Show returns to put the X factor back into TV
It could be a case for Mulder and Scully – whatever happened to the top-rated scifi series and its characters when it went off air for 14 years? Thankfully, we’re about to find out because The X-Files (Monday, Channel 5, 9pm) is back. Even the most die-hard of fans never thought they’d get to see their heroes in action again, and have been almost beside themselves with glee at the prospect since the reboot was announced. Both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have agreed to reprise their roles as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully – it just wouldn’t have been the same without them. Both stars have enjoyed success in various projects following the end of the original series, with Anderson particularly familiar to UK viewers thanks to her appearance on TV in the likes of The Fall, Great Expectations, The Crimson Petal and the White, and the recent adaptation of War and Peace. They will be joined by various other original run alumni, including Mitch Pileggi as the FBI’s assistance director Walter Skinner, and William B Davis, who plays the enigmatic Smoking Man. What surprised many is that Channel 5 outbid other broadcasters to grab the right to show the six-part run. “Securing the UK premiere of the hugely anticipated return of The X-Files is a major coup for the channel and will create one of the television events of 2016,” said Ben Frow, director of programmes at Channel 5. “This acquisition underlines our ambition to deliver a diverse slate of brilliant, must-see programming on Channel 5.” So far, feedback has been very good. Okay, so some critics have been unkind, but fans – and they are the ones who are important here – have given it an overwhelming thumbs-up. What’s more, the first episode features a recap that will be invaluable to casual viewers, or those who didn’t watch the original run or either of its spinoff movies. After that, it’s the monster-of-the-week approach that takes centre stage as Mulder and Scully get to grips with more intrigue and conspiracy. When we meet them again, the duo have been living separate lives for years – she at a medical practice, him ploughing his own furrow. They are brought back together by a cable TV host who wants them to help him expose a sinister organisation he believes has the power to control the American public.
Dynamic duo Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny star