New monsters-of-the-week, familiar characters from the past, and the possible first sighting of the long-lost son of FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully – all these and more are what we can expect from The X-Files when its Season 11 premieres in the new year on January 3.
When we last saw The X-Files in 2016, it ended on a cliff-hanger that sees a seemingly dying Mulder (David Duchovny) who has been affected by a life-threatening virus, while his long-suffering partner Scully (Gillian Anderson) is looking up at a UFO hovering above her.
As series creator Chris Carter admitted in a recently-released behind-the-scenes featurette, there were indeed a few “big questions that needed answering” from Season 10 which fans, both old and new, deserve to have closure on. Including episodic information on the first five episodes recently released by Fox, here are 11 things you can anticipate from The X-Files Season 11.
1. Search For Son William
Carter has long confirmed that the agents’ hunt for their son William will be a major story arc in the new season. The boy, now a teenager, has not been seen since he was given up for adoption by Scully in Season 9. It would be fascinating to see if William has honed the special powers he possesses since he was a baby and whether Scully’s frantic search for him is more than just to find a cure for Mulder. According to the notes for the premiere episode, ‘My Struggle III,’ it states that “Mulder and Scully learn that they aren’t the only ones desperately searching for their long-lost son, William. The very fate of the world may depend on it.” Just how powerful could William be?
2. More Insights On The Cigarette Smoking Man
The season premiere will also offer more background insights into the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B Davis). Carter promised in the teaser video that there will be “shocking” reveals, including details of the complicated relationship the series’ villain has with Mulder – who is believed to be his biological son.
3. The Return of Jeffrey Spender
One surprise in the new teaser clip is the appearance of Agent Jeffrey Spender (Chris Owens), whose father is the Cigarette Smoking Man. After being shot in the head by his evil dad in season 9, Spender had undergone many experiments that left him scarred and disfigured. From the clip, it seems Scully has made him promised to keep her son William safe but now she needs him to draw him out for Mulder’s sake, something Spender doesn’t seem quite keen to do.
4. Possible Rekindled Romance Between Mulder And Scully
In an interview with TV Guide, Anderson affirms that the search for William will bring Mulder and Scully “closer together.” The couple finally confirmed their relationship in the 2008 movie, The X-Files: Fight the Future but broke up romantically by the start of Season 10. Whether the hunt for their son will rekindle a new romance between them remains to be seen but both Duchovny and Anderson have been hinting that anything could happen by the end of Season 11.
5. Barbara Hershey Stars As New Antagonist
Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actress Barbara Hershey (Beaches, Once Upon a Time) will be seen in a recurring role as Erika Price, a powerful figure from a mysterious organization, who is out to give agents Mulder and Scully a hard time. She also doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the Cigarette Smoking Man, so expect fireworks in this area as well.
6. The Return Of The Scary Mother From “Home”
Actress Karin Konoval (The Planet of the Apes trilogy), who starred as the mother of a cannibalistic clan in one of The X-Files‘ most eerie episodes, Season 4’s “Home,” will make a return in Episode 3. In “Plus One,” the first of eight monsters-of-the-week episodes in the new season, Mulder and Scully investigate “a spate of deaths, in which the victims were plagued by their own doppelgangers,” that lead them face-to-face with a pair of trouble-making twins.
7. A Walter Skinner Throwback
Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), Mulder and Scully’s ex-boss, will also be back but the trio’s relationship will not be as chummy as before. One episode will focused on Skinner’s backstory, delving on the time when he was finding his feet as a young agent. Hopefully, the show will also enlighten longtime fans on just why the ex-Marine suffers from recurring nightmares of an old woman.
8. Haley Joel Osment In Skinner-centric Episode
Look out for The Sixth Sense star Haley Joel Osment to appear in the above-mentioned Skinner-centric episode. No word as yet on what character he is playing but next to Hershey, he is the second Oscar-nominated actor to guest star in Season 11.
9. A Comedic Episode From Darin Morgan
Last season’s funniest episode, “Mulder and Scully Meet The Were-Monster,” split opinions. Some fans love it, while others didn’t. Nonetheless, downright silly moments in The X-Files is not unusual and in Season 11 Episode 4, ‘The Lost Art Of Forehead Sweat,” written by writer/director and fan-favorite Darin Morgan, viewers should brace themselves for yet another X-Files-styled comedic, monster-of-the-week episode.
10. Anderson Wears A Wig (Again)
In Season 10, some fans were shocked when it was revealed that star Gillian Anderson was wearing a wig for her role as redhead Dana Scully. The reason the actress wore a wig was because she had dyed her hair so many times, she was afraid that it will ruined her hair for life. It is for the same reason that she once again donned a wig for Season 11 but this time, she ensured that it was in the right “Scully red” color, after complaints the first time around from disgruntled fans.
11. Agents Einstein and Miller Returning
Season 10 saw the introduction of two young FBI special agents, Kyd Miller (Robbie Amell) and Liz Einstein (Lauren Ambrose). Both are expected to return for Season 11 and hopefully, their characters will be more appealing this time around. If they are expected to fill Mulder and Scully’s shoes, the pair certainly has far to go both in terms of personality and charisma.
The X-Files returns on January 3, 2018, on Fox.