The trailer shows a world on the brink of extinction and the nefarious Cigarette Smoking Man trying to cut a deal with Skinner. Fox Mulder (Duchovny) is seen attempting to thwart his evil plan, while also searching for Scully (Anderson) and his lost son, William. Scully somehow ends up in a hospital bed, and at one point sees a clone of herself. Carter did say there will be a doppelgänger episode in season 11, so we might be in for two Scullys for the price of one … episode.
During the panel, Carter also promised the crowd of X-Files diehards, “you’re getting more [Skinner] than you did [last season].” Later he clarified, “we do an episode where we explore his backstory” — something Pileggi said was briefly addressed in past episodes, but never fleshed out to the degree it will be in the new season. The episode has yet to be shot, so it presumably will not be one of the first five episodes, since the cast confirmed they have already filmed that much of the new season. Pileggi said he has already read the script for the episode twice and promised “you get to see young Wally Skinner.”
One of those first five episodes will take a look into the origins of one of the show’s most elusive and iconic characters, Cigarette Smoking Man. Carter informed the crowd that the first episode of the new season will explore the chainsmoker’s backstory. Played by William B. Davis, the Cigarette Smoking Man is one of the show’s most popular villains and last appeared in season 10’s finale, My Struggle II, where he set in motion his cataclysmic evil plan to wipe out the world. Is his name really C.G.B. Spender? We may find out in season 11.
X-Files has spent hundreds of episodes exploring the strangest topics, but most of its episodes fall into two categories: monster of the week and mythology. The former are episodes which enter on a supernatural entity, and the latter are episodes that focus on the linear story arc involving Mulder, Scully, and other reoccurring characters and storylines. Season 10’s heavy focus on mythology episodes will not carry over into season 11. “There are really eight standalone episodes and two mythology episodes,” Carter clarified. “But, there is a character arc that spans all over those episodes.”
None of the panelists shared when exactly we can expect the new season, but Screen Rant reports that you should look out for it on Fox in January 2018. Until then, keep searching for the truth in the X-Files.