The X-Files has announced the return date for the hotly awaited 11th season: January 3rd, 2018. The early-year release helped the show when it came back for a 10th season in 2016, when it premiered on January 24. The ratings for the first episode of the reboot totalled over 21 million viewers. Though the rest of the season saw a significant drop, it remained steady with between 10 and 15 million viewers.
It seems that many fans are a bit wary of what Season 11 might hold. Season 10 was greeted with excitement that quickly cooled due to a combination of too many mythology episodes of questionable interest, and a truly horrible cliffhanger ending. (Mulder is near death and Scully seemingly abducted by aliens.) And like all good shows, details are being kept under wraps. We have cobbled together what details we do have on the new season.
This season will have 10 episodes (up from Season 10's six episodes). The first and last episodes will be mythology episodes, with the other eight being "stand alone" stories. Season 10's infuriating cliffhanger will be resolved in the season premiere, but at NYCC, series creator Chris Carter promised that Season 11 will also end on a cliffhanger.
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny reprise their iconic roles of FBI Agents Scully and Mulder. Mitch Pileggi returns as Assistant Director Walter Skinner, and Annabeth Gish returns as Agent Monica Reyes. William B. Davis will return as Cigarette Smoking Man. Robbie Amell and Lauren Ambrose return as Agents Miller and Einstein, two FBI agents we met in Season 10 who represent the new generation of Mulders and Scullys. Series creator Chris Carter has suggested that Robert Patrick might be returning to his role of Agent John Doggett, but due to a previous engagement, the larger role Carter originally wrote for him has been scaled back considerably.
New cast members include Barbara Hershey, "a powerful figure who represents a mysterious organization," and Haley Joel Osment, who will appear in a "Skinner-centric" episode halfway through the season.
Season 11 will also introduce William, Mulder and Scully's child that was given up for adoption in order to protect him. William was a major driving force for Scully in season 10, and it seems we will actually meet him in the new season. However, in a recent interview, David Duchovny suggested that Mulder may not be William's biological father (and, for that matter, Scully may have just been the oven for that bun). “He resembles two people that aren’t Mulder and Scully," Duchovny said. "And when you read this back [after watching the episodes] you’ll figure this out.”
Chris Carter also suggests that Mulder and Scully may be back together, romantically speaking, in the new season. He said that fans who were hoping for more of a romantic reconciliation “have something to look forward to.” Season 10 saw the couple as having long since broken up - they didn't even talk much. But their reconciliation at the end of episode five (where the pair take a stroll through the fields near their former home) could have been the unspoken sign of them rekindling their magic.
The X-Files returns to Fox on January 3, 2018.