One of the most anticipated horror events of 2016 was the reboot of The X-Files, which returned to FOX for a 10th Season following a 14-year TV hiatus. Unfortunately, fans and critics were equally underwhelmed by the 6-episode return; personally, I found Season 10 redundant, meandering, overly serious, melodramatic, and (most unforgivably) boring (the Were-Monster episode being the sole exclusion). It seemed whatever magic Mulder and Scully (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) had made together in the past, the well had run dry.
This is why most fans greeted news of an 11th Season of The X-Files with a hefty dose of trepidation. Not only would the show be returning after a disappointing reemergence, it was going to be 10 episodes long. If it felt empty for 6-episodes, how can it possibly avoid dragging fans further into a bleak and uninspired X-Files universe?
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Perhaps by focusing on a return to the show’s roots: Standalone episodes that pack a powerful punch. X-Files creator Chris Carter recently attempted to assuage fans’ trepidation, promising a return to form.
Carter: “We [relaunched] from a standing start after not having been on the air for 12 years — there was some reacquainting that had to be achieved. It was like old friends getting back together. We had to shake some of the stiffness out. … I think that we’re all in fighting shape now.”
Here’s what we know about The X-Files Season 11 so far:
After getting the professional side of their relationship back on track in season 10, Mulder and Scully will be drawn even closer together this year. Carter says fans rooting for the formerly estranged duo to fully patch things up “have something to look forward to.” But the partners are in for an intense journey; the pain of Scully’s decision to give up William (the son she shares with Mulder) for adoption 15 years ago still hangs over both agents. “William has been an absent center,” Carter says. “He will come to the fore.”
With more monster-of-the-week episodes this season (eight, in all), fans can expect season 11 to be united in theme but varied in tone. After episode one delves into the Cigarette Smoking Man’s (William B. Davis) backstory and apparent family ties to Mulder, the second hour opens with a time jump to put distance between Mulder and Scully and the events of the premiere. And episode three is a darkly comedic hour, penned by Carter, focusing on doubles and doppelgängers. But beyond the humor, the larger mythology of The X-Files — like the fallout from Scully’s abduction and the chip that was implanted in her neck — continues to shape Mulder and Scully’s world.
The X-Files Season 11 kicks off on January 3rd on FOX.
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