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Old July 10 2013, 03:20 AM   #46
Ancient Mariner
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Sindatur wrote: View Post
I Lived out in the desert in the early 1980s and they still had Party Lines out there.
Even in the late 1980s, my parents built a place on the St. Lawrence River in NY and when they had the phone installed - the newfangled one with buttons instead of the rotary - it was a party line.

That lasted at least into the early 90s.

As for the difference between the 90s and new tech ... it's kind of like the break between Steampunk and the rest of the 20th century. New suspense and mystery and occult stories can certainly be done well, with current tech, but the writing has to evolve, too.
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Old July 14 2013, 06:41 AM   #47
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Starkers wrote: View Post
. . . One reason some films were a lot better, mobile phones are very useful, but from a dramatic perspective they can really drain tension out of a scene unless the writers make them useless in some way.
Kind of like Star Trek's transporter.

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. . . It was even worse than that, there were Party Lines back then, which meant you had to share your phone line with someone. So, if you wanted to make a call, you had to first make sure the phone wasn't in use already. (And you could listen in on other people's conversations.)
In the classic 1959 film Pillow Talk (the first of three pictures starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day), the whole story is based on two people who can't stand each other having to share a party line. However, it takes place in Manhattan, where there hadn't been any party lines since the 1930s. Oh well, screw accuracy -- it's a comedy.
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Old July 18 2013, 03:47 PM   #48
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

I'm now near the end of Season 4 and one thing I find quite amusing is Scully's stubbornness in light of all she's seen already. Her seeming inability or unwillingness to make conceptual leaps beyond what she knows is proven.

Mulder even remarks occasionally on this, on how so many things we now accept as fact and take for granted were once seen as science fiction or simply pure fantasy.

The show itself does blur the line, though. While it does invent or present various forms of monsters in evolutionary terms it also presents myths and such without any scientific grounding whatsoever. Of course this makes it easier for people like Scully to dismiss aliens and extraterrestrial spacecraft as just more of the same even though those would actually be the most likely to be scientifically plausible.

That said Scully's presence effectively made the X-Files more legitimate (in universe). She kept Mulder honest even though he'd already been at it for some time before she came along. Mulder could sometimes lack tact in how he presented things. He rarely appeared willing to sugarcoat what he saw as the truth to help ease the skeptical into considering apparently unlikely evidence.
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Old July 18 2013, 06:24 PM   #49
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Party lines! I'd forgotten! "Oh, I'm sorry Mrs. Stelzer! I'll try again later."
And the phone was permanently mounted to the wall and rented from the phone company! And our phone number started with letters!
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Old July 18 2013, 07:28 PM   #50
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

And you thought you were a big deal when you had an extra long phone cord so you could walk from room to room or even go outside with the phone.
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Old July 18 2013, 11:59 PM   #51
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Not a party line, but my parents house still has one of the big Bell Telephone wall phones with the rotary dial. Still works after it replaced the black unit about 35 years ago.
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Old July 19 2013, 01:14 PM   #52
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Come to think of our bedroom phone is the some Princess phone my wife had in her bedroom before we were married (34 years now!). It is, at least, modern enough that it's a pushbutton phone.
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Old July 19 2013, 01:55 PM   #53
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Re: The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Forbin wrote: View Post
Come to think of our bedroom phone is the some Princess phone my wife had in her bedroom before we were married (34 years now!). It is, at least, modern enough that it's a pushbutton phone.
I remember how modern those phones looked back in the '70s. But over time (particularly if you had white or ivory coloured) the coloured plastic would fade and yellow. They looked so modern and now they can look quaint.
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