X-Files: Readers reply

Last week, we asked for your verdict on the X-Files. Here are some of your replies ...

Can we forget about conspiracy theories and extra-terrestrial abductions and concentrate on the genuine crux of the X-Files popularity? The real reason for Scully and Mulder mania is that the two of them stylishly straddle the previously unjoined continents of Geek and Cool.

Can you explain how Scully can have her hair done and lipline retouched between every shot and still remain convincingly nerdy? Could you maintain that permapout and still perform an autopsy without breaking into a sweat?

Alternatively, is Mulder the only man with a washboard stomach and haircut to die for who nobody's still quite sure whether they fancy or not? Is it the lighting? Or maybe it's the boys in make-up doing their job too well? And why does Scully keep on wearing those snow-white tights? These are the X- Files we want solved.

Dom Agius

London

We obsessive, tragic and anorexic teenagers always need something to yelp over.

For a week, I watched classmates weep inconsolably after the separation of Take-That. As a generation, we had followed that famous five (well, four) from North to South, clutching the albums, posters and the perfume within our mini-rucksacks. But then those heroes deserted us, leaving our sad, empty lives even sadder and emptier.

That is until we flicked on BBC2 and realised that fate had decided just where our pocket money was destined to go - X-Files merchandise. Now we can lust over Dave, shriek hysterically in little teeny-hopping bunches during "Tooms" and best of all, every Tuesday morning we can dash into school crying "Hey! Did anyone see the X-Files last night?"

Teen heaven.

Kate Wakeling (aged 15)

Birmingham

I am a great fan of science fiction but I do not enjoy the X-Files.

I saw a book the other day called Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned from 'Star Trek'. Now, that I can relate to.

I watched Star Trek from as young as I can remember, and I learnt humanism, compassion, tolerance and, yes, how to overact.

The X-Files teaches paranoia, distrust, cynicism and a revolting kind of isolated, corrupted individualism that demonises the state. A young fan of Star Trek is brought up to believe in the future and the good in people around them. The X-Files tells you we've already gone to hell.

Nik Nicol

Richmond

The X-Files is propaganda for credulity. There are aliens, vampires, psychics, werewolves - never hoaxes, con-artists or schizophrenic delusions. The government always knows what's going on, and always covers it up. It's good television: suspenseful, dramatic, with enough narrative drive to carry it over the gaping holes in the plot.

We need this kind of thing, and we need an enormous pinch of salt to go with it. There are enough wild-eyed men with guns and heads full of conspiracy already.

David Hambling

Wembley

No, we do not need the X-Files. While Gillian Anderson is pretty and watchable, and David Duchovny is amiable and watchable, the concept of total conspiracy theory is tiresome and positively harmful.

I belong to the "cock-up" school of disaster explanation and would prefer this much more plausible theory than the X-Files concept. It encourages paranoia, false explanations and feelings of helplessness. This is not good for democracy at the entry to the millennium.

More rationality, please, and, oh yes, less blood and guts.

John Mercer

Sidcup

Yes, we need the X-Files because of the total escapism it supplies for a whole 45 minutes. In this time they manage to cram hundreds of classic make-up and lighting designs, plots that border on believable and forgetting to call a squad car.

The X-Files is also needed for paranoid people, so that they can pretend that someone is much more paranoid than they are - even if it is only a fictional character.

And Mulder (in a wonderfully dishevelled and paranoid way) is just plain cute.

Eleanor Bird,

London

We don't need the X-Files in an X-File-or-die way and we also need to remember that it is fictional.

I know one thing, however - it's given my generation and others who have lost faith in everything, something to believe in and, more importantly, something to think about.

Salwa Azar (aged 17),

Wimbledon

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