The marketing machine behind Fox’s first major event of 2016, a revival of 1990s classic The X-Files, is rolling right along at a break neck pace. Just last week, at the time of writing this, we got ourselves a brand new promo (after a slew of them leaked online) during an airing of Gotham, and now we’ve gotten ourselves another.
Based on the dialogue and various shot choices featured in the latest X-Files revival promo (which you can watch above), it seems the emphasis with this preview is not the series' larger mythology. Rather, much of the focus here is put on the return of the show’s known all too well monster-of-the-week formula - with Agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) off to investigate a variety of strange and/or bizarre cases.
It was during the 2015 New York Comic-Con that X-Files creator/showrunner Chris Carter revealed the new season’s 6-episode run will be primarily comprised of one-off episodes (specifically during episodes 2-5), so it’s no surprise that Fox is making sure to cut some of their promos to get this idea across. However, the new question that needs to be asked is why the decision was made to do more monster-of-the-weeks than mythology episodes - in an age where all audiences seem more invested in serialization, that is.
In order to get into the crux of that dilemma, we must look at the state of what serialization really means in modern television. For many writers – including the likes of Suits Aaron Korsh and Flash/Arrow’s Greg Berlanti – serialization is less about actually carrying a plotline between episodes and more about carrying emotional dealings of characters through multiple arcs. So, if something happens in episode three, the characters are still dealing dealing with it on a personal level in episode five. That’s really what serialization is about today, and it seems this is what Carter has planned for Mulder and Scully in the X-Files revival.
Here is what Carter said in a recent THR interview, regarding the X-Files revival:
We have a lot to do in the course of six. We try to make an arc: bookend it with mythology episodes, and the four in the middle are standalone episodes. [But] there is what I would call an arc within those episodes. We tried to make everything integral. But the first episode and the last episode are really a two-parter. In [the other episodes] we follow the characters emotionally, but they don't have to do with the conspiracy.
So even though we won’t always be dealing with the threat of aliens upon The X-Files' return, the thought of them will perhaps never actually be leaving the minds of everyone’s favorite F.B.I. agents… whether or not this will lead to a better product overall remains to be seen.
The X-Files returns Sunday, January 24th, 2016, after the NFC Championship Game on Fox.
Source: Fox, THR