In the current cycle of popular TV shows being rebooted, The X-Files always seemed a natural fit. It’s got a premise that’s pretty sturdy, and little chance of ever running out of ideas. All of the principal actors are still alive, active, and available, while the series retains a huge amount of popularity both from its original fans and those who have discovered the series since it went off the air in 2002.
The X-Files first returned for a six-episode revival in early 2016, which received mixed reviews, many of them related to its abbreviated length, and that it tied in only tangentially with the original show’s long-running mythology. The revival, though, was well enough received that, unlike FOX’s return engagements with Prison Break and 24, it will continue with another new season. Now, we have a new look at what's to come.
A new 20-second promo for season 11 of The X-Files debuted Sunday night during FOX’s programming. In the promo, titled 'Help Without Trust,' we see Mulder and Scully (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) together again, enlisting the help of Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), and engaging in all sorts of action-packed adventures, including fights and chase scenes. And yes, we do see an alien.
From interviews, convention appearances, and an earlier trailer, it's known that season 11 consists of 10 episodes, two of which will deal with the mythology, and that the usual gang of X-Files writers (James Wong, Glen Morgan, Darin Morgan, along with creator Chris Carter) are on board once again. As for the plot, it’s likely to deal with whatever happened to William, the son born to Mulder and Scully who was put up for adoption during the original series.
The franchise clearly has a lot of stories left to tell, and a large enough audience wanting to watch them. Duchovny and Anderson are still great together, and while none of its previous “endings” have been especially satisfying, perhaps they’ll finally get it right this time. And it’s certainly an improvement to tell the story in ten episodes rather than six.
That said, the first revival only really had one standout episode, the Darin Morgan-written 'Mulder and Scully Meet the Were Monster,' so while those six episodes were a ratings win for the network, this new season will likely be met with higher expectations and a less forgiving audience simply pleased to have their two favorite FBI agents back on television again.
The X-Files returns for Season 11 on FOX in January 2018.