Longtime investigators of conspiracies, extra-terrestrial activities, and everything that goes bump in the night, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are returning to the small screen in FOX’s 2016 revival of The X-Files, some fourteen years after the show’s original run on the network ended. X-Files creator Chris Carter is back as showrunner for the six-episode revival, which – according to the official description that has been released by FOX – will encompass a combination of “stand-alone investigative episodes and those that further the original show’s seminal mythology.”
The first X-Files revival trailers – released earlier this week (at the time of writing this) – tease a larger conspiracy that Mulder has begun investigating before the new episodes get underway. Those previews also offer a nice helping of nostalgia for longtime X-Files fans, with appearances from not just Mulder and Scully, but also their old pal Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi). The ever mysterious Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) is back too, though he only makes the same brief appearance in the extended trailer for The X-Files‘ (overall) tenth season as he did in previous teasers.
FOX’s extended X-Files revival trailer (see the video above) opens with a montage of ominous imagery narrated by Joel McHale‘s character on the show: Tad O’Malley, a conservative newsman who is clearly no more trusting of life in the modern world than Mulder is. Carter has indicated that the X-Files revival will very much examine how the show’s universe has changed over the past fifteen years (read: the post-9/11 era), so hopefully this should allow the series to explore intriguingly fresh narrative ground – without looking back over its shoulder too much, at the same time.
UPDATE: FOX has unveiled an additional X-Files revival teaser, which you can check out below:
Duchovny and Anderson will be joined by several old friends from X-Files seasons past during the revival – including the Lone Gunmen trio, as portrayed once again by Tom Braidwood, Bruce Harwood, and Dean Haglund. Meanwhile, the roster of newcomers (in addition to McHale) includes Robbie Amell (The Flash) and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) as a pair of younger federal agents – smooth-talking smart guy Agent Miller and the equally sharp and confident Agent Einstein, respectively – while Silicon Valley‘s Kumail Nanjiani will be appearing in an episode. For now, though, those new players have yet to be highlighted in the revival’s marketing.
It remains to be seen how successful the X-Files revival will be, from both a critical standpoint as well as with regard to ratings. NBC, for example, has now seen mixed returns with its revival of the Heroes TV show property, with Heroes Reborn, on both fronts – not to mention, neither X-Files season 9 nor the last feature film (The X-Files: I Want To Believe) are exactly beloved, either. Still, for many fans of the series, just the chance to spend any more time with Mulder and Scully on their adventures is quite welcome.
The X-Files revival will premiere Sunday, January 24th, 2016 on FOX.