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Old July 7 2013, 01:13 PM   #1
Warped9
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The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

I'm presently revisiting The X-Files and am into early second season. I got an urge for some of this show not having seen it in awhile and just kept watching one after another. Those early seasoms really were good.

In some ways the show is already anachronistic in the depiction of some of the science or at least what was known at the time. Scully's assertions that nothing could live in extreme temperatures of a volcano or frigid arctic cold now fly in the face of what's been discovered since of life being able to exist in all kinds of extreme conditions.

The computers shown on the show now look quaint compared to today. But what really strikes me is how Mulder and Scully's life and work might have been made a lot easier if they had had modern cellphones. For one thing they could have had immediate photographic evidence of whatever they encountered and could dispatch that evidence anywhere in seconds. The similar convenience of contemporary email and texting and Internet access would have been appreciated. They had early cellphones in the series, but in the '90s they were little better than a car phone or handheld two-way radio.

I still love the show for its stories, it's characters and its overall atmosphere. I just couldn't help but wonder how their lives might have been made easier if some of their tech had been more like today's.
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Old July 7 2013, 05:40 PM   #2
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

"I want to believe"

"There's an app for that"
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Old July 7 2013, 05:51 PM   #3
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Yeah it's always weird seeing those old flip-phones and big, clunky computers in old movies and TV shows now.

Hell, I was rewatching the first Bourne movie a few days ago, and even the computers in that movie looked ancient as hell. And that was from 2002.
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Old July 7 2013, 06:50 PM   #4
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Modern technology would ruin the "X-files". Mulder would probably be a king on twitter/facebook. He could even be blogger or someone people follow for conspiracies
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Old July 7 2013, 06:58 PM   #5
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

^No, that would be the Lonegunmen.
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Old July 7 2013, 07:00 PM   #6
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Mind, camera phones were pretty much standard fare before the show ended, so l guess they didn't prove much cop in providing the proof Mulder needed. In fact, despite their ubiquity in the series and the advances in the tech over the ten year run we rarely, if ever, saw cell phones being used for anything other than making calls.
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Old July 7 2013, 07:05 PM   #7
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

The series ended in 2002. Were cell phone cameras really "standard fare" at that point? I had my first cell phone in 2005, and I honestly can't remember it having a camera, but maybe I'm just getting old.
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Old July 7 2013, 07:06 PM   #8
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

I loved the old episodes where they didn't have cellphones. I almost forgot what that world was like!

But yeah, imagine them with modern phones. Not only would they easily be able to photograph all the crazy things they'd encountered, they'd be able to post them on Instagram and Facebook!
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Old July 7 2013, 07:16 PM   #9
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Harvey wrote: View Post
The series ended in 2002. Were cell phone cameras really "standard fare" at that point? I had my first cell phone in 2005, and I honestly can't remember it having a camera, but maybe I'm just getting old.

Oh yes, I had a phone with a (no doubt rudimentary) video camera around then, and if I did you can take it as red basic camera phones were avaliable as I'm always a late adopter. Especially as, thanks to the joys of product placement, Mulder and Scully always had top of the line phones.
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Old July 7 2013, 07:27 PM   #10
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Well for that matter, it makes you wonder why Mulder didn't at least carry around a little compact camera to record these strange phenomena. They certainly had that technology back then.
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Old July 7 2013, 07:41 PM   #11
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

davejames wrote: View Post
Yeah it's always weird seeing those old flip-phones and big, clunky computers in old movies and TV shows now.
I still use a Nokia flip-open cellphone. It works.

Samurai8472 wrote: View Post
Modern technology would ruin the "X-files".
The X-Files is hardly unique in that respect. How many movies and TV shows from the pre-cellular age have plot points that depend on a character being able to get to a phone -- or not being able to get to a phone? All those stories would have to be written differently today.
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Old July 7 2013, 07:45 PM   #12
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

scotpens wrote: View Post
davejames wrote: View Post
Yeah it's always weird seeing those old flip-phones and big, clunky computers in old movies and TV shows now.
I still use a Nokia flip-open cellphone. It works.

Samurai8472 wrote: View Post
Modern technology would ruin the "X-files".
The X-Files is hardly unique in that respect. How many movies and TV shows from the pre-cellular age have plot points that depend on a character being able to get to a phone -- or not being able to get to a phone? All those stories would have to be written differently today.
I bet every episode would end with Mulder checking his cellphone and finding that his entire photo library had mystery been deleted. And then a shadowy figure walks out of frame, and Mulder chases him, and when he turns the corner the shadowy figure is gone, and Mulder is left with an empty phone, which he then throws against the wall.

Then the FBI stops allowing him to carry a company phone because he keeps breaking them.
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Old July 7 2013, 07:46 PM   #13
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Well, today, the cliche is that the characters end up in a place with no cell service.
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Old July 7 2013, 07:51 PM   #14
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Of course having immediate photographic evidence mightn't necessarily help them. How easy is it today to manipulate images in photographs? Damn easy. It was even done on the series (at least once) and today it would be even easier. So being able to say, "Hey, Skinner, whaddya think of this?" could be answered with, "How does anyone know you didn't doctor that up?"
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Old July 7 2013, 10:12 PM   #15
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

The wife and I are rewatching it as well. The thing that stands out for me is Mark Snow's amazing score, especially his little piano pastiches.
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