Nearly 14 years after the finale of its 9th season, The X-Files returned to the small screen for a 6-episode event, reuniting agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder in their continued search for the truth.
This review will talk about the special 6-episode event, dubbed as “season 10” by FOX.
I only recently caught up on the entirety of The X-Files original run. The series ran from 1993 to 2002, ending after 9 seasons and much to my disappointment. Needless to say, seeing The X-Files theme play on my television in real time was a fantastic experience. It was nice to see these characters back together, fighting the good fight.
At first I was worried that the amount of time that had passed since the series ended would be a negative for this revival. Technology has certainly changed between 2002 to 2016, even more drastically between 2016 and 1993. One of my favorite things about the original series is that the lack of technology never really takes you out of the story. Would the quality of the show decline with the addition of smart phones and Google?
This wasn’t as much of a problem for this revival of The X-Files as I thought it would be. There are some quips that come up about how “so much time [could have been saved] on previous cases with a quick Google search” or how something must be wrong with my phone because “guys aren’t sending me pictures of their junk on it” Those are funny little bits. At the same time, there are some odd placements like the made up websites that the characters go to or the conveniently designed and conveniently placed “find my phone” application on Mulder’s computer. All together, the show attempts to take technology in stride. There are mixed reviews on how well this was accomplished.
As I mentioned previously, the show brings back Gillian Anderson as Agent Dana Scully and David Duchovny as Agent Fox Mulder. While the writers seemed to have changed their relationship for dramatic effect, the actors still portray their characters with the same chemistry that they always have. The revival also brings back Mitch Pileggi as their direct supervisor Walter Skinner, and it pleases me to say that he finally got a spot on the opening credits. There are other special guests from the original series that make an appearance, but I’ll keep those as a surprise.
My biggest issue with this revival is that it was only 6 episodes. I wanted more. With only 6 episodes, the format in which the overall goal was presented was weird. The first episode revisits the idea of an alien conspiracy, but then the next few episodes could be best described as Monster of the Week (MotW) stories. The alien conspiracy isn’t revisited until the final episode, and at that point, it ends so abruptly and so chaotically that I wasn’t pleased at all.
This isn’t to say that the episodes aren’t all enjoyable, because some of them are. In the original run, the episodes were always hit or miss, but they were in seasons of 20+ episodes, so the occasional miss wasn’t as noticeable. In a season of 6 episodes, every miss is crucial. Based on my memory, there were at least 2 episodes I’d categorize as a miss, and that doesn’t make the stats too impressive.
Another thing I was concerned about was how superficial some of the stories were. One of the episodes looks at domestic terrorism, but doesn’t really make any solid revelations or make any real point. The finale episode succumbs to paranoia, which doesn’t fit with the overall message of The X-Files. While Mulder has always been someone who wants to believe, the show has never really shown these conspiracy theories coming to light. Scully has always been the one to bring some form of reason to the table. The finale episode takes some of the conspiracy theories and brings them to full fruition. Instead of the mystery of the original series, it’s just all thrown out there. Like I said, I wasn’t pleased.
If you watch this 6-episode event, don’t be surprised if you’re shocked by the final episode’s final moments. I know I was. I’ve heard rumors that FOX is considering continuing the series based on how this event faired in ratings, and I sincerely hope they choose to continue it. If they don’t, those that know me will definitely hear me complaining, but until then, the truth is still out there.