The X-Files will return to the airwaves in 2018 with a brand new batch of episodes that will answer some questions while posing still new ones. Season 11 will air a quarter of a century after the series premiered back in 1993, and a lot has happened for Mulder and Scully over the past 25 years. The show has already run for more than two hundred episodes and two feature films of mythology and monsters, which means that there's plenty of history to keep track of by this point. The X-Files creator and executive producer Chris Carter spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of Season 11, and he said this about how he keeps track of the show's continuity:

It's hard. Many things are firm in my mind but other things, I've got to go back and refresh my memory. There are easy ways to do that. There are plenty of ways online to catch back up again. People have done a good job at giving you timelines, what's happened to who when. But sometimes, you've got to go back and watch the episode to really remember exactly what people saw and heard and experienced.

Apparently, Chris Carter and Co. at The X-Files are able to keep track of some twists quite well without needing to do any research, but other details from 25 years of complex conspiracies and crazy mysteries might not be so fresh in the mind. Fortunately, the internet is a vast resource of information on all things X, and the ratings for the first season of the show's revival were proof enough that there are plenty of people who still care about what happened and when it happened in The X-Files universe.

That said, Season 11 delves into some very specific plot points from the earlier run of the series, and that required Chris Carter to go back and relive the plots of days gone by for himself. Many of the fans who have been so dedicated to the series for so long undoubtedly want as much continuity as possible, and what better way to guarantee continuity than by rewatching earlier episodes? The most straightforward way to answer long-standing questions has to be to remember exactly how the questions were asked in the first place, especially if the episodes aired 15 or 20 years ago.

Luckily, Season 11 will have even more time to answer long-standing questions and stick to past continuity than there was in Season 10. Chris Carter also told me about how returning to primetime back in 2016 with Season 10 enabled the X-Files team to really hit the ground running in Season 11 with a higher episode count, including one episode that will give an origin story to a certain character. Given that we already know that much of the season will center on Mulder and Scully's son, we can be sure that we'll get some answers on the family front. In fact, a trailer for Season 11 already revealed that one character with family connections who hasn't been seen since the Season 9 finale will be back in the mix.

Of course, the Cigarette-Smoking Man will also be back in the mix, and he very rarely clears things up for Mulder and Scully (and the fans). In fact, continuity surrounding the Cigarette-Smoking Man and his various plots is some of the most confusing of the entire series to date. Hopefully Chris Carter's rewatches ahead of Season 11 mean that we'll learn more about what old Smokey has gotten up to.

We'll have to wait and see. The good news is that the wait is almost over, as Season 11 of The X-Files will premiere on Fox on Wednesday, January 3 at 8 p.m. ET. For your other viewing options in the new year, be sure to check out our 2018 midseason TV guide and our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule.

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