I guess I need to address the elephant in the room. Yesterday an article was posted about how The X-Files is a far superior show to Doctor Who. The first thing I want to say to that is I am not sure that comparison can work. The style of writing that the BBC has a much different than the style that is broadcasted into your homes each and every night. I feel comparing the two shows is almost like comparing apples to fried chicken. One will leave you satisfied for about an hour, but leave a person wanting more. The other will suffice the hunger until a new day. The X-Files, in this case, is the apple. I am surely going to get hated on by the end of this. I have to rebut the article from yesterday.
Let me start by jumping in my TARDIS and head back to 1993. The landscape of Sci-fi on television was declining very rapidly. At this time, Doctor Who was on permanent hiatus from television due to staggering ratings. Star Trek: The Next Generation would be in its final season in a free fall from grace. The other two spinoffs Voyager and Deep Space Nine were honestly not that good. It was a time sci-fi fans yearned and needed something. Fox steps up to the plate, and thus The X-files is born. It was the perfect show at the perfect time. The show ran on Fridays until season five when the show aired on Sunday night’s right after Fox acquired the rights to the NFL. The best ratings for the show, seasons 5 and 6. Thus comparing the show with the Doctor is kind irrelevant since the two shows did not air in the same decade.
Saying that if it were not for Doctor Who there would be no X-files is true to a point. I think without the success of Star Trek here, there would be no X-files. Doctor Who was not introduced to America until 1972. Six year after the American homes were introduced to the USS Enterprise. The success of sci-fi in solely falls on how well The Twilight Zone and Star Trek did in the ratings. Saying one without the other is a bit of a stretch.
The next point will not be pretty, and some X-files fans may need to turn away from this one. The show appealed because of the right place, right time situation. Doctor Who is part of the realm of fandom more so now, because of its mass appeal and this is where the line was drawn. In 1993 when The X-files was launched at a time where a person still had roughly around four major networks. (Fox, ABC, NBC, and CBS) It was easier to make a show work at that point in time. However, the reboot of Doctor Who proves how different the landscape of television truly is. Even the new episodes gained fandom from people by watching the show on BBC America. Today, we have hundreds of channels to choose from when trying to decide what to watch. We can choose what we want at any given moment. There is even an entire network devoted to Sci-fi, well not so much, but still point is coming across. And the ratings in the last season proves this point. If you take the series finale out of the equation, the final season dropped 30% in viewership over season 8. You can look at this as the show was finally played out, and people had more than four choices to watch. Five if you count PBS. If The X-files premiered today on Fox, the show would last one season. Gasp….. I know. My email address is below the article send the hate mail there. I feel the show would not make it. The X-files would not become the success that it truly was. One of the reason that Doctor Who has become the hit globally is because of Netflix.
Now we get to the root of the problem. Does The X-Files really need six more episodes? My answer is No. I feel that we have come to comprehend a lot of what has happened to the characters in the show, through nine seasons and two movies. I feel that is television shows are going to be resurrected from the dead, there is one place for it….Netflix. The reason I bring this up is the success of Arrested Development. A Fox sitcom that was killed way before its time. If Netflix were going to be doing the resurrection, I would not have a problem with it at all. I think the fandom would truly rather binge watch the episodes because the immediate feel of disappointment will not be as powerful. I would be fine if I could stream all these episodes, but I am not fine with a major network doing it.
There are shows that should be brought back, over a show that has had nine seasons and two movies. Off the top of my head shows that deserve more than The X-Files because they truly had their time, Sports Night, Pushing Daisies, Twin Peaks, Andy Richter PI, Greg the Bunny, The Adventures of Brisco County Junior, Freaks and Geeks, and this list ends with Firefly. All shows killed before their time. However, want to know what would be an even better idea….STOP REHASHING THE PAST. I get it. You need the ratings and bringing back shows like The X-files, 24, and freaking Coach is going to do that? That is not what the viewer wants. We want…No, we need something new. We crave something that has not been seen before. So what if it is a different telling of the same story? The story of Romeo and Juliet is retold in a paper company in The Office. It does not matter what the shows are, just try something different.
And now we come full circle, The X-files holds a place in the sci-fi genre and it always will. But when the show actually becomes part of the Guinness Book of World Records for being simulcast in the most countries around the world, when it becomes the longest running Sci-fi show of all time, when it becomes the highest grossing Sci-fi show of all time through sales of DVDs and, etc… Let me know. If I had a choice between watching Mulder and Skully, or a time traveling Doctor, I am choosing the Doctor. But the best thing is that we can choose what we want. Doesn’t matter which show we like, we are still all part of the same Sci-Fi family.