When we last left Agents Mulder and Scully, things weren’t looking so good. Mulder was dying from the Spartan virus, there was a UFO and bright lights, and then… credits. Fans were anxious to know what’s next for the duo and all things X-Files at the New York Comic Con panel on Sunday.
A Conspiracy of Characters
Of course, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are back for the new season, but there are plenty of other familiar faces returning for Season 11. Among them, the Cigarette Smoking Man, Mulder and Scully’s son William, Lone Gunman Langly, and FBI Assistant Director, Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi).
While the actors had fun spending time together on set again, there were some major differences from the series’ early years.
“When [Pileggi] and I do a fight scene now it’s like ‘ow.. ow..’” Duchovny joked.
Pileggi laughed and said he asked Duchovny to hit him in the chest, not the shoulders, due to arthritis. Skinner is finally getting his own episode, however, in which his backstory will be revealed.
“I think I envisioned a lot of this stuff, a lot of the stuff that they wrote, I think I had built in my own mind as his backstory. Chris had spoken to in earlier episodes, in the original run of the show, about Skinner’s past a little bit. This goes quite a bit more deeply. You get to see young Walter Skinner,” Pileggi said.
Pileggi also noted that Carol Banker will direct the episode.
Monsters and Mythology
The X-Files originated the “monster of the week” and mythology episode structure, in which some episodes are tied into the overall series arc, while others are fun one-offs. Each of the actors shared their favorite kinds of episodes to make.
“Sometimes the monster of the week episodes can resonate with a character in an interesting way,” Duchovny said.
Pileggi seemed happy just to be a part of the series at all.
“I like them all. I’m entertained both by the monsters and the mythology. I’m very excited to shoot. I’m very happy that you’re all going to be finding out a little more about Wally,” he said.
For Anderson, it was less about the episode type and more about the tone.
“I enjoy the comedic episodes because I don’t get to be funny very much in my life. My characters tend to be suicidal or somebody’s boss, or somebody’s boss who commits suicide,” she said with a laugh.
It’s All About the Details
Fans of The X-Files love to look for easter eggs hidden in each scene. This year, they have an extra-special flair to them.
“There’s little things. There’s things on Mulder’s bulletin board. Somebody that’s responsible for the Easter eggs is Gillian’s daughter Piper,” Carter said. “She’s been working in the art department this season and has her own special take on the show.”
The costume department also has to deal with the minutiae of Mulder and Scully’s world, and the cast joked that Anderson’s wig is so famous it’s getting its own Amazon show.
“There seems to be a lot of discussion about Scully’s hair. I think a lot more than the hair and makeup department anticipated initially. The wig… it’s a lot redder this season than it was last season,” Anderson said.
What’s Next for Mulder and Scully?
“This season ends on a cliffhanger again,” Carter confirmed, though Duchovny said that’s pretty much the norm for the series.
“Every season aside from maybe in the middle, we kind of shot a legitimate ending to the show. It’s always in Chris’ hands to try to ressurect the show from whever he left it that final time. [Last season] seemed like another end, and if it was the end, so be it, but if it wasn’t… luckily it wasn’t up to me to get us out of that,” Duchovny said.
“There are eight standalone episodes and two mythology episodes, but there’s a character arc that spans all of those episodes,” Carter said. “And another X-Files movie? Never say never.”