The X-Files DVDs have been pretty big sellers despite being horribly overpriced, so it would stand to reason that the quickly cancelled but still pretty decent spin-off series The Lone Gunmen might show up one of these days, right?
I wouldn't bet on it.
The pilot episode concerned a CIA attempt to fake a terrorist attack to drive the country into war. Okay, well, a little iffy in our current political climate, but it's really not that different from the plot of 24's second season, so we wouldn't necessarily find ourselves shielded from such a plot line. But how did they plan to do it? With the creepiest coincidence I've ever stumbled across. From the Television Without Pity recap of the pilot episode:
Airport. Byers and Dad are trying to sniff out which plane has the bomb on it. Dad wants to call the FBI, but Byers isn't having it: "You don't know the depth of the conspiracy. Our only hope is to get on that plane!" They board. Some guy says into a phone, "They're boarding," and Mr. Helm is like, "That's two problems solved."
The plane is in the air. Byers is scanning for bombs with this thingamajig. None are found. But wait! Can't they bring the plane down by remote control, just like with the faked car crash? Duh! They should have though of that before they boarded. But then this scene wouldn't be suspenseful, would it?
Byers calls the other two LGs from the plane and tells them, on the plane phone, to hack into the airplane system and find out what's going on. Frohike says he can make the hack look like a ground-to-air fax and Langly says, "That's one twisted star-69!" Geeks. Is this a drinking game yet? Any time they make a fake high-tech comment, you drink. Okay? So, they've hacked in, and tell Byers so, since he's on the super-secure AT&T plane phone. They see the remote modem, which says that someone on the ground is flying the plane. Gasp, it's Mr. Helm! Or, the Overlord, bum bum buuum! Langly grimly reports that the plane is due to make a stop at the base of the World Trade Towers in twenty-two minutes. But I only have six minutes left on my tape! Now I'm tense. Just kidding.
Holy fuck! Yeah, I don't think this show's ever going to see the light of day again.
Originally posted by OlFuzzyBastard Holy fuck! Yeah, I don't think this show's ever going to see the light of day again.
Certainly I don't expect to see it anytime soon, either on DVD or in re-runs on my TV. In fact, when The Sci-Fi channel (UK version) re-ran the series last summer they began with episode two, running a brief on-air disclaimer that due to the events of September 11 they wouldn't be airing the pilot episode (those interested can Click Here (tvtome.com) for a contemporaneous discussion of that issue on another message board). Still, I don't expect that to be the case forever. There have been other times in the past when movies and television shows have borne an uncanny similarity to a future tragedy, thus causing them to be removed from public distribution for a period of time. As a case in point, consider the 1954 movie Suddenly. Robert Horton, in his editorial review (amazon.com) on Amazon.com, calls the movie "uncannily prophetic on the subject of assassination" while the review (tvguide.com) in the TV Guide Movie Guide states "Suddenly, made nine years before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, was chillingly prophetic." The film was therefore removed from circulation by United Artists, meaning that for several years after the JFK assassination it was not shown on TV or in theaters (the only commercially available outlets for movies at that time). Today, however, the movie is widely available on both VHS and DVD, and is frequently aired on many local and independant television stations. Therefore, if history is any judge, I don't expect the pilot episode of The Lone Gunmen to remain "lost" forever.
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