Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (or, if you insist, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) reunited at Comic-Con for the 20th Anniversary of “The X-Files.” Judging by the hero’s welcome they both received, FOX’s landmark sci-fi series still has a rabid fanbase over a decade after leaving the air.
Anderson, Duchovny and creator Chris Carter headlined the panel discussion along with key producers including Vince Gilligan (“Breaking Bad”) and Howard Gordon (“Homeland”). The topics ranged from classic “X-Files” episodes (including the chilling “Home” and kooky “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space”) to the show’s lasting influence on pop culture. Not that any of that stopped a randy Anderson from always bringing the discussion back to sex.
Here’s a rundown of the five hottest topics:
Mulder and Scully’s sex life
The FBI agents’ will they/won’t they relationship was never explicitly consummated on screen but Anderson revealed she developed her own crush on Mulder, after the show ended. “I didn’t realize that Mulder was so cool until a few years later and I thought ‘Damn! I should’ve gotten there sooner,'” she said with a naughty grin, before adding: “I don’t think that was my choice.”
“I’m not sure if we ever did [have sex]. Did we?” Duchovny wondered aloud. “Something happened because we have a child,” Anderson teased back.
Later, when a pair of fans asked the actors to speculate about what Mulder and Scully would do on a date, Anderson quickly offered “Have sex!” Duchovny added, “Then maybe dinner?”
For all the sex jokes, Carter revealed his intention in creating Scully and developing her relationship with Mulder was something far more chaste. “Scully was my fantasy woman,” he said. “She was strong and smart and opinionated, resourceful and tough. All those things I like. It was kind of fantasy relationship as well — as intellectual as it was anything else.”
How “The X-Files” led to “Breaking Bad”
“There’d be no ‘Breaking Bad’ without ‘The X-Files,'” Gilligan proudly declared. The “Breaking Bad” creator reminisced about learning the TV series ropes working for Carter, after initially discovering the show in his living room. “I started off my association with ‘The X-Files’ as a fan,” Gilligan recalled. “I was sitting alone in my little house in Virginia when this show came on. I figured I’d give it a watch because it sounded like it had aliens on it. By the end of the first commercial break I was hooked. When the opportunity arose to write on it I felt like I was really lucky. It was a great job, like going to film school but being paid to attend.”
During Season 6, Gilligan wrote an episode titled “Drive” which happened to guest star future “Breaking Bad” leading man Bryan Cranston. “That was fruitful for me personally, meeting Bryan Cranston through ‘The X-Files,’ Gilligan said. He also revealed that the character Cranston played — Patrick Crump — was named after Gilligan’s brother, Patrick, and one of his old high school teachers, Mr. Crump.
Drew Barrymore was almost in a “X-Files” episode
Gilligan, who wrote the 1998 dark comedy “Home Fries” starring Barrymore, thought he had convinced the actress to appear on the show. “She seemed interested,” he remembered. “I loved ‘The Twilight Zone’ and there was the episode with Bill Mumy where he could wish people into the cornfield. I wanted to do an episode with Drew Barrymore having that amazing kind of godlike power over people. Then her agent called me up and said, ‘Stop bothering my client Drew Barrymore.'”
At least “X-Files” fans got to see another “Home Fries” star, Luke Wilson, in the classic Season 5 vampire episode “Bad Blood.”
“Home” is where the heart is
In “Home,” one of the show’s most infamous — and beloved — episodes, Mulder and Scully investigate the death of an infant with severe birth defects and uncover disturbing secrets about a twisted family living in isolation. The episode was so unsettling it was ultimately pulled from the show’s rerun cycle and co-writer Glen Morgan admits he and James Wong lost out on some residual income because of that. But Morgan clearly remains proud of the episode and spoke at length about its inspirations, including the 1992 documentary “Brother’s Keeper” and an odd story Morgan recalls reading in Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography.
Will we ever see Mulder and Scully back in action?
Although the first “X-Files” movie was a modest success in 1998, 2008’s “The X Files: I Want to Believe” didn’t fare as well with fans or ticket buyers. Still, everyone involved seems game to give the franchise another go on the big screen.
“The show was so flexible and encompassed so many ideas,” Duchovny said. “I always thought when we can do it — come back together — we will. As often as we can.”
Anderson, however, quickly shot down the idea of reviving the show as a limited series, � la FOX’s plans with “24.” “No,” she said when asked if she was interested in a limited series format. “But a film would be great.”
While the subject of any kind of revival loomed large over the entire panel, Carter played it coy. As the session was about to wrap up, he allowed this much: “Just being here today and seeing all these people… You need a reason to get excited about going on and doing it again because it’s hard hard work.”
Audience cheers drowned out the rest of his comment, but the sentiment was clear: He’s found his reason.