6 Reasons to Believe in The X-Files
Those of us who believed “the truth was out there” are in a bit of a lather, thanks to the welcome news that The X-Files will be back early in 2016. US broadcaster Twentieth Century Fox has confirmed that a six-episode series will begin production in June with the series to air from 24 January 2016, with original stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson at the helm.It’s been 13 years since the end of the nine-season run of the series that became a pop-culture phenomenon. Two subsequent feature films (X-Files: Fight the Future and X-Files: I Want to Believe) extended the series and its mythology onto the big screen.
Fox has just released the first teaser for the new series to whet our appetite for the icon team of Scully and Mulder getting back together.
Here are six reasons why we’re excited to see FBI investigators Fox Mulder and Dana Scully on the small screen again. And why you should be, as well. While there has been plenty of great television created since Mulder and Scully looked into all things hard-to-explain, The X-Files remains a landmark production of enormous impact that you need to be aware of.
We Want to Believe
The staple of the series was the poster that hung in Mulder’s office, that stated: “I Want to Believe”. It became a pop-culture catch cry, as people all over the world delved into the weird and wonderful other-worldly X-Files episodes each week. Series creator Chris Carter describes the show’s absence as “a 13-year commercial break”. He added: “The good news is the world has only gotten that much stranger, a perfect time to tell these six stories.” The show’s resounding “I Want to Believe” theme hit upon that core human condition, in a way like no other show has. Because we all need to keep asking why we believe, what we believe and what, indeed, is the nature of belief.
A Culture Shaper
Gary Newman, chair and CEO of Fox Television Group, said recently: “The X-Files was not only a seminal show for both the studio and the network, it was a worldwide phenomenon that shaped pop culture – yet remained a true gem for the legions of fans who embraced it from the beginning. Few shows on television have drawn such dedicated fans as The X-Files, and we’re ecstatic to give them the next thrilling chapter of Mulder and Scully they’ve been waiting for.”
The skeptic and the believer
Scully was a card-carrying Catholic and alien skeptic. Mulder was an alien hunter. Many of their discussions every week were built around what to believe and what not to believe. Scully would always posit that we are not alone because we have faith, whereas Mulder would believe we were not alone in the universe for other reasons — such as “little green men”. Their conversations were something of a TV first, in that the show continually asked many more questions than it answered – sometimes frustratingly so. The show also regularly delved into what it is to be human, as well as our capacity for the belief in the unknown. This made it mark-in-your-diary viewing each week.
Such was the rapport between Mulder and Scully, in their quest to explain the unexplained, that Duchovny and themselves became one of the most celebrated couples on television. Although Duchovny and Anderson have moved on – Anderson to the UK and many literary adaptations; most famously, Duchovny went to the TV series Californication – they never found as much favour as out of the celebrated X-Files.
It exposed an underlying truth about us
An underlying truth that the show undoubtedly tried to get across was the idea that others with differing opinions to us, hold valuable insights that we can learn from. Plus, in listening to them, we can come nearer to the truth. As the show went along, skeptic Scully — who obviously believes in a different supernatural power than her partner — becomes open to Mulder’s assertions. In turn Mulder, who believed in aliens, became more discerning.
We’re more open to “believing” in the supernatural than we were before
The show subtly put forward a belief in things we didn’t understand. In essence, it created a generation who didn’t just want to grow up to be like Fox Mulder and expose the truth of the world, but also who refused to have a simplistic view of why things are the way they are. Or, as the Apostle Paul puts it, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) Forty years ago, when the cover of Time asked “Is God Dead?”, few may have agreed with Paul’s statement, or at least been willing to admit to it. But Paul’s statement really isn’t too far from something Agent Mulder would have said himself. And today, I don’t know if you’d find too many Mulder admirers who would scoff at it either.