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The X Files and I

April 23, 2015
The truth is, apparently still, out there.

The truth is, apparently still, out there.

This one is for my friends Barry Harding and Stan Huggins who were surprised that I didn’t voice my opinions on FOX announcing a new X Files series (Barry also runs a blog called Monster Minions that you can check out here). Perhaps mini-series might be a better name for it as it will only be six episodes. Before I go into my thoughts on this, I should probably mention that I wasn’t a huge X Files fan back when it was on which I mentioned in my TV discoveries for 2014 article. I gave a brief explanation of why this was but thought I would be able to go into a more detailed explanation here. Many people where surprised by my lack of viewing at the time. This was especially the case given that they all knew I was a huge fan of the one season wonder Kolchak: the Night Stalker which X Files’ creator Chris Carter claims was a key inspiration for his series. My sister Cindy made a herculean effort to get me into the series starting fairly early on and I had thought that she got me to watch my first episode. I am going through season one at the moment and was reminded I was wrong. One of my gaming friends Chuck Bickle was the other person really selling the series to me and, it turns out I must have listened. I recently saw the first season episode Space and realized that this was my first exposure to the X Files. It was not a particularly good one.

I have a rule now about not starting series mid-season and this, I would guess subconsciously at least, was one of the reasons why. It turns out this luck I had for for picking mid-season episodes to jump into a new series with worked equally as well on Supernatural where my first episode was Home back when it first aired. When I watched Supernatural in order it turned out this was a pretty awesome episode after all but it really didn’t work as an intro to the series at the time. Getting back to my sister and the X Files, her first attempt was to gift me with a VHS tape of the episodes Conduit and Ice with the recommendation that I check out Ice first. This was a good move on her part because if I watched Conduit first, which was quite likely as I tend to watch things in release order (yes, I’m one of those people), then Ice probably never would have happened.

Her next big push came in season five with episodes like Kill Switch and Chinga which were co-written by famous authors. I actually stuck with a few episodes this time which was helped again by Chuck who got me to watch the episode Travelers with Darren McGavin. He cleverly leveraged the Kolchak angle. Ultimately, this still didn’t take although I did catch the occasional episode from friends like the notorious, broadcast only once, episode Home which is noticeably different from the Supernatural episode mentioned earlier.

So, why did my sister work so hard on me watching the series? Well, the answer to that goes back to some of my misspent youth. As a child I had always been fascinated by the occult. I literally had files with articles and a shelf full of books on numerous subjects from UFOs to cryptozoology. Combined with having a good memory and becoming a scientist later in life, I guess the idea was that she could use me to answer any questions she might have on the series. To my mind, there was a big problem with Cindy’s plan for me to explain everything to her which I told her at the time. There was no way the series writers were ever going to give you any straight answers because once viewers started getting them they would soon be checking out what else was on television on Friday or, later, Sunday nights. This is why I ultimately preferred the stand alone “monster of the week” style episodes myself. Having grown up on older episodic format TV, of course, didn’t hurt either.

In any case, as I said in my 2014 TV discoveries article, I am in the process of correcting the horrible mistake I made in not really watching the series. I’m currently going through the first season which means that I guess I’m not as likely to be excited at the news of the show’s return as its long suffering fans are. Still, I am always happy when a genre show gets the green light, especially one that I consider a foundation series of genre television. Between being only six episodes and the more sophisticated nature of television writing today I would expect a six episode story arc although my preference would be for some monster of the week action as well. I’m also guessing that the run will focus heavily on the show’s extensive mythology which means I probably won’t be watching it. Unless, of course, I hear otherwise. Ultimately, what I would like for the series return is something that will make the largest number of the show’s fans happy because, even though I’m more than fashionably late to the party, I will at some point in the future be one of those fans watching this return as well.


From → Random Thoughts

One Comment
  1. Like!

    From Barry’s iPhone


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