I was quite a fan of The X-Files back in the 1990s when it was new and fresh. The idea that there were all sorts of paranormal jiggery-pokery going on around us and kept secret by a sinister FBI definitely appealed to my inner conspiracy theorist.
What made it work were the Mulder and Scully characters, the one a believer, the other the skeptic, and there was no jiggery-pokery of their own to get in the way of the plot romantically, at least not until the later series.
It was a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits for our time and good, clean escapism, as long as you didn’t take it too seriously, although judging by the number of conspiracists out there, it seems that quite a lot of people did.
The programme began to lose its fizz when David Duchovny faded from the scene after series seven and Scully became more marginalised and I began to lose interest. So I was pleased when I heard that the pair were to come together again for The X-Files Reopened which began to air on Channel 5 a couple of weeks ago.
I’ve watched two episodes so far and to be honest, they have been a disappointment. It is hard to recapture originality that the idea had ten or fifteen years ago, but I don’t think it is well produced either. The storyline is both thin and thick as it tries to pick up where the original left off.
And that script? I caught up with the second episode last night and there was the scene where Mulder collapses to floor in agony as some invisible force causes unbearable auditory pain in the inner cortex of his brain. Cut to ads, then in the next scene it is as nothing has happened. No questions, no concern, not until Scully asks him about it almost saying ‘by the way…’
There were also so many baffling references to the past that I went back to watch some of series nine on Amazon to catch up. That’s the one where Joh Doggett and Monica Reyes take over the Mulder and Scully roles, and I realised that it was just as bad. Bad dialogue, poor continuity and a script that had become a parody of itself.
At the end of the final credits, there was a dedication to the memory of Chris Keller, 1971 – 2001, so I looked him up. He was a scientist and a close friend of Chris Carter who created the X-Files, hence the dedication, but fittingly he is also the subject of some of the wilder 9/11 conspiracy speculation.
I shall probably watch the remaining four episodes of The X-Files Reopened, more in hope than expectation of finding the truth out there.