'The X-Files': Four Cases the Fox Series Could Revive

THR looks at episodes from the original run of the Fox drama that would be prime fodder for a sequel in the upcoming revival.
Courtesy of FOX

Starting today, The X-Files is officially back in production. 

The Fox drama — which ran from 1993-2002, with two theatrical films released in 1998 and 2008 -- will return to television for six episodes in January with original series stars David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and Mitch Pileggi. (The series has also booked Community star Joel McHale for a guest spot.)

Read more Joel McHale Joins The X-Files Revival

While details of the revival are being kept top secret (though its stars and creator have taken to social media to tease their prep for the return), early indications are that the six hours will be a mix of the show's traditional "case of the week" episodes and a deeper dive into The X-Files' unresolved mythology.

Throughout the show's nine seasons, series creator Chris Carter and The X-Files writing team introduced well over a hundred monsters and supernatural beings. And since often the cases Mulder and Scully investigated weren't neatly tied up, during the course of the series, several of the show's more memorable villains -- Eugene Tooms (Doug Hutchison), Donnie Pfaster (Nick Chinlund), Robert Patrick Modell (Robert Wisden) -- reappeared in follow-up episodes.

If the show opts to bring back a familiar face/case this time around, which one(s) should it look to? THR offers a few worthy options.

"The Jersey Devil" (Season one, episode five)

"The Jersey Devil" was one of the first "monster of the week" hours, which didn't have any tie-ins to the show's overall mythology (it was also written by Carter).

Mulder and Scully are brought into the case when a man is attacked -- and limbs are missing when the body is recovered. Mulder is suspicious, and after an overly hairy humanoid creature is found dead, Mulder realizes it was possible the creature's mate had been trying to find food. The local SWAT team takes out the creature's mate, but the end of the hour reveals a final twist: The creatures had a child, who was still out in the woods.

In the more than 20 years since the hour aired, where did the child go? What did losing its parents do to it? Was it able to adapt, solo? Or did it find a new group of creatures to join?

"Fire" (Season one, episode 12)

Long before Mark Sheppard stepped into the role of King of Hell on Supernatural (and the 40 other shows he's appeared on since), he played Cecil L'Ively, a man capable of pyrokinesis. The hour ended with L'Ively accidentally setting himself on fire -- but he survived, and viewers got a glimpse of him locked up, healing and awaiting trial.

By the time the revival airs, it'll have been more than 22 years since the episode occurred. Though L'Ively caused several deaths, could he have been let out of jail? (Or, in that amount of time, could he have figured out a way to escape?)

Read more Top 5 X-Files Episodes of All Time: A Critic's Take

"Blood" (Season two, episode three)

During The X-Files' run (especially the earlier years), technology was rapidly changing the way people communicated. The show often addressed that (there was a '95 episode, "2Shy," which had its killer lure his victims to him via online chat rooms), but this 1994 hour was almost too ahead of its time.

In the episode, ordinary people see violent messages (linked to their phobias) on digital devices -- elevators, ATMs, televisions -- and are compelled to act on them to protect themselves. Mulder and Scully eventually discover the messages are delusions caused by an ingredient in a pesticide that was being sprayed over the town.

But in present day, our technology is so much more prevalent. A good amount of people have cell phones, not to mention access to computers, tablets, etc. What would a case like that look like in 2016, when you often can't escape any number of digital screens?

"Bad Blood" (Season five, episode 12)

Before Vince Gilligan created Breaking Bad, he worked on The X-Files for eight seasons. While his season six episode "Drive" served to introduce him to his future BB leading man Bryan Cranston, his season five hour "Bad Blood" is arguably one of his most memorable.

In the episode, Mulder and Scully investigate deaths in Texas that seem to be vampire-related. The duo realizes the victims have been drugged, and their respective last meals were pizza -- making local delivery boy Ronnie Strickland (Patrick Renna) the likely suspect. Ronnie flees and Mulder stakes him — only to discover that his fangs were fake. But later, during Strickland's autopsy, the stake is removed and Ronnie is revived. Mulder and Scully return to the town only to discover that it is filled with vampires, but the duo is drugged -- and while they're unconscious, the entire town picks up and moves.

"Bad Blood" is one of the most popular hours among fans -- and Anderson has also named it as one of the show's best -- but one of its key conceits may make it hard to revisit: Much of "Bad Blood" is composed of Mulder and Scully sharing the events of the story from their own perspectives. In Scully's mind, Mulder is overeager and insensitive to her frustrations with the case (and oblivious to how hard she's working); whereas in Mulder's mind, he's very patient, and Scully's dismissive of his theories and starry-eyed over Sheriff Hartwell (Luke Wilson). But the entire vampire population did move to another town, so…

Which episodes of X-Files would you like to see the revival revisit?