Thursday, March 27, 2008

The X-Files: PaleyFest Wants to Believe

Less than 20 minutes ago, I returned to my half-packed apartment from a night of hanging out with the coolest kids on the block: a panel of X-Files cast and crew members. PaleyFest 2008 held it's retrospective Q&A night with Chris Carter and the gang tonight, and Jen and I were there soaking it all in like every LA-based fangirl is obligated to do.

Not that sitting in the same room with Carter, Spotnitz and their gang of genius minds is an obligation - as if I would have actually been anywhere else tonight. I'm moving halfway across the country in less than 48 hours, my apartment isn't even close to packed-up yet, and still I abandoned my need to stay home and work in order to attempt to gain some new insight into the upcoming movie.

To lay the scene for you, let me immediately make it clear that David and Gillian were not in attendance. However, Mitch Pileggi was up on stage along with Nicholas Lea and Dean Haglund. Woot! Lone Gunmen representation! That doesn't mean any of those three are in the movie, mind you, but it was still great to hear their thoughts on the series as a whole. Pileggi made several comments alluding to the idea that he actually isn't in the upcoming movie at all, but Jen and I both agreed that it's hard to say whether or not he may have simply been playing up the gossip mill... especially since Chris Carter is adamant about his refusal to let on about anyone from the series who may or may not appear in the film. We'll have to wait and see, I suppose.

We started off with a lovely retrospective montage of the 9 seasons of TV greatness, and then our moderator for the evening delved into her line of questioning. They discussed their lives during those 9 years of filming, the relationships and bonds that were created, and how most of them didn't even realize how incredibly popular the show was until it was nearly completed. One of the directors spoke of how they always spent so much time and energy trying to make sure the monsters-of-the-week looked realistic and believable, because they felt that if they ruined the believability of the monsters then the entire episode would tank. As an example, he recalled a specific episode in S7 that had been put on hold for weeks and weeks, constantly postponed because they didn't feel as though the monster's look was coming across properly. In the end, they ran out of time and had to air it with whatever they had managed to accomplish for the monster, and to their surprise they found that the audience didn't care a single inkling about monster believability... because the Mulder/Scully dynamic of that episode was so strong; so classically perfect and memorable.

He was referring, of course, to "Arcadia."

All of it was very walk-down-memory-lane and inspiring, but really let's get to the main point, shall we?

Talk of the upcoming film finally made it's way into the discussion, and Carter was asked whether or not the film will be keeping true to the passage of time since the series finale. "The movie picks up six years later," he says. "Mulder and Scully will have lived those years."

"...In a New Mexico motel room?" asked the mod, resulting in an uproar of woots and applause. It was one of the great moments of MSR fangirl-ism for the evening, and a quote that had everyone laughing for hours to come. Carter has always tried to escape the MSR and making it central to his stories, but you could tell that by now he's totally made peace with it and realized that seeing them in love is one of the strongest draws for his audience.

And everyone knew we couldn't wait to catch a glimpse of them together once more, so waiting wasn't part of the deal.

We were blessed with being able to preview the full, completed trailer for the upcoming movie.

And all thanks to an audience member with more piece of mind than I have, it's already been bootlegged and uploaded for you all to view. Which is much more fun than reading my attempt at describing it to you in perfect detail.

For the record, that video cuts off a few seconds early. Immediately after the question is posed as to whether or not he believes in such things, you hear a Mulder VO answering simply, perfectly: "Let's just say, I want to believe."

And if you didn't catch the quickest flash of an almost-kiss in the history of movie trailers, go watch it again. Because it's definitely in there. The MSR fangirls were out in full force tonight at PaleyFest, because nary a moment of Mulder/Scully romance was mentioned or seen without an uproar of squees and applause from the crowd. It was a joyful sound, indeed.

Eventually we entered the land of audience Q&A, and I found myself greatly disappointed with the questions being asked and also the fact that our moderator seemed unwilling to move discussion forward. Much love to the panel, but they had a tendency to digress and ramble off into different anecdotes that had nothing to do with the original question. This resulted in losing way too much Q&A time, and I started losing interest. People were wasting precious opportunities to try and coax info out of Carter by instead taking a mic and thanking him for giving us such an incredible show... or asking him about unknown shows of his past that even he himself couldn't remember.

Sorry, but I think he knows everyone in that audience loves and appreciates him for giving us The X-Files. Our simple presence tonight made that obvious. Don't waste my Q&A time being redundant.

So I was angry and bitter because the moderator let us know that we had run out of time and the evening was ending - after only 4 questions, none of which shed any light on anything new. I didn't even get the chance to ask about Baby William and whether or not we'll ever see him again. Suffice it to say I was not the happiest fangirl in the room.

That is, until that same previously-annoying moderator took it upon herself to ask one final question before ending the evening for real. She looked Chris Carter directly into his eyes and said two simple words that made me fist-pump and bite my tongue to keep from screaming out in pure joy:

"Baby. William."

The audience applauded, I almost died then and there, and she proceeded to elaborate on her question. She asked if William is now a happy-go-lucky and well-adjusted child running through the wheat fields of Wisconsin, or is he setting corn stalks on fire with his eyes? Chris Carter, God love him, is never one to give much information away. I'll always take whatever bread crumb he offers, and so I found great joy in his response. He said, with great hesitation and a big cloud of vagueness over it all, that Baby William and his well being are not going untouched in the upcoming movie. Whether that means we see him or he is simply discussed, I don't know. But I'd settle for a quick 2-second mention of his existence in the world AT ALL, if I'm being honest. I don't ask for much. I'd just like Mulder and Scully to remember, in some way, that they have a child out there somewhere.

Knowing that I'm likely to get exactly that, if not even more, makes me all the more excited and thrilled about July 25th and all that comes with it.

Granted, I'll be on a cruise ship in the middle of the Baltic Sea when that day finally comes but don't you dare doubt my ability to find some way to see it. If you're willing to bootleg and stream it to me live, I'm willing to take you up on the offer. I may have to settle for watching it a few days late once I get back to the mainland, but I believe I can find a way on the 25th.

Or, at least, I want to believe.

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