Ironically, that’s the year “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” marked what appeared to be the end of the franchise.
Like virtually every other pop property these days, “The X-Files” is coming back into our lives. “The X-Files” six-episode return starts at 10 p.m. EST Sunday on Fox.
Hardcore fans don’t need an excuse to spend more time with Mulder and Scully. The rest of us can look to these five reasons to believe this reunion will be worth the wait.
- Gillian Anderson is so Much Better Now — Have you caught the actress in “The Fall?” She is simply amazing. The show is set in Northern Ireland, and Anderson plays the main character Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson. Stella is an exemplar of strength, competence and focus. She’s hardly a perfect detective or person. (Jamie Dornan of “50 Shades of Grey” frame is the lead creep. You can see how this helped him land the role of Christian Grey.) “The Fall” is like an amazing season of “The X-Files,” only without David Duchovny. If Anderson brings any of Stella into the new “X-Files,” we’re in for a treat.
- TV is Smarter — Since “The Sopranos,” TV has gotten steadily more intelligent and unafraid to test audiences. Shows like “Bates Motel,” “American Horror Story,” “Fargo,” “The Leftovers” and “Lost” (to name just a few) have taken supernatural horror on television to new levels. The bar is set high now, and I have faith “The X-Files” will roam this new, wide open territory with confidence.
- The “Monster of the Week + Ongoing Mystery” Format Still Works — It does.
- The Supporting Cast is Back — One of the things that made “the X-Files work,” besides the chemistry between Anderson and Duchovny, is the crack supporting cast. All the major players are back for the limited run series, including Mitch Pileggi as Walter Skinner and even William B. David as Smoking Man.
- The Northwest Coast Is a Perfect Setting — Shows like “Twin Peaks,” “The Killing” and “The X-Files” grab us in part because the rainy, foggy, uber green urban settings set a mysterious tone. I always believed that “The Killing” thrived because in the middle of summer, when the rest of the nation was facing record heat, viewers could escape into a continually overcast, and soggy, environment.
One reason to Fear the New ‘X-Files’…
- David Duchovny — After “Californication” not only jumped the shark, but then turned around, got off the motorcycle and had a weird three way with the shark and Evan Handler… I’m not sure what to think of the actor. For a while he seemed like the rightful heir to Harrison Ford (that distinction now lies with Tom Hardy). Hopefully Anderson is running the show this time, Duchovny is reduced to a sidekick and their wicked hot chemistry hasn’t changed a molecule.