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THE X-FILES returns, in HD and widescreen

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I've been plowing through the old seasons on Netflix in preparation. But of course they don't have the movie, so I gotta track that down before I can start season six. 

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This starts tonight! Though I won't be watching as I haven't finished re-watching the old stuff. Plus apparently this episode blows, so I might as well wait. 

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Ugh, this doesn't start until 11:30 my time thanks to football. Well past bedtime... :(

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Yeah, we'll watch this, and then watch Billions at 11.... I loved the X-files, as it came before the age of original cable programming, and was as good (and original) as anything on TV in its era... but I have two concerns...

1- the show went a few seasons too long to begin with....

2- I'm afraid that they're just trying to get one last bucket of milk from this old cow...

But that said, it does have the potential to be really good....and IMO, they need to make these 6 episodes about Aliens, and not a freak-of-the-week.

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1 hour ago, Aemon Stark said:

Ugh, this doesn't start until 11:30 my time thanks to football. Well past bedtime... :(

That isn't stopping me. Who needs to be rested and awake to get the kids ready in the morning or be alert at work?

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I'm thinking about starting the series from the beginning. When does it start going off the deep end?

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Kinda bugs that they appear to be completely throwing their convoluted backstory under the bus. 

Gillian Anderson is amazing.

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2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Kinda bugs that they appear to be completely throwing their convoluted backstory under the bus. 

Gillian Anderson is amazing.

Weirdly that may encourage me to watch. I've been thinking about how much I loved the show, growing up and how much of a mess it tied itself up in. I doubt there's an Alexander-like storyteller who could cut through that knot. Still, it's the cowards way out to just disregard it.

I was reading that Anderson had to fight (again) to get equal pay to that of Duchovny which simply shocks me. At least they saw sense and gave her parity. 

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Well, the opening certainly does not deliver, I can say as much as that. But the voices on the second episode today and the third episode next week are really great, so there is no reason to consider this whole thing a failure.

Thematically, this is no new take on the mythology. Back in the beginning of season 5, during the Redux arc, we already had DoD informant Michael Kritschgau try to convince Mulder that the abduction stuff with so-called alien technology are all secret government experiments.

The only difference between the new take in 'My Struggle' and 'Redux' is that the government wasn't using alien technology in 'Redux' while the new take is that the government uses alien technology in a vast conspiracy to take over the world - but are, supposedly, not in cahoots with the aliens in trying to do that, simply using their technology for their own ends.

In light of what the show has already established during the previous seasons this doesn't really provide a convincing answer. However, chances are that this new take isn't the 'real or whole truth'. That's not something 'The X Files' reveals in the first episode of a new season, after all.

However, I'm also not sure if I like the new modern style all that much. Everything seems to be so shiny and bright. The dark and gloomy look of the show is as important as the story, if you ask me. Not to mention that the cutting seems to be a little bit too hectic.

Oh, and the mythology isn't all that complicated. You can get yourself up-to-date without watching all the relevant episodes simply by reading this:

http://www.eatthecorn.com/mytharc-primer/

Checking out the episode guide on the mythology episodes on the very same page can help as well:

http://www.eatthecorn.com/mythology-episodes-database/

While it is true that the whole thing appears rather convoluted to a casual viewer, it is surprising to see how well many things actually fit together despite the fact that Carter & Spotnitz only began creating a consistent mythology in season 3.

That the show continued into an eighth and ninth season didn't help things all that much. Had that been know the big reveals wouldn't have happened in season 6 and 7, and they wouldn't have been forced to continue the whole thing with that super soldier plot.

6 hours ago, Jack Bauer 24 said:

I'm thinking about starting the series from the beginning. When does it start going off the deep end?

Depends on what you are meaning by that, really. Seasons 6 & 7 have a much light-hearted and funny tone due to the general expectancy of the show ending soon (that resulted in many experimental and funny episodes, some of which were written and directed by the cast members).

The show's alien/conspiracy mythology arc sort of ends in season 6 and 7, actually answering most of the questions the audience was interested in (the first theatrical movie set between seasons 5 and 6 also answers a lot of questions). Seasons 8 and 9 mostly suck in the mythology department (although there are some interesting developments there, too, and there is even a decent wrap-up of everything in the end).

On the other hand, the monster-of-the-week episodes - which essentially was the backbone of the show - actually remain in good quality in the last two seasons. While the mythology begins to suck, the standalone episodes shed the lighter tones and go back to dark and nasty.

But you have to keep in mind that David Duchovny isn't a regular in season 8, only a guest star, and completely absent from season 9 (the final two-partner, 'The Truth', excluded) so the personal relationship between the agents is very much different in seasons 8 and 9.

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I wasn't too impressed with the first episode. It's been a long while since I watched any X-Files, and other than the characters, I don't remember much. Are the movies part of the mythology? Because Mulder seemed surprised about what he learned in this episode, despite the giant alien ship that took off from the ice in the first movie.

I'm pretty sure I had failed to keep up with the old seasons, because I don't remember that they had a kid, whom they kept mentioning but never showed. Is the kid dead? 

And did the show ever shed light on Mulder's sister?

Also, it was pretty heavy-handed with the mystery. I guess now mystery solved, but it's all about exposing the truth to the world.

Why didn't that conspiracy guy bring a camera crew to that warehouse, and show the whole world right there and then the secret technology? And Mulder didn't even seem that impressed with it.

Only the last bit got me interested, and I smiled when the smoking guy showed up.

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1 hour ago, Corvinus said:

I wasn't too impressed with the first episode. It's been a long while since I watched any X-Files, and other than the characters, I don't remember much. Are the movies part of the mythology? Because Mulder seemed surprised about what he learned in this episode, despite the giant alien ship that took off from the ice in the first movie.

The first movie is about the mythology, the second movie is not. It is essential a standalone episode dealing a little bit with Mulder and Scully's personal issues. They are still couple in that movie, though, and the fact that they don't know how or where their son William is comes up, too.

As to your questions:

Spoiler

Scully is pregnant at the end of the seventh season. The child is apparently Mulder's which is only confirmed in season 9 (the child itself is born in the last episode of season 8, named William after Mulder's father. This child is surrounded with a lot of religious prophecy about the coming colonization of the earth by the aliens, which was supposed to begin in 2012. The child was either supposed to aid the alien colonization or successfully oppose/prevent it.

William is still alive. Shortly before the end of season 9 Scully gave him up for adoption. His conception was somewhat of a miracle because Scully was left infertile in the wake of her alien abduction in season 2. While the child is apparently Scully's and Mulder's biological offspring, and conceived naturally, it is also supposed to have alien DNA similar to those alien replicas (the super soldiers) that were replacing various humans in the last two seasons of the show.

The mystery of Mulder's sister is resolved in season 7. The first movie gave the first real answers on the alien conspiracy (a bunch of old men is working covertly with a very powerful alien race to help them repopulate the planet according to their plans to save their own asses - those guys began as the government's 'alien investigation unit' back in the wake of Roswell, trying to create alien-human-hybrids to resist the alien virus that should subdue/eradicate humanity, but then decided to team up with the aliens because they couldn't make any progress in the hybridization department all by themselves), that same conspiracy was then mostly smashed in season 6 (involving the machinations of another alien faction, the so-called 'faceless rebels' who have since disappeared but were mentioned by Mulder in passing in the new episode, suggesting that they might return in the coming episodes). Season 7 then tied up the last loose ends from the early, among them the fate of Mulder's sister:

Mulder's father was a member of the Syndicate who worked with the aliens. In 1973, when the conspirators struck their deal with the aliens, they all had to give up one of their family members to seal the deal (in turn the conspirators got an alien fetus as source material for their hybridization experiments). Bill Mulder chose Samantha instead of Fox for this. Because Bill Mulder was reluctant to go on with the deal with the aliens (he wanted to continue to try to save all humanity by developing a vaccine against the alien virus which was covertly continued while the conspirators conspired with the aliens) Samantha Mulder was abducted from his house with Mulder witnessing it (the others were all taken at a military airbase).

People like Samantha Mulder made up the core subjects for hybridization experiments since the eventual goal was to make all the Syndicate members alien-human-hybrids (this is why a lot of hybrid clones of the young and adult Samantha show up throughout the series!). Eventually the first human being which was successfully transformed into such a hybrid was the Smoking Man's own ex-wife, Cassandra Spender. Samantha Mulder was returned by the aliens shortly after her first abduction, but not to the Mulder family but the Smoking Man who raised her alongside his son Jeffrey on another airbase. There she was abducted again on a regular basis and experimented on (both by military personnel and the aliens). Eventually she run away in 1979 and disappeared without a trace from a hospital before the Smoking Man could bring her back. Mulder eventually learns that she was physically taken into some sort of stellar afterlife/ghost dimension where she is happy (the ghost doing this apparently often 'save' children who are threatened to suffer great physical pain or certain death at the hands of some child murderer - he stumbles on this whole thing during an investigation of a child that disappeared the same way before she could be abducted by such a child murderer).

Mulder has indeed seen plenty of military UFOs throughout the course of the series (most notably in the second episode of the entire series, 'Deep Throat', as well as in the 'Dreamland' two-parter in season 6). That's nothing new, really, and quite correct that he wasn't exactly overwhelmed. However, he never inspected such aircraft in close detail, nor did anyone ever willingly show him such aircraft (he always had to sneak in to get a look).

Jack Bauer 24:

Spoiler

Yeah, that was him. The fact that he seems to be still suffering from partially burned tissue suggests that he really is the very same guy who was apparently burned to death in the last episode of the show. One assumes that he survived because the hybridization experiments provided him with the ability to regenerate/heal himself. Various human-alien hybrid closes that showed up during the show had such abilities. In fact, in the beginning of season 7 Mulder is transformed into such a hybrid through an accident (residue of the alien virus in his brain began transforming him into such a create after he came into contact with some pieces of a very special alien aircraft). The Smoking Man this alien tissue removed from Mulder's brain and implanted it into his own body with the intention to transform himself into a hybrid. Season 7 claimed that this didn't work as it was supposed, causing a terminal illness (the reason why he was wheelchair-bound and no longer able to smoke properly at the end of season 7, in season 9, and, presumably, even now).

Right now, the Smoking Man was killed and resurrected three times in this series. First his own colleagues had him shot in season 5, and his body disappeared (Skinner claims he had lost too much blood to survive but it is more likely that he saved him and helped him fake his death). Later he returns. In season 7 he suffers the above-mentioned terminal illness, resulting in Krycek throwing him down a steep staircase, presumably killing him. From that he returns in season 9 as 'the wise man', hiding as a white-haired guy in an Anasazi pueblo, one of the few places the alien replicas cannot go due to the minerals there. But they can shoot rockets into the pueblo, and we see him burned to death in slow motion...

 

Edited by Lord Varys

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

However, I'm also not sure if I like the new modern style all that much. Everything seems to be so shiny and bright. The dark and gloomy look of the show is as important as the story, if you ask me.

This isn't really new though, is it? That change happened after season five when they moved production from Vancouver to Los Angeles to accommodate Duchovny.  

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Oh, and the mythology isn't all that complicated.

That's one thing that really struck me re-watching the first seven seasons, it's not as convoluted and contradictory as I remembered. 

 

9 hours ago, Jack Bauer 24 said:

I'm thinking about starting the series from the beginning. When does it start going off the deep end?

There are bad episodes sprinkled throughout, but even the worst season has episodes worth watching. Especially if you're trying to track the mythology.  

 

I'm still holding out hope that the last of these six episodes takes place like a hundred years in the future with Scully as the "monster of the week."

Edited by RumHam

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The first movie is about the mythology, the second movie is not. It is essential a standalone episode dealing a little bit with Mulder and Scully's personal issues. They are still couple in that movie, though, and the fact that they don't know how or where their son William is comes up, too.

As to your questions:

  Reveal hidden contents

Scully is pregnant at the end of the seventh season. The child is apparently Mulder's which is only confirmed in season 9 (the child itself is born in the last episode of season 8, named William after Mulder's father. This child is surrounded with a lot of religious prophecy about the coming colonization of the earth by the aliens, which was supposed to begin in 2012. The child was either supposed to aid the alien colonization or successfully oppose/prevent it.

William is still alive. Shortly before the end of season 9 Scully gave him up for adoption. His conception was somewhat of a miracle because Scully was left infertile in the wake of her alien abduction in season 2. While the child is apparently Scully's and Mulder's biological offspring, and conceived naturally, it is also supposed to have alien DNA similar to those alien replicas (the super soldiers) that were replacing various humans in the last two seasons of the show.

The mystery of Mulder's sister is resolved in season 7. The first movie gave the first real answers on the alien conspiracy (a bunch of old men is working covertly with a very powerful alien race to help them repopulate the planet according to their plans to save their own asses - those guys began as the government's 'alien investigation unit' back in the wake of Roswell, trying to create alien-human-hybrids to resist the alien virus that should subdue/eradicate humanity, but then decided to team up with the aliens because they couldn't make any progress in the hybridization department all by themselves), that same conspiracy was then mostly smashed in season 6 (involving the machinations of another alien faction, the so-called 'faceless rebels' who have since disappeared but were mentioned by Mulder in passing in the new episode, suggesting that they might return in the coming episodes). Season 7 then tied up the last loose ends from the early, among them the fate of Mulder's sister:

Mulder's father was a member of the Syndicate who worked with the aliens. In 1973, when the conspirators struck their deal with the aliens, they all had to give up one of their family members to seal the deal (in turn the conspirators got an alien fetus as source material for their hybridization experiments). Bill Mulder chose Samantha instead of Fox for this. Because Bill Mulder was reluctant to go on with the deal with the aliens (he wanted to continue to try to save all humanity by developing a vaccine against the alien virus which was covertly continued while the conspirators conspired with the aliens) Samantha Mulder was abducted from his house with Mulder witnessing it (the others were all taken at a military airbase).

People like Samantha Mulder made up the core subjects for hybridization experiments since the eventual goal was to make all the Syndicate members alien-human-hybrids (this is why a lot of hybrid clones of the young and adult Samantha show up throughout the series!). Eventually the first human being which was successfully transformed into such a hybrid was the Smoking Man's own ex-wife, Cassandra Spender. Samantha Mulder was returned by the aliens shortly after her first abduction, but not to the Mulder family but the Smoking Man who raised her alongside his son Jeffrey on another airbase. There she was abducted again on a regular basis and experimented on (both by military personnel and the aliens). Eventually she run away in 1979 and disappeared without a trace from a hospital before the Smoking Man could bring her back. Mulder eventually learns that she was physically taken into some sort of stellar afterlife/ghost dimension where she is happy (the ghost doing this apparently often 'save' children who are threatened to suffer great physical pain or certain death at the hands of some child murderer - he stumbles on this whole thing during an investigation of a child that disappeared the same way before she could be abducted by such a child murderer).

Mulder has indeed seen plenty of military UFOs throughout the course of the series (most notably in the second episode of the entire series, 'Deep Throat', as well as in the 'Dreamland' two-parter in season 6). That's nothing new, really, and quite correct that he wasn't exactly overwhelmed. However, he never inspected such aircraft in close detail, nor did anyone ever willingly show him such aircraft (he always had to sneak in to get a look).

 

Thanks for all that info. Right now curiosity is going to keep me watching, but some of that thrill that I felt when I used to watch the old seasons is gone. At least they kept the same intro. It never fails to give me chills.

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It wasn't a home run,  but at least a solid double.

A whole lot to cram into 60 minutes. 

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It seems they sort of come back to established themes throughout the six episodes.

Spoilers/speculation based on the trailer for today's episode, 'Founder's Mutation':

Spoiler

This episode seems to be about genetic engineering, possibly involving alien DNA (then perhaps a continuation of the hybridization experiments). Some people are experimenting on children. This could be connected to Scully's work on those poor children who were born without ears that were mentioned and seen in 'My Struggle'.

Genetic engineering is a recurrent X Files themes, and was at times really brilliantly tackled in such early episodes like 'Eve' which don't have anything to do with the alien mythology.

 

2 hours ago, RumHam said:

This isn't really new though, is it? That change happened after season five when they moved production from Vancouver to Los Angeles to accommodate Duchovny.  

That's one thing that really struck me re-watching the first seven seasons, it's not as convoluted and contradictory as I remembered. 

 

There are bad episodes sprinkled throughout, but even the worst season has episodes worth watching. Especially if you're trying to track the mythology.  

 

I'm still holding out hope that the last of these six episodes takes place like a hundred years in the future with Scully as the "monster of the week."

Yeah, that was a thing back then, but in light of the fact that they returned to Vancouver for the new episodes I had hoped it would look more like that. But then, I actually don't felt the move to LA all that bad back in the day when I first watched season 6. They could still do some crazy stuff, and I fondly remember early episodes from season 6 like the one people's heads exploded when they drove too slowly, or the hilarious Bermuda Triangle Nazi Episode (finally getting around to watch 'The X Files' in English as a German is especially funny if you hear all the cast talking German - and there is actually a lot of German stuff in that show).

And, yeah, if you get the core of the mythology it isn't that complicated. Having lots and lots of smokescreens is to be expected if the truth is supposed to be huge secret, after all.

What sucked was that they really failed to explore the alien rebels angle after 'One Son' in season 6. There apparently had been plans in that direction, plans that would have prominently featured Krycek and Marita Covarrubias, but they were scrapped and instead they made other mythology episodes.

Scully's immortality should eventually be discussed, too. They took two episodes establishing that, after all ;-). But I guess they will take their time with that one - but it would really be a nice thing to feature her a hundred or a thousand years later in one form or another...

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Oh, I didn't realize these episodes were shot in Vancouver. Hopefully at least the were-monster one will have that classic X-files atmosphere. 

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So after last nights episode, are we to believe that the whole 2012 alien invasion was fake? If so I'm a little confused here. We had plenty of scenes with the members of the Syndicate talking about the invasion even when Molder wasn't around. Also how the heck is Spender/CSM still alive? The guy was blown up in the final episode of the original show.

 

This first episode only left me more confused than ever before.

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