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According to Jimmy Kimmel‘s theory, Agents Mulder and Scully have been in a sort of comatose state and are still stuck in the ’90s. We trust when The X-Files makes its real return to television on January 24, the alien hunters and their counterparts will be fully up to speed on the 21st century. But it does make us wonder what the actors themselves have been up to?

Check out what the returning cast has been working on:

1. Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully)

Gillian Anderson takes on the role of FBI Agent and medical doctor Dana Scully. She pulls from her academic knowledge when trying to explain the unexplainable.

Anderson is among the very impressive cast of the new War & Peace mini-series (which premiered on January 18 on Lifetime, A&E, and the History Channel in the U.S.). She plays Anna Paviovna Scherer. In 2013 she took on the role of Detective Stella Gibson in the psychological thriller The Fall. It was recently confirmed that both Anderson and Jamie Dornan will return for the third season later this year. You may remember Anderson’s portrayal of Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier in the TV series Hannibal from 2013-2015. In 2014 she took to the stage, starring in the National Theatre Live production of A Streetcar Named Desire as the female lead Blanche DuBois. In 2008 Anderson starred as the not-so-nice publicist in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, opposite Simon Pegg. The American-British actress has also starred in several British mini-series in the past decade, including The Crimson Petal and the White (2011), Any Human Heart (2010) and Bleak House (2005).

2. David Duchovny (Fox Mulder)

David Duchovny portrays FBI Agent Fox Mulder. He believes if he follows the path to extraterrestrial life, he’ll find out what happened to his missing sister.

Since the original X-Files, Duchovny’s most iconic role has been as the over-sexed lead character Hank Moody on Showtime’s Californication. The series ran from 2007 to 2014, following Moody’s writing career, struggles with addiction, and his attempt to keep a grip on, well, everything. You may also remember his guest appearance on Sex and the City back in 2003 as Carrie’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) former high school boyfriend. He’s also starred in a number of films like 2007’s Things We Lost in the Fire and 2009’s The Joneses.

3. Mitch Pileggi (Walter Skinner)

Mitch Pileggi takes on the role of FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner. He is head of the X-Files office, looking out for Scully and Mulder.

Pileggi starred in the 2012 reboot of Dallas as Harris Ryland, which ran through 2014. From 2008 to 2013 he starred in Sons of Anarchy as Ernest Darby. He’s a Grey’s Anatomy alum, having appeared on the series from 2007-2012 as Lawrence Jennings. Pileggi has also popped up in a number of other popular TV series, including Medium (2009-2010), Stargate: Atlantis (2005-2009), Criminal Minds (2009), Brothers & Sisters (2008), Boston Legal (2007), Nip/Tuck (2005), The West Wing (2005) and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2003, 2005).

4. William B. Davis (Smoking Man)

William B. Davis returns as Smoking Man. He was the guy passing on tips to Mulder, always with a cigarette in hand.

Davis continued his career in television with roles on Smallville (2002-2003), The Murdoch Mysteries (2004), Stargate SG-1 (2005-2006) and Supernatural (2006). From 2012 -2015 he starred in the TV series Continuum as Alec Sadler. In addition to his on-screen work, Davis founded his own acting school, the William Davis Centre for Actor’s Study, which is featured in the above clip. You can find out more about the programs and services at the school’s website.

5. Tom Braidwood (Melvin Frohike)

Tom Braidwood portrays Melvin Frohike, one of the Lone Gunmen, working to support Mulder and Scully.

Braidwood not only performed on the show, but acted as first assistant director on the original series and the 2008 film, The X-Files: I Want to Believe. In addition to working on X-Files, he starred in the 2006 TV series Whistler. He’s also appeared in films like Alien Trespass (2009), Amazon Falls (2010), and Messages Deleted (2010).

6. Annabeth Gish (Monica Reyes)

Annabeth Gish joined the search for aliens in the eighth season of The X-Files as Agent Monica Reyes.

You may remember Gish from her breakout role as Kat from 1988’s Mystic Pizza, but that, of course, pre-dates The X-Files. Pressing the fast forward button, Gish starred in The West Wing as Liz Westin, the President’s eldest daughter, from 2003-2006. You may have spotted her in other TV shows like Pretty Little Liars (2011-2015), The Bridge (2013-2014) and Sons of Anarchy (2014).

7. Dean Haglund (Richard ‘Ringo’ Langly)

Dean Haglund portrays another one of the Lone Gunmen, Richard Langly.

Haglund has been keeping busy, starring in offbeat films like Spectres (2004), Face of Terror (2004) and The Monster and the Peanut (2006). You may also have spotted him in the 2010 Bones episode “The X in the Files,” as Blaine Miller. Haglund swung by Sci-Fest in 2014, where he took part in a performance of Ray Bradbury‘s play Kaleidoscope. He talks about the performance and all things sci-fi in the above clip. He describes himself on his Twitter page as, “That guy from the X-files who has cut his hair!” He runs a podcast called Dean & Phil with his friend and co-star Phil Leirness (Spectres, Lady Killers).

8. Bruce Harwood (John Fitzgerald Byers)

Bruce Harwood portays the third Lone Gunmen, who goes by John Fitzgerald Byers.

Harwood has starred in TV series like Stargate SG-1 (2002), Smallville (2004), and Supernatural (2009). More recently, in 2014, you may have spotted Harwood in television series The Flash and Psych. Harwood, along with the two other Long Gunmen, swung by 2015’s Connecticon to discuss X-Files then and now in the above clip. 

9. Sheila Larken (Margaret Scully)

Sheila Larken plays the recurring character Margaret Scully, Dana’s mother. She thinks her daughter’s line of work is dangerous and would prefer she stick to medicine.

Larken began her acting career in 1967. She appeared in TV shows like Gunsmoke (1969-1972), Starsky and Hutch (1975) and The Incredible Hulk (1978-1980). Yes, we know, that doesn’t answer the question: what has she been up to since 2002?

It appears Larken doesn’t have any acting credits in film and TV since The X-Files premiered in 2002, but hey, that makes it all the more interesting that she’s back with the team. She’s been called to act and she’s ready to perform. In the 2012 interview above, Larken says she’s retired from acting, but she will be back on January 24.

Are you looking forward to the return of The X-Files


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By Brigid Brown