X-Files fans stunned by shocking plot twist in season premiere

Ben Arnold

In a twist which had its origins in an episode first aired 18 years ago, the turn taken by The X-Files in its season 11 premiere in the US last night has shocked fans to their core.

There are spoilers ahead…

It has emerged that Dana Scully’s (Gillian Anderson) absent teenage son William is not – as has long been presumed – the product of a clinch between her and fellow FBI agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny).

The reality, in fact, is considerably darker.

Instead, it’s been revealed that it was the work of the series’ shadowy bad guy, the Smoking Man, played by William B. Davis, who drugged and impregnated Scully in what was a cryptic episode called En Ami which aired during the show’s seventh season in 2000.

However, it was no conventional conception – he used ‘alien-assisted science’ in order to create the ‘first superhuman child’.

“William is my son,” admits the Smoking Man to FBI assistant director and series staple Walter Skinner.

In the episode from 2000, Scully briefly reconciles with the Smoking Man, after he appears in her car during an investigation to tell her that he is dying and wishes to atone for his previous wrongdoings.

However, as the pair take a road trip to retrieve a cure for his ailment, she falls asleep, waking in bed in a cabin, before accusing the Smoking Man of drugging her.

The nature of the encounter is left deliberately ambiguous, but at the end of the season, it emerges that Scully is pregnant.

Show creator Chris Carter has said that this plotline had always been the plan.

“But, of course, if The X-Files never came back, we would have never gotten to explore it,” he told Entertainment Weekly.

Fans have reacted with consternation over the slow-burning plot, and some not well.

Some are totally on board, however.

But others have found the notion of Scully’s non-consensual conception pretty offensive.

Defending the plot, Carter added: “He’s the figurative father if he’s not the actual father. He didn’t rape Scully. He impregnated her with science.”

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