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The X-Files Magazine: The Next Files

The X-Files Magazine [US]
The Next Files

[typed by Angie K]

At the outset of Season Eight, several worries plagued executive producer Frank Spotnitz’s mind, not the least of which was how the fans would react to the show’s many changes. Now with several eighth season episodes under his belt, Spotnitz took some time to take stock of the risk-taking year and give The X-Files Official Magazine a few hints about what’s in store for the rest of the season.

THE X-FILES OFFICIAL MAGAZINE: Now that you’re a quarter of the way into the eighth season, how do you feel about the way it’s shaping up?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I gotta say I feel much more relaxed and confident than I imagined I would be because it’s a huge gamble what we’ve done, losing one of our stars. The guy who really defined and drove the series was this character of Mulder, the believer, and I think a lot of people thought we were crazy, going forward without David for a number of episodes. But I’ve got to say, I’m feeling really good about the work, very proud of what we’ve done and immensely satisfied and pleased with Robert Patrick. And I don’t know whether the audience will connect or not, but I know we all do.

THE X-FILES: Have Robert Patrick’s performances so far lived up to your expectations?

SPOTNITZ: [They’ve] exceeded them. He’s just a terrific actor and a great guy. He wants to be here and he works really hard every day. You look for actors who are more than actors, who just inhabit a role, have a presence and people just want to watch them. It’s very hard to find that. It’s just a quality certain people have. And we all feel he’s got that.

THE X-FILES: How’s the chemistry between Patrick and Gillian Anderson?

SPOTNITZ: You know, from the first scene they had together, they have connected. And Gillian has spoken of this in interviews, there’s a certain chemistry with her and Mulder, and this is a completely different chemistry. It’s a completely different character and different relationship. It’s nothing like [Mulder and Scully’s] relationship, but there is something, like an electricity, a tension, that you can sense between these two actors, and it commands your attention.

THE X-FILES: What fueled the decision to bring Kersh back?

SPOTNITZ: Back when we first created the character in Season Six, [Kersh] was really designed to be the antagonist that Skinner was way in the beginning of the series. In the first and second seasons, Skinner was much more unreliable as an ally, and we felt that we needed that again. We needed somebody to play that role because Skinner clearly shows colors as a good guy. And so Kersh came in and was antagonistic in the sixth season, and then as we were coming back now for the eighth season with Skinner truly a believer, we needed him back to provide conflict. And also, we love the actor, James Pickens Jr. We thought he did a great job.

THE X-FILES: When we last spoke, you mentioned your goal to return to the dark, scary stand-alones that dominated The X-Files’ first few seasons. Has that changed at all?

SPOTNITZ: [We’ve] really stayed true to our aim. I think as you get into February sweeps, it’ll start to change because we’ll come closer to finding Mulder. And when Mulder is finally found and returned to the series-under circumstances that I don’t want to give away-that’s gonna change the dynamic because it truly will be a three-legged show. Doggett’s not leaving. So you’ll have Mulder, Scully and Doggett, and that’s gonna be a really interesting dynamic, and we’re still trying to figure out how it’s gonna work.

THE X-FILES: Can we expect to see David Duchovny back on the show any time before the mid-year mark?

SPOTNITZ: Yes. He’ll be in at least two episodes before he is found, but these are flashbacks. He’ll be in an episode in January, and he’ll be in an episode again in February. I mean that’s the plan. That can change still.

THE X-FILES: Have some of the fan’s worries about Season Eight’s many changes abated?

SPOTNITZ: What fans sometimes forget-because I get these e-mails or letters from people who talk about this or that-[is] that we love the show as much as they do. We spend every waking hour thinking about this show and these characters. And I know that, for me as a fan of the show for eight years, I’m happy and satisfied. I imagine most of the die-hard fans will be, too.

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