Wednesday, February 17, 2016

X-Files Season 10

I was a big The X-Files fan back in the mid-to-late 1990s. Which is odd, because the horror genre isn't my thing. But the lead characters were great, the tension between the paranormal and scientific in the show appealed to me, and I enjoyed the big-mystery aspect of the show's conspiracy mythology.
So when FOX announced a new set of six episodes, with both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson starring, I was happy to hear it. After the poor last couple of seasons of the original series, and the unimpressive second movie, my expectations weren't too high. Mostly I just wanted to see something that reminded me of the good old days.

"Reminder of the old days" is pretty much exactly what we've gotten in this six-episode mini-season. I've seen the first five (the finale is next week), and it feels very much like the writers were aiming primarily to tickle the nostalgia of old-time viewers. The first episode goes right into the conspiracy mythology (and so will the last, judging from the preview teaser). There's a couple of "unexplained phenomenon" mysteries, plenty of Mulder-Scully rapid-fire banter, appearances by a good number of old friends (and enemies), and even a tongue-in-cheek monster mystery reminiscent of 1998's "Bad Blood" episode.

There's also the appearance of other FBI agents who get involved with Mulder and Scully, which is a much less welcome bit of throwback. Using different agents to continue the show didn't work well at all in the last couple of seasons of the original run. These new agents are obviously based on younger versions of our heroes, though, almost to the point of caricature. I'm probably reading too much into it - once bitten, twice shy. Nothing has been said thus far about them supplanting the originals in some sort of continuation of the series, and I hope it stays that way.

It feels like a lot is stuffed into this short mini-season, and with good reason. It's hard to do "big-mystery conspiracy mythology" in just a few episodes, while also accounting for a five-year time gap and doing some character exploration. But although it does feel rushed at times, the feel is still The X-Files, and I'm glad to have this little trip down memory lane.

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