New X-Files a welcome rehash of 'greatest hits'
NINE seasons and two movies later, the ground-breaking sci-fi drama series The X-Files has returned for a six-part mini-series, bringing back iconic characters in typically dramatic - if largely familiar - fashion.
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return as Federal Bureau of Investigation agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, respectively, who are assigned once more to the X-Files, to deal anew with mysterious activities involving extraterrestrials and the paranormal. Creator Chris Carter and his creative cohorts pit the duo against the bizarre and forces beyond their ken.
Mulder is still the guy who wants to believe; Scully overanalyses her partner's eagerness to accept the seemingly inexplicable and debunks him.
Five episodes along, it is more of the same: The massive conspiracy concerning aliens has resurfaced and brings back a persistent villain, and there are usually no conclusive answers to conundrums of the week. The rebirth of the conspiracy angle can be off-putting - the older incarnation of the show became too convoluted because of the larger story arcs' twists and puzzles.
Anderson is back in fine acting form; she is more intriguing now as Scully is being updated, despite her tiring scepticism. Highlights include recurring concern for her and Mulder's child, whom they put up for adoption over a decade ago.
Duchovny still speaks in that distinctive monotone; Mulder is a little wiser and strangely funnier - he is still devoted to his mission, though he admits that believing in aliens has become a punchline.
The return is a welcome one - a "greatest hits" rehash, in a way. But with the finale looming, will it offer a satisfying answer to the new conspiracy-related questions it posed?
Only time will tell.
This compressed season should spark new interest - and, just as importantly, make room for necessary change.
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
The X-Files is aired on Fox (StarHub TV Channel 505, Singtel TV Ch 330) every Tuesday at 9pm.