically infected alien visitors and formed a symbiote race that was driven off the Earth by the ice age. They intended to return and use the evolving human race as incubators to propagate their species. The Syndicate attempted to work with the aliens to secure their own survival and were killed, replaced by alien-created supersoldiers infiltrating every level of government to keep Colonization on track for December 22, 2012.

Carter, after a 14 year hiatus, needed to step back and find a way to make Colonization a story that would work in a TV episode on a TV budget. He chose a grand retcon; Colonization was a hoax. There was no alien conspiracy. Instead, it was a conspiracy of men using alien technology scavenged from a post-WWII crash, secretly manipulating and intimidating society for their own purposes.

As a student (as opposed to a fan) of THE X-FILES, I don't think these two mythologies can fit without declaring numerous scenes and episodes to have been staged if not wholly ignored. Nevertheless, this shift doesn't do away with the need for a payoff. The Syndicate/the conspiracy of men was building to some endgame -- Colonization. It's just that Colonization isn't an alien invasion, it's something else.

So, after "My Struggle," Carter still had to provide a Colonization-like scenario of global proportions. A Colonization that reflects real-world problems: militarization, establishment falsehoods, biological threats. Preferably something that could be rendered in THE X-FILES criminal procedural format.

The scenario Carter chose was a crisis of immune system failure across the globe, which is a pretty relevant concern given the numerous reports of antibiotic resistant superbugs developing due to overuse of antibiotic medication in livestock and humans. The onscreen events of "My Struggle II" are a parallel to widespread antibiotic failure and superbug infection and present Colonization as a physiological alien invasion rather than a military one -- and therefore, Colonization now works within the criminal procedural format.

In this context, Carter is able to have Scully confront and defeat Colonization -- creating a cure using her DNA and, by implication, the DNA of the chosen survivors all over the world. Scully took on the invasion and she won.

So, as of "My Struggle II," the alien invasion has been recontextualized into a conspiracy that Mulder and Scully could conceivably fight, and Scully has beaten it. Any future X-FILES is now free of the mythology and they can focus on the monsters of the week.

Just my take, of course. :-)

Re: The X-Files

I can see that. I just don't think that the depiction of this idea needed to be as large as it was. Keeping it limited and personal allows them to explore the idea, without stepping over the line and looking more silly than scary. The riots and looting and all of that was too much. If they absolutely needed that, they could show a report from a less developed country (a testing ground), but still keep a distance between our characters and that huge event.

At the risk of shooting myself in the foot (as a writer), I just don't think that the chaos helped the story. Every person in that city could die... Or not... And it really won't matter either way next season. Yet, the character stories in the episode were so impersonal and disconnected that there was no emotional core, and ultimately no sense of validation or closure for all that we have been through over the years. Mulder and Scully don't share screen time. Mulder's scenes play out like a thousand before them, adding nothing to the mix. Scully's story was based on the frantic cure, relying heavily on BS science that doesn't hold up. It was like a Star Trek episode that was all technobabble.

And after spending the season dragging down the series, William ultimately doesn't play any role at all. There is an old saying that if you introduce a gun in the first act, you need to use it by the third. William is the gun, never used. Despite never appearing, he became more annoying than Wesley Crusher.

If you watch interviews with Anderson and Duchovny, they still seem vibrant and energetic. They still sound like themselves. Yet on screen, Mulder and Scully sound raspy and brood through every scene, because of the ghost of William standing in the corner of every scene.

So that was my motivation in restructuring. How do we make the threat more personal? How do we make the struggle for a scientific cure more compelling? How do we make the cure feel more fulfilling as a resolution to the series.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

The personal element you suggest is fair. Certainly, for a TV budget, it's better to go with the small-scale approach of SIGNS rather than trying to do a TRANSFORMERS movie. We'll have to agree to disagree on the end result -- although I did read enough from various biologists to get the sense that the science in "My Struggle II" was solid. The scientific consultant for this story did a Q&A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZrL4MF … e=youtu.be

I really liked Carter's script? I thought the exchanges just really came alive.

"You sent for me. I'm here. You set this in motion. Now you're gonna put a stop to it."
"It's far too late for that, Fox. Too late for your heroics or mine."
"I don't believe you."
"You don't want to believe."

"You may not believe this, but I really want to save your life."
"I don't make deals with you."
"So you can see Scully again."
"You harm her in any way -- !!"
"Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."
"You think it's power, what you're doing, but it's not. It's sickness."
"It's sickness not doing it. I didn't set out to destroy the world, Mulder. People did. We have just had the hottest year on record on planet Earth. I didn't do that. I'm not responsible for the 40% loss of bird life or the decimation of the megafauna."
"So just murder all the people?!"
"Aliens predicted all this. They saw it happening to themselves."
"And you kept it a secret!"
"Look at world history, Fox. Neither you nor I could save mankind from self-extermination."
"So you plotted your endgame."
"I just changed the timetable. Everyone still dies in the end."

"This is no time for pride, Fox."
"I don't want your help!"
"The ultimate irony. The defeat of the big-brained beasts by the tiniest unthinking microbes."

Just for fun, I attempted to write a Chris Carter style monologue for Quinn Mallory. Matt read the first two sentences and refused to read anymore. :-)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IY5 … PO_r8/edit

Re: The X-Files

No... Never take writing lessons from Chris Carter.

Okay, so in the X-Files, certain injections manipulated the DNA of American citizens, creating a situation wherein the immune system could be deactivated and the immunizations would become infections, right?

And Scully is immune to this because of alien DNA, right?

But... Wouldn't any human being with unaltered DNA be equally immune? What is the specific purpose of the alien DNA here?

Furthermore, Scully devises a cure for this disease, so all of the hospital patients can be cured. This includes those who are near death, right? So, what makes Mulder a special case who absolutely needs stem cells from their long lost child?

And all of this is ignoring the many tests that would need to be run, the results of which would not be found in hours, especially in a hospital that looked like the set of a Tim Burton movie.

I would go into the comment about the warmest year in history, but I feel like that is probably one of those issues that would result in a long debate that neither of us would get anything out of. smile


During the original run of the series, the show's mythology became a poorly woven mess of a fabric. Over the last 13 years, or whatever it was, we came to terms with that and the dust settled. 2012 came and went, and that was that. The worst thing that Carter could have done was try to make sense of that mess. He went back to a boarded up well, yanked on the threads of that poorly woven fabric, and nothing good or fulfilling came of it. (In my opinion, and I am fully aware of the mixed metaphors) Now we have a whole new mythology which is far more messed up than what came before it.

To quote a wise man... You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run.

Carter knows none of the above. And the ideas that he does have are poorly expressed through thick layers of convoluted dialog that most people stop listening to midway through. A good writer makes his point. It isn't always neat and pretty, and Lord knows we ramble, but at least people know what you're trying to say. With Chris Carter's need to sound super intellectual, he destroys the chances of conveying his ideas.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

I thought the overall arc was weak, but it was awesome to have the show back.  Gillian Anderson's speech was really weird though, did she have a mouthful of cotton balls?

Re: The X-Files

It's weird! Look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6pLxYXpW8I&list=WL

They're old Mulder and Scully. They're moving normally. They sound normal. They have the same energy that they did before.

Then you watch the actual show and it's like they're both 90 years old, and former smokers! I am going to say that it's because the episodes kept forcing them into quiet brooding tones, but I don't know. They still have it. It just wasn't on the actual show.

Also, whoever did the sound on some of those episodes this year was pretty back. It sounded like they were talking through paper bags at times.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

Chris Carter's monologues and dialogues have a very formal, professorial tone with a lot of scientific terms and unnecessary adjectives, attempting to elevate his B-movie alien invasion concepts to a more poetic, metaphorical level. It's a tool. It has its applications. Mulder and Scully's recaps of the classic series were an interesting way of describing ridiculous events with distancing language to make the first nine seasons seem more coherent and meaningful than they actually were.

And I didn't like putting Quinn's voice in this format -- I didn't like losing his informality, his accessibility and his blue-collar nature -- Quinn is not an Ivy League child of privilege like Mulder, he's a scientist labouring in his garage. But there was certainly something to be said for summarizing three seasons of man-made tornadoes, dragons, dinosaurs, vampires, supersnakes, bubble universes, emotion draining theme parks, unstuck men, mini-scoops, Cyberiads with poetic and distanced language:

We survived and thrived as interdimensional nomads -- until we were confronted by a peculiar series of events, forces and creatures, all of which existed in contradiction to science as we knew it.

These strange experiences suggested that reality itself was somehow decaying and unravelling.

The multiverse that had taught us to endure and excel suddenly turned on us in harsh and unyielding measure, resulting in the demise of two friends, followed my own dissolution, leaving only one of our number as the final slider.

But then the interdimension that had so abruptly become an enemy shifted once again, and through a turn of events bewildering and astonishing, my friends and I were reunited and reborn.

It's a tool! It has its uses.

Re: The X-Files

It does. For example, it made sense when Scully's voiceovers were played over the visuals of her writing up her reports for her bosses. That made sense. You'd expect her to be more formal, and to try to use that poetry and scientific jargon to try to make herself sound less insane than she would if she wrote "We were attacked by a worm man!"

But Carter started using that tool in the wrong places. Scully's journal/letters to Mulder in the beginning of season 7 didn't sound like her talking to Mulder. It sounded like she was writing a report/love letter, which was a weird blend. And the way they were used in season 10 was neither of these things, but the characters' own rambling thoughts... in which case, I would really hate to live in their heads.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

Someone posted a quote from a writer named Richard Price on Facebook. I don't know much about the writer himself, but the quote seemed relevant to the discussion that we are having here, so I shall post it... just because...

"The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don't write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid's burnt socks lying on the road. You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance."


I think that's an interesting way to approach the issue.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: The X-Files

My favourite X-FILES site, Eat the Corn, has posted a write-up of the episode. http://www.eatthecorn.com/2016/02/27/10 … ruggle-ii/ They thought it sucked! Hahahah!

The most interesting section, to me, was when Eat the Corn attempted to bridge the Colonization conspiracy of Seasons 1 - 9 with the Conspiracy of Men and flat out gave up.

After My Struggle, we were waiting for the second part to see whether the new elements presented would be confirmed or if there would be another twist. There has been no twist and this new mythology appears to be “the truth” (for now). The change of the nature of the conspiracy do not warrant even a passing mention: what has been said in My Struggle is now the new normal and Mulder feels okay with this.

In Scully’s opening monologue, when she talks about a conspiracy of men, she doesn’t mention colonization; and yet we see photos of the Syndicate Elders. This definitely identifies this new conspiracy with the old Syndicate. There are many, many things wrong with this. Such as:

If an easily inserted DNA bit like the one Scully has was sufficient, what was the point of the complex alien/human hybrids program? Why Cassandra Spender was more successful than others? What of the Syndicate’s pact with the alien Colonists? What was the significance of the abduction of Samantha? Who were the Faceless Rebels?

What of the clawed alien gestated by an infection by the Black Oil? What about when the Well-Manicured Man, shortly before sacrificing himself, says “This isn’t Colonization, this is spontaneous repopulation! All our work! If it’s true, they’ve been using us all along!” Where are the Supersoldiers, alien replicants in power since 2001?

Certain possibilities to reconcile all this present themselves, however all of them are problematic.

The Faceless Rebels could have won the war against the Colonists, off-screen, and left, leaving the stage free for a conspiracy of men. Or, the aliens left for greener pastures and the conspiracy of men expanded. But we are told the Spartan virus was delivered with the smallpox vaccination, and so it must have existed since before the 1970s; what was the use of it then?

The Supersoldiers really were a governmental program, not a program run by aliens. But they were against the CSM, who is presented here as a mastermind of the governmental conspiracy.

The Spartan virus was conceived by the Syndicate as a last-minute resistance solution against the alien Colonists. But we are told that the genetic technology was “given to them by an alien race”, and the aliens wouldn’t give the Syndicate the tools of resistance.

What we see is indeed the start of colonization: the Spartan virus will also activate something that will have similar effects to the infection by the Black Oil. Or, Scully is giving everyone what she thinks is the cure, when in fact she is putting alien DNA to everyone, that will become active and turn everyone into aliens. But that means that the CSM is being manipulated as well -- which is odd, since he knew all about colonization in the previous 9 seasons.

What was meant by “colonization” was something different from what we though it did: just the takeover of the planet by the global elites, assisted by the aliens, who want to “save us from ourselves”. [But this discounts the aliens' work towards using humans as incubators.]

The only possible option — and it is a big stretch — was that the CSM manipulated everyone in the Syndicate into doing his bidding from the very beginning (1947), inventing this story of colonization.

The UFO crash we saw in My Struggle was the real crash, and from the very beginning the Men In Black kill the innocent aliens, create this story of alien colonization in order to instill fear, stage a UFO crash in Roswell (“Roswell was a smokescreen“, as the old informant told Mulder) where they plant the information on colonization (see the Mount Weather database Mulder glimpses at in 9X19/20: The Truth). The Alien Bounty Hunters and the Faceless Rebels, at whom the old informant in My Struggle specifically laughed at when Mulder called them alien, would be man-made: hybrids from the Russian program sent to exterminate the Syndicate.

The Syndicate was never in direct contact with the aliens, but such memories (such as their contact in 1973 that sealed their cooperation, 6X12: One Son) were implanted in them to manipulate them. As big a hand-wave explanation as they come.

Re: The X-Files

That does pretty much cover it.

I'm wondering if it would have been better for them to come back and just not try to make sense of the mess at all. Maybe just say it happened and move on to something new.

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Re: The X-Files

I always figured that's what they'd do. I always saw Colonization going down one of two ways -- Mulder confronting an alien in human form, declaring that this is the moment they stop Colonization. Only for the alien to say that Colonization has been cancelled -- that the humans have messed up the Earth so much nobody wants any part of it and that the galaxy at large considers Earth a no-fly zone.

The other option I imagined was Mulder and Scully gathering an army of werewolves, ghosts, poltergeists, parasites, demons, witches, vampires, etc., and the supernatural creatures teaming up to fight the aliens.

Re: The X-Files

Sick at home today. Started reading the X-FILES anthology, TRUST NO ONE, from IDW. At one point, I got really confused by a story set in 2015 where Mulder and Scully are employed at the FBI, investigating X-Files and sharing a bed. What!?!?

Then I realized that this story set in the comic book version of Season 10. Somehow, I'd forgotten all about it. I wonder if this alternate continuity will be maintained; there's a relaunch of the X-FILES comics in April.

Re: The X-Files

I was rewatching "My Struggle" today, specifically the scene of Tad and Mulder laying out the Conspiracy of Men... and I still felt this buzz of present-day, ripped from the headlines relevance and the fact that it didn't really fit Seasons 1 - 9 seemed so unimportant when these descriptions of the corporate controlled military industrial complex is so barely exaggerated from real life. The stuff about chemtrails and 9-11 as an inside job is nonsense, but our world being in thrall to an elite cabal of the wealthy seeking to dull, sicken and distract the populace doesn't even qualify as a conspiracy; that's just reality.

Although it probably would have been for the best had the FOX website provided an ebook or something to link the original continuity with the new one. Like those STAR TREK comics that bridged the NEXT GENERATION with the Rebootquel.

Re: The X-Files

I guess the level to which you identify with that stuff would depend on your own beliefs. The problem with dealing with real world issues and incorporating them into a story like that is that you can't really throw a quick line in there and be done with it. You have to make that idea make sense to the audience that isn't quite there with you. Even if you're not trying to convince them, you have to make them understand where you're coming from.

Carter's method with the "My Struggle" two parter seems to have been to just throw a string of thoughts into the air and see if any of them landed on their feet. He didn't seem to have a firm grasp of what he believed, much less how it fit into a story that he wasn't really clear on the details of.

(and I leave myself open for similar criticisms, I know)

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Re: The X-Files

Chris Carter, interviewed at a Smithsonian event:

https://www.facebook.com/smithsonianmag … 721118253/

Re: The X-Files

I have reached the Doggett era in my rewatch. I had always remembered liking the character, but thought that I would see weaknesses in the show after Mulder left that perhaps I didn't see before.

Oddly enough, I don't. I find Doggett to be refreshing. He is a skeptic, but with an open mind. He isn't a blind follower of his bosses, but he also isn't as quick as Mulder to throw aside his duty. It is a nice change of pace. He should get a lot more credit as a character than he does. Too bad that we haven't seen more of him. I imagine him going back to police work in his home city, after getting sick of all of this federal conspiracy crap.

Still haven't seen Reyes' episodes yet. Something to look forward to, despite the fact that I didn't like what the revival did to her.

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Re: The X-Files

Informant wrote:

I have reached the Doggett era in my rewatch. I had always remembered liking the character, but thought that I would see weaknesses in the show after Mulder left that perhaps I didn't see before.

Oddly enough, I don't. I find Doggett to be refreshing. He is a skeptic, but with an open mind. He isn't a blind follower of his bosses, but he also isn't as quick as Mulder to throw aside his duty. It is a nice change of pace. He should get a lot more credit as a character than he does. Too bad that we haven't seen more of him. I imagine him going back to police work in his home city, after getting sick of all of this federal conspiracy crap.

Still haven't seen Reyes' episodes yet. Something to look forward to, despite the fact that I didn't like what the revival did to her.

I liked Doggett.  Too bad scorpion got in the way for his return.  Didn't like Reyes' storyline on the revival but I'm already jonesing for more x-files and really liked having new X Files to look forward to.

Re: The X-Files

I am looking forward to its return too, even though I thought the revival was very weak (at least half of it was, if not more). I like having it around, they just really need Chris Carter gone.

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Re: The X-Files

Season 8 of The X-Files is a strange thing. It's strange because the show sets itself up to go on for a while, strongly, despite Mulder going missing. Doggett and Reyes are great characters, and the fact that Reyes is more of an occult person than an alien person even sets the show up with a new mythology direction, so it can continue without Mulder or Scully, and not feel like a complete rehash of a tired arc.

All of this is great, but the writers refused to lean into those possibilities. For starters, Doggett and Scully are constantly split up during investigations. This may have been because Gillian Anderson wanted more free time, but it feels like the writers don't want them to develop a real partnership, because it might threaten the Mulder/Scully dynamic. It feels like they're clinging to what worked before, even if what worked is not possible at that point, since Duchovny wanted out.

Then Mulder comes back and rather than allow all of these strong characters to live and work together, there is always this false hostility toward Doggett (and to a lesser degree, Reyes). It doesn't work though, because I find myself siding with Doggett and thinking that Mulder is being a d-bag... Scully is still largely absent from the action, so it's hard to get a feel for her at this point. Is she back to being the skeptic around Mulder? Does she remain the believer? Is she somewhere in the middle? I don't know. She just keeps telling Mulder that Doggett is a good guy and totally worth the effort of getting to know him, but it feels weird, since she has spent so little time in the same room with him.

There is a legitimately good setup for the series moving forward here, but as usual, the X-Files clings to what's safe and familiar and refuses to move on from the past.

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Re: The X-Files

Season 9...

I've only watched the two-part premiere so far, but it was pretty weak. The super soldier concept is fine. But the mystery surrounding Mulder and Scully and their baby is just weirdly off. Mulder is gone because... he is. There are scenes where people are being very dramatic and mysterious about nothing in particular. Oddly, Mulder and Scully became the weakest part of the show. If they'd just been cut loose, the show would have been better off.

I'm curious to see where Doggett is today. Honestly, I don't see him staying with the FBI or putting up with the BS. I would say that he would have become part of the war on terrorism, but I don't know that he would work for the government at all after all of this. Maybe private security, or a private investigator? Unless he just went back to the NYPD. I feel bad for the guy. He genuinely wants to help, but everyone just treats him like crap and then wonders why he doesn't know as much as they do.

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Re: The X-Files

I liked Season 8 a lot. Season 9 was a meandering mess best exemplified by "TrustNo1" where Doggett, Reyes and Scully spend the climax running around a quarry shouting for Mulder with Mulder played by a stunt double seen at a distant and urgently running away from everyone involved in the series. The myth-arc was a mistake that even Frank Spotnitz acknowledged in a recent interview where he said that, looking back, he focused too much on plot and too little on character.

It's a symptom of TXF being an early adopter of serialized TV. The first time you do anything, especially if you're the first to do it, it will probably suck.

TheM0vieblog.com has been doing some great retrospectives of the Season 10 - 11 comic books and the revival mini-series. The comics, M0vieBlog notes, initially tried to make a big show of being a canonical revival with approval from Chris Carter because the publishers understood that fans will judge what counts and what doesn't count and getting the series creator's name on the cover would make the comics count.

M0vieBlog then notes how, even before the first comic arc was completed, the show's live action revival made it clear the comics had started out canonical but weren't anymore and how the story and the writer act out this little drama within the pages itself; the Cigarette Smoking Man in the Season 10 comics is a clone with a patchwork series of memories from documents and a telepath, a stand-in for the real thing trying to justify his own existence and argue that he has meaning and will and purpose.

The Season 11 comics end on Mulder encountering a rip in spacetime caused by the alien's reality warping vessels and seeing visions of alternate realities, one of which is the TV revival. Writer Joe Harris carefully moves his own stories out of continuity while declaring that the comic books are canonical and it's the TV show that's set in a parallel reality in which the alien conspiracy was a hoax where in the main reality, it most certainly wasn't.

M0vieBlog has a really neat take on "My Struggle," first noting that it's Chris Carter tacitly acknowledging that the mythology can't make sense. Instead, the situation will be that some of it is true and some of it is not and some of it will be blatantly ignored. The blog also notes: the Revival episodes have a very different take on the aliens from the original series.

In the original series, the aliens were evil monsters, full stop. Chris Carter's view was that aliens are external representations of evil. But in the years that passed, Carter changed and "My Struggle" reflects this with true evil being represented entirely by self-serving human beings and aliens are now innocent parties.

The two views of aliens -- external evil seeking to corrupt the human race and beneficent observers who were kidnapped and killed -- are incompatible, which is why the alien conspiracy mythos is at odds with the Spartan virus mythos. The Chris Carter of 1993 is not the Chris Carter of 2016; he now sees evil as something within ourselves rather than something outside ourselves.

It's an interesting dilemma; what if, when returning to a series you started, you don't believe what you believed when you started the series?

It's something I found myself struggling with in that I am doing a pastiche of Tracy Torme and Dan Harmon for SLIDERS REBORN and the 2015 - 2016 version of SLIDERS is more cynical than the 1995 version of SLIDERS. The 1995 version of SLIDERS believes that our world has turned out great, that everything -- the American Revolution, the World Wars, the civil rights movement, the Clinton administration, Vietnam, Wall Street -- has ultimately put us in a decent place, albeit a place filled with injustices and failures and problems -- but that any divergences would shift us from a flawed but workable situation to a nightmarish world of fascist dystopian madness.

SLIDERS REBORN is fundamentally opposed to SLIDERS on that level -- SLIDERS REBORN declares that everything has turned out terribly, that our world is in shambles, that our world has been in a mess since 1995 and well before it, that our civilization is skateboarding straight to hell and that all of this is Quinn Mallory's fault in that his invention should have changed everything, but his incompetence has doomed us all. It is a serious philosophical distinction between the two. I don't think for one moment that Tracy Torme's version of REBORN would be anything like mine -- this is the Dan Harmon version of SLIDERS, really. But there is no way that Tracy, having come out of Season 3, didn't emerge embittered and cynical.

But I think that SLIDERS REBORN is still recognizable as SLIDERS because it shifts the positivity of the original SLIDERS onto the characters. Wade Welles is a guidance counsellor, Rembrandt Brown is an award winning sound engineer, Professor Arturo is a celebrated sci-fi author and Quinn Mallory is a one-man Salvation Army. Despite all the wrong turns and dead ends and abandoned plot threads and murders and mutilations and that business with the Chasm we'd all like to forget, the journey brought them all to who they are now and that makes it worthwhile. The positivity is still there, it's just not positivity about our world.

With THE X-FILES -- I think that the only way to reconcile the two opposing views would have been to present Mulder and Scully as two people living lives that are assailed by dark forces outside of them that turn out to be humans with a dark agenda as opposed to aliens with a dark agenda. Carter chose not to do this by having Mulder and Scully split up because of his obvious discomfort with romance, so "My Struggle" is an X-FILES relaunch that's truly detached from the show from which it began.

Re: The X-Files

The story is what the story is. Chris Carter's inability to go back to that story because of his personal changes just shows how weak he is as a writer.

If you asked me to write a Star Trek The Next Generation story, I could. I could write an X-Files episode, a Buffy episode... if I know the characters, I can do it. There are a thousand writers who could write The X-Files, and who would jump at the chance. I would love to see Mulder and Scully written by writers of today, who grew up with them and love them.

It is fine for a writer to not be able to get back into a project after so long, but if they can't, they shouldn't be in charge of that story. It becomes a mess, as we witnessed.


But I have a fix. And it works with the show's canon. smile

The one regular to not appear at all in season 10 was John Doggett, right? So, what if he isn't in the picture becuse he is either quadriplegic, or dead because Monica Reyes killed him? I am referring to the season 9 episode "4D" which deals with a parallel universe. An alternate Doggett is dragged into our reality after seeing his Monica's throat slashed. He is shot and disabled, while our Monica is left to figure out what is going on. Deciding that two Doggett's can't exist in the same universe (so her Doggett is alive in the other universe), Reyes kills the alternate Doggett, resetting time (a cheap way to keep Reyes from being a murderer) and bringing her Doggett home.

So what if that alternate Reyes got medical care and survived, and season 10 (and whatever comes next, I guess) exists in that other universe?

Bam. I fixed it.


Season 9 was confused, to say the least. The show feels totally different, as though a whole new crew took over. There is a lot more leather going on, which is fine for Reyes, but not for Scully.

The mythology revolves around Mulder and Scully, which is weird since Mulder is gone and Scully is a supporting player at best. The super soldier arc never got off the ground, because it was a desperate attempt to hold onto something that the show had no chance of keeping.

The magical baby storyline really never works, but it was popular for a long time on tv. Didn't work here either.

The stories feel more shallow and lifeless, probably because Doggett and Reyes are second class citizens on their own show. The writers never seem to care about their relationship or personalities, beyond basic outlines. Which is a shame, because they're really solid characters.

I don't think that the writers knew how to handle Reyes, who was a real woman of faith. Scully was religious at times, but was always a skeptic and that made the writers comfortable with her. With Reyes, they had to sell true belief in spiritual elements, and it lacked conviction.

I wish Reyes and Doggett were allowed to be more fun and playful at times, as Mulder and Scully were. But it's like the writers resented the characters and wanted to punish them. Even Scully's personality shift made it hard to relate to her. She is not the same character that we watched for so many years.

Season 9 wasn't a total loss. There are some interesting stories there. But overall, it feels like nobody wanted to be there anymore, with the possible exception of Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish, who did their best.

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Re: The X-Files

Also, the end of the Lone Gunmen was poorly handled. Rather than give them an end that fit who they were on this highly successful, classic tv series, they chose to give them an end that fit who they were on their poorly rated spinoff that nobody watched and I haven't seen any sign of since it was cancelled after one season.

These characters started out being great supporting players, who were a fun way of getting answers. Turning them into wacky action heroes didn't work. They belonged in their lair. Their deaths should have meant something to The X-Files, but they had no interaction with any of the people that they had worked with for all those years. The episode was a back-door series finale for a show that nobody cared about. They did something similar with Millennium, but at least that episode worked as an X-Files episode.

Their deaths should have been a big emotional moment. Instead, I was kinda bored by the episode.

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Re: The X-Files

i recently did a re-read of the comic books. The M0vie Blog did a great retrospective of all the episodes over several years and recently completed reviews for the original Topps comic series and the recent Season 10 - 11 comics. https://them0vieblog.com/2016/07/21/the … ster-list/

Despite Carter's original intention to let SEASON 10 act as the equivalent of those STAR TREK prequel comics to a future X-FILES film, he set it aside. Likely, the chance to revive THE X-FILES as a TV show caught him by surprise, but he saw the six new episodes not as a finale for THE X-FILES but the start of a new run of episodes. As the revival was not going to be the standalone, single-installment production he had expected, the comics could no longer act as a prequel or post-revival sequel -- the revival would be its own prequel and sequel in its episodes. "My Struggle" aired and presented a version of THE X-FILES that was impossible to reconcile with the comics, mostly because in the comics, the alien invasion was real but in the TV show, the alien invasion has been retconned as a hoax.

Ultimately, the SEASON 10 - 11 comic ends with Mulder and Scully encountering an alien spaceship that warps spacetime and creates a window into parallel dimensions where they experience a brief glimpse of their alternate universe doubles in "My Struggle." Then Harris and his artists started a new series that, despite being presented as a tie-in to the revived TV show, doesn't seem to tie in properly at all. While the artists use the hairstyles and likenesses of the Revival versions of Mulder and Scully, they make no specific reference to any of the six episodes. The first five issues so far have been monster of the week stories and there is no indication whether these stories are taking place at some point during the six episodes of the show or at some point after the Spartan virus cliffhanger has presumably been resolved. The amount of time that passes in the comic will eventually make it impossible for the stories to have taken place inside the six weeks of the 2015 season.

The great shame of losing SEASON 10 - 11 is that this run had resurrected the Lone Gunmen and the comic seemed to have real creative freedom in advancing and developing THE X-FILES characters and concepts, all of which would now sadly be discarded with the relaunched X-FILES comic.

But so far, the transition has been gentle; one could easily imagine these relaunched issues to be set in SEASON 10 - 11's continuity as Harris has avoided any direct contradictions; for example, the Lone Gunmen are presumably dead again, but Harris simply avoids mentioning them.

Harris seems to retain a certain creative freedom: issues #4 - 5 delved into Scully's family history. Issue #6 will apparently kick off a myth-arc storyline involving the Syndicate. Harris described his comic as "a sidecar experience" where he wouldn't expect to tie into the TV show's plots, but would try to tell strong X-FILES stories and maintain the atmosphere, style and characterization of his SEASON 10 - 11 comics.

One would expect Harris' X-FILES to read like what the Topps series degenerated into, but Harris has for five issues created at least the illusion that he can build and develop Mulder and Scully as he sees fit -- and apparently, he can still get into the myth-arc somehow. A part of me is wondering if these comics are still set in the SEASON 10 to 11 continuity and have simply adopted the Revival hairstyles for the time being, with the Harris-continuity to potentially return at some point. It's an interestingly low-key solution to a high-tension problem.