If Joss Whedon Wrote X-Files... SHE SAID:
Steve and I had so much fun thinking about what Voyager would be like written by J. Michael Straczynski and what Babylon 5 would be like written by Brannon Braga that we've decided to give the same treatment to The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Without further ado, I give you: "If Joss Whedon Wrote The X-Files..."
Scully would kick butt. She would routinely have to save Mulder rather than the other way around; in addition to ditzy-sounding but unexpectedly brilliant practical ideas, she'd have a combination of karate moves and brute strength which would be a match for most human and alien threats. The mytharc would have much the same shape, though more Monsters of the Week stories might dominate, but instead of the current pattern wherein Scully gets sick and/or abducted and Mulder has to rescue her, Mulder would get into trouble because of his contacts with the Forces of Darkness and Scully would have to bail HIM out. Scully would still get sick on occasion, of course, but while in the hospital she would protect children from bogeymen. She would also probably perform a few unauthorized autopsies without Mulder's prompting, discovering for herself that someone out there is tampering with the human genome.
The evil cabal would include women as well as vampires, demons, werewolves, etc. They would probably use similar devices to achieve their ends - bees, alien black oil, shapeshifting murderers, etc. - but they would also stick to standbys like bloodsucking, causing spontaneous combustion, telekinesis, and maybe even a seance or two. Also, they would meet in cemeteries instead of stuffy board rooms. Cancer Man would smoke something a lot more exotic than vending-machine cigarettes. Well-Manicured Man would never age. Think about it - it makes a lot more sense that the conspirators are less-than-human themselves, rather than homo sapiens stupid enough to think they can protect their own little clique in the face of widespread alien invasion. If I were already gestating worms and pestilence in my family, why not a black oil mutant or two? The Lone Gunmen would not only resemble high school geeks, they would BE high school geeks, for whom Scully would attempt to find dates after experiencing the benefits of their computer expertise. And one would be a girl.
Mulder would carry around a lot of old books about the supernatural, but his biggest concern wouldn't be extraterrestrials, it would be a really ugly demon who lives at the center of the Earth which Scully's scientific rationalism would not permit her to believe in. Instead of cloned Samanthas, we'd have vampire Samanthas, angel Samanthas, wraith Samanthas, and robot Samanthas. Scully's obnoxious brother Bill wouldn't be in the military, he'd be trying to get legal custody of her, and Emily wouldn't be her daughter from a warped government cloning experiment, she'd be the result of a purposeful liaison between Scully and a very attractive shapeshifting fluke man in disguise.
The good news for relationshippers would be: Mulder and Scully would have Done It by the end of season two. The bad news for relationshippers would be: Mulder would have been consigned to Hell for some portion of the next season, while Scully tried to rescue his soul, with the help of a secretly adoring but outwardly paternal Skinner, who would call Scully rather than Mulder all the time for help with cases. Scully would be a much hotter dresser, with designer sunglasses and tank tops in her wardrobe. Mulder would probably be a schlemiel like Giles, but Krycek would get to wear leather all the time and probably ride a motorcycle. To Mulder's annoyance, women would fall all over Krycek; to Scully's annoyance, Covarrubias would have access to all sorts of valuable information because guys would fall all over HER, but she would be too busy getting manicures and fixing her hair to do any serious work for the U.N. or anyone else.
If Joss Whedon wrote The X-Files, we'd find out Mulder was wearing a wedding ring in that flashback episode because he used to be married to a woman who turned out to be a sea serpent, as he discovered one day when he peeped in her bathroom keyhole. And we'd ALL know why Scully wears a cross around her neck. She'd still be a scientific skeptic, with that complicated Catholic background to give her moments of transcendence, but she'd be self-reliant no matter how deeply she might be in love with Mulder, and her world would have a lot of strong women. I can't quite picture Dana, Warrior Princess, but I think Scully the Vampire Slayer is a perfectly fine idea for a series.
If Chris Carter were put in charge of Buffy, she'd have a harder time convincing her friends the supernatural existed. Xander, in particular, would find all sorts of ways to explain away anything that crawled out of the Hellmouth as a mirage, swamp gas, the planet Venus, a hyena with really bad hair … whatever. His theories would actually make sense, but be proved wrong most of the time.
Giles would have a real hard time with Buffy going off on her own, too. The Watchers have procedures, you know - we don't exist just to fund your private obsession. Which is, of course, what became of Angel, a question that would obsess Buffy for the next several years. Willow and Xander would try to help her in her quest, but every time they pierced one layer of obfuscation, another would descend, as in:
Buffy remembers Angel falling down to Hell with a sword in his heart. But recovered memories under hypnosis suggest Angel wasn't falling so much as he was being DRAGGED, by beings with long, sucker-tipped tentacles. Willow would unearth photos of tentacled beings lurking in the Bermuda Triangle, but then be kidnapped by dimly-glimpsed vampire minions of the chain-smoking, mysterious Principal Snyder. When she was rescued by Buffy and Giles, she'd be inhabited by a sinister vampire intelligence which would sort of go away later for no explicable reason.
Meanwhile, surfers around Sunnyvale are turning up missing, then turning up in the night as blasphemous fish-men turned halfway back into their amphibian ancestors. Naturally the U.S. Navy knows all about this, but no matter how many commanders, captains and admirals Buffy kicks the slats out of, she never finds out what happened to Angel.
Not, that is, until the big Buffy movie, hyped for months before the summer hiatus, in which all the secrets will be revealed, and...oh, wait - they did a Buffy movie already. With Luke Perry. And Angel wasn't even in it!
Oh, well, when Angel does turn up again, he'll have a wooden arm and an odd affection for Xander...
This column was originally written for AnotherUniverse.com.
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