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.

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.

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?

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.