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Three weeks and counting…

It is now 2016 and not only have we survived another winter solstice since December 22nd 2012 but we are presently less than a month away from entering the world of the X-Files again!

The revival

The FOX marketing machine is gearing up accordingly. “I Still Want To Believe” is the new tagline, echoing the old and underlying the fact that this is a repeat, “more of the same”. This fine line to walk between repeating the old — cozy, reassuring, nostalgic — and the new — bold, risky, unsettling — is a balance that all continuations must face. The recent Star Wars sequel (only very relatively successful, in my opinion) is the most recent example in the impulse to keep on continuing pop culture franchises.

So far there have been exclusive premieres of the “pilot” episode at select festivals (Monte Carlo, Los Angeles, Italy), we have seen posters, trailers, and a behind the scenes documentary. This is a lot of material for a six-episodes event, and goes a long way to show that FOX really believes in this and wants it to succeed. Also, the amount of images revealed goes very far — fans have been trying to assign each single frame to not only individual episodes but also chronologically within episodes — and key plot points have been revealed by the promotional campaign disregarding Carter’s previous obsession with secrecy and spoilers control. This is a very modern way to promote entertainment — the social networks buzz must be fed continuously and at all costs — but could prove counter-productive. Already, there is very little one cannot find on the first episode and many story details on the other five by searching the internet.

However, as a fan, I must admit that it all looks extremely exciting! (Including some worrying aspects on the mytharc, but coming up with theories to fill the gaps/plot holes is what we do for a living here.) It is all calibrated to appeal to those who remember the X-Files from the early seasons, including the radical approach on the Mulder-Scully relationship — which is a mix of a non-risk-taking return to how it used to be in the early days and part of a greater plan to reveal what has happened since 2002 progressively throughout all episodes, especially on the fate of William and their romantic split, using elliptic narration and flashbacks. Hopefully the episodes will actually deliver on the good buzz.

TXF_newyear

Of course, everything is done to promote the new series, which also means that the old series benefits from this buzz too — some even say that financially the new series is made so as to pump up the value of the old series as well for broadcasting rights for internet streaming services. The one-episode-a-day event that FOX marketing is animating over all its social media (head over to EatTheCorn’s Facebook page for some comments on each mytharc ep) is not only a way to count down to the new series but also a way to bring in new fans.

The BluRay

The most important event however, and quite possibly the ultimate and, well, last possible thing that could ever be done with the “old series” is its release in BluRay. Long anticipated with HD broadcasts in Germany and the USA since 2013, the whole package, including the two films and all bonus material from the DVDs, and a slot for the future new series’ BluRays (I wonder where “season 11” will fit if there is one?) was released on December 8 2015. After being one of the very first TV series that was edited in complete form in the DVD format in 2000, the X-Files has made the jump to the next format.

The challenges to do such a release were many — head over here for an interview with Jim Hardy, CEO of Illuminate, the company  behind the transfer — chief among which the fact that every single episode had to be recreated from scratch by scanning the films of the raw unedited dailies. Post-production in the 1990s was done directly on VHS, and creating HD transfers is comparatively easier for shows both before and after that period! We’ll leave the debate on whether original 4:3 aspect ratio or feature-like revisionist 16:9 widescreen was better to the experts — what is out there looks amazingly fresh regardless. However, no release is perfect: the fonts that were used for the XF logo, the opening credits, the cast and crew credits, and the place and time tags are different from the original; some departures from “The Truth Is Out There” tag were not respected; and some other issues. These things are all the more frustrating that they could have easily been respected, and I don’t expect FOX to do a re-release (or a re-scan for 4K for example) any sooner than one or two decades. You can see some DVD to BD comparisons and a detailed list of differences here.

“The rest”

Another important “old series” release could also be very close. The third volume in the X-Files music by La La Land has been postponed from 2015 to early 2016, and I could very well see LLL taking the opportunity to make use of the revival to release it. After two volumes for both X-Files and Millennium, it’s going to be worth the wait — and in the case where LLL lacks inspiration, here is a requests list.

The interest on the X-Files has been rising steadily since IDW started publishing X-Files comic books in mid-2013, and EatTheCorn has been covering closely the storylines developed by Joe Harris. “Season 11” should be drawing to a close with three more issues and what follows next is still unclear, apart from an independent “what if” alternative history issue in April. What is certain though is that IDW will be continuing to publish X-Files comics, with Joe Harris very much involved! What form will these comics take (unique stories, continuing storyline) and what continuity they will follow (alternate universe, pre-revival, post-revival) is not yet revealed.

It’s no wonder that IDW is also expanding its X-Files merchandising line: after the X-Files board game (which should have a couple of extensions in the future) and re-prints of all older comics and novels, a trilogy of X-Files short story collections is coming out, edited by horror writer Jonathan Maberry. The stories mostly take place in the “golden age” of the series, around 1996, but not exclusively. The first volume, “Trust No One“, was released in July 2015 and the second, “The Truth is Out There“, will be released in March 2016. There are some older XF alumni in here: Stefan Petrucha, writer of the (excellent) first 16 issues of the XF Topps comics in 1994-1995, Sarah Stegall, famous XF reviewer of old; Joe Harris and Dean Haglund might participate in a future third volume.

Titan also publishing two X-Files Companion books that seem to consist in collections of already published material, namely articles from the official XF magazine (some of which can be found on EatTheCorn) published by Titan in the 1990s. There will be two volumes: the first “The Agents, the Bureau, and the Syndicate” in January and the second “Monsters & Villains” in March.

I wonder what else we will be seeing in terms of merchandising in the coming weeks and months.

The fandom is also gearing up to the revival. Professional genre expert John K. Muir, who has written on X-Files and all things Chris Carter several times on his blog, also published his book on XF, The X-Files FAQ, featuring reviews and analysis of The X-Files and Carter’s other works. Darren Mooney finished his epic series of reviews of all four Ten Thirteen shows on his site, an incredible amount of text and many amazing insights. The reference site X-Files News has relaunched their website afresh. Retrospective articles in the media abound.

FOX is planning to broadcast the episodes in over 60 countries all around the world within 24 hours of their broadcast in the USA. Barely three weeks remaining for the launch of potentially the first season of the revival.

10th anniversary!

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Eat The Corn celebrates today its 10th anniversary! The site was launched on this day in 2005.
It’s been a wild ride, with periods of intense activity and long periods of calm, but the X-Files passion always somehow returns. The site started as a repository site for remarks I had on the mythology episodes, trying to “prove” that the mythology did make sense, despite its many mysteries and its tendency to put itself in question all the time. Since then:
  • The remarks grew into full-blown “Field Reports” on every single mythology episode of the series. If put together they would total into a book of several hundred pages! While some early reviews have aged with my evolving writing style, several still hold well, and in all cases they capture a unique energy and enthusiasm about the series.
  • The reviews led to the synthetic picture presented in the Mytharc Primer, a complete explanation of the mythology connecting all the dots. Since it was written, the site and its collaborators have developed Spanish and German translations! — contact me if you want to help me translate it into your language.
  • The search for quotes in the behind-the-scenes making of the series led to the creation of the Ten Thirteen Interviews Database, an archival database with interviews mainly from Chris Carter and crew but not only, that has about 500 entries and aims to expand in the future.
  • The passion for Mark Snow’s music and the great releases of soundtracks in recent years led to the Massive Music Compilation with music list and requests from 150 episodes.
  • In recent years the site has become known for its in-depth “Lowdowns” of the IDW comics, and been thanked by comics author Joe Harris.
  • …and much more in the Dossiers section, such as a Chris Carter interview with partner site the X-Files Lexicon, a review of all visual influences on the X-Files, and more.
  • The site has expanded to Facebook and Twitter, where there’s much more activity now than on the core website.
The site began just as the entire series finished being edited in DVD. It went through a period of low activity in all things Chris Carter, then through the resurgence of activity around the release of the second film and the Back to Frank Black campaign, the rumors of Carter’s new series — then again a period of calm until the comics started in 2013, and with them a wave of 1990s revivals that brought the X-Files back to current pop culture discussions. And so here we are in 2015, on the verge of the release of the definitive BluRay edition of the series, and of the return of the X-Files on the small screen!
EatTheCorn has become, dare I say, one of the reference sites worldwide for the X-Files and Chris Carter. It’s been a great ride! And I hope you’ll continue sharing the rest of the road with me.

Mytharc Primer : German edition

After the Spanish version a few months ago, EatTheCorn is proud to present its Mytharc Primer, the definitive chronicle and explanation of the X-Files mythology (until further notice in barely a few months’ time!…) — in German!

Begrüßen unsere Besucher aus Deutschland, Österreich, der Schweiz und anderen Ländern!

Hier finden Sie eine Zusammenfassung und eine detaillierte Erklärung über die X-Files Mythologie finden.

E.T.C internationaler Bereich > Deutsch

Das Akte-X Elementarbuch

Abschnitt 0: Die Mythologie in kurzen Worten
Abschnitt 1: Biogenese (vom großen Knall zum 20. Jahrhundert)
Abschnitt 2: Neue Welt (2. Weltkrieg bis 1973)
Abschnitt 3: Ein kollaboratives Syndikat (1973-1998)
Abschnitt 4: Hintergedanken (1996-2000)
Abschnitt 5: Zurück zu Plan A (2000-2012)
Abschnitt 6: Schicksale (1992-2008)

PDF Version

Vielen Dank an Lady3Jane und Antje für die Übersetzung.

Hinweis: Der Text wurde trotz monatelanger Suche und mehrfachen Anfragen innerhalb des deutsch-sprachigen X-Files Fandom noch nicht durch einen zweiten Bearbeiter gegengelesen und kann grammatikalische und/oder inhaltliche Fehler enthalten. Helfer können sich via die Kontaktseite melden.

Mytharc Primer : Spanish edition

As the X-Files reaches its 22nd birthday, EatTheCorn expands into non-English speaking populations with this first translation of the Mytharc Primer, in Spanish!

Bienvenida a nuestros visitores de Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Estados Unidos de América, España, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Cuba, Guatemala, República Dominicana, Honduras, El Salvador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Panama, Uruguay y Guinea Ecuatorial!

Aquí podeis encontrar un resumen y una explanación detallada de la mitología de Expedientes X.

E.T.C sección internacional > Español

Cartilla de la Mitología

Sección 0: La mitología en pocas palabras
Sección 1: Biogénesis (Desde el Big Bang hasta el Siglo XX)
Sección 2: Nuevo Orden Mundial (De la Segunda Guerra Mundial a 1973)
Sección 3: Un Sindicato colaborativo (1973-1998)
Sección 4: Las agendas ocultas (1996-2000)
Sección 5: Regreso al Plan A (2000-2012)
Sección 6: Destinos (1992-2008)

Muchas gracias a Laura Macias de Synopsis Plus para su ayuda con la traducción.

Edit: Aquí esta una versión en PDF de todo el texto de la cartilla.

State of the comics + S11 #1: The Lowdown

After a season 10 in comics that lasted for 25 issues, a number close to that of the number of episodes in a television season, IDW switches to a season 11. However, much has changed since January 2013 when IDW announced this series. IDW seems to have resurrected the XF franchise at the correct time, preceding only by a short while the return of XF to the popular discourse. The revival of the XF live series both accompanied and reinforced the presence of the X-Files in people’s minds, with several retrospectives, art projects, podcasts and discussions having appeared over the past year and a half, and IDW’s comics are part of that general movement. What is old is new again, and popular culture has reached the point where late 1980s-early 1990s items are what is being recycled and what given inspiration to the creations of today.

Chris Carter and comics Part I: not Harsh Realm

Chris Carter and comics Part I: Not Harsh Realm

Joe Harris’ Season 10 in comics was successful in certain surprising ways thanks to its plotting, using a lot of fan service with the return of old (often deceased) characters, a staple of comics, and a close adherence to the show’s past mythology. However, in other ways it was overall it is not going beyond what tie-in merchandise confines itself to, drawing much more from the past and from what readers identify with the brand name, than evolving the concept and innovating with new topical threads. Season 10 did have several novel ideas and nicely incorporated in the X-Files’ fictional world several real-world elements in the way that the TV series did, however it veered little from the status quo of “two agents investigating the paranormal” despite the passage of time. Building off of Season 10, Season 11 could try to expand beyond that into unexplored territory.

Scully melts in anticipation for another alternate universe

Scully melts in anticipation for another alternate universe

That being said, Season 11 comes into being in a very different context. The X-Files (live) revival will air when issues 6 and 7 of Season 11 will be published. The revival is being referred to as “Season 10” in several media outlets and even in the scripts and call sheets themselves. The risk that the IDW comics will be relegated to a non-canon “alternative universe” status, while it had been launched as a canon continuation of the story with the benediction of Chris Carter, is very real. Joe Harris has said that ideally the comics storyline will dovetail into the revival, i.e. that the comics Season 11 will end where the live series will begin. This is a seductive outlook, however given the first indications as to the state of things at the beginning of the revival series — not to mention the likely appearance in the revival of a certain character that was given a central role in the comics — this progressively seems as a challenge.

Previously on the X-Files...

Previously on the X-Files…

Let’s not judge too early. The mythology Harris has created is worth taking more time to explore and resolve, one possible outcome could be that the comics series continue for a while — why not years? — before eventually wrapping up, either concluding where the revival series will start or confirming that this is an alternate world in which Harris has the full freedom to drive storylines where he wants and for as long as he wants. In all cases, it would be a shame to shorten the comics Season 11 because of the revival. Given the excitement around the revival, it makes full commercial sense for IDW to continue as it has: alongside the central line of Season 10/11 there is the Annual one-shots, the Jonathan Maberry-helmed “Trust No One” prose short story collections (of which at least 3 volumes are planned), the board game (for which an expansion pack is planned), the republishing of the XF comics of the 1990s (which is nearly complete already), the prospects of more comics (like the Lone Gunmen or Millennium), and who knows what now that the XF brand is hot again.

11X01_cover

And so Season 11 begins with #1, “Cantus“! Lowdown and spoilers after the jump!

(more…)

Revival! Revival!

So many news within two weeks! The After cancelled, the confirmation that IDW/Joe Harris will be making a Season 11 in comics after Season 10 wraps, the first sign of FOX finally expressing interest for bringing back The X-Files in some form — while Frank Black returns in comics form this week!

The After: much ado about nothing

The After, Chris Carter’s new series on Amazon, has been cancelled before it got off the ground. After the pilot aired last February, Amazon ordered a full 8-episode season in March, and the last comment we heard was in July with Carter mentioning Dante’s Inferno as an inspiration. It was to be expected, as there was absolutely no news around it and no new episodes were being produced to meet the “airing” date of the season that was expected to be spring 2015. On January 5, the only comment that accompanied the cancellation from Amazon was that:

“We have decided to not move forward with ‘The After,’ We would like to thank Chris Carter, the phenomenal cast, crew and producers for all their efforts.”

An extremely short comment. Surely a lot went on behind the scenes. So The After gets cancelled in the general indifference of the potential audience Amazon could have been counting on, the X-Files/Millennium fanbase, and of the public and critics at large. And I think it’s very unlikely that another network or producer would pick up The After and continuing it. By comparison, the other show from Georgeville TV, the same production company as The After, Sense8, has kept the buzz going and is developing to one of the most interesting series for me for 2015.

Coincidentally, and funnily enough, Spotnitz’s own project, a TV series adaptation of Philip K Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle“, aired its pilot at Amazon as part of this year’s pilot season, to huge critical acclaim — and it shows that the budget must be several times what that of The After was, Amazon is really putting a lot of weight behind this project! Being also a PKD fan I find the whole enterprise very interesting but also very risky: I don’t see how this could hold for more than a season’s worth of story.

Carter is still attached to the development of “Area 51” at AMC, a project in development since 2012, but no news there either since last March. Which is not to say that the project won’t happen eventually, such beasts have long development times.

This is a hard blow to Carter. An update from him would be more than welcome, it will be interesting to hear his own point of view on what happened on The After and how he would spin it, how this will affect him after also having another show not being picked up (Unique) and having a movie aborted at near completion (Fencewalker). I had my own very mixed opinion of The After pilot, however I found it good news that Carter would be back with something new and creative, after an extended break that’s been going on for over a decade — if you don’t count the intermission of IWTB that ended up with him at a state of exhaustion. In terms of credibility and pull for new projects in the harsh realm that is the movie & TV industry, Carter is now at a vary delicate position. It would be foolish to think that a third X-Files theatrical movie or a Millennium project by Carter would be an easy sell on Fox, even if Carter were to put all his energy to make it happen (which he hasn’t been doing). Actually, anything by Carter now would be a hard sell. I could even imagine him going back to his voluntary retirement! — but I hope he still has things left unsaid in him.

So what now?

Sequel or no sequel?

Carter has always had a theatrical movie in his mind, he has had that vision of XF as a movie franchise since 1998 and he repeated that in the 20th anniversary panel at San Diego Comic Con in 2013 (covered on EatTheCorn). Movie or nothing. It’s been two years now after the self-imposed date the XF mythology was looking at for its endgame. With chances of an ending of the XF on the big screen slimmer than ever, there have been signs that things have been changing in Carter’s mind. In the summer of 2014 Carter had “conversations” with FOX, and in December Carter and Spotnitz were discussing the future of the franchise.

I don’t live for a sequel or continuation and I most often dislike the trend of making endless sequels for sequels’ sake — however, independently of my likes or dislikes, for such a popular franchise a continuation or reboot is quite likely somewhere down the road. For years, Spotnitz has been saying that the economic case for FOX doing something — anything — with the X-Files brand name is there, it is just a matter of time. Evidently the legal suit precedents between Carter and FOX and the very mitigated success of IWTB did not help. Perhaps FOX didn’t want to entrust Carter with a full feature film and Carter didn’t want to change his stance; perhaps things are changing now at FOX; perhaps both parties have been waiting patiently for the whole thing to mature and make a revival of a classic.

xftp

Pop culture is cyclical and as the youth of yesterday becomes the trend-setters of today, what was old becomes new again, which explains the revival of design and music and pop culture franchises from the 1980s lately (Tron, Terminator, Mad Max, Star Wars, now Jurassic Park). We are now getting to the point where 1990s things will be the thing studios draw upon. It’s already happening, with one of the most exciting news of recent: the resurrection of Twin Peaks 25 years after it ended with a “third season”! And this is not your typical revival, for this is supported by the show’s original creators Mark Frost and David Lynch — something of a first in the history of television.

Television and the entertainment industry is not what it used to be twenty or ten years ago, and what might have been considered “second rate” back then is now hot. Event mini-series with season-long arcs are now a new popular format (American Horror Story, True Detective, the independent seasons of House of Cards, the 24 event). For a new XF, I’ve long supported the idea of aiming at a made-for-TV movie or direct-to-DVD movie or a limited run TV mini-series as a more accessible and realistic venue for such an endeavor, and perhaps that’s where things are headed.

The X-Files: The Revival

Speaking at the annual Television Critics Association Winter press tour at Pasadena, FOX co-chairs mentioned among many, many other things, that they’d had conversations and that they’re hopeful that X-Files would be back. They probably had no idea of what would follow. After the presentation journalists asked for more details on X-Files and in the hours and day that followed an incredible number of media outlets worldwide — even TIME and CNN! — did an article that took it nearly as granted that the X-Files was returning!
What was actually said?

During the panel (from live-tweets):

Gary Newman says “we’re hopeful” about bringing back #XFiles

Gary Newman: We’ve had conversations about #XFiles

After the panel (here and here):

Newman: “What I can say is that if this happens, it’ll be with David and Gillian reprising their roles. Chris is interest, both David and Gillian are interested. Scheduling is very difficult. David has his show, Gillian is doing something in the UK. I really don’t know how fast it can happen, but there are ongoing conversation happening.”

Walden: “You know who we’re dealing with, do you think I can elaborate???” [joke on Carter!] “Gary and I both worked through the entire run of the X-Files. It was a great experience, we’ve maintained great relationships with creator Chris Carter, Gillian, and David. We’re very hopeful. It’s hard because they’re actors who are very busy. Chris has a lot going on. So it’s about finishing those conversations.” [FOX] “would not move forward without Chris.”

So no actual mention of reboot, and it’s very clear the original stars and the creator (not to mention co-owner!) are involved: technically, that’s called a revival — although many journalists added to the confusion already existing among media lingo by mentioning a reboot.

So what ushered this?

  • Carter: The passage of time and perhaps his frustration with his new projects might have played a role for Carter to re. Surely the early discussions with FOX started before The After was cancelled, however Carter must have known about things going astray on The After for a several months and the cancellation might have accelerated things.
  • FOX: with the passage of time, old executives who might have had grudges against Carter (especially around the time his series were getting cancelled, that of Harsh Realm in particular was bitter on Carter; and during the years he had a lawsuit with FOX) are leaving and are replaced by people who have worked with or appreciate Carter. Those who announced the revival, Dana Walden and Gary Newman, are “very friendly” with Carter and grew in the business together; as recently appointed co-chairmen of Fox Television Group and CEOs they plan to rebuild the ailing FOX and steer it into new territory.
  • Precedents: the success of the 24: Live Another Day miniseries event, the announcement of the Twin Peaks revival
  • Buzz during and after the 2013 San Diego Comic Con
  • Buzz during 2014 and more recently: Kumail Nanjiani’s X-Files Files podcast, Gillian Anderson on the Nerdist podcast

How is this different from previous endless rumors and replies to nagging questions?

  • This is FOX talking. The last reaction from FOX is a few months after the release of IWTB, saying that they were waiting to hear from Carter.
  • It has been confirmed by both parties, FOX and Carter, that discussions are happening.
  • The media coverage and buzz this passing mention of preliminary conversations has generated shows to FOX there is huge interest out there. They even asked William B Davis about it!

Anderson had, a few days before only, generated some buzz thanks to a Nerdist podcast that launched the twitter trend #XFiles2015. And a few days later Duchovny weighted in saying he’s “more than happy and excited to bring it back“, and “that it will happen sooner rather than later now. We’ll see what form, how many [episodes]. Certainly I can’t nor would I be interested in doing a full season. It will be in some kind of limited form. We’re all old, we don’t have the energy for a full season.” So the interest is definitely there.

All in all, nothing is set in stone, but something will be happening! How, when?

  • With writing, pre-production, shooting, post-production ahead of us, we are looking at some time in 2016 — 8 years after IWTB!
  • Carter will be involved. There have been many voices even within hardcore XF fans against him, but it’s his property and he has specific ideas about this. If there’s a reboot later that’s another story. But, apart from long-time collaborator and seasons 8-9 mythology co-creator Spotnitz, I’d hardly expect anybody else from the old writing team to be involved. It will either be entirely Carter/Spotnitz, or them plus a newcomer — especially if a reboot is in the minds of FOX.- Short seasons are more and more the norm: the writing is tight, the shooting schedule is short for the actors, the marketing is focused. Let’s expect a 6-12 episode season.
  • XF3 would always have been about the alien colonization mythology. But even with a mini-series, the shortened length wouldn’t allow for a back-and-forth between independent episodes and mythology episodes. I expect a single story, cut in parts.
  • It would make good sense for Fox to hold on to the remastered series in HD and use the release of a BluRay boxset as promotional material for the new event/series if/when that happens.
  • Schedules have to be aligned — a burdensome development could come up if the stars are contractually tied to a specific network and can’t appear in many networks simultaneously.- Given the pop culture importance of the brand name, it’s easy to imagine Fox wanting to produce more than a one-off event and thinking ahead about continuing the franchise. It’s possible that this event would serve as both a farewell to the old characters and as an introduction to a younger group of characters that could be used in a re-launch of the series: the “old” stars are perfectly capable of holding their own, but at or approaching their fifties the most likely option is that they would form only part of the cast which would include younger actors as well. So this could be the last Mulder & Scully X-Files we see — with a reboot down the road.

The comics: bridge or alternate universe?

Meanwhile, the comics Season 10 is continuing and actually coming to an end — earlier than I expected — with #25, expected for June 2015, and with the last collected volume (Vol.5), expected for September-October 2015. However, it’s already more or less officially confirmed that after a break there will be a Season 11! With about 10,000 (physical) issues sold each month and in the Top 10 of IDW’s sales, the X-Files is a success for IDW, along with good reviews and the low production costs associated with comic books. Hence all the side publications: we’ve already had a Lone Gunmen spin-off, an origin story, an Annual and a Christmas special, and reprints of all the older Topps comics, and there’s a table board game, a short story (prose) collection and a Millennium arc to hit stores in 2015 — and potentially more coming, as editor Denton J. Tipton has said that despite a break between XF seasons there will be XF-related material coming out every month. And it’s quite obvious by now that all this is done with just Carter’s permission but essentially without any of his creative input. If it starts around the end of this year, another 25-issue season would take us well into 2017.

X-Files — and Millennium? — comics still have a long future.

However, with the new developments of an on-screen XF revival, where do these comics fit into the picture? Carter was supportive but ambiguous (how odd?!) on whether he thought of them as canon. There are three options:

  • Comics ignored: As excellent as they are, it’s hard to think that FOX executives and the creative team would “constrain” themselves with comics — they might not even constrain themselves with the live series, resulting in inconsistencies! — and there’s been a recent precedent with a much longer lived Extended Universe, with the “de-canonization” of nearly everything Star Wars since the 1980s! So the comics would continue, sadly as an alternate universe.
  • Comics taken into account: Carter and Harris agree on the comics orientation and make the events of the comics nicely dovetail into the revival event, like season 5 and FTF. Great! Although, how the schedules of the comics publication (with Season 11!) and the revival align would be a challenge.
  • Comics are neutral: Comics and revival follow their own lives, with the revival event airing during the Season 11 publication, but they end up not contradicting each other. Joe Harris is free to complexify his mythology as long as it doesn’t touch upon whatever the revival will touch upon, and fans have to fanwank events in a chronological order.
  • Comics are the source: A fourth option is that the mini-series becomes a live adaptation or is partly inspired by the comics — unlikely, but who knows? Joe Harris is also involved in feature film-making!

Even if you are bitter from the later seasons and/or IWTB… there are some exiting times ahead!

PS: I wrote most of this article days after The After was cancelled; I only had to change few things to include the FOX announcement! The XF revival has been preparing in the background throughout 2014!…