The new X-Files movie comes out this week, and I like many others can’t wait to see what will happen. What new mysteries will appear, and what will we find out about the past?
This promises to be an entertaining adventure, and it is my hope that it will dwell more on the mysterious and less on the grotesque. With X-Files, one never knows what exactly will happen, but you can bet it will be a well-crafted, and highly imaginative escape from the everyday world.
I remember watching the very first episode of X-Files and immediately phoning my brother excitedly praising the new show. He enjoyed UFO stories like I did, and I wanted to discuss with him this new kid in town, who was actually doing it right! It was so thrilling to see a show where there were no pat answers, no weather balloon or military testing stories offered as the solution to the mysterious.
I later read that series creator Chris Carter vowed never to use those type answers in the show, and to my knowledge the solutions never came down to the banal or mundane.
The pilot of X-Files set many things in motion besides the successful long run of a science fiction television series. From the beginning the unorthodox pairing of Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) as believer and pragmatist was genius.
Like a medieval romance, Mulder was an enchanted knight on a quest for the truth, led by visions and bewitched by tantalizing bits of information that eluded his grasp. At his side was Scully a staunch companion who wanted cold hard evidence to either prove or disprove what Mulder sought as truth.
As the series progressed, the character moved forward in their development, so that rather than a compromise position, they formed an entirely new point of reference, in the idea that nothing is as it seems. What a brilliant way to continue the search for truth without forcing Mulder to give up his aliens or Scully to deny her science.
If you were to ask 10 X-Files fans to name their favorite episode, you would probably get 10 different answers. The show is multifaceted, with stories that range from UFO’s to Native American mythology, from high technology to the idea of soul transference.
There are fans of the story arcs, the ongoing saga that moves through the seasons. There are others who delight in the grotesque, the horrifying or the so called “monster-of-the-week” episodes.
Here is where I may differ from fellow X-File fans, because I think the alien question and UFO themed shows are some of the very best.
According to Wikipedia these episodes had the lowest viewer numbers, and I still find it difficult to think that people preferred the Flukeman over the UFO implications in Fallen Angel or the Lone Gunmen in E.B.E.!
I did have my favorite “monster” episode though. This was in season 2 and was titled “Aubrey.” It starred Deborah Strang a talented actress I’ve watched through the years on numerous shows.
She is a gifted woman who can play any role given her with extraordinary skill, and as detective B. J. Morrow who did not realize that she was her own worst enemy, gave a performance that was both touching and frightening. The story raised the question of genetic memory or reincarnation, and it was chillingly good.
Mulder and Scully had some wonderfully witty dialog and it was one of those stories that you think about after the lights are out and shiver and remember the old days when you thought monsters lived under the bed, and how much courage would it take to get up and turn on the light. I had several glasses of milk AND some cookies in the kitchen that night with all the lights on.
Various episodes come to mind, and I have promised my colleague Jeff that I will mention “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” because it is one that he enjoyed greatly both in the X-Files and the sequel that was written for Chris Carter’s other series Millenium. Jose Chung was played by Charles Nelson Reilly, and the episode poked fun at the X-Files mythology, while adhering to its boundaries.
You have to love an episode that has Jesse Ventura and Alex Trebek portraying “men in black!” Perhaps the very best episode of all was “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” in which Peter Boyle played an insurance salesman who could predict death. It won two Emmys, one for Peter Boyle’s superb portrayal of the human being who had to bear this unwieldy gift of knowledge, and the other for best writing.
These are just a few reminiscences about X-Files, brought on by anticipation for the latest chapter in the saga. There are so many amazing episodes, and great moments of dialog blended with fine acting and though provoking storytelling, it would take many more pages to do justice to them all.
Suffice it to say that if you are already a fan of X-Files, this should be an exciting week, and if you’ve never seen the show, there is no time like the present to become a fan!
The X-Files: I Want to Believe arrives in theaters on Friday, July 25th, from 20th Century Fox. Visit the movie database for more information on the film.