How the revived 'X-Files' made that massive life-sized alien spaceship for its pricey premiere

Warning: Spoilers for the first episode of the new “X-Files” below.
“The X-Files” creator Chris Carter wanted the show’s revival to be more than just your standard return. He wanted it to be fresher, more contemporary, and bigger than it had been. The series accomplished that right off the bat by creating the largest prop it has ever made for the premiere episode. But that wasn’t even the most expensive episode of the new season.

On Sunday, viewers got an eyeful when the series showed a UFO crash. Modelled after the iconic 1950s flying saucer, the scene showed viewers what really went down at Roswell. Led by Mark Freeborn of the art department, the ship took a team of painters, sculptors, and visual-effects pros to pull off.

According to Freeborn, the life-sized flying saucer was 50 feet in diameter.

The crashed-saucer scene serves a significant purpose for the series. It and its alien passenger found near the site set up a conspiracy that changes the mission of FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). The military is recreating alien technology with the goal of using it for a military takeover of the government. It uses all the privileges afforded by the Patriot Act, the NSA, and Homeland Security to monitor everyone’s conversations and destroys anything and anyone in its path to overthrowing the government.

Fox’s marketing department “crashed” a replica of the saucer into LA’s The Grove shopping center on Friday.

With such a showpiece, how could episode one not be the most costly of the six-part return?

“Isn’t that amazing? I would have thought it was the most expensive,” an incredulous Carter told Business Insider. 

The x files mulder scully child william foxEd Araquel/FOXFrom left, guest star Megan Peta Hill, David Duchovny, and Gillian Anderson on the ‘Founder’s Mutation’ episode of ‘The X-Files.’

In fact, the most expensive episode of the new run is episode two, Carter revealed. Titled “Founder’s Mutation,” it centres on the results of testing on children — some born with horrible deformities, others with great powers — and will cause Mulder and Scully to wonder about the child they gave up for adoption, William.

How did it cost more than an episode that featured a life-sized UFO? 

“It had the most locations, it used some of the most expensive equipment, and I think it had a large cast,” Carter said about the episode.

Fans will be able to watch the explosive (and expensive) episode when it airs Monday at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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