"The X-Files" is back after 13 years with a revival event series that will revisit Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) in the year 2016, allowing viewers to see exactly what's become of them, their life's work and the government conspiracy that drove them for so many years.
Given that "The X-Files" came to an end in 2002 though, there's a large TV audience that simply doesn't know the show. While some of them may have seen episodes here and there through streaming services, chances are many don't know the details necessary to jump back in.
The same can be said for viewers of the original series. 13 years is a long time to remember the little stuff.
With that in mind, Zap2it has put together a primer for what people will need to know as they settle in to watch the premiere of the latest set of episodes.
Here's the basics
In 1993, Dana Scully was partnered with Fox Mulder, a largely forgotten FBI agent who worked in the basement on the so-called X-Files, a series of cases that involved extraterrestrial and supernatural elements -- essentially things that couldn't be explains.
As a child, Mulder watched what he believes is the abduction of his sister Samantha at the hands of aliens, which has driven him into the articular corner of the X-Files and earned him the nickname "Spooky."
As a doctor, Scully is often the foil for Mulder's intense search for what he calls "the truth," constantly attempting to keep him grounded with her skepticism. The two develop a close bond over the course of the series.
Over time, Scully's skepticism faded as she witnessed more than she could possibly have imagined.
What about baby William?
Things didn't stay strictly business between Mulder and Scully. Though they often dances around the line of whether or not the pair were in a romantic relationship -- truthfully, they're probably best suited as lifelong friends and partners, rather than husband and wife.
They do share a child together, though. After being diagnosed as infertile following her abduction by aliens, Scully struggled to have a child. It wasn't until Season 8 that she learned she has "miraculously" become pregnant and that Mulder was the father.
It was never exactly confirmed how that came to be, but it's been hinted at that the two slept together.
Still, upon learning that the child -- a son named William -- was part alien, Scully gave him up for adoption and he was taken in by a family in Wyoming.
This all matters because even Anderson herself has said William will play a vital role in the new series. He'd be 15 by this point, so imagine a teen Mulder with Scully's hair.
What happened to the X-Files?
While "The X-Files" is returning, the X-Files division of the FBI is officially closed on the series. When the series came to an end, Mulder and Scully were on the run from the FBI, who was in pursuit of Mulder. In the 2008 followup movie, "The X-Files: I Want to Believe," the FBI calls of their search for Mulder when he and Scully help them on a case.
Still, the X-Files remain closed to this day. Given that the show is back though, chances are that won't last for long.
Sadly, fan favorite characters the Lone Gunmen (Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood and Dean Haglund) are still definitely dead. The trio of conspiracy theorists were killed off in Season 9. While the Season 10 comic book series brings them back to life, that's a non-canonical entry into the "X-Files" lore.
Still, expect the three men to pop up on the show. As creator Chris Carter explains, "They did meet their makers, so to speak, in the original series, but I think the way you see them return will explain itself … they return in a fantasy sequence."
From the sound of it, expect them to pop up in a dream sequence. Perhaps they can offer Mulder some sage advice.
Though he was blown up by a missile in the series finale, it seems nothing can keep the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) down. The revival is rewriting that particular character's demise to keep him in play while Mulder and Scully try to get to the bottom of yet another conspiracy that threatens the world.
That said, he's a little worse for wear. While he wasn't blown to kingdom come, he certainly will have quite a few scars -- and, of course, he'll be smoking. Given that it's 2016, perhaps he should try vaping. Although, The Vaping Man doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
"The X-Files" premieres Sunday, Jan. 24, on FOX.