Sometimes it pays to be a nerd. Yesterday evening, fourteen years of love of and devotion to a TV show that opened my eyes – superfandom, if you will – was ultimately rewarded with one of the most special nights of my life.
The very words “Leicester Square” and “premiere” just scream once in a lifetime, BIG DEAL experience, but to be there for the opening of Mulder and Scully’s first adventure in six years had a significance and emotional connection far in excess of the glamour and excitement that are almost expected. To experience the event with my best friend was the icing on an already particularly indulgent cake. A recap, for those of you not paying attention at the back: my dad first sat me down in front of an episode of The X-Files when I was twelve. It was the Season 2 finale, and 42 minutes later I was hooked enough to beg for the concluding part on video for my upcoming birthday. By the time I met Lola the first day of university, I was obsessed enough to introduce her to the show’s compelling themes, razor-sharp scriptwriting and hot female lead. Our friendship blossomed over long afternoons eating ice cream and working our way through boxsets when we should have been working on essays – if she hadn’t moved to London when she did I might never have got a thing done!
London yesterday was sunny and hot, a perfect day for new sunglasses, lunch by the river and what Kaite had promised me were some of the best cupcakes in London (she wasn’t wrong, either). After bidding her goodbye, Lola and I braved the sales for a little while as the heat was making me crave a new outfit. Ultimately unsuccessful, we were glad to flop down at All Bar One for a pitcher of cooling cocktail and some yummy tapas while we waited for the ticket competition winners’ contact (“I’ll be wearing a black shirt…”) to arrive.
There was a bit of a buzz about the bar, and not a few sci-fi t-shirts. A group of fans from a German messageboard had gone as far as to get matching commemorative shirts and dog tags printed (one had even shaved in a mohawk in the shape of a blonde “X”). By the time I returned from the bar with the drinks a queue had already begun to form outside, so Lola went to collect the tickets. Postcard-sized, and printed with the infamous “You Suck At Photoshop” movie poster, they make a great souvenir.
Because we pride ourselves on our outward unflappability and general coolness, Lola and I had barely squealed all day. As we lined up for our opportunity to walk across the red carpet however, my new red shoes feeling particularly apt, I could feel my stomach start to somersault. I practically skipped into the cinema, and my excitement wasn’t even particularly dented when we discovered that the competition winners would be watching the film in separate, smaller screen downstairs from the “celebs”. Our preallocated seats were already set with complimentary popcorn and mineral water, and as we took our seats we were able to watch our heroes and their guests make their considerably slower way across the carpet. If you were wondering what calibre of celebrity the undoubted sci-fi phenomenon of the 1990s would attract to its movie: McFly, an actor from Echo Beach and those blonde twins from Big Brother.
As the pre-film entertainment rolled (a couple of DVD-extra style interview pieces mixed with film from the red carpet) we were starting to get a little twitchy. Those of us in the cinema had given up the opportunity to jostle for autographs outside to watch the movie, and we were starting to wonder whether we would actually get to see our heroes. A buzz started to rattle around the auditorium: they’re coming!. Then the ITV presenter we’d last seen on the big screen entered. “I’m sure I don’t have to introduce these guys to you…” he began but we were already on our feet, singing and screaming for series creator Chris Carter and producer Frank Spotnitz, through whose blog this whole thing had happened.
And behind them, the two people we wanted to see even more. David Duchovny: tall and taciturn; Gillian Anderson: tiny, giggling and very, very pregnant. As they made their way to the front, to say a brief thank-you to us hardcore faithful, I realised I was crying. For the joy of the moment, maybe, or for some fifteen-year-old kid clinging to a fictional relationship when her parents’ was falling apart for the final time. Lola elbowed me and smirked.
And the film? Well, after that build-up it was always going to be a bit of an anticlimax, but although I kept waiting for it to turn into the trainwreck that most of the internet had led me to believe was about to occur it never reached that point. Not the best movie ever – far from it – but certainly not dreadful. I’ll save my thoughts on that for tomorrow, to keep spoilers separate – and because I’ve got an inbox to clear and a boyfriend who probably hasn’t eaten a decent meal since Monday night.
The awesomeness that was my July now over, it’s time to get back to work – and look forward to Australia!