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[Unknown] Chris Carter throws virtually everything at viewers in his new SF series Harsh Realm

Chris Carter throws virtually everything at viewers in his new SF series Harsh Realm
Ian Spelling

[typed by alfornos]

–snip stuff about Harsh Realm–

Deleting Files

Creatively speaking, that’s also what sets the series apart from The X Files and makes it a fresh challenge for Carter, who’s loath to repeat himself. “It’s a completely different kind of storytelling vehicle,” he says. “So, creatively, it’s a matter of putting on another kind of hat. As a writer, we’re telling mythic war stories, but it’s also a buddy concept. So, you’re telling stories not about a man and a woman who have a platonic friendship, but something about two men who have a very strong and passionate friendship. That’s a great dynamic to write for, and it’s something different for us.”

Though he’ll be deeply involved in the day-to-day of Harsh Realm, which films in Vancouver, British Columbia and will feature music composed by X-vet Mark Snow, don’t expect Carter to step behind the camera as a director. He has taken that assignment frequently during the X-Files’ run, but there’s simply not enough time in his day right now. He’ll leave the shot-calling to the likes of Kim Manners, Michael Watkins and others. “This year I will be responsible for 44 hours of entertainment programming, and I think it’s important for a show that *may* be in its *last year* – X-Files – and a show that is in its *first year* – Harsh Realm – to get as much of my attention as they can get,” he says. “That means I won’t be directing The X Files this season, either.”

That statement brings us to The X Files, which returns, appropriately, November 7 for its seventh and, presumably, final season. Carter promises that this year will be a doozy, with the sixth season’s lighthearted episodes giving way to far scarier hours, and with everything building to the show’s climax should an eighth year not come to pass. David Duchovny has said again and again that he plans to bid the small-screen Fox Mulder farewell when his contract expires at the season’s end, and his recent lawsuit against Fox would seem to preclude reconsideration of that stance. Although Anderson’s contract does call for her participation in an eighth season, Carter’s ends this year as well. Everything, to put it simply, remains up in the air.

What is Carter’s gut instinct? “I don’t know right now,” he responds. “Certainly, there *is* talk about The X Files going on. But until I hear differently, I’ve got to play this seventh season as the end of the show.” Would he even want the show to go on without him? “I feel very possessive of The X Files,” he says. “So I, of course, worry about its health, because I see wonderful movies to be done in the future, and I don’t want the series to just fade away.”

And speaking of future features, where do matters stand regarding the second one? “I don’t know how far off it is. We would like to do it sooner rather than later, but it’s all about energy, time and intention.”

Looking back at season six, Carter chooses some personal highlights. “I liked Triangle. I liked David’s episode very much,” he says, referring to The Unnatural, a baseball-themed outing written and directed by Duchovny. “I liked the Dreamland two-parter and Arcadia, too, but those were very light episodes were kind of comical. [sic] Monday was a great episode. The mythology shows worked well and I particularly liked the season finale [Biogenesis]. I’ve written the first two episodes of this season and they, with the sixth season finale, make a three-episode arc.

-snip 5 paragraphs about Millennium-

Even as Carter speaks, the wheels are turning at Ten Thirteen Productions. The company hopes to get going with several features, and they’re developing other TV shows as well. Personally, Carter hopes to eke out an hour here and there to pen a novel he has wanted to do for a long while. “It is,” he reveals, “a genre thing.”

The X Files, Millennium, an X Files feature, Harsh Realm and perhaps even a genre novel? Hmm, that’s an awful lot of otherworldly projects for a man who admits he was never much of a SF guy. What gives? There’s simply no denying the genre’s infinite storytelling capacity. “Science fiction opens opportunities that reality prevents you from exploring,” Chris Carter concludes, “which is that all things are transmutable at all times.”

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