X-Degrees of Separation

on May 14, 2008 by Steve Simels

As a rule, I'm not exactly a big Summer Blockbuster kind of guy (full disclosure: In my youth, I actually stood on line to get into the first showing of Who Framed Roger Rabbit on the day it opened. Boy -- there's a couple of hours I'll never get back). But that said, I must admit to being genuinely jazzed at the prospect of the forthcoming X-Files movie.

Yup, I'm a huge fan of the series. Star David Duchovny famously observed that they were doing feature quality work on a weekly TV schedule, and he obviously had that right; I can't think of another show that, at it's best, was as well-crafted on every level. But more to the point -- and you certainly didn't have to be a sci-fi geek to get it -- was the chemistry between its co-stars. For my money, nothing in TV history came close to the are-they-or-aren't-they? sexual tension between Gillian Anderson's slightly repressed Catholic school girl rationalist and Duchovny's passionately obsessive WASP with a dark side. Well, not really a WASP...they may have written Mulder as whitebread, but everybody who watched the show knew he was actually Jewish.

In any case, my favorite episode of all-time is still "The Post-Modern Prometheus" (1998), a black-and-white mini-movie that had nothing really to do with the show's Aliens Among Us mythology (neither does the new film, apparently); instead, it was writer/creator Chris Carter's loving homage to the Universal horror classics of the 30s and 40s. It's a ton of fun, overall, but the ending in particular is almost sublime; Mulder and Scully are watching Cher (a look-alike, but never mind) belting out "Walking in Memphis" in a club, and when he pulls her up to dance, the sly look that passes between them tells you all you need to know. Here's a clip of it -- make sure you watch through to the end for the big moment (and if it doesn't make you smile, you really need to have it looked at).

In any case, in honor of the film (in theaters everywhere July 25th!) here's a little brain-teaser for you. What is the connection -- extremely tenuous, I'll admit, but nonetheless legit -- between the The X-Files and the late great soul music icon Marvin Gaye?

No Googling allowed, of course, but the first reader who gets it will be awarded a coveted Box Office No-Prize. (Well, actually not, but I'll say nice things about you.)

Over to you, kids.

Tags: David Duchovny, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Gillian Anderson, Chris Carter, Marvin Gaye

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