Gillian Anderson appears to be on her way out of The X-Files for real, which leaves the show's creator, Chris Carter, in a tough position.
Anderson first said this past October that Season 11 of the series would be her last in the role of Dana Scully, and she seemed to reiterate that this week in a new interview with TV Insider, insisting, "I’ve said from the beginning this is it for me. I was a bit surprised by people’s [shocked] reaction to my announcement … because my understanding was that this was a single season."
So when Chris Carter sat down earlier today for an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit to promote the Season 11 premiere, the first question he got was whether he was interested in continuing without Anderson. His response?
"For me, the show has always been Mulder & Scully. So the idea of doing the show without her isn’t something I’ve ever had to consider."
Asked if the character of Scully gets a "proper goodbye" at the end of the season, Carter said cryptically:
"Was her character given a proper goodbye? I think you will want to sit down and watch the series finale very carefully."
Carter quickly clarified that by "series finale," he meant the fourth in the series of episodes titled "My Struggle" ("My Struggle III" kicks off the season), saying, "The four ‘My Struggle’ episodes were all pieces of a whole, and Episode 10 (which is also the season finale) completes the whole."
Carter said in that earlier TV Insider interview that there are a "lot more X-Files stories to tell," a phrase that Anderson herself used almost word for word ("there are more stories to tell") when asked if the show could continue without her. At this point, though, a Season 12 for The X-Files has yet to be announced.
Could The X-Files continue without Dana Scully? The show managed to plow along without Mulder (David Duchovny) for most of its last three seasons during its initial nine-year run, although most fans would probably agree that — despite a few solid episodes — The X-Files was more or less on life support during that period.
Even with its vast mythology and colorful cast of supporting characters — which we'll also see more of in Season 11 — The X-Files has always come down to the relationship between its two haunted, long-suffering FBI agents. Do you think the series should continue if one of them is taken out of the equation for good?
The X-Files returns to Fox for a new 10-episode run on Wednesday.