"The Truth Awakens and Arrives"
The X-Files Lexicon's exclusive
report with interviews of the red carpet debut of The X-Files series
episode “My Struggle”.
Covered by Matt Allair on Jan 12,
I believe in the art of the possible.
In 2006, when The X-Files Lexicon was not yet a year old, I could never have imagined that by 2008 we
would see a second X-Files feature, I Want To Believe, yet it did
happen, and this website and a great many fans were a part of it. Then
there was another large gap, and during that time Vince Gilligan went
on to great, life-changing success with Breaking Bad, Howard Gordon
went from showrunning 24 to developing his own series for Showtime,
Homeland, along with another alumni Alex Gansa, to resounding success.
John Shiban went on to work on Hell On Wheels. The students had gone on
to become masters. David Duchvony had experienced great success with
Showtime's Californication, and had branched out to directing, later
later creatively co-producing NBC's Aquarius>. Gillian Anderson has gone on to
conquer both stage (>A Streetcar named Desire and more) and screen (Bleak House, The
Fall), coming full circle by appearing in Hannibal (whose Clarice
character, lest we forget, Scully was based on.) The odds of something
happening as far as anything to do withThe X-Files seemed so slim, and
yet here we are.
Page Editor: Liz Tray
I first started watching the show in the 90s as a kid. I was terrified
of the monsters – to an 8-year-old, the Flukeman was a horror beyond
reckoning – but I was also rapt. The X-Files stoked my
curiosity and my imagination, illuminating how big the world is and all the shadows in
its many dark corners.
All of which leads me to say: There are so many more, new dark corners
for Mulder and Scully to explore with their flashlight beams.
The event originally billed Chris Carter as the special guest, but at
the last minute he was unable to make it. Glen stepped in and emceed,
speaking for a few minutes about the miniseries. He first explained how
CC and company landed on the six-episode miniseries format (he actually
credited actor David Duchovny with the idea). Because of the new
flexibility in TV programming, there was freedom to make it work with
everyone's schedules. Glen noted that, additionally, mid-size movies
don't really exist in the film marketplace right now and it made more
sense to produce a TV vehicle all round.
In the summer of 2015 new episodes were filmed in Vancouver with many
of the old players: Chris Carter, Glen Morgan, Darin Morgan, James
Wong, director of photography Joel Ransom, composer Mark Snow,
production designer Mark Freeborn, and editor Heather MacDougall. Not
only were David and Gillian back, so were Mitch Pileggi, William B.
Davis, Sheila Larken, Tom Braidwood, Bruce Harwood, Dean Haglund,
Annabeth Gish, and Jeff Gulka. As well as new faces like Kumail
Nanjiani, Joel McHale, Rance Howard, Robbie Amell, and Lauren Ambrose.
Now we are days away, as of this writing, from the new episodes being
revealed in 2016.
Credit must go to a great many people; for one, the long-term fans who
had faith, another to a new regime of executives at 20th Century Fox
television for having the vision to take this gamble. Another to the
cast and crew, who had the faith to come back on board. And to the
architect himself, Chris Carter, for taking the time, and waiting for
the right moment, the most apt moment to bring this series back. It
arrives at just the right time. It should not escape anyone's attention
that the two biggest, game-changing franchises would come back around
the same time. Star Wars and The X-Files. The reasons could be
but I suspect that the public instinctively wants something deeper.
Red Carpet Coverage:
I arrived and dutifully got in line at the red carpet press line. It
should not go unnoticed that The X-Files
Lexicon and X-Files
the only two fan sites in the press line, when the rest were major
media outlets, pretty unprecedented indeed. I stumbled upon Matt
, co-author of The Complete X-Files
, and we chatted before the
work began. The following was in order; some interviews will reappear
in more expanded interviews with such talent.
William B. Davis Interview
Matt: You shot the new episodes in Vancouver, as well as L.A.,
throughout the whole series, was it an interesting experience to go
back to Vancouver?
Well, Vancouver is home for me, so that's where it feels right
for me, what feels right for the show. Everybody feels at home there,
it fits in that environment so well, I enjoyed shooting here (L.A.),
and it was interesting to do, but The X-Files
can't imagine doing it somewhere else actually, I just assumed if they
did it again they'd do it in Vancouver; it never even crossed my mind
to think [otherwise].
Mitch Pileggi Interview
How would you describe Walter Skinner in the new episodes, as a
character? Is he in a different place than when we last saw him in 2008?
He's in the same office, same job, and he's got some beliefs he
didn't have at the end of the original series, but different from the
You have spoken before about how your father influenced your
performance as Walter Skinner. Have there been other persons in your
life that you modeled the character after?
No, I think it was [just him], and I don't think it was anything intentional I did in regards to him being like my father, it just kind of naturally evolved. I don't think I tried to consciously bring anybody else in as an influence.
Kumail Nanjiani Interview
You are known in Hollywood as a X-Files superfan; was it a surreal
experience to appear on an episode? Were there things you had to do to
keep yourself in check and focus on the work while filming?
Oh yeah, it was probably the most nervous I've ever, ever, ever
been for a show. The nightmare is, I know the episode is going to be
great, but I don't want to hurt the episode. So, when I was shooting
it, and preparing for it, I did not think of it as The X-Files
I thought of it as just like a job, and then when it was done I was like:
“Okay, I think I just did The X-Files,” and I watched the
episode and I am in it, so I'm like, “Okay, definitely in The X-Files.” It's
a really great episode.
I'm always interested with how Europeans view America. While growing up
in Pakistan did The X-Files and other American series help to
shape your impression of the country before you moved here?
Yeah, I mean I watched The X-Files
in Pakistan, and it
seemed like: “Oh my God, is this true?” When I first watched it, for some
reason when they aired it, it said ‘based on a true story', so I said,
“Oh my god, all of this stuff is happening in America! I got to go
there!” Then obviously it couldn't be that all of this stuff would be
happening that I would believe. I grew up watching a lot of American TV
shows. I watched Knight Rider, and The A-Team and all that, but X-Files
is definitely my favorite.
Annabeth Gish Interview
It's been a long time since we last saw Monica Reyes. Could you
describe where she is mentally and emotionally in the new season?
If I answer that I'd give it all away (laughs), I can't!
Was it difficult getting back into the role? Did it feel strange to
shoot in Vancouver as opposed to Los Angeles, as you joined after the
show made the move?
Not at all, Monica Reyes is like a second skin to me. I loved
playing her and it was easy to step back into her shoes. It didn't feel
strange, no, not for me, I love Vancouver; it was another chapter of
Joel McHale Interview
I understand you are a long time X-Files fan. What was your favorite
aspect of appearing in this season? Was it a surreal experience?
It was the money because they paid me so well in Canadian
dollars. I like colorful money and I like that little transparent strip
on it. Yes, it was completely surreal, as I am a huge fan of The
X-Files. I have all of the episodes at home, but I can't show my boys
yet because they can be terrifying; in fact, it was a show my wife and
I watched before we were married.
I bought her from Russia, I brought
her over and taught her English, and she finally knows the show now.
When Chris Carter made the mistake of hiring me I was surprised and
thrilled to a point of – I really didn't believe it, even when I got
there, I'm like, “This isn't The X-Files
, this is an episode of
, right?” It was great.
David Duchovny Interview
You've had two really long running series with The X-Files and
Californication. Do you prefer staying in one character and deeply
exploring it, or starting over with new roles? Did it take long to
switch into playing Fox Mulder after playing Hank Moody?
I like both. What is interesting to me is that I started playing
this character in ‘93 and I am playing him again in 2015. That's an
amazing challenge for an actor to be able to play a guy for that long,
and to keep him the same and yet different.
X-Filespromo clip with Mulder and Scully dealing with the
adoption of their baby, William, in the new series. Does the issue
resonate for you differently now, compared to when you were younger?
I guess it does, but the stuff that we did best was never the
soap opera stuff. There's a certain amount of relationship stuff in it,
but were not Grey's Anatomy
, we're not a show like that, and we're not
at our best when we do that. So, life happens in and around the cases,
the show doesn't revolve around our lives, our lives revolve around the
cases. This stuff has a place it in, but it's not foremost in the show
or in our minds, and I think it's strongest when it does happen like it
does in life, which is, life happens, and you deal with it as you go
about doing your job.
Gillian Anderson Interview
Are you tempted to get back further into directing?
Not for a while. There was something I was getting very close
to then I realized that in order to do it I would have to take off six
months to a year from my working schedule. I'm kind of in a blessed
position right now where I'm working a lot, which is not necessarily a
usual thing for a woman of my age, and so I decided it was important
that I focus on this now, and I'll save directing for another time. But
I'm very interested.
Chris Carter interview
If a season 11 does develop, has there been any further discussion with
Vince Gilligan, Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa or John Shiban about having
them come on board?
No discussions at all – I was asked once casually when we might
do a season 11, only once. I think everyone is waiting to see how this
does, so I don't want to get ahead of myself. When you mentioned that
list of people, they're all very busy, and because I would never know
how to schedule a season 11 right now it would be very hard to get them
to commit to anything.
Have a lot of your thoughts, concerns and interests evolved since 2008
at the time of I Want To Believe? Do the new episodes reflect a change
in your perspective? Are you more optimistic or pessimistic than you
were 15 years earlier?
I am more scared than I was 13 years ago. We live in a Citizen
(Edward Snowden/NSA documentary) world now, where the government
have admitted that they are spying on us. I think that's scary and, so
yes, my perspective has changed.
The “My Struggle” screening
People settled into the IMAX screen at the Los Angeles Science Center.
Before the start, several FOX representatives stood up and spoke before
introducing Chris Carter, who revealed he could never have imagined he
would be introducing episode 203. He thanked his co-writers, David and
Gillian, the cast and crew, and lastly his wife Dori for nagging him to
do this. He especially thanked the FOX marketing and publicity team.
Then the episode was screened for the cast, crew and press. The good
news is that the episode works, the flavor of Vancouver really comes
through: there were some visually impressive set pieces, especially in
the opening sequence. The emotional history of Mulder and Scully is
handled effectively, and there's a real feeling of affection between
them. But these two are old souls, and the years have taken a toll on
them, which is what makes this episode feel realistic, the fact that
they are portrayed as older characters. That toll is also the years of
loss, the adoption of William, Mulder's abduction, strange death and
resurrection, and the number of family and friends who have died over
the years. The countless assassination attempts by the Syndicate, or
just putting their lives on the line as FBI agents. Or Dana Scully's
discovery of a dying girl, Emily, who might have been her biological
child, and watching her decline… all of these factors and events exist
as a result to pursuing truths about covert governments and agendas. It
makes sense to see that toll on their faces.
There was one aspect of the last film, I Want To Believe
, that worked –
the realistic depiction of their age, as well as seeing Scully as a
doctor helping children who might be hopeless cases, and giving them
hope. We are right back to Dana Scully as a doctor once again doing the
same in “My Struggle”. There are reasons given as to why Mulder and
Scully are in the place they are in. As far as how effective the Tad
O'Malley character is in the episode will be up to debate, but he
represents a long line of idealists chasing windmills on The X-Files
Many of the themes, and Mulder's doubts, simply mirror things we've
seen before at the end of season four, and while it will be up to the
viewer to decide I don't think the issues undermine the mythology as it
is understood. This back and forth simply represents what The
is about in part: beliefs that are corroborated through evidence. It
manages to feel old, while bringing in something new, and remain
emotionally consistent with what we saw in 2008.
The post-screening reception
Right after the screening I stumbled into Vince Gilligan and we
chatted, then traded some kind words with Gabe Rotter, Chris Carter's
assistant and a producer on the new series. We were then guided to the
reception party, where I was able to briefly chat with Mark Snow, Glen
Morgan, James Wong, Joel McHale, and lastly with Chris Carter, with
whom I addressed fans' concerns about the status of Mulder and Scully's
relationship. “You'll have to watch”, he commented with a smile, and
then added that, “Mulder and Scully do love each other.” After which I
pretty much bowed out for the night.
always represented different things to different
but the common issues have been about, as Chris Carter has stated, the
search for God, as well as an appeal, a plea, for the American
government, or governments around the world, to not abuse or mistreat
their people. For all of its darkness, The X-Files
profoundly optimistic. It has resonated for twenty-two years with the
public as it touches on something deep, whereby most people
instinctively understand that all is not well, even when things seem
fine on the surface. The show was always asking questions as opposed to
having all the answers. Now we are about to see a few more pieces of
One cannot find the light without accepting the dark.
A profound thank you must go to Kim Kurland for her tireless work and
endless patience with this site, Robin Benty for her friendly support,
and to the entire FOX publicity team.
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