Yes, the “Psych” fans were Psycho.
Sure, the “Sherlock” producers gave fans a lot to investigate.
But for thousands of people who lined up at San Diego Comic-Con’s Ballroom 20 on Thursday (July 18), the big-ticket panel was the triumphant return of FOX’s “The X-Files.”
Follow along for as many highlights as my little fingers are able to transcribe.
3:32 p.m. Comic-Con has gotten us pumped for nostalgia by playing Third Eye Blind and Weezer during the between-panels pause. I am, indeed, pumped.
3:34 p.m. Moderator Mike Schneider begins by leading us in a chorus of “Joy to the World” (the one about the bullfrog, not the Christmas Carol).
3:35 p.m. “The X-Files” wasn’t a cult hit, darnit. It was just a plain ol’ hit.
3:36 p.m. We start with producers: David Amann is out first, followed by Vince “Freakin'” Gilligan, Howard “Freakin’ Gordon, Darin “Not Looking Reclusive At All” Morgan, John “Hell on Wheels” Shiban, Glen “The Other” Morgan, Jim “Morgan and” Wong and Chris “The Man of the Hour” Carter.
3:39 p.m. We’re so pumped that a clip package gets loud hoots as the theme music begins to play.
3:40 p.m. Two people carrying flashlights come out in the dark. It’s David Duchovny and a very blonde Gillian Anderson. Yes, we stand for them. Well, not me. I have a laptop on my lap.
3:41 p.m. Lots of “Californication” fans in the house. Allegedly.
3:41 p.m. What happened on December 2, 2012. “They came and they’re delaying their entrance,” Chris Carter says.
3:42 p.m. Flashback to Carter’s original pitch. He pitched it once to FOX, once with Peter Roth, but he doesn’t think “they knew what they had until I think we finally aired.”
3:43 p.m. What did Gillian and David maybe not realize about their characters that they understand now with perspective. They’re stymied. “I guess I didn’t realize that Mulder was so cool until a few years later,” Anderson says. They aren’t sure what happened between the characters. “Something happened. Because we have a child,” Anderson says. Regarding the Mulder-Scully sex scene, Anderson insists, “We shot it. It’s somewhere.”
3:44 p.m. “There’d be no ‘Breaking Bad’ without ‘The X-Files,'” Vince Gilligan says, recalling his first experience with the show as a fan. “By the end of the first commercial break, I was hooked,” Gilligan says, saying he learned everything he knows from his seven years on the show. “I was just lucky as hell that I was part of it,” Gilligan says.
3:45 p.m. “The word that comes to mind is point-of-view,” Howard Gordon says, recalling what he learned.
3:46 p.m. What about the characters makes Duchovny and Anderson want to return again? Duchovny praises the show’s flexibility. “I always thought whenever we can come back together, we would, as much as we can, so we will,” Duchovny says.
3:47 p.m. “We can get to it later,” Chris Carter says of a third “X-Files” movie.
3:48 p.m. Would anybody consider bringing “X-Files” back as a limited series, “24”-style? “No!” Anderson says hastily. “No, but a film would be great.
3:48 p.m. “I think what we did is really what we would do now,” Chris Carter says of how “X-Files” would be different if they did it today. “All the writers did that, actually. That was before Google,” Carter says when the moderator says how quaint it was that Mulder and Scully would go to books to look something up instead of going online.
3:49 p.m. Darin Morgan is asked about being Flukeman. “It was just a dream to work with David and Gillian, because being in the Flukeman suit, you really got to interact, especially in the pool with David. I don’t know what else to say about that,” Morgan says.
3:50 p.m. John Shiban’s son played Scully’s baby? And the son is backstage. He com es out to applause. “He looks like me. That’s our son,” Anderson says.
3:51 p.m. “It’s a comic book series, so I think the stories really are more comic book-y,” Carter says of the Season 10 comic, which he claims will have “their own mythology.”
3:52 p.m. Lone Gunmen question. “We had a big argument about that as I recall,” Gilligan says of killing the characters. “Their just such amazing characters,” says Shiban. “When the Lone Gunmen series was not picked up, that’s when the discussion started,” Shiban recalls of their “honorable death.”
3:54 p.m. Moderator asks Morgan & Wong about “Home.” Are they still proud of it? Morgan recalls casting the “Space: Above and Beyond” stars in four episodes to get them more exposure. Morgan says that “Brother’s Keeper” by Berlinger and Sinofsky was the inspiration, though he can’t remember their name. He also mentions Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography and his memory of Chaplin’s story about The Little Tramp’s time in vaudeville and his dinner at a house where the family introduced Chaplin to their son with no arms and no legs. Or something. Yikes. He also references the book “Dark Nature.” Wait. Mallard ducks gang-rape? I’m so, so, so, confused by this story. But apparently many things inspired “Home.” “It had one airing and then it was banned. Jim and I don’t get rerun money for that,” he says, adding that “there was a point behind it and I’m glad we did it.”
3:59 p.m. Favorite Mulder/Scully moments: Duchovny likes a scene from “Postmodern Prometheus” when they get up to dance. “That just had a great feeling to it,” he says. Gillian says that somebody just mentioned The Conversation on the Rock to her, but she doesn’t remember it. Apparently it was from “Quagmire.”
4:00 p.m. Favorite baddies. David Amann liked the Tom Noonan character from “Paper Hearts.” Roche, it seems. Vince Gilligan says that he liked the central antagonist played by Peter Boyle. “He was obviously not the bad guy, but the engine of story in that episode,” Gilligan clarifies. Gilligan also says that as far as “fruitful villains,” Bryan Cranston in “Drive” was a favorite. Patrick Krump. “That was fruitful for me personally, meeting Bryan Cranston on ‘The X-Files,'” Gilligan says. Somehow here, we start asking Darin Morgan to show his butt-crack. He doesn’t. But he’s getting close. Krycek gets some applause. “At the time, he was mostly somebody to fill space in Gillian’s maternity leave,” Gordon recalls. “I was going to say Flukeman and Eddie Van Blundht,” says Darin Morgan of his favorite villains. He played both.
4:05 p.m. John Shiban remembers “the butt genie.” which was based on an Indian fakir in some way. “Chris heard the pitch and he was like, ‘It would be scarier if he went in his ass,'” Shiban credits. Eugene Victor Tooms is Glen Morgan’s favorite baddie. Gillian was also going to say Tooms (the Doug Hutchinson character). Duchovny recalls having to act opposite a tennis ball for bad guys. And he acted opposite a tennis ball and then an actor came out in costume and the director said, “He looked the like guy who f***ed Mrs Butterworth.” Chris’ favorites include The Peacock Brothers and John Neville, who played The Well-Manicured Man.
4:09 p.m. First audience question wants to know what Mulder and Scully would do if they ever went on a real live date. “Have sex,” Anderson says. “And then maybe dinner,” Duchovny adds.
4:10 p.m. Is there ever a scene David and Gillian wanted to shoot but never got to? “Are there kids in the audience?” Gillian asks. Get the feeling she has a one-track mind on this one. “That is a good question, but I can’t think of anything,” she finally says.
4:11 p.m. Did the writers have any monsters-of-the-week that the writers came up with, but didn’t make it to air? Vince Gilligan recalls asking Drew Barrymore to be on the show doing a take-off on the “Twilight Zone” episode about a kid who could wish people into the corn-field. “And then her agent called me up and said, ‘Stop bothering my client,'” he says.
4:12 p.m. Was there a moment when the character first realized they were in love? “I think it was when you first walked into his office in the basement,” Chris Carter says. Gillian Anderson recalls having a phone conversation with Tom Waits about guest starring and… It’s not an answer to the question.
4:13 p.m. Strong female character. What impact did it have on the genre? “Scully had quite a huge impact on people from aspects of her personality and her personal strength and things she stood up for. But she was also a decent human being. People listened to her and she got to boss people around,” Anderson says. “Scully was kinda my fantasy woman. She was strong and smart and opinionated and tough and resourceful. All of those things that I like,” Carter says.
4:15 p.m. Why did Carter give Scully her religious side? “It was a natural for me, because she was a scientist, but that made her character a sort if one-dimensional character, but if she had a religious upbringing, that was always tearing at her… She had those two warring sides to her character,” Carter explains.
4:16 p.m. A “House of Mirth” question for Gillian. “I think probably, above all else, it was just us trying really hard to manifest his [Terrence Davies] ideas,” she says.
4:16 p.m. A Pikachu asks what it was about the open-ended format of “The X-Files” that spoke to the audience. Carter talks about “Wiseguy” as proof that people had successfully done open-ending before. “I think we showed that you can actually have a spine to the show that was an ongoing storyline that people would come back to week-to-week,” Carter says. Carter says that they didn’t plan the alternation with mythology episodes. It just happened.
4:19 p.m. Duchovny and Anderson are asked which city they most liked to shoot in. “I think nostalgically, that’ll be for me the ‘X-Files’ home,” he says of Vancouver. “The energy of beginnings and getting to know all of these people and just starting something where we didn’t know what it was going to be,” he says. “I think I have to agree,” Anderson says, but she says that the show formed families in each city.
4:21 p.m. A woman was inspired to get a PhD in physics by Dana Scully. “A lot of women actually have come up and told me that she went into physics because of Scully,” Anderson says. She refers to something called The Scully Effect, which was a textbook’s explanation for a big bump in women becoming involved in the sciences. “From my point of view, men often come up to me and tell me that they got into Scully because of Mulder,” Duchovny adds, helpfully.
4:22 p.m. The post-Cold War Era was the start of the show. How relevant does Carter see that now? “The suspicions and the conspiracy theories are rampant today, so I think that if ‘The X-Files’ were to come back now, you could do the show now,” Carter says. “We went through a period there where I think ‘The X-Files'” was not-relevant,” he adds.
4:23 p.m. Which episode creeped anybody out most? “I think seeing Darin in that toilet… that was pretty creepy,” Carter says.
4:24 p.m. A question about “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” and the genius of Charles Nelson Reilly. “I loved him on ‘Match Game,'” Duchovny says. “He was fun. He was irreverent,” Anderson says. Darin says that he had the idea for the episode before he ever started on “X-Files” and when he pitched it to Jim Wong, Wong said never to bring it up again and he only wrote it after Wong left the show.
4:26 p.m. The last questioner thanks all of the panelists. She asks Gillian about saying she’d never do TV again and her current busy TV character. What brought her back? “It was mostly just because of the time commitment. When the series ended, I didn’t know whether I wanted to be on another set again, period,” she says. “After enough time passed and looking at material that was coming my way and saying ‘No’ to so many things and just realizing… it was just about timing,” she says, adding that she feels very strongly about “The Fall.” Then NBC offered her a short arc on “Hannibal” and then the character grew on her. She doesn’t mention her midseason drama “Crisis.”
4:28 p.m. Will Anderson and Duchovny ever work together outside of the “X-Files” world in different projects. “Well, apparently lot,” Anderson says. Duchovny says that their “X-Files” relationship is sacred and it would have to be something special to get him to do something completely different with her.
4:29 p.m. And the future? “You need a reason to get excited about going on and doing it again, because it’s hard, hard work, but this is very interesting,” Carter says coyly.
4:30 p.m. Anderson offers to sell the Mulder/Scully stand-up on stage for charity. There are bids of a couple hundred and possibly a thousand. “This is how we’re going to get the movie made, by the way,” Duchovny says. “This is our Kickstarter,” Anderson says. She vows to “write something special on it.”
And that’s all, folks… I’m off to “Dexter.”