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The X-Files – Travelers (Review)

This May and June, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the fifth season of The X-Files and the second season of Millennium.

For all that the fifth season of The X-Files is building towards a major summer movie release, the production team seem surprisingly relaxed about it.

The fifth season is as experimental and as loose as the show ever got. Patient X and The Red and the Black suggested that Chris Carter didn’t even feel beholden to the continuity of The X-Files: Fight the Future, introducing new characters and concepts to the mythology that could not possibly be inserted into the film at this late stage. Similarly, the show was willing to play around with special guest writers like Stephen King and William Gibson, film an entire episode in black and white, focus on relatively minor characters, and reveal two separate secret histories of the X-files.

What do you call a baby Fox?

What do you call a baby Fox?

Of course, some of these innovations were driven by necessity or large goals. Patient X and The Red and the Black represent the beginning of the end for this stage of the mythology. Stories like Unusual Suspects and Travelers focus on characters other than Mulder or Scully because David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were otherwise engaged. Nevertheless, there is a very relaxed vibe to the fifth season, as if the show is taking an extended moment to enjoy the peak of its popularity. As well it should.

Travelers is an episode that is far from essential in many respects. It is clunky in places, indulgent in others. It feels like the production teams are just happy to root through the old costuming wardrobe and prop departments, delighted to compose over-written monologues and stock characters. Travelers is light and fun, with its indulgence and its relative lack of substance making it more enjoyable than it would otherwise be.

He'll (Garret Dilla)hunt you down...

He’ll (Garret Dilla)hunt you down…

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Calvin v. Hobbes – An Alternative Interpretation of Fight Club…

I am a sucker for a crazy movie conspiracy theory. Be it the possible identities of Keyser Soze or the fact that The Shining is about Native Americans or even whether Anton Chigurh (the unstoppable killing machine from No Country for Old Men) is actually an angel. I stumbled across a somewhat similar one a little while ago which has been out there a while (and I imagine most of you are familiar with). But, for those who aren’t, I thought I’d pass on my own favourite crazy movie theory of the moment: Fight Club is a sequel to the iconic comic strip Calvin & Hobbes. Edward Norton’s narrator is Calvin and Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden is Hobbes. It actually makes sense.

"I am Jack's abandoned childhood friend..."

Note: In case that opening paragraph hasn’t given the game away, there are spoilers in here for the rather excellent Fight Club. I’m assuming anyone reading a detailed article on the movie has seen it (you’ve had ten years!), but – if not – consider yourselves warned that here there be spoilers.
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