The X-Files - When the Internet Wanted to Believe
In 1993, special agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder began their quest for irrefutable proof of the existence of the paranormal and popular culture has never been the same.
## Episode Outline
**Topics:** the importance of fan-fiction to the X-Philes community, the strength of the community over the decades it has existed, creators’ interactions with the 90s fandom, fans’ reactions to the recent reboots, can a fandom survive without new content?
### Fandom Facts
* “The series revolves around Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) who investigate X-Files: Marginalized, unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena. Mulder believes in the existence of aliens and the paranormal, while Scully, a medical doctor and a skeptic, is assigned to make scientific analyses of Mulder's discoveries to debunk his work and thus return him to mainstream cases.”
-[Wikipedia - The X-Files](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_X-Files)
* Unfortunately, [Google Trends data only goes back to 2004](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F07g9f), and season 9, the last season to air before a long break, ended in 2002. From that data, it looks like interest has been on the decline, but spiked in 2008 (_The X-Files: I Want To Believe_), 2016 (Season 10), and a much smaller spike than either in 2018 (Season 11).
* Couldn’t find data, but from this note from Fanlore (originally a Tumblr post, [A Note about the X-Files Fandom](https://fanlore.org/wiki/A_Note_about_the_X-Files_Fandom)):
* “The X-Files' prime Nielsen demographic targets were 18-49. That was the most popular viewing age for the show. … The average viewer was in their mid- to late-20s. They had jobs and families that came home to watch TV together at the end of the day. The people who wrote most of the classic fan fiction we have today were in their 20s at the time, or 30s.”
### First Impressions
**G:** Never something that he got into, G regarded *The X-Files* as simply that show that came on after *The Simpsons*. Really aware of it primarily through other bits of pop culture that reference it.
**T:** He watched a little bit of the later seasons of the series’ first run when the episodes were fun (e.g.: the gang finds a genie and has various wishes granted), but never really became invested in it.
**Z:** It was something that he was only ever really aware of through other bits of pop culture. In more recent years, it’s seemed a little interesting to him, but not enough for him to seek any of it out.
Overall, the fandom seems to be as strong as ever, if perhaps shrinking. But, as Z observed, as long as the show is on services like Netflix, it will probably find an audience among those who are interested in shows that blend soap opera and (paranormal) conspiratorial mystery elements.
Fan fiction still seems to be very important to the community, perhaps because the series’ continuity is lacking in some areas or because, as of this recording Mulder and Scully have yet to be in an explicit romantic relationship.
Also, in the current culture of binge-watching, the series’ general “monster-of-the-week” format helps it to fit right in.
**G:** There’s simply too much of it to catch up on, and, because it’s mostly a “monster-of-the-week” kind of show, he wasn’t convinced it would catch and keep his interest.
**T:** He had watched a few episodes of the series recently and found himself entertained. If he can make the time to do so, he’ll probably watch more of it, maybe some of the earlier seasons.
**Z:** Admittedly, it might scratch the same itch his near annual *Twin Peaks* rewatches do. But, he was not convinced that it would be quite as good as *Peaks* because it was too much of a mainstream success (yep, Z played the hipster card). Though, at some point, he said that he would maybe see if it could prove him wrong.
### Famous Last Words
What did we have to say about next week’s topic, *Buffy the Vampire Slayer*, with only our first impressions?
**G:** Lot of fans of Joss Whedon… did Buffy lay the groundwork for any other of his works? Or do the fans consider it set apart? Why?
**T:** How did the Buffy fandom change after the whole Joss Whedon controversy (especially as he’s helming the reboot, I believe)?
**Z:** Aside from whatever controversy there might be around the show’s creative head, is Buffy something that fans regard as easy to go back and watch? OR is it horribly date?
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## What is "Fanthropological"?
Every week, Fanthropological delivers about an hour of fandom-related "fanalysis" covering a different fandom every week and giving you hard data, history, special guests, and, of course, speculation!
We cover topics spanning the gamut of anime, manga, comics, video games, comics, movies, books, television, and, in general, geek culture.
* All music and sound for this week's episode were provided by Nick Green!
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