Now that Gillian Anderson has backed out of further instalments of ‘The X-Files’, here’s looking at who could fill in the large void in the show that her absence will leave.
They say the show must go on. But if this show has to go on, who will play the part of the co-lead character?
- The twisted ending to season 11
- Will Gillian Anderson ever return?
- ‘The X-Files’ Season 12: Who will play Dana Scully?
Cult favourite ‘The X-Files’ Season 11 recently concluded with a rather convoluted cliff-hanger, leaving viewers with more questions than answers. The supernatural sci-fi show that featured David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in lead roles, as agents Mulder and Scully who investigate paranormal phenomena, had a hugely popular decade-long original run from 1993 to 2003. It was renewed again in 2016, and then once again in 2018.
But now that Anderson has confirmed that she won’t be returning to the show to reprise her role as Scully, who will fill the shoes of Dana Scully?
The twisted ending to season 11
‘The X-Files’ is defined by, and revolves around, Mulder and Scully as a team, so not having Scully on the show might not appease the audience. In fact, when Duchovny stopped appearing on the show as a series regular in the later seasons of the original run, the show took an immediate hit.
But more than that, the way season 11 ended will need a lot of explanations if ‘The X-Files’ Season 12 is to come along without the old Dana Scully. In the season finale, Mulder and Scully are on a hunt for their son William. We realise as the episode unfolds that Mulder is not the father of William, the cigarette smoking man is, who towards the end of the episode shoots William, who is posing as Mulder.
However, we are left scratching our heads at the cliff-hangers the episode leaves us with, including the way William survives the attempt to kill him. What is going to happen with him next? Moreover, has the cigarette smoking man finally been thwarted? It is also revealed that Scully is pregnant again, this time with a child that is actually Mulder’s. If the show decides to take forward the story of this child, it will have to do so without having Scully around.
Will Gillian Anderson ever return?
Doesn’t seem like she will.
Gillian Anderson has been quite firm on her decision not to reprise the role, wanting to focus on other creative ventures instead. Both Fox, as well as series creator Chris Carter, have been made to comment on Anderson’s departure and what that could mean for future installations, even though at the moment they don’t seem likely to happen anytime soon.
Losing Anderson means having to possibly lose Dana Scully. Carter does assent to the fact that ‘The X-Files’ Season 12 would be hard without Scully, but, at the same time, acknowledges that the show is not devoid of creatively wrought storytelling. He said in an interview, “I think that certainly ‘The X-Files’ has more life in it”, he said, “There are more stories to tell, with Gillian or without”.
‘The X-Files’ Season 12: Who will play Dana Scully?
‘The X-Files’ has prefigured Anderson’s exit for some time now, so there was the expectation that the makers of the show would give Scully an ending of some finality. But season 11 threw up even more questions rather than resolving the existing ones, leading some to speculate that there could be more to Scully hidden under wraps.
Could there be plans for replacing Scully when the time comes? Are the creators hoping Anderson would change her mind and return after all? Perhaps a new character entirely would be introduced?
One way that the makers of the show could go about dealing with an absent Scully is to treat her not being present on the show as the centre. Whatever the plans, we’ll have to wait and watch.