The X-Files has officially cast Barbara Hershey in a mysterious role for its upcoming 11th season. When Fox revived the enduringly popular science fiction show in 2016 after nearly 14 years of being off the air, The X-Files once again proved itself a ratings hit for the network (the debut earned over 16 million viewers alone). This prompted long talks between the network and those involved with the show for a potential 11th season, which was finally confirmed just a few months ago by Fox.
Ratings aside, The X-Files received moderate praise upon its return, but most of that was heaped upon the show’s more standalone efforts rather than its serialized alien mythology episodes, which were criticized for being reliant on exposition and weak writing. This has led to promises of less mythology-driven episodes in the expanded season (season 10 only had six episodes, while 11 will have 10) and a simpler story overall. With Hershey being announced in a recurring role, perhaps her character will prove a useful component in this simplified approach.
Announced via Deadline, Hershey will join the 11th season of The X-Files in a recurring role. She will portray Erika Price, who is described as a mysterious and powerful character with ties to an equally mysterious organization. It’s unknown at this time how many episodes Hershey is expected to appear on or what her ties will be to main characters Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson).
Hershey is no stranger to recurring television roles, and she’s perhaps more recently known for her recurring stint on ABC’s Once Upon a Time. As for who Price is as a character, there’s plenty of possibilities that show creator and runner Chris Carter could take advantage of. The more likely options are as an adversary to Mulder and Scully or a possible informant for them though it’s just as likely Hershey will play a different role altogether.
Either way, The X-Files season 11 is shaping up well, with returning cast members like Mitch Pileggi confirmed by Fox. Though whether or not the show can course correct its core mythology remains to be seen. Toward the end of its original run, the general consensus was that the alien-centered story had gone off the rails thanks to the much derided introduction of a super soldier storyline and series finale that gave little in the way of definitive answers. Season 10 did little to convince critics and some fans that Carter had found the plot once again, but perhaps season 11’s supposedly simplified narrative (and perhaps even Hershey's involvement) can restore The X-Files to its former glory.
The X-Files season 11 airs in 2018 on FOX.