By now, you’ve probably heard that Ryan Coogler may or may not be bringing us a more diverse version of The X-Files. (We don’t believe anything exists until we see it at this point.) Whether or not you think this series should just rest in peace—or, really, rot in the crypt creator Chris Carter left it in at the end of the most recent attempt to bring it back to our screens—or are excited for new content, there’s definitely a space for a version of this story that better depicts our world. As in, broken record here, but representation matters. And it’s kind of ridiculous that this series had a large rotating cast of everything from little
green gray men to Flukemen, to whatever Eugene Victor Tooms was…yet, with very rare exceptions, couldn’t seem to envision a world that included people of color at the forefront.
With that being said, we’ve got questions. And we can sum them all up pretty simply: Is Chris Carter ok? And what planet is he living on these days?
Because, well. You see…Carter’s math fails to math. During CBC’s On The Coast with Gloria Macarenko, Carter said something about Coogler having “his work cut out for him” because The X-Files “covered so much territory.” No, but really. Is this man for real? Because, well, what are we talking about here? Please tell us he’s not talking about actual plot. To be clear, there’s always plenty of room for more monsters of the week and government conspiracies. And, quite frankly, the only “so much territory” Carter covered besides those two things was in the medical assault category, and nobody wants more of that. Never asked for it in the first place, actually.
Furthermore, Coogler isn’t exactly some unknown or a talentless hack, here. So, he can more than handle himself. Then again, perhaps the guy behind a couple of totally tiny, not at all critically acclaimed Black Panther films just isn’t up to the task of writing a convoluted myth arc. Totally true. (In case it’s not clear from the general tone of this entire piece, that’s sarcasm…)
We’ve totally figured out what that comment was all about. Perhaps what Mr. Carter meant was that Ryan Coogler will really have to dig deep if he wants to find new, creative ways to bring even more of the male gaze to The X-Files. Now, that would certainly take some hard work. The constant reproductive trauma mentioned above aside—and that’s a pretty huge thing to put aside—there’s still plenty to pick apart. Remember when it took actual public outcry, including from Special Agent Dana Scully, M.D. herself (Gillian Anderson), to even get women writers involved in Season 11? In 2017?! Because we do. If not that, maybe the real struggle will be…restoring longtime fans’ faith after, well, all the struggles. Especially that last one. Because, really. Who actually wants to get their hopes up again after…that? Eh, probably not us.
Now, what if someone told us Ryan Coogler was going to work on a television series that incorporated all the good elements of The X-Files, and none of the bad ones, but without calling it that? Well, that would be a no brainer. We’d be all in. Give us more unexplained phenomena, a couple of partners with undeniable chemistry, just enough angst, and the obligatory cool shots of flashlights in the dark. Keep us wondering, at all times, whether or not we can trust anyone around us. (Which, we now know, more than ever, that we can not.)
…bonus points if the overall “mythology” winds up making any sense, whatsoever. Another pitifully low bar, actually.
But, as it is, we don’t know if we can look forward to this with anticipation or dread. Because we were already burned—and burned badly—the last time we got excited for more of this particular world. So, yeah…
Come to think of it, Chris Carter was right. Ryan Coogler does have his work cut out for him. Just…not at all for the reasons Carter said.
Ryan Coogler, plus The X-Files: Are you in or out? Leave us a comment to let us know!
Disney owns the rights to The X-Files, so I’m out. Disney involvement automatically makes this a bad idea.