The X-Files returns: what have its stars been up to since it last aired?

The X-Files returns: what have its stars been up to since it last aired?

As the X-Files gets a new season, we do some undercover work to find out what's become of its key players

X-Philes rejoice: Mulder and Scully are returning to our screens to investigate yet more unexplained phenomenon, bizarre monster mysteries and other riddles wrapped inside enigmas. Be still, your beating, nerdy hearts: it'll likely be 2016 before we get to indulge in those six new episodes. In the meantime, satisfy your cravings for the truth by brushing up on what everyone's been up to since the show last aired in 2002.

David Duchovny (Fox Mulder)
Immediately following the X-Files, Duchovny chose to send up his most famous character, notably in sci-fi comedy Evolution and in a brief cameo as a conspiracy nut in Zoolander. For a run of seven seasons from 2007, Duchovny played boozy womanising novelist Hank Moody in Californication, earning himself a Golden Globe. In February he expressed an interest in returning to Twin Peaks, a desire that may have to be put on ice. His debut novel Holy Cow was published in February.

Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully)
London-raised Anderson returned to the English capital in 2002 to revive her passion for the stage. As well as numerous well-received theatrical roles (including A Streetcar Named Desire, the Young Vic's fastest selling show), the actress has forged a considerable career on TV, including the BBC's Bleak House for which she earned BAFTA, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. More recently she played cat and mouse with 50 Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan in two series of The Fall, and with the titular serial killer in NBC's Hannibal.

Chris Carter (Creator)
Much of Carter's work has revolved around X-Files spin-offs. In 1996, he launched Millennium, featuring Lance Henriksen as a former FBI agent able to see through the eyes of serial killers. Despite critical appraisal, it never attracted much of an audience and it was cancelled after three seasons. The Lone Gunmen followed the X-Files' titular trio of conspiracy investigators over 13 episodes before cancellation. Most recently, Carter created post-apocalyptic drama The After for Amazon. Despite being greenlit for eight episodes it was cancelled in January, shortly before rumours surfaced suggesting the X-Files' return.

Vince Gilligan (Writer/Executive Producer)
After co-creating the ill-fated Lone Gunmen with Chris Carter, Gilligan went on to conquer television with Breaking Bad. His masterstroke was to cast Bryan Cranston as the lead, based on the actor's bravura performance in an X-Files episode Gilligan had written. Gilligan has since launched successful spin-off Better Call Saul and detective drama Battle Creek.

Glen Morgan and James Wong (Writers)
Former high school friends, Morgan and Wong took time out during the X-Files to launch the short lived but highly praised sci-fi series Space: Above and Beyond, a precursor in many ways to Ron Moore's reimagined Battlestar Galactica. After taking over the helm of the ill-fated Millennium, the pair branched out into filmmaking, variously producing, writing and directing horror romp Final Destination and its threequel, Jet Li actioner The One and critically panned horror remake Black Christmas.

Mitch Pileggi (Walter Skinner)
Mulder and Scully's boss has thrived on network television with roles in Stargate Atlantis, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Grey's Anatomy, That '70s Show and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. More recently he played the head of a white supremacist gang in Sons of Anarchy. And it's his dulcet tones casually ruining the magic on Breaking the Magician's Code.

William B Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man)
A former artistic director of Dundee Rep and assistant director at the National Theatre during the Olivier years, Davis has lately returned to his passion: directing for theatre and film. He has a recurring role in Canadian drama Continuum. Davis quit smoking in the 1970s.

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