I’m still not sure how I got started watching The X-Files. I don’t recall any of my friends recommending it to me–it just appeared on my TV one day, like an unannounced guest who drops by for a minute and ends up staying all night and drinking all your beer. About halfway through its first season, I picked up on this odd little show about two FBI agents who investigate paranormal activity, a premise that reminded me of the Project UFO series I watched as a kid. It didn’t take me long to get hooked. I was fascinated by a series that could blend horror, science-fiction and humor so seamlessly, and pretty soon my Friday nights revolved the adventures of Agents Mulder and Scully.
Soon after, the rest of the viewing public caught on and The X-Files became a genuine hit–much to the surprise of the Fox network and a lot of critics. Me, I didn’t think it was such a stretch (if you’ll pardon the obvious “Toombs” reference). The writing was always top-notch, and there was a genuine chemistry between the leads that just made you want to watch, no matter how fantastic the storylines were.
Personally, I enjoyed the horror shows the most. Standouts for me included the aforementioned “Toombs” and its prequel “Squeeze,” along with the very psychological “Irresistible” and the utterly terrifying “Home”–an episode so unsettling that Fox ran it only once. “Beyond the Sea” is also one of my faves, a first-season effort that deftly weaved a creepy serial-killer (superbly played by Brad Dourif) with some meaty character development for Dana Scully.
Later seasons saw some really amazing work as well. “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” and “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” certainly come to mind–but then there’s “The Unnatural” and “Hollywood A.D.,” in which David Duchovny himself gets to show off his props as a writer and director, subverting the show’s format with a wink and a smile and pulling it off brilliantly. Hell, even William Gibson and Stephen King got into the act, penning their own episodes (King’s take on Scully in “Chinga” was priceless).
Sadly, The X-Files got bogged down in its own mythology as it neared the end. The departure of Duchovny also revealed how much depended on the interplay between him and Gillian Anderson, giving viewers fewer reasons to watch as the torch passed to amiable but less interesting characters. Still, it was amazing that Chris Carter and his merry band of writers managed to keep it working as long as they did.
My own experiences with The X-Files were pretty brief. I told a film agent in Orlando about my knowledge of the FBI, acquired during research for my novel The Trinity Project, and how I had been through the Bureau’s special agent selection process. I thought that background might be enough to enough to earn me a pitch, and the agent agreed. She contacted Fox and got my script through the door–where it promptly disappeared, never to be seen again.
I had a good time with Mulder and Scully, though. These scripts are an extension of that, a fan’s love letter to a venerable series.
MY SOUL TO KEEP
This one was a straight-up horror tale, in the tradition of the episodes I liked the most. The murder of a Senator in a fashion eerily reminiscent of an infamous–and supposedly dead–serial killer takes Mulder and Scully to the FBI Academy, where Mulder finds that one of his old profiler buddies may be involved in the crime. Lots of mystery and mayhem, with a neat sci-fi twist at the end.
STILL WATERS – PART I (PDF Format)
STILL WATERS – PART II (PDF Format)
A retelling of my novel The Lazarus Heart, with our intrepid FBI agents as the stars. A series of unexplained murders with occult overtones sparks Mulder’s interest. But when the investigation has a profound effect on Scully, things start to get scary. Her personality changes until it seems she has become someone else–the ghost of a long dead woman, out to extract a terrible revenge. A nice take on the Mulder-Scully relationship, in all its layered complexity. I never got the chance to submit this one to the show.
Author holds the copyright on all works. All scripts are registered with the Writers Guild of America West. Any attempt to reproduce these materials without the author’s permission will result in government agents dragging you off in the middle of the night and selling you into alien abduction, where you’ll be forced to account for all of Earth’s misdeeds–like Jar-Jar Binks, and how George Lucas ever thought people would take a character named Dooku seriously.