‘The X-Files’ on the big screen: Once, twice, three times a maybe…

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2012, it was foretold, is the year that it all goes pear-shaped.

Okay, so there was no mention of a global economic catastrophe, VAT going up on hot pasties, or David Cameron’s terrifyingly pink and smug face, but the prophecy clearly stated that an alien race would colonise the Planet Earth on December 22nd – meaning we get the Olympics, the first part of The Hobbit and five episodes of new Doctor Who before the apocalypse. That’s a small consolation, even if it means we never find out how good the new companion is going to be in.

Of course the Mayans never mentioned any of that; they didn’t predict the end of the world at all, doomsayers. They just said it was the end of a cycle coming to an end and we should all get very, very drunk. These, as Rafa Benitez once said, are facts.

So, to whom are we referring? Well, the Cigarette-Smoking Man from The X-Files, obviously.

Almost exactly a decade ago, when the show was on its last legs enjoying a new lease of life with Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish as Agents Doggett and Reyes, it was put out of its misery brought to a premature conclusion with a tantalising teaser left hanging, unresolved, by the perpetually-toking one.

He announced that the long-promised alien colonists would finally be doing their nasty thing to the Earth just before Christmas 2012 and fans have been left on tenterhooks ever since.

Of course, ten years is a long time to stay up in the air and by now, we’re starting to think that a third X-Files movie, showing the events of the colonisation and Mulder and Scully’s heroic fight against the odds, isn’t going to materialise after all.

There have been whispers; David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have expressed willingness in the past, and Chris Carter cautiously suggested that if the second X-Files film, 2008’s I Want to Believe, was a success, he’d consider doing a follow-up set amid the mythology of the 2012 colonisation.

The trouble is, I Want to Believe was universally ignored (an even worse fate than being universally hated, perhaps). There were good bits – mainly the continuing chemistry between the two leads, the all-too-brief appearance of Mitch Pileggi and the swimwear modelling at the end – but it was mostly a load of garbled waffle about non-alien abductions and Satanism, featuring Billy Connolly as a paedophile priest and Xzibit as the host of Pimp My Ride. It was pretty much like an extended cut of an average standalone episode from Season 7.

‘I’m as happy as a clam,’ Mulder said at one point, but few agreed with him; not even any crustaceans. If X-Files 3 is anything like that, most people would probably prefer Armageddon.

But there are promising signs – not for anything in 2012, as it’s already April and nothing’s been green-lit – but for the future that Mulder and Scully once, in a dim and distant year, fought on the big screen.

If Duchovny and Anderson remain willing (and as age mellows us all, it seems unlikely they’d be against it, particularly while they’re still young and botox-free enough to be convincingly sexy leading actors) and Chris Carter has a plan up his sleeve that encompasses an alien colonisation, a decent – or indeed, any – character-based subplot, lots of snarky interplay between Mulder and Scully and at least a cameo for Doggett and Reyes (hell, they’ve earned it), a third movie could definitely work.

It’s just a shame that there’s no way back to the halcyon days at the FBI – which would be nice – or to a period when Fox and Dana were merely awkward flirters rather than an actual couple, which would be even nicer.

On the other hand, if the new film takes place after a messy divorce and custody battle for baby William, there’s your subplot right there, Mr Carter. We’ll even toss in a snappily-rubbish title for you – The Ex-Files – free of charge. You’re welcome. Now please make this.

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