Special Agents Mulder and Scully are finally back this week as IDW Publishing launches the first issue of “X-Files” Season 10 from writer Joe Harris and artist Michael Walsh. The “X-Files” is one of the most beloved sci-fi TV series of all time, so you can imagine the pressure hanging over Harris and Walsh right now, but rest assured these two are just as big of fans as anyone else.
I spoke to series writer Joe Harris about some of their plans for Season 10, working with Chris Carter, and the plans for a new season after a decade off air.
Bloody-disgusting: Fans have been demanding more X-Files for years. How does it feel to be part of the team that gets to bring it back? How did you get involved?
Joe Harris: It’s an honor, to say the least. And it’s at least a little bit scary, you know? But mostly it’s exciting as I’m a fan too! I got involved when IDW asked if I had any thoughts on how to do this, and I did. Many of them.
BD: What can we expect from season 10?
JH: A re-establishment of the paradigm that first pulled you in way back when, with Agents Mulder and Scully working “The X-Files” for an FBI they’re not entirely sure they can trust, but with a sense of responsibility and calling that won’t allow them to look, or stay away any longer.
BD: I’m sure you’ve been asked a lot, but are Mulder and Scully involved romantically?
JH: Well, they have been. I think that much is clear. Whether they continue to remains to be seen…
BD: How is working with Chris Carter on the book? How involved is he in the process?
JH: It was a thrill to first learn he was reading my stuff and reacting positively to it, as you might imagine. Chris reads my outlines and scripts and offers his thoughts and advice both specific and general.
BD: You mentioned in an interview with CBR that you’ve been a big fan since the series started. What’s it like to work on such a beloved series? Do you feel a lot of pressure?
JH: I think you nailed it in the question. It’s a thrill, but not without its pressures. I’m having a good time though.
BD: So much has been done with X-Files in the TV series and the films. How are you putting a fresh spin on it?
JH: Well, we’re bringing it up to date a bit and reimagining some of the classic paradigms and concepts for this new, 2013 era. The technology and the threats are more modern. Your government is still rife with inequities, secrets and conspiratorial elements and actors. Good thing it’s also going to have Agents dedicated to rooting those out.
BD: It’s also a franchise that hasn’t been explored for over a decade (excluding the last film). How are you planning to bring Mulder and Scully into the modern age?
JH: I think they’d prefer to stay retired, but circumstances are going to drag them back into the fight, and fast. In doing so, they’re going to have to pick up some loose ends and encounter some new ones they didn’t realize existed.
BD: The TV series was so great because it always showed both sides of the story using Mulder’s beliefs and Scully’s skepticism. How do you strike that balance? Does it come naturally?
JH: The old paradigm of Mulder’s almost desperate need to believe, and Scully’s skepticism, is going to return. But they’re battle-tested now. The lines are a bit grayer. I don’t think anyone could go through what they’ve been through and not be, at least on some levels, both a believer and a skeptic. Watching that line flutter between them is going to be a fun point of tension and exploration, at least for me.
BD: Do you have some favorite episodes that you’ll be drawing from?
JH: Absolutely! I don’t want to call out the specific “Monster of the Week” episodes as to avoid spoilers for upcoming issues not yet announced… but, with regard to the “Mytharc” episodes that inform at least some aspects of the opening story arc, “Believers,” as well as future storylines exploring the extraterrestrial threat and the still-simmering conspiracy within our government and our population that surrounds it, I’m drawing on episodes like “The Erlenmeyer Flask,” “Talitha Cumi” and “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man” along with many others.
BD: Will your main focus be on aliens, or are you guys venturing into more aspects of the paranormal?
JH: Both. I think the show worked best when it peppered in the monsters and let you breathe a bit before diving back into the serialized alien colonization mystery, all the while building the characters, introducing new allies and enemies, and laying the groundwork for the next step forward in the grand, unraveling reveal. I’d like to reestablish that dynamic. I’m hopeful that’s what we’re doing right off the bat.
BD: Thanks so much, we are all excited about the series!
JH: Heh. Me too!