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'The X-Files' returns to FOX Wednesday. Here are 5 facts about the upcoming season

POSTED: January 3, 2018 3:59 a.m.
Lottie Peterson Johnson/

For the 11th season, creator Chris Carter has produced 10 episodes — two of which are tied to the series’ overarching story that follows and uncovers glimpses of extraterrestrial life and government conspiracies. The remaining eight episodes are stand-alone episodes that show Mulder and Scully navigating a wide range of paranormal circumstances.

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"THE X-FILES" — FOX, Jan. 3, 7 p.m. MST, TV-14

It’s an exciting year for fans of "The X-Files."

In addition to giving fans of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully a season 11 — which premieres Wednesday, Jan. 3 — the year 2018 also marks the 25th anniversary of the sci-fi drama’s premiere.

And after all these years, the truth is still out there. Before joining Mulder and Scully on their quest for truth, here are five things about the upcoming season to get you prepared.

1. The season 10 cliffhanger is resolved. For this upcoming 11th season, creator Chris Carter has produced 10 episodes — four more than the previous season, which premiered January 2016. The finale of that season left fans on a cliffhanger as a deadly contagion threatened humankind and put Mulder (David Duchovny) on the brink of death. Fortunately, this season’s premiere episode picks up where the story left off with some narration from the villainous Cigarette Smoking Man.

2. 'X-Files' fans get 10 new episodes — two that are mythology-related and eight that are stand-alone episodes. Of the 10 episodes, both the premiere and finale are “mythology” episodes, tied to the series’ overarching story that follows and uncovers glimpses of extraterrestrial life and government conspiracies. For this season, much of the storyline also centers on the search for Mulder and Scully’s son, William, who Scully (Gillian Anderson) gave up for adoption 15 years earlier in season nine. The remaining eight episodes in season 11 are stand-alone episodes that show Mulder and Scully navigating a range of paranormal circumstances — including deadly doppelgangers — although hints of the overarching story do slip in every now and then.

3. The 11th season includes at least one episode of political satire. In addition to giving "X-Files" enthusiasts thrilling interactions with supernatural creatures, at least one of the stand-alone episodes offers a satire of today’s political climate, modeling the rare, farcical humor of earlier classic episodes such as “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” and “Bad Blood.”

4. Many of the show's main characters — even some presumed dead — have returned for season 11. Other characters returning to season 11 include the traitorous agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish), Mulder’s half-brother/former agent Jeffrey Spender (Chris Owens), who plays a significant role in the William storyline, according to TV Insider, and Mulder and Scully’s FBI director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), who appears to have been compromised and will be the primary focus of episode six, TV Insider reported.

5. Season 11 marks the end of Anderson's role as agent Scully. While fans certainly have much to look forward to with the upcoming season, the premiere is also bittersweet as Anderson has confirmed this is her final appearance as Scully.

“I’ve said from the beginning this is it for me,” she told TV Insider. “I was a bit surprised by people’s reaction to my announcement … because my understanding was that this was a single season.”

Let’s just hope this means season 11 will offer a tone of finality and bring "X-Files" fans some much-needed closure.
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