THAT X-Files spin-off
I’m going out on a limb here, and I’m doing it now because The X-Files is back tonight in the US (we’re getting it on the 26th, so not too long) and Chris Carter has said it quite clearly: the story is far from over. And even in light of the utter failure that was The Lone Gunmen, I’m willing to bet on one character that could make the whole franchise extremely interesting again.
He’s fourteen, has ginger hair and (to quote his biological father) looks “suspiciously like A.D. Skinner”.
William Van De Kamp is an unknown quantity, but an extremely interesting one. Born with Super Soldier telekinetic powers, he was injected with magnetite by Jeffrey Spender soon before Scully put him up for adoption.
This is what we know.
We also know — from the previews — that Scully is still struggling with the guilt of being unable to protect him, so William (let’s assume his adoptive family didn’t change his name) is not quite gone from the story. We are literally hours away from finding out whether this is fan fiction or a storyline that Carter is actually planning to follow, but anyway, here goes.
Will is now a teenager, has lived in Minnesota all his life and although he knows he’s adopted — he looks nothing like his parents, although he’s got his adoptive dad’s mannerisms and his accent is markedly midwestern — he has no idea who his birth parents are, nor is he particularly curious. Or rather, he wasn’t, until he hit puberty (a little later than other kids; this has been a problem for him at school) and something shifted.
You know how kids that age wish they were superheroes? Will kind of is, really. He found out quite by accident, while smoking weed on a quiet afternoon with his friends. Everybody was a little high and giggly and they started thinking, wouldn’t it be convenient if we could simply summon objects that are out of reach? Like Harry Potter, what was the spell, again? “Accio beercan”.
Bang. The beercan hits Will straight in the head and knocks him out.
The others are understandably spooked, but also high enough to believe that he knocked himself out and everybody imagined that he was hit by a magical flying beercan. So Will tries again, as most superhero kids do at this point of their story, and he finds out that he really can move objects with his mind. Whatever was hindering his development and blocking his powers has faded from his system, and soon enough the people who have been spying on him all along are informed that Baby William is a target again. And so are the people who have been protecting him.
Carter has tried to replace Mulder and Scully before, with Doggett and Reyes, and it didn’t work. He’s trying again, with two young actors who may or may not have enough charisma and chemistry. But I wouldn’t be surprised if William were the actual new generation. There would be room to bring back his biological parents, either as guest stars or in absentia, and the conspiracy would lose some of its early Nineties feel and branch out to embrace new and interesting developments.