Fox has taken the hint: The X-Files is going to largely avoid its wildly complex mythology episodes next season.
The return of the sci-fi hit for the 2018 season contains 10 episodes, with stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson back on board. A full of eight of them will be stand-alone episodes, Fox entertainment chairman David Madden promises. The move comes after last year’s revival received hugely split reviews, with the mythology episodes getting slammed by critics while the stand-alone mysteries were praised.
“We’re really proud of last season,” Madden says. “We had the responsibility to explain to the audience what had happened in the intervening seven or eight years. We’re free from that responsibility this time and can just plunge in and tell the stories. We’re having a lot of fun doing it. Eight of the episodes will be stand-alone stories so they will be classic ‘Mulder and Scully plunging into new adventures.'”
During its original 1990s-era run, The X-Files had a mix of mythology shows and stand-alone episodes. Yet as the years continued and the show went into eight and nine seasons, its increasingly tangled mythology seemed to stop making much sense as producers tried to find new twists.
Madden also teased a bit about season 11’s storyline. “We start the season right up from where the season finale left off with that big helicopter and takes you right from there,” he says. “You’ll be launched into a very urgent adventure that has a lot to do with William — Mulder and Scully’s kid. so the search for William will be a significant thread through the show. You will see the Cigarette Smoking Man [William B. Davis]. You may see The Lone Gunmen somewhere along the line. There will be other characters from the previous mythology that will be reprised.”
The return of The X-Files in 2016 after 14 years off the air was a ratings smash for Fox, representing one of the few rebooted/revival titles by networks that have worked (unlike, say, the return of Prison Break and the launch of 24: Legacy earlier this year). Next on Fox’s revival agenda: A potential King of the Hill revival.