It’s been more than a decade since “The X-Files” went off the air after a long run on the FOX Television network, but now FBI agents Mulder and Scully are resurrected for what is billed as a “six-episode event.”
FOX is also bringing the devil to reside on Earth, even if only temporarily, finding refuge in the City of Angels, where Hollywood itself is located in an area one would hardly describe as heavenly.
Based on DC Comics characters created by Neil Gaiman and Sam Kieth, FOX is taking a flyer on the otherworldly “Lucifer,” where smooth-talking Tom Ellis, all the more debonair for his British accent, is the titular figure in a new twist on the police procedural.
Tom Ellis, for those who may not recall, had a recent stint on the USA Network in the eponymous role in “Rush,” playing a hard-partying Los Angeles doctor with an unorthodox medical practice administered to wealthy clients and celebrities seeking anonymous treatment.
In many ways, Ellis’s role of Dr. William Rush is not too far removed on what he is called upon to do in “Lucifer,” considering that he has landed once again in California’s largest city, this time as the original fallen angel seeking a new adventure that puts him right in the middle of wealth and celebrity status.
Bored and unhappy as the lord of hell, Lucifer Morningstar has abandoned his duties down-under to set up shop on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, running the upscale nightclub Lux that is a magnet for rich hipsters and women who look like models.
Apparently one of the perks of being the devil is the ability to transform into a rakish character that is charming and charismatic. In the first episode, he’s hanging with a pop star brutally murdered outside his Lux nightclub.
The murder attracts the attention of LAPD homicide detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), who initially is dismissive of Lucifer. But she becomes intrigued by his talent for drawing out people’s secrets.
In what is a surprising twist, Lucifer, for all of his bad boy sensibilities, desires to dispense justice and teams up Decker to solve the pop star’s murder. Moreover, Decker is immune to the devil’s so-called charms, and this in turn creates a challenge for Lucifer.
Meanwhile, God’s emissary, the angel Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to either set up shop in Las Vegas, the original sin city, or return to the underworld. I am just kidding about the first part, but it would make sense, don’t you think?
In essence, what “Lucifer” delivers is a new turn on the police procedural of buddy cops, given that while Lucifer and Decker may team up to solve crimes, Lucifer’s interest is about why people choose to do evil.
The return of “The X-Files” after so many years comes at a time when tapping into rampant paranoia is made easier by the increasing number of conspiracy theories that abound on the Internet. “X-Files” creator Chris Carter mentioned researching more than 500 such Web sites for ideas.
Flashbacks to an alien crash site in New Mexico in 1947 sets the stage for contemporary mythology of government conspiracies to cover up everything from alien encounters to federal concentration camps set up by FEMA.
The first episode of “The X-Files” is heavy on exposition that serves to revive the folklore of Chris Carter’s fervid imagination channeled through Fox Mulder’s (David Duchovny) obsession with investigating the baffling mysteries of the universe.
In the intervening years, Gillian Anderson’s agent Dana Scully has moved on since the FBI closed the X-Files division.
Her work as a surgeon at a Washington, D.C. hospital is focused on helping children with physical deformities, and she exhibits little interest, at first, in being drawn back into exploring the unexplained.
For his part, Mulder has remained a true believer, living the life of a hermit obsessed with real and imagined conspiracies. Early on, to set the proper mood, Mulder mulls the question: “Are we truly alone, or are we being lied to?”
In his heart, Mulder agrees with second part to his question. One must ponder the thought of him sitting in his remote cabin wearing the proverbial tin-foil hat as a precautionary measure against the reach of the military-industrial complex spying on his every move.
Though Scully may be reluctant to pick up where the X-Files left off, Mulder manages to lure his former partner back into the fold when they meet alarmist talk-show host Tad O’Malley (Joel McHale).
The opinionated TV talker rambles about conspiracies from the false flag of 9/11 to NSA data mining and phone conversation surveillance, but his discovery of a mystery woman with an alien abduction tale is all that is necessary to revive Mulder’s instinctual fixations.
The show’s maxim of “the truth is out there” is the guiding principle to the revival of “The X-Files,” and that’s all that might be necessary for the legions of fans of the original series.
As for me, I am waiting for someone to explain the mystery of pop culture fascination with the Kardashians.
Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.