Cynical industry journalists turned into gawking fanboys at the MIPCOM television trade fair on Tuesday night when Fox screened — in its world premiere — the first episode of the hotly anticipated return of The X-Files.
X-Files creator Chris Carter attended the launch, held in Cannes, France, and said that returning to the show, which went off the air in 2002, felt “surreal.” He added that it was “a dream come true” to bring back FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, played by original stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.
“I’ve been doing this for a little over a third of my life, so it’s obviously very important for me, so I jumped at the chance to do it,” said Carter.
The audience packed into Cannes’ Grand Auditorium broke out in spontaneous applause multiple times — including when Duchovny and Anderson first appeared — and the crowd whooped and cheered as the closing credits rolled. But perhaps the biggest applause came earlier, when the opening credits — with The X-Files’ trademark intro music — hit the screen.
In a treat for X-Files’ traditionalists, Carter has kept the series’ original opening credits exactly as they were when the show first aired back in 1993.
“We thought about doing some changes to the original credits, but then it seemed like like sacrilege,” said Carter. “Those credits were on 202 episodes. They belong on these next six.”
The new series brings The X-Files, and the Mulder and Scully characters, into the present day, with ripped-from-the-headlines conspiracies involving government surveillance and corporate malfeasance added to the show’s trademark paranormal paranoia. The plot has Mulder and Scully — now separated from one another privately and professionally — joining forces and reopening the X-Files after new evidence comes to light involving alien abductions and a possible global conspiracy.
Fox has put in a six-episode limited-series order for this X-Files reboot. Carter, however, held out hope that the show could return, though likely in the form of more self-contained miniseries or specials.