The X-Files Revival: 5 Wants, Needs, and Hopes From the Fans

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I’m part of a pretty kick-ass X-Files fan group on Facebook, Hooked on X-Files: Die Hard Fans Only. If you love reading about and talking about the show come join us. But be warned, you will have to pass a brief test identifying some characters to prove your fandom before your membership is accepted. Anyway, a while back we all had a discussion about what we most want to see in the revival. I’ve organized it all into the 5 major points that seemed to keep coming up. Don’t agree? Please add your thoughts below.

  1. The alien invasion

My biggest question, and other philes agree: what is really going on with the alien invasion? Did they really start a quiet invasion in 2012 (here among us without us knowing) and are now just getting everything in place for the fiery destruction we saw in Mulder’s vision? Did the alien invasion take place off screen in 2012? Did Mulder and Scully stop it? Is there a new syndicate operation? Sometimes I wish they would just SET the revival in 2012 instead of 2015 so we could see them address and stop the invasion. Maybe something Mulder and Scully did postponed the invasion until now. We just don’t know, but we all want to find out more than anything.

The consensus: Finding out what happened with Colonization is extremely important. It was always a major talking point throughout the series and first movie, and then the second movie didn’t address it at all. Rather, it played as a longer Monster of the Week episode. Most fans agree, it would be a mistake for the writers to avoid the subject of aliens and colonization again.

What I want to see above all else in this revival is vindication for Mulder and Scully–undeniable proof that Mulder has been right all along. I want people who made fun of Mulder to beg him for help, and I want to see him and Scully save the world from invasion.

2. William

Everyone’s second biggest question remains about the show’s smallest character.

Where is he?

S.C.–Exactly, that’s my number one as well A.W. And that’s also my second most wanted answer. Where is baby William? And who really is William. The last I heard was he was adopted by a family in Wyoming. Is he a teenager now, what are the extent of his powers? Can he be a savior to humanity?

A.W.–More so than where William is, I want to know what his deal really is. He’s very important, or at least he was as a baby. Can the Magnetite Jeffrey Spender injected baby William with suppress his alien powers forever? Will they resurface in this revival? I can see a 15 year old William now, frightened to find he can read thoughts or move things with his mind. If his powers were to resurface, that would certainly put his adoptive family in danger, and draw attention from Mulder and Scully.

From season 6 when the piece of the craft that Scully was “meant to find” spins and goes flying into the bible, to Genesis, to season 9 when the piece goes flying over Williams head and he’s looking up at it, spinning above his eyes, I’ve had major questions about Mulder and Scully’s child.

When William is born and Mulder doesn’t know how to get to Scully, he follows a bright light in the sky. And it leads him to this rundown shack, the only place Scully could go. And everyone is there just to witness this miraculous birth–that of a barren mother. Then the 3 gunmen come bearing gifts. It’s a story I hear in church every Christmas. William is alien Jesus. He’s definitely going be a big part of this new mythology. And if not, he should be. My theory is he’s the chosen one–maybe the only one that can stop the aliens. He or his possibly immortal mother…

 

3. How has Mulder and Scully’s relationship progressed?

S.C.–would love to see Mulder and Scully’s relationship and romance deepened.

A.W.–I think Mulder and Scully are as in love as they’re going to get. Even before they were officially together on the show, it was obvious they loved each other through care, concern, jealousy, and support. In the latest movie we’ve got them lying in bed snuggling and kissing. I know most fans like to see the relationship bits and how it’s evolved into a real romantic relationship, and I get it, but at the same time I don’t know how they can go any further with it because there’s certainly no place for a wedding in The X-Files. It’d just be corny and wouldn’t fit at all with the tone of the show. Hell, I don’t even like when they call each other by their first names. “Dearest Dana” and “I can’t help but think of him Fox” make me cringe. And I think if they wanted to be married they would be by now, but that’s not something they’ve ever needed. They just need each other. Likewise, I don’t think Scully can have any more children nor do I feel they’d want to adopt since they are back at the FBI in consuming and dangerous work. Besides, the pain from losing William has always haunted them. So I think that’s it for relationships and family stuff: just Mulder and Scully  hopefully finding their son. I’ll agree that I would like to see a family reunion there. Poor Scully.

I’ve spoken to a lot of people who still want that sex scene, and for awhile I was one of them. But I honestly didn’t really need it in the last movie, nor do I want it now. The cuddling in the movie was already pushing it. They had a really romantic cuddling scene in “Requiem,” and overdoing it will only cheapen that rare and beautiful moment. Furthermore, I think their first time having sex was in “All Things” and that’s where I really wanted to see it. Like, did you see the deleted kiss from Fight The Future? That first-time passion is what I really wanted to see…that finally, finally, they can have each other moment. But by I Want To Believe I just assume they’ve been sleeping together for years so there’s no real reason for us to see it. Though that doesn’t stop some fans from wanting to, others agree with me:

C.D.–Nahh… No sex scenes for me. I think the most intimate moments are those where they are barely talking at a whisper. Soft utterances, the camera honed into their conversations and their tenderness toward one another.

E.S.–I love that their physical relationship is private….I hope it stays that way! That’s what makes the hand holding, the occasional kiss, spooning, the care, the rescues….all so so so special!

We now know that Mulder and Scully will be broken up in the revival. I know this has some fans enraged to the point of boycotting, but to me this is interesting writing that remains true to the characters. In the last movie, Scully was already ready to leave the life that cost her her health, family, and happiness behind. She’d thought of quitting before, but always stayed in the end. I think that changed after she lost William. She wants nothing to do with the darkness anymore. Mulder on the other hand, lives for the x-files. They want different things. That said, I think Chris Carter wants to rekindle in us the desire for them to be together. I trust him; he’s never given me a reason not to.

4. Where are Doggett and Reyes, and who, if anyone, is running the X-Files?

Of all the characters the show introduces, especially new ones in the later seasons, there really weren’t any bad or uninteresting ones. I remain the final seasons’ biggest defender and attest that David Duchovny leaving was the only reason the show failed. It was not for bad writing, lack of story material or uninteresting characters. To prove that fact, we all still care what’s become of them. We now know that Reyes will be returning, but Robert Patrick who is busy with his new show, “Scorpion,” will not.

S.C.–Doggett & Reyes (what have they been up to and did they get together or move on?)… And whatever happened to Assistant Director Brad Follmer?
A.W.–Good question. And for that matter, what happened to Kersh? I too am interested in what Doggett and Reyes are up to. Still fighting for the truth I hope. I love what C.D. is saying about The X-Files being a mystery. A lot of people complain that too little is ever wrapped up or satisfactorily explained, but I’m always saying, “that’s not the kind of show it is.” It’s about small victories, not big ones. It’s about personal growth and dealing with the fact that sometimes you don’t get the answers you want. The story and the journey still matter, and this one is always beautifully told.

 

5. A satisfying ending

S.C.–Really, I think there is still so much material they could use for an exciting return I really hope that season 10 is just a prelude for more and more. Its hard to believe everything can be answered in 6 eps.

C.D.–They have hinted that if these 6 EPs do well they may do more limited run seasons and or a movie. I have read that being hinted from CC and DD.

A.W.–We can only hope. Although, if they could truly conclude the story in a perfect and satisfying way in 6 episodes, I’d be happy. I don’t want infinite episodes as much as I’d like a great conclusion. But I do agree that we need more than 6 to wrap it all up. There’s still so much to see.

M.R.–I know there is a lot of talk about fans wanting more after these six episodes, however, I honestly feel like they should take this time to wrap up the series. Do not get me wrong, I would LOVE to have Mulder and Scully on my screen forever but I feel like that’s where Chris and Fox went wrong to begin with. They’re always pushing for more, more, more and I feel like it really hurt the story in the long run. Almost like they were afraid to tie up loose ends solely because the mythology might have continued. Now, if they could wrap up the existing mythology and tie those loose ends and then start another chapter, I might be OK with something after these six episodes.

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What do you all think? If you missed the conversation the first time around, add your thoughts now. The Revival happens in mere hours so lets make some predictions and see if they pan out!

 

The X-Files: Mulder and Scully’s Incomparable Chemistry

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Let me be clear about one thing right off the bat. As a lover of the English language I’m always searching for the exact right word to describe something, and I don’t use the word “incomparable” lightly. I use it because no relationship I’ve ever seen on television compares to how realistic and effortless the chemistry between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson is on The X-Files. When they perform a scene together, there’s absolutely no sense of actors repeating lines from a script. It’s genuine. Viewers believe a real conversation is happening between two actual people who know each other as well as Mulder and Scully would.

Remember my post from a few weeks back about how Gillian Anderson was, superficially speaking,  the antithesis of what the show was looking for in a female lead? –> (Dana Scully) The reason she got the part anyway was because no one in the room could deny the lightning they’d trapped in a bottle when they saw the unprecedented chemistry between the two. Chemistry on T.V. is like Voice in fiction. It can’t be taught or forcefully applied, but when a writer taps into it, and it’s right, they’d be a fool not to run with it because it’s not something easily harnessed.

Don’t take my word for it; listen to what The X-Files team has to say on the subject:

That’s not to say that the hard part is over. Chemistry is one thing, but then it’s up to the writers to give the characters excellent dialogue, and not let that potential go to waste. Luckily, the show is as well-written as it is well-cast. Let these Mulder and Scullyisms courtesy of Snakey973 be your proof:

When Mulder and Scully interact it’s easy to believe the two have known each other well and for a long time. Viewers believe that they know each other personally as well as professionally, and not only spend much time together at work, but outside of it as well. They have the kind of back-and-forth that happy long-term couples have, where they can joke with each other and understand and appreciate the other’s sense of humor. Their use of sarcasm, the faces they make at one another, and the way they good-naturedly give each other a hard time are all characteristics of real relationships. You can always tell when two people aren’t comfortable around each other because they are being too polite. Mulder and Scully share an intimate comfort and speak to each other as I would to my closest friends.

I’ve seen shows like Stargate-SG-1 (Jack and Carter) and 12 Monkeys (Cole and Cassie) come close, but I still have yet to see a real competitor for The X-Files in the chemistry department. The stars seem to have aligned perfectly over this one creative endeavor, and fans are eternally grateful.

The X-Files: Unique Mulder Gifts

As promised, every week leading up to the X-Citing X-Files revival, I’m posting something nostalgic and with a certain paranormal bouquet. This week, let’s take a look back at some of the wonderfully unique gifts Mulder has given to Scully over the years.

In the season 2 episode, “One Breath,” Scully wakes up from a negative prognosis after her family has literally pulled the plug and given up on her. Mulder, who has been having an extremely difficult time dealing with his first ever taste of losing his best friend, visits her in the hospital with a unique gift. He doesn’t bring her flowers, or candy, but a VHS tape:  “I brought you a present,” he says. “Superstars of the Super Bowl.” To which Scully sarcastically replies, “I knew there was a reason to live.” There’s so much to love about this scene. Is that really the movie he brought? Or was he making a joke to cover for something more sentimental? Or is that really what it is–something he had lying around his apartment? After all he’s been too worried and preoccupied to shop, and couldn’t just show up empty-handed. Is it something he feels they can enjoy watching together later? It certainly wouldn’t be the only time on the show that he tries to get her interested in football. And it’s not as though the two don’t watch movies together. At any rate, the gift reflects the stage in their relationship: we’ve known each other for over a year, and I’m doing my best to show that I have valued that time with you, and care for you.

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In the season 4 episode, “Tempus Fugit,” one of my all time favorites, Mulder and Scully eat dinner where he surprises her with a dessert with a sparkler shining in it, a “Happy Birthday” song, and a pretty little gift box. Scully remarks that in 4 years working together, he’s never remembered her birthday, to which he retorts that he prefers to do it like dog years. I always figured that Mulder, often joking to deflect genuine emotion, simply has found something worth giving her this year. Think about it: the less someone makes a big deal of holidays and occasions, the less they give gifts, the more meaningful that gift will be when they finally decide to give it. In this episode, Mulder gives Scully a gift worthy of tears, though it may not seem that way at first.

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Scully opens the gift box to reveal an Apollo 11 medallion commemorating that mission, and is grateful but relatively confused. As Mulder is about to explain why he gave it to her, all X-Files hell breaks loose and the agents embark on a tragic two-episode investigation. At the end of part two,  “Max,” after losing friends but not faith, Mulder and Scully stare at the stars, and Scully tells Mulder she figured out what he was going to say:

“I was thinking about this gift that you gave me for my birthday. You never got to tell me why you gave it to me or what it means. But I think I know. I think that you appreciate that there are extraordinary men and women; extraordinary moments when history leaps forward on the backs of these individuals. What can be imagined, can be achieved. You must dare to dream, but it is no substitute for perseverance and hard work. And teamwork, because no one gets there alone. And while we commemorate the greatness of these events and the individuals who achieve them, we cannot forget the sacrifices of those who make these achievements and dreams possible.”

Mulder, as per usual deflecting the depth of that sentiment, jokes that he just thought it was a cool key chain. But of course, Scully is right. This gift is made all the more important by the stage of the relationship that it is presented in–the season of Scully’s terminal cancer diagnosis, where Mulder once again will be struggling with the reality of losing her. Mulder realizes that things he used to be able to do alone, aren’t worth it anymore, and that he no longer wants to continue this quest without her. That’s what the medallion means.

In the season 6 episode, “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas,” even though the agents said they weren’t going to exchange gifts, at the end they reveal that they “got each other a little something.” The audience doesn’t get to see the gifts revealed, but only Mulder and Scully smiling while excitedly shaking boxes and untying ribbons. I actually like that we don’t know what they got each other, because we get to speculate, and that’s so much fun.

To me, it looks and sounds like Scully got Mulder a VHS tape (oh, 90s). But what is it? The two obviously enjoy watching movies together, if the season 7 episode “Je Souhaite” is any indication. But what movie would she choose for him? Or maybe, she is re-gifting Super Stars of the Superbowl simply so they could share in the memory of that moment, when their relationship, and the gifts themselves were less evolved.  And it looks like Mulder gets her….I don’t know….a salami? But I rest assured that whatever it is, his explanation is better than the gift itself. After all, things don’t matter–it’s only stuff. Words, loyalty, friendship, love, trust, and showing appreciation for those qualities is what matters.

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Later, in the season 6 episode, “The Unnatural,” (another episode that appears in my top 5 favorites overall) Mulder is prompted into an emotional epiphany by Arthur Dales, who stresses that Mulder need pay less attention to the heart of the mystery, and more to the mystery of the heart. Mulder is touched, and moved by Dales’s story of love–all kinds of love–being more important than any alien truth, so again, he decides to show his ever-growing appreciation for his partner. He calls Scully to meet him for a “very early or very late birthday present.” In other words, he gives her a “no-reason present,” which are often the best kinds because they prove you don’t need a special date or occasion to show your love and appreciation for someone.

Under the stars, and with a beautiful song playing in the background of the episode, Mulder teaches Scully to play baseball–to momentarily forget her cares and worries that he and his quest have inflicted on her over the years, and to let her know that her loyalty has never been undervalued. Though of course he doesn’t have to, Mulder insists on putting his arms around her, helping her position her hips, and hold the bat. The gifts are becoming more romantic as their relationship does. It is a truly beautiful moment on the show, and with all the horror the two experience, those are so wonderful and rare.

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By the time we reach the season 8 episode, “Empedocles,” their relationship has evolved pretty much as far as a romantic one can. Our dynamic duo is having a baby together, and to a pregnant Scully, Mulder presents a doll. This is such a sweet, and truly touching physical gift, that Scully makes this face when she opens it:

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Mulder explains that the doll is a family keepsake that he discovered while going through his late mother’s things. Scully helped Mulder through his mother’s tragic death, and we know how much a special family heirloom would mean to him. That he would give it to Scully solidifies that she and the baby are now his family. And as always, the thought behind Mulder’s gift makes it all the more meaningful.

Well, X-Philes, did I miss any wonderful, unique Mulder gifts over the years? What are your favorites and why? Please comment below, and don’t forget to visit every week for more X-Files nostalgia as we move closer and closer to the revival.

Kick-Ass Women of SciFi & Fantasy: Dana Scully

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“Baby’ me, and you’ll be peeing through a catheter.”

Dana Scully….

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She was on The X-Files in 1993, and as one fan says:

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If you don’t understand what we mean by most women on T.V. today being portrayed as complete idiots, watch two seconds of any episode of Two and a Half Men. Go on, try to formulate an argument that women on Two and a Half Men are portrayed in any quasi realistic way.

indexBut as it always has, the science fiction genre shows women in strong and intelligent roles. On the cult SciFi classic The X-Files which aired in 1993, Dana Scully became an inspiration for strong women everywhere.

Despite her small stature, rest assured that Dana Scully can kick ass. She’s handy with a microscope as well as a gun, physically fit, can take down a man twice her size, and has on multiple occasions. Remember when she beat the bajesus out of Donnie Pfaster, destroying her apartment in the process? Man, did that guy have it coming. In addition, Scully is mentally and emotionally strong, not only holding her head high through her sister’s murder but always demanding answers, even if she had to find them herself. The characters on this show go through a lot–A LOT–of emotional destruction, and Scully is strong through it all, even giving Mulder a shoulder to cry on when he breaks down over his mother’s death.

Dana Scully is a medical doctor, forensic scientist, and an FBI agent, making it all look easy in a “man’s world.” She gave up a promising career in medicine to the disappointment of her father, because she’s a strong, confident woman who does what she wants, and doesn’t live her life to please others. Scully thought she could make a difference at the FBI. And she has.

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Scully totally legitimizes Mulder’s division, the X-Files, which is often subject to ridicule due to the paranormal nature of the cases he investigates. Let’s be honest. Mulder is such a nutbar when we first meet him that he was going nowhere fast. Dana Scully humanizes him and evens him out, providing a logical counterbalance to his crazy.

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Chris Carter has said that when he created the show, women were still generally thought of as emotional, artistic, right-brained characters. He wanted to do a role reversal in making Mulder the emotional one, and Scully the scientist. The result? Dana Scully’s character has inspired hundreds of little girls to go into STEM majors, particularly the sciences. Scully made it not only normal for a woman to go into this kind of work, but cool. It’s what’s known as The Scully Effect–the noticeable uptick of women in STEM majors since 1993. Gillian Anderson still receives letters from girls she inspired with her character, and we owe her for bringing Scully to life, because she’s the absolute perfect actress for the job.

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Chris Carter has also said that the role of Scully was meant to be played by a tall, blonde, voluptuous vixen.  Don’t forget this was the era of Baywatch, and Pamela Anderson was the epitome of what was considered sexy. You might be thinking that today “geek chic” is all the rage with shows like CSI, NCIS, Bones, and Fringe. Well let me tell you, that’s only because The X-Files took a risk by going in a completely different direction. In walks Gillian for her audition at 5’3 with red, unruly hair, freckles, and a healthy body weight that would make most models want to throw up their 3 daily calories. Luckily for us, her chemistry with David Duchovny was phenomenal and she was cast in the part. I’m so glad it was Gillian above anyone else, and here’s why:

Gillian Anderson, of course, is gorgeous. But she wasn’t the “ideal woman” people wanted to see on T.V. She was short, un-anorexic, hadn’t yanked out all her eyebrow hair, and since it was the 90s, dressed in baggy clothes with enormous shoulder pads, and wore short heeled shoes, doing nothing to elongate her short stature. She was beautiful, but she was REAL, not some plastic, airbrushed, complex-inducing swimsuit model. Scully looked like a woman you might actually see working at the FBI. She was real, and she was gorgeous anyway. Dana Scully never compromised a damn thing about herself or her appearance.

To illustrate this point, Scully falls in love with Mulder, and watches for seven years as past flames, and a few new ones, come in and out of his life. These women are always beautiful, tall, and thin, and sometimes wearing short shorts (Bambi), or undressing in his apartment for no apparent reason (Diana Fowley). Scully never changes her appearance or her clothes to get Mulder’s attention. She never wears a shorter skirt, or unbuttons her blouse. Her outfits become more modern as the seasons progress, but that’s more the styles of the time changing than her character. She is a complete professional, never allowing Mulder to see her out of full FBI attire (I think we see her in jeans a total of once, while she’s on vacation) and always closes her bathrobe tightly before answering the door in her pajamas. Scully is what’s known as a lady–something that’s becoming out dated, and old-fashioned.

But guess what. She get’s Mulder anyway! And she doesn’t have to compromise one iota of her integrity to do it.  He falls in love with her without the short shorts, or overt sexual advances. Scully did it with brains, wit, grace, strength, personality, and often by showcasing her unadulterated honesty in telling him the truth. Scully doesn’t try to be anything other than what she is (she has rather more important things to do, like discover the origins of an ancient alien virus) and gets exactly what she wants because of it, whether it be a job, answers to a case, or a relationship.

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Earlier this week concerning a post on strong female television characters,  I read a lot of comments complaining that we are just looking at actresses, and that actresses are nothing special–not like strong women in real life. I disagree. Little girls watch T.V. and see that it’s not only men in exciting professions, and that it’s not only normal, but cool to speak your mind, be authoritative, strong and go on adventures. Fictional characters can inspire real greatness, just like Uhura inspired a young Whoopi Goldberg, and just like Dana Scully inspired thousands of girls to go into science majors. Words matter, and so do fictional characters. They can make a difference. If I may borrow a magnificent quote from Albus Dumbledore: “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?

Remember our discussion on Uhura, and if any little girls out there were paying attention? They were. They still are. I was a nerd in school, in both Science and English. I still am a nerd. I’m short, and certainly don’t have the face of a model– something the mean people in my school never failed to call attention to. I’ve had friends say “you seem like the kind of girl I’d have hated in high school because you’re blonde and skinny,” (It doesn’t matter. Mean people can, and will, find something wrong with you) and “I always just assumed you were popular in high school because you’re always so confident.” Part of the reason I’m confident today is because when I was growing up, Dana Scully made me feel cool even though I was a smart “nerd,” beautiful even though I was short and imperfect, tough even though I was a small girl, and strong especially when it was most difficult to be. For still inspiring girls all over the world to this day, including myself, Dana Scully is and always will be a kick-ass woman of SciFi.

Needless to say, The X-Files was my absolute favorite show growing up, and still is. We X-Philes have been waiting with bated breath for the return of Dana Scully in the show’s revival later this year. Perhaps it’s fate that the week I decided to write about Scully, Fox confirmed six new episodes! I’m moving my post up, in conjunction with this most joyous event!  I can’t wait to see this kick-ass woman back on T.V.!