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The Prologue: The Truth is Out There
I was writing this update on Facebook and thought, “Gosh, this is pretty long. Hey, look, a blog post.”
If you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you might not realize that Mulder and Scully are uniting to once again save the world, and X-Files is returning to film a new 6-episode season in Vancouver.
I’ve worked in Vancouver’s film industry since 1999 and I know that X-Files’ legacy in Vancouver is huge. Just watching the the series’ final three seasons makes you realize how much Vancouver affected the feel and eerie mood that made the show such an evocative fan-pleaser. But some of the soul was lost after the move to Los Angeles, and I think that made the film industry here feel like they’d been vindicated after such a high-profile snub.
The Facebook Update
I’m so excited that X-Files is returning to Vancouver. I think their departure from Vancouver was a mistake and they never had the same mood again.
X-Files was a large part of why we became such a sci-fi filming hub for so long, but we’ve had a little less of that filming over the last few years, and it’s great to see that genre as a whole picking up again.
But X-Files? It’s kinda like winning back the ex you never should’ve broken up with.
Before I got into film, I was a bookseller at Duthie Books, for the last year of X-Files’ time in Vancouver, and David Duchovny would come in every Friday morning, I think it was, to buy a copy of the New Yorker, the New York Times, and sometimes a book.* He was never social, would smile and be polite and was gracious, but wasn’t chatty. This was right around when he griped about the Vancouver rain on the Letterman show and got inundated with Vancouver hate for speaking the truth — surely not helpful towards the decision to leave.
Anyhow, if he wasn’t already carrying a big Starbucks coffee, that’d be his next stop. This was a routine the entire time he was in town shooting.
Tea Leoni, his wife at the time, once wandered in when he was working, and she asked me a question about travel books and, next thing you know, I was talking to her for over 20 minutes about all kinds of things. She was the nicest, most down-to-earth movie star I ran into at Duthies. She was funny, and she was interested in my stories. One of those RARE people who just gets into what you’re talking about and gives you back so much energy. Or she seemed that way that day. I totally get why he married her.
They were nice people. I was sad when the show left, because I felt Duchovny left on the worst terms — and not because it was his fault. He fell in love. Who wants to be apart from their spouse for 70% of the year? And he worked in Vancouver from late summer through the entire rainy season — anyone thinking it DIDN’T rain all the time was deluding themselves. He wasn’t insulting us, it was simply an inconvenient truth.
Coming to Your TV in 2016
Ahh. The old X-Files memories. Know what, though? It’ll be nice to see how they capture Vancouver now, 15 years later and with so much change since then. Plus, there’s new filming tech, new shooting styles, and all the people involved are so much better at their craft today. Duchovny was a young punk who was on top of the world. He’s been through the highs and lows since. Gillian Anderson has come into awesomeness and is riding the crest of The Fall, which some call “the most feminist show ever made.” They’re both better, smarter actors.
Gotta tell ya, as much as the series itself, I’m looking forward to seeing Vancouver in X-Files. How does the ritzy city of glass today stand up to what was a seedier Vancouver then?
Funny, but by then I’ll be long gone. Just because I’ve broken up with Vancouver and it crushes me to see so much of my past with the city vanish under the negligent hand of a city council who doesn’t preserve heritage, well, that doesn’t mean I won’t always love the town.
*Best book I ever sold Duchovny — The Lives of the Monster Dogs. Google it. I secretly dreamed he would make it into a movie. Alas.