Upon leaving the university for the evening, I entered into a conversation discussing The X-Files with a friend. With the current airing of The X-Files revival, it’s a pretty hot topic right now, with people discussing how it relates to the previous series and, especially in my friends case, how exciting it is to finally have it return. Discussing all of its connections to the original and just how much it means to those that saw the original as it was coming out. Unlike my friend, I am only just watching the original series for the first time, at the time of writing this I’m half way through season 2. It hit me after the conversation, that even when I have seen all 9 original series, the 2 films and become completely up to date, I will never appreciate the revival as much as they do. The passion to which my friend describes the original series in regards to the revival, is something that can only be achieved by having a long standing connection to the franchise, as well as the anticipation for a continuation. With my adoption of the franchise having only just taken effect, (which is really shocking in hindsight, due to my love of Science Fiction, Conspiracy theories and FBI dramas) in a time where the series can be easily accessed online or on Blu-Ray/DVD (For the record, the Blu-ray box set is high on my list right now of things to buy when I have the spare cash (Spare Cash, that’s an odd thought)), I have all 9 seasons and films readily available and by the time I reach the end, all six episodes of the revival will be just as easy to access. In essence, I have to wait for nothing. The notion of The X-Files returning is simply a fact that I can have no emotional connection too, I can fondly remember discussions of it in the future or ones that I have overheard now, but I will never appreciate it as much as others.
I am far from the only person to experience this, in fact it’s something that can be seen all the time. In the case of Star Wars, People who were children when the prequels came out will never understand the hatred that those that grew up with the original films feel towards The Phantom Menace. To them, it’s just a bad film in the franchise, but to those who waited 16 years for any form of continuation on the screen, it’s a whole other matter. See the episode “Change” of Spaced for a genuine reaction between generations to The Phantom Menace, in fact, just go watch Spaced. It’s a damn good series.
It’s an odd sensation, and one I have expressed several times with formats or shows I grew up with and my younger brother’s discovery of them. As someone who grew up in a world just prior to cable TV, satellite and the internet becoming household necessities, its difficult to explain how exciting it was to sit down every week for a new episode of a show that had already aired weeks or months ago in America or even years ago from elsewhere, especially when you only had 4 TV channels. Anime fans growing up with subtitled episodes being released hours after its Japanese airing, will never fully appreciate the old days of Fox Kids, Manga Entertainment and bootleg VHS’.
The Times They are a changin’.
Now, enough of the long rant. The X-Files is calling me.