Scully: There was something out there.
Skinner: What do you possibly hope to find, Agent Mulder?
Mulder: The truth is out there.
Cigarette smoking man: Well, you're wrong. I can't tell you how wrong you've always been.
"The X-Files" is really back as a result of its fans. We wouldn't be coming back without them.
Chris knows the material in his bones. He has a real clear vision of this world.
Anderson: There's a particular kind of enthusiasm [cheers and applause] that people have right now for this coming back.
Getting back working with Dave and Gillian, it's just like riding a bike. All three of us just fell back into it.
I cannot believe I'm here. I can't believe they're here.
There is no such thing as an "X-Files" episode that's not challenging.
Anderson: I can imagine what that must be like, as a fan, to see these familiar faces and the familiar cross beams of light coming out of the darkness, and to hear that soundtrack.
Chris Carter: It was really putting the band back together. The people you're going to see doing these episodes are the people who actually helped to create "the X-Files" series.
Glen Morgan: You knew the first and the sixth were mythology episodes, and then the ones in the middle would be stand-alones. That was really whatever Jim and Darin and I came up with.
Anderson: I knew that there was a big interest from the fans to see more monster stuff...
Anderson: But also we have a big fandom based around the mythology.
Duchovny: We want to satisfy the mythology of it, and then there's gonna be stand-alones. And those stand-alones, there's gonna be one that's funnier than the others.
Mulder: Looks like you gave it a pretty good shot.
I think I hit it right in its horn.
Scully: It had a horn? Like a unicorn?
Horns, like a lizard or something.
I like the idea that we're not doing just one story. We're not just doing stand-alone separate episodes. We're doing a combination, because that's what the show always was.
Duchovny: Even in a stand-alone episode, there's some story to advance. It's not just about the case.
We always tried to have kind of a human element. It was always tied to how it affected Mulder and Scully as human beings, and the same here.
Scully: You look exhausted, Mulder.
Mulder: It was a long day at the office.
But their point, really, is weird stories, but the through line is them confronting their age and confronting their life choices.
You ran the X-Files. You were the X-Files. You all but wrote the book.
Mulder: I'm afraid that book is closed.
Scully: As are the X-Files.
The X-Files are a unit at the FBI. "X" stands for the unknown. These are the cases that the FBI either has put away or has left unsolved. Agent Mulder picked up this investigation. His quest came as a result of his belief that his sister had been abducted by aliens.
Mulder: I was 12 when it happened. My sister was 8. She just disappeared out of her bed one night.
Duchovny: He kind of derails his own stellar young career at the bureau to start chasing after aliens. He starts getting close, and the bureau itself is alerted to this guy who's rattling too many cages. And they assign a younger agent who's a medical doctor, Dana Scully, to debunk Mulder's research. And that's how we begin.
Mulder: Do you believe in the existence of extra-terrestrials?
Scully: Logically, I would have to say no.
But she is ultimately enlisted in Mulder's quest. She becomes as involved in the X-Files as he.
Scully: I came to believe in the existence of extra-terrestrial life. And in a conspiracy inside the government to keep their existence secret.
Through the course of the show, when it ran for over 200 episodes, the characters grew.
Mulder: I failed in every respect.
Scully: You only fail if you give up, and I know you. You can't give up.
Mulder and Scully, for nine years, had a platonic relationship, even though we suggested they have a child together. We never saw them as a couple until the second movie, where we saw them definitely together. When we come back to them in the new series, we will have been honest to their relationship previously, but we now find them in another state. Seven or eight years have elapsed. Time has been difficult for their relationship. We will investigate what's happened in that time.
Scully: It's good for you to get out of that little house every once in a while.
Mulder: It certainly was good for you.
Anderson: I think that where we find Mulder and Scully perfectly delivers us into a similar dynamic that we've had before, which is huge intimacy and appreciation, and yet frustration. But still love and care and potential.
Scully: I'm always happy to see you.
Mulder: And I'm always happy to find a reason.
Anderson: In the past week, we've had some pretty quintessentially Mulder/Scully scenes. With the distance of time, there's a new appreciation for those and what they mean and bring and the excitement one can imagine the audience will have.
Mulder: I'm here.
Duchovny: You know, a character doesn't change. Mulder and Scully, they're not going to change profoundly. But they're gonna age, and that is its own kind of profound change.
Mulder: I'm a middle-aged man, Scully. Maybe it's time to put away childish things.
Duchovny: That was always important, to not play the same exact characters doing the same things, because 22 years have passed.
Mulder: I don't do stairs anymore.
Scully: Mulder, back in the day, I used to do stairs and in 3-inch heels.
Mulder: Back in the day... is now.
Anderson: I think it's about tapping into her innocence. I think it wasn't until I kind of got back into that zone that I started to remember her a bit more on a physiological level.
Duchovny: It's like an unconscious, intuitive thing to get back into that character that you played for so long. There's a bit of rustiness in the beginning, the first couple days. But after that, I felt pretty Mulder-like, showing up on set.
Mulder: Just listen to me.
Scully: No, you listen to me, Mulder!
Mulder: Scully, you got to trust me on this.
Anderson: It's fun. It's fun to be in the middle of it.
Carter: One of the reasons that I was excited about coming back is we're dealing with a world that has changed completely from the time when the series ended in 2002, which was not long after the World Trade Center bombing. The american public had put their faith completely in the government. They didn't want to know about government conspiracies. They wanted to know that their government was protecting them.
Morgan: It feels like a lot of the things that Mulder was warning us of kind of came true.
Mulder: All of us are tracked on our phones.
Morgan: There's drones up ahead.
Carter: So much has changed in the world, and "the X-Files" now gets a chance to tell stories from that perspective.
O'Malley: 9/11 was a false-flag operation. It was a warm-up to World War III.
Duchovny: Joel McHale plays Tad O'Malley, who's a conservative talk-show host.
Joel McHale: Just knowing that I was gonna be able to be on this series that I am a massive fan of, I couldn't believe my good fortune. And then you meet David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. They are so cool. And I asked them way too many questions. I think they detected that I was a fan. Especially when I asked them to sign my skin with a tattoo needle.
Carter: I cast Joel McHale after seeing his appearance at the White House correspondents' dinner, which was hilarious. And he had exactly the quality I was looking for.
McHale: He is very conservative. But his ideas about conspiracy theories match up exactly with Mulder's.
It's all part of a conspiracy, dating back to the UFO crash at Roswell in 1947.
McHale: My character wants to get a hold of Mulder. And that's how it starts.
Tad O'Malley: Join me for a little ride?
Mulder: Right here is fine.
O'Malley: Low-flying aircraft often employ what they call dirt boxes to record conversations. But I prefer private.
Scully: Aircraft employed by whom?
Carter: He's really an amalgamation of so many characters on the internet who believe that there is not just an alien conspiracy, but a possible conspiracy of men.
O'Malley: What I need is your expertise.
Scully: Our expertise for what?
O'Malley: I'm rattling some pretty big cages in the intelligence community.
McHale: I start a ball rolling that turns into a boulder.
Mulder: Where are they? The files.
Skinner: I don't know where they are.
Mulder: You said no one had been down here ... it hadn't been touched.
Skinner: Not for 13 years, since you and Scully left the bureau.
Mitch Pileggi: Originally, I think that Skinner was brought in to be somewhat of a roadblock to what Mulder and Scully were doing, and I think after a certain point, he realized that what these two agents were trying to do was to bring the truth out. So Skinner eventually became your champion. He still is a company man, but perhaps not looked on with favor, because he's been an assistant director for almost 25 years now. Perhaps a lot of that has to do with his relationship with Mulder and Scully.
Mulder: I need access to the X-Files.
Skinner: Can you tell me what this is about?
Pileggi: We both kind of just fell right back into Mulder and Skinner right away, and it just seemed natural. And it was fun.
Mulder: And you owe me some answers.
Skinner: Just calm the hell down, Mulder, before we both get pissed off.
Carter: For episode 1, I came up with a young woman who was an alien abductee. We cast a lovely actress named Annet Mahendru.
Sveta: You probably don't recognize me.
Mulder: No, I think I'd remember.
Annet Mahendru: The story's going somewhere really, really fascinating, and something that's very timely right now. Chris is tapping into something very important.
Carter: Annet asked me questions about her character which were unexpected, and actually I rewrote the script based on some of her questions. She was thinking about the character in a way that sometimes writers don't.
Mahendru: We really get to see who she is. Chris gave me a lot of story to play with ... where she came from, why she's here.
Sveta: These are from over 20 years.
Scully: How many times have you been abducted, Sveta?
Sveta: I lost count. And then there are the screen memories they implant.
O'Malley: The memories implanted over actual memories to make abductees forget.
Scully: I'm familiar with the syndrome.
Mahendru: Scully has also been abducted, and so she's very reluctant to go back there again.
Anderson: She's a very good actress, and I enjoyed the depth that she brought to that character. It was nice to play off of her.
Sveta: You were a couple before.
Scully: I'm sorry, what?
Sveta: You and Mr. Mulder. And you have a child together.
Carter: Mulder and Scully have a child. We were always very vague about how that happened, since there was no apparent time or place that child could have been conceived. But it becomes a larger question as we move forward.
Scully: As parents, we made a difficult sacrifice to keep him safe. It was for his own good to put him up for adoption. I can't help but think of him, Fox.
Duchovny: There's guilt, definitely, for giving up a child, even if it was for its own safety.
James Wong: The most interesting thing to me is imagining what your life would be if you had raised the child.
Scully: He'd be 15 years old now.
Scully: I've missed every single year of his life. And sometimes I hate myself that I didn't have the courage to stand by him.
Anderson: It brought up some incredibly interesting, profound subject matters about family, abandonment, life, unanswered questions. It's always fun, as an actor, to do material that is challenging.
Scully: I believe that you will find the answers to the biggest mysteries, and I will be there when you do. But my mysteries... I'll never have the answer.
[ The Mythology ]
Carter: I'm not going to reveal to you exactly how we play with mythology, but we do.
Duchovny: I like the twist that Chris put on the mythology.
Carter: We've already announced that the cigarette smoking man will be back on the show, and I think we're honest to what happened to him in the series finale, and how he might have survived what looked like certain death.
Cigarette smoking man: I have a small problem.
William B. Davis: Mulder is my enemy, but he's also someone I want. And of course I won't tell you what happens.
Carter: We're playing with this mythology in a whole new way. And the government secreting of evidence about extra-terrestrials might come into play.
Mulder: In 1973, the Syndicate was convened to assist in a project to colonize the world by creating alien-human hybrids. The project was ultimately unsuccessful. I doubt they ever stopped trying.
Carter: Coming back together, being on the set again, was a powerful thing. But there's so much hard work to be done, because we knew that coming back, the series isn't going to be good if it's only a victory lap. It has to be original and fresh, and as good as it's ever been. So you've got to get down to business.
[ First Days Back ]
Mahendru: The first day was unbelievable. And I was trying to play it cool.
O'Malley: Sveta, this is Dana Scully and Fox Mulder.
Mahendru: The little kid inside of me was just like, "aah!" David and Gillian just sat back into Scully and Mulder. It was incredible.
Anderson: And on the second day, we were downtown Vancouver, in the city during lunchtime.
McHale: So there was 1,000 people watching us. They were very excited that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were on the street.
Duchovny: Joel McHale was like, "is this what it's like when you guys film outside all the time?" I was like, "no, this is a special occasion."
William Powloski: We try to find parts of Vancouver that can play for parts of Washington, D.C., and we create everything else digitally.
[ Building a Bigger X-Files ]
Carter: I wrote this sequence, this crash which may or may not be Roswell in the first episode, and as is often the case when working with Mark Freeborn and his art department, they came up with a UFO crash that was so much bigger and better than I ever imagined it would be.
Mark Freeborn: Chris had specific notions about what the craft should be. It was a pretty good jumping-off point.
Shannon Grover: I think everybody wanted to see the 1950s classic flying saucer, the one that created all the fear and all the wonder.
Freeborn: We probably made a bigger one than has been made for TV. The saucer was 50 feet in diameter. Life-size. [Laughs]
Michael Diner: It took a team of painters and sculptors and visual effects. It was really just all hands on deck. Pre-built everything in the city, break it down into its component parts, ship it all out there and reassemble it.
Melissa Stubbs: I remember coming over the rise, and we were in this huge, vast land. And it was this giant flying saucer. I was like, "oh, my god, this is like a huge $100 million movie." I got a shiver, because I knew I'm part of something really special.
The crash site is photographed practically. The actual crash itself was achieved through visual effects. And that's a combination of C.G. Animation for the UFO, and then we have particle simulation. We needed to have it blend seamlessly with the practical UFO set.
Freeborn: Visual effects took care of the actual flying, but we supplied all of the practical, tangible assets. Three wrecked aircraft, a trench that was about 300 yards long, and practical explosives to create the crash landing.
There will be an air cannon here. We will be shooting up debris.
Chris could get his actors right beside the craft, feel the craft as a real entity.
You arrive on the set and you see what you could only imagine. I was blown away.
[ An Action-Packed Production ]
"X-Files" is generally a lot of character-driven action. This has been very action-heavy for "X-Files." And as the scripts come in, you don't have a lot of time to react. We had all sorts of stunt people and stunt driving. There was a lot of killing and the ripping apart of people. Scully takes down a guy. Gillian did it all herself. She looked great and slick. I had five or six stunt people fully engulfed on fire. That takes a lot of timing and fueling and it's dangerous. You have to be methodical about how you do that. We have multiple elements. We have shots with visual effects. Mulder had to be thrown down a hallway.
Powloski: Mostly, that was done with a stunt harness rig. Visual effects was just doing sort of wire removal.
With all the action that we do, Chris always wants it to be, "I believe that could happen." Even though there's monsters and aliens, it has to make sense and it has to look realistic.
[ Fighting the Future ]
Duchovny: I find it fun to try to learn things that I don't know.
We see a side of Mulder that we haven't seen before. He busts out some fight skills. In "the X-Files," we want to be real. How would Mulder fight? And both Chris and David had the same answer ... whatever he learned at Quantico.
So, after the punch ... boom comes in with his left, and just scoop it here and come on on the inside for a hook.
The other character in the fight is the room. How the room is in the set design very much dictates how the fight goes. What can we wreck? What can we smash through? What gets destroyed? So we started there and choreographed a fight when we're gonna smash that window. That desk goes. Breakaway tear over here. We broke it up into three to five moves for David.
Right, right, left.
Oh, right. Yep.
So that he could learn that piece and David could do most of it himself.
There was two lines in the script. And it ended up taking us nine hours to shoot it.
Who sent you?!
If we're lucky, we'll get a hint of what's coming down the pipe, and they can start building or designing towards that, get a little bit of a head start. Especially for makeup effects.
It's a fresh kill.
[ A Creature Feature ]
Darin Morgan: I always wanted a more kind of classic, a universal horror, "Creature of the black lagoon" type of thing. But I also need expressions and to do some kind of funny stuff with the monster. So he's got to be more moldable.
Bill Terezakis: Rather than go through a 10-hour process of covering someone in head-to-toe, we took the approach of making it all as large prosthetic appliances. We're pre-painting everything in my shop. When we went to set, it was just a matter of assembling the puzzle.
Morgan: The special effects makeup guy, you know monsters. That's what they live for ... they turn into a monster. They become their own creation.
Did that just happen?!
Mulder: A decade of my life in this office in search of the truth. And all the time, I was being led by my nose through a dark alley to a dead end, exactly as they planned.
Carter: The poster has become so iconic, it's really the heart of the show. Because it doesn't say, "I believe." It says, "I want to believe." It's the struggle to find the truth.
You always wonder... that they weren't lying to you, too.
[ Their Struggle ]
Carter: The title of the first episode is "My struggle." I was reading a terrific series of books by a guy named Knausgaard. The first one, called "My struggle," about his life. And so I thought, why not get into the intimate detail of Mulder's life?
Mulder: Scully, listen to me. I've been misled. We've been misled.
Carter: But episode 6 will also be called "My struggle," but it will be Scully's struggle, and you'll see the details of her struggle through her own eyes.
Scully: You have something to tell me?
Monica: Something you need to know.
Annabeth Gish: There's a part of me always that comes to the show as a fan and in just a few scenes, I really have a lot of rich material to play.
[ The Legacy & the Future ]
Carter: When I see the pilot, I'm just reminded about all the hard work that went into it, all the mistakes, all the potential. The nights in the forest with David and Gillian. The pouring rain, the freezing cold. That pilot was a miracle. So for me, I'm reminded when you believe in something and you have a passion for something, it pays off.
Scully: I have seen this before, believing that you're onto some truth, that you can save the world!
Mulder: This will finally be their undoing.
Scully: It will be your undoing, Mulder.
Anderson: I like the intimate scenes between Mulder and Scully that bring us closer together, adding to the history of the series.
Scully: Listen to me ... as your friend and as a physician, you are on dangerous ground here.
Mulder: I know what I'm doing.
Duchovny: You could possibly make 12 different shows out of this show. It's a very flexible frame in terms of tonality, in terms of action, in terms of mythology, in terms of subject matter. It can go a lot of different ways. And the fans, I think, like all those ways that it goes.
Mulder: Did it look anything like this?
The thing I saw only had two eyes, and it was wearing underwear.
Scully: Boxers or briefs?
Anderson: On the one hand, it feels like no time has passed and that we've just kind of picked up where we've left off. And on the other hand, when we ran the other day... [Laughs]
Scully: Oh! Sorry.
Guy: A bit of privacy, please!
Rhys Darby: If you're gonna do "X-Files," do it to the N-th degree. I think I did that. I've been nude. I've been transformed. I've been sexed. [Laughs] I've done it all. The fans are obviously very excited it's returning. The phenomenon is still there. The truth is still out there.
Mulder: Maybe ... Maybe it's a foot. It was definitely an animal.
Scully: Animals don't shoot blood out of their eyeballs.
Mulder: Well, tell that to the horned lizard, which shoots blood out its eyeballs, Scully.
Scully: Mulder, the internet is not good for you.
Kumail Nanjiani: It's so wonderful to be a small part of this universe that I love so much.
Lauren Ambrose: It's really fun to walk into this cultural phenomenon and be a part of it and to see these actors playing these iconic roles again.
Scully: This is dangerous.
Mulder: When has that ever stopped us before?
Robbie Amell: I'm part of television history right now. There are very few, if any, shows that have the same recognition as "the X-Files."
Joel McHale: I'm just so glad that when I die, people will say, "he was in 'the X-Files.'"
I want to prepare you for what you're about to see, Mr. Mulder.
There aren't really any shows quite like it on TV anymore.
Mulder: All we can do, Scully, is pull the thread, see what it unravels.
Nanjiani: The story that it sets up is really interesting.
Mulder: We've never been in more danger.
Skinner: Then do something about it.
Annet Mahendru: Reopening "the X-Files" is magical.
Mulder: Are you ready for this?
Scully: I don't know there's a choice.
["The X-Files" theme plays]