Following 2016’s six-episode revival of
For the actors as well as the fans, this will be a return to the good old days. Mulder, as ever, wants to believe; Scully lives by facts and science; and overarching intrigue mixes with monsters of the week and various extraterrestrials. Pileggi, who has played Assistant Director of the FBI Walter Skinner since late in season 1, said the new ten-episode run will treat viewers to some “old-school Mulder and Scully.” Everyone’s favorite agents, he explained, are “back to what they were doing that made everybody love the show so much and built such a tremendous fanbase that has stuck with us for so long.” Anderson agreed, saying that the team were “delivering everything that is expected of us to deliver,” but in a way that works better for them as individuals and for the show’s format. “It feels more manageable somehow,” she said. “We’re not pulling 17-hour days, which we used to do all the time, so as an old person that’s quite nice.”
Although the essence of
Granted, these days it’s more about chemtrails, anti-vaccination movements, and lizard people rather than alien contact, but still. How do Mulder’s credulous underdog schtick and Scully’s skepticism hold up in the face of the current climate?
“You can still question the existence or the impossibility of something even though it’s right in front of you,” said Anderson. “Maybe her [Scully’s] degree of skepticism has shifted, but as a scientist and a doctor, she still has to ask those questions of the universe, Mulder, and anyone else.”
Duchovny offered a broader take on the issue, hinting that the dynamic between Mulder and Scully taps into something universally human. “I think ultimately what makes the show, or any other piece of art or drama, enduring is actually something that never changes, which is humanity’s capacity to wonder, our capacity to imagine. So I think that’s what the show was always about—this president or that president, internet or not, phones or not.”
In addition to these themes, the actors and Carter stated that the show’s timelessness is also partially due to
According to Anderson, this same timelessness has allowed
Carter summed up the show’s appeal with a simple character-focused statement: “I think it’s really to do with Mulder and Scully and those characters and their relationship and the respect they give one another; it’s the kind of stories we tell; it’s the way we tell them.”
“Coming back to something after so much time,” noted Anderson, “I’m emulating somebody that exists on celluloid [as] so much younger. What are the elements of her that are still evident, and which elements are appropriate or which elements are actually inappropriate because they’re a matter of one’s age and how one ages and matures? So that’s been ongoing…in trying to do right by her.” The question is especially salient considering that the upcoming season might be Anderson’s last outing as Dr. Dana Scully. If it’s true, her performance in these ten episodes could have a serious impact on the character’s legacy. (Hopefully she’ll stay on, but if not, she’ll no doubt be moving onwards and upwards to even greater heights.)
So once this season finishes, what’s the long-term plan for the show? Carter didn’t give a definite answer, instead saying, “Right now we’re just doing what we’re doing, and there are no plans beyond this.” But don’t despair, folks. He quickly reassured fans that “there’s a lot of life left in the show.” As long as that spark keeps going, “as long as there are stories to tell,” he said, “it’s hard to imagine that it wouldn’t go on.”
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