It was only Tuesday and I was having a bad week, overwhelmed at the day job, suffering from seasonal allergies, and worried how much the veterinarian was going to charge for my cat’s annual visit that afternoon.
Then I heard the news. You know, the news that Fox was officially bringing The X-FILES back for a limited six-episode run with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their roles and Mulder and Scully, and a miraculous thing happened. All of the chaos around me faded away. I spent the rest of the day in an absurdly good mood, grinning like an idiot, completely worthless at the day job because I was too busy exchanging emails with friends who were fellow X-Philes. When the vet receptionist handed me the bill that afternoon, I smiled, said, “Thanks!” and didn’t cringe at the cost. Well, maybe I cringed a little, but still.
I know. It’s ridiculous that a TV show, for heaven’s sake, could turn my frown upside down so quickly. Especially when that TV show has been off the air for 13-plus years.
But you only have to look at the type of books I write to understand this is THE X-FILES and it had a profound effect on me. I still remember the night the first episode aired live on television. I had just started college and was starting a new journey, one I was uncertain about, one that both terrified and excited me, and one that made me feel more like an outsider than I already did. I had always been a bit of a geek, interested in the paranormal and science fiction, quiet and kind of a loner, too. Suddenly, there was a guy named Mulder who had an “I Want to Believe” poster in his office who ran around investigating UFOs, monsters and conspiracy theories. He was smart, funny, and sexy. And there was a woman named Scully who was skeptical, but she was intelligent, witty, badass and was right there at Mulder’s side no matter how harrowing things got.
I look at THE X-FILES as the birth of the modern day cool nerds. I made friends in college because of Mulder and Scully. People who already seemed really cool loved THE X-FILES as much as I did and didn’t judge me for all of the geeky things I liked. It gave us something to talk about when ordinarily we wouldn’t have said a word to each other. We discussed the possibilities of Bigfoot, aliens and the Loch Ness Monster between classes. We all admired the heck out of Scully and wanted to date Mulder — or vice versa, depending on your orientation. I wasn’t such an outsider anymore.
Not to mention, THE X-FILES became a cult hit, and suddenly paranormal romance books became a thing. Like, a really big thing. Other paranormal-centric TV shows followed — SUPERNATURAL, FRINGE, LOST — but none have lived up to THE X-FILES in my eyes. When I met Gillian Anderson at DragonCon a few years ago, I could barely say a word to the woman because I was so nervous, and I don’t get nervous around celebrities. I remember simply saying “Thank you” because how do you express gratitude to an actress for bringing to life a character who feels like one of your best friends, who was there to help you through good times and bad without even realizing it? You know, without sounding like some whacko stalker? So I just said “Thank you” and probably mumbled some other nonsense that embarrassed me, but whatever. I MET SCULLY! Ha!
The revived series might suck — you can’t be a true X-Phile without admitting some episodes were sloppy at best and the theatrical movies didn’t turn out too well and you either love or hate Chris Carter as a writer — but until I see it, I remain hopefully optimistic. And excited!
I bought a replica poster of Mulder’s “I Want to Believe” poster at an X-FILES convention once, many, many years ago. I assume it’s in storage now, but hearing the news that Mulder and Scully will be back on TV again has made me want to search for it and hang it up. I think it’d be a nice complement to my book covers.
Come to think of it, I think every book I’ve written has had at least one brief reference to Mulder and Scully in it somewhere. It’s the least I can do for those two.
So tell me: Are you excited to see the show return?
Learn more about Angela Campbell’s books at www.AngelaCampbellOnline.com.