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For X-Philes, the Truth Is Out There . . . on the Web Somewhere

April 16, 1998|MARK GLASER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Web has always been a haven for conspiracy theorists, sci-fi eccentrics and UFO true believers. So it's no surprise that Yahoo! turns up 500 sites in its "X-Files" file, brimming with plot threads, gossip and celeb obsession with the two lead characters. The surprise is that Fox's lawyers have been out to stop them.

For the last few years, Fox has closed many fan sites of "The Simpsons," "The X-Files" and "Millennium," citing intellectual property rights. Fans have been in an uproar, blaming everyone from show creator Chris Carter to overzealous Fox execs.

Fox has promised to start making images available for fan Web sites sometime soon. Meanwhile, the drama continues with fans clamoring for answers and Fox playing the paranoid Big Brother.

Now there's an official site at www.TheX-Files.com, with plot synopses from all past shows, and even glimpses of upcoming shows.

But fans make your online foray much more interesting. Start at the X-Files Alphabet Book (www.iinet.net.au/ ~jcw/xfiles/index.html),a great resource. Its gossip section, The Wire, even broke the news that the show will be taped in L.A. next season.

For star worship, nothing beats the David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade (DDEB3) at miri.simplenet.com/ddeb3,where female admirers offer book recommendations from Duchovny, plus photos and articles. His co-star gets her due with the Gillian Anderson Estrogen Brigade (www.teatime.com/gaeb) and Gillian Anderson Testosterone Brigade (www.bchs.uh.edu/ ~ecantu/GATB/gatb.html)--strong showings from both sexes.

And for those wishing that Fox Mulder and Dana Sculley would finally steam up the small screen, there's a raft of "relationshipper" pages that exult in the teensiest flirtation or physical contact. One entertaining site is the Institution for Relationshippers (pages.prodigy.com/KYOUSE/xflove.htm), with an amazingly detailed episode guide, and some erotic fan fiction.

If such notions disturb your sense of propriety, you'll probably prefer the scientific stimulation of the CD-ROM, X-Files: Unrestricted Access (Fox Interactive; $35). It includes screen savers, as well as a mountain of data from the show, all indexed by case dossiers, evidence files and surveillance photos and video.

The name is a bit misleading, since Unrestricted Access requires Internet Explorer 4 (included) to download updates or visit Web links. The interface is daunting too, with cryptic icons and too many hyperlinks.

X-Philes might get more entertainment for their buck at this summer's full-length movie, or with the upcoming CD-ROM game from Fox and Hyperbole Studios. The game, due in late May, lets you play a part in an original story.

"The game has an interesting cinematic quality, and the puzzles come organically out of the story," said Greg Roach of Hyperbole in Seattle. "We had well over a week from each [of the show's stars]. Gillian, in fact, had such a good time, she came back and gave us more time, so we wrote additional material for her."

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Mark Glaser is a freelance writer and critic. You can reach him at glaze@sprintmail.com.

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