Secret messages on unlisted CD tracks? A preview audience watching a movie with certain key scenes missing - with no one being sure whether the scenes were left out intentionally or because the “movie simply wasn’t finished yet”? Rumours and yet more rumours - most of them unfounded. Well, we’re either talking about scenes from an X-Files episode or the hype surrounding the secretive filming of the Star Wars prequels . . .

Actually it’s the hype surrounding the release of the popular TV show The X-Files’s big screen movie. So far we know that:

  • The movie isn’t a standalone episode so that audiences who are new to the show can easily catch up with what is going on. Instead it will focus on the “mythical” aspect of the X-Files, namely the shadowy conspiracy involving UFOs, a black goo that possesses humans, plans for an alien invasion abetted by an international covert organisation, etc. It will thus follow up directly on the cliff-hanging ending of the last episode of the show’s fifth season. This is contrary to what producer/creator/writer Chris Carter said in early interviews.
  • There has only been one preview showing of the movie - with some minor scenes missing, which the film’s makers claimed weren’t finished yet. Apparently the film’s producers were so happy with the final product that there won’t be any further preview screenings of X-Files - Fight the Future.
  • Some people who allege that they have seen the single preview screening weren’t too happy however. They say that it felt like watching an X-Files episode on the big screen instead of the small one. Besides, they claim, the movie didn’t answer any of the show’s big questions. Other fans said that the scenes in which all were explained were left out on purpose so that the surprise wouldn’t be spoiled beforehand. A bit like Steven Spielberg with E.T. - the Extra-Terrestrial keeping the design of the title character secret before the movie’s release. Or keeping audiences in suspense as to what Godzilla would actually look like . . .
  • There is an unlisted track on the X-Files movie’s soundtrack that has either a clip of dialogue from the movie or producer Chris Carter himself explaining everything. If you keep the CD running for another ten minutes or so after the last listed track - you will hear it. Or so the rumours have it. The truth is out there all right - but will it actually be on a movie soundtrack released before the film’s final release? I don’t think so . . .

What is going on here? I can here you ask. If you haven’t been following The X-Files for the past few years or so you’d no doubt be lost. But there’s still time to catch up by watching the ten or so video movies before the movie opens. The recording? Presumably it has the following to tell us:

“’The Method’” as they called it, though it was more so a germ-line procedure of singular meta-scientific [or "medi-scientific"?] complexity had been given to them by the alien colonists as a quid pro quo. The Syndicate would help them [the aliens] to create a population of alien hybrids who would hide in plain site, cloned from human ova and alien bio-material so there would be a clone race immune to the effects of the black oil when the return to the planet began.

For this, the Syndicate would be sequestered - granted a sort of immunity or asylum, given a place in the grander scheme. They were the Vichy government to the German ‘Final Solution’: collaborationists whose motivation was simple, self-directed survival. These cloning operations were spread across the country, the cataloguing and record-keeping done through a complex intra-institutional system that connected to every branch of government, from the Social Security Administration to the Department of Defence.

The operation, under the working title 'Purity Control,' had been launched in 1948, its original conception the brainchild of German scientists given immunity themselves for war crimes, and allowed to continue the eugenic experiments that were Hitler's dark legacy. The Syndicate had begun as a subset of a shadow intelligence agency whose original orders were to create plausible denial and an effective cover-up of Purity Control. But through 50 years, [and] numerous U.S. and UN administrations, the principals began to wrest control, accumulating power and influence across international borders, such that - by 1990 - the operation ceased to have any member accountable to any one government and whose only orders would be taken by a man named Strunkhold [phonetic spelling], a German industrialist who had fled his homeland to northern Africa.

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These men, whose knowledge and access provided control of a foreseeable future, had, in spite of this, everything to lose; their secret work, the cloning preparations and the cataloguing constituted their greatest vulnerability: exposure. Their detection would ensure not just their own demise, but a far-reaching dissolution of social and religious order around the globe.

To protect against this, the Syndicate employed methods of disinformation, using covert government programs that had been regrettably discovered, as a kind of smokescreen - a dodge or blind where the transgressions of Congress-accountable [sic] agencies served to hide their own more odious undertaking. They had even, at times, used the UFO phenomenon to create an hysteria that science and the intelligentsia denounced so completely as to make belief in believers seem ridiculous, and completely discreditable.

They had also, in a crisis, used a tool of the colonists themselves - alien bounty hunters who policed the cloning operations and enforced rule on the countdown to colonisation. A double-edged sword whose clod-blooded tactics had helped to stem a leak, or threat, but also kept a watch on the Syndicate. A threat in itself, as the Syndicate had something to hide that not even the colonists knew of: a vaccine against the black oil, an inoculant against the substance in which the alien life force was held - in fact, the very medium of the life force itself.

To guard this secret was perhaps even more critical than the truth of the existence of alien life, and of colonisation. If the Syndicate's own secret vaccine were discovered, the vaccine that would make themselves immune from the effects of the black oil, they would certainly be destroyed and the timetable for colonisation stepped up. They would protect this secret with their lives. They would kill to protect it, as it symbolised the only hope they had of avoiding enslavement when the planet was overtaken.

That they had been able to, over decades, conduct their work on the vaccine undetected was the result of a code among the Syndicate members that put honour and the future above personal politics. But now this code was beginning to break down. An incipient scramble for power [was] beginning to develop. A threat from within that doubled the threat from without: from agents Mulder and Scully, and the X-Files.”

Thanks for nothing I can hear those unfamiliar with the series grumble. Is this it? I can hear X-Files fans proclaim. Maybe. Maybe not. If you’ve been following the series you will know that FBI agents Mulder and Scully aren’t exactly very good at their job. The X-Files, a bunch of cases left unsolved by the FBI, usually remains that: unsolved. It is very seldom that something is explained at the end of an X-Files episode. The explanation above seems plausible enough, but then again, so does a lot of other explanations of the central conspiracy theory I’ve heard on the show and on the Internet.

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The question whether all will be revealed with the X-Files movie depends on what future direction the show is going to take. Will there be another season? What will happen in that season’s episodes if all is revealed? Will Mulder and Scully then be fighting a rearguard battle against a shadow government - a bit like the protagonists in the short-lived Dark Skies television series? What will make fans come back for more if all is revealed? Recently Chris Carter’s other TV show, the dark and nihilistic Millennium resorted to an X-Files-type conspiracy to help sagging ratings. Standalone episodes aren’t exactly what audiences want - to keep them glued to their TV screens they must come back next week as well to see how things turned out. Or will it go the Star Trek - Generations route by cancelling the show and merely bringing out the occasional big screen movie? This makes more sense if it is only standalone episodes fans have to look forward to. Besides, there have been lots of rumours about the two X-Files stars wanting to quit the show . . .

And if nothing is revealed? To be honest I think that the show has written itself into such a corner that will be quite a feat for them to write their way out of it without resorting to something quite obvious that has already been deduced by the fans. Maybe it would be better: it’d be business as usual then. Fans would keep on watching the show and any movies made to get to the bottom of things. But there can also be a backlash: fans might think that the truth will never be revealed and start deserting the show in droves out of pure disappointment. Who knows?

Personally I wouldn’t mind if the X-Files explained nothing. After all, an unsolved mystery lingers longer in the memory than the explanation of it. Remember the short-lived Dark Skies series? That series’ major fault was revealing all in the first few episodes and with no central mystery to it all there was nothing left except an alternative revisionist retelling of history. Not really what people wanted to see. However, a part of me is becoming impatient with all the smoke and mirrors in The X-Files and would like some answers for a change . . . Will the movie supply them? I guess we’ll have to wait until the end of this month to find out.




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