X-Files mythology, TenThirteen Interviews Database, and more

Some Complementary Season 10 Mythology Elements

Season 11 is less than a month away! Its two-and-a-half mythology episodes promise to be very dense: a lot of plot to go through, a lot of returning and new characters, William, flashbacks, the ungrateful task of attempting to reconcile this new mythology direction with what we considered to be “the truth” in seasons 1-9… and conclude in a cliffhanger for season 12! Season 10’s mythology’s lukewarm reception motivated FOX to downplay the mythology this season, however the new mythology doesn’t sound more welcoming to new fans and still has to convince old fans. Since My Struggle II aired, fans have been trying to connect the dots in the hope that the mythology would make sense, once more — theorizing is a typical x-phile occupation.


Follow and comment the #46DaysOfMythX (FB, t) as we count down to season 11 by reviewing the “classic series” Case Files — and finish transferring material from the old version of EatTheCorn to this modern version!

A shout out to the incredibly ambitious X-Cast Podwatch project, with one hundred 20-minute podcasts covering two episodes at a time released daily (or even more than daily)!


We analyzed in detail the complementary mythology elements in the book “The Real Science Behind The X-Files” by virologist, X-Files science advisor and Chris Carter friend Dr. Anne Simon here.

Carter’s other science advisor, for the second film onwards, is Dr. Margaret Fearon, a medical doctor and microbiologist, and Simon’s friend; the sick boy Christian Fearon in I Want To Believe is named after her.

Simon & Fearon contributed with ideas and suggestions to Chris Carter when writing the season 10 mythology episodes. For their work, they were credited for co-writing the season finale My Struggle II! On February 22 2016, Anne Simon hosted a viewing party for the finale in the University of Maryland, where she works.

What follows is commentary on the behind the scenes info and bits of information that she revealed during the Q&A session that night — long before season 11 was a reality and long before Carter put fingers to laptop to write the My Struggle III script!

The making of My Struggle II

  • About The X-Files returning after so many years, Simon says: “I heard Chris many times saying he would never do it again. I never thought it would come back.
  • Carter asked Simon: “I want you to come up with a way to kill everybody off – everybody except the chosen few“, among whom Scully. Simon: “I was really surprised when he asked me to kill everybody off. Because then who would be the audience? And how would you get out of it?
  • This is the third time she’s been asked something like that in the series [I suppose the other two refer to bees carrying smallpox in 4X21: Zero Sum, and the Black Oil virus itself in Fight the Future]
  • In the beginning there was a misunderstanding: Simon had Scully be the victim. But Carter said no, that alien DNA has “got to be the key“.
  • Simon had the idea of the threat not being an alien virus again, but something that would remove the immune system. She came up with a mechanism to lose one’s ADA gene. Carter was very happy with the idea and kept asking “write a lot more“, “I want more science“. The use of actual science is one of the distinguishing marks of The X-Files.
  • Anne Simon and Margaret Fearon together came up with involving Crisp-Cas9: to have the smallpox vaccine with a second virus that would deliver the DNA that would then deactivate ADA gene. [Simon certainly remembers her own contribution in making the smallpox vaccine a tagging device in 4X01: Herrenvolk; we still don’t know how this new use of the smallpox vaccine articulates with what we learnt before, and why the conspiracy would know how to use this virus from at least the 1970s but then focus on using the Black Oil virus.]
  • How is this activated? Carter wanted it to be chemtrails and aluminum [following recent conspiracy theories]. Simon thought it could be the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, which is rising; Carter didn’t like that idea. [The trigger remains unexplained.]
  • Margaret Fearon came up with the symptoms observed in the first victims, and using anthrax as an example.
  • Simon was helping with My Struggle II at the same time Carter was shooting Babylon. Every day there were pages going back and forth with corrections and suggestions, it was a difficult time for Carter. [This is the actual script; we do not know how far ahead the story was conceived.]
  • Simon says that My Struggle IItakes place 6 weeks after the first episode” [as mentioned in the dialogue]. In My Struggle Ithere are some hints that something is going wrong. So it’s really taking quite a while before thew immune system is starting to go down“, it is “very gradual” [but this connection between the two episodes is never made explicit in the scenarios].

Gillian Anderson calls William, the presumed pilot of the UFO/ARV!

What could come next

  • Carter cut the final 10 pages of the My Struggle II scenario to create that cliffhanger. [We could then say that season 10 and season 11 mythology were conceived as a single story arc, if not in the details then at least in story directions.]
  • Simon knows what happens after “that close encounter” at the end of My Struggle II. [This would mean that the occupants of that craft could be alien, and that the arrival of the UFO/ARV was not something that was added after the first draft in order to create a cliffhanger for next season.]
  • Simon and Fearon had mapped out the science for the next episode [My Struggle III] already.
  • With Scully’s vaccine, we all have alien DNA now. Simon: “could this be what they wanted all along? Maybe this is their plan.” [This gives credence to the theory that the Spartan virus is a ploy and the real objective is to have people vaccinated with Scully’s cure, which will prove to be a biological Trojan horse of some kind. The alternative would be that there are several kinds of aliens, and those would be benevolent towards humans.]
  • About producing the vaccine with Scully’s extra nucleotides on an industrial scale for the whole world: “The idea is that then they would be able to synthesize this. But initially it would require Scully’s blood. That was all worked out. Chris was asking about that, but how long would it take… So where are the last 10 pages?” [Does that mean that a general cure for the entire world’s population is what we will see in My Struggle III and only necessitates 10 pages? This is asking a lot of suspension of disbelief! Scully would presumably get some slight help from the CDC and the WHO — perhaps even from the occupants of that UFO/ARV as well?]
  • Simon wrote more material: “I had a dream kind of thing, where you go back and the Cigarette-Smoking Man takes his first puff, he was really young, I thought it was good. And Chris said no, you cannot do a back in time thing, because he was doing it with Monica and I didn’t realize he was planning on that.” [But then My Struggle III seems to be all about flashbacks to a young CSM! Perhaps Carter kept Simon’s ideas for My Struggle III.]
  • And finally, about My Struggle II and the coherence of the mythology: “I hope people can see how this episode fits in with the mythology. I think it explains a lot. What was the conspiracy? This is the conspiracy. Now, did Chris know that this was the conspiracy? Obviously not because I told him what the conspiracy was — but he knew there was a conspiracy, he just didn’t know what it was.” When she sent ideas, Carter was happy: “Chris could see that it fit what had been done before.” [My Struggle I & II present lots of problems of continuity with earlier episodes: the purpose of the Syndicate, the absence of Colonist aliens, the absence of Black Oil in greys, the credulity of Mulder, the absence of Supersoldiers, the chronology of the Syndicate using the smallpox vaccine to introduce this Spartan virus since the 1970s while spending decades afterwards to find a way to use the Black Oil virus as the trigger of the Apocalypse instead and developing hybrids immune to it, the inconsistency of the CSM’s behavior if he manipulated everybody from 1947, and more. Some of these problems depend on future twists in My Struggle III and so forth, but it is likely that is will not be possible to reconcile everything.]

An otherwise useless zoom-in into Scully’s eye echoing the closing shot of the episode

Would the original conclusion that Simon is referring to actually take place right after what we saw in My Struggle II? How could we switch from a UFO/ARV suddenly appearing and menacing Scully to Scully saving everyone by mass-producing her vaccine, thus cancelling that particular Apocalypse? — until…”could this be what they wanted all along?

Recent season 11 promotional material seems to confirm a theory that started as hearsay mentioned by Jonathan Maberry all the way back to October 2016: that starting from the zoom-in in the first scene in the X-Files office until the zoom-in in the last shot, My Struggle II would be a sort of vision of the future that Scully had. This could be a premonitory dream, a vision given to her by somebody who has psychic powers (spiritual beings, aliens, William?), or a vision projected on her by someone via her implanted chip, which can be tele-operated (e.g. to call her to a specific place, as in 5X13: Patient X) — perhaps so that she would know of the future and act to prevent it. This is not the retconning of Millennium end of season 2 to beginning of season 3 (the viral Apocalypse was actually a local event with low death toll), but it is a way out.

My Struggle I cut scene

The DVD/BluRay (released in June 2016) included some excellent making of documentaries by Julie Ng, whose love for the series shows on every frame! — some additional anecdotes that did not make it in the final edit of the documentaries can be found here and here (originally a feature for X-Files News, it has disappeared there?).

“Our lives are at danger now.” echoes Deep Throat’s “Your lives may be in danger” from 1X01: Deep Throat in the same way the Old Man’s “You’re nearly there. You’re close.” echoed Deep Throat’s “Don’t give up on this one. Trust me. You’ve never been closer.” from 1X23: The Erlenmeyer Flask!

This included a cut scene for My Struggle I. In it, Mulder is waiting to meet the Old informant a second time in the same spot. Instead, he meets who pretends to be the informant’s daughter, who tells Mulder that her father was dead — presumably killed by the conspiracy because he was feeding Mulder with presumably true information. My Struggle I was a very dense episode and this short scene was cut for no other reason than for time; we can thus consider this information as canon (until proven otherwise).

This scene explains why we do not see the Old informant in My Struggle II, something that would have made narrative sense given the important impact of his information on Mulder’s beliefs, and given the informant’s promise of revealing more secrets to Mulder in the future. Instead, this character was of one-time use: Carter introduced him, he told Mulder what he needed to say, served his purpose, and was written out, all of which in the same episode. (Sadly, the actor portraying him, Rance Howard, passed away just days ago, on November 25 2017, making the return of this character impossible without a recast.)

This is one more example of the issues Carter’s recent scripts have with pacing, and Carter’s tendency in most of his post-season 5 mythology episodes to have characters tell the plot and not have Mulder and Scully actually investigate to uncover the truth.


Carter took a bold leap into the unknown by choosing to do a cliffhanger without a guaranteed season 11, which, with two years’ negotiations versus five months for season 10, nearly didn’t happen. Nevertheless, he created an X-Files cliffhanger like no other where everything — characters’ fates, humanity’s survival, the very meaning of the narrative of the mythology that makes the fabric of the show — is up in the air, and got people talking. We will know shortly how, and if, it all comes together!

Tags: , ,

6 Responses to “Some Complementary Season 10 Mythology Elements”

  1. Ana Bastow says:

    Great article!
    I figured out the Spartan Virus was already in motion since the first episode with those infamous first weeks, it’s the amount of time Amtrak needs to incubate. One of the reasons the dream scenario doesn’t convince me since Scully would have to have dreamed the entirety of season 10 for it to work and that means a lot of things we saw would be put into question. But who knows Carter has done crazier things.

  2. Noisette says:

    Hey oro’ !

    Génial ton article ! C’est passionnant cette synthèse de ce que sait anne simon et de ce qu’on pourrait imaginer. Je suis en train de le traduire pour XFM histoire d’alimenter les débats.
    Comme c’est à toi, n’hésite pas à le récupérer si tu le souhaites ! (et si ça t’ennuie, dis le moi aussi, je retirerai la traduction)
    Bises et merci

    Noisette

  3. Ray says:

    As always great article! I love reading your ideas and theories, it makes watching The X-Files and waiting for the new episodes so much better.

    Simon: “could this be what they wanted all along? Maybe this is their plan.” In “The Erlenmeyer Flask” Deep Throat says to Scully that a group of children were injected with clone DNA from the alien fetus as a test”. In MSII Einstein says to Scully: “Then we’ll all have alien DNA”, so maybe this is a massive test? IIRC, Glen Morgan in an interview after s10 said that we should have patient and hold our judgement for MSII until we see what will happen next and that it’s not what it looks like. I hope he is right and the new mythology can make sence. I know the writers read your site so that is encouraging.
    As for the theory that a large part of MSII takes place in Scully’s mind I’ve never thought of that myself and at first I doubted that would be the case but now it looks more and more possible and if that’s the case it can work. Ever since I read that theory I thought that maybe her implant was responsible for her “vision” but I love your ideas of spiritual beings, aliens or even William way more. We’ll see. At least Anne Simon remembers the black oil and the rest of the mythology and Carter seems to appreciate the science she provides him so there is hope. Thanks for the analysis!

    • orodromeus says:

      Ευχαριστώ! Yes, then we’ll all have alien DNA: in My Struggle II it’s presented as something positive, when throughout the original series it was something negative (same with the aliens, they are presented as benevolent for the first time in My Struggle I). Carter could continue down that route, with aliens actually saving us (the “alien as divine” theme with a positive vibe this time), or this could be the seed for our agents’ worries once the Spartan virus threat is somehow stalled or stalled. A lot of hopes reside on My Struggle III regarding the coherence of the mythology!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.