Arguably the first sci-fi series to crossover into the mainstream of pop culture, The X-Files was appointment television throughout the majority of its 9 season run, and turned stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson into household names. Following the series’ cancellation in 2002, fans wondered whether the world would ever get more Mulder and Scully adventures. Unfortunately, the first attempt at continuing the franchise turned out to be 2008’s largely-panned film I Want to Believe, which disappointed viewers by telling a generic case of the week story and completely ignoring the lingering mythology plot threads.
Thankfully, 2016’s 6-episode X-Files revival season set out to right those wrongs, granting focus to both government conspiracies and offbeat monster encounters. While not every episode earned rave reviews, the ratings were both impressive and consistent, coming in second only to hit music drama Empire in the 2015-2016 season statistics for FOX. The numbers clearly illustrate that a desire still exists to follow Mulder and Scully on their quest for the truth, and to no one’s surprise, network executives have expressed a desire to create another limited batch of episodes.
That said, FOX may want more X-Files, but do Duchovny and Anderson? After all, both actors remain highly in-demand, with Duchovny currently starring in NBC’s Aquarius and Anderson set to be a series regular on Starz’ American Gods. The duo was asked that very question during a Deadline interview, and offered the following sentiments on the matter.
Anderson: For me, it was important that I thought of this season as being just these six shows when we were doing it. The long insanity of the schedule [demanded it]. I’m open to the conversation, though they haven’t come to us yet. I have no clue when they’re going to. I’m getting on with the rest of my life and I’m booking other jobs, so if it is indeed something that they would like to continue, then that conversation will need to be had. And I have no idea when that will be able to take place at this juncture.
Duchovny: I guess what we found with this season was that it’s possible to still get it. It doesn’t not work. And then the question becomes, if we were going to move on, how do we make it work even better? That’s a question we’d want to ask. This one was, “Phew, we can do it. I guess it did work.” But now it’s like, now what? How do we make this interesting again for all of us? And it is a joy to play, as difficult as it can be. There are days, I’m sure, where Gillian and I would rather go to work and not have to think about it, but ultimately that’s what keeps us alive; these people, those artists, and the chance to be able to use our brains and think on our feet to do the show in that way.
While some hesitancy about returning to the heavy schedule is apparent, both Anderson and Duchovny seem open to returning for season 11 if the circumstances surrounding its creation are correct. Neither seems to want to come back for the hell of it, preferring to once again inhabit the roles of Mulder and Scully only if they feel that the material Chris Carter and the rest of the X-Files team come up with merits doing another round of cases.
On the other hand, both actors acknowledge the potential enjoyment and challenge involved in returning to the X-Files world, with Anderson referring to the series as “something I would potentially look forward to doing again. It’s a nice thing to have in one’s life” and Duchovny calling his initial years on the show “a gift in that I took myself to school, and taught myself how to be an actor.“
During the upfronts, FOX execs said that if The X-Files were to get a season 11, it wouldn’t air until at least the 2017-2018 season. Will the truth still be out there by then? Only Duchovny and Anderson know for sure.
The X-Files season 10 is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Season 11 has yet to be confirmed.