Sunday, December 16, 2007

The X-Files: This is a Conspiracy, Right?

I said there were two films. The other is the untitled X-Files movie.

I was convinced I was safe, that it was all David Duchovny's fevered publicity, until they started filming it last week.

Wait--WHAT? Come again? Did I just...oh, there's even photos to prove it. And here I was hoping it was a bad dream.

I loved The X-Files. I owned the books. The posters. The t-shirts. The Scully haircut. I spent hours theorizing with friends and family about What It Was All About. I went as Agent Scully for Halloween--a costume which, I realize now, heralded more elaborate attempts like Queen Gorgo.

In fact, there's a deep dark chapter of my past which involves me, that Scully suit, and a few Trek conventions. Throw in a misadventure with an Imperial Stormtrooper, an appearance in the official X-Files Magazine, and you have one of the geekiest sagas ever created.

But that all ended. My love for it died out completely, as Chris Carter smoked a bunch of weed (probably lit with $100 bills from the merchandising), wrote those last two seasons and then laughed in our faces. Our years of theorizing were wasted as we learned...well...none of us ever did figure it out, except that it SUCKED.

For years, they promised a film. And no one really gave a crap because frankly, Fight the Future was terrible, the beginning of the end. We only pretended it wasn't until it became apparent Carter had no concept of "continuity" or "plot."

The X-Files faded away, a pop culture relic we all wondered if we should feel vaguely embarrassed about. Gillian Anderson vanished into United Kingdom obscurity and Duchovny claimed to be "in talks" every single time he was promoting a project of his own.

And now, just like that, we've got a movie. And a cast that includes Amanda Peet and Xzibit. Because nothing says high class science fiction like Amanda Peet and Xzibit. Remember the days when huge stars lusted after a part on the show?

Apparently, it's a stand alone, monster-of-the-week story...not that they have a choice, they don't remember any of that UFO malarkey either.

It's just...WHY? The show became a blueprint of what NOT to do in a sci-fi show. It comes up every time we wonder if LOST has gone off the rails. Just like with Indy 4, it's like the JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon accolades have been gnawing at the soul of Chris Carter and he's determined to prove he's Still Got It. And I think the answer to "Does he?" lies in the fact that both Abrams and Whedon have never lacked for work or praise. Whedon even managed to get Serenity made, whereas Carter can barely crack the headlines when he begins filming The Untitled X-Files Sequel.

The ship has sailed, leaving the smoldering wreck of the show behind it. Why dig it up? One might argue that it cannot possibly be ruined further, but I think the fact that you went from Robert Patrick to Xzibit says oh yes you can. As one former X-Phile put it, "If they could make a movie to undo the mess of the last two season, ok. But its not and so, who cares?"

And the fact is, I still have good memories of Mulder and Scully. The show might have sucked, the answers may never have come...but they still stayed true. They were still cool. The last thing I want to see is a middle-aged pair of FBI Agents desperately trying to look competent and like nothing with aliens or miracle babies ever happened.

It's just like watching Indy try to ride again. Let heroes retire in peace and stand as examples for new characters and new talent to follow.

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