[The following contains spoilers for X-Files Season 11]
David Duchovny has called on X-Files fans to stop focusing on Scully's exit and just enjoy the season. Duchovny's comments come after reports that X-Files will end after the current run of episodes due to Gillian Anderson's departure. Anderson, who has played Agent Dana Scully since the show's inception, has confirmed she will not return beyond this season.
Anderson's announcement that she is through with Dana Scully came as a surprise to fans, though Anderson herself says she always made it clear that this season would be her last. So far this season, Scully has experienced the traumatic revelation that her long-lost son William was conceived using alien DNA as part of a horrific experiment by The Smoking Man. Among other things, this confirmed that Mulder was not in fact the boy's father. In a later episode, Scully finally met the troubled teenager William, though their reunion did not exactly happen under ideal circumstances. The season has also found room for lots of other twists and turns, very unlikely character returns and some welcome levity.
With all this drama going down on the show, David Duchovny thinks fans should shift their focus away from Scully's imminent exit and just try to enjoy X-Files while it lasts. Speaking to PopCulture.com, Duchovny talked about the over-blown discussion about Scully's fate and the show's future:
"It's a little cart before the horse, for me. It’s like, OK, there are issues to deal with or whatever, but let's talk about the show. Let’s not talk about hypotheticals."
"To me, it's unfortunate that's kind of like 'the headline' because, to me, the headline is: We just made 10 really kick-ass episodes of television, and please enjoy and don't mourn the death of this show quite yet."
Duchovny may be frustrated with speculation about the show's future, but creator Chris Carter doesn't seem to mind it. Carter recently stoked that speculation himself by suggesting a way X-Files could continue beyond season 11 without Gillian Anderson. Carter admitted he hasn't seriously considered the possibility of doing X-Files without Anderson. However, he then mentioned the possibility of Scully acting as an "absent center" in a future season. Speaking on Anderson's departure, Carter wondered aloud, "It’s the end of something, I don’t know if it’s the beginning of something new."
Carter insists that there are "more stories to tell" in the X-Files universe. Given the nature of X-Files and the on-going public fascination with conspiracies, aliens and the supernatural, there will no doubt always be more stories to tell in that universe. The question is whether fans wish to return and hear those stories without the presence of Dana Scully. There's no question the dynamic between Mulder and Scully has long been the heart of the show. That fact became plain in seasons 8 and 9 when Duchovny barely appeared, and Anderson herself scaled back her involvement. To put it bluntly, those seasons are not among the show's most popular.
With X-Files headed into its final few season 11 episodes, it's probably natural for fans to experience a certain anxiety. What fate might befall Scully as the season winds to a close? Will Chris Carter wrap everything up in a decisive way? Or will he leave the door open for future seasons regardless of Anderson's departure? Either way, David Duchovny wishes fans would stop worrying, and just enjoy the show.
The X-Files season 11 airs Wednesdays on FOX.