Has it really been 20 years? Seems hard to believe (and I want to believe), but indeed it has been a couple of decades since "The X-Files" first graced our television screens, ushering in a whole new generation of sci-fi geeks and extraterrestrial enthusiasts. It's arguable that no other show has been as influential in the genre world these last 20 years as "The X-Files"; even if you disagree with that, you can't ignore the fact that its straight-faced take on aliens, monsters and other things that go bump in the night is a pop culture milestone.
The gang was brought back together at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday afternoon, a moment ushered in brilliantly by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson appearing on the stage in Ballroom 20 carrying flashlights and poking around in the dark as they did so many times together as their alter egos Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. The crowd went nuts at the emergence of these two. It was a rather nostalgic sight for the legions of us who learned to love this frequently stuffy duo.
Duchovny and Anderson were joined by series creator Chris Carter and a handful of the show's executive producers. The mood was playful, amusing and sweet, with none of the supposed animosity that Duchovny and Anderson were often rumored to have during the show's run. (The stars have always maintained those reports were false, but there's no getting around the fact that their off-screen relationship was always viewed as chilly.)
Anyone who showed up to the panel hoping there would be a major "X-Files" announcement left disappointed. While fans clearly looked for some kind of development on a new movie or TV show, it was clear that there's currently no movement on either front. Both actors seemed down for it, however, with Anderson saying another film would be great, but it is obvious that there's nothing happening on that front right now.
It was also pondered whether or not David and Gillian would work on a another show or movie together ("Californication" perhaps?), but Duchovny seemed to think that the dynamic between them is just so thoroughly associated with the Mulder/Scully relationship that it wouldn't be right to attempt to revive it elsewhere.
There is a comic book out right based on the series called "The X-Files Season 10", which Carter seemed enthusiastic about, even while calling it "comic book-y" and indicating that it's a different sort of beast than the show. (He contributed to the story as well.) The comic just hit stands two days ago.
The highlights of the panel came courtesy of cheeky moments between Duchovny and Anderson. One question asked of them regarding the characters' romance elicited this response from Anderson: "Something happened, because we have a child." That child, by the way, was played by producer John Shiban's son, who actually came out at one point. (Anderson remarked that he looks like her.) Another bright moment came when someone asked what Scully and Mulder would do on a date.
"Have sex," Anderson replied.
Duchovny retorted: "And maybe dinner?"
For his part, Carter is clearly pleased with his creation, and acknowledged a special fondness for the Scully character, whom he called his "fantasy" woman. "Strong, smart and opinionated," Carter said about Scully, and Anderson agreed with him, saying that the character has had a huge impact on people.
More than anything, the panel played like just getting together with some old friends who you used to stay in touch with a lot but have moved on. No, there were no huge revelations or announcements, but it was absolutely a special event for those of us who remember and cherish "The X-Files" so well. It will always live on, even if it doesn't seem as though it's destined to continue on the big or small screen.