The True Value of X: A Fan Remembers ‘The X-Files’
“The art of The X Files was that it would make a believer out of you”, a fan remembers the classic show.
Back in the early nineties, when I was in primary school and lived in an ultra-conservative, god-fearing neighbourhood, the true introduction to darkness used to settle in Thursday nights at nine on the erstwhile Star TV.
The X-Files was less of a show and more of a paranormal awakening. It was a world beyond the soap, the slapstick and the righteous. Most of the times when you’d feel that the episode was coming together, to a finite culmination, it left a question mark, with the FBI playing the brooding anti-hero. It was the genesis of the belief that distrust was the only way forward.
The much-needed TV renaissance of questioning the obvious had begun. The fanboys, kids back then, had found their boogeyman version 2.0 and it wasn’t the supernatural, it was the paranormal. It would make you break into a cold sweat when a hedge rustled at night. The beauty of the scenario, however, lay in the ambiguity of the rustle. A world beyond the teens with perfect hair on Beverly Hills 90210.
Enter Agent Fox Mulder, mumbling between a clenched jaw. To catch that accent was an art that took two seasons to master. At least. And then there was Agent Dana Scully, the voice of reason to counter the morbid audacity of Mr Spooky.
The art of The X-Files was that it would make a believer out of you, relying more on chilly storylines rather than little green ETs levitating in saucer shaped pods. It would make you believe in the loss of time, extra terrestrial occurrences, government cover ups, and scare you to death with revelations about the vast potential of the political machinery. More than anything, it made the question cooler than the answer.
They now tell me that this odd pair has teamed up yet again. As an ardent fanboy with a beard that’s going grey, I’m back to setting my ringtone to the opening credits and waiting to turn the lights off when the show comes on.
The truth is out there.
(Shakunt Saumitra is a lawyer by day and a pop culture junkie by night. He can quote every single dialogue in all the Star Wars movies and tweets under the handle @kuljeete_pajero. The X-Files miniseries will premiere in India this Saturday.)
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