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X-Files Returns

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And I very much hope if there indeed is a season 11, it will be longer than 6 episodes -- 12 or 13 at very least. If it's shorter, they should drop the mythology and make MotWs only.

^
This.

X-Files may indeed be one of those rare exceptions in modern television where the standalone episodes work much better than the arcs.  I think if the show comes back (big if), they should do a two hour 'season premiere' to wrap up that big misstep of a finale (sorry but "My Struggle II" was a hurried, hyperactive mess IMO), much in the same way that ENT opened its 4th (and last) season with the business of wrapping up the Temporal Cold War arc.  

Then, as you suggest Sim, they could do a new shorter season (a dozen or so) of nothing but standalone MoTW stories.  Play to their strengths! 

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kenman   

And I very much hope if there indeed is a season 11, it will be longer than 6 episodes -- 12 or 13 at very least. If it's shorter, they should drop the mythology and make MotWs only.

^
This.

X-Files may indeed be one of those rare exceptions in modern television where the standalone episodes work much better than the arcs.  I think if the show comes back (big if), they should do a two hour 'season premiere' to wrap up that big misstep of a finale (sorry but "My Struggle II" was a hurried, hyperactive mess IMO), much in the same way that ENT opened its 4th (and last) season with the business of wrapping up the Temporal Cold War arc.  

Then, as you suggest Sim, they could do a new shorter season (a dozen or so) of nothing but standalone MoTW stories.  Play to their strengths! 

Yeah...My brother, who is a bigger X-Files fan than I, said "well the mythology is as much a part of the X-Files as monster of the week, how can the show go without it and still be the X-Files...and I get that. There needs to be a persistent government threat for Mulder and Scully, hindering their investigations. But do we still need that arc to be so present and a big part anymore? I think the best effort at an arc post Season 6 was in Season 8...and then that wrapped up and they tried to start from scratch again in Season 9 and it was kind of a mess again. The show would work best at this point if the mythology was that there is some kind of mysterious government agency hindering the X-Files investigations...and just leave it at that. We don't need anything solved or big epic episodes involving that government conspiracy anymore...it's been done, it's been wrapped up. And now they just feel like a little bit of a chore bookending far more interesting episodes.

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Sim   

Well, I do think the mythology is part of the X-Files' core identity, so I wouldn't be too fond of dropping it for good. And I say that although I am more a MotW person myself. I like the new twist on the old mythology in season 10 in principle, perhaps even more than I originally cared for the mythology back in the 90s; it feels more interesting this time, than back in seasons 6-9, IMO.

But the mythology cannot be told in a satisfying manner when you just have two 45min episodes per season to do that. It's not suited for that format, as we could see in case of "My Struggle, Part 2", which really was more a long teaser-trailer than an episode. Both "Struggles" should really have been two-part episodes.

The mythology needs two-part or three-part episodes. But then, if you just have 6 episodes per season, that would take away important time for the MotWs.

That's why I think we need at least 12-13 episodes to do justice to both: Start with a multi-part mythology season opener, end it with one. Then you still have 6-8 episodes in between for MotW pursuits and *build-up* to the mythology, in the background of standalones.

It's that mix that works best. That's how it worked in the 90s, and I think it can still work today.

 

But if FOX says, "okay, you can have another season, but just 6 episodes, not more" ... then yes, I'd say they should put the mythology in the background, for the time being.

Edited by Sim

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Let's also keep in mind that the show's mythology formula is necessarily going to change next season because the biggest X-Files of them all has apparently affected every person in America, if not the world, and played out on national TV. Plus a UFO landed in Washington DC!

Whatever the resolution, it's hard to imagine how Carter will get Mulder and Scully back in their basement office with no one listening to them. 

Sim, I am curious, what about the Season 10 mythology strikes you as more interesting than the previous seasons? Your thought might help me understand what we saw in these new myth arch eps, cause Im not really sure what we did see.  

 

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kenman   

Let's also keep in mind that the show's mythology formula is necessarily going to change next season because the biggest X-Files of them all has apparently affected every person in America, if not the world, and played out on national TV. Plus a UFO landed in Washington DC!

Whatever the resolution, it's hard to imagine how Carter will get Mulder and Scully back in their basement office with no one listening to them. 

Sim, I am curious, what about the Season 10 mythology strikes you as more interesting than the previous seasons? Your thought might help me understand what we saw in these new myth arch eps, cause Im not really sure what we did see.  

 

And that strikes me as a bit of a problem. Carter's written himself into ANOTHER corner after carefully writing himself out of the last one and getting the show back to where everyone kind of loves it...he goes and tries so damn hard to make it big and epic, that he has now written it so it can't be the show we like again...without yet another silly quick write off of the past events (ie the ridiculous survival of the Smoking Man).  I wouldn't mind it if I really thought Carter had a plan to change up the show for the better, but I don't think he does. I think he lost track of what people liked about the show years ago...it's been other writers who have continually written stuff that gets praised.

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Sim   

Let's also keep in mind that the show's mythology formula is necessarily going to change next season because the biggest X-Files of them all has apparently affected every person in America, if not the world, and played out on national TV. Plus a UFO landed in Washington DC!

Whatever the resolution, it's hard to imagine how Carter will get Mulder and Scully back in their basement office with no one listening to them. 

That's an interesting development indeed, and I hope it wasn't so much Carter writing himself into a corner, but rather a deliberate stunt. To be honest, part of why the old mythology got old at some point, was exactly the lack of what we see now: A huge world-shaking event! Lacking that, all the old mythology just felt like constantly meandering around the "real deal", and it was just a question of "how", not of "if" things will get back to normal.

On the other side, I agree this is a real dilemma. Because once something so huge happens, it wouldn't be the same show anymore. It would be Independence Day or Walking Dead.

Carter certainly put the stakes very high with this, and I can just hope he has a convincing idea for how to solve this.

Sim, I am curious, what about the Season 10 mythology strikes you as more interesting than the previous seasons? Your thought might help me understand what we saw in these new myth arch eps, cause Im not really sure what we did see.  

 

One reason is just what I said above, the same thing you witnessed: That this time, the mythology actually has consequences in the open. That's NEW, putting aside the question for a moment, whether Carter has what it takes to pull it off in a convincing way. I know this is a very risky game, because it could turn out to be terrible, but at least it's no more "playing it safe".

Another major reason why I found it more appealing this time, is the whole government post-9/11 angle.

I'm somewhat into politics, and feel the "dark militaristic elite" conspiracy (behind all the unsettling post-9/11 events and policies) is much more ... "realistic" (in absence of a better word) than the mere UFO thing from the 90s. In the 90s, it were truly just nuts believing in UFO stuff; today, post-9/11 and post-Bush, you find vast parts of the paranoid far-left and far-right fringe believing in just the things we see on the show, people believing in sinister elites and a kind of master plan.

And maybe a third reason is merely subjective:

Back in the 90s, when the X-Files aired for the first time, I wasn't a devoted follower yet. I'd start watching in the middle of season 3, catch some re-runs of some earlier episodes, and missed quite a few episodes here and there. Because of that, I originally didn't see the original mythology in the correct order, and perhaps missed a couple of mythology episodes.

You can imagine that under these circumstances, the mythology was considerably less thrilling than for avid watchers.

Let's also keep in mind that the show's mythology formula is necessarily going to change next season because the biggest X-Files of them all has apparently affected every person in America, if not the world, and played out on national TV. Plus a UFO landed in Washington DC!

Whatever the resolution, it's hard to imagine how Carter will get Mulder and Scully back in their basement office with no one listening to them. 

Sim, I am curious, what about the Season 10 mythology strikes you as more interesting than the previous seasons? Your thought might help me understand what we saw in these new myth arch eps, cause Im not really sure what we did see.  

 

And that strikes me as a bit of a problem. Carter's written himself into ANOTHER corner after carefully writing himself out of the last one and getting the show back to where everyone kind of loves it...he goes and tries so damn hard to make it big and epic, that he has now written it so it can't be the show we like again...without yet another silly quick write off of the past events (ie the ridiculous survival of the Smoking Man).  I wouldn't mind it if I really thought Carter had a plan to change up the show for the better, but I don't think he does. I think he lost track of what people liked about the show years ago...it's been other writers who have continually written stuff that gets praised.

What's interesting is that this idea -- the mythology culminating in a world-wide epidemic -- is the EXACT same thing that happened on Chris Carter's other show, "Millennium".

On "Millennium", it was a two-part season 2 ending/cliffhanger.

Unfortunately, we never got a convincing solution on that show: A new showrunner took over Millennium, which struggled in the ratings, and decided to drop all the old mythology, and to give the show a new direction. Because of that, they simply declared that event had just been a local phenomenon, pushed it under the rug and then acted as if it had never happened.

Edited by Sim

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Sim, thanks for the Millennium connection. I caught that earlier in the thread but haven't had a chance to comment. I never watched that show. Do you think the switch was purely due to the new direction, or did they realize that it would have been impossible to keep the elements of the show intact if its mysteries were out in the open? In any case, I don't see how a similar move could be made with the sequel to My Struggle II. No way this is going back in the bottle. 

Kenman, I completely agree that it seems like Carter is setting us up for another fake out, after having to write himself out of the last one. But I am not as worried as you. I don't feel like the sequel is going to erase what we have seen in season 10 but build on it, and what he builds on these elements could be very interesting. You've got a plot to depopulate the earth, which is hopefully an extension of the old alien colonization plan instead of a complete revision; you've got that UFO coming to presumably beam up (or kill) Mulder and Scully; you've got the promise of them finding their son. 

Now it will take at least a two parter to deal with all that, BUT I think you could get back to a stand alone by the third episode, even with a new formula that works. Maybe the world kind of returns to normal based on Scully's cure. Mulder and Scully get a promotion, a larger team of agents, to discover what happened, to ferret out the conspiracy. And in between episodes where they get big breaks tracking down Smoking Man and his cronies, they get to solve monster of the week mysteries. It is still X-Files, but they have a corner office, not a basement office. It could work, and it would be the kind of shift in tone and approach that always happened every season or two on the old show.     

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Sim   

Sim, thanks for the Millennium connection. I caught that earlier in the thread but haven't had a chance to comment. I never watched that show. Do you think the switch was purely due to the new direction, or did they realize that it would have been impossible to keep the elements of the show intact if its mysteries were out in the open? In any case, I don't see how a similar move could be made with the sequel to My Struggle II. No way this is going back in the bottle. 

Oh, in case of Millennium, there could have been a dozen of different approaches than the weaseling out they did. Millennium was never based so much on "Killer of the Week" episodes as the X-Files. Especially since after season 1, which had been mostly based on "normal" serial killers, it had already taken a major turn on season 2, by bringing in more supernatural elements. They could have easily gone one step further in season 3.

And that's the crucial difference to the X-Files already. The X-Files aren't Millennium, so I doubt we find answers by looking at that show.

I felt very cheated by Millennium season 3. It was a short show, 3 seasons only, and each season had its unique character and approach. But while the more mondane first season was brilliant on its own terms IMO, the more "spooky" second season felt like a consequential escalation (Glen Morgan and James Wong had taken over), up to said season 2 finale. Season 3 MUST go even further to be satisfying, but it didn't. It felt more like a half-assed fast-backward to season 1, just less focused (Morgan and Wong had left; I think Chip Johanessen took over). Which is what killed the show, I guess, since it was cancelled after the third season.

Edited by Sim

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No time to write a full response but just wanted to add to Sim's comment about Millennium - I recall season 2 of that show being very fine television indeed. It was powerful stuff, that worked on several levels. Season 3 was lackluster in comparison. 

Edited by Robin Bland

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Sim   

No time to write a full response but just wanted to add to Sim's comment about Millennium - I recall season 2 of that show being very fine television indeed. It was powerful stuff, that worked on several levels. Season 3 was lackluster in comparison. 

As you might have guessed (hint: My avatar and signature line ;) ), I was/am a huge fan of Millennium. If there is any one show that I regret having died a premature death, it's that one. Though I guess it's one show where the "what could have been" is much more thrilling than what we finally got -- up to the season 2 finale, it was just a brilliant show IMO, but few was answered by then.

Even the new turn in season 3 *might* have worked (Frank Black now hunting the Millennium group that's been revealed as a sinister cult), but season 3 ultimately had too few focus, was too uneven, AND was cancelled before even that storyline could be finished.

 

My relation to the X-Files and Millennium is analog to my relation to TNG and DS9: I love both shows, but while TNG/X-Files was the more conventional, mainstream compatible element, DS9/Millennium were bolder and darker, went a step further, but unfortunately, less popular too (which broke Millennium's neck).

I see how "Millennium" never got out of the niche. Even for a fan like me, it's just way too dark sometimes -- when you're in a good mood, you don't want yourself to be dragged down like that. Which is why I don't rewatch it that often, despite my love for the show. But the show and the main character resonate with me like few others did in pop culture.

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http://www.businessinsider.com/x-files-creator-chris-carter-crispr-2016-6

This was not commented on at the time so I thought I'd bring it up. Generally we approve of our science-fiction actually depicting real science in the service of the fiction. 

So much of the last episode of the revival was in service of explaining the real science behind the plague. People said it was slow and talky, probably for this reason. I can appreciate the earnestness with which Carter wanted to depict the science. But this illustrates the problem with being a science-heavy show: It's hard to make the work of science dramatic, and you don't always get credit for trying because, from the viewers POV, there's now way for us to know that what Scully is saying is actually true science because we are so used to fake technobabble that even real science sounds that way.

I intend to re-watch the revival again, maybe Ill get the Blue Ray, before I form a dominate opinion. Just thought I'd pass this along.      

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I absolutely hated the second X-Files movie.  It was nothing but a third rate, imitation Thomas Harris novel playing dress-up in X-Files' clothes.  Mulder and Scully were shadows of their former selves, and all of the symbolism/quasi-religious claptrap (bleeding eyes and other bulls#!t) left me cold as ice.  Not to mention it was dull as drying paint, too.  I saw it on a Saturday night at an 8 pm show on opening weekend (which I rarely do these days) and I was bored to tears.  I must've looked at my watch 30 times during that one.  

I was pretty much OK with the recent miniseries largely ignoring it. 

I enjoyed the first movie very much (sort of a '90s-dystopian, conspiracy-laden spin on "Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind").   I would only watch the 2nd movie again if I were paid handsomely by the minute to do so... 

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Sim   

I rewatched the 2008 movie with my wife last winter, when we prepared for the miniseries by (re)watching all mythology episodes.

Yeah, it's a really dull movie. The story might have been okay shortened to a 42-minute episode (especially because in case of the episode, you'll always have next week when you don't like this one), but the movie was way too long, was lacking the superb humor that makes the X-Files disgestible, and even had some remote homophobic undertones.

I guess the only thing I liked was seeing how Mulder and Scully had continued to live on, Mulder in that cabin and so on. But it wouldn't have taken that movie to show us that.

Edited by Sim

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kenman   

http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/x-files-return-fox-1202391802/

Fox is bringing back for a 10 episode season.  I am down, wrap up the humdrum cliffhanger from that last mini-series, and just get on with fun X-Files cases. I am done with the mythology personaly, but if the monster of the week episodes are as solid and fun as those from the mini-series? I want.

https://parade.com/564240/alison-abbey/exclusive-david-duchovny-is-back-as-fox-mulder-in-this-audio-clip-from-the-x-files-cold-cases/

By the way I meant to post this when it was initially announced, but Audible is also doing a series of original Audio Dramas starring Duchovny, Anderson, Pileggi, and many other castmembers, which I believe is meant to be set between the second film and the launch of the mini-series.  It is also being run by Dirk Maggs, who made phenomenal full cast adaptations of the latter three Hitchhiker's Guibe books (the first two books were originally adapted from Adam's own radio series, but then he moved purely into the books. Those were released after his death, and Maggs did a great job with both the latter adaptations and Adams' other series Dirk Gently).  So I am pretty down for these as well.

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19 minutes ago, kenman said:

http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/x-files-return-fox-1202391802/

Fox is bringing back for a 10 episode season.  I am down, wrap up the humdrum cliffhanger from that last mini-series, and just get on with fun X-Files cases. I am done with the mythology personaly, but if the monster of the week episodes are as solid and fun as those from the mini-series? I want.

https://parade.com/564240/alison-abbey/exclusive-david-duchovny-is-back-as-fox-mulder-in-this-audio-clip-from-the-x-files-cold-cases/

By the way I meant to post this when it was initially announced, but Audible is also doing a series of original Audio Dramas starring Duchovny, Anderson, Pileggi, and many other castmembers, which I believe is meant to be set between the second film and the launch of the mini-series.  It is also being run by Dirk Maggs, who made phenomenal full cast adaptations of the latter three Hitchhiker's Guibe books (the first two books were originally adapted from Adam's own radio series, but then he moved purely into the books. Those were released after his death, and Maggs did a great job with both the latter adaptations and Adams' other series Dirk Gently).  So I am pretty down for these as well.

I'm on board for the new TV episodes as well! I've always been fed up with the mythology so I definitely wouldn't complain if they got rid of it for good but even if not, I'll love the show anyway because Mulder & Scully and well, as long as they have these two AND good monster/mutant of the week episodes, I'm in. 

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kenman   
Just now, Mr.Picard said:

I'm on board for the new TV episodes as well! I've always been fed up with the mythology so I definitely wouldn't complain if they got rid of it for good but even if not, I'll love the show anyway because Mulder & Scully and well, as long as they have these two AND good monster/mutant of the week episodes, I'm in. 

I LOVED the early mythology stuff, right up until about halfway through Season Six with the Two Fathers/One Son wrap up.  After that they didn't really have a goal. I did like the Super Soldiers/Search For Mulder thing in Season 8 (mostly it felt like there was a genuine direction again and I thought Doggett was a nice change of pace for a show that was getting stagnant), but everything else never truly worked for me. But in the mini-series the new attempt at mythology just felt a little forced and never truly clicked, whereas the monsters of the week stuff seemed like X-Files in it's prime kinda stories. 

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2 minutes ago, Mr.Picard said:

I'm on board for the new TV episodes as well! I've always been fed up with the mythology so I definitely wouldn't complain if they got rid of it for good but even if not, I'll love the show anyway because Mulder & Scully and well, as long as they have these two AND good monster/mutant of the week episodes, I'm in. 

Me too.

They could explain away the mythology in one quick episode for all I care; just as long as they do some of those wonderful standalone monster/mutant stories. 

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kenman   
4 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Me too.

They could explain away the mythology in one quick episode for all I care; just as long as they do some of those wonderful standalone monster/mutant stories. 

I think they have a compulsion. They feel like it is such a part of the show that it can't go without, particularly in this modern era where standalones are far less frequent.  But I think it would be a nice refresher to have the X-Files return every couple of years with just a shorter season of standalone stories.  Unless they can finally come up with something good to be a running arc again, time to just do monster of the week stuff.

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I'll watch it - of course I will. But I agree with all - no more mythology. In fact, please no more Chris Carter conspiracy bore stuff. Just do the weird one-offs - mysteries, japes, monsters, mutants, whatever. Even aliens, but new aliens, not all that dullsville arc stuff.

Also, please bring back Lauren Ambrose as Agent Einstein, because she was great. 

PS Give them all to Vince Gilligan to write

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Sim   

Yay!

Apart from Star Trek, "The X-Files" perhaps is my most favorite nostalgic series, so I'm more than happy to see a continuation! I already loved mini-season 10 ... sure, not all episodes were great, but 3 out of 6 were, and 50% is already a better success quota than the original 9 seasons of the show had. :laugh:

And yeah, more MotW please, less mythology would be nice.

Vince Gilligan? Ah, wouldn't that be great? :giggle: One can dream... but if they don't get him, it would be nice to at least get Darin Morgan again, hopefully for more than just one episode this time.

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Sim   

 

10 episodes this time! That's great! :thumbup:

A major problem of season 10/Event Series was that they crammed too much into just 6 episodes, IMO. There were many good ideas that weren't allowed to really flower but that were rushed in, and "silent moments" were painfully missing.

I think 12 or 14 episodes would be ideal, but 10 is not bad, the minimum perhaps.

Now they can conclude the cliffhanger with a 2-part episode, and still have 8 episodes left ... I hope they won't make more than 2 more mythology episodes, then we'd still get 6 "Monsters of the Week"! Perfect! :thumbup:

And yeah, I wouldn't mind if they dropped the mythology alltogether after wrapping it up. But that won't happen, because UFO conspiracy is too much in the DNA of the show. Perhaps they should get another writer for the new mythology? At least as a co-writer next to Carter? Because I feel Carter's mythology wasn't the best during the original run to begin with, and it didn't get any better last time ... plus, he doesn't know how to write endings. ;) (Just for the record, I don't think he is a bad writer per se, his standalone "Babylon" was IMO a highlight in the event series.)

Now I'm looking forward to the guest cast announcements ... I wouldn't mind them getting Robert Patrick for a guest appearance (and hopefully one that isn't just a cameo) in one episode, and agents Einstein/Miller again. Not even mentioning that Mitch Pileggi just HAS to return...

Edited by Sim

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Darin Morgan, yeah. Darin Morgan just can't stifle his own irrepressible sense of taking-the-piss, so I'll basically watch any X Files ep he writes, in the firm knowledge that there will be belly laughs. 

I don't want all X Files episodes to be like that, but if he writes, say, a couple of this run, we know we'll get something good. Glenn Morgan and James Wong, also. And Vince. bring back Vince.

I know Carter is head honcho, but like the original run of the show, and the episodes he wrote for last year'smin-series, I'm increasingly convinced he's the one who understands what the X factor in the X Files is the least. 

PS

"Glen" not "Glenn." I know how to spell your name, Glen, but Autcorrect thinks it's better than me. THIS IS THE START OF THE TAKEOVER... 

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