Sunday 27 December 2015
2016 promises to be an interesting year on TV. We’ll hopefully see return seasons of Blindspot, Quantico, NCIS, NCIS: LA, The Blacklist, The Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds, Doctor Who, and any number of other shows that, quite frankly, many of us would consider to be unmitigated cr@p. However, primarily the most interesting show for me is the six-episode return of The X Files. Its return is so anticipated that it’s not just a ‘return’ but is considered a six-episode event.
Back in the day, I was a fan of The X Files . . . a big fan . . . huge fan . . . actually, a massive fan. But even my fanaticism had a limit, and somewhere between the end of season four and the beginning of season five, I stopped watching. In part, that had to do with the fact that the heads of the channel broadcasting the show decided to put it on in a later timeslot; ratings were a likely cause of this change. I had all intention of getting back into watching it, and then learned that David Duchovny left the show, replaced by Robert Patrick, and there seemed little point in watching any more of the show.
I did watch The X Files movies, and they were enjoyable, but I never regained that fanaticism that I once had. Maybe I’d outgrown the show. Maybe the stories were less appealing. Maybe I really just watched for Duchovny. Whatever the shift in my view, The X Files simply became a show that I used to love, and it was relegated to the occasional thought every now and then. My X Files books, comics, postcards, and CDs were stashed away with all the other books and CDs that I own, and never opened or played again.
Then came word that Chris Carter was bringing the show back for a limited season in order to finish things off, and wrap up the mythology arc. And that’s fair enough. After all, everyone loves a nicely finished off show, don’t they? None of that leave-you-hanging stuff.
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are reprising their roles of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Mitch Pileggi comes back as their boss, Walter Skinner, and we’ll see a few others return to reprise their original roles as well. The return of Duchovny piques my interest. I’m eager to see if he’s still got Mulder in him, especially given the range of other roles Duchovny’s taken on since leaving the show. Incidentally, on a side note, check out Duchovny’s novel Holy Cow. It’s a pretty good read.
Gillian Anderson has also taken on a wide variety of roles post-Scully including roles in Bleak House, and Great Expectations, and Stella Gibson in The Fall. Like Duchovny, Anderson has also made the move into literature, co-writing a trilogy with Jeff Rovin, two books of which have already been published – A Vision Of Fire, and A Dream Of Ice. I quite enjoyed A Vision Of Fire, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to A Dream Of Ice over the summer break. Again, it will be interesting to see what Anderson brings to Scully now that she has so much more experience.
On the whole, I’m looking forward to this six-episode event, but I have some reservations about it too. I’m sure Chris Carter will bust his hump to ensure that the end product is top class, and not simply a shadow of the original series. Still, I do wonder if it will actually be as good as the first couple of seasons. I wonder if I’ll be left cringing at an embarrassing return to the show, and characters. I wonder if it’s going to be worth watching, or if it’s being brought back to satisfy some studio executive’s own fanaticism for the show, or for ratings, or worse still, just to make money because those reasons will ensure that it is a failure, and that fans are left wanting and disappointed.
I’m not too impressed with the TV and film industry’s desire to follow the reboot and remake formula instead of financing new and original ideas. I understand that the sole purpose of studios is to make money, and if they can entertain people along the way, well, that’s an added bonus. I understand that audiences seem to be asking for these reboots . . . at least that’s what the studios are telling us. Oh, wait, there’s some déjà vu right there. I’m positive I’ve already written a post about reboots and remakes, and I’m pretty sure I used those exact words. A little more faith in original ideas would be great, and a little more financing of those ideas would be even better.
I could go on and on about this, but I’d get nowhere fast. So, here’s to what is hopefully an interesting year in television.