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    Jennifer Wees

    The Truth is Out There (maybe) – The ESO Network


    Given the recent (totally awesome!) news that the X-Files will be back, however briefly, I feel the urge to re-iterate my old idea (previously discussed here in a time travel post) given that there’s a possibility for change! When a show’s over, it’s usually over, there’s no going back, and the story is done, at least officially. We’ll get six more (squeeee!) episodes to find out where Mulder and Scully (and Skinner? omigod pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease! Was Skinner still alive?) are at. As I recall, the Smoking Man won’t matter because he got blowed up real good. Am I remembering that correctly? I think I am. Anyhow, the show’s resurrected, and maybe, just maybe, there will be some actual clarification of what the heck was going on there.

    Let me start by saying that I got hooked into the X-Files by my then-boyfriend, but the show lasted longer than our relationship (thankfully). Not all the shows were great, like any series, but it was the dynamic between Mulder and Scully that helped keep me coming back every week. Even though their individual worldviews skewed 180 degrees, they still respected each other. I didn’t Learn Important Things like I did with Star Trek because it was all metaphysical mumbo jumbo and evil aliens and government conspiracies (ok, that last one could be a thing) but their dedication to finding the truth, whatever it might be, was important.

    As the show progressed, the conspiracy was shown to be bigger, and also more pointless, than anyone could have guessed. I suppose these are spoilers, but it’s been 13 years, so (stop reading if you’ve never watched the show, and intend to). From what I remember, the entire conspiracy was to set the stage for an alien takeover, while the government collaborators (and I use that in a ‘Nazi collaborator’ kind of way) would be able to avoid being dominated like the little people. This now seems a trifle lame. An alien race that can take over the earth really requires decades of prep time and help from humans who are helping because they’re afraid of the aliens? If the aliens are so scary, why do they need help? And if they need help, why are the humans so afraid of them? Anyhow, we didn’t really get to that weirdness until later in the series, and it felt a little like maybe there hadn’t been a whole lot of thought put into the why of the thing, just the how. Still better than Lost though.

    My thinking about what was going on developed a few seasons in, but the ‘evidence’ I had started from the first season. An old man shows up on a university campus, predicts various occurrences, and kills, or tries to kill, a few different people. Eventually, Mulder figures out that the old man is a time traveller from the future trying to correct his earlier actions to make things right. The man (Jason) succeeds in killing almost his entire former circle, including his younger self (only one body is found after a struggle between the old and young Jasons and the building they’re in is demolished by fire), missing only his old girlfriend. The old man tells Mulder that he and his younger friends created something (a compound or a machine, I can’t remember) that made time travel possible, thereby making “a world without history.” Jason used his own technology to stop it in its tracks—his own version of going back in time to kill Hitler, although in his scenario, he’s Hitler.

    It is revealed in the course of the story that Scully had written a paper on time travel, and this got me thinking, in later seasons, that maybe the Smoking Man, rather than possibly being Mulder’s father, was actually Mulder, back from the future to fix things he’d done wrong. Jason’s girlfriend survived the murder party and the implication at the end of the episode is that she continued their work. It would have explained the cryptic nature of the Smoking Man’s communication with Mulder, his seeming affection for Scully without being creepy (and it definitely could have tipped into creepy), and the disdain of Mulder’s mother for the Smoking Man (a mother’s disappointment). I could easily see Mulder thinking this might be the way to fix things, in his older years, and the best bad guys are the ones who do the wrong things for the right reasons (see: Magneto). Mulder was never one to really think things through to their logical conclusion. It could happen.

    My hope is that Chris Carter has had some time to reconsider the we’re-in-this-just-to-save-our-own-asses scenario and is going to take these upcoming six episodes to create something worthy of the fans and the mythology. I mean, I’ll watch either way. I want to believe.

    The post The Truth is Out There (maybe) – The ESO Network appeared first on Transmissions From Atlantis.

    An Open Letter to Paramount Studios

    I know you want another Star Trek TV show; we all do! If you would be so kind, I’d like to suggest some ideas as to how you might make it happen, maybe overcome some possible objections.

    You don’t need to bring someone from the original series. You didn’t bring one of the original cast when you started The Next Generation (except as cameos) and I think everyone was a little surprised, but it worked; it worked so well that you made three more series the same way, and that worked out okay. Maybe you don’t want to invest a pile of cash into an unknown quantity, but you totally can. Maybe you don’t want to have to negotiate with actors at the end of every contract, and a lot of actors don’t want to be locked into Star Trek because it makes it more difficult for them to break out of the mold after the series is over. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with being remembered for Star Trek, but you gotta eat and if you’re typecast by Star Trek, well, you’re a little stuck.

    So here’s how you get around it: don’t sign anyone to long-term contracts. In The Next Generation, there were a couple of episodes revolving around junior officers, and the senior officers, known to us as the main characters, rarely showed their faces; they were background. This is something you can do over and over again. The ships all essentially have the same background, the same corridors, similar command areas, and only need a little bit of tweaking to look different. It would be easy enough with slightly different lighting to allow audiences to understand they were on a different ship. Different actors playing different characters on different ships, and you get around the whole years-long contract issue. It’s basically Law & Order in space.

    This kind of structure allows for a revolving cast of characters and you can bring any of them back at any given time because it’s basically a military structure and people get transferred. You can have short story arcs, or long story arcs, or overlapping stories between ships. You could show different perspectives of the same event as seen by different ships. We’ve already seen this with the battle of Wolfe 359 from the perspective of Cmdr. Sisko on Deep Space 9. From my perspective, that of a Next Generation fan who saw it all from the Enterprise, seeing the effects from someone who was not emotionally attached to Captain Picard, and who lost family while Picard was leading the Borg, it was quite interesting! Of course, you don’t want it to get too messy, and you could always have a couple of main characters, just like Law & Order, to anchor it: maybe an admiral? Or a holographic doctor? Maybe someone from the Q Continuum?

    Another benefit to this structure is that you can appeal to the non-Star Trek fan who might be reluctant to begin watching as they don’t know the background. This type of newbie would be attracted by the freshness of the story, and it’s easy enough to maintain and grow the interest of established Star Trek fans by throwing in a reference or two to something from before, or have someone from the earlier series show up periodically. Maybe someone from the Q Continuum? No pressure. Heck, throw in a mirror universe episode and they’ll be hooked. I’m ready to tune in now!

    I have been for years.

    The post An Open Letter to Paramount Studios appeared first on Transmissions From Atlantis.