The fandom was out there in full force at Saturday’s X-Files‘ panel at New York Comic-Con to screen the first installment of Fox’s forthcoming six-episode revival and to hear from series creator Chris Carter and stars David Duchovny and Mitch Pileggi. Here’s a rundown of the key moments from the 60-minute X-travaganza (moderated by Silicon Valley co-star and X-superfan Kumail Nanjiani).
* Fans were treated to a hilarious taped message from an MIA Gillian Anderson, who — while adopting an exaggerated faux British accent — apologized for being too busy to attend in person while lounging by what appeared to be a pool. (Anderson was actually in India on the set of Viceroy’s House, an upcoming film in which she stars opposite Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville.) UPDATE: Watch the Video!
* The Americans‘ Annet Mahendru has a major role in the premiere.
* Carter defended his controversial decision to break Mulder and Scully up for the revival. “It was a conscious thing,” he said. “We wanted to be true to the passage of time and Scully and Mulder have had their difficulties. (Watch video, below)
* Both Duchovny and Pileggi said slipping back into their respective characters just “felt right.” (Watch video, below)
* Asked about the huge scope (read: budget) of the premiere, Carter recalled Duchovny telling him back when the project was first announced, “I think we gotta come out and punch ’em in the mouth.” Carter agreed with him. “We needed to make a statement,” he told the packed house, “and be bold and show ’em that we’re back.”
* Carter confirmed that Episodes 1 and 6 will be a mythology-based two-parter, while 2-5 will be standalone hours. He also corroborated reports that the Lone Gunmen will resurface.
The X-Files formal premiere is set for Jan. 24 on Fox.