Feb. 18th, 2017

frelling_tralk: (X-Files Mulder in b&w by sininferno)
I found that season 8 really doesn't reach the heights of previous seasons, it plays it very safe in comparison to all the high-concept episodes from seasons 5, 6, and 7 like PWP, Triangle, X-Cops etc, but at the same time it is more consistent in a lot of ways, and it does do a better job of returning to the darker feel of the early years than season 7 ever managed. And of course it makes sense that there would be such a big effort to return to traditional X-Files, what with Mulder being missing and audiences needing reassuring that it's still basically the same show. I did absolutely love the first two episodes, they really did have the epic scope of a feature film with the filming out in the desert, and the helicopters! They would be among my top five episodes of the season in fact, alongside Roadrunners (the slug episode), Medusa (the subway episode), and Vienen (the black oil episode)

I heard a lot of fans suggest that David was phoning it in in season 7, but I never particularly noticed it then, whereas in season 8 it really did stand out to me at times that he was coming across as noticeably bored and did not seem to want to be there :( Incidentally I did wonder early on why they were using David for such few scenes in the episodes where he did appear, most of his early appearances consisted of five minutes or less per episode. On the commentary for DeadAlive Frank Spotnitz explains that was because there was an agreement to only use David for a strictly limited number of days. He admits that it was frustrating sometimes the amount of money they were paying just to have Mulder lying in bed all episode, or only be glimpsed at the very end of an episode. I read on-line that apparently David Duchovny told TV Guide Online that he thought Mulder's final episodes in season 8 were a lost opportunity, and he wasn't happy that the focus wasn't fully back on Mulder and Scully, but I'm not sure what else he expected when his screen time was so restricted?

I felt like the show was pretty cautious about treating Scully and Doggett as the new team early on, the show seemed more interested in exploring Doggett as an individual, but there weren't really a lot of episodes focused on them as a partnership. (i.e Scully is barely in Via Negativa, The Gift, or Redrum, and the Scully-focused episode Roadrunners has very little Doggett in it). But then it probably was a wise decision because, while episodes that separated Mulder and Scully were usually among my least favourite, I found it the opposite with Doggett. His most interesting episodes for me were the more character-centric episodes focusing on just him, or the mythology-based ones, whereas the most boring episodes of season 8 were the stretch which treated Doggett and Scully as the new Mulder and Scully. The show suffered the most from David's absence when they tried to return to that straight-forward MotW format IMO. Season 8 would have been stronger if they had done a longer run of mytharc episodes focusing on the search for Mulder, the MotW episodes didn't work without Mulder around to make wisecracks, Doggett and Scully are so serious and professional together that they just can't replicate that chemistry.

Oh and I'd heard about the infamous episode with the man that crawls in and out of people's butts in Badlaa, and umm yeah that was an interesting episode. John Shiban mentions that his original idea was for the MotW to crawl inside people's ears, and it was Chris Carter suggestion for it to crawl inside asses instead....

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