The X-Files fans have been waiting a long time for answers to all those alien and government conspiracy questions left lingering after the show's original nine-season run, and they're hoping the new revival on January 24 will be worth that wait. The franchise's second big screen film, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, premiered six years after the series ended but only served as a stand-alone story with familiar characters.
Now The X-Files will return to TV for a special six-episode event. The alien invasion that was set to occur in 2012 may be complicated by/superseded by a human war using alien tech, as earlier trailers have indicated. Former FBI agent duo Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are together again (though not romantically), joined by other familiar faces like Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) and the Lone Gunmen trio (Tom Braidwood, Bruce Harwood, and Dean Haglund).
The latest trailer for the upcoming series, which you can watch above, puts our eternally suspicious characters squarely in the post 9/11 world. A voice-over narration from Mulder reveals that though the X-Files department was shut down in 2002, his "personal obsession" remains. The need for truth-seeking and action is far from over:
"All these years we've been deceived. A decade of my life...of being led by my nose through a dead end. They police us, they spy on us, tell us that makes us safer. We've never been in more danger."
The new clip is packed with action, while retaining the show's famed creepy, suspenseful atmosphere. There are enough long dark hallways, military attacks, and violent medical scenes to fill anyone's nightmares. While previous trailers have hinted at the surprise return of Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis), the end of this newest preview shows some of the physical damage caused by that helicopter missile attack in the show's original finale.
Along with the original show's stars, The X-Files creator Chris Carter is back as writer and director. New additions include Joel McHale (Community) as Tad O’Malley, a newsman whose distrust of the governmental party line makes him a kindred spirit to Mulder, as well as Robbie Amell (The Flash) and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) as skilled young FBI agents Miller and Einstein.
Early reviews have been mixed, and the impression is that viewers may have to ride the nostalgia wave to get through some of the less impressive segments of the new series. Most worrying is CBR's judgement that Duchovny hasn't settled back into his old X-Files character well, and "strains to bring believable passion" when necessary. These judgments have been based only on the pilot, but with such a short season, The X-Files will have to improve quickly to keep fans tuning in.
The new trailer does look promising, and the series will likely still end ambiguously enough to leave the door open for future stories. The world is never short on conspiracies, so there should be plenty of material to work with. These six-episodes will just have to convince us that sticking with Mulder and Scully was not only worth the long hiatus, but intriguing enough to want more of.
The X-Files six-episode event premieres on FOX on Sunday, January 24, after the NFC Championship Game.