The X Files reboot revisits old themes of paranoia and mistrust with new conspiracy

X files,color
Actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson pose as their characters from the original X Files series, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, in a promotional photo shoot.

If you need to talk to any adult above the age of 25, the go-to topic is The X Files. Almost all humans aged 25 and over seem to remember crowding around the television at around nine p.m. standard time to catch the latest (mis)adventures of protagonists Agent Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Even two decades after the initial airing, the new mini-series aims to captivate new fans.

The revival’s advertisements were featured heavily on both the internet and in print through FOX’s Twitter account, the accounts of the two leading actors, Facebook and on multiple T.V. channels. The X Files was so hyped that they created a website so you can contribute evidence that you believe in aliens in the form of a Twitter or Instagram post.  

The X Files’ new miniseries aired on Jan. 24, about five minutes after expected due to the NFL’s postgame show following the Carolina Panther’s win and advancement to the Super Bowl. The first episode showed the famous duo continuing their lives apart when a sudden new lead forces them back together.

Junior Sieun Lee was pleased at the reboot of the show and reflected on its connection to the aesthetic of the original show.

“First off I super appreciated that they basically kept the same opening,” Lee said. “The first episode was rocky, a little too close to real life tragedies in my opinion, but they kept it pretty true to the original series in terms of the Mulder and Scully dynamic.”

Not only was the characteristic government and alien-based paranoid storyline brought back. The classic “monster of the week” episode style also returned, which strayed away from the overall conspiracy-centric plot to a sometimes lighthearted supernatural investigation.

“The second episode brought back the ‘there’s a monster or alien’ plot and I loved it,” Lee said. “That’s also where it started to reflect on itself and the original series, not in an effort to ride on nostalgia for popularity but to really look back on what the X Files were and now are.”

Some, such as sophomore Jason Kehoe, started watching The X Files due to their parents’ own interest in the show.

“I am very interested in the new season, as this is my first time watching The X Files,” Kehoe said. “My dad watched the original series when it came out, so we watched the return of the show together.”

The X Files, as a series worth passing down from parent to child, possesses an unquestionable sense of timelessness. The question of the series reboot was not whether or not it would happen, it was when.

“I feel like the old series was so popular because it showed fantastical situations and made them seem plausible,” junior Spencer Hagen said. “There’s just some kind of charm to it for a science fiction fan like myself because of this. I also feel that the new series will have to be pretty good to live up to my expectations.”