The X-Files Creator Chris Carter “Sorry” For How Series Ended

The X-Files series creator Chris Carter wanted to believe a season 12 would happen.

The X-Files news beat has been relatively quiet since season 11 concluded with a finale that introduced more questions and sharp criticism than resolutions to storylines that had been building up for the better part of 25 years. In a recent interview with a Danish X-Files podcast called Sammensværgelsen (which translates in English to “The Conspiracy Podcast”), series creator Chris Carter said he always intended for The X-Files season 12 to resolve the cliffhangers of “My Struggle IV.” 

Carter maintains he was caught off-guard by Gillian Anderson’s decision to leave behind The X-Files for good this time, and stated that his intention was to continue the series in some form. However, it’s worth noting that Anderson has on multiple occasions refuted claims of a sudden exit. At New York Comic Con in 2017 and again in various interviews before the series’ 11th season aired in January 2018, Anderson reiterated it would be her final run as Dana Scully.

“I always thought there would be even more X-Files,” Carter told host Daniel Hartvig Nielsen. “Gillian [Anderson] decided very late into the shooting of the season 11 finale, I didn’t realize there wouldn’t be more X-Files.” 

The statement contradicts previous interviews given by Carter and Anderson’s own comments on season 11. Despite knowing Anderson’s decision, Carter decided to press ahead with his plans for season 11 without rewriting the finale to give closure to Scully’s storyline. In a post-mortem interview after the finale, Carter told THR: “My plan had always been to end it essentially in the way I ended it. It all adds up. There are four chapters to the ‘My Struggle’ series and they all add up to that finale. It was certainly on my mind, but it didn’t change much.” 

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If it was Carter’s hope that a dynamite season 11 finale would change Anderson’s mind, boy did he swing and miss. The finale’s controversial storyline involving Scully and her son William (more on that here) faced intense backlash from fans and critics, and Anderson herself threw shade on the treatment of Dana Scully and the use of her body in the episode.

Carter broke down the key moments of the episode with us after it aired. 

Regarding the contentious plot decisions made in The X-Files Season 11 finale, Carter cryptically addressed the elephant in the room on The Conspiracy Podcast.

“There were some objections to the CSM and his connections to William,” Carter said. “I can tell you that people who objected never asked me the right questions in the end.”

Carter punting that answer yet again amounts to not much more than “I would have fixed it in season 12.” Worse off, he knows it’s unlikely he’ll be given the opportunity to write himself out of a tricky corner in a possible X-Files season 12. Complicating matters, the rights to the franchise are now owned by Disney.

He admitted that continuing the series with David Duchovny and Anderson is a longshot, and expressed some remorse for how the situation unfolded. 

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“Skinner, Mulder, Scully, and William’s stories are still unresolved. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to do that,” he said. “Being that Gillian has decided to move on with her career, we certainly couldn’t do Mulder and Scully again. But that’s not to say there isn’t another way to do the X-Files. And so right now I think the future is unwritten.”

Though it seems one chapter of The X-Files is permanently closed, Carter has plans to continue the franchise with an upcoming animated spinoff that is in the early stages of development. Carter discussed the origins of the spinoff, and revisited some of the series’ iconic moments on the podcast. You can listen to the full episode below.