Tagged: Gillian Anderson

The X-Files Revival Diary:
Episode 5, Babylon

Dear Diary,

The end is near. After reaching a high with the Were-Monster episode, the new X-Files series has taken a bit of a dive. While last week’s episode was rescued by the feels of Scully’s personal story, episode 4 didn’t offer a lot of redeeming features to make up for the poor story. I’m a bit disappointed that a show as open-minded and nerdy as The X-Files went down the Great American Heroes vs The Evil Muslim Terrorists route, putting out an episode full of judgement, bias and stereotypes. Not even Mulder’s imaginary cowboy-dancing mushroom trip and the appearance of a junior copy of our two heroes could save it, although they offered a few solid laughs.

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The X-Files Revival Diary:
Episode 4, Home Again

Dear Diary,

Another great episode! This series 10 is shaping up a lot better than I had ever dared to hope. Although I have to say, Chris Carter is a total bastard for putting Scully through personal hell all over again – like she hasn’t suffered enough already in the original series. But I guess that’s life: not fair.

Granted, this wasn’t the most imaginative episode ever in Monster of the Week terms. The case had barely enough substance to hold the plot together, and very obviously was intended mainly as a canvas for the development of Scully personal story. But that’s more than okay with me.

So, diary, here are some thoughts on the episode, as always.

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The X-Files Revival Diary:
Episode 3, Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster

Dear Diary,

This has been the best X-Files episode since 1998! I’m so happy. I don’t care if half the internet thinks it was crap, because this has been the funniest thing since Bad Blood and a beautifully scripted, acted and produced homage to all the fun and excitement that was the Monster of the Week.

What we have here is an entire episode that’s basically one big joke, where every line is a punchline and pretty much every shot is some kind of in-joke. I giggled, laughed and screamed, I actually bounced up and down in my seat with delight. It was wonderful.

Who would have thought series 10 could create a cult episode. I really didn’t expect that. But this one is way up there with Bad Blood, Arcadia, Detour, Small Potatoes, Humbug and deserves a place among the best Monster of the Week cases in the history of The X-Files.

Let’s look at a few (ahem, many) favourite moments from this episode.

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The X-Files Revival Diary:
Episode 2, Founder’s Mutation

Dear Diary,

You’ll be glad to hear that The Internet was right; the X-Files revival did get better after the first episode. And we’re definitely making progress towards Monster of the Week territory. I think Founder’s Mutation works very well as a bridge from the season opener into what will hopefully be a few standalone MOTW episodes now that we’ve brought everybody up to speed on the mythology.

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The X-Files Revival Diary:
Episode 1, My Struggle

Dear Diary,

The X-Files is back. I have all the feels.

I was playing it cool for the past year or so, ever since the announcement came. It was no big deal. I was totally over my teenage obsession, there was no need to re-watch all 202 episodes of the series in preparation for that. I was so over it. I was totally not the world’s biggest X-Files fan anymore.

Well, what can I say, dear diary. Yesterday at 20:59 I turned on the TV and my heart exploded in a million pieces of fangirl love. I had tears in my eyes when the voice of Mulder told the prologue. I heard four whistled notes and I was thirteen again. The X-Files was back.


I had all the feels, I had all the expectations. And I was sorely underwhelmed. I read that it gets better though, so I will hold onto that glimmer of hope for next week.

Until then, dear diary, here’s a short reaction piece on Episode 203: My Struggle.



CGI (and budget) has come a long way since the 90s…


What’s up with Scully’s hair? This is all wrong.

Wait. That’s the same old.

OMG it’s a conspiracy!

Same old, same old.


Deja vu, anyone?

Welcome to 2016. We have drones and smartphones! Oh wait, maybe I can google it! (Skinner way way ahead on that front in 2008.)

More same old.

Epic sigh. Really, do we have to do this all over again?




Thanks for listening, dear diary. Until next week.

re:View – A Vision of Fire doesn’t spark any hope for Gillian Anderson’s literary career

Let me start by saying that I never, ever wanted to love a book as much as I wanted to love this. Having spent my life looking up at Gillian Anderson as a role model, inspiration and feminist icon, I really desperately wanted to add her to my list of favourite authors. Which is probably why the disappointment was quite so crushing when I read her first novel. Although, to be fair, she co-wrote it with author-ghostwriter Jeff Rovin, so I’m not sure who to pin the bad writing on.


Billed as “a science fiction thriller of epic proportions” by the publisher, A Vision of Fire is really more of a spiritual drama of little thrill, very little sci-fi and limited proportions, I’m afraid. There’s a little bit of psychology, a little bit of medicine, and a whole lot of dabbling with mysticism from various eras and corners of the globe, but it fails to come together in a coherent narrative. There are some good ideas in there, but they are too vague, dealt with in passing, and not given a chance to develop any real depth or complexity.

The writing is clumsy and seems a bit forced, lingering too much on unnecessary details and not giving enough attention to the important thoughts. The characters are one-dimensional stereotypes and the story is pretty predictable and completely fails to engage. Anderson has said from the outset that the book – eventually to be extended into the “Earth End Saga” – will be adapted with her in the lead. And it actually very much reads like she thought up her perfect screen character and then constructed a story around it.

Much as I love all of Gillian Anderson’s other work to date (as an actor, screenwriter, director, producer…), I just can’t find anything to like about her literary collaboration. It may have worked if the authors had skipped the novel and gone straight to screenplay – and yes, of course I’ll be watching the movie – but I’m certainly not holding my breath for the sequel to the book.

That said, she’s still one of the most awesome women on the planet.

And I didn’t scream or faint.
(Almost not at all.)

Question: How do you give Girl With A Pen multiple fangasms?

Answer: Just put Gillian Anderson, Benedict Cumberbatch, James Rhodes, Neil Gaiman and assorted other Awesome People into a room. With books.

Exactly this happened a few weeks ago. Letters Live, a night of Awesome People reading brilliant letters. And by some miracle I managed to get tickets about five seconds before the Cumberbitches found out about it and the whole thing sold out within minutes.

So, for the first time ever and after waiting for about sixteen years, I managed to be in the same building with my biggest celebrity crush / role model / Woman I Want To Be, Gillian Anderson, and watch her do amazing acting stuff live on stage. I also have tickets to see her in A Streetcar Named Desire next year which I probably won’t survive. And what can I say, other than she’s fantastically good at what she does, as well as being gorgeous and utterly charming. Yes, I’m fangirling and I’m not ashamed.

Gillian Anderson

Here’s Gillian reading a very entertaining letter by Dorothy Parker. (YouTube)

Then there was James Rhodes, my favourite living pianist, reading and playing Beethoven. Turns out he is just as gorgeous on the microphone as he is at a piano. Such an inspiration. I need to get myself to one of his gigs. Yes, still fangirling.

Other things I learned that evening:
a) Benedict Cumberbatch is really unnecessarily attractive as well as breathtakingly good at acting. (Seriously, how’s a girl supposed to cope?!)
b) I would really like for Neil Gaiman to read every single one of his stories and novels to me, and
c) I need to listen to more Nick Cave.

And I also got some Cumberbach reading a love letter. Quite gutted I didn’t catch the steamy parts on video.

I’ll stop fangirling now and will get on with the pictures.

Response code is 404


And finally, the best bit of dialogue from the book auction that ever occurred. (In the world, ever.)

Gillian Anderson: “£3800 for a bit of Benedict Cumberbatch!”
Neil Gaiman: “…also licked by Gillian Anderson!”

The book eventually sold for £5k. Caitlin Moran bought it, because she has five grand to spare and I haven’t. Not bitter AT ALL.

How to make Girl with a Pen’s day 100% better

One easy step: http://pausefacescully.blogspot.com/

I can’t begin to tell you how delighted I was to find this blog. Not because of the images – I have at least 10 screenshots of Scully from every episode*, and better ones too. But it’s quite reassuring to know that I’m not the only nutcase out there who stops and screenshots her X-Files DVDs every few minutes purely for the enjoyment a trademark Agent Scully Face.

Click here to view in its full glory size

Now stop looking at me strange. Everybody is entitled to a little obsession in life. Or three.

* Or at least I had, until some fucktard junkie broke into my flat and stole my laptop along with everything else that was worth a penny…

Mmmh. Shipper Candy*

Girl With a Pen Obsessions™ presents: The beginning of the greatest love story ever seen on television. In pretty, pretty pictures. And with music.

Just because it’s Friday, and because I just watched the X Files pilot for the eleventeenthousandth time. I actually might have watched it eleventeenthousand-and-two times by now if you count the two screen-capping runs I did for this slide show. And in the process it struck me once again how amazing the chemistry between Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny and their characters is from the first second. Especially when you go back to this one after putting yourself through seasons eight and nine (I still watch it all in original airing order – no fast-forwarding, no skips, like the tough X Phile nut I am) it’s absolutely refreshing and heartwarming to see how it was all there from the start. And to be reminded how good this show once was. Well, not exactly the first couple of episodes. In retrospect, Mulder’s emotional outbursts and Scully’s fearful face are just comic. I mean the cult kind of comic. The Twin Peaks kind, if you like. Which is good after all. And, no, this point is not up for discussion.

I know there’s been X Files stuff posted all over the web for years and years and, as you will see, this is certainly not aiming to be the best fan vid ever made – it’s just a sort of mental note to self about why it is perfectly legitimate to be obsessed with this show.

The song is I’ve Just Seen a Face by the Beatles. I was gonna go for something Mark Snow-y, but this one just kept popping back into my head as I threw the pix together. It might be the result of reading too much fan fic, but to me thist song perfectly brings out the undertones in the episode. Yeah, I know, I know. Our favourite duo are only investigating alien abductions and trying to outnerd each other in physics. But isn’t it oh-so-obvious at least when you’re watching for the eleventeenthousandth time how they keep checking each other out? Intellectually, of course. Like the total geeks they are.

* If this headline mainly reads ‘WTF’ to you, go stand in the corner for one hour, then look it up or, better even, do your homework. Extra work is available for those who like to collect nerd points (nerd level onenerd level two.)

Picture of the Week: Gillian Anderson for Esquire, by Rankin

It just occurred to me, while I was cleaning my kitchen, that we generally don’t do a lot of pictures on here except for the rare occason where my mind runs wild with a 60-picture movie re:View. Which is a shame really, especially because my hard drives are stuffed to the last byte with images I adore. So, I thought from now on I’ll make an effort to share one of them every week.

All right, let’s bring on the pretty pictures.

Picture of the Week #1:
Gillian Anderson, shot by Rankin for the Esquire Augst 2008 issue.

Gillian Anderson by Rankin, Esquire August 2008

(View the full set in HQ)

Why this picture?
Well, first of all, because IMHO Gillian Anderson is one of the most beautiful people on the planet. And I love what they did with this shoot with regard to her, uhm, intense efforts to distance herself from her legendary X Files character Dana Scully. (She tends to be a bit funny about her most famous of roles and won’t even sign X Files stuff at times.) But clearly, as Esquire ran these pictures along with an interview to coincide with the release of the second X Files movie in August 2008, they had to do *something* X Files-related.

I think Rankin’s photos are fabulously playful about Gillian’s X Files history – they’re a sweet little parody of her obsession with avoiding being typecast as Dana Scully for the rest of her life. I love how they captured her nature in this shoot – which, away from the X Files set, is all contagious laughs and goofing around. The woman in the pictures, with the mischievous smile and the wild curly hair, couldn’t be further from the character on the show. And then they give her all those wonderfully cheesy props, kind of like a geeky inside joke – et voilà, we’ve got some of the most stylish and yet comic X Files promo pictures ever made.

Chosing a favourite from the shoot is almost impossible. I went for the Tentacles from Outer Space picture because it was the first that made me gasp when I opened the magazine and that wasn’t even because of the side boob…well, not only. But the picture had to fight off some tough competition from the Alien Facelift and the Naughty E.T. Nailbite!

Check back next week for picture #2. I promise it won’t be about Gillian Anderson and I will keep the rambling bit short.