From left: Melvin Frohike, John Fitzgerald Byers, Richard "Ringo" Langly
Short-lived spinoff of The X-Files
featuring the adventures of Mulder's conspiracy-crazy friends the Lone Gunmen. The series lasted from March to June, 2001.
The show focused on small-time conspiracies rather than mythological beasts and alien invasions, but while it was more plausible than The X-Files
it was also more lighthearted
. Attempts to create a serious Myth Arc
were thwarted when the series was cancelled after only thirteen episodes. The X-Files
episode "Jump the Shark" was a Fully Absorbed Finale
for the show.
If for nothing else, the show is notable in that its pilot episode "predicted" the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Also noted for predicting what happened after that, too.
This show provides examples of:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Jimmy to Yves. Or so she claims, anyway.
- Adorkable: All three of them in different ways.
- Backup Twin: Kimmy the Geek is played by the same actor as Jimmy the Geek, a hacker friend of the Gunmen who was Killed Off for Real in an episode of The X-Files. Word of God confirms that Kimmy is indeed Jimmy's identical twin brother.
- It's been pointed out that even though the brothers share their hacking skills and relationship to the Gunmen, it quickly becomes apparent that their personalities are (subtly) very different, surprisingly somewhat averting Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
- Badly Battered Babysitter: The Gunmen and Jimmy in "Three Men and a Smoking Diaper".
- Berserk Button: Never, ever, make fun of Langly's hair.
- Book Dumb: Jimmy. He cleans computer keyboards with soap and water, puts used coffee filters through the shredder, and doesn't know "geography" from "geology", amongst other things. But he's also much more empathetic and in tune with human behaviour than the other Gunmen or even Yves, and sometimes this actually puts him one step ahead of the others.
- The Cameo: David Duchovny makes one (uncredited) as his X-Files character in the season finale.
- Chekhov's Bull Testicles: A slightly weird example in "Like Water For Octane".
- Chivalrous Pervert: Frohike.
- Classy Cat-Burglar: Yves Adele Harlow.
- Cliffhanger: "All About Yves," with the issues resolved on The X-Files "Jump the Shark" episode almost a year later. (Interestingly, the trio appeared a few times there before then - with the Season 9 premiere showing them immediately after their cliffhanger predicament.)
- Conspiracy Theorist
- Deadpan Snarker: Langly, Frohike, and Yves.
- Descended Creator: Tom Braidwood was cast as Frohike while serving as an assistant director on The X-Files. Allegedly the casting director said "we need Frohike to be your typical Dirty Old Man — like Braidwood over there."
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Yves. Jimmy does most of the defrosting.
- Ditzy Genius: Langly, and Frohike to an extent.
- Eagleland: Byers is a flaming Type 1. Unfortunately, he's in a show where Type 2 seems a lot more common.
- Mr. Fanservice: One of the reasons Jimmy was introduced, according to Word of God.
- Five-Man Band:
- One character refers to the Gunmen as a "little mongoloid Girl Scout troop".
- Fully Absorbed Finale (which doesn't end well for the trio.)
- Genius Ditz: Jimmy, who appears to have zero common sense and the personality of a golden retriever, yet will inevitably shock everyone with a brilliant suggestion.
- Government Conspiracy
- Hello, Nurse!: Yves.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: The Lone Gunmen seem to do everything together, including living together.
- Hollywood Spelling No one ever asks Yves Adele Harlow just how that's spelled. The Gunmen discovered it was an alias, because it's an anagram of Lee Harvey Oswald. Her name was never spelled out until they made the connection, despite there being at least four different ways to spell the names involved. For one thing, 'Yves' is usually a men's name, and is pronounced exactly like the women's name 'Eve'.
- Iron Buttmonkey: Jimmy takes a whole lotta crap, both from the writers and the other characters. He never complains.
- Irony as They Are Cast: Three hackers working for Truth, Justice, and The American Way...played by three Canadians.
- Jail Bake: Yves smuggles Jimmy an earpiece in prison inside a bag of Cheetos.
- Information Wants to Be Free: Inverted in the episode "Like Water for Octane". The Gunmen are trying to find an experimental prototype water-powered car before an agent of an oil company, who presumably intends to destroy it. It turns out that the agent wants to see it mass-manufactured, and its original creator hid it away because he realized that freedom from oil would ultimately mean more cars and more consumption—his "miracle" would accelerate corporate devastation of the environment rather than stop it.
Shelly: It would mean more people driving cars, more people building places for people to go in those cars. More people, more consumption, more trees cut down, more roads laid in, and what do you pave roads with, by the way? Oil. The same oil you use to lubricate a water-powered car. The same oil that goes into all the plastics that make the tail-lights, the bumpers, the tires, just about everything else on the planet these days. And we'd have four hundred million cars on the road instead of two hundred million. Doesn't sound like utopia to me.
- However, in every other case it's played straight and Up to Eleven. They are hackers and underground journalists who seek to expose "mundane" conspiracies and wrongdoings.
- Latex Perfection
- "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop
- Mistaken for Gay: Tends to be a Running Gag.
- Myth Arc
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: All three of the leading men have clear north-of-the-border accents.
- One Steve Limit: One of the reasons that Jimmy the Geek was renamed Kimmy after Jimmy Bond joined the team. The other being that Jimmy G. was Killed Off for Real in an X-Files episode some time before, and Jim Fyfe's new character was actually his twin brother, and never intended to be the same guy at all.
- Prison Episode: "Maximum Byers," where Byers and Jimmy go undercover as prisoners for a case. The Fridge Logic of this approach was acknowledged In-Universe, as Yves asks why they didn't just dress up as prison guards.
That's not how they did it on The A-Team
- "Risky Business" Dance: In "Eine Kleine Frohike".
- Running Gag: The guys get Mistaken for Gay often. And when people aren't actually mistaking Langly for a girl, they're pretending to as a joke.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Byers.
- Speculative Fiction Series
- Themed Aliases: Yves Adele Harlow's assumed name is an anagram of Lee Harvey Oswald, as are most of her one time only aliases.
- Three Plus Two: Byers, Frohike, and Langly, plus Jimmy and Yves.
- The Smurfette Principle
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Yves and Jimmy (although a Last Minute Hook Up is sort-of implied at the end of "Jump the Shark", YMMV on that though).
- Yves and Frohike - it's clear they have some sort of history, but due to the series' short run it's never made clear what's happened between them.
- Wild Card: Yves.
- Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: While talking to Jimmy, one character refers to the Gunmen as "your little mongoloid Girl Scout troop."