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The X Files is as complex and controversial a phenomenon as the television series Twin Peaks was in the early 1990s. Mysterious and macabre episodes, led by fictional FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, captivate devotees week after week. Contributors to this volume examine the same intricate storylines that challenge viewers. Theoretically sophisticated, however, this book provides a forum for the creative process and a discussion of the state of popular culture as a whole. Part police drama, part horror story, and part science fiction, the show has dared to suggest with great seriousness the incredible charge that the United States government is involved in a vast conspiracy with former Nazi and Japanese scientists to assist alien beings in peforming experiments - including genetic hybridisation - on American citizens. Why does a hit series happen when it does? Is there a connection between the coming and going of Twin Peaks and the Bush presidency? It the X Files a Clinton-era phenomenon, a product of historical, cultural and psychological factors operative in the mid 1990s? Armed with an arsenal of critical methodology, contributors deal with these and many more topics, among them: folklore and myth; the development of cult TV; the show as a manifestation of a major sea of change in the nature of mass communication; cultural dialogue about law and order, freedom and safety, truth and lies; various feminist interpretations; and finally, drawing on sources as diverse as Foucault, Sartre, and Lacan, the essays examine the show from adaptations of body invasion and vampirism and modern horror films to psychoanalysis and semiotic structuralism.
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