Culture Re-View: Why is 22/12/12 the most important fictional date in pop culture?

Mulder and Scully learn the truth about one of the most important fictional dates in TV: 22/12/12
Mulder and Scully learn the truth about one of the most important fictional dates in TV: 22/12/12   -   Copyright  Fox
By David Mouriquand

22 December 2012: The colonization of the planet by aliens was supposed to begin exactly 10 years ago today… in The X Files, that is.

In TV show The X-Files' season 9 finale (and final episodes at the time, titled “The Truth” - aired on 19 May 2002), the date was set. 

Everything that fictional FBI agents Mulder and Scully were looking to uncover had come down to one date: 22/12/12. 

This was the date the conspiracists had set with an alien race for colonization to begin.

Scene revealing the truth in the final episodes of The X Files, Season 9Fox

Spoiler alert: It didn’t take place – fictionally or in real-life, as many predicted the end of the world due to the Mayan calendar ending in 2012.

But we’re still here, and by 2016's season 10 revival of the show, the aliens still had yet to invade Earth.

The new seasons of The X Files gave fans renewed hope that the mythology arc would be wrapped up and that the failed colonization would be explained. Series creator Chris Carter moved past it and wrote themselves out of an apocalypse corner by including one scene in the season 11 premiere which explained why colonization didn't occur: the aliens called off their colonization plans because they had "no interest in a warming planet with vanishing resources."

Essentially, Earth has become too spoiled by its inhabitants to colonize.

Food for thought…

You can expect a shedload of X Files coverage from Euronews Culture next year, as the beloved and hugely influential TV series turns 30 in September 2023.

Time flies when the truth is out there.

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