Sunday, February 12, 2023

Maybe there's hope

Over the last year, my head's been a bit all over the place, but I've managed to keep my brain in gear by returning to simple comforts.

Photo of Scully and Mulder from The X-Files

I've written about The X-Files on my blog on a few occasions in the past, but it's really one of those shows that has got me through a lot over the years. I have fond memories of hearing the buzz about the series from the States, though we had to wait a bit longer before it aired on the BBC in the UK. I was at University when that first episode aired, and I think Debs and I were around at a friend's house for the evening especially hyped up ready for that first episode. Snacks at the ready, that opening text saying "The following story is inspired by actual documented accounts." had me gripped, and by the time the light from the UFO shone down, and the leaves were spinning around, I was absolutely hooked.

As I mentioned before, there have been a few series on TV that I have become completely obsessed with, starting with Moonlighting, then Twin Peaks, and on to The X-Files, Lost, and Buffy. But up there, at the top of the list sit two of those series - Twin Peaks and The X-Files. Twin Peaks I love for its weirdness, David Lynch's ability to just go with it and do things how he wants, and Mark Frost's perfect encapsulation of a small town gripped with an evil paranormal presence. I was so obsessed with Twin Peaks, and I still love it. 

Sharing the top spot of my favourite TV series is The X-Files, which took some of my favourite elements of Twin Peaks (FBI agents investigating weirdness) and created an amazing series that spanned 200+ episodes and two movies. 

I was just as obsessed. I bought magazines, the action figures, t-shirts, the video games. Heck I bought the series on VHS, I bought the VHS Evidence box collections, and when the series was released on DVD I bought it again in those numbered limited edition sets. And then, when a magazine partwork started up for the series, I bought it again on DVD so I could have the magazine. I'd been watching it on Disney+ and lamenting not purchasing the BluRay set of all 11 seasons when it first came out as it sank into unavailability, but luckily they did a reprint and my lovely wife bought me the set for Christmas, allowing me to finish off the last few series in glorious HD with heaps of extras.

Heck, while I was a student, I didn't have a TV except for a little black and white portable in the rented room I was in, but a friend used to record the series from Sky and loan me the VHS tapes, and I watched them in the University library on the VCRs they had in there on my lunch hours. I couldn't wait for the BBC showings that were months and months after Sky.

When I graduated, another friend knew of my obsession with The X-Files and recommended a roleplaying game with similar themes called Conspiracy X, which lead to me eventually writing for the publisher (Eden Studios), writing a new edition of Conspiracy X, and really launching my roleplaying game writing career - it's all down the The X-Files.

Over a year ago, I started a rewatch of The X-Files, and over more recent months it has been the highlight of my week. Whenever things got tough mentally, or I felt stressed, I knew I had another episode of The X-Files I could pop on in my rewatch to distract me from the world.

Maybe There's Hope print by Easyqueenie
This morning, however, I reached the end. 

My Struggle IV, the last episode of Season 11. And my rewatch was done. I know people complain about the last series, but I really enjoyed it. And watching it all in quick succession made the themes of the series really fit together as a whole.

Would I like to see more? Heck yes!!

I want to discover Skinner is alive. I want to see Miller and Einstein become the new agents in the office, with Mulder becoming their 'deep throat' contact, alerting them to cases. Or even two new agents completely. Shake it up a little. Let Mulder and Scully have some peace, stepping in for the big episodes if necessary.

Just because CSM was shot (multiple times) does that mean the conspiracy's plans are halted? Was the virus still going to go ahead? (The X-Files once again predicting real events...)

Will there be any more? I don't know. But as Scully said at the end of Season Nine - 'Maybe there's hope.'

What next for me? I mentioned online that I was going to watch The Lone Gunmen series again (my wife's just bought me the series on DVD as my original boxed set was the wrong region and we don't have a multiregion player anymore). After The Lone Gunmen I mentioned starting a rewatch of The X-Files again, and someone commented that I could watch something else? I do watch other things, a LOT of other things, but don't you have that favourite movie you watch when you're feeling down, or a favourite book you reread every summer? For me, The X-Files is that comfort watch. 


Carlos de la Cruz said...

My father-in-law is a devoted follower of X-files. I like the show, but not as much as him. I've watched many episodes and one of the movies. It was a good show.

Every summer I read Idle days on the Yann, by Lord Dunsany. Also, I re-read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings twice a decade. My father-in-law asked me why I re-read books I've read so many times. I said the really good books are those you're willing to read more than once.

Dunromin University Press said...

My abiding memory of the X-Files is when I was living in Reading, renting off a guy called Roy. We would sit and watch TV together in silnce with the occasional comment, except when the X-Files came on and he would suddenly start random conversations, or start telling me about his day. He wasn't doing it on purpose, he was just lost cos his brain didnt work like that. Then his mind would wander and he'd feel the need to talk. I asked him not to SOOO many times! Enfuriating...