XIXAX Film Forum

Film Discussion => The Small Screen => Topic started by: MacGuffin on November 23, 2003, 07:42:14 PM

Title: The X-Files
Post by: MacGuffin on November 23, 2003, 07:42:14 PM
admin note: split from a different thread to make things official.
X-Files movie discussion can be found here (http://xixax.com/viewtopic.php?t=4713).


Kudos to JB for that Lord Kinbote av. One of my favorite BLEEPING episodes.
Title: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on November 23, 2003, 08:17:17 PM
Quote from: MacGuffin
Kudos to JB for that Lord Kinbote av. One of my favorite BLEEPING episodes.


It's probably my favorite. What are some other favorites of yours?
Title: The X-Files
Post by: MacGuffin on November 23, 2003, 08:43:41 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Blackman
What are some other favorites of yours?


"Home"
"Irresistible"
"Duane Barry"/"Ascension"
"Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose"
"War Of The Coprophages"
"Ice"
"The Host"
"Our Town"
"Beyond The Sea"
"Arcadia"
"Dreamland I & II"
Title: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on November 23, 2003, 08:53:48 PM
Quote from: MacGuffin
"Ice"
"Beyond The Sea"


I just finished Netflixing the whole first season, and I have to agree with those... "Ice" is a classic (it feels like there have been movies based on it). "Deep Throat" is also great.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 04, 2006, 11:41:02 AM
Here's a list of my 15 favorite episodes (in order of favoriteness). I made this a while ago... not sure why I haven't posted it...

9.19 - The Truth
5.19 - Folie À Deux
3.20 - Jose Chung's From Outer Space
6.03 - Triangle
4.09 - Tunguska
8.05 - Roadrunners
7.12 - X-Cops
6.21 - Field Trip
8.14 - This Is Not Happening
5.20 - The End
6.01 - The Beginning
6.13 - Arcadia
6.15 - Monday
7.01 - Hungry
3.02 - Paperclip
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: I Love a Magician on October 04, 2006, 10:38:48 PM
I don't know what my favorite episodes are, but over the summer I bought seasons one through six and watched all of'em before cooling off on the X-Files when school started back. Season seven worth getting?
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: SiliasRuby on September 20, 2009, 05:35:14 AM
I bought the whole series a long time ago (2 years) for extremely cheap on ebay and I am just now getting into it. I'm in the first season, last disc about to watch 'Tooms' the second episode that featues the man who needs a liver and a genetic mutation in order to keep on living well over the exceeded limit of a regular person. I've seen episodes here and there but this is really the first time I'm going start to finish so I'm dedicating some time to finishing the whole thing completely in the upcoming months.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ on September 20, 2009, 10:40:31 AM
Season 1 and 2 are great, but season 3 is when shit hits the fucking fan.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: SiliasRuby on September 20, 2009, 11:03:28 AM
Shit hits the fucking fan in a good way?
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: SiliasRuby on September 20, 2009, 11:16:40 AM
Just finished season 1's finale. Quite a nice wrap up. Wondering where it goes from here. Scully I hope gains a little bit more faith in the supernatural. I can't see why not, she has a cross around her neck so she has to gain some faith in the unknown after seeing what was in that flask. Going to go out to get some mexican food and then put in season 2 disc 1
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: SiliasRuby on September 21, 2009, 12:25:28 PM
Just finished 'One breath' and I'm glad scully is okay. Good to see the lone gunman again. This is one of my favorite episodes so far but I really want to know more about CSM and the mythology behind the whole show. I'm becoming exceeding anxious about this show which isn't really that new to me.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Fernando on September 21, 2009, 12:58:39 PM
I've been meaning to post here since I started re-watching the series weeks ago, right now im on the last disc of S6, and I feared that it wouldn't hold up as well and boy was I wrong.

I'm sure it owes to a lot of shows older than Twin Peaks but that's the one it comes to mind more often, be it in tone or humor (not to mention the many twin peaks ppl that have appeared), also forgot how bleak it was, many times the 'bad guys' get away with it, something that we don't see in the billion csi/cop-tech shows, and the acting is top notch from everyone, the guest roles are spot on, always casting the right ppl.

The standout for me right now is the wonderful Folie À Deux from season 5, in particular there is this phrase "it hides in the light" that gives me chills, it feels wonderfully strange and something that coulda come out of David Lynch's mind.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ on September 21, 2009, 03:30:31 PM
Shit hits the fucking fan in a good way?

In the best way.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: SiliasRuby on September 21, 2009, 04:52:05 PM
Just started watching the 'Aubrey' episode. I spotted John Locke (terry o'quinn)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: SiliasRuby on September 21, 2009, 05:38:20 PM
Okay, that one fucking creeped me out. 'You're going to pay little sister'. Ehhh....Anyway, isn't there an episode that was banned after only its premiere showing?
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: MacGuffin on September 21, 2009, 05:47:51 PM
Anyway, isn't there an episode that was banned after only its premiere showing?

"Home"

Season Four, Episode Two
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Pubrick on September 21, 2009, 11:08:15 PM
Just started watching the 'Aubrey' episode. I spotted John Locke (terry o'quinn)

hey silias, how bout waiting until you've finished watching a whole season or maybe even the whole series before telling us about it, huh?

this is not your personal twitter/tell-us-every-single-thing-you-do service. no one cares that you recognized an actor who has no doubt appeared in MANY television series (amazing!) as you started watching an episode. just wait til you've seen at least HALF a season, and tell us what you think. can you do that? or at LEAST wait til something interesting/pivotal happens. something that people would actually have an opinion on, or you can offer some insight about other than "hey look it's that guy i know! look everyone! everyone look it's someone i recognize from TV! and he's on TV again! wowwwwww."

thanks
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: MacGuffin on September 22, 2009, 03:25:08 AM
this is not your personal twitter

Marquee that, polka.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: polkablues on September 22, 2009, 03:49:11 AM
Done.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Fernando on September 22, 2009, 11:59:02 AM
Anyway, isn't there an episode that was banned after only its premiere showing?

"Home"

Season Four, Episode Two

that's actually the only episode I didn't watch again, incest creeps me the fuck out.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: SiliasRuby on October 24, 2009, 08:14:54 PM
Finished the series and man what an TV experience. Really worth it and some great pay offs in the end. Although the finale did remind me a tiny bit of the finale of 'seinfeld'. I have been cursing at Director Kersh throughout the series and when he helps in the end, it almost didn't feel right. The ending of the finale really felt like the best way to end the series. I LOVED SEASON 7 though..I don't care what any of the haters say...Still my favorite episode is Chung's outer space episode.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: polkablues on July 20, 2011, 07:51:09 PM
Continuing my rewatch of the series, we now have a strong new contender for Worst Episode of All Time: "First Person Shooter"!  I can't think of a single thing the episode got right, from the characterizations of the main characters to the vaguest basics of how computers work.  A good drinking game if you want to kill yourself would be to take a shot any time a character misuses a general computing term, really tough concepts like "download".  Krista Allen's ass could not save this one, try though it did.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on July 20, 2011, 09:21:48 PM
You're getting closer to "Fight Club." That's easiest the worst by far.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 20, 2011, 10:44:57 PM
"Fight Club" is not good, but also (I would argue) not among the very worst. That is a very special category.

Thanks for that description, Polka. The horrifying images from that episode all came rushing back. This is the one where Mulder and Scully run around like they're playing laser tag, right?

This does spotlight two elements that will sink an X-Files episode:

- datedness
- putting scully and/or mulder in artificial peril

Anyway, my choice for the worst is and will always be "Space." It's a massacre of an episode on every level.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Pubrick on July 21, 2011, 09:37:16 AM
no no, the worst x files episode of all time is definitely this one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_X-Files:_I_Want_to_Believe).
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 21, 2011, 10:53:08 AM
Hmm... I stand corrected.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: polkablues on July 21, 2011, 11:02:23 AM
Case closed.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: diggler on July 21, 2011, 02:50:25 PM
I can't believe that movie sucked so bad. What a wasted opportunity.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 21, 2011, 03:31:22 PM
The rationalization was that they wanted to give a new generation of viewers a gentle introduction to the series, and then ramp it up with future movies. But they may not get that chance. It's really sad.

I guess by "gentle introduction" they meant "vaguely interesting, stretched-out, clearly below-average X-Files episode that somehow found itself on a movie screen."
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: diggler on July 21, 2011, 04:12:23 PM
I get the rationalization. When I heard the movie was going to be a "monster of the week" style story I got excited. Those are the episodes that hold up. It was just a lame story they decided to tell that had little to do with the supernatural at all. I'm shocked that anyone read that script and went "YEA!"
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Fernando on July 21, 2011, 04:28:23 PM
I guess by "gentle introduction" they meant "vaguely interesting, stretched-out, clearly below-average X-Files episode that somehow found itself on a movie screen."

that's exactly what it was, a bad episode on the big screen.

I think the finale (the truth 1-2) was a huge disappointment, this series deserved better.


edit:  :shock: ha, you have that as your fave episode (back then at least)  :yabbse-undecided:
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 21, 2011, 04:32:19 PM
No no, that's still my favorite. Actually I think that whole list (http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=8232.msg233467#msg233467) is still right.

What are your objections to the finale? I'm willing to revisit it.

Folie À Deux is a very very very close second.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: polkablues on July 21, 2011, 04:41:51 PM
The failure of I Want To Believe can all be boiled down to a single factor: Chris Carter writing and directing. The flick did make enough money that another movie isn't totally off the table, but if it happens, give it to Vince Gilligan to write the script, let Rob Bowman direct it (Fight the Future was great), and for god's sake, let it be funny. Chris Carter never seemed to recognize that the humor of the series is what made it a classic, and that tends to show in his writing.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Fernando on July 21, 2011, 05:10:04 PM
No no, that's still my favorite. Actually I think that whole list (http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=8232.msg233467#msg233467) is still right.

What are your objections to the finale? I'm willing to revisit it.

I've seen it only once and remember being very mad about how it was handled, the part I most remember is the inclusion of cancer man, it seemed forced to me.

other than the above I dont remember much about it actually, just that at that time I felt the story was sub-par to the x-files standards, I mean seasons 1-7 standards, the last two were not the best ones although it had some good episodes.

maybe I need to revisit it too.


Folie À Deux is a very very very close second.

probably my fave episode of the series.

The standout for me right now is the wonderful Folie À Deux from season 5, in particular there is this phrase "it hides in the light" that gives me chills, it feels wonderfully strange and something that coulda come out of David Lynch's mind.

would you agree it feels lynchian?
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 21, 2011, 05:54:58 PM
Good call, that part is especially Lynchian. Overall it diverts from Lynch, though, in that it doesn't have a puzzle, so it's pretty original. It's rooted in a zombie story, but beyond that, it's unsettling in a unique way that's also very, very deep, and I think few X-Files episodes achieve that. It's also mythic (note the final scene), which increases its greatness.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 21, 2011, 06:27:05 PM
The failure of I Want To Believe can all be boiled down to a single factor: Chris Carter writing and directing. The flick did make enough money that another movie isn't totally off the table, but if it happens, give it to Vince Gilligan to write the script, let Rob Bowman direct it (Fight the Future was great), and for god's sake, let it be funny. Chris Carter never seemed to recognize that the humor of the series is what made it a classic, and that tends to show in his writing.

I think you're spot on. Except for maybe the first scene with Mulder, I Want To Believe was dreary and joyless. You also inspired me to find this (http://x-files.wikia.com/wiki/Vince_Gilligan). Looks like Vince wrote some of the very best episodes... a ton of my favorites, including 6 of my top 15 and Folie A Deux (!!!).
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: cronopio 2 on July 21, 2011, 06:56:52 PM
first movie's really cool. FIGHT THE FUTURE.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on July 21, 2011, 08:34:09 PM
I am really glad that The X-Files is finally getting some discussion going on this board. (Only now hitting 3 pages after all these years?) I consider myself a huge fan, but not to the point that I'm blind to some of the show's failings. That said, I'm finding myself disagreeing with a lot of the opinions being thrown around on here the past couple of days. Granted, First Person Shooter is far from a stellar episode but to say it's one of the series' worst? Not at all. It might not have technical computing accuracies down pat and yes, Mulder does go a little hormonal, but everyone involved is clearly having fun and enough of that enjoyment comes to benefit the audience as well. JB, I gotta respect you, back in the day it was primarily you as the board's designated X-Phile until I came along - but do you honestly think FAD is one of the show's best? I have to disagree. I'm not knocking the episode, it's solidly put together, but there's nothing significant or special about it. It doesn't have any of the charm or the heightened moments of sentimentality of those episodes which I consider to be the best. (FYI, some of my all time faves include Beyond The Sea, Duane Barry, 731, Jose Chung, Home, The Field Where I Died, Post-Modern Prometheus, Bad Blood, Drive, X-COPS, all things, Patience, Hellbound. Pretty wide selection there.)

I was never one of those people who dismissed the show when DD left either. Much as I wish he'd stayed, I fell just in love with John Doggett and I think the final two seasons (the mythology eps apart) were far better than most people gave them credit for. There are some classic, really good episodes there. (FYI Breaking Bad/Lost Fans: Aaron Paul is in 9X05 Lord of The Flies, Michael Emerson is in 9X18 Sunshine Days.)

Which brings us more or less up to I Want To Believe. I'll be the first to admit that I was more than a little disappointed when I left the cinema. In case you haven't figured it out already, I am a major X-Phile geek. The show singlehandedly (more or less) got me through those difficult teenage years so it has a special place in my heart. I Want To Believe does benefit from repeat viewings. The first time I saw it I was looking for the central X-File "thing" and it wasn't until too late I realized it was whether Father Joe was truly "psychic" or not. I knew going on that this was going to be a much slower, different movie from the bombast of Fight The Future (which I love and can recite line-for-line). If that's what you were respecting a repeat of then of course you're going to be disappointed. But please, give it another viewing. It's actually really good and cuts right to the heart of the essence of what The X-Files is all about. If you want to read some more of my indepth feelings for the show and thoughts about I Want To Believe, I encourage you to read my blog (http://daitexas.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/from-the-archives-the-x-files-i-want-to-believe/) on the movie.

I'm glad we're talking about the show on here, it is long over due. Please excuse me acting like that crazy cat girl for X-Files, but I'm never going to change.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: polkablues on July 21, 2011, 09:07:21 PM
In the course of rewatching the series, I'm realizing that above all else, what separates a great episode from a terrible episode is, to me, how the main characters are handled.  Mulder and Scully are brilliant characters, brilliantly portrayed, and the best episodes both hold true to what we already know of the characters and expand them, providing even deeper levels to them.  Monday, Bad Blood, Triangle, The Final Repose of Clyde Bruckman, even a bit of silliness like War of the Coprophages, make the show about more than a shooting gallery of paranormal creeps or an overarching mythology series.  In those high points, it's a show about these two fascinating people, and how they respond to their extraordinary circumstances, both as individuals and in their relationship to each other.

The majority of episodes are neither really here nor there; they have their story, and things happen, and the good guys ultimately prevail, and we have fun and say "What a great show" and get ready for next week.  But we don't remember those episodes when we're making our lists, because ultimately they're all the same.  The details differ, but the broad strokes all look the same through the Gaussian blur of our memory.

In the worst episodes, and I still count The Field Where I Died among them, the characters are betrayed by the writers.  Whoever was scripting that week (James Wong and Glen Morgan, I'm looking in your direction...) had a story they wanted to tell, but to fit Mulder and Scully into it, they had to warp them beyond recognition, turn these eminently familiar characters into strangers in order to fit the plot of the week.  First Person Shooter rang untrue to the characters in every way.  They even got the fucking Lone Gunmen all wrong.  And this is what I consider the biggest failing of I Want to Believe, greater even than the forgettable plot, that I never for a moment believed that these characters being played by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were actually Mulder and Scully.  Not for a moment.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: diggler on July 21, 2011, 10:37:40 PM
For me I always loved the Rob Bowman directed episodes. The three episode series of Anasazi - Paper Clip were what got me into the show and Bowman directed Paper Clip. That shot of the UFO taking off and illuminating Mulder in the mining factory is such an iconic shot for the show. I also loved the frantic chase in the underground tunnels where Mulder is looking for Scully and as they run at each other Scully's flashlight clicks on just as the music swells, that was always such a memorable moment for me. The mythology episodes became more and more tiresome but in those episodes it was firing on all cylinders. I used to get annoyed at the stand alone stories during the initial run because they put the main story on the backburner, but i'm glad they're there because those are the ones that are fun to go back and watch.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 21, 2011, 11:32:03 PM
I have to admit, especially when I originally watched the show when it aired, the mythology is what really attracted me. But as you guys have said, the truly great mythology episodes are somewhat few. The bulk of my favorites are standalone episodes that, as Polka described, don't betray the characters. (That's a great way to judge them.)

Folie A Deux, on top of its many other wonderful attributes previously described, also stays absolutely true to the characters. It's one of the best "Mulder has a theory/discovery" stories, and you completely root for him in this episode. The skeptical Scully thing is played out perfectly, too, and in a unique way because of how absolutely reasonable her skepticism is in this case. (SPOILERS) I also love how the early shootout with Gary sends Mulder on his mission, and we're right there with him, against everyone else. That moment of discovery combined with the shooting really does hit a moral pressure point. Also, the discovery itself is quite profound/thrilling, and the implications are disturbing in a very deep way. Ironically, this non-mythology episode has a conspiracy that's more unsettling than The Conspiracy. I love it.

And yeah, I'm with Polka on "The Field Where I Died." I might put that in the worst five. Maybe you have to be in the right mood or something, but for me, everything about it is just bad. The scene with Mulder reading the poem in the field (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l40myDtyaoI) is enough to make me gag. It could be the failingest X-Files scene of all time.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on August 01, 2011, 02:16:43 PM
Chris Carter says a script for third X-Files film is nearly done and would like to see a release for the end of 2012 (12/21/12?) It will involve aliens and the whole conspirocy mythology. Skimpy details here (http://bit.ly/rowaNw).

There is already a petition (http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/x-files-3-in-2012.html) going (encouraged by Gillian Anderson). You know you need to sign it.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on August 01, 2011, 02:34:31 PM
Signed... even if this particular petition was written by a third-grader.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: polkablues on August 01, 2011, 02:36:15 PM
Gillian Anderson seems really nice.

So I'm into the beginning of the ninth season now on my rewatch.  Season eight was actually a lot better than I remembered.  Robert Patrick brings it 100%, and most of the standalone episodes are right up to par with anything in the series.  I find myself getting really annoyed by Annabeth Gish.  Not sure if it's her acting, the writing of the character, or a combination of the two, but she just doesn't compare to the rest of the cast.  I actually wish they had carried on with Doggett's new partner from "Alone" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0751072/), the rookie agent who knew everything about the X-Files from having processed their invoices in Accounting.  That's so much more interesting a character to me than "vaguely New-Agey woman with single facial expression."
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on August 01, 2011, 02:39:01 PM
Totally agree on both Patrick and Gish. He was top-notch; she was unbearable.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on August 01, 2011, 02:40:04 PM
Wait until you get to Hellbound. Even if you're not a Gish fan, that's probably S9's strongest standalone ep.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: polkablues on August 03, 2011, 12:29:11 AM
Wait until you get to Hellbound. Even if you're not a Gish fan, that's probably S9's strongest standalone ep.

Just watched it. It struck me as an average-to-good episode. Given this and your defense of "The Field Where I Died", I can only come to the conclusion that you're obsessed with the concept of past lives, and will fall in love with any episode based around them. I'll agree that Gish was better than usual, though.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on August 03, 2011, 09:48:50 AM
lol, I hadn't connected those dots. Nope, not obsessed with past lives at all. I just thought Hellbound was a pretty solid standalone ep with little-to-no Scully (it just seems like she's shoehorned into every S9 ep that she's in, same as Mulder is in S8). Truth is, when it comes to XF I'm the worst kind of fanboy - one who you're going to struggle to make find fault with much of the show. I do love most of the 202 episodes, regardless of the central paranormal concept.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: MacGuffin on September 06, 2011, 09:39:35 AM
Gillian Anderson Ready for a Third 'X Files' Film
She would also love to do a spoof feature of the TV and film franchise.
Source: THR

SYDNEY --Gillian Anderson is ready to reprise her iconic role as Dana Scully in a third X Files film.

Speaking after the world premiere in Sydney of Universal’s Johnny English Reborn, in which she plays the head of fictional MI7 opposite Rowan Atkinson, Anderson said that there is definite talk of X Files 3.

“I hope it will happen, there’s talk of it,” she told Australian breakfast TV program Sunrise.

“I don’t know who’s writing it but I hear there’s something going on,” she said.

And she indicated that there could be more life in the franchise, saying she wants to do a film spoof of the hit Fox TV series.

“I’ve always wanted to do a spoof of the X Files as a film,” she said.

“We talked about that for a long time but maybe after three features we could get to do a spoof feature.”
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Pubrick on September 06, 2011, 10:01:40 AM
she coulda had class..

she coulda been a contender..

but instead she's talking crap about a hopefully-never-gonna-happen-sequel-that-no-one-wants on australian breakfast tv, which is worse than a bum, which is what she is.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on September 06, 2011, 10:55:41 AM
“I don’t know who’s writing it but I hear there’s something going on,” she said.

Chris Carter is. (https://daitexas.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/chris-carter-announced-script-for-third-x-files-movie-is-nearly-ready/)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on September 29, 2011, 04:48:05 PM
Slightly OT, but it appears XF creator Chris Carter has another show which it sounds like (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/x-files-creator-chris-carter-241782) has been picked up. Details are vague though, which is what leaves me confused: just that it's a "mystery" and has a "strong female lead." Assuming it has/does go to series I'll def check it out. Can't be worse than Spotnitz's Nightstalker show. Either way, I'm just happy the guy's still doing stuff and isn't just going to spend the rest of his life surfing and holed up in his Malibu beach house getting wanked off by interns.

EDIT: Oh, and it's called "Unique."
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on June 20, 2013, 02:12:10 PM
Just a quick FYI...

(http://talkingcomicbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/The_X-Files_Season_10_1.jpg)

The X-Files comic book launched yesterday. It's being called "Season 10" and is billed as a continuation of the show, picking up 5 years after the second movie. Chris Carter is on board as an executive producer. The first 5 issues are going to be a mythology story, but they're going to do some standalone MOW issues too (some of which are planned as sequels to episodes of the show). First issue was decent enough, but wish more had happened. I'll be sticking with it just because it's The X-Files. And I guess with CC's involvement it's considered canon.

There's a review here (http://x-filesnews.com/index.php/xfiles-news/featured-stories/295-review-issue-1-of-the-x-files-season-10) from X-Files News, and there's also some other info on the comic series there too.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Lottery on June 21, 2013, 01:25:34 AM
What I watched of the X-Files as a kid was cool, watched the episodes without reference to the greater story and what-not and then the T-1000 turns up for some reason.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: MacGuffin on August 26, 2013, 07:36:45 PM
Chris Carter’s Drama ‘The After’ Gets Pilot Order At Amazon
BY NELLIE ANDREEVA | Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: The X Files creator Chris Carter is close to a TV return with his first pilot in more than a decade. I’ve learned that Amazon Studios has moved forward with a pilot order to The After, Carter’s project with Georgeville TV. Carter wrote and is set to direct the thriller, which takes place at the moment of apocalypse. Georgeville TV, founded by Marc Rosen and Reliance’s Motion Picture Capital, first teamed with Carter for The After last fall when the project was taken to MIPCOM by Sierra/Engine TV. The After joins another Amazon drama pilot, recently ordered Bosch, as the company is looking to launch its first hourlong series. Amazon also has Jill Soloway’s comedy pilot Transparent starring Jefferey Tambor, and football comedy The Outlaws, written by Jeremy Garelick and Jon Weinbach and executive produced by Ice Cube, also is gearing up for a pilot shoot.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: wilder on August 29, 2013, 06:07:30 PM
Chris Carter on The X-Files, His Sopranos Jealousy, and Rewriting Vince Gilligan
via Vulture
By Kara Cutruzzula

On September 10, 1993, a strange series called The X-Files infiltrated Friday nights on Fox, with brooding story lines involving government conspiracies, sewer-dwelling man-monsters, and little green men. No one knew quite what to make of it at first — including the Fox executives who took a gamble on the project. But series creator and first-time showrunner Chris Carter (pictured above right, with stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson), a former editor of Surfing magazine, continued to carry out his obsessive vision of recapturing the hair-raising urgency and weirdness of Kolchak: The Night Stalker and other quirky programs he'd watched growing up. His efforts paid off, to say the least, and twenty years down the line, it's hard to overestimate the show's cultural reach: Besides notching Fox a first-ever Emmy nomination for Most Outstanding Drama in 1995, and making television safe for the countless shows with a skeptic-believer framework and scare-your-pants-off quality that followed, The X-Files also acted as a proving ground for an impressive number of writing phenoms — most notably Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan, and Homeland's Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon — who are churning out some of the best stuff on TV today.

After 202 episodes and a pair of feature films, The X-Files’ deeply suspicious worldview feels as relevant as ever. Now, following a much-deserved break and plenty of television binge-watching, Carter’s ginning up a return to the genre with a sci-fi drama for Amazon Studios and a paranoia-fueled AMC project that can only be classified as Top Secret; he’s also helping to plot a tenth season of The X-Files (simmer down, it’s in comic book form). In order to celebrate the show’s big two-oh, Carter dialed in — from a blocked number, of course — to comment on the possibility of a third film, Mulder and Scully’s most virtuous traits, the pressures of following up such a massive success, and how The X-Files’ very, very long tail is even shaking up NBC’s fall schedule.

Thanks for taking the time to celebrate with us. What will you be getting Mulder and Scully as an anniversary gift?
[Laughs.] Let me see, twenty years out ... [Long pause.] I don’t know, I see them in a Cialis commercial. One of those vacations where they sit in bathtubs together.

Fans would love that. So let’s go back to the beginning. You pitch The X-Files to Fox, get rejected once, try again and get a hesitant green light. How much pressure were you under to deliver something that worked?
I was kind of unproven. Even though I had had some success, it was limited, and so there’s always a tremendous amount of nervousness on the part of the studio and network in sending lesser combatants into the field. So I think there was, maybe, a lot more oversight than there might have been otherwise. It was a novel concept. They were two unproven actors; we were filming in a distant locale [in Vancouver]. The process is typically fraught with anxiety, but I think that because we were tenderfoots, there may have been an added layer.

How did that oversight affect the development of the pilot? Fox had a big say in the casting, but what about choosing the writers, directors, and the right look?
Everyone weighs in and everything is considered. The casting was [difficult] — and I’ve talked about this a lot because it was a very nerve-wracking and pressure-filled experience. David and Gillian were our first choices, but they weren’t necessarily everyone’s first choices. A lot of that had not to do with their abilities, which were clear, but that they were relative unknowns. Certainly [in the case of] Gillian, who had done an episode of a Fox show, and then David had done Red Shoe Diaries, but people didn't really know him. He’d also done an arc on Twin Peaks.

Was he competing against someone who was more proven?
Somebody who had more screen time and who had been the co-star of another show, and who was a terrific actor.

Who was that?
You’re going to ask me this now? [Laughs.] He’s a very nice person. And I actually saw him during the run of the show up in Vancouver and we had a very nice conversation. [His name] will come to me.

Gillian was relatively young at the time of the pilot.
She was 24 and, really, to play an FBI agent and a doctor at such a young age, and to sell it, that was also for me part of the appeal. It was going to bring what I would call a certain need-to-prove-yourself quality to the character, a need to prove yourself to the FBI, a need to prove yourself to Mulder, to herself, to her father. And we played all these things out over the course of the series, and it worked well by casting a young, terrific actress.

Did you have that same sense as a first-time showrunner, the need to prove yourself?
Absolutely. Every step of the way. I have to say, that was an enduring attitude throughout the entire run of the show. You have to keep proving yourself each and every week. That was something that didn’t go away, even after the show’s initial success.

Let’s talk about the writers that you hired that have gone on to much success. Between you and writing partners Glen Morgan and James Wong [of Final Destination], and writing partners Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa [of 24 and Homeland], the five of you wrote 20 of 24 episodes of the first season. How’d you spot them?
Howard and Alex came to me via a mutual friend, John Strauss, who had recommended them and that was the simple connection, and their reputations [from the TV series Beauty and the Beast] preceded them. That’s how I found them. Morgan and Wong came to me via Peter Roth, who was running Twentieth Television, and was very involved in the process and suggested that I hire these guys who were actually, I think, hired or nearly hired on another show, which they were able to slip out of and came to work. Those two teams were essential to the show’s not just early success, but laying the foundation for its greater success.

What was the difference between the writers who stuck around — some of these guys were there for eight years — and others who only remained for a season?
There’s a thing that happens when you have a good writing staff and you’re on a successful show. Everyone — and most egregiously, the studio — is trying to parlay their success into greater success. So your writers and other staff get picked off to do other shows, and everyone [also] wants their own show. You lose to that fact of life, which is what happened with Morgan and Wong, who left shortly into the second season. Alex Gansa left after the first season, but Howard stuck around for four years, gratefully. When you speak about people who stayed around for eight years ... I look at people like Frank Spotnitz and Vince Gilligan and John Shiban as people who were so loyal to me and to the show that it really shows its longevity is due to their care and inspiration.

In the case of Frank Spotnitz, this was his first job on a series. You sort of gave him his big break.
Yeah, I think the first season he was on the show, which was year two, or his second season on the show, he also had a very attractive offer from Steven Spielberg, which he considered taking and ultimately didn’t take. The headhunting process was at work even on those folk, but they stayed, and I couldn’t have done it without them.

What was the atmosphere in the writers’ room at that time? Howard Gordon has said before that it was very competitive.
There really wasn’t a writers’ room, per se. It wasn’t the classic image of a bunch of writers sitting around a table pitching stories. Everyone would come up with a story and pitch it and if it was acceptable, the whole staff — and this is not in the beginning, what I’m talking about is something that developed over the long haul — the staff would sit and help plot that story. We sat in front of a bulletin board with three-by-five cards and carefully and rigorously worked out an X-File. In the beginning it was a more, as Howard says, competitive process. Everyone was looking to do the best X-File. It was not something we sat around and exactly worked out together. Everyone came at it with their own story and we sat and worked in front of that board, which was [owing to] Morgan and Wong and really, it’s one of the best things they added to the process. I typically worked on a written outline. The outline for the pilot was a nineteen-page, single-spaced document. You can’t do that on a weekly episodic basis. And Morgan and Wong, who had a lot of episodic experience with Stephen [J.] Cannell Productions brought this board. Glen Morgan, who would typically write the cards that became the plot points for the dramatic beats, has meticulous handwriting and it was a point of pride with him to have a beautiful and neat board.

In that first season especially, were people keeping their ideas close to the vest, then pitching to you?
It’s not exactly how it worked, but it wasn’t a writers’ room with people pitching out ideas and everyone sort of thinking out loud. We did 24 episodes in the first season, and 49 episodes in the first two seasons, so it didn’t allow for a lot of idle time. [Laughs.] You had to get with your idea and work it out. There were other writers who contributed to season one and two, I’m thinking of Marilyn Osborn [“Shapes”], Chris Ruppenthal [“Roland”], Paul Brown [“Excelsis Dei”], the Morgan brothers [Glen and Darin, who wrote “Blood” and “Humbug”]. Everyone contributed. As for Darin Morgan, though he wrote just four episodes, he helped expand the range of the show beyond science fiction and horror. His comedy episodes opened doors for Gilligan, Spotnitz, and Shiban.

Vince Gilligan came on in the second season and wrote a stand-alone episode. He said recently that he had a “life-changing” meeting with you and that’s how he got hired. What do you remember about that meeting?
It was more life-changing for me. He had come to my attention quite a while before I had ever met him. Unbeknownst to him, someone we had both worked with, Paul Brickman, who is most well-known for [writing and directing] Risky Business, said to me, “You should read this writer. He’s terrific and he’s rare.” And I read his Wilder Napalm script, which was made into a movie, and I saw somebody who had such a specific idea of what he wanted to see and who his characters were. His name stuck with me, and when his name came up again via his agent, who was actually a relative of mine, I think it was one of those things where the stars were in alignment and then Vince came and wrote that first episode. His contribution was wide-ranging and really helped steer the show in the, I’ll call it, unexpected directions it went in after his arrival.

It sounds like he just had “it,” which explains Breaking Bad taking off.
His work had preceded him into the office, which is always a good thing. And Vince is a very charming person; he was charming to speak with and [the fact] that he actually wanted to do an episode was something attractive and sorely needed at that point. The episode was “Soft Light,” and [the script] as it came in, as Vince tells it now, would have cost five times our budget. Howard Gordon and I did some rewriting on it to make it work. I’m not sure Vince was very happy with that idea, but I think that he was very happy to be asked to come to Vancouver where we were filming and be a part of the process and its filming. I think that excited him, and he signed up with us [as a staff writer] a short time later.

You’ve said the show was meant to be story-driven rather than being character-driven. How did that change over time?
I learned something in the first season and this came as a result of not just experience, but [from] a letter I had received from a fan who said, “[We] like the episodes that involve Mulder and Scully and their relationship and their lives and not the ones that are strictly procedural and case-driven.” It was a good note. And it helped to create the mythology of the show. I actually named a character after the letter writer in the season finale [“The Erlenmeyer Flask”]. I named her Dr. Berube [because] that person’s last name was Berube. It was the right letter at the right time. The mythology and the two-part episode approach began shortly thereafter and became a mainstay of the show.

As you began to flesh out these characters in the first season, how did you develop their quirkier habits? Mulder was known for eating sunflower seeds, throwing pencils in the ceiling, that porn obsession ...
The sunflower seeds came from the fact that I wrote while eating sunflower seeds. That came right out of there. The pencils in the ceiling were a good character trait or, I should say, revealed [his] character. Mulder’s love of porn came from Morgan and Wong, which is now kind of ... it is something that I was even asked [about] during a twentieth-anniversary convention, about where that came from, so obviously that’s a lasting impression people take about the character. But I have to say a lot of those quirky traits came from David himself. In the pilot episode, he does a little thing while he’s driving with Scully where he does like a funny kind of old woman, New York accent. David revealed himself as a funny person. He’s got a very dry sense of humor, so it sometimes takes a little while.

And where did these traits associated with Scully come from? What characteristic did you think was most revealing about her?
These things all developed over time. That her dad called her Starbuck came from Morgan and Wong. Going back to Mulder, the name Spooky came from the pilot episode. I think the most pronounced character trait that trumps all others in them is their single-mindedness. Quirks aside, I think that’s the thing that reflects the spirit that went into the making of the show and creating the characters.

Going back to the pilot ... you’ve told a story before about Fox screening the episode for Fox executives, including Rupert Murdoch, and it received applause, which was rare for a new show. Did that give you a sense that it would be a success?
I think that’s one of the times I realized we were poised to do something good. It was the first time — and I wasn’t even there, I only heard it secondhand — that I had gotten a group reaction to the show that wasn’t necessarily critical, from an audience that hadn’t been involved in the process. That was important to me. There’s just something funny that happens when you do television. You make a series of episodes, you work on them very hard, you sit in the editing room and polish them, and you go home and watch them on your own television, maybe with a few friends. You only have ratings, and in those days we didn’t have Internet, so you’d get mail. There wasn’t a lot of what I would call unbiased feedback. We started getting that on the Internet [later], but it wasn’t until we made the movie, which was essentially four to five years into the process, that I actually had the opportunity to sit and watch the show with a large group of people and see their reactions. The premiere was at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, that’s one of the places that we went to, and I got to sit up in a private balcony above the crowd and I could actually look down and see them reacting in exactly the places where I’d hoped they’d react. For me, that left such an impression because I’d never had that experience before on the TV show.

The rise of online fandom happened in tandem with the show’s growth. As you received more feedback, did you let it dictate the show? Didn’t the Lone Gunmen end up returning because they proved popular in season one?
You would be foolish not to pay attention to all the feedback. That said, I don’t think there was ever an episode or a story that came anywhere other than from creative staff. We didn’t take story ideas from anywhere else. Certainly, if there were positive reactions to things, you would probably see more of that, much like you mentioned with the Lone Gunmen.

In the beginning, you were trying to do something that just wasn’t done at the time with overarching story lines that played out over the seasons. How high was the tension with Fox over their desire for you to wrap up episodes with nice little conclusions?
I had such a funny thing happen [recently], apropos of this. There was a writer [named Jon Bokenkamp] who I was working with last year who is very talented and has a new series coming up on NBC called The Blacklist, and he called me just as the show had been picked up. He was getting ready to go into production and called and said, “Can I take you out for a cup of coffee?” We went out and he asked what should he be mindful of, how to spend his time, energy, etc. We talked about it and he went off to do his thing and I didn’t hear from him for maybe six weeks. He wrote me an e-mail last week and said, “I’ve got a funny story to tell you. I wrote the second episode of the show and the studio liked it and the staff liked it, and we gave it to the network, and the network hated it. They told me it was exactly the wrong direction for the show. I had to throw it out and do another story.” You know, the pitfalls here in the beginning are many. This was obviously a crossroads for him and for the show. And so he went and wrote that new episode in like three days, like you are forced to do in episodic television, and he hated it. He turned it in and told them he hated it. The next day I think he was going to TCA, the Television Critics Association meeting, and happened to run into Bob Greenblatt, who runs the network there, and who was the person who bought The X-Files pitch twenty years ago at Fox. And [the writer] said, “You know I really hate this new episode, but I really love the episode that I had to throw out,” and Bob Greenblatt said, “Let’s do that first episode.” It was kind of a stunner for him and an awkward experience, but Bob Greenblatt said that he just had a sense of déjà vu back to The X-Files and me being adamant that the episodes weren’t tied up in a neat little bow and that they remained open and mysterious. That was a war that I kind of ended up winning. It was the right thing for the show. And so I think what he saw with this writer Jon Bokenkamp was a similar passion for telling stories that he thought he needed to tell.

Wow, your experience directly influenced the fate of his show twenty years later.
I know, it’s just crazy.

You were still filming the first season after the plot premiered and critics started weighing in positively and you were getting buzz as a cult hit. Did that put the pressure on you even more?
Sure. Pressure’s always there, even when you find yourself in the top ten in the Nielsen ratings. The pressure is never any less to make the show as good as it can be. And you have a limited amount of time and a limited number of resources with which to work and create something new and fresh every week. That’s for me what kept the show and the process exciting. It is an exhausting process.

We’re talking fifteen- to sixteen-hour days?
Oh, every day. Even if you’re not at work, you’re thinking about the show. Because we had these large orders, we worked eleven and a half months a year with two weeks off. If you weren’t thinking about the show in those two weeks and coming up with ideas and getting ready to go, you were already behind. There’s a famous Rod Serling quote that Darin Morgan told me — he said that if he dropped his pencil, he was two weeks behind. That’s the nature of the television business.

Are you jealous of series that are on now that have contained thirteen episodes and then get to go off the air for a year?
I think it’s why there is so much good television right now, because it actually promotes a creative approach rather than what I would call a mercantile approach to storytelling.

How would the show have ended up differently if you weren’t tasked with creating two dozen episodes every year?
It’s hard to say. I think the pressure actually does have certain beneficial effects and it certainly makes you better at your job because you have to become a very good problem-solver and live with your solutions. If you have too much time to noodle and to change your mind, you can get caught in not only a time-consuming process, but an expensive one as well. You don’t have those luxuries of time and money and financial budgets.

You’re self-described as a perfectionist, so when Fox tried to get you on a different track, did you just have to choose which battles you fought?
[The studio] knew I was passionate about the work and the storytelling, and they bowed to that. You always have to choose your battles. I think there were many battles earlier on and fewer battles later on, but you also become more creative and clever in solving what I would call conflicts, as you progress.

Any major battles come to mind?
I remember filming the pilot and there was a moment where Scully and Mulder are in separate hotel rooms and they’ve identified marks, two small dots, on the abduction victim’s bodies. Scully finds two small dots on her lower back and goes to Mulder’s room and sort of removes her robe in order to show Mulder these marks, and it’s kind of an intimate moment of sorts. And it’s a scary moment and important for the characters. I remember filming that, and the next day the dailies were watched by the people at the studio — and they thought there was absolutely no sexual tension in that moment. Which wasn’t [supposed to be] a moment of sexual tension! It was a moment of tension, but you know you have a scantily clad woman entering a strange man’s hotel room ... but it was about something else. I think that early on there was this idea that we needed to play with these characters’ physical relationship, and that [idea] was uninteresting to me and not only that, I felt was a way to ruin the show. As it turned out, the show had a tremendous amount of sexual tension in it, by virtue of the fact that the characters never had sex. Which was important to me, to the characters, and to the central concept.

Fans could be mad at you in the moment, but you probably did them a favor — by keeping them apart the show actually lasted longer.
When we were at Comic-Con last month and people got up and talked about the characters ... what they took with them, what lasted for twenty years, was the characters’ independence, intellectual honesty, all of these what I would call the more virtuous aspects of the characters, not their weaknesses. It’s what I think makes those characters last as long as they have.

As The X-Files was nearing its end, a lot of shows were digging into darker story lines and profiling antiheroes. One example is obviously The Sopranos. Did you anticipate this shift?
It’s funny, I was a big fan of The Sopranos. It became kind of a threat to The X-Files in a way because they could play with language, character, and story in ways that we never could because of the limitations of network television. Not to say we would ever deal with [those topics], they were two different kinds of shows, but it was a freedom that they had that I think made us, certainly made me feel [30-second pause] ... it made me feel ... [30-second pause] ... it made me jealous.

Did you think about what The X-Files would look like as a cable show?
I think if we had fewer governors, it would have been not as good a show. The show actually worked and works best with a sort of PG-13 approach.

Now there are very different expectations for launching a show. You guys premiered to 14 million viewers, and now a big cable hit like Homeland can survive on 2 or 3 million viewers.
It’s exciting. We played once to 29 million viewers, I think, at the height of our popularity, which is an enormous audience. If you translate that to the same amount of people going to a movie theater, it’s going to be a blockbuster. Our ratings were high almost until the very end when they started to winnow for interesting reasons, but the expectations now being lower are interesting to me. I was told by someone in the process that a show like Breaking Bad on AMC, if it wasn’t a critical success it would have been threatened because the audience is not what they considered ... it’s not their Walking Dead audience. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but I found it curious. But as a show creator, these are all distractions. You write a show to try to attract and entertain a certain kind of audience, and/or as large an audience as possible. The problem and the problem-solving is the same.

Does that affect what projects you want to work on in the future?
Yeah, I’m involved right now with AMC and I’m also involved with Amazon [Studios], and these are, for me, new platforms and new approaches and they have different expectations. With Amazon, it’s completely uncharted territory, which is really exciting.

What can you tell us about the Amazon project? Is it true it centers on the moment of the apocalypse, which was something that was foreshadowed in The X-Files?
[Laughs.] That was what was reported in the trades. It’s not exactly a perfect description of the show. But because I’m superstitious I’m not going to try to elaborate on that. We are gearing up right now and it is a very exciting time; I think we’re going to start casting soon, and I think the show will take a lot of my storytelling experience on The X-Files and apply it in a really new and creative way.

You always like to do more than one series at a time. What’s going on with AMC?
They approached me with an idea that I really, really liked. It was actually a book. They wanted to know my take on it. At first, I turned them down; I said I didn’t have a take. Then they came back to me again with the book and asked if I would read it again. So I read it again and I did have a take on it. It also owes to The X-Files, and I’ve written a draft and I’m writing a second draft.

And is it a book that people might recognize?
[Long pause.] I’m not going to spoil it.

Not to get fans too riled up, but you’re also working on season ten of The X-Files ... in comic-book form. Why were you drawn to that idea?
There had been [X-Files] comic books before, but I’d never been involved or had the time to be involved, so when Fox told me they were coming out with a new series, I said yes, especially to this approach [of] the tenth season. That said, my involvement has been pleasant because of the folks who produce the comic books, and I also really like the writer, who is taking our show and applying to it what I would call a comic-book-storytelling sensibility. Each issue I’m asked to read and respond to, and it’s always surprising to me. It’s not exactly what we would do on the TV show, and yet it’s taking the show once again in a novel direction.

It must be strange to have someone else’s take on a topic you’re so close to.
Can I speak about something? It’s not something you’ve asked about yet, but it’s important for people’s understanding of what made the show’s success. The X-Files from the beginning was a very visual show, and with Bob Mandel directing the pilot and Dan Sackheim being involved in the production of the pilot and directing the first episode, they brought a visual style to it that was elaborated on by so many good directors. I think one of the big secrets of our success was in the directors we attracted. It made the show more than good storytelling, it made it visually exciting and interesting. There were a number of our mainstays [involved] from very early on. David Nutter set a standard for us and then Rob Bowman, Kim Manners, Bob Goodwin. These people directed many episodes and are as important to the success of the show as anyone. I would say that Bob Goodwin, who was the executive producer for the first five years of the show, was one of the five people who were directly responsible for our success, because he was able to get the studio to spend the money and give us the budget we needed to realize our visual style.

It was much more cinematic-looking than anything else at the time. Was that a goal of the directors, to see how close the show could get to looking like a film?
This is where a certain amount of inexperience actually comes in handy. I’d say that we didn’t know what we couldn’t do. We tried to do everything. In trying to do everything, we pushed back on boundaries and limitations that were just people trying to be prudent.

Was the filmmaking and style one of the biggest points of contention in the budget?
It takes money to create visual interest and effects and special makeup and all of these things that you have to do when doing a horror/science-fiction show. We blew up train cars [in “731”]; we created the polar ice cap onstage with tons of snow trucked in and covering the entire stage [for “Ice”]. We didn’t know we couldn’t do these things, so we wrote them and pushed as hard as we could. We kept the pressure on them as they kept it on us.

How does it feel now to watch a show like Game of Thrones with a $6 million budget per episode?
It’s exciting to think that people are spending this kind of money to create these beautiful pieces of art for an episodic series. It shows that oftentimes you get what you pay for. The secret, of course, in any successful endeavor, is to limit your waste. While it’s exciting to have the money to do these things, it’s a shame to waste money in the process. One of the great things about being in Vancouver early on was the savings. Because of the exchange on the dollar, I think we got 15 cents extra for every dollar we spent. People saw that as a
savings, but I saw that as being able to put 15 percent more onscreen. The secret is to put all that expenditure into people’s homes each week.

What shows are you watching now? What other showrunners are knocking it out of the park?
Of course, Vince. I’ve just watched the first episode of the final eight episodes [of Breaking Bad] last night. I liked it. I was very surprised and excited to see what happens next. I’m a fan of Scandal.

That’s surprising! Would you ever pull a Shonda Rhimes and interact with fans over Twitter?
I have to say, hats off to her for doing it. It just takes up so much time and energy and I’m not on Facebook. I’m not involved on any social media, it’s really not my style.

What do you like most about Scandal?
I like its intense storytelling. At first I was flummoxed by the approach to character and that kind of rapid pace staccato dialogue. There’s something not necessarily naturalistic about it, but it really works. I’m curious and mindful of that going forward with my own work. Other shows that I like: Top of the Lake, and when our show ended I got a chance to watch all five seasons of The Wire back to back, and I saw all nine seasons of The Shield.

So after The X-Files was over you basically just binge-watched TV like the rest of us.
I did! [Laughs.] House of Cards, I love. I’m watching The Newsroom religiously. I watch Downton Abbey. I’m all over the map.

I’m curious now to see how your new projects might incorporate all these influences.
Each time you set out, you have an idea about characters, and your style and approach is really dictated not by fashion, but by concept.

Any shows on now that you wished you had made?
[Laughs.] All of them.

Did you ever consider doing an X-Files prequel, perhaps following Mulder at the FBI Academy?
[Laughs.] No, no one’s ever approached me about that. I’m of course hesitant to monkey with the show. It was nine years of good storytelling, and even though a lot of people would like to see a third movie, I don’t think there’s a whole lot we need to elaborate on.

You think that, story-wise, you’ve come to a conclusion that you’re happy with?
[Long pause.] We did the work and I hope we did it well, and, you know, you move forward in life. And while it’s wonderful to be recognized twenty years out, I’m very excited about telling new stories.

So no plans for a third movie at this time?
It would really be up to 20th Century Fox.

What do you think of directors now turning toward Kickstarter to show interest in their work and get it made? Veronica Mars is getting a movie out of it.
I think what people don’t quite understand is it’s not like you get a pack of money that you [then] get to spend it on making your movie or TV show. There are so many aspects to a production, including starting the business up, a production entity, accounting, marketing, insurance. And I’ve done this. It is a very complicated and tedious and necessary part of the process, and it’s something that I think is unappreciated by the folks who are taking the money and who are giving the money. There is a reason to be in business with the studio and there’s a reason to ally with people who’ve got these organizations up and running because it provides a structure within which you can be creative and focus on bringing your vision to life.

Looking at the influence of The X-Files on other shows like Lost, Fringe, Supernatural, and Bones, how much pressure is there being the guy who changed the way people made and consumed TV to do a worthy follow-up?
There’s pressure from without but there’s a lot of pressure from within to expand and try to do something not just well, but to amuse yourself. If it were just about commerce and ratings, there’s actually probably something else I would choose to do in life. I’m simply doing this because I want to have the experience again of writing something. The most beautiful thing about The X-Files is that I got to write about what I was interested in, and people came to watch it. That’s a rare and wonderful thing for a storyteller.

That reminds me of a line from your original treatment, which is something you wrote about Scully working on the X-Files. You wrote, “This is much more about work, it will become the defining event of her life. Nothing that comes after — religion, motherhood, anything — will not pass through the filter of this experience.” Is this how you feel after living with The X-Files?
Yes, I mean I don’t define myself by it, but it certainly is important. It actually changed me. It made me into a different person, a smarter person, a wiser person. Like any trial, it had its therapeutic aspects. I hope that I’m not simply defined by The X-Files, and I hope I have more work that is important to do.

Certain events in the news have been playing into the public’s paranoia, most recently with PRISM and Edward Snowden. What do you think about this idea of “trust no one” coming back into the public consciousness?
It’s come full circle. When we started the show in the early nineties, there was still what I would call a lingering mistrust of authority and government, which came as a result of Watergate and other events [such as] Iran-Contra, the Church Committee hearings, things of that nature, that gave an interesting context to the spirit of the show. After 9/11, everything changed. That’s curiously when the show went off the air, when basically we wanted authority figures to protect us; we wanted a strong government and wanted to place our trust in them. In the ensuing years, that’s not only changed back, but I would say our mistrust has been amplified — and for many good reasons.

What current events would you mine to turn into an X-file?
Actually, with the AMC project, I think that I am treading on some of this interesting ground that Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange have uncovered for us.

You said once that you created the show to tap into people’s vulnerabilities and what keeps them up at night. Twenty years later, is anything keeping you up at night?
Um ... yeah. [Laughs.] I have to say, I’ve become very interested in the spectrum of political discourse as seen on the cable news channels that are conveniently right in a row on my cable provider’s dial. I can flip from Fox to CNN to HLN to MSNBC, and I find myself at night flipping it back and forth through them and it’s something of an addiction. Not necessarily for the content, but for the context. [Pause.] And I’m writing about it.

And so your AMC show might touch on that as well, à la Newsroom?
There will be some of that.

You said you’re rewriting a draft now. Is this something that might be happening in the next year, two years, season?
I don’t know. It’s up to the Fates. I will be done with a draft shortly, so I will know more shortly.

There are many X-Files fans awaiting your next move.
And I want to say about those fans, two things really struck me at the Comic-Con twentieth anniversary event: I was so happy to see that people I worked with on the show had prospered and their families had grown, and also, I was struck by how nice and respectful those X-Files fans were. It’s been that way since the beginning.

It was a big anniversary for them, too. Twenty years of their lives flew by.
The fans made — and continue to make — a very grueling experience very worthwhile.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on August 30, 2013, 10:59:56 AM
Thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed reading that. We philes have been spoilt this year.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on October 18, 2013, 09:40:31 AM
It's X-Files appreciation week over at Empire. Lotsa good stuff. (http://www.empireonline.com/features/x-files/)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Reelist on June 06, 2014, 10:54:32 AM
Kumail Nanjiani of Silicon Valley started a podcast about the series The X Files Files (http://www.feralaudio.com/show/x-files-files/).  Kind of an overview  of the show where they focus on a few episodes and then veer off into what they like/Don't like about it as a whole, it's cultural impact, etc.

Thought you'd be interested, Sleepless.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on June 06, 2014, 11:39:31 AM
Cheers. I heard about it yesterday and already listened to it. Spent most of the hour yelling at him for muddling episodes together and forgetting names of episodes and characters.

I need a podcast.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on June 06, 2014, 03:43:58 PM
I'm listening to it right now and loving it. Maybe one of my new favorite podcasts. I think I want to have Kumail Nanjiani's babies.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Reelist on June 12, 2014, 10:17:34 AM
I think I want to have Kumail Nanjiani's babies.

What kind of x files creature are you?!


New ep was good, it's a fun companion piece to the show. Kumail is setting out to only cover the good episodes and says you can avoid some of them entirely. That's reassuring because even while watching season 1 I got bored around the midway point and thought "there's no way I'm going to be able to follow this beat by beat for 9 SEASONS" and gave up.

As he said in the intro:

"This podcast is for two kinds of people. One, people who have never watched the x files. For them, I'm guiding them through the good episodes of the x files. They don't really want to see the shitty ones, there aren't that many shitty ones, but they are there. There are ones that are underwhelming and you don't want to see those. So for them, I'm helping them skip the ones that aren't that well done. When you're making 25 hours of television a year, some of them are not going to be great."

This makes me excited that I can finally watch the episode "Home" as a stand alone. I always worried that there might be something in the context of it I wouldn't understand, but ever since Stephen King put it on his list of "25 scariest MOVIES" I've been dying to see what it's about.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on June 12, 2014, 11:45:50 AM
Yeah. I think he's completely right about the X-Files. Particularly this: When the show was airing, you sort of felt like the monster of the week episodes were filler and wanted them to get back to the conspiracy/mythology story already. In retrospect, it's pretty much the opposite. The monster of the week episodes are the ones that really hold up. They certainly comprise most of my favoritest favorites. Folie À Deux, Jose Chung, Triangle, X-Cops, Field Trip, on and on.

The worst X-Files episodes for me were always the serial killer ones. I'm not sure I'd put a single one of them on my list. Serial killer television was tired even back then, and I'm not sure they ever did enough to innovate with it.

The podcast is going quite well so far. I did notice Kumail steering his latest guest back toward the episode a few times. I think the format will get tighter once his regulars get enough of their general X-Files opinions off their chests. They could take a page from HDTGM and try to go through each episode chronologically. I just don't want the podcast to be filled with too much reminiscing and bloviating.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on May 29, 2015, 09:22:41 AM
X-Philes Talk X-Files

For anyone interested, I have started a new X-Files podcast with rotating guest hosts from xfilesnews.com. The goal is to recap and discuss the entire history of the show and movies before the revival starts in January, at which point we'll discuss each new episode after it airs. Our fourth episode (covering the first third of season two) went live today. I'll freely admit I'm still finding my feet as a podcast host, but I'm certainly enjoying doing it and feel like we're getting better all the time. (We actually have the next two episodes in the can already.)

Would really appreciate some feedback and encouragement. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on iTunes and help spread the word!

iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/x-philes-talk-x-files/id993487432# (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/x-philes-talk-x-files/id993487432#)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Reelist on May 29, 2015, 09:52:11 AM
Wow, congratulations! I'm glad you found a subject you could discuss at length. With our attempt, we never really found a topic we could geek out on enough to fuel the conversation. It's inspiring to see that you've already put up this many episodes and are hitting your stride. Lets us all know the goal is within reach! I'm really happy for you dude, gonna listen while I make breakfast and I'll let you know what I think!

With new podcasts on Itunes it's always important you SUBSCRIBE and LEAVE A 5 STAR REVIEW to up it's ranking. Do it even if you don't plan on listening for Good Ol' Dave!
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: 03 on May 29, 2015, 11:49:01 AM
this is GREAT. props sleepy!!!
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on May 29, 2015, 04:21:13 PM
I've listened to the first two episodes now, and it's quite good! Everyone really knows what they're talking about, so you've got a strong foundation. I also really like the idea of this survey approach leading to the new season.

Highlight from episode 1: One of your guests describing what it meant to her watching Scully as a 13-year-old girl. I hadn't particularly thought about what a powerful role model Scully must have been, especially in the 90s. I had heard that, but I guess it hadn't really sunk in until I heard this story (and I wish she would have elaborated).

Highlight from episode 2: Grilling your guests with that brutal quiz. The spirited defense of Dogget and Reyes... a good counterpoint to Kumail Nanjiani's opinion (which I guess he hasn't fleshed out yet, but still). Not sure how to feel yet myself, since I haven't really rewatched the later seasons. Also in this episode, lots of assorted Scully insight. Plus your guests seem to get a lot more comfortable with the format, so that makes it go quite smoothly.

In case you want suggestions... I think the only way you can improve it as a host is either through editing or being more aggressive about steering your guests, which I can see being awkward. I don't know what your setup is technically, but being able to see each other always makes a podcast sound more like a natural conversation, especially when more than 2 people are involved. Because you get those visual cues that someone is about to start talking or has something to say. So you could try Skype with video. Anyway this is why podcasts or radio shows with guests that are physically in the room with their hosts always have the advantage. I think this is how very dense podcasts where people even actively interrupt each other, like How Did This Get Made or The Flop House, still sound so good, because everyone is friends and in the same room.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on May 29, 2015, 07:59:24 PM
Thanks all :)

Like Reelist said - please, rate and review on iTunes!

JB - really appreciate the positive feedback and the suggestions you've made. I feel like I need to be a little more in control of how things go, but at the same time want everything to sound as natural and organic as possible. I think that things are improving incrementally with each episode, but I'll take your advice and try recording the next few with video on to see if it makes a difference. I've also gotten a bit more aggressive with the editing as the show has gone on, so hopefully that will help too.

Again, really appreciate the feedback so far. Now that we know the date of the revival's premier, we've got every episode planned out. They're not going to all be a batch of 6 or 8 episodes. Next one we're recording is the three-part story that closed season two and opened season three, so that'll be a bit of a change of pace for us too.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Reelist on May 31, 2015, 09:51:06 AM
I'm really impressed with this, episode one is a great chat with no noticeable technical issues. You found a good niche for yourself by choosing this show because it covers such an expansive range of things to talk about. You're a solid host and I look forward to following along with this as I catch up with the show ( still haven't finished season 1! )
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on June 30, 2015, 01:59:53 PM
Anyone who is interested in the X-Files should be listening to Sleepless's podcast. Continues to be fun and fascinating. And it's now officially established enough to have a few running jokes.

I do appreciate your sensitivity, but you should be teasing Tiffany more for her out of control shipper tendencies. I think the prison reference revealed just how deep it goes.

I was screaming "Italian translator" at my podcast device, btw. I don't know the answers to many of them, but that was actually a completely fair question.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on July 01, 2015, 09:32:17 AM
So happy to know that someone is actually listening to it and enjoying. Taking your feedback on board ;)

Honestly, coming up with quiz questions every week is hard work! I promise I'm not trying to make them incredibly difficult.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 01, 2015, 11:00:58 AM
You should invite people to send in comments or questions, about your podcast or the upcoming series. It could foster some interesting audience participation. Your guests would probably get excited about that too.

Is X-Files News promoting the podcast at all? They should be.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on July 09, 2015, 09:18:08 AM
I definitely want to get more listener interaction going on as right now, well, there isn't. Hopefully that will improve. We do seem to have a growing listener base. XFN has been promoting the podcast, but it wasn't real frequent in the beginning, but that too is getting better each week.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 13, 2015, 02:32:39 PM
Not gonna lie, I kind of freaked out a bit hearing you paraphrase my comments at the top of the episode.

Here's a followup, and feel free to use/modify this for the show (or not)...

I think I have to retract my comment about Tiffany's ever-present shipper tendencies, after revisiting Triangle. I had completely forgotten what a shipper episode that is, written and directed by Chris Carter no less. Mulder outright kisses Scully on the deck of the ship, and the episode ends with him saying "I love you" and dreamily pining for her in his hospital bed as she leaves. It's played for laughs, but it's still there.

Wasn't Chris Carter always a bit reluctant to bring them together? It's strange how he brought things to the surface in Triangle, and perhaps telling that he chose to do it through humor.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Drenk on July 13, 2015, 06:57:45 PM
Triangle is in season 6? I'm in season 2 and I wonder why they're not having intercourse all the time. They seem in love.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: 03 on July 14, 2015, 03:01:11 AM
this podcast is great
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on July 14, 2015, 09:51:06 AM
Sooo glad people are listening and enjoying! Doing a weekly podcast is hard work!
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Reelist on July 14, 2015, 10:19:02 AM
I'm gonna use this podcast to get me into the X files more. As hard as I tried, I just couldn't make it through that first season with all those episodes and so many other series to watch on Netflix. So my question is if there are any standalone eps I could follow with little backstory. I saw 'Home' some time ago and that was a shocker, definitely pushed the boundaries of what I thought was allowed on FOX back then. Throw some of those my way, I'm getting bored with all the comedy/drama shows I watch.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on July 14, 2015, 11:21:27 AM
So my question is if there are any standalone eps I could follow with little backstory. I saw 'Home' some time ago and that was a shocker, definitely pushed the boundaries of what I thought was allowed on TV. Throw some of those my way, I'm getting bored with all the comedy/drama shows I watch.

Absolutely...

5.19 - Folie À Deux
My favorite episode. Written by Vince Gilligan. Creepy, paranoid, and inventive. This one speaks to me deeply for some reason, which would take a while to explain.

3.20 - Jose Chung's From Outer Space
Widely considered one of the best episodes. Written by Darin Morgan, probably the best X-Files writer. Kind of an alien Rashomon. Lots of fun with some excellent cameos.

Those are my two favorites. Some other very fun, sharp standalone episodes:

7.12 - X-Cops
6.21 - Field Trip
6.13 - Arcadia
3.4 - Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose
(Morgan)
6.4 - Dreamland I
6.5 - Dreamland II
6.15 - Monday


^ Vince Gilligan wrote or co-wrote most of those.

If you want something more serious and disturbing, I would have recommended Home, and another great one is 8.05 - Roadrunners.

Fun fact: Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose has a direct connection to Soderbergh's Full Frontal, which I talked about somewhere. Kind of a cross-spoiler situation.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on July 14, 2015, 11:28:13 AM
I actually just watched Home this morning. Good ep. Fox actually had a self-imposed ban on that episode after it's initial airing. I think they didn't repeat it for a decade or so, then put it on as part of an XF Halloween marathon. Trivia, bitch.

Here's a list with eps from each season of some of my personal favorite standalone episodes. I think I know your taste, so it's a little skewed that way too. You can definitely tell a shift in the tone of the show as it evolves (most immediately when they moved production to LA with S6, but on a more gradual trajectory as they got bigger budgets.) Let me know if you decide you want a mythology crash-course at some point too.

1.
Beyond the Sea
Shapes

2.
Die Hand Die Verletzt
The Calusari

3.
Oubliette
Revelations
Grotesque
Pusher
Jose Chung's From Outer Space

4.
Home
Sanguinarium
Synchrony

5.
Detour
The Post-Modern Prometheus
Chinga
Kill Switch
Bad Blood

6.
Drive
Terms of Endearment
Monday

7.
The Amazing Maleeni
X-Cops
Je Souhaite

8.
Patience
Invocation
Alone

9.
John Doe
Hellbound
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: 03 on July 15, 2015, 03:04:33 AM
i cannot thank you guys enough for getting me further into this show. i really didnt give it any attention until breaking bad, and then gave it barely any, just slight reluctant sampling. but now i realize this is one of the best series of all time and you guys highlighting the greatest ones is truly appreciated.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on July 15, 2015, 09:24:44 AM
Be sure to let us know what you think of the ones you watch.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Robyn on July 15, 2015, 09:34:52 AM
i cannot thank you guys enough for getting me further into this show. i really didnt give it any attention until breaking bad, and then gave it barely any, just slight reluctant sampling. but now i realize this is one of the best series of all time and you guys highlighting the greatest ones is truly appreciated.

yeah, i'm gonna start watching this now. I've never watched it before and don't know much about it.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on July 17, 2015, 09:32:27 AM
We recorded two eps back-to-back last night and talked for over three hours. I have to edit that shit. And I'm doing another recording session tomorrow so I can get a little ahead of myself (for a while, anyway.) It's been an X-Files intense week for me.

Anwyay, I come baring news not of my podcast, but rather the revival. A new 15 second teaser dropped last night. I did a quick breakdown of it right here. (http://www.davidtharwood.com/2015/07/x-files-revival-teaser-breakdown/)

I will say it's pretty cool chatting with the peeps from xfn as they are actually in contact with people from Fox and 1013, so I'm getting a bit of a sense of stuff that's going on beyond the public's perception of things.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Drenk on August 03, 2015, 01:46:13 AM
The Post-Modern Prometheus made me cry. What a beautiful and bitersweet ending.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on August 11, 2015, 01:53:03 PM
OMG The X-Files Files is back.

And apparently, Kumail Nanjiani is going to be in this new season of The X-Files. What the heck.

Sleepless, you have him beat in terms of production quality (this episode sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom with a Macbook's internal mic), but now you need a guest spot on the actual show to compete with KN.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on September 17, 2015, 02:03:11 PM
I'm so confused. Just started the latest X-Files Files, and Kumail asked his guest NOT to watch the episode. Still good so far though.

Sleepless's podcast is firing on all cylinders btw. For the last 4-5 episodes it really feels like a mature podcast. Everyone is at ease and sharp and it's highly entertaining.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on September 17, 2015, 09:16:43 PM
Clearly, you should just stop encouraging Kumail and delete your subscription to his inferior product ;)

So glad to hear that (a) you're still listening and (b) you've enjoyed the last few eps. I had been feeling a bit overwhelmed with the whole podcasting obligation recently, and felt that for the past few eps I haven't kept the conversation as focused as I'd hoped. So it's nice to hear people are still enjoying. The episode I'm finishing editing right now (which goes live tomorrow) is actually our longest by far, and even though I'm trying to cut it down as much as possible, there is so much good stuff in there. I'm enjoying it.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on September 29, 2015, 10:58:06 AM
First trailer for the revival (http://www.xfilesnews.com/news/latest-news/900-first-x-files-revival-trailer)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 01, 2015, 05:35:28 PM
I find it oddly difficult to draw conclusions from that trailer. They didn't really choose the best lines necessarily. Gillian Anderson is absolutely full of pathos, though. She's really on top of her game these days.

Also I wanted to comment on how great Sleepless's podcast has been. (It's called X-Philes Talk X-Files, by the way. Download it!) It really feels like a team effort at this point; everyone seems 100% invested and involved in each episode. I think it's a mark of maturity when episodes start to go long. (You can see it happen in particular with Judge John Hodgman and How Did This Get Made at crucial points in their development. They more than doubled in length.)

It would be great if you could all meet up at some point, set a few microphones around a table and record like 3 episodes. That would be great. Nothing beats an in-person podcast.

It did sadden me that there was no one to sing the praises of Folie A Deux, my favorite episode. To respond to your criticism, I think the unusual structure is brilliant. It throws you off and contributes to the feeling of unease, that something is very wrong beneath the surface (a Lynchian touch). Also I think it's one of the series' very best iterations of the "oh, maybe the nutjob was right" scenario.

Todd VanDerWerff's review (http://www.avclub.com/review/the-x-filesmillennium-folie-a-deuxanamnesis-59979) does a great job illuminating why the episode is great. Worth a read.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on October 02, 2015, 12:17:48 AM
This longer version is better, more cohesive and indicative of what to expect - at least as far as the first new episode goes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1SmJUBT5q0

JB, I was thinking of you and your love for Folie A Deux as we were recording it. Hopefully we didn't do it too bad on an injustice. So glad to hear that (a) you're still listening and (b) you think we're doing a decent job though. It's crazy to think we've been working on this since early April, really, and sad to think we're not that far away from our last show... at least until the inevitable at this point 11th season.

For those who haven't listened to it at all yet, please do! Best place to start is over at xphilestalkxfiles.com (http://www.davidtharwood.com/x-philes-talk-x-files/) but every episode is also available to listen to on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL41Bmej1pQmTcoTsQx5AYx3sQtASPNOdq) too.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 02, 2015, 10:39:19 AM
Oh that is a better trailer. The most shocking part was (SPOILER) Skinner's white goatee.

I wonder if it's a tad misleading, though, knowing there are only 2 mythology episodes. Or do you think they're going to sneak some of that in the middle?

I hope I can get past my familiarity with Joel McHale. I'm picturing it now: Mulder is showing Scully slides of dead cows, and Joel McHale is standing in front of the screen delivering sarcastic wisecracks.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on October 02, 2015, 04:25:02 PM
I think it's just going to be the two mythology ones (the first, and the sixth). There's an episode in the middle that's written/directed by Chris Carter too, but it seems highly likely to be a standalone. I'm guessing most people associate X-Files with the alien storyline and so that's the obvious thing to promote - and I'm betting all of what's been shared so far is taken from the first episode. They haven't done a bad job at promoting it so far, so I imagine they'll do promos for each new episode as we get to it, since each one is going to cover very different ground.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 03, 2015, 09:33:46 PM
Kumail said on his latest podcast that he thinks all 3 Chris Carter episodes will be mythology, but he didn't seem sure. Do we know much about "Babylon"?
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on October 03, 2015, 09:55:35 PM
Not really. I think it's the one where the lone gunmen are back since that announcement came right around when they started shooting Babylon. Chris has said it's unlike anything the show has done before. I speculated that based on the title and the timing on the LGM announcement, maybe that means it's going to be something to do with the afterlife. But who knows? Might just be another CC standalone that does something off the wall (PMP, Triangle) and that the LGM pop up elsewhere.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: RegularKarate on October 06, 2015, 04:44:10 PM
Me and my girlfriend are on this X-Files is back bandwagon now. She seems like it even more than me and I watched the show back when it was on.

I started by watching only mythology and critically acclaimed episodes. I watched the first two seasons like that then, after watching the first two episodes of Season 3, went back and started filling in the gaps.

If I were to fast track Season 3 and 4 (I promise I'll go back later), what would you recommend outside of the mythology stuff? I know that "Home" was really memorable for everyone. What else?
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 06, 2015, 05:26:50 PM
Sleepless can give you a more thorough answer, but I'll chime in, including mythology episodes.



304 - Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose - Essential, do not skip!

309/310 - Nisei/731 - Fairly important mythology 2-parter.

317 - Pusher - Like Clyde Bruckman, this is one of the all-time best.

320 - Jose Chung's From Outer Space - Strong contender for best episode ever.

324 - Talitha Cumi - Latin title = important mythology ep.



401 - Herrenvolk - Season premier mythology episode.

402 - Home - As you said, another essential one.

408/409 - Tunguska/Terma - Mythology 2-parter.

410 - Paper Hearts - I know Sleepless (and many fans) love this one. I should revisit it.

There are some episodes following this that deal with an important revelation. Sleepless can weigh in on this and maybe explain what order to watch them in.

Season 4 is decidedly lighter on the classic standalones.

424 - Gethsemane - Season finale (mythology of course).
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: polkablues on October 06, 2015, 05:46:43 PM
I also love War of the Coprophages, as one of the show's first forays into self-aware humor, Wetwired is a often-overlooked personal favorite, and Small Potatoes, from season four, is worth watching for Duchovny's performance alone.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on October 07, 2015, 09:09:32 AM
JB's list is a really good one. Polka's S3 eps aren't neccessarily the ones I'd choose to highlight (just my personal taste) though Small Potatoes is brilliant and a good palette cleanser after some of the heavier mid-season stuff.

I HIGHLY recommend adding Grotesque to your S3 list. And, if you have time, Oubliette is pretty solid too.

For S4, JB's list hits the major tentpoles. As for the "major revelation" he spoke of, you can cover that by watching Leonard Betts and Memento Mori back-to-back. Zero Sum is a decent ep that ties together a lot of the mythology aspects, so should probably add that too. Couple other standalones that I'm quite fond of: Sanguinarium and Synchrony.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: RegularKarate on October 07, 2015, 11:08:34 AM
Awesome, thanks so much guys!
I watched "Clyde Bruckman" last night. That's one of the episodes that sticks out in my memory as one of the best and it definitely holds up. Boyle is so good!
Is that episode the first one with an inside joke referencing a previous episode? I don't recall seeing any of those, but it makes sense that they would wait until at least the third season to start doing that.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 07, 2015, 11:47:35 AM
I don't know, but have you seen Soderbergh's Full Frontal? (There's a connection.)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: RegularKarate on October 07, 2015, 12:14:31 PM
No, does he wear the jersey?
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 07, 2015, 12:36:13 PM
Major spoiler for Full Frontal, minor spoiler for that X-Files episode:

...

In the episode, Mulder asks Clyde Bruckman how he will die. The response is something like "you don't want to know."

Then later in the episode, while they're driving, Mulder randomly gets his answer:

Clyde Bruckman: You know, there are worse ways to go, but I can't think of a more undignified way than autoerotic asphyxiation.
Mulder: Why are you telling me that?
Clyde Bruckman: Look, forget I mentioned it. It's none of my business.

In Full Frontal, David Duchovny's character is found dead from auto-erotic asphyxiation: NSFW (http://duchovny.net/morephotos3/full-frontal/fullfrontal124.jpg)

I had that image as my avatar for a bit (cropped to his head). The American flag plastic bag is a delightful touch.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 21, 2015, 01:41:12 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQYC8OrklVo
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on November 03, 2015, 12:53:44 PM
The discussion of Milagro was superb. Quite balanced and civil... and enlightening. It's surprising how often a female perspective can shed an unexpected light on The X-Files. This is an obvious strength of your podcast, going back to the very first episodes when Tiffany and someone else were describing how much they looked up to Scully as girls.

Equally fascinating is how an episode written and directed by a bunch of dudes could (apparently) accurately convey Scully's feminine experience.

Field Trip has always been one of my favorites. Probably because of how off-the-wall it is. I'm also a sucker for "which reality is reality?" stories. Especially that sinking feeling when you realize something is wrong, and you're lost in some kind of existential void. (Also basically what Inland Empire is all about.) I understand your criticisms, though. Perhaps I just like being trolled. Like Arcadia, I enjoy it as a fun episode. (I don't really have a weird deep connection with it like I do with Folie A Deux.)

I didn't recall much shippiness in Field Trip, but apparently my memory for that is not the best. I don't even remember when they had that New Year's kiss.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on November 04, 2015, 09:21:04 AM
I'm really proud of the Milagro episode. Hopefully we can reach those heights again before this thing runs its course.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on November 04, 2015, 09:24:36 AM
What are you doing next? Twin Peaks?

You can take a break first.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on November 04, 2015, 09:30:30 AM
I'm not sure. I've been debating with myself the past couple of months. I'd like to do a movie podcast of some sort, not new releases, but rather older films I'm a fan of, or that are commonly regarding as great/classic films. But I can't figure out what the angle would be - or, if I even want to commit to that. Podcasting is a lot of work. Right now I'm on the fence between just focusing on doing some writing for myself versus trying to do that but also do a weekly film podcast. If I do, I want to make sure it's planned in such a way that the workload is minimal. We'll be back doing XPTXF for the inevitable season 11 though.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on November 04, 2015, 09:44:12 AM
Bi-weekly podcasts are considered acceptable these days.

I'm not sure you'd need an angle for a movie podcast, necessarily. Structurally, from what I've seen that works, you could go through the plot (using Wikipedia or whatever as a guide), stopping along the way for discussion and tangents.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on November 08, 2015, 09:21:33 AM
Anyone got a listener Q I could answer on the pod? I'm pretty much out at this point.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on November 08, 2015, 11:10:46 AM
I just sent a few questions. I could probably think of more later.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on November 08, 2015, 11:35:38 AM
Awesome. We're recording one tonight so will definitely use one of them. Won't go live for another few weeks though.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on December 08, 2015, 11:32:13 AM
I have to say, I almost squealed when you read my question. The answers were really thorough and satisfying, too. Surprised no one mentioned Darin Morgan. Kumail has probably showered him with enough love to last a while, though.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on December 11, 2015, 09:40:19 AM
You're mentioned again this week. Otherwise, it's far from our best episode.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on December 11, 2015, 10:51:40 AM
Wow, this made my day. Those were some amazingly thorough answers. I feel like a puppetmaster or something.

You in particular nailed what I was getting at with the question. I'd heard somewhere that, just in terms of dynamic lighting, filming very dark scenes with low light (with just a pair of flashlight beams shining through, for example), what the X-Files did was unprecedented. Even Twin Peaks was 90% brightly-lit. The X-Files, as popular as it was, must have inspired a lot of directors and future show creators to think of TV as a visual medium where these things could be done.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on December 18, 2015, 03:04:40 PM
Today's episode of X-Philes Talk X-Files is really entertaining. Listen to it!

http://www.davidtharwood.com/podcast/surekill-this-is-not-happening/
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 15, 2016, 08:08:21 PM
The latest 2 episodes of X-Philes Talk X-Files are especially delightful.

Listener question continues to be my favorite segment. It's refreshing how much thought you guys put into the answers every time.

#GoodAssCop
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on January 18, 2016, 08:24:51 AM
Thanks for the positive feedback as always! We actually recorded the IWTB ep last night, so the weight of the rewatch is now off my shoulders completely. The revival eps should be a breeze.

Oh, and we're always in need of new listener questions to answer...
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 25, 2016, 12:30:14 PM
SPOILERS

Tad O'Malley, I think, is being misunderstood as a Glenn Beck stand-in, when he's clearly an Alex Jones stand-in. The rhetoric and topics are exactly the same (i.e. mostly guns and FEMA camps, and btw people should remember FEMA from Fight The Future). Alex Jones does rail against "liberals" in the same passing way that Tad O'Malley does. However, he also goes out of his way to argue that the conservative/liberal binary is in some ways a distracting illusion — that those with the most power are in fact mostly allied and interested in global power in the same way. Which is probably one of the less crazy things that one can safely take away from Alex Jones.

Chris Carter has explicitly drawn inspiration from Alex Jones and the like since the beginning of the show, so this feels oddly traditional. Thematically it's rock-solid. It does stretch credulity, though, that one could get obscenely rich as a conspiracy theorist. Have him constantly trying to sell gold on the air, make him slightly pathetic, and it might have rung more true.

I've seen comments that Mulder is a tea partier now. Are people stupid? His first reaction to Tad O'Malley was that he was a "jackass." Mulder made him prove his conspiracy bonafides before he would even talk to him. Then he was happy to overlook a few differences of opinion in exchange for the obvious benefits of this relationship. Which is not the first time he's done that.

In any case, I was half-expecting to be disappointed by the premier, but I kind of loved it. It's just so deliciously dense. (Contrast that with the second movie.) It's like Chris Carter made a list of everything people enjoy about The X-Files and tried to fit it all in this episode.

The scene where Scully was yelling at Mulder, "you just want to believe!" etc. was a bit cringeworthy. But that is sincerely the only thing that bothered me. I am fairly confused by the negative and mixed reviews. Is this show really that subjective?

They mention at least twice that Mulder and Scully "had a child together." This is the first time the show has explicitly acknowledged that, right?

Also, is this the first time that Scully is explicitly acknowledging that aliens exist, or at least that alien DNA does?

I loved the abduction fakeout that turned into an assassination. A really beautiful and chilling illustration of human malevolence intermixing with alien technology. It was like a scene from Syriana if those guys had spacecraft in their arsenal. Pretty terrifying.

I'm not sure the X-Files mythology has ever had more potential. Seriously. I did not expect that out of this revival, but there it is. The whole thing feels more vital and relevant than ever, for obvious reasons. And the current events references, against all odds, totally worked for me. Even (or especially) the Obama clip. That was kind of genius.

I'm curious where the mythology is going and what exactly is considered settled. The show has grappled before with this question — is it aliens, or the government using alien technology, or some unholy combination? There were at least a couple early mythology episodes that brought this up, and "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" is all about it. Mulder seems to think he knows the answer now. This is characterized a little too much as an epiphany, almost like the question has never occurred to him before, but I can forgive that as an aid for new viewers.

Do we think Mulder is a little too confident about his hypothesis? Or is this officially the new direction? Either way, I'm excited.

CSM being alive is so completely absurd. In the finale, they went to great lengths to prove that he was 100% dead — showing flames shooting out of his skull, for example. I would have been totally on board if this was a clone, or if the other guy was a clone, but it's clearly the same person, who's been patched up and still has the neck hole. Since all of his flesh was burned off and his skeleton was incinerated by a missile, I'm not sure why that continuity was technically important. Unless that last scene was Mulder's dream or something, this is a flat-out retcon.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 25, 2016, 04:44:13 PM
Some elaboration:

This article (https://www.inverse.com/article/10560-what-s-going-on-with-the-x-files-glenn-beck-wannabe-tad-o-malley) is emblematic of the Glenn Beck misreading.

From Entertainment Weekly (http://www.ew.com/article/2016/01/11/x-files-revival-conspiracy):

“The idea of a New World Order is relevant,” Carter says. When we suggest the show is embracing “right-wing” theories, Carter counters, “It’s not necessarily. I don’t see Alex Jones as right-wing, I see him as libertarian … [and O’Malley is] a character who casts everything in doubt.”

That same article also suggests O'Malley is "loosely based on conservative online personalities Alex Jones and Glenn Beck," which Fox confirmed to this publication (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/01/13/confirmed-theres-a-character-in-the-new-x-files-series-loosely-based-on-glenn-beck/).

I'm sure there's a splash of Beck (eww), but it's clear he's not the primary influence. Can you imagine Glenn Beck actually locating a replica UFO?

I think actual conspiracy theorists universally consider Glenn Beck to be a "gatekeeper."


https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=msug5lFhRK0
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 25, 2016, 05:22:56 PM
Continued from the previous page (http://xixax.com/index.php?topic=8232.msg343034#msg343034)


SPOILERS

"Carter promises an explanation will be given for the Smoking Man’s miraculous survival in the last episode of the upcoming series."

"Scully, meanwhile, felt the first pangs of attraction to Mulder 'when she called him from her bed in that first episode,' says Carter."


That and more in this fantastic interview with Chris Carter:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/01/24/the-x-files-chris-carter-defends-premiere-talks-mulder-scully-romance.html
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 26, 2016, 12:17:51 AM
I hate to be contrarian, but I honestly think "My Struggle" is better than "Founder's Mutation." The premier has this very distinct Fight The Future vibe, which I'm only realizing now, and maybe I prefer that to a procedural.

I did really enjoy "Founder's Mutation," though. It's startling how much it feels exactly like an X-Files episode. Could have been plucked right out of Season 4 or something. Even the sentimental bits are on the same wavelength. The only thing that's off is Duchovny's gruff voice; somehow that's more noticeable when he's in his FBI suit.

(SPOILER!) Definitely appreciate that they left the story open-ended. I hope those kids make it.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: diggler on January 26, 2016, 02:49:51 PM
First episode felt a little exposition heavy. It seemed kind of lazy that the catalyst for Mulder and Scully reuniting was a random call from Skinner. Joel McHale's "they told me you were funny" line was nice though. The little bits of dry humor have always been the saving grace of this show.

Retconning the entire conspiracy is a pretty drastic move. It's as if the show is breaking the fourth wall by acknowledging it's story arc going completely off the rails. Second episode had a much better rhythm (and I'm hearing that it was originally the 5th episode). I'm glad to see them putting forth more effort than a simple nostalgia trip would suggest.

Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 26, 2016, 03:54:41 PM
Retconning the entire conspiracy is a pretty drastic move. It's as if the show is breaking the fourth wall by acknowledging it's story arc going completely off the rails.

I acknowledge that this is treacherous ground, but it might not be a retcon. The show has always played with this idea. Often when we actually see aliens on-screen, we find out pretty quickly that they're not alien. Could be a guy in an alien suit (remember the zipper?), a human genetic experiment, an alien-human hybrid, or even something in a hallucinatory dream (Field Trip). The alien that CSM shot is pseudo-non-canonical, as is most of that episode, because of the unreliable narrator.

My guess is that the show is suggesting not that aliens aren't around, but that the true "colonists" are actually humans using alien technology, creating alien-human hybrids themselves, etc.

They surely can't deny that aliens currently exist. Aliens are shown pretty clearly (http://x-files.wikia.com/wiki/Long-clawed_alien) in Fight The Future. The black oil is alien.

This does potentially break down when you consider that we've seen shape-shifting aliens all over the place throughout the series. They certainly can't just be earthly monsters or government experiments, can they? Help me out — if there never have been actual alien colonists, is it in any way possible that the shape-shifters were working for humans?

In any case, I have a feeling the premiere won't hold up quite as well upon rewatch. (I'll find out sometime this week.)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: diggler on January 26, 2016, 06:21:06 PM
I suppose you could explain away a lot of those details being perpetrated by the government as opposed to aliens. Aliens clearly exist, even in this context of the story. What remains dubious is what their nature is. Even in Fight the Future it's never explicitly clear whether those creatures were responsible for that giant UFO at the end. That entire facility could have been operated by the government and they could've been the ones flying it away. Or are we to assume the black oil itself was piloting it? It's a totally massive rewrite but I'm hoping they at least put some thought into it.

CSM being alive is total bullshit though.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 26, 2016, 06:34:07 PM
Even in Fight the Future it's never explicitly clear whether those creatures were responsible for that giant UFO at the end. That entire facility could have been operated by the government and they could've been the ones flying it away.

It's possible that the government itself could be growing aliens. What we see on board the spacecraft could be seen as decent evidence of that, in fact.

The conflict throughout the show among different groups of aliens would seem to contradict this, though. Unless alien shapeshifters are actually created/controlled by the government. That might be the direction they're going. If so, I hope it's less wacky in execution than it seems in my imagination.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 27, 2016, 08:53:50 PM
Highly recommend the latest Vulture TV podcast on The X-Files:

http://www.vulture.com/2016/01/x-files-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly.html

After nine seasons and two movies, The X-Files is back for a six-episode tenth season. Two episodes in, Vulture X-Files recapper Keith Uhlich joins The Vulture TV Podcast crew to talk about how it’s faring so far, the case for and against that first episode, and what is (and is not) going on with Mulder and Scully’s chemistry. Plus, we go further back in the X-Files archives, remembering our favorite episodes over the years, evaluating the show’s legacy, and examining how tonally different The X-Files can be from episode to episode.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: diggler on January 28, 2016, 04:41:19 AM
The conflict throughout the show among different groups of aliens would seem to contradict this, though. Unless alien shapeshifters are actually created/controlled by the government. That might be the direction they're going. If so, I hope it's less wacky in execution than it seems in my imagination.

I'm sure on rewatch of the series (which I haven't done lately) there will be more holes in this twist. There's enough ambiguity for me to roll with it though.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on January 28, 2016, 08:47:32 AM
There are definitely holes. I'm on board with the idea of a fake alien invasion which is actually conducted by a bunch of shady human conspiritors, I think it's a really cool idea that could actually have been a concept for an entirely different show or movie, so I think it's really interesting and rejuvinating that the revival is apparently going that route. But when you try to reconcile the pieces of this new direction for the mythology with the old mythology there are most definitely elements which are really hard to reconcile. Of course, there were elements of just the old mythology which contradicted each other. As always with The X-Files, the more you think about the details the less sense they make. I'm doing my best having watched both new episodes twice now to get over that critical/analytical side of myself and embrace the show once again for what it is.

By the way, I may be stealing some of the points you've both made here for the podcast ;) For what it's worth, I think my preference is for My Struggle > Founder's Mutation too. Not entirely sure why, as I have numerous problems with the episode, but I think there's just so more meat there and I find it much more interesting to think about the mythology aspect than the whole William/M&S as parents. Though I did find it interesting that Founder's Mutation leaned into the mythology as much as it did, and I'm curious whether this will be a trend for all of the allegedy "stand alone" epsisodes in this revival. Avi has already seen at least as far as Mulder And Scully Meet The Were-Monster (next week's episode) so I'll try to find out from her when we record tonight.

I'm going to listen to that Vulture podcast on my lunch break today. Interestingly, next week's ep is apparently a celebration of some of the show's classic episodes, so that promises to be an interesting one.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 28, 2016, 10:11:03 AM
Steal away! I can't wait for the next podcast. I've read Avi's review, but I need to hear what you all have to say collectively.

Maybe I'm just asking this because of all the holes in the mythology, or maybe this is a timely listener question for your show: Looking back at The X-Files, isn't it the consensus that monster-of-the week episodes hold up better than mythology episodes?

(Or maybe that's been discussed. Can't remember if you've discussed that or if it was just Kumail.)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 29, 2016, 06:58:21 PM
After listening to this week's podcast, I'm slightly nervous about rewatching My Struggle. I think the excitement of the first watch might have clouded my brain, or maybe it was overloaded with information and satisfied by constant stimulus. You liked it more the second time, though, so I could be wrong. Am I allowed to skip the porch scene?

Once again, I almost squealed when you asked my question. So I guess I'm biased, but this was a fantastic episode.

In case you're running dry, a question that might be relevant next week: What's your favorite Darin Morgan episode? Do you think his deconstruction of Mulder and Scully ever goes too far? (I don't, but some people certainly do. Humbug could be an example.)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on January 30, 2016, 11:28:57 AM
Haha, I watched both eps twice before the podcast. I stand by My Struggle as the better episode.

I actually had the opposite reaction to you - I liked it better the second time around. The first time my excitement was somewhat tempered because I didn't want to disappoint myself. That said, I still felt somewhat let down just like I did after IWTB. But I read a bunch of reviews, thought on it quite a lot, and ultimately came to reconcile that there was a huge difference between my lofty hopes and what the actual show actually always was. That said, the episode is certainly not perfect. It needed to be longer, or - what I'd have personally preferred - they'd had more confidence in the audience to pick up what was going on if they'd jumped into the middle where Mulder was already deep into his investigation which led him to this new direction for the mythology. I'm really excited for where they go with this, but extremely worried that My Struggle II will suffer from the same problem as the first. Avi has some impressive connections, so she knows a lot of what's to come and she's spoiled me on some of it - so I know what's coming. Finger's crossed they pull it off in 44 minutes.

Founder's Mutation was a good episode, but I think the popular consensus that it's an all time great is misguided. After the admittedly imperfect My Struggle, it is a solid standalone, but I think most of the praise it's getting is due to the fantasy sequences with William, and for the back-to-basics use of horror and too gross to watch imagery. Personally, my favorite aspect of the episode was that it did, in fact, tie into the mythology and the experimentation on humans by injecting them with alien DNA. In my mind, Kyle and Molly are successful results of the Super Solider 2.0 program.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: modage on February 02, 2016, 10:24:37 AM
Last night's ep was pretty great, right? First ep was def a little clunky for me (even down to them not quite having a handle on Gillian's wig yet), the second was better and this was the one that made me think this reboot is definitely a worthwhile endeavor for the series legacy.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 02, 2016, 10:35:59 AM
Yeah, it was pretty great. My expectations were unreasonably high, since it was the Darin Morgan episode. They were mostly met. That twist was so delightful.

No, they're definitely not phoning it in. This is actually turning out to be a season of extremes. The first was maybe the most dense and paranoid mythology episode ever, the second was one of the goriest episodes ever (although Sanguinarium still has that honor, right?), and this third one is definitely the goofiest episode ever.

Kumail certainly downplayed his role. He kept saying "it's really a minor character," etc. Well done. Now I'm wondering if any of his lines were ad-libbed. "I had a whole speech prepared" totally sounds like him.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on February 02, 2016, 02:24:47 PM
That was my favorite ep from the revival so far.

As much as it was served as a nod to the golden era of the show, it felt like an ep ripped from that era itself - albeit one with an older Mulder and Scully. I was sold the moment we saw the usual stoner couple in the opening scene, and had a goofy grin pretty much from that point onwards.

This was the episode I was probably anticipating the most since Darin Morgan's style is so distinctive and his track record has produced some gems. But a few days ago they posted a clip from the show (the graveyard fight) without any context, and I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach - it all felt too campy, too stagey, the lack of score didn't feel good... Fortunately, in context it worked and was not indicative of the episode as a whole!

I think this ep will be regarded in the same light as DM's previous two best eps: Clyde Bruckman and Jose Chung, and it was nice to see his favorite theme of the banality and pointlessness of human existence making an appearance again too.

 :yabbse-thumbup: :yabbse-thumbup:
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 05, 2016, 12:40:42 PM
Listening to Tiffany and Garret's criticisms, and their exasperation, did nothing but increase my affection for the episode. I kind of love all the various ways that Darin is trolling the audience. Hearing Tiffany's frustration with the sex scene really sold it for me. I'm with you on this one.

In terms of metaphysics and inexplicable things, we've had much crazier episodes. Like Dreamland. Or Je Souhaite, in which Mulder used a genie to wish for "peace on earth" and wiped out the entire human population.

Mulder learning that so many monster stories were hoaxes is completely in line with his current thinking. After all, he (chronologically) just discovered that the colonization conspiracy was not what it seemed to be. Also, Mulder is not saying "this is all garbage." He is more discouraged than anything. You can sense some of his depression lingering. And still, as we see throughout the episode, he is still very eager to believe, which is validated in the final scene.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on February 05, 2016, 01:16:35 PM
I'm showing them that comment!

Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 05, 2016, 01:59:23 PM
Haha, nice! :yabbse-thumbup:
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 09, 2016, 03:49:02 PM
I would be hard-pressed to defend this episode against criticism. I'm not sure it holds up to scrutiny of any kind.

And yet, I had some kind of strange misplaced affection. It feels exactly like an X-Files episode, for better or worse, all the way down to the obviously Canadian actors shot in soft focus. The lighting is perfect in this episode. And yes, the flashlight beams crossing absolutely killed me.

But man, they really drilled us into the ground with those themes. Let no subtext remain! And connecting the William story with the Trashman story was quite a painful stretch.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: polkablues on February 09, 2016, 04:22:24 PM
Last week's episode was pure season five, this one was pure season two.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on February 10, 2016, 10:51:14 AM
Only saw it late last night, and I was really tired, so I need to let this one percolate some more. Read some reviews this morning, and can't decide whether the ep pulled off the balancing act or not. I suspect I'm going to be the Nwgative Nancy on this week's podcast, but I still prefered it over Founder's Mutation. Defintiely feels like a S1/2. Feels connected to Jersey Devil (because of the homelessness) and Arcadia (because of the Tibetan thoughtform.)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on February 11, 2016, 10:39:10 PM
Rewatched it twice, and just got done with the podcast, and I've got to say this one has really grown on me.

Bad news though: word on the street is Monday's episode is awful.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: polkablues on February 11, 2016, 10:55:32 PM
The fact that there are any shitty episodes in a six-episode season is troubling, the fact that there might be as many as three is legitimately concerning.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 15, 2016, 11:43:48 PM
SPOILS

It wasn't terrible! I admired the ambition. This is Chris Carter's Hateful Eight. All of his instincts fully unleashed with absolutely no oversight.

The comedy worked surprisingly well. The cultural themes worked, let's say, slightly better than Teliko.

The philosophy... Well, I'm not actually sure — the last 2 1/2 minutes were a blur because of that god-awful song. I don't know if I actually registered any of the words. This "let's take a walk and talk about God" sequence felt even more bizarre than the "trip."

Speaking of which. Mulder having a placebo-induced hallucination is a brilliant idea. I'm on board. Should have been explored further, but I think they might have pulled it off. (Except that they later mention "the shrooms" unironically as if speaking lines from a different draft. The script could have used another polish.) The trip scene began totally pedestrian, but the line dancing... good God, I was sold so hard by the line dancing. And the backflip. Yes. What followed felt right out of a Julie Taymor movie. Likewise, I approve.

That song at the end, though. That song. When I rewatch, I'll be skipping the last section for sure. And the zoom-out earth view made me shake my head. That didn't take.

Lauren Ambrose was a delight. I wouldn't mind a spinoff. Replace the guy, though.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on February 17, 2016, 09:13:17 AM
^ THIS. All of this.

I can see why the epsiode really alienated some people - especially fans mad that for an entire episode Mulder and Scully are seperated. I think those final few minutes are his gift to that particular subset of fans who felt slighted by the rest of the ep. I'm with you - it didn't work for me either. The zoom out at the end of Improbable (the Burt Reynolds ep) worked better, because at least it fit in tonally.

But there is lots of good stuff here as you pointed out. It touches on multiple things CC has dealt with before, and while it doesn't always work here, there's plenty that feels cohesive enough. My initial gut reaction was that the representation of muslims here was overly simplific and irresponsible - most particularly the conclusion where there is a whole room full of would-be suicide bombers. I get that for the purpose of the story they need the threat that there is this "cell" out there in the local community, but it would have sat better with me (and been more realisitic?) if it was just one or two young guys. I did think the teaser worked really well once it got going showing the mutual culture-clash unease. A little heavy-handed which you'd expect from XF, but on the whole fairly restrained in certain aspects too. Until the people on fire running around.

Gotta say, as much as it's not going to go down as a standout ep, there is a lot of ambition here. I get why its not everyone's cup of tea, but I didn't dislike it. It's a completely out of leftfield epsiode, but when you unpackage what its trying to do there is a lot to talk about here.

And yes, Lauren Ambrose was great. According to IMDB she's back next week. (So's he.)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Fernando on February 17, 2016, 10:58:07 PM
agree with both.

liked the episode more than I expected actually, but like JB that horrible song at the end burned my ears, I actually don't remember a single word of dialogue.

I liked the partners switch, Mulder and Einstein had a good dynamic, Scully and Miller's was so so, I too think the guy was miscast and yes Lauren Ambrose was great, glad she'll be back for the finale...

damn, six episodes are just too few.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: polkablues on February 18, 2016, 12:09:50 AM
The episode was objectively a mess, the racial politics were troublesome at best, and that Lumineers' song, while a great song (fuck the haters), has been overplayed to the point of self-parody, but somehow it all coalesced into something unique and amazing. My favorite episode of the revival season, and it's not even close.

I even kind of liked Meathead Mulder. If they do a spin-off with Einstein, I'd be cool with keeping him.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on February 18, 2016, 10:42:43 AM
See, this is why I love Xixax. I was worried about this ep ahead of time, then I watched it, saw that it was getting overwhelmingly negative reviews from fans and critics, I rewatched it, I decided that I actually really liked it, then I worried I was wrong, but then you guys all validated my opinions. I spent a lot of time thinking about this episode all day yesterday. I think it’s probably the most ambitious thing CC has ever written. It actually succeeds for me because of his lack of cultural sensitivity rather than in spite of it, for many reasons – I’m just not sure how much credit I should give him for that.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 23, 2016, 12:30:51 AM
I'm just going to pretend that didn't happen.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 28, 2016, 07:58:15 PM
Good episode... of the podcast. LOL. It was suitably dense and chaotic. (Could *name redacted* have possibly talked over people more?) I don't envy the amount of wrangling you were faced with. I loved how you got much stricter about halfway through. I was cheering you on.

Strangely, the part of My Struggle 2 that troubled you the most — the insane UFO cliffhanger — is the only part of the episode that excited me. (No, five seconds out of 42 minutes is not great.) All the magic of this season has been in those really crazy moments, so perhaps it was refreshing to finally get one. It came after an entire episode of anticlimax, including the "confrontation" between Mulder and CSM, which is one of the worst things I've ever seen.

I feel like #2 was so bad that it harms #1 in my estimation. You can no longer be intoxicated by that fast-paced Fight the Future energy in the same way, because now you know what it's leading to.

Here's a question for the podcast, if you want to use it: What does "My Struggle" even mean? Does it describe Chris's experience writing the episodes?
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on February 29, 2016, 10:27:26 AM
Thanks for the kind words on the podcast, lol. I knew this was going to be a chaotic one but I think it worked pretty good. By the time we got to the revival episodes we all know how these podcasts work, so I've been doing little to no editing on them. I think that's most obvious and, like you said, neccessary here... Anyway, glad you liked it :)

I've been struggling with my thoughts on the two mythology episodes we got in this revival. I think the conclusion I've come to is that although the mythology has always been the backbone of the show and what it has always been known for, I really don't care any more. I always felt that after the Redux arc the mythology went downhill fast (FTF excepted, but then that was written and produced around S4, even though it was released after S5.) Two Fathers/One Son did a good job of blowing up the mythology storyline, and though there were some good mythology moments that followed that two parter (I'm thinking primarily of Biogenesis) there was never any real cohesiveness or sense of direction/momentum that the earlier years had. This was particularly evident by the seasons 8 and 9 when everything pinballed between pregnancy experiments, super soldiers and Mulder's disappearence. So to expect cohesiveness from the mythology in the revival was silly. I was excited to see where CC was planning on taking things after the revelations of MS1, but its now clear from both watching MS2 and reading interviews with him and other crew members that he didn't really have a plan at all.

I hated that cliffhanger.

When they return for S11 - which is inevitable at this point, it's just a matter of whether we get it within the next 24 months or not - I think they really need to pare down the mythology and keep it simple. They need another One Son to blow up the detritus that has accumulated around William, alien DNA, ARVs, and basically everything that happened between season 6 and now. Blow it all up in epic fashion and then come up with something fresh that isn't weighed down with all the baggage that has come before. Pick a strand that was never resolved and make that the focus.

For me personally, there were 3 really good eps in this revival and 3 really bad ones. The chasm between them is huge. That said, I'm going to rewatch them all one more time (in production order) before we podcast Thursday night, though there's really only one ep that I want to watch again - and that I think will be one I'll revisit time and again along with other classic eps in the future.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on March 23, 2016, 04:40:25 PM
Sleepless - I just wanted to say that was a really tasteful and beautiful way to end the podcast [for now]. It also felt very balanced and substantive.

(We all have complaints large and small about the episodes; I totally agree that all that pain doesn't need to be hashed out extensively.)

I am really intrigued by your problems with Founder's Mutation. Those are things I had never heard before. I'll watch out for them next time. (If you feel like expounding on it here, please do. They honestly sound like things that should have bothered me.)

That shoutout made me giggle with glee. Thanks for that. :yabbse-grin:

I'm pretty accustomed to ranking things, but for some reason, I find it nearly impossible to rank these revival episodes. I know that Chris's Struggle II is the worst, but beyond that I really have no idea. I think Babylon is marvelous, except the last sequence was like a slow motion trainwreck. Home Again is also pretty great and feels the most like the classic seasons, but it literally ends with Scully comparing William to garbage. I'm not even sure where to put My Struggle I, whose premise is now highly suspect, but which still has this Fight the Future energy that really does it for me.

I could not agree with you more strongly that above all, I'm glad the show swung for the fences and did some very interesting things. This experimental route was actually one of the best possible outcomes.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on March 24, 2016, 09:45:52 AM
It is a weight off my shoulders to have that final podcast done and out in the world. The original plan was to have it go out the Friday following the My Struggle II session, but our conversation got bogged down answering all those listener questions (my fault!) but after two hours of extensive bitching (my fault again to a large extent - I had several intro jokes poking fun at the writing given that's what a lot of online complaints were about, but rather than setting up a playful tone for the show, it opened the floodgates of negativity.) I knew it wasn't something I wanted to put out. We ended up doing the quiz, etc. regardless but I knew we'd have to record our discussion again. We did, a week later. But the audio was awful and people's hearts just weren't in it. I think I ended up using a bit of me and Avi from that second session, then I trawled through our first session to add in Garrett, Tiffany, and some more Avi. Although there was a LOT more of their stuff that I could have used, ultimately I wasn’t enjoying listening to it while going through the editing process, so why would I put it out there for everyone else? Obviously, I get the negativity, but at the end of the day the show is called X-Philes Talk X-Files for a reason – irrational unconditional love is a part of that to an extent. We're not out to play the part of legitimate critics here, but when we do have problems with the show we articulate them playfully and with good humor. I think we were true to that throughout the podcast, and Jessa/Roi in particular nailed that tone during the revival discussions. So yeah, I wasn’t not joking when I said getting this ep out was my struggle – it had been weighing on my mind since we abandoned that first recording. So it’s nice to hear you think it was a tasteful signoff. Phew.

One segment I had done in advance of our first recording session we ultimately decided not to use for various reasons. It’s a fake interview with Mitch Pileggi using clips from the show, in which we discuss how he’s secretly been a writer on the show for years, and that Fox have now asked him to replace Chris Carter as the head writer for S11. It was a goofily haphazard few minutes, but we all thought it was funny. But it was right not to include it. Avi initially balked fearing that even though it was clearly for shits and giggles, it would upset Mitch and jeopardize their relationship with him if he found out about it because he is apparently a both a delicate flower and drama queen (who knew?) Likewise, I quickly realized that just as with my extensive joking in the intro for the initial discussion, it just wasn’t the right tone. Live and learn. I might see if there’s a way I can stick it up here though, might as well have someone enjoy it since I did the work.

So, yeah – Founder’s Mutation… Maybe it was just the fact Mulder and Scully had slotted right back into working The X-Files after all these years, to be working together as they were. It felt lazy of the revival - they just took the show from two decades ago and stuck it in the present without any real effort. I found it jarring after the setup of MS1; that we were suddenly in this world. On reflection, the episode might have played better to me had it been broadcast as the 5th as originally intended. I did rewatch all 6 in production order (which does on the whole work a LOT better) but I think by that point I’d already built up animosity to the episode. However, it should play better in that original order because the arc of M&S reconnecting and learning to communicate with each other has already played out by this point. But everyone else seems to love the ep… Also on reflection, MASMTWM has a very similar problem in terms of the M/S relationship, but I guess I found it easier to ignore because I was focused on other things I was hoping for from the ep. Also, that was much more Mulder-centric and given the nostalgia trip DM was clearly going for, it felt more excusable given the context.

I know ranking stuff is extremely self-indulgent, but I do it anyway ;)

Thank you so much for listening and giving feedback throughout this experience. It’s been just a couple weeks short of a year that I’ve been working on XPTXF. It’s definitely bittersweet that it’s come to an end.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on March 24, 2016, 11:07:13 AM
We're not out to play the part of legitimate critics here, but when we do have problems with the show we articulate them playfully and with good humor. I think we were true to that throughout the podcast, and Jessa/Roi in particular nailed that tone during the revival discussions.

Absolutely agree.

Roi was probably my favorite guest. Keva is a close second. And Tiffany of course. (Seems wrong that I can rank people but not episodes.)

I might see if there’s a way I can stick it up here though, might as well have someone enjoy it since I did the work.

If you want Xixax to host the file, email it to me: xixaxfilmforum@gmail.com

So, yeah – Founder’s Mutation… Maybe it was just the fact Mulder and Scully had slotted right back into working The X-Files after all these years, to be working together as they were. It felt lazy of the revival - they just took the show from two decades ago and stuck it in the present without any real effort. I found it jarring after the setup of MS1; that we were suddenly in this world. On reflection, the episode might have played better to me had it been broadcast as the 5th as originally intended. I did rewatch all 6 in production order (which does on the whole work a LOT better) but I think by that point I’d already built up animosity to the episode. However, it should play better in that original order because the arc of M&S reconnecting and learning to communicate with each other has already played out by this point. But everyone else seems to love the ep…

I can understand that. I think I was fairly determined to like the second episode, as were most fans. And I was already prepared to forgive the production order weirdness. Either way, though, yes, it did feel strange to go from a frenzied conspiracy episode to Mulder and Scully inexplicably being in their old jobs again — it seemed to highlight the artifice of the format. They could have solved that with a 2-hour MS1. We needed more than that fleeting explanation from Skinner. I would have loved to see re-entry interviews or something. I can see it now; halfway through his interview, Mulder gets a phone call with a tip and walks out, pulls Scully out of her interview, and they go off to work their first new case.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on April 04, 2016, 10:50:26 AM
Fake Mitch Pileggi interview download (http://xixax.com/files/Skinner.m4a)

In retrospect, not as funny as it seemed at the time when the internet was ablaze with CC-hating post-MS2. Definitely happy that this wasn't included in the final ep, regardless of Mitch's "delicate flower" temperment. Currently kicking myself I didn't tweet it on April 1st though.

Thanks, JB!
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on April 04, 2016, 04:03:13 PM
2:36 – 2:58 is my favorite.

Honestly, I love Mitch's voice acting in that clip. He has the most paternal and authoritative whisper of anyone I know.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on April 05, 2016, 08:14:38 PM
Chatted with an aquaintence the other day who also happens to be a huge XF fan. Has a huge collection of magazines and other paraphernalia from back in the day, etc. Of course the subject of the revival came up. He hadn't listened to the podcast at all, but said that Babylon was by far his favorite of the bunch. It feels nice knowing that there are other people out there who feel the same. There are dozens of us! Dozens!
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on August 08, 2016, 02:16:03 PM
‘The X-Files’ New Season Update: "Significant Talks" Underway

http://deadline.com/2016/08/the-x-files-new-season-talks-fox-tca-1201800258/

The six-episode new season of The X Files was one of the best performing Fox series last season, especially on-demand. Ever since the reboot launched, Fox executives have been trying to secure more episodes.

“We would love to do other seasons,” Fox Entertainment president David Madden said at TCA Monday. “There are significant talks with all three principals”, creator Chris Carter and stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.  “We are working hard, and would like to get a new season soon.”

Madden and Fox TV Group chairman Dana Walden were asked whether the network would want to make creative changes for a new season of The X-Files since the recent one was met with mixed reviews.

“I actually think the season was strong,” Madden said. “The episodes represent Chris and his team’s vision, and we will take our cue from them.”

Added Walden, “The show was off the air for a very long time. It was introduced to new viewers, and (the writers) had the challenge of filling in the mythology. Going forward, there won’t be the same obligation to reset the series.”
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on April 10, 2017, 01:03:40 PM
The series that had a generation looking to the sky gets a breathtaking audio reprise in an original full-cast dramatization featuring actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson returning to voice FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

Based upon the graphic novels by Joe Harris - with creative direction from series creator Chris Carter - and adapted specifically for the audio format by aural auteur Dirk Maggs (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Alien: Out of the Shadows), Cold Cases marks yet another thrilling addition to the pantheon of X-Files stories. Featuring a mind-blowing and otherworldly soundscape of liquefying aliens, hissing creatures, and humming spacecraft, listeners get to experience the duo's investigations like never before.

Set after the events of The X-Files: I Want to Believe and providing additional backstory to the incidents that pulled Mulder and Scully out of reclusion prior to 2016's miniseries revival, a database breach at FBI headquarters allows an unknown group to access and capitalize on those investigations left unsolved - dubbed cold cases - by the secret department once known as The X-Files. As friends and foes of the agency long thought gone begin to inexplicably reappear, former agents Mulder and Scully come out of anonymity to face a growing conspiracy that involves not only their former department but the US government and forces not of this world.

Here, fans are treated once again to Mulder and Scully's irreplicable chemistry as only the series' leads could deliver, Duchovny's deadpan and cynical aloofness finding its natural counterpoint in Anderson's unwavering intelligence and rigidity. Appearances from series regulars and the actors who made them fan favorites round out this must-listen arc: the gruff, no-BS righteousness of Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi); the distinctive click-puff of the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis); and the stooge-like hijinks of three beloved conspiracy theorists called the Lone Gunmen (Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, and Bruce Harwood).

Whether you're a believer or a skeptic, find your "I Want to Believe" poster. Break out that makeshift alien stiletto. Grab a pack of Morley cigarettes.

The truth is out there. You just have to listen.

$25 pre-order on Audible. (http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-X-Files-Cold-Cases-Audiobook/B06Y46VB4L/ref=a_search_c4_1_17_srTtl?qid=1491847231&sr=1-17)

Based upon the graphic novels by Joe Harris. So not really canon then.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on April 21, 2017, 09:00:25 AM
'The X-Files' Revived Again for 10 New Episodes at Fox (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/x-files-revived-again-10-new-episodes-at-fox-996132)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on September 29, 2017, 11:33:11 AM
The X-Files season 11 first look (http://ew.com/tv/2017/09/29/the-x-files-season-11-first-look-chris-carter/)

Spoils and speculation based on the article:

But the showrunner promises he planned this reversal long before crafting that cliff-hanger: “Everything is by design.” (I mean, I *want* to believe)

In Carter’s own words: “Shippers were heard” ... fans rooting for the formerly estranged duo to fully patch things up “have something to look forward to.” ... “William has been an absent center,” Carter says. “He will come to the fore.” (Groan)

After episode one delves into the Cigarette Smoking Man’s (William B. Davis) backstory and apparent family ties to Mulder (But why? on every level)

the second hour opens with a time jump to put distance between Mulder and Scully and the events of the premiere (Because paint and corner and ... I'm not sure how the show recovers from this)

episode three is a darkly comedic hour, penned by Carter, focusing on doubles and doppelgängers. (Like Syzygy? And Fight Club? And, to a much lesser extent, Babylon?)

He also teases the addition of a so-called Mr. Y (Really?)

and some characters who only appear to be new (so the lone gunmen are actually alive again?)

the showrunner says we’ll get a new angle on Mulder and Scully’s long-suffering boss, Assistant Director Skinner (happy with the promise of another Skinner-centric episode)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on October 10, 2017, 10:05:25 AM
The retcon is out there.

New trailer for S11 here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRdrt8nPyy8

There's a good breakdown of the above over on XFN (http://xfiles.news/index.php/news/latest-news/1437-the-x-files-nycc-trailer-breakdown). Reading between the lines, I'm nervous about the sense that maybe Carter's way out of the corner he painted himself into twas that it was all a dream. And as awful as that sounds, I can't help shake the feeling that maybe that isn't the very worst way they could take things. Ho-hum.

Also over on XFN, this recap of the NYCC panel (http://xfiles.news/index.php/news/latest-news/1438-the-x-files-nycc-2017-panel-recap).
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on October 10, 2017, 02:41:29 PM
I think any and all continuity is out the window at this point. I mean... they literally showed us the flesh being burned from CSM's bones so that only his charred skeleton remained (below), which was then apparently fixed with partial cosmetic surgery.

If they're retconning things again, that's a big ask. It's really hard to take the mythology seriously. But the new stuff does look pretty good.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuLVzKSxj_Q
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on January 04, 2018, 09:44:27 AM
Fuck yes, X-Files is back :yabbse-grin: [Spoilers follow]

I'll admit, I was kind of dreading it. I rewatched all of S10 just prior to xmas and it did not hold up, just barely 2 years later. MS2 in particular was a disaster, just mind-numbingly boring - and that's before you even got into the plot of the story and the corner CC had written himself into. From what little was teased ahead of S11, it was pretty clear that the whole cliffhanger scenario was going to be revealed as "just a dream." What a hack move. But I was anticipating it, so it made it a little easier to swallow. Honestly, I got caught up in the story almost right from the beginning, and was happy to have the slate wiped clean and be swept up in the retconned storyline. Given the alternatives, it was the best case scenario, though of course I wish it'd been given a bit more forethought before we got here.

But the show finally feels like X-Files again. Mulder's soliloquies aside, (which, to be fair, have always been a staple of CC's writing - though not to *this* extent) I thought this episode was fantastic. Not perfect, of course. Far from it. But it felt like old school X-Files, that S10 had just been a misjudged bungle, that everyone was finally back on their game again and everything was in sync again. And that twist, I was left beaming! I haven't been this happy with the show in a while.

There were a few things I had some trouble with... Monica being CSM's right-hand woman. Given that no-one sees how this makes any character sense, I would have been happy to let CC scrap that and chalk it up to a symptom of Scully's vision. He chose not too, and so it's still reality, and it still doesn't make any sense on any level other than CSM has to have someone to talk to about his evil plans and AG was in need of a paycheck. Alright, that was the main thing I had a problem with. The inclusion of the two new agents ("Abercrombie and Bitch") seems a little pointless. I guess they're there because they played a part in Scully's vision (he's on the bridge with Mulder at the end) but their inclusion here was so brief and seemed completely pointless. Also, as much as I loved the revelation at the episode's end, it felt a bad place to end the episode. There wasn't really an ending at all, no resolution to this story, even by XF standards. No doubt some elements will be scattered throughout subsequent episodes over the remainder of the season (the William story promises to crop up a lot, plus there's an entire ep devoted to Skinner) before culminating in MS4 which CC has already said will center on William (he'll likely provide the opening VO like the other MS eps have been introed by Mulder, Scully, and CSM respectively.)

But that twist, wow! Finally, someone on the show has shown a sense of memory of what went before. I've never been interested in the William storyline at all. Until now. It makes perfect sense, and I'm now fully interested and invested in where things go from here. That's not the reaction of shippers, obviously, and I've already seen some hugely negative reactions from my friends I do the podcast with (yes, we're back too (http://www.davidtharwood.com/x-philes-talk-x-files/)).

So what did everyone else think? Me, I'm in love with the show again and excited for more.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 05, 2018, 12:48:29 AM
I'm not sure what to think. I actually agree with all your observations, but I don't know, some of the writing in this episode was so bad. Perhaps I'm holding this to 2017 prestige TV standards, when Chris Carter is the same writer he always was. You have to be on board for the cheese.

SPOILERS

Highlight for me: Mulder opening the door to find a different smoking man and a different woman. I thought we had entered Lynch territory for a second.

That throat-cutting though.

And yeah, the reveal does make sense, horribly enough. It's like you said... I'm kind of shocked by the strength of this throughline.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on January 05, 2018, 08:35:27 AM
I was definitely on a high after the revelation at the end, but rewatching, it's still pretty clunky throughout. The twist makes more and more sense the more I think about it though; the story always was that Scully was barren so she never should have been able to get pregnant. The suggestion that, oh, she actually had a couple of ova still, never really sat well with me. It was lazy. This makes so much more sense. En Ami is the episode where CSM demonstrates he can cure kids of cancer, for christ's sake! It also, I think, goes a way to explain why Monica is now on Team CSM. Not saying it's entirely logical, but if she knew that William was - in some yet-to-be-determined sense - CSM's son, I could buy her begrudgingly accepting his "olive branch" (I mean, one of the good guys had to accept his offer eventually right?) out of some misguided sense of duty to "protect the child." It's far from perfect, and like you said, a far cry from the best of contemporary TV. But given how bad I feared this season would be, I'm just thrilled it's exceeded my exceptions so far. Shippers are hating, of course. Consensus is that the next 4 eps (all standalone with some mythology through-line) are better than this. Hopefully that means more than just M&S hold hands and the idea of CSM as William's father isn't mentioned.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on January 08, 2018, 08:43:21 AM
My Struggle III podcast is up. (http://www.davidtharwood.com/x-philes-talk-x-files/x-philes-talk-x-files-episode-46-my-struggle-iii/)
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 16, 2018, 05:57:29 PM
This was an especially good episode of the podcast. "This" was also a pretty good episode of The X-Files. (I'm hilarious.)

Keva is a really superb guest. I hope you have Roi back soon as well.

Erika Price is a clear reference to Erik Prince. (Relevant article here (https://theintercept.com/2017/12/04/trump-white-house-weighing-plans-for-private-spies-to-counter-deep-state-enemies/).) I think they brought some very specific real-world concerns into the episode quite deftly.

The banter was sooo on point. And like you said, Scully's agency was off the charts in this episode. I would say it verged on overcorrection, except all of it actually worked. Is Glen Morgan the one who's historically been best at writing Scully?

Less thrilled with the sci-fi premise here. If you're going to do a Black Mirror episode, you have to take the details seriously. I suppose they didn't have much time to flesh it out, though.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on January 17, 2018, 11:30:03 AM
So glad you're enjoying. I've been afraid this go around wasn't as great, so that's very good to hear. Yes, Keva rocks, and the best person to be involved if there's only one guest. She'll be involved a lot more this season. Roi and Jessa are back next ep. Roi's overseas now, but we're trying to make it work for her to do more. Glen Morgan and James Wong used to write together and did some of the best S1,2+4 eps. Would have to give some greater thought on if they're/he's best at writing her though. Honestly, I would have liked to see Gillian to have taken on (co)writing an ep again, maybe with one of the Female Writers they cued up for this season.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on January 22, 2018, 10:47:03 AM
I appreciated Roi and Jessa's perspective on the romance (or lack thereof, apparently). Glad I'm not the only one who was utterly confused by that scene. Last episode they were living together, cuddling on the couch, and making sex jokes. Now they're talking about how they sort of regret never being together? WHAT? It was complete nonsense. I'm sure Chris thought he was throwing a bone to the shippers, too. He should not be writing this show.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: polkablues on January 24, 2018, 11:48:39 AM
Woof. “My Struggle III” is a strong new candidate for worst X-Files episode. Horrifically bad writing resulting in bad acting, compounded by bad directing and even worse editing. All the dramatization was hamfisted, all the exposition sloppy. Characters were unrecognizable. I’m sticking this season out because I want to see what Darren Morgan does, but holy shit I can’t imagine any way I could have hated this episode more.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on February 15, 2018, 04:40:38 PM
Caught up with "Ghouli." I'm not sure I agree with the effusive praise. Sure it's the best of this season up to this point, but I feel like I saw much better several times last season.

SPOILERS

On the plus side, it absolutely felt like a classic X-Files episode. It's kind of stunning how precisely they're able to replicate that feeling with at least half the new ones, especially this and Home Again.

Scully's big acting scene did not work for me. Probably because I did not believe for a second that this was William, so it seemed very silly. Now I can't unsee that. I also did not like how they kept switching back and forth between two angles; this may just have been something I noticed in my boredom and could also not unsee.

As you guys acknowledged, William is a little problematic. First of all, he crafted an elaborate prank on his two girlfriends and was cool with them going in there wielding knives? Secondly, he has two girlfriends?

In the episode's defense, I will say that it handles the double girlfriend scenario much better than Manchester By The Sea, where it was supposed to be a cute "boys will be boys" sort of thing. Here, there are dire consequences, and the girls find out, and it's not fun anymore.

All of that said, I think they've already made William a pretty interesting character, and I want to see more.

Oh... and I'm still not sure what to think of "Forehead Sweat." I thought a lot of it was very funny and thought-provoking, but not on par with "Were-monster." I agree that something felt off and that it went a bit too far in being disrespectful to the characters.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on February 16, 2018, 08:51:12 AM
I could easily leave everything pre-Ghouli in this season. And the only ep I'd save from S10 is Babylon (though even that doesn't stand up so well two years later). Look, the show shouldn't have come back like this. It's aged, the actors have aged, the world is different, and TV is different. Ghouli and Kitten are good episodes - really good by S10-11 standard - but no, in the clear light of day, they don't compare to any of the classic eps. For what it's worth, I wasn't a fan of GA's big scene in Ghouli either. You could see the acting. Not good. But everyone else was raving about it, so on rewatches I tried to appreciate it more, tried to go with it. I still think DD does a much better job in that ep. Forehead Sweat, the more I think about it, might be the worst episode in the history of the show. Yes, far worse even than Fight Club. There are aspects of it I do like (the idea that Reggie was a third partner everyone forgot about) but the way it was handled was atrocious. It was absolutely lazy writing on DM's part, a sloppy victory lap of elements he's used previously and to better end, most notably in his two Millennium eps. But honestly, it was the all the Trump stuff that really damaged it for me. I hate the guy as much as the next sane person, but that's part of why I don't want what used to be my favorite show becoming a shrine to him, even if it is a shrine of hatred. It's interesting how our thoughts on the show have evolved over the past few weeks in particular. Back when we started the podcast, way back in early 2015, the concept was to celebrate this show we loved and get excited for it coming back. And then S10 happened and we tried our best to make a most of it. But listen to the S10 in review ep and you can hear my unease at the unabashed bashing of the show from Avi, Tiff, and Garrett. I'm trying to find the positive, but they're having none of it. And knowing what S10 turned out to be, we've all approached S11 with a bit more caution. So yeah, we'll take the highs when we get them, and perhaps overdo it, but our perspective has definitely shifted from excitement about new episodes to "please let it die, gently, gracefully." We'll talk more about that in upcoming eps I'm sure. Avi and Keva visited the set during principal filming on the season finale. I probably can't say much, but from what I do know, that last ep sounds a right mess. One thing in particular which I know happens sounds utterly retarded and will anger people who were already upset with a certain choice that was made in S10. We have Tiff and Garrett on to talk about that ep, and Keva's going to help me out trying to keep the conversation kinda balanced and on track. But it'll be a cluster, no two ways about it. Avi, Keva, and I are going to do a more relaxed S11 in review ep after that, so that should be a good, more thoughtful review of the revival and probably a bit of mourning for the show. Anyway, it's nice to take a couple of weeks off from the show, and hopefully we'll get another good few eps before MS4 shits all over everything.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on March 16, 2018, 11:49:38 PM
Catching up and just watched "Rm9sbG93ZXJz."

My first impression: I don't know what that was, but it wasn't good.

I'm actually baffled by the effusive praise for this episode. For whatever reason I was rolling my eyes at the gimmick pretty early on. It had the stink of a tiresome standup act. Devices never work, you can never remember your password, technology is out to get us, etc.

Main problems:

- The degree to which absolutely nothing functioned properly
- Mulder and Scully seem so confused and surprised by the technology that it must have all been installed yesterday.
- I get that it's all a joke, but the fact that there is no clear source of a threat took the air out of the episode for me.
- People think Black Mirror is unsubtle? Hoo boy.

Are companies really moving from web support back to phone support? That's news to me. Also, returning something to Amazon is literally the easiest thing you will ever do.

I know I'm taking this too seriously, and I'm probably spoiled by Black Mirror, but there is absolutely no sci-fi rigor in this episode.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on March 19, 2018, 09:06:18 AM
I'm all talked out from the podcast lately, but my general consensus is that fro Ghouli onwards, the episodes have been good/great enough to justify the revival. The early eps just didn't know what to do with these two characters from the past in the modern world, and they oozed Trump-bashing, which I get, but I want to watch XF to escape the real world thank you very much.

Kitten is fine. It's not great. When it was the latest ep I'd watched, I was just thankful for it being as good as it was. It's not a stinker, but let's be honest, it's not a classic either.

Wow, some people really hate Rm9sbG93ZXJz. I didn't. Honestly, I hated the only three eps of Black Mirror's fourth season that I got around to watching. But I agree that this is a sub-par BM ep if you want to think of it in those terms. Trying not to - and trying not to think of it as probably one of the last ever eps we'll ever get of XF - and purely on it's own merits, I really did think it was decent enough. Ignore all the tech ignorance, and it's a pretty fun romp. Not going to make any "best of" lists, but I liked it for what it was. I don't dislike it.

Familiar just does what it says on the tin. It's a spooky mow. Nothing more, nothing less. There's plenty to nitpick, for sure. But it's solid enough to deserve a thumbs up.

Nothing Lasts Forever, I fucking LOVE. We just posted our podcast on it (http://www.davidtharwood.com/x-philes-talk-x-files/x-philes-talk-x-files-episode-54-nothing-lasts-forever/) today, and honestly we could have talked about it for so much longer than we did. It's a truly great episode, and I'd go so far to say the best of the revival period. There's a gross mow story here with some interesting kitschy characters, but the meat of things is the growth of the Mulder-Scully relationship and their now mature acceptance and appreciation for their differences from each other, most notably when it comes to faith. It's truly a great episode that I would hold up alongside some of the greats from the show's original run.

This week's (probable series) finale will be godawful, not just by comparison but by its own merits. Brace yourself.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on March 21, 2018, 04:12:02 PM
Hang on, the finale is TONIGHT. All of a sudden, I'm not sure I'm ready.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Jeremy Blackman on March 22, 2018, 01:07:49 AM
SPOILS

Well that was pretty much what I expected.

How do you serve in the military and become assistant director of the FBI and when you're faced with an oncoming car you have no idea it's possible to just leap out of its way and can only think to go UNDER it?

"What am I now if I'm not a father?"
– something Mulder would never say

Where in this show has it ever been established that Mulder's fatherhood of William is a core part of his identity? Even remotely? Am I wrong?

Besides poor character writing, this episode also had some critical execution problems. That might have been the most dull and drawn-out foot chases in the show's history. I wasn't even sure that I wanted Mulder to catch William. And being an ambivalent observer of a chase is not exactly a thrilling experience. Because William is right — if you can just explode dudes left and right, what do Mulder and Scully have to contribute to your protection except for constantly leading the baddies to you? William is like, yeah, I get it, you're my biological parents and you want to hang out, and that's cool, but this is really not a good time.

Also, there wasn't one instance of William being someone else that wasn't screamingly obvious and telegraphed from the first frame. No surprises.

My Struggle 2 was still worse, though.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on March 22, 2018, 09:03:25 AM
SPOILS

I warned you it was going to be bad.

I knew Monica died, but I didn't realize CC was going to burn the house down and basically take his ball and fuck off home with it.

Where in this show has it ever been established that Mulder's fatherhood of William is a core part of his identity? Even remotely? Am I wrong?

Dude, he like literally explicitly acknowledged it for the first time in 16 years two episodes ago. Keep up.

That might have been the most dull and drawn-out foot chases in the show's history. I wasn't even sure that I wanted Mulder to catch William. And being an ambivalent observer of a chase is not exactly a thrilling experience. Because William is right — if you can just explode dudes left and right, what do Mulder and Scully have to contribute to your protection except for constantly leading the baddies to you? William is like, yeah, I get it, you're my biological parents and you want to hang out, and that's cool, but this is really not a good time.

Stealing this for the podcast ;)

My Struggle 2 was still worse, though.

This was bad, but in a totally different way. MS2 was like CC had everything turned up to 11 - there was just too much in every regard. Way too much. This time he made the opposite mistake. It reminded me of the NIHT 2-parter that opened S9 and where literally nothing of interest happens and they draw it all out so that there's no suspense and you're left entirely indifferent to everything that happens.

I think I'd already made peace with the fact that this was going to be the end and it would be a crap episode to finish the series. And it was bad. Just not bad in the way I expected. Still, it's done now. The bullet's in the horses' head and now its body is on the way to the glue factory.

Talk about anticlimactic.
Title: Re: The X-Files
Post by: Sleepless on March 26, 2018, 09:11:07 AM
My Struggle IV podcast is up (http://www.davidtharwood.com/x-philes-talk-x-files/x-philes-talk-x-files-episode-55-my-struggle-iv/)