One of sci-fi television’s most iconic female characters will be written by women in 2017. During Fox’s Television Critics Association press tour, Fox CEO Dana Walden revealed that the show’s behind-the-scenes gender diversity had improved beyond original reports.
While news had broken last night that creator Chris Carter had hired two female directors — Carol Banker and Holly Dale — Walden also revealed that two female writers had been hired for the new season.
UPDATE: A Fox representative confirms that Karen Nielson, who worked as a script coordinator on Season 10, will write one episode. In addition, Kristen Cloke and Shannon Hamblin will be writing another episode based on a story by Glen Morgan.
Walden cited as an explanation that after 200-plus episodes of “a very specific and deep mythology,” the instinct was to work with talent who was already intimately familiar with the series, which had always had a very male writing and directing staff. (This is very similar to Carter’s previous statements about working with returning writers like Morgan, James Wong, and Darin Morgan.)
However, the announcement earlier this summer that the show would feature an all-male writing staff for Season 11 triggered some strong reactions — even including comment on Twitter by star Gillian Anderson.
— Gillian Anderson (@GillianA) June 29, 2017
Beyond the staffing update, Fox president David Madden revealed some major details about the structure of the upcoming season, which will be similar to Season 10 — a season premiere that will serve as a major mythology episode (though “much simpler” than the Season 10 premiere, since it will cover a smaller time jump), followed by eight standalone episodes, and wrapping up with another mythology installment.
The season premiere will pick up right after the events of the previous season. According to Madden, it will revolve a great deal around the hunt for William, Mulder and Scully’s son. Fans may remember that William was given up for adoption in Season 9, but at the end of Season 10 was revealed to be, perhaps, the only way to cure a virus currently killing Mulder.
In addition, we will see the Cigarette-Smoking Man (played by William B. Davis) again, and there might be further “allusions” to beloved but deceased (as far as we know) fan favorite characters The Lone Gunmen.
“The X-Files” Season 11 is in production now, and is expected to debut in 2018.