After barely making his presence known in the six-episode event miniseries that revived The X-Files, longtime franchise standout Mitch Pileggi promised ComicBook.com that his character, FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner, will be back with a vengeance when the series comes back tomorrow.
During an interview at New York Comic Con in October, Pileggi revealed that Skinnerwould be in the series “a lot more. I think I can say that, which I’m very happy about.”
“The situation was, we had six episodes to get in a lot of stuff last time,” the actor added. “They weren’t able to necessarily utilize all the characters on the show the way they wanted to. They had to catch up old fans, initiate new fans, bring people back from the dead. There was a lot going on! Now that we’ve got ten episodes, it’s a little bit easier to put Skinner in there.”
Skinner's role -- and the question as to whether he can be trusted -- seems to be front and center in recent trailers for the upcoming season. According to Pileggi, it might not be seen entirely from Mulder and Scully's perspective when it comes time to answer that question.
“There’s actually a Skinner-centric episode coming up, which I’m very excited about,” he teased.
Skinner is one of the longest-running characters in the franchise, playing a significant role not only in the TV show and the movies but in Joe Harris's long-running and fan-favorite X-Files comic books from IDW Publishing, a volume of which was recently adapted into an audio drama in which Pileggi appeared.
In the beginning, Skinner was seen as a tool of the establishment and one of the most aggressive opponents to Fox Mulder. It wasn't long, though, before he became a sometimes-uneasy ally to the heroes.
“I think that that transition was made fairly early in the series, so the fans have been able to have some type of positive outlet toward Skinner for a while,” Pileggi said. “But initially, yeah, he was set up pretty much as a roadblock. I think they were looking for somebody to fulfill the character for the two of them.”
The X-Files returns for its eleventh season -- and franchise star Gillian Anderson's last -- tomorrow night on FOX.