Public Service Announcement 6 of 2018: Requiem, Altered Carbon, The X-Files

The chill isn’t just outside this week, with a bumper crop of genre shows of varying degrees of creepiness hitting UK tv screens.

First up is BBC1’s new supernatural drama Requiem about a woman (with a very strange haircut) who returns home to rural Wales after her mother’s suicide, only to find herself drawn into the long-unsolved mystery of a child’s disappearance. It’s supposed to be terrifying but, if you’re brave enough to check it out, the BBC has gone all Netflix-y about it and put all six episodes on the iPlayer at once. If you’re more an “episode a week” kind of person, though, you can catch it on Fridays at 9pm. (First episode was last night, currently available on catch-up.)

Netflix itself meanwhile offers up some potentially interesting, unnerving sci-fi in the form of Altered Carbon, a ten-part adaptation of the novel of the same name, set in a future where the minds of the dead are routinely uploaded into fresh bodies – or “sleeves” as they’re apparently known – so if you’re rich enough, you never really die at all. There’s a murder mystery and whatnot, but every article I’ve tried to read about the show has been so densely packed with information it’s given me a sore head so I think it’s probably easier to watch and find out for myself. The whole season is currently available for streaming so if I give it a go, I’ll report back.

And finally, an old favourite joins all these upstart newbies as The X-Files is back again for a second run of its, er, second run. I think we’re calling it Season 11. Last year’s “Event Series” wasn’t an unmitigated success – it was a joy to see Mulder and Scully back in action, but one genuinely terrific episode (“Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” since you asked) out of six in a season that turned the already overcooked “mythology” aspect of the show into complete goobbledygook hardly made for a triumphant return. But the chemistry between the two leads is as electric as ever, and with Gillian Anderson maintaining that this season will be her last, it’s not like I’ll be able to resist tuning in. Advance word suggests that it’ll be worth it too, with critics saying the first episode is a disappointment but the rest are a return to form. If you want to see for yourself, the season kicks off at 9pm on Monday (5th) on channel 5.

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The X-Files s10 ep 1

imageYou GUYS.

I really hadn’t intended to write about this beyond yesterday’s PSA but I’m genuinely too excited not to.

Ok, so the dialogue was embarrassingly bad and the story was the kind of deeply silly conspiracy hokum usually written in capital letters and exclamation marks in very dark corners of the Internet, but I genuinely don’t care. All I needed was Mulder and Scully together again and that’s what I got.

The easy, joyful chemistry between them in that scene where they met up again for the first time in so long had me bouncing with delight – gleeful and squeeful in equal measure – and even a script stuck halfway between knowing parody and ridiculous pretension couldn’t change that. I’d have liked this first ep to be better but I really don’t mind that it wasn’t. The X-Files is back and I am ecstatic.