The truth is still out there! After a successful revival in 2016, ‘The X-Files’ will once again be returning to television for an eleventh season. At New York Comic Con, we were able to sit down with series creator Chris Carter, as he teased upcoming episodes and guest stars, his experience working on ‘The X-Files’ over the last two decades, and more.
What can fans look forward to this season?
I think people who are interested in the William story are going to be happy to know that we’re dealing with that in an interesting way. Expect more William this time around. I think we’re dealing with Skinner’s relationship with his wife in a way that we haven’t before, going into his character and some of his backstory that we haven’t seen before. We deal with the Mulder and Scully relationship in a new and interesting way. We’ve always played that, I think, real and honest about where their characters would be in our minds from year to year to year, and I think you’re going to find that it makes plausible sense, where we find their characters in season eleven.
It seemed at the end of Season Ten that Mulder had found a measure of peace. Does that continue, or does he sort of return to form?
Yeah, you know, he’s not a peaceful character. He’s driven and he’s searching for the truth, and he’s continuing in that fashion. But you know, his character has seen so much and done so much, and we respond to that. And I think that the mythology, the way that it’s taken shape, speaks to characters who now have a lot under their belt, and so I think that we’re dealing with that spine of the show in a more interesting way.
David [Duchovny] talked a bit about “fake news” and how the truth isn’t out there. Do you deal with that and if so, how?
Yes we do. Yes. We deal with the political realities of today in the show. We’re all interested in them. It’s a really curious time to be doing ‘The X-Files’ because the show is a science fiction show, but really it’s a science show. Scully’s science is the center and core of the show, and Mulder’s belief, which you could call the conspiracy aspect of the show, was always out there and he wants to believe. Now it’s the opposite. People have thrown science out the window and they believe in conspiracy theories. So we’re dealing with a situation that’s almost completely reversed, which makes it an interesting time to be doing the show.
Can you tell us a bit about the balance between mythology and standalone episodes this season?
Yes, I can tell you that we begin with a mythology episode, which is an answer to the cliffhanger from last season. We end with a mythology episode. We have a mythology episode in the middle, but really that could be called a standalone episode – a monster of the week episode. You’re going to get a Darin Morgan episode in there. You’re going to get the mix that you’ve come to expect on ‘The X-Files’, and hopefully, it’s still a winning formula.
Which episode are you most excited for fans to see?
All of them right now. I just saw the director’s cut of Episode Two, which is excellent. I’m working on Episode One right now, and I can tell you I just showed the first act to the studio. They loved it. I’m continuing to work hard on that. I just saw the producer’s cut of Episode Three, which I think is going to be a crowd pleaser. I know Episode Four is going to be a crowd pleaser – that’s the Darin Morgan episode.
What makes a crowd pleaser for you?
That it’s entertaining and it’s moved the larger story forward. That it’s answered questions that were unanswered before or asks new questions. That it gets people excited about the show. You could call it ratings, but really what you sense is the show still has life to it and people are responding to that.
You said “everything is by design” in reference to the end of last season. Did you have this season in mind when you were planning that?
Yes, I actually knew what I wanted to do coming back to answer that cliffhanger. And if you go back to look at the cliffhanger, you’ll see exactly where I set up what happens in Episode One of Season Eleven.
We know you like to end on cliffhangers, but are these characters going to get any kind of closure this time around?
Well, I mean what is closure? You think you have closure and then all of a sudden, what you imagined was finished or done or past comes back somehow in the future. Just like life itself. So I think until a character dies, there’s no complete closure and so far in this season, we haven’t killed any main characters.
For a while, you’d been talking about the possibility of a third film that would have dealt with the alien colonization plot, and at least some elements of that made their way into last season’s cliffhanger. So to what extent is that playing out, versus that story being something you’re keeping in your back pocket?
I actually wrote a third movie, just for my own purposes. I wanted to see how I would approach a big screen ‘X-Files’. And a lot of those things that I wrote about found their way into season ten and now in season eleven.
Are there any new guest stars you can tease? Any new characters this season?
Yes. Barbara Hershey is someone we cast in the show. She’s in Episode One. We’ve got another character we’re calling Mr. Y in Episode One. And they will factor into the mythology going forward.
What’s remained consistent about your experience of making the show from start to finish?
I have to say, the miracle on this show for me is how many good people have come on to it. And their participation and their good ideas have made it better. That’s something you pray for because it’s a lot of hard work. You hand people a script, and if they don’t have a lot of good ideas, the work suffers. But if you hand people a script and they all have good ideas, the work benefits. And I have to say, it’s the latter. You hand people a script, they have good ideas, and the show becomes ‘The X-Files’.
‘The X-Files’ will return for its ten episode Eleventh Season in January 2018. The upcoming season will see the established cast of David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, and Mitch Pileggi joined by a slate of guest stars including Annabeth Gish, William B. Davis, Robbie Amell, and Chris Owens, Karin Konoval, and Barbara Hershey. Until then, be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on ‘The X-Files’ as it becomes available.