While announcing their new and returning shows for the fall 2016 season, Dana Walden and Gary Newman, chairpeople of Fox TV Group indicated the signs look good for another “event series” run for The X-Files, as reported in Deadline Hollywood. According to Walden, “We have had conversations with Chris Carter (XF Creator) and David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson (series stars). I believe everyone is on board to do another installment of the show.” Added Newman “I can tell you that all of them would like to do more of these, and certainly the network and studio want to do more.”
No doubt about that. The January 2016 return of The X-Files as six-episode “event series” was a ratings winner for FOX. The first episode attracted 16.19 million “live” viewers, with the total number rising to 21.47 when streaming and DVR viewing were taken into account. Although viewership fell to 11.7 (total) for the last episode’s broadcast, FOX is getting enough eyeballs watching to more than justify bringing back XF for “Season 11”.
As a satisfying viewing experience however, another season of The X-Files is a debatable prospect.
As a longtime viewer, my reactions to the actual content of this Season 11 are mirrored in the aggregated critical reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. Episodes One and Six (“My Struggle” and “My Struggle II”) were the most “myth arc” heavy episodes, delving down the XF rabbit hole of aliens, worldwide conspiracies, and global cover-ups. Their RT ratings were 58% and 32% respectively.
The two “My Stuggles” bookended a series of episodes which relied, for the most part, more on scientific oddities and “monsters of the week”. RT reactions for these episodes of Season 10 range from 70% (“Babylon”) to 100% (“Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster”) Fresh.
Maybe I enjoyed this middle run of Season 10 because they served up a palate-cleansing selection of stories that did not rely on being able to follow the increasing arcane and universal conspiracy set up and concluded in the first and sixth installments. I may be alone on this, but by the middle of “My Struggle II” I had lost track of how many different conspiracies existed, who was behind them, and just what purpose they served.
Unfortunately, the ending of “My Struggle II” seems to indicate that any upcoming Season 11 will be heavily weighted towards dealing with whatever the alien vaccination conspiracy unleashed on our world. And if that’s the main focus of another X-Files “event”, I may be more interested in watching a Tek War marathon.