Fox has confirmed reports that landmark ’90s horror series The X-Files will indeed be returning to TV for a six-episode miniseries that will enter production later this year. No word on a premiere date, but series creator Chris Carter will be back on writing duties, while original stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will also be returning.
Anyone who enjoyed the show during its heyday will find it difficult not to be at least a tiny bit excited about this, even if the shambolic 2008 movie sequel poisoned the well a little. The original run of The X-Files coincided perfectly with the advent of the internet and its insanely convoluted mythology and will-they-won’t-they relationship between the two leads made perfect fodder for early fansites and chatrooms in the days of shrieking modems and parents shouting angrily from downstairs about not being able to use the landline.
Unlike the thematically timeless Twin Peaks, another classic series set for return if David Lynch can sort out a contractual disagreement with Showtime, The X-Files‘ focus on alien invasions and government conspiracies were very much a product of their pre-millennial time. These days, most people couldn’t care less about UFOs, and while government secrets are very much at the forefront of many people’s minds, the kind of evils being unearthed feel rather too nasty and real to make the notion of paranormal conspiracies feel anything other than a bit frivolous.
It’s a fair assumption the show will focus telling a single story across its six hours, which could be a good or bad thing depending on what you enjoyed about the original, whose monster-of-the-week episodes produced some genuine masterpieces of televisual horror. It’ll certainly be great to have Duchovny and Anderson back, while I’d also wager Mitch Pileggi is nailed-on to return as the agents’ grouchy but loveable boss, Walter Skinner. Personally, I’d like to see Robert Patrick’s John Doggett and Annabeth Gish’s Monica Reyes appearing in some capacity as well, though accept I’m probably the only one.
It’ll be interesting to see whether The X-Files or Twin Peaks is more successful at recapturing the old magic, though my money is very much on Lynch rather than Carter. Carter was never a particularly nuanced writer at the best of times and many of the series’ finest episodes came from others, like Darin and Glenn Morgan or Vince Gilligan, who’s probably too busy with Better Call Saul to make a glorious return. Still, at least this means the series will get a third chance at a decent ending, following the disastrous clip show recap that was the original two-part finale, ‘The Truth’, or the aforementioned 2008 movie.
Trust no-one, but fingers crossed regardless.