Is 2016 Still A Place For The X-Files?

Is 2016 Still A Place For The X-Files?

Is The Truth Still Out There?


Tripwire’s friends at New Statesman ran an article asking whether in a post-9/11 world, there is still a place for The X-Files, written by our friend Andrew Harrison so here is an excerpt from the piece…

We already live in interesting times. What is surprising – in a world beset by terrorism, climate change, war and economic instability – is the human commitment to making the times even more interesting (read: horrible) than they need to be. Open up your Facebook page and, unless you have chosen your friends with uncommon care, you will see a cavalcade of chemtrails, false flags, vaccination plots, Illuminati schemes, Mossad blueprints to create Isis, and other tinfoil-hattery. As David Aaronovitch showed in his book Voodoo Histories, conspiracy theories answer a deep human need: the desire for the nobody on the street to be at the centre of the story, for a comforting sense that someone, somewhere, is in control.

This is no longer simply a fringe concern. In 2013, the World Economic Forum cited “digital misinformation” as a major threat to modern societies, alongside terrorism and “the failure of global governance”. Last February, researchers who had studied 1.2 million Italian social media users published a report that found that fans of conspiracy theories were far more likely to share “alternative news” than dull, verifiable, factual news content. They were also largely incapable of distinguishing between sincere conspiracy posts and parodies and fakes designed to reel them in. There is little reason to suppose that Italy is unique in this. Conspiracy enthusiasts can’t help themselves. They want to believe.

This is the fertile ground that awaits the revival in January 2016 of The X-Files, the globally successful sci-fi-horror drama that originally ran from September 1993 to May 2002, made international stars of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as the FBI paranormal investigators Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, and brought conspiracy theory into ordinary homes around the world.

Conceived as a combination of police-political procedural and pulp sci-fi – All the President’s Men meets The Twilight Zone – The X-Files skilfully mixed an overarching story of a secret, government-abetted alien invasion with self-contained episodes of popcorn horror concerning shape-shifters, serial killers, psychic powers and sundry other tales to astonish. The show’s ability to switch from ongoing story to anthology, from “mytharc” to “monster of the week”, gave it a unique appeal both to committed “X-philes” and to the casual viewer. So, too, did its postmodern versatility with genre, which could take in everything from psychological drama to Tobe Hooper-style slasher horror, from farce to psychedelia.

To read the rest, please visit the link here


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