For me, the highlight of day one at Comic-Con took place in Ballroom 20 on Thursday afternoon as TV Guide presented The X-Files 20th Anniversary panel. I can’t believe it has been 20 years since the show debuted, proving that a one-hour genre show could not only succeed, but also be a huge hit for network TV.

The panel included a who’s who of accomplished creators for whom The X-Files was only the beginning of an accomplished career: Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), David Amann (Castle), Howard Gordon (24, Homeland), Darin Morgan (Fringe), John Shiban (Supernatural), Glen Morgan (Final Destination), James Wong (Final Destination) and series creator, Chris Carter.

Also on the panel were series stars Gillian Anderson and, in a rare convention appearance, David Duchovny. When asked to look back on the series, Anderson joked that at the time, she didn’t realize Mulder was “so cool. I should have gone there sooner.” Later, when asked what the characters of Scully and Mulder might do on a real date, Anderson said, “Have sex.” Duchovny stuttered, “And then, uh, have dinner?” Their minds remained in the gutter as, when in response to the comment that women got into physics because of Scully, Duchovny added, “Men come up to me and say they got into Scully because of Mulder.”

The writers were a little more serious when commenting on their involvement in the show. Gilligan said, “Writing for the show was like going to school but I was paid to attend.” He later mentioned that the character of Patrick Crump from the episode “Drive” was the inspiration for Bryan Cranston and Breaking Bad. As for other characters in the series, Gordon admitted that fan favorite Krycek was furthre developed as a “stop gap” on the show during Anderson’s pregnancy. By the way, Shiban’s son played Scully’s baby. Now a little older, he graced the stage for a quick appearance:

At various times, the creators and stars were asked about The X-Files returning in a third movie. Duchovny stated that he always thought it was “wide open” for another. But as a limited series, such as 24 is getting next year, Anderson gave a definitive “No”. Season 10 is continuing as a comic book series from IDW Publishing, which Carter described as “more comic-booky wth its own mythology”. As for his own involvement in a continuation, he said, “I need a reason to be excited to continue. Seeing these people here is very encouraging.” He also mentioned that The X-Files could not have been done in 2002 (for example) because at that time “we trusted the government. It would not have been relevant.”
Finally, when asked what brought her back to TV after an absence following the conclusion of The X-Files, Anderson explained that she was exhausted, mostly because of the time commitment. However, she told the producers of Hannibal, on which she now appears semi-regularly, that she wasn’t like to be on for more than three episodes, but “the character is growing on me. I love working with Mads (Mikkelson) and it’s filmed so well…” So, it’s likely we’ll be seeing more of her and, although they did a lot of teasing, we may just see more of The X-Files. At least we can hope.