Last night, the six episode mini-series of The X-Files premiered, and the second episode will air tonight Monday 25 Jan, with subsequent episodes airing on Mondays on Fox at 8pm ET. Though last night’s initial show was a little too talky, and just a little too heavy-handed cramming in all the current political atmosphere and 9-11 events, it was still an exciting and welcome re-appearance of two of my favorite characters. Agent Mulder (David Duchovny), who spent 9 years of the original cult classic searching not only for evidence of aliens and for his lost sister, but investigating other odd phenomena, returned last night, notably worse for wear after his division in the basement of the FBI had been shut down.
In fact, Mulder was so difficult to find that someone phoned his former partner Scully (Gillian Anderson), now a surgeon, to contact him.
She asked why they thought she knew how to contact him, but, in fact, she did.
Then a talk-show host who seemed a combination of doomsday prepper and Edward Snowden revealing the NSA’s spying on Americans (and others) came to them to let them know that the two were needed for a new investigation.
Though Scully and Mulder don’t look like this anymore,
the chemistry between the two actors and their characters was still there.
The show began with the alien landing in Roswell, New Mexico (which one character mispronounced as “Ross-well” rather than “Roz-well”, and which the opening credits indicated was located in NW New Mexico rather than in the southeastern quarter of the state. Still, the broken up space-craft was what you’d expect from something which supposedly happened in 1947, as was the reaction of the government and military agents to finding the wounded alien: they shot it.
The Snowden-prepper took Scully and Mulder to the home of a young woman who claimed to have been abducted several time, to have been impregnated by aliens, and to have had the fetuses forcibly removed from her body. As usual, Mulder was more convinced and interested than Scully, though Scully, now the physician-surgeon, took some of Svetna’s blood to analyze it for “alien DNA.”
Scully analyzed it twice before analyzing her own blood. Initially, Scully lied and told Svetna and the others that she had no alien blood. Svetna went on-air and told reporters that she’d made a mistake and had never been abducted. Mulder was upset that “they got to her,” bringing back the classic conspiracy theory regarding the ever-threatening and all-powerful they that made the show such a classic.
Scully had to break it to Mulder that she herself has alien DNA.
As a huge fan of the original show, I’m not sure how I missed that Scully got abducted, if that’s what happened, but no other reason was given for the appearance of the alien DNA. Also, she told Mulder about her DNA because the “two of [them] have a child together.”
Dang! How in the world did I miss that? I thought I’d seen every episode of every one of the original 9 seasons, created and written by Chris Carter, but though I knew that Scully’s character dramatically changed from cynic and sort-of-spy on Mulder’s character to more of an equal partner, and that they were attracted to each other, I didn’t know they had a child.
Josh Rhoten listed “Five Excellent Episodes of the [Original] X-Files” to watch before the premiere, and I guess I’ll have to watch them.
If only to see if it reveals some of the missing elements from last night’s episode.
In any event, Svetna was kidnapped by an alien space-craft, the usual goverment-military baddies showed up to destroy a replica of an alien spacecraft that could move on electro-magnetic fields (i.e., without fuel) and disappear to boot, and the Snowden-prepper’s website went off-line. Scully was warned “Don’t Give Up” and she reached out again to Mulder.
We were left with an appearance of Mulder’s and Scully’s arch-nemesis, Cigarette-Man, though someone was placing his cigarette into a tube in his throat last night.
Lots of ominous overtones and exciting story-telling.
The only weakness I found — though my partner Tom didn’t mention it at all, never having watched the original show, but knowing the premise — was the rather heavy-handed “Oh, the entire government of every country all over the world is in on all this and look at all the information they collect on private citizens and what do they use it for” routine.
You know, like the Book of Face doesn’t collect information via the things it hides in your computer. Like Apple doesn’t know everything that’s on every device you have, whether or not you back it up to their iCloud, not that all the devices synch over wi-fi every two seconds. Like the cell-phone companies don’t collect all the “meta-data” — with which you can learn everything — from every customer they have. But, okay, let’s go along with it: only the government collects all this information.
And what’s done with it?
Hide the existence of aliens from us.
A bit behind the times, I thought.
Maybe the government and the military could hide lots of things in 1947 in the middle of the New Mexico desert, but today? With all the “spies” and informants and others who want to hold the government accountable for its secrets? So that part of the show was a little too simplistic for me, especially now that celebrities can’t even have affairs or be homosexual or smoke marijuana or go into rehab without being “outed”, usually by another person involved, whom the celebrity trusts, and who gets paid by the tabloids to the “inside scoop.”
So, Mulder and the prepper guy were a little too talky.
I know they were trying to make it clear that the show was supposed to be happening now and trying to make the conspiracy even bigger than it was in the original series, but that part didn’t work for me. They could have shown Mulder getting a new cell-phone and advising Scully to do the same, and having him throw his away each time he used it. Scully, of course, would have been skeptical about going through all that nonsense.
Until she got the tests back about the alien DNA.
Then, just like all the members of the crime family on The Sopranos, she would have started buying throw-away cell-phones and constantly checking over her shoulder, too.
Definitely worth watching, however, especially since I’m guessing that now that they’ve brought us up to 2016, the talkity-talk-talk will decrease dramatically.
Airs Mondays on Fox at 8p.m. ET (e2 on M 25 Jan, with e3-6 on subsequent Mondays). If you missed last night’s premiere, “My Struggle,” you can watch it free on Fox.