X is for… (#atozchallenge)
X is for…
Once upon a few years ago everyone knew what to buy me for Christmas and Birthdays -anything X-Files related. My favourite ever gift was this gold alien that makes a screaming sound if you bang its head against something (I used to scare my sis doing that).
I even collected X-Files cards and made them a box to go in, which I must still have somewhere. Sad, I know. Funnily enough yesterday I went to a session on what the speaker termed ‘Fanish activities’, her focus being Vampire based knitting. I cant knit and I don’t write fan fiction (perhaps surprisingly as a writer) but go mad on the whole collecting thing. I even ‘drew’, and I use the word loosely, a cartoon Mulder and Scully. At University when learning about the therapeutic uses of pottery I made some X-files bits including a fruit bowl (currently in use in our house) and a Spaceship complete with Alien on a stand. The stand holds our washing up brushes now. I am still very proud of the X on that, I like the effect of the dripping glaze. I hope to add photos of my geekishness for you to see but will need to do that later when i can find the picture and spaceship that are packed away somewhere, so I will schedule this post for early and tease you with a later reveal.
I guess for me, as with any fan, part of the enjoyment of being a fan of a particular tv series, book/book series or movie or genre is about interacting with it in some way outside the media itself. That can be by taking part in activities that aim to recreate aspects of the media or to talk to or create a narrative (story) with the media, to make it part of your life and your story maybe. I wonder how much being a fan and engaging in fan activities is acknowledged as an occupation by occupational therapists and their clients.
Anywho for those of you who don’t know this show and what I’m blathering on about, where were you during 1993-2002ish?
The X-Files stars David Duchovny as Fox Mulder, a believer in extra-terrestrial life and Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully a skeptic. They work for the FBI to solve/investigate X-Files, unexplained or spooky cases and they are dab hands at holding torches and guns at the same time! Other notable characters were Alex Krycek (who I thought, along with Mulder, was somewhat dishy), Skinner, The Cigarette Smoking Man and The Lone Gunmen (men!!).
Now, I am ashamed to admit that despite owning the DVDs I have never actually watched all of the X-Files. To be honest I know I watched up to S6 but after that just looking at the episode titles on http://www.imdb.com I’m not sure. I haven’t watched S9 or the second film for sure. The thing is it’s now too late down the line to just watch the last few series, I’m going to have to start from the beginning to get back into it (how I wish I could be paid to sit at home, watch Tv and read and write).
Now the series spawned two major catchphrases, ‘The Truth is Out There’ and ‘I Want to Believe’. The first in the show refers mainly to Mulder’s search for the truth about what happened to his sister who he believes was abducted by aliens, and obviously more generally for the process of discovery or solving the spooky cases (which Dana likes to attribute to a neat scientific cause). The catchphrase has been used by conspiracy theorists to refer to government ‘cover-ups’ such as Area 51 and the Roswell alien crash landing and alien autopsy video. The second ‘I Want to Believe’ is on a poster along with a picture of a flying saucer in the agents’ office. Now I’m not entirely sure that personally I want to believe. For all of my ‘love’ of this genre when people start talking to me about real life ghosts or if I stop too long to consider the existence of any extra-terrestrials that are not ET or the kids from Escape to/Return From Witch Mountain (love these films) then I get a bit freaked out (though I still sit and watch things to fuel these fears like Independence Day, V, War of the Worlds etc etc -idiot!).
Despite the show being about aliens and the paranormal the episode that most clearly sticks out in my mind as being the most creepy and scary was Home (S4, E2). This concerns an icky case of serious in-breeding and is more akin to a horror film, deformed monsters in the woods type, not my favourite type of horror at all. I like my horror all self-referential and comic and jumpy like the Scream franchise (go see Scream 4 it is fab). As a side note when watching back Scream 1,2&3 with a friend the films are actually far less gory than I remembered and so much of it must have been done through suggestion which is far more powerful (for scaring the bejeebus out of me anyway).
The other thing that The X-Files did was to make me notice that some series creators give actual titles to episodes, this is something I enjoy (with Buffy, Angel, Charmed, Gilmore Girls etc) in seeing what meaning they may place on an episode and what pop-culture references they make with them.
But the element of The X-Files that I enjoyed the most was the will they, won’t they relationship tension between Mulder and Scully. Their relationship made this otherwise otherworldly show seem real and their characters got me invested in their search.
I see echoes of this in Bones between Booth and Brennan. Does anybody reckon their ‘We will be together on such a such a date’ piece of paper burning is going to come true? Now this is something ‘I want to believe’!
Thanks for reading: this waffly post was bought to you by Kirsty and the letter X (should have done this on V – could have got in a mention for the Sesame Street counting vampire count!)
Posted on April 28, 2011, in #am writing (and all things writing related), April A-Z Challenge, Kirsty rambles on about life, the universe, tv, and everything! and tagged Blogging from A-Z Challenge April 2011, X-Files. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.