FBI agents Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) thought their truth-seeking days were over in 2002 – despite a reprieve in 2008’s X-Files: I Want to Believe – when the bureau closed The X-Files. But with aliens and shadowy agencies running amok these days, there appears to be a healthy call for their services once more. FOX will bring the agents out of retirement on January 24th for a six-episode revival/10th season, giving fans a fresh taste of their favorite paranormal partners.
In preparation for the series' return, several teasers and a featurette have been released to pique viewer curiosity. The videos and stills show the agents up to their old tricks, with glimpses old favorite allies and foes, such as "The Cigarette Smoking Man" (William B. Davis) and Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi). But with the exception of those lucky enough to attend the advanced screening at last year’s New York Comic-Con, fans only received a few morsels to tide them over, until now.
Today, FOX released a minute-long clip of the first episode’s opening scene (watch above). The episode begins with a narrated presentation of sorts, showcasing clips and classic moments from 20 years of X-Files history. Narrated by Fox Mulder, the world-weary agent brings new viewers up to speed, running through his personal and professional history with aliens, conspiracies, and The X-Files. The clip ends as Mulder expounds upon his obsession, and then lights the pictures on fire – an ominous and intriguing note, indeed.
Although creator, writer, and director Chris Carter revealed that the bulk of the stories for the revival will be of the one-shot, monster-of-the-week variety, the trailer did hint at some classic mythology episodes — especially with the clip of "Smoking Man." However, the opening minute seems to indicate that, although The X-Files are just now reopening, Mulder's quest continued in earnest without the FBI. The first episode will also not only bring us up to speed in 2016 — as clips reveal Mulder and Scully dealing both the unknown and the ravages of time — but will hopefully fill us in on Mulder's downtime activities.
From the look of things in the teaser and the clip, he's been quite a busy ex-agent. Has Mulder run across his former conspiratorial adversaries? And how will the Lone Gunmen tie into the new series? With many of the original actors, production, and writers on board, the revival, though miniaturized, will likely feel like home. Carter, James Wong, and the Morgan Brothers (Glen and Darin) wrote and directed some of the classic episodes of The X-Files like 'Home' and 'Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,' infusing the show with wit, terrifying monsters, and most importantly, humanity. Anderson and Duchovny’s dynamic sci-fi duo may have aged a little, but the actors and the characters have plenty of life left in them yet.
However, it will be curious to see how a modern, social-media and paranormal-saturated X-Files works. It’s been almost 10 years since Carter last dusted off these characters. The 2008 film didn’t exactly ignite X-Files fever across the country, but clearly fans are itching for a return to the series – and a chance to tie up a few loose ends. It will be interesting to see where the miniseries leaves Mulder and Scully and of course, the X-philes watching at home.
The X-Files revival will debut Sunday, January 24th, 2016 on FOX.