You know The X-Files “Mythology” episodes: the continuing story of Mulder’s lost sister, Scully’s possible alien DNA, their possibly alien hybrid kid, the Cigarette Smoking Man’s machinations, the BIG CONSPIRACY, and so on. We saw a lot of that in Season 10, especially with the somewhat controversial bookend episodes “My Struggle” & “My Struggle II.”
Well according to Fox entertainment chairman David Madden, a whopping 8 out of the next season’s 10 episodes will be stand-alones.
We’re really proud of last season…We had the responsibility to explain to the audience what had happened in the intervening seven or eight years. We’re free from that responsibility this time and can just plunge in and tell the stories. We’re having a lot of fun doing it. Eight of the episodes will be stand-alone stories so they will be classic ‘Mulder and Scully plunging into new adventures.’
Part of the change in focus might be that the mythology-heavy episodes last season were sort of savaged by critics, whereas “monster of the week” ones like “Mulder and Scully Meet The Were-Monster” were praised.
But I have to wonder if the lukewarm reception to the new season of Twin Peaks has something to do with this, as well.
You can’t really say that the struggling Twin Peaks: The Return—like The X-Files, an iconic 90’s show that has recently restarted—has had a very linear plot line, but it is one steeped DEEPLY in series mythology. Perhaps Fox is keen for people to just dive into an “X-Files” they are “sort” of familiar with, rather than having them play catch-up with the deeper continuing storylines. Maybe they feel that’s really more of what the mass-audience has the attention-span for.
As for what I personally think of The X-Files Season 10 mythology episodes, especially “My Struggle/My Struggle II”? Short answer is, it probably wasn’t just the mythology that did those episodes in with critics, but the highly “ripped from the pages of Infowars” story (I mean, it featured Joel McHale as basically Alex Jones). I’ll write about this more in-depth in a future post.
The X-Files Season 11 is set to debut in 2018.