For a twenty-something who never really blossomed into their geekdom until adulthood, The X-Files was something that passed me by. A John Carpenter style soundtrack, use of profanity and a show that squeezed somewhere between Independence Day and The Twilight Zone meant TXF was a no-go in my household. But 2016 heralds a new era for the show. Condemned to that "finished forever" graveyard *cough* LOST *cough*, The X-Files has risen. As a self proclaimed X-Files virgin what do I know, and what is it all about? Tune in... The truth is out there.
The premise? Well there was the time that Cerys Matthews sang about "Mulder and Scully" in her titular 1998 song of the same name. There was The Simpsons where Mr. Burns and The Late, Great Leonard Nemoy spoofed it. Apart from that; from what I can gather, two suits (not the cast of Suits) check out weird stuff. It stars David Duchovny, a squinty David Schwimmer / Patrick Dempsey hybrid; the other is Gillian Anderson, a fiery red head from Hannibal. There was also a film, The X-Files: I want to Believe (2008), which for some bizarre reason starred Billy Connolly and everyone says it was awful. The rest, much like the revival, is a mystery. So Season 10, Episode 1 'My Struggle'.
Here we go, watching The X-Files so you don't have to!
00:00- An opening monologue from Duchovny's Fox Mulder is a blur of speech, recapping not only the history of America's obsession with aliens, but a small history of the show. First question, has he been drinking slightly since 2008? Enunciate my dear boy!
00.15- There is some backstory that his sister was kidnapped when he was 12, so I guess this must have been part of the original series. There are some snaps of the old show, which obviously had a low prosthetics budget. This makes the monsters from Buffy look realistic.
02:00- This opening U.F.O. crash would give even Star Trek a run for it's money. Bonus points for good C.G.I. and a nice bit of nostalgia. They keep over emphasising the word Roswell, so I guess this is a flashback to then.
05:00 - Back in 2016 we get our first (back of the head) look at Dana Scully; a slightly more pinch-faced version of her pudgy 1993 counterpart. Five minutes in and I already think "these two are totally gonna pork." Mulder and Scully meet exchange pleasantries and talk about a man named Skinner (I assume not The Simpsons principal).
07:00 - Looking at Mulder's five o'clock shadow, yes he has indeed been drinking since 2008 . The two meet outside The White House via Uber. How very 2016 of them.
07:40 - We are introduced to Tad O'Malley - clearly this series' douche bag and played by Joel McHale. Already he is annoying with his human punchbag face. For some reason they accept his invite to a limo a-la Midnight Cowboy. You can almost hear "Everybody's Talkin" playing in the background.
08:20 - Offering them champagne in a bulletproof limo? Seriously it is like 9am. When you say "because why not" it doesn't make it any better.
10:20 - "If I'm putting my ass out there, I need to know it is hanging by more than just a slender thread" - oh, so this is turning into one of those shows, it would explain the limo and bubbles.
11.45 - We meet Sveta, an attractive piece of televisual eye candy who claims to have met Mulder before. She has holes on her body from an 'alien abduction', so looks like a piece of Leerdammer cheese. She is an alien baby momma who claims to carry their DNA in her. She is cute... I bet she dies.
13:30 - Back at Roswell (I was right) : Penfold from Dangermouse finds a real life ET crawling from the crash site. Some suits firing squad it, Inglorious Basterds style. Penfold doesn't look happy.
14:35 - Sveta doesn't need her alien mind reading powers to realise Mulder and Scully used to be a couple. She drops a Jerry Springer bombshell that Mulder and Scully have a kid together! Where is this kid, who is babysitting? My mind is racing.
17:20 - Mulder is like a kid at Christmas; he gets to play with an A.R.V (Alien Replica Vehicle). Basically a giant drone, but you don't have to recharge it. They have stolen this idea from a British TV show from 1997 called Aquila; it is where two boys find an invisible ship...Seriously check it out.
20:50 - O'Malley is putting his moves on Scully, he wants a bit of Gillian - can you blame him? She is a major cougar.
21:30 - Now Mulder is trying it with Sveta, is this one of those keys in the bowl parties? She asks Mulder if they are all being lied to... Well DUH!
23:30 - Scully is drinking the limo champagne, I hope this isn't The Hangover and she hasn't just been roofied. Maybe if Zach Galifianakis cameos we could let this slide.
24:15 - I am guessing they are back in their old office, god what a shit-tip, no wonder they left. We also finally meet Skinner, a walking egg cup with glasses. He also isn't a Principal (shame).
26:30 - O'Malley's YouTube channel is called Mind Quad, does anyone else automatically think of the American Dad skit? It is about quadriplegic John Q. Mind who had special powers.
27:25 - Mulder meets the old man from UP!, also guessing he is important from the past.
28:00 - Oh he is Penfold from Roswell, makes sense now!
30:00 - Mulder and Scully have their first domestic. Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Sveta creepily lurks behind the screen door like an extra in The Strangers. "Is Tamara home?"
32:15 - Mulder gathers the the gang from Scooby-Doo and goes through his conspiracy theory. It is all very grassy knoll, the government have manufactured everything from 9-11 to you stubbing your big toe; they are also using alien tech as weapons since Roswell. Someone get this show a soapbox to stand on.
37:50 - It's all kicking off, Sveta is gone, someone has blown up the A.R.V and everyone is covering their tracks- I am even sad to see that O'Malley is missing. Dayum X-Files, just when it was getting boring. Annoyed they blew up Aquila though.
39:10 - A creepy car park and Scully alone, if Scream 4 has taught us anything, this won't end well.
39:15 - Someone has scrawled "Don't Give Up" on her car...How creepy is that, and how filthy is your car!? I know she is a busy lady, but jeez get it washed woman. Also turns out Scully fudged Sveta's results and she really has got alien DNA in her. I spy a cover up.
41:05 - Skinner calls them back to HQ and it looks like we are about to reopen The X-Files *surprise* would be a boring six part series otherwise.
41:55 - Bye Sveta, she's getting abducted, we have come a long way since Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
42:10 - Oh wait no, they just blew her up instead.
42:50 - Now we meet who I can only assume is the 'big bad', a Phantom of The Opera/ Emperor Palpatine who smokes through his stoma. Well that can't be good for you.
43:00 - THE END
Final Thoughts - Meh. Is it worth the eight year hiatus? If you are a hardened X- Files fan then probably, but it isn't the easiest show in the world to get in to. The Mulder/Scully relationship seemed more at place in an episode of Brothers and Sisters, with Calista Flockhart playing a gunned down alien. Duchovny is stoic and bland, whilst this is Gillian's most cold role yet. You have to hand it to Gill though, she plays an androgynous pant-suit just about as well as any other woman you see on T.V. Move over Cynthia Nixon there's a new ginger in town. Would I watch it again, maybe. On a wet day I would binge the box set, but give me Fringe any day of the week. Perhaps The X-Files should remain closed.