Mulder & Scully Meet The Were-monster
My Struggle II
After a fourteen year absence, it was never going to be easy to bring back the characters and the mythology that worked so well when the show was at its peak in the 90s. The tenth season of The X-Files is a bit of a convoluted mess, with another big conspiracy that encompasses the entire world and a desire to try and cram as much as possible into 6 episodes. There’s also an awkward chemistry between returning stars Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) for vast periods of this season but thankfully, the stand alone episodes are again of very good quality, showing just why this show is well loved worldwide.
The story this season revolves around the returning FBI agents once again thrust into a global conspiracy. The issue with this is that the conspiracy does feel a little outdated. Perhaps with a renewed focus or a changed mythology to fit with the more modern times it would have worked but for me, it just didn’t have the same drive and appeal that the original series had. The mythology then felt more honed in on the time period, playing on the paranoia engulfing the nation but here it just never quite works.
The returning duo of Mulder and Scully are also joined by returning characters The Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davies) and Director Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) and seeing the familiar faces feels like a welcome reunion in the show. The biggest problem is with the jarring chemistry between the two FBI agents. Fourteen years is a long time and for a lot of the episodes the actors never quite manage to settle into the rhythm. As such, the conspiracy that’s explained by some of the new faces this year never quite manage to hit the highs or sustain attention while the two lead actors try to rekindle the chemistry that made the show so appealing for such a long time.
Having said all of that, the tenth season of The X-Files does manage to settle into that rhythm toward the end but the pacing feels a little off and it comes too late in this short mini-series. Its a shame too as there’s some nice ideas that never quite feel fully formed and with only 6 episodes the show feels both stretched thin and light on development. In many ways, The X-Files manages to tick the box to show Mulder and Scully do still have what it takes to take on the roles but its disappointing to see the writing a little misguided and unsure of itself.
Overall then, the tenth season is a bit of a disappointment. With only six episodes the show moves at a blistering pace but its the stand alone episodes that really shine. With an emphasis on building another global conspiracy to engulf the show and an awkward chemistry between Mulder and Scully for vast periods of this season, the tenth season feels mediocre at best. During The X-File’s absence on TV, Fringe managed to effectively fill the slot and modernise the X-Files format, showing there is an audience for science fiction mystery, but here the tenth season feels outdated and stuck in the past. Its a shame too as there’s some nice ideas but they’re never fully realized and a little too complicated for its own good. Perhaps with some more episodes X-Files could have had a successful reboot and really fleshed out the ideas but based on this evidence, it’s simply okay and not the brilliant reboot many might be expecting.