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New X-Files mysteries for Mulder and Scully

The Guardian – By Gavin Haynes – Mar 25, 2015

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Photo: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson ponder the mystery of James Corden’s career . Photograph: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy

It’s official – TV’s favourite paranormal investigations team will soon be back together again.

It’s just been “a 13-year commercial break”, says X-Files creator Chris Carter, as David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson get the go-ahead to return for six new episodes in the roles that made them famous.

The X-Files is set to return to television screens for the first time in 13 years, with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson resuming their roles as Mulder and Scully.

The US broadcaster Fox has confirmed that a six-episode series will begin production in the summer. The broadcast date has yet to be revealed.

The series creator Chris Carter described the show’s absence as “a 13-year commercial break” and added: “The good news is the world has only gotten that much stranger, a perfect time to tell these six stories.”

The six-episode run is shorter than most US TV series, and Fox described the X-Files return as an “event”. Dana Walden and Gary Newman, chair and CEO of Fox Television Group, said: “We had the privilege of working with Chris on all nine seasons of The X-Files – one of the most rewarding creative experiences of our careers – and we couldn’t be more excited to explore that incredible world with him again.

“The X-Files was not only a seminal show for both the studio and the network, it was a worldwide phenomenon that shaped pop culture – yet remained a true gem for the legions of fans who embraced it from the beginning. Few shows on television have drawn such dedicated fans as The X-Files, and we’re ecstatic to give them the next thrilling chapter of Mulder and Scully they’ve been waiting for.”

The original series was cancelled in 2002, although Duchovny and Anderson returned for a feature film, X-Files: I want to Believe, in 2008. Rumours of the show’s return have swirled around the internet for years, and in 2013 Anderson and Duchovny generated much excitement when they hinted during an online discussion that another X-Files film might be in the works.
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Such was the on-screen chemistry between FBI investigators Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in their quest to explain the unexplained that Anderson and Duchovny themselves became a story – according to the press at various times during the height of the show’s popularity, they were having an affair, hated each other or both.

This year Anderson told the Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone: “I mean, yes, there were definitely periods when we hated each other … Hate is too strong a word. We didn’t talk for long periods of time. It was intense, and we were both pains in the arse for the other at various times.”

Since the last X-Files series, Anderson has starred in a string of literary adaptations – as Lady Dedlock in Bleak House, Lily Bart in The House of Mirth, Miss Havisham in the BBC’s Great Expectations, and Mrs Castaway in The Crimson Petal and The White – and more recently she played Supt Stella Gibson in murder drama The Fall, which has been recommissioned for a third series set to air next year.

Anderson also received warm reviews for her performance as Blanche in a feted Young Vic revival of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire.

Duchovny found further success in the US with Californication, which finished a seven-season run last year. This year he published his debut novel, Holy Cow, in which a cow called Elsie, a pig called Shalom and a turkey called Tom escape a farm in upstate New York for a better life.

“The good news,” he suggests, “is the world has only gotten that much stranger, a perfect time to tell these stories.” He’s right: we can think of endless mysteries from the intervening years that would be perfect for the will-they-won’t-they-oh-they-sorta-did duo to solve. Here are the modern mysteries we’d like to see them solve …

Colony collapse disorder

Since 2004, bees have been dying all over Europe and North America, leaving their hives like Marie Celeste empty shells, and science is still mystified. Back at the Bureau, Scully wades through data on the varroa mite, and examines detailed EU legislation on the banning of nicotinoid poisons. Mulder’s tingling sixth sense leads him towards a more unusual answer: sentient and malevolent honey.

Kazakhstani sleeping sickness

Since spring 2013, the entire village of Kalachi has been plagued by sudden bouts of sleepiness. One man even blacked out while riding his motorbike. After a hard-bitten Kazakh military official declares, “You are not welcome here”, Scully takes her Geiger counter to an abandoned uranium mine next to the town. Mulder, however, realises that an ageless spirit living in the forests is using the power of their dreams as fuel.

Sinkholes

In 2014, a parked car was swallowed by the ground in High Wycombe. In 2013, a man disappeared along with his entire house in Seffner, Florida. A whole factory plunged into a 30m hole in Guatemala City, 2010. In each case, sinkholes were blamed. Mulder is convinced they are portals ripping through the fabric of space-time; Scully digs up invoices from an international fracking company.

The Scottish dog-suicide bridge

In 2005, five dogs jumped to their deaths off the Overtoun Bridge in just six months. After which, the SSPCA enlisted a canine psychologist to help solve the mystery. No luck yet. Mulder writes a lengthy post that is immediately upvoted to the front page of reddit, arguing that the dogs are seeing an ancient Scottish folkloric figure second only to Loch Ness Monster: the Walkies Ghost. Scully points to a bacon factory beyond the bridge.

The time-travelling hipster

In 1940, a photo was taken of the reopening of the South Fork Bridge in Canada. In 2010, someone noticed that this photo appeared to show a man wearing very modern dress: a T-shirt, sunglasses and a haircut that marked him out as the quintessential 2010 alt-bro. Mulder receives the photo anonymously in the post, and instinctively heads to Brooklyn to find the wormhole to municipal bridge openings prophesied in Navajo legend, all the while remonstrating via FaceTime with Scully, who points out that similar sunglasses also appeared in the 1944 film Double Indemnity, and his camera resembles the contemporaneous Kodak Folding Pocket Model.

Creepy staring clowns of Wasco

In October of 2014, the world briefly went gaga for “creepy clowns”: men in clown suits appeared holding balloons and staring intently started in the Southern Californian town of Wasco. As Mulder weeps in Scully’s arms about his childhood coulrophobia, caused by an unfortunate incident in a McDonald’s playpen, she realises that there’s no hope for him, and goes rogue on a mystery of her own: the fact that a man who made Lesbian Vampire Killers and one of the most critically panned sketch shows of modern times has just become host of America’s Late Late Show. James Corden…

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Posted by Teri Perticone

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