The special “event series” of the X-FILES winds up in just a few days after giving Fox a huge ratings boost in 2016. So what happens now? We talk to creator Chris Carter and star David Duchovny about the possibility of a future for the series and just how they got it back on the air in the first place. Plus from a bunch of guys who clowned around all through high school to a TV show that just hit it’s 5th season. What is the real secret origin of the IMPRACTICAL JOKERS? They reveal how it all worked out.
Last week, after I submitted my column to Old Man Editor Mike Gold, I made myself a cup of English Breakfast tea, sliced up some mozzarella and cheddar cheese, grabbed some crackers and got into bed – this woman has to get up way before the first rays of the sun crack the horizon during her work week – and so I didn’t read Old Man Editor Mike Gold’s e-mail in response to my submission until the next afternoon. It said something like: Jessica Jones is old news. It debuted on Netflix in November.
Well, gee, that was only two months ago, Old Man Editor Mike. Two months and 16 days, to be precise.
But I get it. In today’s hyper-streamed world, 10 weeks might as well be 1010 (or 10,000,000,000). There’s so much to watch, so much to read, so much to talk about on the information superhighway that was brought to us courtesy of the U.S. military industrial complex and Al Gore – the World Wide Web, baby – that it’s just about impossible for anyone to stay absolutely current and up-to-date unless you happen to be a green-skinned alien and Legionnaire from the 21st century named Brainiac 5. Even Chris Matthews, of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, now has a segment he calls “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” in which various reporters and pundits tell him, well, something he doesn’t know. And he has a research staff.
Sometimes I feel like the Gallifreyan, trapped in a confession dial for 7000 years while the universe just merrily keeps on expanding, minding its own business, and intelligent life and civilizations and planets and suns within it are born, thrive, wither, and die.
I can’t even keep up with my e-mail. Every day, for instance, I get at least three notifications from Comic Book Resources (CBR). I delete the ones that don’t sound interesting to me, but even the ones I want to read pile up faster than those cars and buses and trucks that were stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike last weekend. Then, by the time I actually have the time to check them, they are all old news which I’ve either already heard about, or read about, or watch somewhere else on the net. And that’s just CBR. There’s also Entertainment Weekly, Vulture, Den of Geek, Bleeding Cool News, Michael Davis World, et. al. Oh, and that also includes ComicMix.
Plus my other e-mails and notifications. On Saturday it took me two hours just to clear out my mailbox. Some of the stuff dated back to November, and I never even read them. I’m telling you, it’s like reading a newspaper with the headline U.S. and Japs At War.
I am up-to-date on my X-Files. (I’m thinking that it rocks!) I saw that movie its first weekend in theatres. And I’m actually ahead of the ball on Downton Abbey, having just watched Episode 8 of “The Final Season” on Amazon Prime.
I missed the premiere of Legends of Tomorrow, Parts 1 and 2, and I missed last week’s Supergirl because I watched X-Files. So now I have to catch up those two shows. And I’m embarrassed to admit that Daredevil is still in my queue.
Not to mention that I have three more episodes of Jessica Jones to go.
Jesus, I wish I had a TARDIS.
You’ll instantly recognize Krista Allen from so many great roles, ranging from X-FILES to LIAR LIAR to her latest, the buzz worthy comedy SIGNIFICANT MOTHER on The CW. She talks about her journey and her appreciation of smart TV writing. Plus we begin our look at the new television season with NBC’s THE PLAYER. Wesley Snipes and Phillip Winchester talk about the high concept thriller, created by former DC Comics writer, John Rogers.
The new SyFy (and former Dark Horse) project, DARK MATTER premieres tonight on SyFy, and we begin our coverage with actor Roger Cross who tells us why this might be his biggest genre roll yet. DARK MATTER premiere tonight on SyFy, Then Dania Ramirez from HEROES and X-MEN LAST STAND takes us into the third season of Lifetime’s DEVIOUS MAIDS plus her new indy film project.
We’re back in a couple of days with more on DARK MATTER.
In a few days, NBC kicks off their binge worthy event series, AQUARIUS and taking the challenging role of Charles Manson is actor Gethin Anthony. He talks about the work that went into getting the part just right. Plus HBO’s BESSIE is creating mega buzz this month. Cast member Bryan Greenberg talks about what it was like to be a part of it all.
For nine years, from 1993 through 2002, Friday was the night to stay home or at the least to make sure your favorite television recorder was programmed correctly.
I’m talking about The X-Files, created by Chris Carter and which starred then relatively unknown actors David Duchovny as FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder, an Oxford-trained behavioral psychologist, and Gillian Anderson as FBI Special Agent Dana Scully, an M.D. specializing in forensic medicine. Together they investigated the so-called “X-Files” of the FBI: cases that involved crimes on the margins of “normal,” paranormal activities, and UFO goings-on.
It became the Fox (no pun intended) network’s highest rated show and won numerous awards over its original lifetimes, including 16 Emmy Awards, five Golden Globes, and a Peabody Award over its run; it also received nominations and wins from the Directors Guild, the Writers Guild the Screen Actors Guild, the Television Critics Association, and the Saturn Awards.
A straight line can be drawn, I think, from the classic Kolchak: The Night Stalker to X-Files. But Carl Kolchak was an investigative reporter who always seemed to accidentally get involved in “out-there” stories on his beat for a Chicago newspaper; but the FBI agents purposely sought them out.
Mulder, who at the age of ten experienced what he believed to be an alien abduction – what the “authorities” said was an “ordinary” kidnapping and/or disappearance – of his younger sister Samantha, was the staunch believer. Scully, assigned to essentially spy on Mulder (who was looked upon, at best, as a brilliant eccentric who needed to be tolerated, and, at worst, as “Spooky by superiors who believed he was a danger to the FBI’s reputation) was the “cool-headed, scientifically-aimed” skeptic of the duo. Over the course of the series’ run, it soon became apparent why there were elements in the FBI and the government who wanted to get rid of Mulder: a “black ops” organization, in order to save themselves, was cooperating with aliens to first subjugate and then wipe out the human race. This storyline became the continuing mythology and underpinning of the X-Files, as the agents’ worked together in a desperate bid to bring this underground conspiracy into the light of day.
Last week, Fox announced a new X-Files six-parter starring Duchovny and Anderson, so I started watching The X-Files again on Amazon Prime– I’m still on Season 1 – and I’m remembering why I was hooked. The show’s acting, stories, music, and cinematography all combine into an eeriness that’s impossible to ignore and stays with you even in the light of day.
Another important thing I’ve realized is just how much of a “glass ceiling” smasher Anderson’s Dana Scully was in her individuality, her intelligence and competence, her ass-kicking, and her way with a gun. It’s easy to see that the character laid the groundwork for her television sisters such as Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes, Homeland), Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub, 24), Fiona Glenanne (Gabriel Anwar, Burn Notice), Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles, Torchwood), and Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv, Fringe).
The show gave birth to two movies: 1998’s The X-Files: Fight the Future, which though appeared in theatres while the show was still on television and continued season 5’s ending, with season 6 beginning where the movie left off. It was also conceived by Mr. Carter to be able to attract audiences not familiar with the overall mythos and characters of X-Files and stand on its own as a complete story in itself. Ten years later, 2008’s The X-Files: I Want to Believe was an individual science fiction thriller in which both Mulder and Scully are no longer associated with the FBI; Mulder, in fact, is a fugitive from the organization living underground, and Scully is a doctor on staff at a hospital – though she secretly lives with Mulder.
Fans have clamored for years for a third movie, to tie up loose ends left in the 2002 final season.
Last week the Fox network answered them – sort of. They announced The X-Files is returning to television screens for a limited six-episode run. But will it live up to 13 years of hopes, wish, and frustrated dreams?
Trust No One.
But – whoo-hoo! oh, yeah! – it could be great!
I Want to Believe.