Ever since The X-Files left the airwaves in 2002, TV producers have been trying to bottle that same energy in new ways. The closest show at the moment is Fringe, but even that doesn’t get quite as close to the Mulder / Scully dynamic that Michael Bay and James Wong are planning for their new series, Occult.
Wong, of course, is an X-Files veteran, and he’s cooked up the new show featuring an FBI agent who returns from a leave of absence after going a little crazed while investigating his wife’s disappearance. His bosses allow him back on duty, and he’s paired with a female agent boasting her own troubled backstory, who specialises in investigating strange cases. Together, they form a new occult crimes task force. Sound familiar? Thought so.
But while it certainly sounds like it’s channelling Chris Carter’s most famous creation, there’s no denying that Wong – along with Glen Morgan – was among the better X-Files writers.
US channel A&E has given what’s known as a cast-contingent pilot order to the show, which means it’ll wait and see who Bay and Wong can attract to star before committing to anything. Given the people involved, we’d imagine it’ll happen. And if it does, chances are Bay will simply produce the show rather than direct the pilot, as he’s doing with other Platinum Dunes TV series. One of the higher profile shows, Black Sails, recently hired Neil Marshall to craft its pilot.