One of the more interesting choices made by series creator Chris Carter for The X-Files revival is hiring Joel McHale, who plays conspiracy theorist and digital news media pundit Tad O’Malley. A 21-minute special released in December revealed that O’Malley serves as the new miniseries’ catalyst, as he is responsible for bringing former Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) back together. How? By convincing them of a new conspiracy, one that both advances and changes the original mythology.
This sounds like a tall order for McHale and O’Malley, but considering the character’s real-world influences (Infowars’ Alex Jones, The Blaze’s Glenn Beck) and the writers’ modernized machinations for fictional (?) alien conspiracies, it really isn’t. Right? Well, here’s Entertainment Weekly‘s spoiler-free rundown of what O’Malley believes is going on behind the scenes:
The theory involves global warming, war in the Middle East, NSA spying, chem-trails (here called “aerial contaminants”), police militarization, supposed FEMA prison camps, and the eventual military “takeover of America” by a UN-like group of “multinational elites.”
Don’t forget the inevitable 9/11 truther bent, albeit with an X-Files twist:
The most eyebrow-raising moment in the premiere is when O’Malley brings the 9/11 terrorist attacks into his conspiracy framework. “9/11 was a false flag operation,” O’Malley declares on his Truth Squad with Tad O’Malley show, echoing on Infowars theory. “It’s all part of a conspiracy dating back to the UFO crash at Roswell.”
When EW asked Carter about the new conspiracy theories and their unfortunate counterparts in reality, he described himself as a “mostly interested observer”:
“I’ve kept my finger to the wind and trying to figure out what’s relevant and possible credible,” Carter says. “People know the show deals with science and fact and also deals with far-flung theories about not only the supernatural but government conspiracies. It throws out as many questions as it does answers. And I have to say what it’s done for me and the writers it has given us a whole new open field which to run. It’s given the show an interesting new life and context that it might not have had in 2002.”
Pushing aside the fact that yes, some people believe the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. were staged, The X-Files is a work of fiction. Carter and the other writers are creating stories with bits of verifiable information and bits of their own imaginations. Just as Duchovny, Anderson and McHale are bringing Mulder, Scully and O’Malley to life.
But when Carter also “suggests” that fears of a possible U.N. takeover are “credible,” this begs the question — which of these conspiracy theories does he actually believe in?
“Chris Carter doesn’t believe that. Chris Carter is very open-minded about these things,” Carter tells EW while referring to himself in the third person. “But the character O’Malley believes it.”
He’s obviously emphasizing the factual and fictional differences between himself and McCale’s character, but yeah… Chris Carter just referred to himself in the third person. Twice.
The X-Files premieres on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 10 p.m. ET on FOX.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)