Thursday, March 26, 2015

What WAS going on in the X-Files Intro?

It always seemed like the intro segment to The X-Files was put together in the two days before the first show aired and someone in Chris Carter's office suddenly remembered "oh no.  We forgot to get an intro!" and asked some stoner interns to put something together, and, indeed they did.

What's more odd is that, even after the show took off and had a budget, no one ever thought to replace the opening sequence with something un-terrible and that did not suggest "eh, we're gonna get canceled, anyway, so don't kill yourself working on this."

To remind yourself of how that intro went, click here.  

These are out of order, because I don't care, but help me out...  Of all the mysteries of X-Files, the imagery of the intro leaves the biggest question marks of all.  Let's solve some outstanding X-Files.  Y'all tell me exactly what is going on in one or more of these images from the X-Files opening.

X-File 1:  The Stretchy Face Guy

Clearly tortured mentally and physically, each week this guy's face was being distorted by the finest in 1990's era digital manipulation software for an underpowered desktop PC.  But what was he experiencing?  Was this a literal event or how we were feeling as an audience with our minds totally blown by UFOs?

X-File 2:  The glowing proximal phalanx of the index finger and falling Don Draper

What, indeed, was happening here?  Was part of someone's finger very, very warm?  Did it glow?  Was there a bomb in this guy's finger?  And why was there a tumbling 2D human silhouette falling toward the fingers?

X-File 3: The Air Traffic Controller

This mostly looks like a bunch of squicky gibberish being looked at by an air traffic controller working at night.  If you told me that's exactly right, I'd be fine with that.  I don't know how that business works at all.

Or, maybe it's a person looking at a blue print?  I'll never know, and I doubt anyone affiliated with the show except the stoned film student knows, either.

X-File 4:  Dressing Gillian Anderson like First Lady Barbara Bush

Season 1 of X-Files saw the diminutive Gillian Anderson put into a lot of high collars and shoulder pads.  I suppose it was a bit of a professional look at the time, but high collars and high shoulder pads were a curious look for anyone that compact.  Still, we saw through the off-the-rack wardrobe decisions and still believed in the good doctor.  But why did the costuming department choose this look that suggested "tiny linebacker" rather than just putting her in a non-padded jacket?

X-File 5:  Well, that's just the middle of one of those static things from Spencer Gifts

You are not fooling anyone, Chris Carter.

X-File 6:  Squishing the rubber bladder or maybe that's a bean?

Under the floating words "Paranormal Activity" in a font that is probably giving font-nerds seizures out there, every week for the run of the show, we were treated to seeing a mirrored image of some kind of round thing that would begin leaving gook.  It wasn't as mysterious as it was unpleasant and really, really seemed like something from the intro-maker's apartment they stuck in there because - oh my god, the thing is due.

All right - y'all kick in  SOLVE THE UNSOLVABLE.


mcsteans said...

It's even more impressive that even after they brought in the new cast there was still no new intro. They just swapped out their pictures. Hopefully the new episodes will employ the trend of going intro-less.

J.S. said...

Each of these images makes perfect sense, but you do not not understand them because you are not a big enough X-Files fan. Therefore you do not deserve to have them explained to you.
Well, maybe X-File 3. I'll give you that one. It's Bjork composing music on her reactable.