The X-Files Comic-Con

X-Files @ NY Comic-Con: Chris Carter Reveals Why He Broke Up Mulder and Scully — 'They Had Difficulties'

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.

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  1. thisismenow says:

    Gillian Anderson grew up in England. Her British accent is normal. I am not sure why people would consider it faux?

    • Lea says:

      Yeah, that was a strange thing to say about her accent. It’s pretty well known that she uses different accents for different occasions. If her British accent is faux then her American one would be too. I see the story has been updated to call the accent exaggerated, but it still makes very little sense.

    • Autumn says:

      It’s faux because she’s exaggerated it. Listen to her in the Fall, that’s her true British accent.

  2. J.R. says:

    “Carter confirmed that Episodes 1 and 6 will be a mythology-based two-parter, while 2-4 will be standalone hours”.

    What about episode 5 then?
    S10E01 ‘My Struggle’ – mythology
    S10E02 ‘Home Again’ – Monster of the Week
    S10E03 ‘Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster’ – Monster of the week
    S10E04 ‘Babylon’ – Monster of the Week’
    S10E05 ‘Founder’s Mutation’ – ????
    S10E06 ‘My Struggle II’ – mythology

  3. Thandie says:

    Gillian grew up and lives in the UK, her sons are British. She’s more British than American and her accent is real.

  4. Jordan says:

    Gillian is bidialectal. She naturally speaks in either an American midwest or a modified English RP accent depending on context.

  5. But what about the alien invasion of 2012? :)

  6. kmw says:

    Sorry Chris Carter I don’t buy into they have had ” struggles”. This was a decision based on you regretting putting them together in first place and a lack of imagination within their relationship. We don’t expect the show to be about romance so IMO you wouldn’t have to dwell on it. No you go down the road every other show is doing and putting false notes in a couple to generate story. I am getting less excited about this returning by the day

    • I agree. It is just nonsense for Carter to make them break up for such a lame reason after they weathered so many huge catastrophes and challenges together. That just disrespects the characters so much — and the fans.

    • Melora says:

      If you only watch for Mulder and Scully romance, you obviously dont appreciate the whole show then

      • KenL says:

        Speaking as a big fan of the series from start to finish, I disagree. Mulder and Scully as a “couple” was one major part of the show. Now, I don’t say they are a “happily ever after” couple because I see Mulder’s quest as probably ending tragically in some way. But, I am not buying this plot construct of Carter’s, and find it rings hollowly. We saw Mulder and Scully as reluctant partners, as partners who trusted each other, as friends, as possible romantic interest and finally (for a very, very short time) as a romantic couple. It would have been interesting to see that dynamic mixed with the investigations….not to turn it into Hart to Hart meets Close Encounters, but their being a couple was hard earned from a plot standpoint. I will watch episode 1 and maybe the finale, but have no interest in seeing the same old, same old again. I wish them well.

        • Melora says:

          You loss then. Some of us appreciate the whole show and not just the characters. You sound jaded.

          • S. says:

            No she doesn’t and my my how obnoxious of you to act like she didn’t appreciate the whole show. I bet she did and I know I did. She’s pointing out a perfectly valid thing. The breakup is obviously forced because he doesn’t know how to write them or flat out doesn’t like writing them any more. There’s no need to even bring it up much so the breakup feels like a particularly ridiculous in-your-face move. Some of the people, like Chris, probably got sick of the couple, but when you write against what characters feel like they’re geared to do, it feels wrong. One of the writers on Millennium went on a rant about XF shippers the other day. Basically told’em to F off and that she was sick of having to deal with them from S3 on (although she didn’t write on XF, so I’m not sure what her issues were, maybe just as a fan or maybe she was a writer’s assistant or something). Wow, how bitter. The shippers were one of the big fan-bases of the show and as such were one of the reasons they went from cult hit to hit. There were also “noromo”s aka no-romance fans of which I’m assuming you are one, and frankly it’s obnoxious to tell people shipping a couple with obvious chemistry to get over it. Why should they want a show to be less enjoyable than it could be? Why are a bunch of single people apparently the only way to tell a story? Neither one of them is gonna go ‘I don’t love [name] anymore. We need to end this.’ And they both knew each others issues going in and became stronger dealing with them together. You can have great stories *and* the relationship. Acting like they’re mutually exclusive is childish and that goes for people that are only there for the relationship. If The Thin Man can do it well, there’s no excuse for anybody else to screw it up. Wit and a couple and crime solving. Let’s do this.

        • Alichat says:

          I agree. The progression of their relationship was natural and hard won. The excuse for splitting them is weak and rather contrived. I too wouldn’t like to see episodes that focus solely on their relationship, and by breaking them up, Carter is bringing attention to their relationship and making it a part of the plot…..part of the dialogue. By leaving them together and just moving forward with the story, the focus wouldn’t be on their relationship. It just would be a small thread of the whole X-Files world.

      • Black Oiled Salesman says:

        So now, there are two exes who are going to work together on a case and Dana Scully is Fox Mulder’s “friend and physician”; I cannot buy into this, especially with so much personal history between M and S. The breakup has the potential of creating unnecessary drama and is going to rile noromos and unsettle shippers. NO ONE wins in this scenario. I’m sorry, but Chris Carter unwittingly wrote himself into a corner. He only has six episodes to navigate, with not enough room for extraneous relationship angst. Mulder and Scully could have worked through their issues in the year following IWTB and prior to the Revival. They have worked through so much else. I echo the sentiment that Chris Carter regretted Mulder and Scully being together in the first place.

  7. Lysh says:

    Did you get to see the episode and did it punch you in the mouth?

  8. This came up on my Facebook page the other day.

    Since John Munch showed up on the X-Files, that means that every show he has ever been on, from Arrested Development to Law & Order SVU to Homicide, to every show connected to them, such as the Chicago Fire franchise, are all set in the same universe.

    Furthermore, since characters from St. Elsewhere showed up in Homicide, that makes all of the above and those not accounted for part of the Tommy Westphall universe.

    So since aliens didn’t invade in any of those shows in 2012, it would be argued that they didn’t invade in the X-Files either. However, if they did invade in the X-Files, that would bring an end to the Munch/Westphall shared universe since such an invasion would sever the X-Files’ connection to the other shows.

    Then again, since it’s all a dream, it might mean that Tommy is just inconsistent in what he dreams, lol.

    Here’s a tongue in cheek representation to it’s clear, heh :P

  9. Oh, cone on, Chris Carter. How ridiculous is it that they would break up now over “difficulties” when they survived so many crazy and grueling challenges in the past? If you are going to write Mulder and Scully as more “mature” and “wise” people, this is definitely NOT the way to do it. You have disrespected the characters and the fans with this sad excuse you are giving for the breakup (which, in my opinion) should have have taken place at all).

    • Melora says:

      Please don’t assume you are speaking for all the fans. The show is called The X-Files and not the Mulder and Scully Hour.

    • DavidJ says:

      I’ll never understand this fan desire to have every TV couple live happily ever after. In real life things don’t always work out, and it’s very easy to see how Scully would have outgrown and tired of someone like Mulder after a while (just like many women probably would have).

      Plus this is Carter’s show and I think he probably knows these characters pretty well by now.

      • Melora says:

        I agree 100% The romance turned the show into a soap near the end. The ratings were in the toilet. The fact some of the old writers from the early classic seasons are back speaks volumes on where they wanted this season to go.

  10. Melora says:

    So happy they broke them up. The romance dumbed down the show. Not every female/male characters have to be romanticized.

  11. ndixit says:

    Its odd that most of the eps are going to be standalone hours. Usually limited series revivals are the ideal way to do a serialized story. Especially a 6 ep season.

    • It is disapointing, but not that surprising. The property has to show its worth as a franchise that can thrive not only when it comes to its mythology but to everything else. That’s why the second movie dealt with a monster of the week, to prove its viability, which it failed to do as a motion picture franchise.

      • Melora says:

        That Second film was basically a paranormal law and Order episode. No wonder it flopped

        • Yeah, but they had to try to prove the brand’s worth outside the core mythology. Demonstrate that the monster of the week (or monster of the feature in this case) aspect of it had visibility. It unfortunately didn’t, and that’s what killed the cinematic franchise.

  12. Zoe says:

    “They had struggles”? Screw that. What he’s really saying is that it was too hard to write in an “they are also dating” dynamic to their characters. They better be back together by the end of the six episodes, or SO HELP ME.

  13. Kreskin says:

    Maybe Mulder is a sex addict?

  14. tahina says:

    Only thing I need to see is Gillian and David’s amazing chemistry on my screen again. <3<3

  15. Evan says:

    Anyone ask how the show relates in time to the current X-Files Season 11 comic since everything is actually canon?

  16. Ncooke says:

    I KNOW DAVID SAID, THERE MIGHT BE MORE AFTER THE 6, but i want it comfirmed 😩

  17. Drew says:

    I’m glad that they won’t be a couple. Mulder and Scully worked as partners that trusted each other more than anyone else in their weird lives, but they didn’t work as a romantic couple. It simplified something that shouldn’t have been simple. It turned into a cookie cutter romantic plot, and not even a good one. As exes, they can go back to being partners without the romantic angle. I like that.
    It is also cool that the bulk of the episodes will stand on their own. The mythology of the show was a mess, and all of the best episodes were stand alone episodes.

  18. Jenna says:

    I’m not that invested in them as a romantic pairing, but this breakup seems to trivialize how strong their bond had become throughout the years. It’s not like I could ever accept them now with a new love interest on the show, so why do it? Of course I’ll watch, and hopefully enjoy, but this tarnishes the series a bit for me. And, his excuse is lame.

  19. obriensg1 says:

    Hmm, I always liked the mythology ones a little more. So, are episodes 1 and 6 a two parter together or apart? What I mean is, are there six 45 minute episodes or 6 episodes where the premieres and finale are double length so technically 90 minutes?

  20. Autumn says:

    Yes. Its true. Not all female/male characters need to be romanticized- Scully and Doggett weren’t. However, Mulder and Scully’s should be. It was from the beginning. Anderson herself described it as a “longing”. They rely on each other in what I would almost describe as “cripplingly codependent”. No I’m not asking for the mulder and scuklly hour, but breaking them up will almost create more drama, seeing as they now have a long romantic history. It would be better and simpler of they stayed together. Perhaps Carter planned this to have their union at the end be more satisfying, either way though, all the questions of the plot line were answered to satisfaction, I think the fans of them as a couple deserve that as well.

  21. wooster182 says:

    Does this mean I can have my Skinner/Scully hook up finally? The Skin-man has obviously been in love with her for YEARS.