Following Gillian Anderson's confirmation of her impending X-Files exit, series creator Chris Carter weighs in on what that means for the future. Back in October at New York Comic-Con, Anderson first made her intentions to not return for additional X-Files seasons after season 11 known. As one might imagine, this shocked fans, some of whom hoped to get even more Mulder and Scully adventures sometime in the foreseeable future. At the time, FOX quickly downplayed her comments, and the push toward season 11 continued.
That was until a couple days back, when Anderson once again confirmed that she doesn't plan to come back for more X-Files after season 11. Fans again reacted with sadness, and immediately began wondering what a lack of Scully could mean for The X-Files going forward. It's hard to envision The X-Files continuing without the Mulder and Scully team, and one needs only to recall the mostly disliked - and almost entirely Mulder-less - season 9 in order to realize why going down that road again probably wouldn't be a good idea.
Earlier today, Chris Carter took part in a Reddit AMA session, and the topic of Gillian Anderson's departure understandably came up. Carter was asked if he would consider trying to continue The X-Files without Anderson, and whether or not the Dana Scully character receives a proper goodbye in the season 11 finale. With season 11 set to premiere tomorrow night, Carter stopped short of giving totally concrete answers to those questions, but his response does offer some insight into what he's thinking about now that Anderson is on her way out.
"For me, the show has always been Mulder & Scully. So the idea of doing the show without her isn't something I've ever had to consider.
Was her character given a proper goodbye? I think you will want to sit down and watch the series finale very carefully."
Before anyone freaks out over Carter's use of the words "series finale," he later clarified that he was just referring to the season 11 finale, and not saying that it was definitely The X-Files' final episode. Despite what Carter says, it's not impossible to imagine an X-Files without Scully. After all, the aforementioned season 9 - and most of season 8 - gave fans an X-Files without Mulder. The question is whether or not fans would care to watch a post-Scully X-Files.
2016's 6-episode X-Files season 10 was a huge ratings hit for FOX, and the network was very eager to order another revival season. If the ratings are that good again, it wouldn't be too surprising for FOX to want even more X-Files, with or without Gillian Anderson. That said, it's quite likely at this stage that neither Carter or David Duchovny would be willing to return to the series without her.
The X-Files season 11 premieres Wednesday, January 3 on FOX.