The X-Files creator Chris Carter is responding to the mixed reaction of the revival season of the series in 2016. With about five more weeks until the 11th season premiere of The X-Files, Carter is not only looking forward to the 11th season of the classic Fox sci-fi series, but taking a look back to the show’s six-episode revival season that marked the show’s 10th year on the air.
The revival was a long-time coming, given that 14 years had passed since the end of the series’ initial run, which aired from 1993-2002. Save the second standalone feature film based on the series, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, in 2008, Carter and the cast and crew simply hadn’t worked with each other very much before The X-Files made its big comeback in January 2016.
Now, responding to criticisms of of The X-Files season 10, Carter is mulling over the reasons the series – featuring the return of stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully – didn’t work for some critics and fans. Among the biggest beefs for viewers was that season 10 had a longer, twisting narrative, instead of simpler standalone episodes during the show’s initial nine-season run. By the time the season wrapped up, the only episode that seemed to capture the magic of the original series was “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster.”
In an interview with TV Line for season 11 of The X-Files, Carter guesses that part of the criticism stems from the show not being able to find its old groove right away. He says:
“We [relaunched] from a standing start after not having been on the air for 12 years — there was some reacquainting that had to be achieved. It was like old friends getting back together. We had to shake some of the stiffness out. … I think that we’re all in fighting shape now.”
From the outset, it appears that Carter and the show’s creatives have heard viewers’ complaints, The X-Files, which has expanded from six to 10 episodes from the 10th to the 11th season, will focus on a simpler mythology and more standalone episodes. However, since the X-Files season 11 trailer focuses on the search for Mulder and Scully’s long-lost son, William, it’s completely reasonable to think the episodes, no matter how different each one of them are, will have some sort of throughline concentrating on that narrative.
In the meantime, as fans wait for the return of the show, it’s great that Carter is acknowledging the issues the show had last year and has taken a proactive stance in providing a better experience for all come January. Instead of trying to reinvent the show, which would have been disastrous, it’s heartening to know that Carter is looking to recapture the lightning in a bottle that the show had to keep it running the first time around, which can’t be an easy thing to do. Lucky for Carter and his fellow creatives, many of the vital contributors and actors who were with him the first time around have agreed to come back to give the show at least one more go-round.