TV - The Truth is Out There

As the song says, this could be a case for Mulder and Scully as Susan Omand finds out what David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have been doing since the end of the original X-Files...

Mulder and Scully. It’s a pairing more famous than ... well, think of a TV pairing and these two are more famous. And now they’re coming back! With the revamped files due to hit TV screens early next year, what have the dynamic duo of Duchovny and Anderson been doing since they closed the last file in 2002?

David Duchovny has been a busy boy, voicing video games and appearing in films as diverse as the cold war suspense thriller Phantom, with the wonderful Ed Harris, and the quietly quirky film Goats, which also starred Bates Motel’s Vera Farmiga. But there are two main TV roles that he has made his own during the time away from the X-Files. The first, and newest, is serendipitously timeous, as the series just started on Sky Atlantic – Aquarius. Duchovny plays a 1960’s cop who goes undercover to track the now infamous cult leader Charles Manson and his family before they embark on their murder spree. As yet I haven’t watched it but the reviews are good, it’s a fascinating concept with great casting and has already been picked up for a second season in the States so I’m looking forward to catching up with it. The other TV role that has kept my Duchovny craving fed through the Files-free years though is that of Hank Moody in Californication. Nothing to do with the Chilli Pepper’s song, Hank is a self-loathing, Porsche driving, alcoholic writer going through a messy separation and a midlife crisis with added drug problems, a sex addiction and an agent that really makes worse decisions than he does, in fact, almost every stereotype you can think of. BUT the writing and the acting make Hank one of the most likeable dislikeable characters on TV and, no matter what kind of mess he gets himself in and how annoyed you get with him for making decisions that are just damned stupid, you’re always rooting for him to get out of it successfully and kinda wishing you were there too because it looks like so much fun. The scripts are emotional roller coasters and the humour is deliciously sarcastic. If you haven’t seen it... watch it.

But what of Ms Anderson (which always makes her name sound like it should be said by Agent Smith in The Matrix)? She also hasn’t been waiting around for the X-Files to come back. She has come into her own in "bonnet and bustle" classical TV costume dramas such as Moby Dick and Bleak House and has played characters at both ends of the glamour spectrum, from Miss Havisham in Great Expectations to the Duchess of Windsor in Any Human Heart, via a violently emotional Blanche duBois in an acclaimed theatre production of Streetcar Named Desire. For more contemporary work, she has returned to type with the Secret Service based Crisis and the Irish police drama The Fall, which has kept her current on our screens. And, if you’re a Fannibal, of course, you’ll know she’s the good Doctor’s own doctor, of rather psychoanalyst, as she plays Dr Bedelia Du Maurier in the final series of Hannibal.

But it’s when Duchovny and Anderson are on screen together that the magic really happens... or at least it did over a decade ago. Am I the only one slightly wary of them revisiting the X-Files? Should you leave old shows and favourite characters to the mists of nostalgia or is the Truth really out there in a whole new way?

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