X-Files: The Event Series
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X-Files: The Event Series

It is written that "everything that is old shall be made new again". These birds appear to be the mantra for the latest paradigm controlling entertainment. There is always been remakes, reimagining and reboots but lately studios have included another deriving projects; resurrection. In movies franchises such as ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Indiana Jones’, having brought back with new installments despite the fact that the actors roles now receive senior citizen discounts at the crafts table. Now this trend has extended to television particularly with the ‘Special Event Series’ considered here, ‘X-Files: Season 10’. Although it was marketed as an event most sources do acknowledge its continuation of the original series by listing it as the 10th season of the show. 1993 till 2002 the X-Files is undeniable origin phenomenon. Combining elements of mystery, suspense and science fiction that series was created that captured the imagination of the nation. In spirit of full disclosure, I was not among the initial cadre of fans. I didn’t for myself the opportunity to immerse myself in the show until much later I was called upon to review a box set of the entire series. Was at that point that I realized I had been missing all those years. It took a bit of binge watching but after completing my belated immersion in the series a position to realize that ‘getting the band back together’, not only going to be a tricky proposition from a logistical point of view but it was going to be minutely scrutinized by a legion obsessed fans that have rated over 20 years with his belated final season. It is important to note that the last few years of mysterious witness with most fans would agree to be a spiraling dissent the quality of the series. As main characters left there were replaced by actors that although quite talented and not able to live up to the expectations that were placed upon them. This made success for this 10 season extension be more important, it had to bring back the magic was already dwindling in the series twilight seasons.

This season is another example of how paradigms have been changing always traditionally referred to as television. Thanks to such things as streaming video and multiple tiers of cable access networks no longer have to be concerned with construction shows that are designed to reach the largest number of audience members as possible. We live in a niche oriented view of entertainment. Television series no longer needs to be open ended, conducive to continuing on season after season. This increasing number shows that are intended to run just one season of anywhere from 8 to 13 episodes, a long way off from the original model that required up to 26 episodes per season. This X-Files event is six episodes, longer than traditional miniseries that shorter than the current standard of 13. One advantage of this is that it does allow the writers to create a story that by necessity as to proceed at a rather quick pace. However what this series lacks is a clearly defined strong narrative serve as a scaffolding to reintroduce below characters.

To help get the fans back into the proper conspiracy theory mindset the season opens with a monologue by Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) giving a monologue providing a synopsis detailing alien activity throughout history which and audience members to return to the mindset of ‘Spooky Mulder’. He concludes with a recap of how his relationship with his former partner, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), deteriorated. Then returned to one of the origin points for all Elliott conspiracies, 1947, in the New Mexico desert the New Mexico one of the infamous ‘Men in Black’ is escorting a scientist to the remains of a crashed vehicle of extraterrestrial origin. Define a trail about alien blood and followed to a wounded extraterrestrial go against the pleas of the scientist is shot dead. That brings us to the present day; 14 years after the X-Files had been closed by the FBI. The FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) makes a very unusual request of Dr. Scully, to get back in contact Fox Mulder. The object is to have Mulder contact a right-wing blogger, Tad O'Malley (Joel McHale).

Thanks to the built-in quick pacing it doesn’t take long before the newly reunited team are neck deep in new conspiracies Sveta (Annet Mahendru), is convinced that the aliens have been stealing fetuses from her during an alien abduction. She has fragmented memories of the experience in a DNA analysis reveals extraterrestrial DNA. While Scully is examining the evidence Mulder goes off with O'Malley to a covert location that is storing an ARV, Alien Replica Vehicle. It turns out that Mulder has known the doctor from back in 1947 for over a decade and he looks him up after this new evidence has emerged the conclusion he reaches no surprise for anybody were seen any number of episodes from the series, the extraterrestrial colonizing near and have been garnering the cooperation of key individuals by allowing them access alien technology to increase their wealth and power.

As long as the writers on the nostalgia train they figured that would be the perfect opportunity to cram the six episodes with as many people connected with the original series as possible. It just wouldn’t be the X-Files without a certain iconic character, ‘The Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis)’. His role of providing Mulder otherwise unknowable information is once again necessary in order to provide a shortcut for exposition. Also returning for another go at it is the replacement agent in the last two seasons, FBI Special Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish), although her skeptical counterpart, Special Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick), most likely because the actor has a full-time job as a regular in the TV series ‘Scorpion’. In addition characters that became so popular in the series that they were given their own spinoff, ‘The Lone Gunmen already in full force; John Fitzgerald Byers (Bruce Harwood), Melvin Frohike (Tom Braidwood) and Richard Langly (Dean Haglund). Inclusion of these characters did they strongly reinforced the connection with the original series but having to juggle so many different characters in such a short period of time resulted in an overly convoluted plot threads.

This is more than an exercise in nostalgia or a desperate ploy by the studio executives to coax a little more from a long abandoned well. There is a reasonable story lurking under the façade of the ghost of conspiracy theories past. Mr. Duchovny has been playing disconnected characters as Hank Moody in ‘Californication’ that he appeared to have difficulty in recapturing the unrelenting completion to discover the truth despite the overwhelming opposition of his superiors and just about everyone else except for a few fringe believers. The entire show originally hinged on the conflict generated between the immovable object of the rational skeptic the irresistible force of a man convinced that he is right. After the series it is impossible for Scully to remain a disbeliever and the one agent they bring back was also in that camp. When you mix in fringe acolytes such as the Lone Gunmen there is a void where opposition once resided. What they had to oppose ‘the truth ’lacked the gravitas necessary , replaced by a cabal intent on covering their betrayal of humanity.

bulletAudio Commentary on Select Episodes
bulletDeleted Scenes
bulletThe Makings of a Struggle
bulletSeason X An in-depth behind the scenes look at the event series
bulletGag Reel
bulletMonsters of the Week: The Wildest and Scariest from the Original Series
bulletThe X-Files: Green Production

Posted        0709/2016

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