Gillian Anderson explains why she has quit ‘X-Files’

"It's time for me to hang up Scully's hat"

Gillian Anderson has talked about why she’s decided to quit The X-Files.

The cult sci-fi show first aired from 1993 to 2002, before returning for a comeback 10th season in 2016. Its 11th season premiered last week (January 3) in the US and will air in the UK later this year on Channel 5.

Anderson – who plays co-lead Dana Scully – confirmed late last year that the 11th outing would be her “last”. Now, she has opened up about her reasons, speaking at the TCA press tour on Wednesday (January 10).


“It’s time for me to hang up Scully’s hat. It just is,” she said. “I arrived at the decision before we did [season 10], but I was really curious. I felt that the previous six [episodes] was going to be it. It was dipping our toe back in again… and getting to play these wonderful characters again.”

“I think as [series creator] Chris [Carter] has said himself that short stack of episodes felt like we were leaning how to walk again and that this [1tth] season of 10 [episodes] feels like the pace is up and we’re running.”

X Files

Anderson continued: “I wouldn’t necessarily have been happy if those six [episodes from season 10] were how we said goodbye… There’s lots of things that I want to do in my life and in my career and it’s been an extraordinary opportunity and extraordinary character and I am hugely grateful.”

Co-star David Duchovny – who plays Fox Mulder – said that he was “good either way” when asked whether the show would continue.

“I’ve tried to say goodbye to Fox Mulder many times and I failed,” Duchovny joked. “And they all went and did the show without me, so how do you like that? I’m feeling pretty pissed off, now that I remember.”


Last week, Fox TV chairman Gary Newman discussed the future of X-Files, saying that he “would not exclude the possibility that there would be more,” adding: “But not only is there no plan, there hasn’t been a single conversation. It’s too early to even speculate.”

In 2017, Gillian Anderson commented on the all-male X-Files writing team, saying: “I believe we can do better”.

Anderson tweeted: “I look forward to the day when the numbers are different”, noting that only two of the show’s then 207 episodes had been directed by women.

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