(Spoiler alert: Do not read on if you have not seen the first episode of “The X-Files” event series)
“The X-Files” returned to television for the first time in more than a decade Sunday night and jumped right back into the government conspiracy storylines that made the show a hit when it first premiered in 1993.
Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) is working at a hospital in Washington D.C. when she is contacted by FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi). Skinner is trying to get in touch with Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), who lives a reclusive life after clearing his name during the events of “X-Files: I Want to Believe.”
Skinner tells Mulder and Scully that a right-wing internet news anchor named Tad O’Malley (Joel McHale) has reached out to the FBI in an effort to contact the former X-Files investigators. But Mulder and Scully have not spoken in some time, as a divide has grown between them.
“In the second movie, Mulder and Scully were under one roof,” series creator Chris Carter told TheWrap. “We even saw them in the same bed. With the refinement of the Internet and social media, I think Mulder spent a lot of time sitting at home in his underwear prowling the Internet looking for leads, stories, and evidence. It’s probably what created an environment for a rift with Scully.”
Mulder and Scully agree to meet with O’Malley, as he has often spoken of government conspiracies on his show. O’Malley takes them to meet a woman named Sveta (Annet Mahendru), who claims she has been abducted and impregnated by aliens multiple times and has distinctive scars to prove it. Sveta claims she has alien DNA, which Scully agrees to test.
Slowly, Mulder begins to put the pieces together. With the help of a doctor who was present at the alien crash landing in Roswell, Mulder determines that there is no alien conspiracy. Rather, a shadowy group of powerful world figures are conspiring to take over the world using alien technology replicated from the wreckage.
These figures staged alien abductions on people like Sveta to perform tests using alien tissue to attempt to create alien-human hybrids. O’Malley then claims that things like the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act are tools used by this conspiracy as they prepare to take over.
“I think there is very scary stuff in the first episode,” Carter said. “It could be considered to be paranoia, but if even one of those things came true it would be cause for great alarm.”
Scully listens to all of this patiently before telling Mulder, O’Malley and Sveta that there was no alien DNA present in the blood Scully collected.
With that, O’Malley goes on the air to admit he was mistaken. Sveta tells reporters that O’Malley convinced her to say she had been abducted.
Mulder, feeling contrite, goes to tell Scully that he’s sorry. But she has a bigger revelation waiting for him. Not only does Sveta have alien DNA, but Scully does as well.
The episode closes with Sveta being blown up by an alien craft. Afterwards, the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis), with horrible burns covering half of his body, receives a call telling him that the X-Files have been re-opened.
According to Carter, this new series will attempt to walk the line to retain fans of the original series while also drawing in new fans.
“You’ve got to maintain a tone,” he said. “You’ve got to maintain a look. You’ve got to maintain the quality of storytelling. At the same time you’ve got to stay true to the context in which the story is being told. You’ve also got to be honest about the characters having lived a life as we’ve lived it and remain honest to the passage of time.”
“The X-Files” will next air Monday night at 8 p.m. on Fox, which will be its regular time slot for the remainder of the miniseries.