Forget Hank Moody. David Duchovny has always been Fox Mulder to me, investigating on the fringes and eternally open to the possibilities before him. Obviously, I'm super excited that Mulder is coming back to me this year, with a return of The X-Files in a limited-run series. But, that's not the only place Duchovny is going to show up as a detective this year. He'll also star in Aquarius , which premieres on NBC on May 28, as a homicide detective. Sam Hodiak is also tasked with looking at society's fringes: An old flame asks him to investigate the disappearance of her daughter, and it turns out she's run off with Charles Manson. Yeesh! So instead of aliens, this time Duchovny's looking into cults. So, how else is Aquarius' Sam Hodiak like The X-Files' Fox Mulder?
First, a little about Sam Hodiak to get you acquainted. Before working as detective in Los Angeles in 1967 (when the show is set), Hodiak was a soldier in World War II. When the show starts, the military man is having a little bit of — we'll call it trouble — adjusting to the ethos of the '60s, with its cheap drugs, free love, and hippie protests against the Vietnam War. Let's just say he's not open to everything like Fox Mulder. But for their differences, they still have a ton in common. Here are other ways the two compare.
They’ve Both Seen Hard Times
As NBC puts it, Hodiak, a member of the “Greatest Generation,” has seen first-hand the horrors of World War II — and his eyes will only open wider as he gets drawn into the world of Charles Manson and his cult family. Mulder had to live through the disappearance of his sister. They both seem a little traumatized.
There’s No Family To Speak Of
In a video interview with Duchovny, he mentions that Hodiak is living the bachelor life: He’s divorced from his wife, and his son is AWOL from Vietnam. Mulder was nothing if not a perpetual bachelor. Hodiak does have a work partner, young Brian Shafe (Grey Damon of True Blood), but something tells me Hodiak’s conservative values means they sadly won’t have the same romantic tension that Mulder and Scully had. (But then again, you never know.)
...Speaking of Partners
It seems Duchovny’s detectives are always of the opposites-attract mold. Hodiak and Shafe are not doing the believer/skeptic thing that Mulder and Scully had going on, but there’s definitely a generation gap. "At first, Hodiak sees Brian as a means to an end," Duchovny told Biography.com. "He isn't particularly fond of him.”
The Duchovny Deadpan
No matter what role he takes on, that voice is unmistakably the same.
But The Hair Is Different
For Hodiak, Duchovny trades in Mulder’s (adorable) floppy locks for a totally less lovable flattop. “Mr. Duchovny patterned the character partly after his father,” The New York Times writes, adding that the elder Duchovny was, “a public relations executive and writer who died in 2003, who also wore a crew cut and adored Django Reinhardt.”
Music Sets the Mood
Okay, this is something the characters themselves don’t get to experience, but we get to associate with them. (And Duchovny just put out an album this year, so music must be important to him.) Aquarius promises to use the music of the ‘60s throughout the show. Mad Men did the same thing and set the bar high — I still think about Sally Draper whenever I hear “This Will Be Our Year” by The Zombies — but there’s a ton of good music from the period that Aquarius can still claim and make its own. The use of The Doors in the trailer certainly makes it exciting. Still, nothing compares to the moody X-Files theme. I still get a little creeped out whenever I hear it.
I'm sure as Aquarius debuts, we'll see even more similarities between the two characters. But, no matter what form he's in, at least David Duchovny is on my screen again.
Images: NBC (3); Giphy (2)