Today, I managed to sit down and watch the first Episode of the Revived X Files series. This is my take on things.
Note: I have been an avid fan of the franchise since my mid-teens, and have been eagerly awaiting this return for a while, so this is written in the light of one who has followed the series with a passion.
First, let me say that even half-way through the episode, I wasn’t getting into it at all. With a new show, I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, and at least three episodes before I turn away. With the new X Files? I have seen the one episode, and I will not be going back.
In terms of speculative fiction, it wasn’t an entirely BAD story. Don’t get me wrong. If you like the concept of aliens, abductions, government conspiracies, and everything associated therein, then by all means – enjoy it.
My issue with it comes in the form of the heading. Consistancy.
If you watch the previous nine seasons of X Files, then you get to see an evol;ving story, where we slowly (perhaps too slowly, but that’s for another time) learn of a secret conspiracy by a group of elite bisuinessmen who are working with aliens for an alteria motive.
We never did find out WHAT the overall end-game was. Colonisation, hybridsation, extinction, conquest, any and all of those have been thrown out as the reason for the conspiracy alliance between these two sides.
Even among the bisuinessmen, there are those who are trying to subvert the plans of the aliens. Deep Throat from Season 1 was one of these men, yet aided Mulder in seeking the truth, in order to atone for the crime he cannot forgive himself for.
That was the “Arc Stories” the overall mythos. Humans and Aliens working together for Something Sinister.
Now come forward to 2016. Thirteen years after the end of the last X Files season, and we have the revived season. It’s not a re-imagining – to borrow from BSG – it is simply a new Season within the canon of the franchise. Everything that has been is still history, it all still happened. That is the sticking point my mind kjeeps coming to.
Everything we were told as part of the 9 Seasons STILL HAPPENED.
So, what – pray-tell – is the concept of this new Season? A new Season that was written, and Directed by the creator of the show in the first place? It was all about how the Governments of Earth stole technology from Aliens, and are the ones behind UFO mythology. Sightings, abductions, DNA hybridisation… all of it was done solely BY humans for the purpose of potential world domination at some point.
Bravo, Chris Carter, Bravo.
You have taken a beloved franchise, with countless fans across the world, and managed to piss on the entire point of nine years, the adventure of Mulder and Scully shot in the head.
Now, I do have my theories of WHY this has happened.
Back in the 90’s, when the series first took off, the general population was aware of Alien conspiracies. Black Holicopters, abductions, and all those things. They weren’t in the major headlines on a daily basis, but thewy were far more common. Conspiracy theories were thrown about, and it is that which – I believe – inspired the direction of the show. Evil Cabal of men, devoid of nation or government who could control the world? That would fit right in there with everything else, so all these things would no doubt have played a part in the writing of the series.
In 2016, we still have conspiracy theories – I have a couple of my own that I keep in the background – but they have moved away from the CIA and mysterious lights to more wider things, such as world Governments with grand plans. Things like Terrorism being blown out of proportion to give those very governments more power to do more things theyn otherwise couldn’t do – legally.
So, in today’s world, I can understand WHY the show might take this sudden left-turn, ejecting the alien co-operation, and turning it into one big plot by the Government/Military-Industrial Complex for world domination. I do understand that the show would want to appeal to current trends that may have moved on in the past thirteen years since the show ended.
The problem inherent to that is, the show itself has not evolved over that time, so you have this sudden shift from one to the other, that has no progression.
I once came across a quote that I quite like, and I think can illustrate my view.
Sudden, precipitous change is an option for engineers, but in wild nature the summit of Mount Improbable can be reached only if a gradual ramp upwards from a given starting point can be found.
In this light, the evolution of the story, from Aliens to Governments is sudden, without a gradual arc to show that change.
Yes, I am aware that there are thirteen years that these characters have lived that we haven’t seen, yet it still feels forced, and inconsistent. Maybe I’m not giving the show the time it deserves, or another chance to fully explain itself…. and I am willing to admit that.
That still doesn’t change that fact I am not jumping around at the episode I saw, I am not waiting anxiously for the next. I will hold onto the fond memories of the X Files I knew, and let this new season live as it wants.