SDCC’13: The X-Files 20th Anniversary Panel

By Nicholas Eskey

This year marks the 20th anniversary of a certain ground-breaking television series (which spawned two movies) called “The X-Files.” You might have heard of the program, unless you lived in the woods, under a rock. Any who, for those of us that have indeed heard of it and might have caught an episode or two during its nine season run, this year TV Guide Magazine celebrated this historic show.

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Located in Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center, fans filled every seat available to listen and catch a glimpse of the stars. And we were surely not disappointed. Not only did the creator of the show Chris Carter make it, but various writers such as Vince Gilligan, Howard Gordon, John Shiban, Glen Morgan, and Jim Wong were also in attendance. But the most exciting was having the show’s two main stars, Gillian Anderson (Agent Dana Scully) and David Duchovny (Agent Fox Mulder) present as well.

Gillian Anderson was still as radiant and gorgeous as ever, though her hair is a little bit longer these days. And David Duchovny has the whole sexy, just woken up look going on.

It is not a secret that The X-Files has entranced American audiences so deeply that it’s become a part of our pop culture. Evident enough by its mention in a song entitled “The Bad Touch” performed by the Bloodhound Gang, where the group describes a scene where they are making love in such a way so that both partners can watch X-Files.

But as Chris Carter shared, when he first pitched the show those many years ago, the Fox Network had rejected it. Supposedly they said that there was nothing like it on television at the time, so Fox didn’t want to take the chance. Thankfully the creator regrouped and decided to pitch the show once more to Fox, this time with what he only described as “visual aids.”

Upon hearing this, Gillian Anderson looked expectantly at Chris Carter and asked, “What were the visual aids?” His reply was simply, “Stuff.” Whatever the stuff was, Fox picked up the show this time, and the rest is history.

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The profound impact of this show not only has reached into pop culture, but has paved the way for other fantastic shows. Vince Gilligan, one of the show’s writers, admitted that if it weren’t for The X-Files then shows like Breaking Bad wouldn’t be around today.

Following Vince’s personal feelings, the rest of the panel shared their own views regarding the show and how it was to make it. Howard Gordon said that for the writers, it was pretty much the group of them sitting sequestered in a room. Because no show had been done like it before, they were all pretty much “learning on the fly.”

And David Duchovny added that he thought “the show was so flexible, and encompassing. So many ideas. I thought we could do it forever. That we could even pick it up later.” Without missing a beat, the proctor looked at Chris Carter and asked, “Well Chris? X-Files 3?” Uproar of hoots and applause ensue.

Then with all kidding aside, the proctor asks that if The X-Files 3, or a continuation of the show were to be done today in the year 2013, how would it look? Chris Carter nods and says that technology has surely changed since the series’ end, but they would keep doing the same thing. More applause.

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After taking some questions from the general audience, of which I have to say my favorite was someone asking Gillian and David what a date between Mulder and Scully would encompass, to which Gillian simply says “sex,” and David added shortly after saying “and maybe some dinner?”, the panel ended with what was in store for the future of The X-Files.

Currently a new X-Files comic book has come out which follows the show as if it were a season 10. Chris Carter admits that the comic is “very X-Files, but with its own mythology.” Whether an X-Files 3 will ever happen, it’s surely unknown. But what is known is that the show has and will certainly remain touching lives through their reruns and other possible literary/visual ventures for some years to come, inspiring more groundbreaking shows.

The last 20 twenty years has been magical for the series, the next 20 should be interesting as well.

 

You can find more from Nicholas over on his Twitter!

Comments

  1. Aidan says:

    I loved this panel!

  2. Jon Q. Citizen says:

    I’ve been watching through the series (almost done with Season 7), and reading IDW’s new X-Files comic book…..it’s great! You can see where pretty much every other sci-fi/paranormal show since them is really just copycat-ing or re-hashing what they did…..

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