The Truth is Out There. If you immediately sat up in your seat when reading that line then you may, like me, be an X-Phile. I’ve decided to look at the The X-Files this month because of the impending reboot (continuation?) of the show.
The show originally aired, on Fox, from 1993-2002. It quickly amassed a dedicated following, through its use of in-show mythology, chemistry between its leads, and smart blending of real science and almost-real science. David Duchovny was chronic believer Fox Mulder, and the sublime (yeah, really, there is nothing the woman can’t do) Gillian Anderson was skeptic Dana Scully.
The show smartly strode between two worlds: that of a show with an intricate mythology and overall story arc that became more and more developed as the show progresses, and that of a Monster of the Week (arguably, The X-Files was one of the main progenitors of the Monster of the Week style). Looking back at the show now, I have to confess that the episodes I love and which still hold up are almost entirely the MotW ones. The mythology becomes too cluttered and riddled with holes. However, some of the singular episodes remain some of my favorite episodes of television ever (“Bad Blood,” “The Unnatural,” “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” and who can forget the horror of “The Host”? Shudder.)
The fandom of The X-Files called themselves X-Philes and were often firm Sculder shippers (that’s the portmanteau of my choosing). The chemistry between the leads made this an easy relationship to ship. I never shipped Sculder, loving seeing a platonic but still deeply loving friendship portrayed on television (alas, this was not to be).
The X-Files remains compelling today for several reasons. One of them, I’d say, would be the depiction of Scully. Scully remains one of the best characters on television. She was competent, fiercely intelligent, funny, and allowed to both show her emotions and still be the more stoic character between her and Mulder (a rarity in a show with mixed gender leads). The show also dealt with faith in a fascinating way (at least for the majority of the show’s length, the last few seasons not so much). Scully, a skeptic and scientist, is deeply religious in her dedication to science and in her faith.
As the show, and X-Philes everywhere, prepares for its return, one has to wonder how the fandom will take this new incarnation of a deeply loved program. Will it right the wrongs of the show’s final seasons? A question for my readers: are you looking forward to the new X-Files? Why or why not? Contact me @lunaquarterly or @PintsNCupcakes and let us know. And til next time Keep Fannin’ On!