By Richard Preece, Rat Tail Productions
I accidentally discovered these articles during one of my long investigations of wading through X-Philes fan sites. I found Mr. Preece's point of view to be reasonable and refreshing, although I am aware that his opinions might raise the hackles of some X-Philes. This first article might put into historical perspective, that legion of fans that were already growing dismissive of the last two seasons, before they even went into production.
DISCLAIMER: Every effort was made to reach Mr. Preece before publication of this article, but to no avail. The intent of re-printing this article is to continue dialogue as well as to save it for posterity. No copyright infringement is intended, if Mr. Preece discovers the Lexicon and would like to contact us, he is more than welcome to do so.
Recently I have noticed a trend among many Philes to reject out of hand the idea of a ninth season of 'The X-Files' as David Duchovny will apparently not be interested in continuing his role as Mulder (at least on the television series) beyond season eight. A number of fans of the show are even organizing boycotts of the ninth season before the season eight has even begun. To me this is preposterous but all too understandable. I have no doubt that those behind the boycotts are true fans of the show and I know that they want what they believe is best for the show - for it to end with dignity. To them, the show should not continue without Duchovny as he is an integral part of the show. Without him the show would lose the quality that has sustained it for the past seven years. I understand this too; it was my' knee-jerk' reaction but it appears as if a significant number of fans are using their own 'knee-jerk' reactions to engineer a campaign that could well spell the end of the show before its time.
I think the problem is largely down to prejudice. The fans who are willing to boycott a ninth season of the show are undoubtedly loyal to their show and are prepared to destroy it to protect it and in a sense that is very honorable. Maybe a ninth season should not go ahead and maybe fans should protest, even to the extent of a boycott, to prevent it going ahead. But not yet.
The ludicrous thing is that none of these fans have any idea how the eight season is going to pan out and so instead of waiting and watching how the show will evolve with Mulder in only a limited number of episodes, they declare that a ninth season is wrong. All TV shows evolve. Just look at how far 'The X-Files' has evolved over the past seven years and (almost) always Chris Carter and his staff have handled the show with respect and care. How many developments have we heard about that we assumed would be detrimental to the show?
What about giving Scully cancer? I mean that has got to be a serious error of judgement hasn't it? But the shows creators avoided all of the pitfalls of giving one of the shows lead characters a terminal disease and instead gave us an emotionally moving 'cancer arc' and new insights into both Mulder and Scully's characters.
What about Mulder's 'suicide' in Redux? I, along with many other fans assumed that the revelation we were all waiting for was some 'cop out' such as it not really being Mulder but a clone, or perhaps he didn't really commit suicide, despite the extremely emotional state that he appeared to be in. As it happened he didn't commit suicide but instead of giving us a revelation where he just pulled himself together, we saw that he was going to commit suicide. What we saw before was not a lie, Mulder was willing to take his life and would have done were it, were it not for the phone ringing, the emotional truth of the previous episode (S4-Gethsemane)* remained.
Of course the movie 'kiss'. Obviously just a way to sell lots of tickets and a way to destroy the integrity of the characters. In reality the 'kiss' was handled with the utmost respect for the characters and the writing and acting made it seem like a natural progression of the Mulder and Scully relationship which has always been based upon their mutual respect and trust.
What about 'Triangle'? An episode with Mulder in 1939 fighting Nazis aboard a luxury liner? Utterly ridiculous. Yet it gave us one of the most inventive and interesting episodes of the show. Plus the idea that it was a dream, an alternative for those of us unwilling to accept the time travel/parallel universe explanation. How many other shows give the viewer so much freedom to choose their own explanation?
And so on. My point is, all of us have heard about these shocking changes and reacted to them with fear, there was never any way they could pull it off - yet somehow they did.
Perhaps it is time to trust Chris Carter and co-people. I'm not suggesting that a ninth season will work, but why don't we at least see how Agent Doggett works out and how the show evolves before the ninth season before making up our mind to boycott the show? (which incidentally will also destroy the possibility of a movie franchise) Maybe the new agent will act as breath of fresh air for the show and allow it to evolve in a new direction while retaining its integrity. Maybe it won't and the new agent will be an unmitigated failure. But we should at least give him a chance before writing him off. Yes Duchovny has given much to 'The X-Files' and without him the show will certainly never be the same again. But all shows experience change and now that his quest is Scully's too, perhaps the show can survive without him. There's no denying that the show will be different but that is not necessarily the same as bad is it?
Let's just relax and see where CC and co take us. Who knows? Maybe these changes will work for the benefit of the show as have so many changes in the past have. By all means boycott season nine if the show does not work without Duchovny, but let's not just assume that the ninth season will be bad. Let's wait until we have something more to go on than our 'knee-jerk' reactions before passing judgement.
* Editors Note.