The X-Files: for want of a modern cellphone...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Warped9, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  2. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    "I want to believe"

    "There's an app for that"
     
  3. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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
     
  5. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    ^No, that would be the Lonegunmen.
     
  6. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  7. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    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!
     
  9. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  10. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I still use a Nokia flip-open cellphone. It works.

    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.
     
  12. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    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.
     
  13. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Well, today, the cliche is that the characters end up in a place with no cell service.
     
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    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?" :lol:
     
  15. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Pah, a lack of modern mobile phones is nothing, go back a few decades and poor old Karl Kolchak had to get every obscure book out of the library and actually read them! Imagine how much easier his life would have been with Wikipedia!
     
  17. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    I was recently re-watching Romancing the Stone & The Jewel of the Nile from the 1980s and ran into the same thing. Every once in a while, I would keep thinking, "Why doesn't someone just try their cellph-... oh... right."
     
  18. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Or Die Hard, or any number of other films. 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.
     
  19. Shakaar

    Shakaar Captain Captain

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    Of course, looking at it the other way, a lot of modern shows would be impossible without cell phones. Could you imagine trying to do 24 without them?
     
  20. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Of course, Mulder learns from this and buys his own secret cellphone that can't be hacked into or fucked with, because the FBI doesn't know that it exists! Then, he puts something on it like Spotflux or PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) so that all of his data's encrypted. :D:guffaw: