A little over 21 years ago, I began seeing a trailer for a new show called The X-Files that looked intriguing. Ok, more than intriguing, because I am a sucker for anything science fiction. If it has aliens or paranormal activity, I’m going to give it a shot. I live by the motto: An Imagination is a Terrible Thing to Waste.
The problem in this case was that the network airing this show was FOX. My cable system 21 years ago didn’t even carry FOX. I persevered though. Sweet person that I am, I decided I needed to visit my grandparents ‘in the big city’, and traveled 120 miles to spend the weekend. Not so coincidentally, I found myself in the spare bedroom watching the Pilot episode while sitting on the hardest chair ever created by man. It may be hard to believe, but I was all by myself…neither my husband nor grandparents wanted to spend their Friday evening watching a show, and I think my grandmother rolled her eyes when I excused myself to watch the show about aliens.
The show began with a young woman running through the eerie trees in her blue nightgown, the rising wind, the creepy figure approaching her, followed by the dead body. Interesting, I thought.
Young Dana Scully appeared. She was obviously intelligent, professional, and beautiful in a real way. Granted, her fashion sense was lacking, but this was an F.B.I. office so I could forgive that lapse in judgment. Besides, the costume designers were the ones really at fault. Plus there was an ominous figure in the background and he just had to mean something bad for the new F.B.I agent. I was now more interested.
Then there was Special Agent Fox Mulder. I was immediately charmed. Maybe even a little bit in love. He was funny, quirky, brilliant, passionate, and oh-so-sexy. And so bold! It took courage to hang a poster than says, “I Want to Believe”. Obviously this was a man of conviction. What more could someone ask in a character?
It turns out that what I could ask for was chemistry. Mulder and Scully had chemistry like crazy. Don’t get me wrong – I was strictly ‘no romo’ in the early years of the show and I appreciated the fact that a man and woman could work together without immediately falling into bed with each other. But together, they were magic. I was enthralled every moment thereafter, even when the acting was something that made me groan (sorry, but Peggy O’Dell in the diner was painful to watch).
The Pilot ended with Cigarette Smoking Man in the Pentagon with that suspenseful music playing in the background, composed by the wonderful Mark Snow. When the credits rolled, I sat stupefied in that hard chair, not even minding the discomfort. My obsession was born.
I caught the show in a hit-and-miss fashion for the rest of the season (I couldn’t go to grandma’s house every weekend) but each week I read the TV Guide to see the plot. To my joy, our cable system began carrying FOX during the first part of season two and I never missed another episode. I loved the fact that there was a rational explanation and a woo-woo explanation for almost everything. I knew The Truth was Out There, but didn’t know what the show wanted us to believe.
A couple of seasons later I bought my first computer and joined the original FOX Forums. That was a life-changer. We were web 2.0 before the phrase was even created. I eagerly read every bit of gossip and spoiler about the show that I could find and discussed it online. Gradually, during the 4th season, my staunch view of “no romo” began to waver. Don’t even get me started about Scully’s behavior in Never Again — the Morgan and Wong duo kept me fuming for years and fostered endless forum debate over “Did they or Didn’t they?” My heart tumbled permanently during Memento Mori and at that point I ached for Mulder and Scully to be perfectly together always. Curses were heaped upon Chris Carter’s head by myself and other fans every episode thereafter because he refused to pair them romantically. We Philes even had secret terms such as “forehead sex” because we were so pitiful in our search for Mulder and Scully affection– heck, that term even made it into Urban Dictionary.
I was heartbroken like the rest of the fans when the show ended, especially because the mytharc was not resolved. The last bitter pill to swallow was when FOX closed the forums. Years later, XFiles 2 was announced and I joined a brand new site. I liked the movie, but i was livid at the end of the movie because the mytharc was never even mentioned. Really – they could talk about William and not alien invasion and the end of the world?
At the risk of sounding like the biggest fangirl in the world, I will admit that the obsession meant pets named for characters (my husband drew the line at naming my daughter Gillian or Dana), merchandise from the show (yes, I proudly display my Mulder and Scully Barbies), comic books, mugs, figurines, t-shirts, and a ridiculous amount of knowledge for all things XFiles. I could name every episode, provide a summary, and practically quote some episodes verbatim. I ended up starting XFiles Universe with some other members of the former site. I am that person (still) who throws X-Files references into the conversation only to be met with blank stares by the person with whom I am speaking. I even write fan-fiction occasionally. In case I sound too obsessed, I am part of other fandoms also (does that make me less geeky, or more?), but X-Files holds the biggest part of my little corner of the geekdom.
Who knew that 21 years later, the fandom would still exist? I’m proud of us – as a group we’ve participated in fundraisers (like the X-Philes for Japan Earthquake fundraiser), held fanfiction contests, viewing parties, hosted fantasy football leagues for XFiles fans, participated in sending Carter the Bear around the world (he wears a pin from the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial that I and another fan put on him), and campaigned for XFiles 3. I’ve met up with fans from all over the nation and made a world-wide community of friends. While I will never meet them, Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Mitch Pileggi, Chris Carter, and the rest of the cast and crew remain important. And it’s all due to a day 21 years ago, when Chris Carter produced a little bit of magic called The X-Files.
X-Files has always evoked a strong emotional response from fans, including me. So it was with delight that I received an advance copy of A Vision of Fire, written by Gillian Anderson (Scully, The X-Files) and Jeff Rovin. Many thanks to the publisher for sharing this book with me in return for an honest review.
Much like a proud family member of a fledgling author, I hoped that Anderson’s book would be riveting. I knew that Anderson wrote the “All Things” episode for The X-Files, and hoped she absorbed writing technique through some sort of mystical writer’s osmosis from the nine seasons of reading scripts for the series. Basically, I wanted an episode of The X-Files, one of the super clever episodes that left me talking about it for days. I was fearful that what I was going to read would be far from that goal. However, after reading the blurb released by the publishing company, I expected an action-packed science fiction thriller with hints of the supernatural, a story that would have the fringe benefit of drawing attention to The X-Files.
With great anticipation and a touch of trepidation, I began my Advance Copy. The story begins with an assassination attempt and exposition to allow the reader to understand the current politics leading to tremendous destabilization in the world. Soon, the reader begins to witness the strange events that afflict characters who are seemingly unrelated. Caitlin, the protagonist, is a child psychologist who is called in to help one of the victims. This sets her on a path that opens her eyes to the meta-physical world, and gives her the knowledge and insight to try to save the victims.
Not far into the story, I began making connections to The X-Files. Of course, this is not surprising since I am a long-standing fan and Gillian Anderson is, of course, well known for her role of Dana Scully, one of the F.B.I. agents in the series. Just as in the “All Things” episode penned by Anderson, the protagonist is an intelligent woman, there is a focus on religion, aliens, a little romance, and an ending that really doesn’t end. And, like a great episode of The X-Files, there are paranormal events and unexplained phenomena. I won’t go into details because I do not want to ruin the story for anyone.
The burning question however, is…Is this book any good?
And the answer is…yes. A Vision of Fire is good. My attention never waned, though at times my ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ was strained by the leaps in logic taken by Caitlin. When Special Agent Fox Mulder espoused hard-to-believe theories, fans knew that he had a long-standing background of researching these cases. With Caitlin, the protagonist, the supernatural events are new and presumably something with which she has had no experience. This makes her thought processes a little harder to accept.
In any good X-Files episode, the events of the story often left the viewer wondering if there was a supernatural cause or a human one, and there were a few red herrings thrown in just to confuse even more. In A Vision of Fire, this is true as well. The authors skillfully lead the readers to believe one explanation, then another, and another. Not until the end is there confirmation of which story is real. In the end, that ambiguity is what hooked me on the show, and it kept me hooked into Anderson’s book.
At the final page, my final emotional reaction is satisfaction: this is a good read and I look forward to the next one. I give this 4 out of 5 stars.
XFiles Universe hosts an annual fantasy football league. There are a few spots open for an owner. If you are interested, click here –>http://fantasy.nfl.com/registration/privateleaguejoin?leagueId=1700249. The id code is 1700249 and League Password is xfiles20. There is room for 5 more!
There is no cost and it is loads of fun!
Synopsis: Renowned child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is a single mom trying to juggle her job, her son, and a lackluster dating life. Her world is suddenly upturned when Maanik, the daughter of India’s ambassador to the United Nations, starts speaking in tongues and having violent visions. Caitlin is sure that her fits have something to do with the recent assassination attempt on her father—a shooting that has escalated nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan to dangerous levels—but when teenagers around the world start having similar outbursts, Caitlin begins to think that there’s a more sinister force at work.
In Haiti, a student claws at her throat, drowning on dry land. In Iran, a boy suddenly and inexplicably sets himself on fire. Animals, too, are acting irrationally, from rats in New York City to birds in South America to ordinary house pets. With Asia on the cusp of nuclear war, Caitlin must race across the globe to uncover the mystical links among these seemingly unrelated incidents in order to save her patient—and perhaps the world.
It sounds as if Anderson has put her X-Files work to good use in penning this story. This certainly sounds like something Mulder and Scully should investigate!
A Vision of Fire is scheduled to release on October 7, 2014 from Simon and Schuster. You can pre-order it by clicking on the Amazon link here on the XFU webpage. Hardcover is $18.63 and the Kindle version is $11.04.
Join us at XFiles Universe on June 1 in the XFU Chatroom to begin an official ReWatch of the first season of the stellar “The X-Files” series. At 7:00 p.m. central time, members and non-members alike will meet to watch Pilot, and each succeeding Sunday will feature one episode played in order of the original airing.
The X-Files maintains a strong fanbase. XFU adds new members weekly to the forums, with new fans and fans from the early days engaging in discussion about the series and the cast.
Airing from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002, the series aired for nine seasons and 202 episodes and made David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson into household names.
XFiles Universe (XFU) is a fan site begun in 2010.
Author Matt Martindale writes: Having fulfilled his contractual obligations at the end of the previous season, David Duchovny appeared in no episodes except for the finale. This meant that Fox Mulder missed out on the last hurrah of his sidekicks, and that is another testament to how wrong the whole thing was. The Gunmen were Mulders’ support crew. When everyone else, even Scully didn’t believe, they were there backing him all the way so for them to die without Mulder there to pay tribute to them was spitting in the face of their very purpose on the show.
The death of The Lone Gunmen in the final weeks of The X-Files was a kick in the teeth to loyal fans. The deaths carried no plot points further, did not tie up any lose ends, and in no way honored their contribution to the series.
The full article can be found HERE.
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Chris Carter, and writer/producers David Amann, Vince Gilligan, Glen Morgan, John Shiban, Howard Gordan, Darin Morgan, and James Wong are all confirmed to attend.
This event will take place July 18th at 3:30 p.m. in Ballroom 20, the conference arena’s second largest space.
The X-Files Comic Book panel will be July 19 from 1:45-2:45pmm with a Q&A session for the Season 10 series. Gillian Anderson will also attend that, as well as a signing at the Lightspeed Fine Art Booth.
This beginning to Season 10 is AMAZING! No spoilers here, but check out the photo in this article. That’s Scully.
Scully’s in danger.
And wouldn’t you like to know why…
As for the mechanics of the comic book – the art work inside the comic book captures the essence of the characters. Of course it doesn’t match the depth of the artistry on the cover, but it’s good. Really good.
The word choice is excellent. I can hear Scully, Mulder, and Skinner speaking as I read the words.
The plot – Wow. I’m not saying another word about it. Just wow. Don’t let anyone talk to you about it and ruin the story.
Joe Harris and Michael Walsh have done an excellent work.
Just go buy one. Support the franchise, and have your copy (or two) to read and reread.
Then hit the XFU forums to discuss! (Spoilers allowed there). Click HERE to go to the forums for the Season 10 series.
The mythology of X-Files was a convoluted plot that drove The X-Files series through nine seasons. Interspersed with monster-of-the-week episodes, writers always returned to the heart of the show – Mulder and Scully’s quest for the truth.
IDW’s Season 10 will continue the mythology. Writer Joe Harris, in an interview with PreviewsWorld.com, said, ” I really approached this gig as both a fan and a creator, honestly. I kind of feverishly pecked out an outline and pitch for the first couple of years, really detailing an opening arc that would re-establish what The X-Files fans refer to as the “mytharc” — the overarching storyline involving extra-terrestrials and the conspiracy within the government to cover up their existence, the collaboration of certain powerful figures seeking to influence and steer things along, Mulder’s quest to discover the truth, Scully’s ordeal as both an abductee and miracle mother, and all that stuff.”
Harris also alluded to the fact that the comic series truly is a continuation of The X-Files. “We’re doing canonical stuff in The X-Files Season 10.” Chris Carter is working as Executive Producer of Season 10.
Joe Harris and Michael Walsh are the team creating Season 10 of The X-Files.
Fans are breathlessly anticipating holding the first IDW X-Files comic in their hands. This fan expects hers on Wednesday, June 19, but delivery dates may vary from store to store. Looking ahead to other issues, I see The Lone Gunmen, CSM,
Taken from the IDW homepage:
In the opening story arc, “Believers,” readers will catch up with Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, living normal lives together under secret identities. However, a visit from an old friend threatens to rip them from suburban anonymity, as they learn that someone is preying upon everyone involved in THE X-FILES. Prepare to revisit familiar faces-some very unexpected, threats old and new, and an intriguing mystery designed to return the beloved franchise to its former glory!
Fans can pre-order the comic books from INTER-COMICS.COM (the subscription exclusive variant, as well as the regular cover ), Mega City Comics in the UK ( 6-issue subscription packages for The X-Files: Season 10, with the option of the regular covers or subscription variants), and Hastings may take orders, as well.
IDW posted covers for season 10 #1 of The X-Files.