All's Well That Ends Well?
I don't believe in endings. Ever. I don't believe that Jim Kirk is dead. I don't believe the events of Galactica '80 ever happened. And no matter what you do, you cannot make me believe that Spock mind-raped Valeris in his last filmed appearance. I am a "Choose Your Own Adventure" kind of viewer, and as such, I don't want to know what really happened to Samantha Mulder. Or maybe I should say that Chris Carter is welcome to tell me what HE thinks, but I'm not necessarily going to buy it.
I'm an outlaw, a fan fiction writer - I take The Powers That Be's intellectual property and manipulate it to my own specifications (not for profit of course). Thus far most producers have been tolerant, even encouraging, as long as it stays at a certain level. George Lucas went from threatening to sue Star Wars erotica writers to offering licenses to amateurs who wrote asking for permission to use the characters as long as they met certain guidelines. Fanfic writers tend to be a passionate audience, the sort who write "Save Our Sentinel" letters and work to popularize shows. But we're not passive consumers - we interact with the material that's presented to us, we reinterpret it, sometimes we rewrite it completely. You want to know what Ivanova's been up to this season? The heck with Straczynski: I can introduce you to people who will give you ten different stories, and you can pick your favorite. Or you can write your own. Who needs official closure with this much freedom to play?
According to the rules of good narrative storytelling, TV shows should indeed have endings. But I sort of liked the movie Clue, with its three endings: just think how great it would be if Fight the Future had that. For the people who think Chris Carter is warning us through fiction of a REAL government conspiracy, there could be an ending implicating Monica Lewinsky in a giant plot to cover up an alien invasion. For fans who want a lot of really disgusting things like autopsies and fat vampires and fluke men, Scully could have to take a journey through Mulder's entrails and suck out the remnants of the LSD which have caused ongoing flashbacks about aliens. And for the really die-hard 'shippers, there wouldn't even necessarily have to be any dialogue...at least not after, "Scully, did I show you why they call me Fox?" (Ouch, I'm kidding! I want a mature, enlightened relationship between colleagues in love, too!) If Fight the Future doesn't tie up all the loose ends, it won't significantly diminish my pleasure in The X-Files: tying up too many loose ends is more likely to make me lose interest.
Bad shows tend to generate even more fanfic than good ones because there's so much more to rationalize. Voyager is a terrible series about a bunch of people lost in space, bumping into Vicious Threats which they defeat, secure in their belief that the Prime Directive is the only ideological system worth spouting. It doesn't add up to anything. I wish these people would explore strange new worlds, forge bonds, fall in love, evolve, etc. Still, I am the writer of a really frightening amount of Voyager fanfic - not one of which contains a premise which is filmable, nor even printable in an anthology like Strange New Worlds (which has the same requirements as Pocket Books: don't rewrite Starfleet rules, don't maim the characters, and for god's sakes don't let them go to bed with each other). When I get an idea about what Janeway should have said to Chakotay at the end of "Resolutions"...well, there's no legitimate forum. Which is fine; if the producers really had the power to let anyone have the last word, even me, it might have stopped the other eighty or so delectable alternate endings which I have in my 42 MB Janeway/Chakotay fanfic collection.
I expect that some people reading this will think I am nuts, while others will write to me privately and say, "Where can I FIND these stories?" I don't know why some people watch television looking for closure while others watch to create their own...I expect it has to do with why some people think The Truman Show has the greatest ending ever while others found it disappointing. I just know that, whatever happens in The X-Files movie, I will continue to have my own opinions about what happens to Mulder and Scully. Hey, if we're supposed to trust no one and be skeptical of what we're told by big corporations and broadcasting companies, isn't that only fair?
The X-Files Reviews