Have you recovered from that trailer yet? While we don't think anyone passed out from joy while watching it at New York Comic Con's X-Files panel, with all the screaming we heard it probably came close. Fans from all over the world came together to watch the first trailer for Season 11 of The X-Files and to take part in a panel with Chris Carter, Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, and Mitch Pileggi. The event started with the trailer and only got better from there. Read on for our recap.
TVLine's Michael Ausiello hosted the panel and it was easy to tell he is a big fan of the show. Ausiello asked great questions and kept the conversation flowing. In talking about the new season, Chris Carter was secretive as always but did share that Season 11 will explore Mulder and Scully's relationship with William. When asked who William looks like someone in the audience yelled "Skinner!" while Gillian Anderson quipped that he got David's height. Speaking about Mulder and Scully's relationship Chris said "they get kissing close" so Gillian responded, "when's that going to happen?" Chris said in the first episode Mulder and Scully are professional partners and not romantic partners, which lead to some boos from the audience. "You can rage against the machine all that you want," Chris said in response, but advised fans to "hang in there."
We spotted Langly in the trailer, but Chris said, "I can't tell you anything," about how he returns and had no word on if the other Lone Gunmen make an appearance as well.
We're also getting more Skinman in this season. Work has started on episode six which will explore the backstory of the assistant director. We know a little about Skinner's past and his time spent in Vietnam in the military so it's exciting to wonder what more we'll learn. Fans cheered the announcement and Chris joked, "I said his backstory, not his backside!" Mitch Pileggi also shared that we will get a glimpse of young Skinner. This episode was written by Gabe Rotter and will be directed by Carol Banker.
Ausiello asked Gillian if she thought she was done after Season 10. Gillian answered that she was but didn't share what changed her mind about doing Season 11. In an earlier interview with SyFy, Gillian said this about returning: "Because it felt like it wasn’t over. It didn’t feel like we necessarily delivered everything the fans were expecting of us last time, and so it was that.” Other outlets have reported that Gillian has said she is done after Season 11. She did not share that view at the press round table interview XFN was seated at, (outlets were split among several tables and the actors and Chris rotated between tables) and we gently remind everyone to read the quotations and not the headlines. According to ScreenRant Gillian said, "No, no, I think this will be it for me," when asked if she was open to continuing.
Season 10's Darin Morgan episode was a huge fan favorite and there is another to look forward to in the new season. Chris remarked that Darin's episodes are usually a "thumb in the eye to the show itself." David joked that Darin seems to have a "special hatred of Mulder" and attacks him in his scripts. Gillian offered that the characters Darin writes are aspects of himself. She thought the main character in this episode looks exactly like Darin, but David didn't agree. We'll see who is right when the episode airs in 2018! This was also Mitch's first chance to work on a Darin episode and he talked about how going BIG with Skinner felt unnatural but fun.
As we learned in September, Karen Konoval, who is infamous in her role as Ma Peacock, has returned to play multiple roles in Season 11. She plays four different characters in episode three, two of them men. Gillian said Karen is "amazing" and David concurred, calling her a special actress.
Fans of easter eggs can look for a few scattered throughout the season, and Chris hinted to look at Mulder's bulletin board specifically. Some of those eggs were created by Gillian's daughter, Piper, who is working in the art department again this season. You may recall she was the artist who created the drawings of the Were-Monster, among other cool props.
When we saw the first image of Scully in a hospital bed in Kelly Connolly's EW article, a shiver went throughout the fandom. Ausiello asked Chris, "what's wrong with Scully?" and Gillian joked, "where do I begin?" Chris responded that he'd be spoiling everything if he answered. We also learned that we get more of the CSM's backstory in episode one.
Ausiello asked the actors if they got any fan comments about last season that surprised them and Gillian answered that there was more discussion about Scully's hair than anticipated. We learned Gillian is very involved in Scully's wardrobe choices. David also teased that Scully's wig has its own six-episode series on Amazon coming up next year.
Something fans have wondered about is the possibility of another cliffhanger. Last year we were literally left on a bridge with no firm show renewal in sight and no way to know if that would be the end for our beloved show. When asked if we were headed off another cliff this season, Chris said simply, "yeah." Ausiello said, "you're not going to get any closure, it's going to end on a cliffhanger." Which set David up perfectly for a joke, "knowing the way Chris likes to name characters, I'm surprised he hasn't had a character named Cliff Hanger." So stay tuned to see if Special Agent Cliff Hanger shows up in an episode...
Ausiello asked the actors if they were ok with being on the Comic-Con stage "every two years for the rest of your life?" The crowd went nuts and Chris said he feels like the show has a lot of life left in it. The actors, however, remained mum on the topic.
Questions then came from the audience. When asked which type of episode they prefer, David said it really depended on the episode. Gillian prefers the comedic episodes as she rarely gets to be funny. Mitch said, "I like them all." Three of "Mitch's Pledgies" asked all four what kind of "fake news" they would spread about the new season. Gillian said "bing bing bong bong bing." No word on whether that's code for a much-yelled about sex scene. (I kid, I kid.) We got a "girly scream" from David. Chris was asked if there was any future for his series Millennium, and he feels that's another show with life left in it and would be interested if someone wanted to talk to him about it. We also learned that the seventh episode that wasn't able to be produced last season won't be done this year.
If you're hoping for Scully to finally get her own desk, unfortunately Chris hints you're out of luck. Someone in the audience yelled, "it's rude at this point to not give her a desk" as others in the audience booed. Gillian said she thinks Scully has taken over Mulder's desk. Still waiting for another X-Files movie? Chris said, "never say never." It was around this time that Gillian leaned over to whisper something to David, which Ausiello then asked him about. David fake-whispered, "are you going to have the pasta or the fish?"
We also learned that James Wong and Glen Morgan are again writing an episode together. That's episode eight and Chris hinted it will be similarly "messed up" like season four's "Home."
Another fan thanked Gillian for bringing attention to the need for more women directors on the series and asked Chris if there would be more action in this season. He joked that Mulder and Scully have become action heroes this season. When asked about writing and directing in Season 11, Gillian said she didn't have an interest, but David said he'd considered it. He said he'd had an idea that wasn't an X-File he wanted to turn into one but it didn't come together. He also cited time concerns as a reason he wouldn't direct this year. When asked about their craziest fan experience, Mitch said he met someone who had tattoos of him, David, and Anderson Cooper on their arm.
We got to meet Puppet Mulder as well! David said the resemblance to himself was uncanny, while Gillian chimed in, "especially the double chin." Puppet Mulder's creator then asked about the "bear on set" story that was shared on social media. David, Chris, and Gillian all had different versions of exactly what happened but David joked with Gillian that, "if he comes at you I'm going to have to get between you two, and I'm like... I was thinking I don't really want to die." Another fan asked if characters the actors play have influenced other roles. Mitch joked that in Stargate Atlantis he was playing Skinner in a flight suit. David responded in a longer answer that letting characters bleed together is essentially bad acting which led to a lot of joking between him and Mitch.
Another question had to do with the current political climate. Chris said that these days "everyone distrusts science and scientists, that's thrown all out the window and everybody believes conspiracy theories now. It's exactly the opposite of the way The X-Files is. Was.'
The final question was for Chris. The fan pointed out that Chris has said no one on The X-Files ever dies and asked if he'd had difficulty bringing someone back to life, "specifically someone who had been hit in the face with a missile." Chris thought for a second as the audience laughed, smiled, and said, "that doesn't mean you die!"
Great questions all around and we hope you enjoyed the panel as much as we did! Look for more photos from the event and video interviews from Chris, David, Gillian, and Mitch coming soon.