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Aliens, Conspiracy Hackers, Monsters, and Drama: The Return of the X-Files

  • Maureen Elsberry

For those of you who were not born or were living under a rock in the 1990s, the X-Files was a sci-fi drama starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny as two FBI special agents tasked with investigating unsolved cases of the paranormal variety. The show ran on Fox from September 10, 1993, to May 19, 2002. That’s nine seasons, 202 episodes, two movies and approximately 9308 minutes, 155 hours, or 6.5 days of paranormal goodness. Since the show ended 13 years ago, fans have been clamoring for another go for our favorite partners (and occasional lovers) Mulder and Scully. 

Then it happened. Finally, Fox made our dreams come true.  In March, it was announced that we would get a short run of six one-hour episodes to air in 2016. They’ve been slow to roll out confirmations on returning characters, but we have confirmation that show leads Fox Mulder and Dana Scully along with The Cigarette Smoking Man, and AD Skinner will be returning with the possibility of Alex Krycek and Monica Reyes.

So far, two teaser trailers have been released giving us a glimpse of a tiny taste of what we can expect:


This was followed up in a similar trailer with a very distinct difference, we here them speak! Seriously, we get excited over the small things.

On July 22nd, we received the news that the Lone Gunmen would return to their glorious roles as the vital conspiracy hacking trio. Without going into too many spoilers, (if this is your first time watching) this news was met with some confusion for some internet goers. But those familiar with the comic books know that not everything is what it seems. We’ve yet to hear how series creator Chris Carter plans to use the characters and for all we know, they could just be appearing in a flashback capacity, but we wouldn’t be surprised if something strange were occurring, especially since the Cigarette Smoking Man will maliciously grace our screens.

Dean Haglund, who played Richard “Gringo” Langley in the series, broke the news during an event in Australia that he would be reprising his role along with co-stars Tom Braidwood (Frohike) and Bruce Harwood (Byers). “They haven’t contacted us, well today they contacted us, we’re shooting July 28th. The Lone Gunmen will be in the final six.”  I think I speak for most fans when I say, praise be the paranormal gods. 

New guest stars that will join in on the fun include Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), Robbie Amell (The Flash), Annet Mahendru (The Americans), Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), and Joel McHale (Community) as a conservative talk show host named Tad O’Malley. I think we can agree that Carter wants us to hate Tad based on his choice of character name.

What we know so far is that the six episodes will include Monster-Of-The-Week stand-alone stories with new monsters as well as an underlining alien abductee investigation. Allegedly, Tad O’Malley tips Mulder and Scully off to the disappearance of an alien abductee (Mahendru) leading them back into the world of the strange.

Series creator Chris Carter told the EW, “We’re not going to reboot any of the old favorites, although it was something we all thought about. These are all brand new stories. We hope to scare you in brand new ways.” 

Carter went on to hint at political and government secrecy ties, “The X-Files ended right after 9/11. A lot has happened since then. A lot of rollback of rights and liberties in the name of our protection. We’re being spied on now, we’re being lied to — all things that, for me, remind me of when I grew up, which was right around Watergate. I think we’re in similar and much more dire times right now." Hopefully, not all of his “brand new ways” to scare us rely on politics because we all love a good monster. Original writers James Wong, Glen Morgan, and Darin Morgan are spearheading the M.O.T.W. stories and if the episode title, “Scully and Mulder Meet the Were-Man” is any indication, we’ll get our wishes.

We’ve got a long time to wait, and there is no doubt that plot details and images will continue to leak over the next six months, but Fox aims to keep you busy in the meantime. On July 7th, 201 Days of X-Files began in which viewers are encouraged to re-watch the entire series one episode a day until Jan. 24th, the glorious day when the revival premiere will air.

The original series had a plethora of no-name actors who went on to become huge superstars including virtually the entire cast of Breaking Bad (Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Dean Norris), Seth Green, Bruce Campbell, Ryan Reynolds, Jack Black, Luke Wilson, and even everyone’s least favorite person, Shia LaBeouf. So if you’re participating in 201 Days of X-Files (#TheXFiles201Days) keep an eye out and you’re bound to spot an insane amount of familiar faces. We want to know what your favorite episode is, let us know in the comments below!

The X-Files premieres on January 24, 2016, on Fox networks.