9. The X-Files

The X-Files was, for the majority of its run, a great show that completely revelled in the mystery of extra-terrestrial activity, even if it totally went on too long, as evidenced by a finale that felt less like a bang and more like a whimper. The truth is out there…but we’re not going to find out anything about it because, of course, the show’s producers wanted to leave things open for the inevitable film – that’s films - that abounded. It was clear that the writers didn’t really know how to give fans a departure point – and didn’t really seem to want to, either – which is somewhat troubling given that fans had been expecting a mind-blowing solution to the show’s complex web of conspiracies.

So crummy had the show got that by Season 8 and 9, even David Duchovny was only an intermittent cast member, and it’s clear from his appearances that his heart really wasn’t in it. In the end, Mulder (Duchovny) ends up being put on trial for murder, so Skully (Gillian Anderson) has to help break him out. The mysterious Smoking Man is done away with in relatively lame fashion – being blown up by Black helicopters – and the show ends with an esoteric quote from Mulder that has the pretence of being thoughtful but is clearly a load of muddled twaddle:

“The dead are not lost to us. That they speak to us as part of something greater than us—greater than any alien force. And if you and I are powerless now, I want to believe that if we listen to what’s speaking, it can give us the power to save ourselves”.

Murder goes on to say, “Maybe there’s hope”, and that’s it. Dire.

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This article was first posted on December 4, 2012