The X-Files: Joe Harris talks X-Files Season 10 and the Revival
We spoke with the writer of The X-Files Season 10 comic book series about the future of The X-Files.
This is probably one of the most exciting recent times for fans of The X-Files, aside from the release of the two features, Fight The Future in 1998 and I Want To Believe in 2008.
Up until last year, there had been little talk of a revival, but the The X-Files comic book series from IDW Publishing, which was promoted as Season 10, and executively produced by Chris Carter and written by Joe Harris, had generated a lot of attention from passionate fans. Harris, a native New Yorker, is known for his graphic novel for Image comic Great Pacific, as well as co-writing and conceiving the film Darkness Falls for Sony pictures. While at Marvel comics as a young writer, he created the Spider-Man spinoff Slingers and the Bishop: The X-Men series.
New developments can change at the drop of a dime, and that has been the case with the news of a six-episode revival of The X-Files to begin shooting this summer. How that will impact the evolution of the next series of The X-Files Season 10 is anyone’s guess. Will the next wave of issues set up events that help explain how Mulder and Scully return to the FBI to resume their iconic crusade to stop the forces of the alien Colonists and global governments that co-operate with them?
A lot of new questions will have to be resolved with how the comics will tie into Fox’s new series episodes. Things have moved at a rapid pace within days since official word came out. Some news has already been revealed about this issue. X-Files News has revealed the following during their interview: Carter also clarifies that while he thinks that IDW’s The X-Files: Season 10 plotlines are very interesting, they won’t be used in the revival of the TV show.
Whether The X-Files Season 10 proves to be a direct influence for the revival or not, Matt Allair, our X-Files correspondent from The X-Files Lexicon, spoke with creator Joe Harris about the future of Season 10, X-Files fandom and his expectations for the revival.
Matt Allair, The X-Files Lexicon: Back in the 90s with the Topps era of The X-Files, and later with the brief Wildstorm issues in 2009, were you following them? We’re you making mental notes about what you’d do things differently? Did you know what you wanted to do when IDW approached you?
Joe Harris, writer The X-Files Season 10: To be honest with you, I remember the early series Topps put out. I recall the polybagged #1 on the stands way back when. But I didn’t read many of the early comics, so can’t really speak to what I would or wouldn’t have done regarding those.
When IDW approached me, I instantly knew what I wanted to do, yeah. There were some tweaks and changes, incorporating both Chris Carter’s input and minor concerns, as well as the kind of evolutionary ideas that I never seem to have in the outline stage, but which alter the writing of the scripts while in progress, usually for the better. But, by and large, our opening story arc, “Believers” didn’t change very much from my first, hastily-written draft feverishly prepared over a weekend after the publisher first asked if I was interested in writing the series.
With the new developments with the new X-Files episodes that will be produced, will it affect the direction of The X-Files comics in the next issue waves?
That’s our plan. We’re going to be launching Season 11 in August and proceeding with a direction and storyline I am immensely excited about. And, once things are finalized with the announced six episodes, I’m supposed to be speaking with Chris to see how we can potentially dovetail things together. Chris Carter is going to make the shows he wants, and that’s what everyone expects and desires, I think it’s safe to say, myself included. So we’re going to look for cues and organic points of inflection and intersection and see how best to play ball.
What are your expectations for the new series order?
That they’re tense and fun and filled with the kind of reflective relevance we expected and enjoyed from The X-Files in its heyday. We’ve worked really hard to update and usher in the franchise to a 21st century setting and environment, in the comics, and I expect that will be the thrust of the show.
I also know some of what Chris has wanted to do, and which he initially steered me away from in the comics stories… so I’m excited about what I think is somewhat privileged information to finally play out.
Have you observed if the season 10 comic, and its spin-offs, are having an impact on bringing back old fans?
Yes, definitely. I meet people all the time who don’t otherwise buy comics but were lured to the comics shops after hearing about this series. And I get so many people coming up to me at conventions who had no idea The X-Files were back… which speaks to the awesome, cross-over appeal and potential this franchise brings to the publishing, and the industry.
The fact that they’re actually good comics and, from what I gather from the audience response, a worthy carrier of the flame isn’t hurting either.
Do you think the comic will be credited with helping bring about the discussion about a revival with 20th Century Fox?
I don’t know… I’d like to think so, myself, in some small way. There’s been a light hanging in the fandom window for many years now. I’d like to think we nursed it a bit and scratched some itches and plan to keep doing so.
Does the fandom for The X-Files and Millennium seem unique in relation to the fandom for other film, TV, and comic genres?
Definitely. For whatever other franchises there are with enormous fan appeal, from Star Wars and Star Trek on down the line, The X-Files fandom is rooted in love and support for the greatest paranormally-investigating duo we’re ever seen in Mulder and Scully. Fans aren’t just invested in the mythology and monsters, but the characters and their long, winding relationship with one another.
There was a connection forged, way back when, with fans of a fledgling network bonding with these two on Friday and Sunday nights in an era of change and newness. Millennium is a slightly different beast, I’d say. It’s more heady and philosophical and darker and all that. It’s tougher to get your arms around, but I speak to many fans who prefer it to The X-Files for just those reasons.
I mean, in the end, it’s all subjective like everything else. Fandom can be this wild, breathing and irrational beast you need to feed the right stuff at the right times or it gets angry, breaks through its cage and eats you alive. It’s a matter of putting the right voices on the right things at the right times. I, personally, think The X-Files… and Millennium by both extension and in its own right… represent one of the most unique and iconic corners of fandom and I’ve tried to bring, and elevate, my own voice to best serve them.
Matt Allair is a writer, freelance filmmaker, musician, and the webmaster of The X-Files Lexicon.