When The X-Files returns to FOX tomorrow, series star David Duchovny says that the longer season afforded them this time around will make it more like the good old days, and less like the frantic and somewhat schizophrenic six-episode event series that marked its official return in 2016.
Echoing remarks made by his co-star Mitch Pileggi, Duchovny seemed relieved to have more real estate to take on some bigger stories in the 2018 return, which some have suggested would be the veteran drama's final outing (Gillian Anderson has made it clear she will not return for more).
“The writers last time around had six episodes to bring a show back that had been off the air for ten years, so there was a lot of exposition to cover,” he said. “We don’t have to do that this time around, so I think it’s much more relaxed, it’s freer, it’s more flexible. I think it’s closer to what we used to do.”
This is not the only role Duchovny has recently returned to, of course -- although the other (Denise Bryson on Twin Peaks) had far less development in the early going and far less real estate in the revival.
The character appeared in just an episode of Twin Peaks: The Return, now a high-ranking official at the FBI and the supervisor to her old boss, Gordon Cole. We asked Duchovny whether playing a character with lots of baggage and continuity like Mulder helped him to envision where Denise might be so many years after the last time he played her.
“Every time you do a role it’s going to be a completely different set of variables,” Duchovny said. “The Denise thing was interesting because it was so short — just one day, really, and I was shooting Aquarius at the time. Playing a detective from the ‘60s LAPD, and then going to play Denise on Saturday with David Lynch, which was incredible. I’m interested in long-running characters and how you take them into different decades in their lives. The nature of television is that you tend to maintain a stasis that’s false, and it’s kind of my job to take that in a direction that’s true.”
The X-Files returns for its eleventh season -- and franchise star Gillian Anderson's last -- tomorrow night on FOX.