In Season 11 of The X-Files, the most interesting character of this season could be a new one. The world of the show has always been populated by shadowy, semi-anonymous figures who are power players in the grand conspiracy that seems to be influencing everything. New X-Files character Erika Price seems to be another mystery for Mulder and Scully to unravel.
According to Deadline, Erika Price is “a powerful figure who represents a mysterious organization.” She's played by Primetime Emmy-award-winning actor Barbara Hershey. And at the time the casting was announced, that was pretty much all the available information.
Lucky for fans, Hershey has since revealed a few details about her new role. In an interview with AARP, she said that she was drawn to play Erika because she likes “mysterious characters," and she also acknowledged that she's found it difficult to find challenging roles as she gets older. Moreover, the actor confirmed that her character would be appearing in three of the 10 Season 11 episodes. She didn't give away all of Erika's secrets, but she did tease some possible outcomes. She said:
"Like many characters on X-Files, she has shadowy intentions and motivations. I mean, she could be working for the Cigarette Smoking Man. Or she could be working with people to kill Mulder. Or she could be trying to recruit him. That’s the fun in trying to figure out her motives. I like to show a lot of different sides of the character at once — nobody is just one thing. It’s fun for the audience, for sure, but also fun for an actor."
Her mentioning the Cigarette Smoking Man could be quite telling, because she’s not the only person to be talking about him and Erika in the same breath. In an interview with Deadline, the show's creator Chris Carter revealed a bit more about the character, including something intriguing about the company she keeps. “Her character is, I would call it, someone who has been in the past in league with the Cigarette Smoking Man,” he said.
Since Carter said her association with Cigarette Smoking Man was in the past, that would seem to suggest that she doesn’t work with him anymore. And that leads to two distinct possibilities for her character. Erika has either splintered off from the Cigarette Smoking Man for her own evil purposes separate from his, or realized he was evil and changed her ways to work to stop him. Perhaps she'll be an ally to Mulder and Scully.
That’s not the only theory out there about her character, though. Kimberly Roots noted for TV Line that Hershey, although cast as Price, looks very similar to another X-Files character: Diana Fowley, played by Mimi Rogers. For those who don’t remember, Diana like Mulder and Scully was an agent at the FBI. Her claim to fame was her involvement with the alien hybrid projects and her romantic past with Mulder. Maybe Erika is related to Fowley somehow, though that remains to be seen.
It is still far too early to tell whether Erika Price will be a hero or a villain on the series. But certainly evidence is stacking up in favor of Price being a malevolent force in The X-Files universe. But maybe fans should presume her innocent until she’s proven guilty. The show’s creator said that she’s worked with the evil Cigarette Smoking Man, however things are not always as they seem. And it could very well be the case that these teases are a bait and switch for fans. Whatever Erika's aims, Mulder and Scull are finally back on the case.