On The X-Files, fluke worms grow to be Rock-sized, sharks walk on two legs, and UFOs take off more regularly than airline flights. In other words, anything can happen. So, although his character, the nefarious Cigarette-Smoking Man, took what appeared to be a fatal fall in last year's finale, William B. Davis believes that viewers might not have seen the last of him.

"[My fate] was left deliberately ambiguous," the actor tells TV Guide Online. "At the end of the season, they really didn't know if the series would be continuing. Once they found that it was, they didn't want to engage the new character [Doggett] in the old stories... so they've gone in a different direction.

"I don't know what their thoughts are now on those loose ends," he adds, "including me at the bottom of the stairs!"

Whether at last the villain really was served his just desserts, his portrayer doesn't see a little thing like his passing as an obstacle to a return engagement. "Even if I am dead, most of the dead ones come back for some kind of haunting story in somebody's mind," he notes. "God knows, Deep Throat's been back several times, X has... It's certainly doable."

X-Files creator Chris Carter concurs. But Davis's destiny ultimately may be out of even his hands. The chances of the menacing Marlboro man lighting up again, the boss concedes, are "dependent on if there's a ninth season."