Archive for November, 2000

The X-Files Official Site: Fox Chat with Vince Gilligan

Nov-30-2000
The X-Files Official Site
Fox Chat with Vince Gilligan

FOXcom_Host: Okay, all you X-Philes, now’s your chance to chat with one of the big guys… Welcome, Vince!

Vince Gilligan: Hi everybody!

miggie: Hi Vince! Do you consider yourself a shipper?

Vince Gilligan: LOL! I don’t really think of it in those terms. But I do love the relationship between Mulder and Scully. I have since I became a fan of the show way back in 1993!

Michelly36: have you always wanted to be a writer, or did it just happen?

Vince Gilligan: Yes I always wanted to be a writer. It’s something I naturally gravitated toward back in elementary school. And I always loved movies. So back when I was 10 or 11 years old I would write little movie scripts that I would shoot on Super 8 film with my brother Patrick as the star.

amyh: Vince, you’re the best — well, you and John, and Frank and Chris… I’m sure this is an unfair question, but what’s your favorite episode that you’ve written?

dave: Out of all the episodes you’ve written, which one is your favorite?

Vince Gilligan: Good questions… Unfortunately, I don’t really have a single favorite. For what it’s worth though, I can mention one that I was very proud of… That other people don’t usually consider one of my best and that was “Folie A Deux.” I had a lot of fun writing that one.

Zotzirene: How were you hired for the XF?

Vince Gilligan: I was writing movie scripts back in 1993 and making a living doing that, when I mentioned to my agent that I was a big fan of this new TV show called The X-Files. She got me a meeting with Chris Carter. This was in the middle of season two of the series. And I came in to meet Chris and Howard Gordon, basically just to tell them both what a great show I thought they had. One thing led to another, and I pitched them an idea I had come up with in the hotel room the night before. That pitch turned into the episode “Soft Light,” which aired late in season two.

jan281986: where do you get your ideas from?

Vince Gilligan: That’s always a good question, and also the single toughest question to answer. The best I can say is they just sort of come to you when you’re desperate for them. In other words, it’s our job to come up with these episodes and we’re always attuned to new ideas, and they come from the unlikeliest places, or sometimes they just pop full-blown into our heads. But invariably I come up with an idea for an episode, and then promptly forget where exactly it came from. That’s not counting ideas that Frank Spotnitz or John Shiban comes up with. I can’t speak to how they do it!

miggie: Vince, you’ve written some of the most popular episodes among fans, like the wonderful “Bad Blood”, “Small Potatoes” and “Je Souhaite.” One of the reasons these episodes are popular it’s the dead-on characterizations for Mulder and Scully. How do you see them in your… er… head?

Vince Gilligan: I guess it helped that I started my relationship with The X-Files as a fan. I loved the dynamic between Mulder and Scully from the first episode I watched of the series. I love them because they have great affection for one another and great respect for one another, and it’s clear they enjoy each other’s company. To me, they’ve always been the kind of characters I wish I knew in real life — the kind of people I’d love to sit down and have a beer with. I guess that’s why their voices come easy to me, if in fact they do.

Chris_26: Hi, I was wondering if you know Gillian or David well. Or are you strictly a behind-the-scenes guy and disappear when the camera rolls?

Vince Gilligan: I love to visit the set every chance I get. Unfortunately these days all of us writers are so busy that we don’t get to do that very often. But David and Gillian are both wonderful people. David is very funny and Gillian is a sweetheart. I can’t say I know them extremely well, but what I see of them on the set makes me respect them both very much.

Sullivan: Did you enjoy directing “Je Souhaite?” Will you do it again?

Vince Gilligan: I loved directing “Je Souhaite,” and I would love to direct another episode. I can’t tell you how nervous I was in the month leading up to directing that episode. It was a very scary time for me. But once I got on the set, and the crew was so wonderfully supportive of me, and David and Gillian were so great to work with, that I just started to relax and have a good time. Directing is a very hard job, but it’s definitely something I’d like to attempt again.

foxandrat: Vince, what inspired “Roadrunners?” A lot of fans have been comparing it to season one’s “Ice”. Did you take inspiration from that episode or from something entirely different?

Vince Gilligan: Actually, “Roadrunners” is a bit of an homage to the Spencer Tracy movie Bad Day at Black Rock. It’s a wonderful movie in which Spencer Tracy visits a small town in the desert, and quickly realizes nobody wants him there. He winds up uncovering its dark secret, although that secret has nothing to do with Giant Messianic banana slugs. If you’re not familiar with this movie, by all means go out and rent it. I won’t ruin the ending for you.

anna: Some fans were disturbed by the violent sexual imagery that was used to portray Mulder in “Without” and Scully in “Roadrunners” Is this the way the writers prefer to show them as sexual beings, rather than allowing them to be sexual in the context of a romantic relationship?

Vince Gilligan: I think you’re reading too much into it.

emm_phx: A number of fans, especially women, are disturbed by the “dumbing down”, submission, and victimization of Scully, ESPECIALLY during “Roadrunners.” Are you aware of these concerns? Is Scully’s dumbing down vis a vis that manly-man Doggett intentional?

Vince Gilligan: I disagree completely. I think Scully is extremely smart in that episode, just like we endeavor to make her in every episode. It sounds like what you’re responding to is the scene where she is held captive against her will. That definitely is a disturbing scene, but my take on it is that the very same thing could have happened to Mulder, a male figure. And in fact, Mulder has probably been held against his will and had terrible things done to him as many times in the past as Scully has.

DanaKatherineScully: how come you come up with all the stomach churning episodes?

Vince Gilligan: I thought I came up with all the funny episodes! Seriously though, “Roadrunners” was pretty disgusting, I’ll admit…

amyh: Love your work on the show — and Home Fries of course! How would you define the dynamic between Mulder and Scully? Conversely, how would you define the dynamic between Doggett and Scully?

Vince Gilligan: Good question….As I said earlier, Mulder and Scully’s relationship is one based on great mutual respect. Of course, it’s a little early to tell yet, but I hope Doggett and Scully’s relationship will be based on the same kind of shared respect for one another. This is not to say that Doggett will replace Agent Mulder! No one could do that. Mulder will no doubt always be the most important person in Scully’s life, but that shouldn’t rule out her having a work relationship with another FBI agent — one based on mutual respect.

Foxfire: In “Pusher,” as in so many of your episodes you find Mulder and Scully pushed to their psychological limit. As a writer I find it difficult to empathize with the characters, how do you manage it?

Vince Gilligan: Good question… I guess it helps to love the characters you are writing, as I said before…That’s the real trick to writing — putting yourself into the heads of the characters you are giving voice to. Maybe it comes down to common ground: Always finding a way to identify with the character you are writing. And to understand his or her hopes and fears and loves and hates.

silent_alien: I loved “Pusher!!” It was very creative…What made you think of it?

Vince Gilligan: Gosh, it was so long ago, let me think… As I recall, the teaser came first. I stole the idea for the teaser from the ending of an old movie script that I had written the previous summer. At the end of that movie the good guy uses post-hypnotic suggestion on the bad guy to make him pull out in front of a truck in his little sports car. I never wound up actually writing that scene in the movie script because I couldn’t figure out how to fit it in. But then I remembered the idea months and months later. We added the supernatural twist of telekinetic mind control, and it became “Pusher.”

Jewlz: “X-Cops,” which I love by the way, was right on target! How many episodes of Cops did you watch in order to prepare for the making of “X-Cops?”

Vince Gilligan: I had been a fan of Cops even longer than I had been a fan of The X-Files, by virtue of the fact that it has been on the air longer. I couldn’t tell you how many episodes I’ve seen over the years. But the big thing I did in preparation for writing that episode was to spend an 8 PM to 3 AM shift with the LA County Sheriff’s Department. I rode along with a deputy who kept apologizing for how slow the “action” was that night. Nonetheless, he wound up pulling his gun on no fewer than five occasions! It was very exciting — better than Disneyland! I even got to wear a bulletproof vest.

Zotzirene: How did David Duchovny’s 11th hour decision to return to the show affect the writing staff?

Vince Gilligan: It made for a tough close to last season, I’ll admit. Not just for the writing staff but for the crew as well. As no one was sure whether or not it was time to move on to new jobs. But I understand it was a tough decision for David to make and I’m glad that this series I love so much is still on the air. And I’m glad David will be back, at least for half a season. T_Hoese: Any clue about Mulder’s return? Do you know ANYTHING you can tell us? :o)

Vince Gilligan: Yes I know a little bit about Mulder’s return, but I’m not telling YOU!! You’ll just have to wait and see. It’s more fun that way, don’t you think?

PamalaX: Do you miss Mulder as a fan?

Vince Gilligan: I love the character of Mulder, as I’ve said, and I do miss him as a fan. However — and I know a lot of you won’t want to hear this — as a WRITER, I love the character of Agent Doggett. This is because he is an entirely new voice that I get to write for.

scully001: what do you think of the addition of John Doggett?

Vince Gilligan: He is a good, interesting character to me, and it’ll be fun to see where he winds up. Also the actor who plays him, Robert Patrick, is an exceptionally nice man who seems to feel truly honored to be here. Again, I know a lot of you don’t want to hear that, but I don’t think that has to take away from Mulder.

Adamrs: Chris Carter had said that this season’s episodes would focus on more “magical realism” and maybe sequeling some old episodes. Does this still stand?

Vince Gilligan: I never heard that quote. I wasn’t aware that he had said that. All I can tell you for sure is that we’re going to try to go back to our roots to a certain extent. We’re going to try to make this season one of the scariest ever.

Sullivan: Did the fact you became executive producer of The X-Files this year changed something to your work?

Vince Gilligan: No, because I’m doing the same job I’ve always done. I definitely appreciate the bump up in title, however. It makes me very proud to have attained that title on this show that I enjoy working for so much. And working on so much. But at the end of the day I’m doing the exact same job, just with a better title.

Tootles: Are you going to write at all for The Lone Gunmen spinoff?

Vince Gilligan: Absolutely!

foxandrat: What can you tell us about The Lone Gunmen series?

Vince Gilligan: I’m very excited about it too, as is Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz and John Shiban. I can tell you that the show is very funny. It’s sort of like a comedic version of Mission Impossible — except that the Mission Impossible team in this case has no money and has to drive around in a 1969 VW Microbus. I think this show is going to be a kick. I think people are going to enjoy it very much — at least I hope so. But it’s a real ball to write.

bear: Why do you think there have never been female writers (besides Gillian)?

Vince Gilligan: That’s not true, actually. When I joined the writing staff in 1995, we had a female writer named Kim Newton. Before that we had a woman named Marilyn Osborne, who went on to write for Touched By An Angel. Since then we’ve had the Mayhew sisters — Vivian and Valerie. And I wouldn’t want to forget Sara Charno, who wrote a couple of my favorite episodes, “Aubrey” and “The Calusari.”

gordon715: how about a female director?

Vince Gilligan: Also this year for the first time I’m proud to say we’re going to have a couple of female directors. One on The Lone Gunman show, and one on The X-Files. We have a wonderful female writer on The Lone Gunman show as well — a woman named Nandi Bowe, who we think is great.

sully: do you see the cigarette-smoking-man re-entering the picture?

Vince Gilligan: As a fan, I’d love to see CSM come back. I couldn’t really answer that however because his character has always been used in the mythology episodes that Chris and Frank write. I’ve never really had a hand in writing any mythology episodes, save for “Memento Mori,” which I guess you could count. But I don’t think I’ve ever actually written for the CSM. So I leave the answer to that question up to Chris and Frank, but unfortunately they’re not here.

dmdcash: Any news on the future of Mulder/Scully and the baby? We need some good news to look to…

chesire: There is much speculation over the paternity — and even species! — of Scully’s baby. Any hints? 🙂

Vince Gilligan: Let me ask you something — Do you go sneaking around the house on Christmas eve, trying to figure out where all the presents are hidden? What fun would it be if I told you that the father of Scully’s baby was none other than Frohike? Whoops! I’ve let the cat out of the bag… I’m just kidding everybody!

FOXcom_Host: Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to Vince now…

VinceFan: Vince, first of all, I wanted to say: I am a big fan of you! I live in Brazil and we haven’t watched any 8th season episodes yet and I’m a bit nervous about it, but I trust you to continue making great episodes as always…

Vince Gilligan: Thank you so much for being fans of the show! I know many of you are nervous about the direction things SEEM to be taking, but just know that nothing is necessarily as it appears in The X-Files. Also know that all of us here are fans of the show, as well as big fans of Mulder and Scully. We’ll do our best to do right by them, and by Agent Doggett as well.

FOXcom_Host: Goodbye, Vince, and thank you for being here!

Vince Gilligan: Best wishes to everyone and have a great and safe holiday season!

Chicago Tribune: Trial by ‘File’: Scully and new parter face first ‘monster’ test

Nov-16-2000
Chicago Tribune
Trial by ‘File’: Scully and new parter face first ‘monster’ test
Allan Johnson

[posted to atxfa by Alfornos]

Now that the two-part season premiere of Fox’s “The X-Files” has come and gone, the real test begins.

Last Sunday’s episode concluded yet another chapter in the paranormal series’ so-called “mythology.” This intricate, sometimes confusing history of the show includes government coverups of alien existence, alien plans for world domination, and the struggle of intrepid FBI agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) to reveal the truth.

Mulder has been abducted by those marauding aliens and subjected to some really nasty experiments. This storyline is a convenient way of explaining away Duchovny’s absence from the series, since he’s only contracted to be in half of this season’s episodes.

“The X-Files” passed its first test. It recast Mulder’s partner, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), as the show’s center, a former skeptic of things that go bump in the night. It introduced agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick) as Scully’s new associate in investigating X-Files who also leads the investigation into Mulder’s “disappearance.” And it effectively put Mulder in the background while keeping him very much a part of the series.

But the meat and potatoes of “The X-Files” has always been its “monster” episodes. These are the stand-alone segments that featured Mulder and Scully tracking various freaks, mutants and creatures.

The first such episode is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sunday on WFLD-Ch. 32. Scully and Doggett investigate their first X-File together, a case involving murders that seemed to have been committed by a batlike creature.

If the relationship between Scully and Doggett doesn’t work, and if the story feels like a rehash of other monster episodes, it could signal the final creative demise of “The X-Files.” (No advance tape of the episode was available.)

Those connected with the series say don’t write obituaries yet.

According to producer-creator Chris Carter, the show has “found a new way to tell good scary stories,” mostly because of the addition of Patrick, the abduction of Mulder, and Scully’s transformation to reluctant believer.

“I think what that does for us is it forces us to increase a new dynamic in the storytelling,” Carter says. “And I think of it as going back, really, to the first season and telling good, scary stories again, using this new dynamic.

“The cases come to them through the X-Files office, but now, of course, Scully is the one holding the remote on the project and taking Doggett through the cases, and he is the one who is shaking his head saying this can’t be.”

Says Patrick of Doggett: “He has to really lean on Scully’s experience with this, and he’s sort of nurtured that relationship, I guess, as a working partnership. And he’s dealing with things that he’s never had to deal with before.”

Carter had planned to do less mythology episodes this season, but now he realizes any show that has Mulder in it “becomes a kind of mythology episode.”

As is his nature, Carter is coy about future stand-alones . . . except for one: a man who is contaminated by “smart metal . . . which I think Robert [who played the morphing metallic cyborg T-2000 in “Terminator 2″] and everyone else can appreciate.”

Whether the stand-alone episodes work or not wasn’t an issue with Anderson. She had tired of the job and just didn’t want to be back (she was not only contracted for an eighth year, but she also is going to be around for a ninth if Fox wants one).

Now, she feels renewed.

“I felt that I was losing sight of what I had left to give,” she says. “Much to my chagrin, and also [because of] some conversation with Chris about the potential for the new season and the introduction of the new character, I started to get more interested and more excited about the potential of the new year.”

Anderson and Patrick are co-stars, but it really falls on Anderson to carry the show as Scully because she is the one fans have formed a relationship with. Anderson says rediscovering Scully is the reason she has been able to shoulder the load.

“What I’ve found since Scully has had more to do, and Mulder has kind of temporarily fallen into the background, [is] it almost feels as if Scully has found her voice again,” she says. “It’s almost as if when there was two of us [Scully and Mulder], part of me kind of stepped down or stepped backwards in a way. And now that half of that equation is no longer here, it’s kind of allowed me to open up a bit more.”

Carter is going to see how this season goes, but he stresses, “I don’t want to go on with the show, unless the show can be good.”

We’ll see just how good it is on Sunday.

Fox chat with Chris Carter

Nov-06-2000
Fox chat with Chris Carter

FOX HOST:

Chris, welcome! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with the X-Files fans around the world.

Chris Carter: Thanks it’s nice to be doing this on the day after the Season Premiere in the U.S. And I’m anxious to hear what the fans who saw it thought of the episode and of Robert Patrick.

Joe Horton, USA: There has been much speculation online about the new season. Were you more excited or apprehensive about how this season would be received?

Chris Carter: I was both excited and apprehensive. I was excited because I thought it would be a challenge to partially reinvent the show. But, just as with the X-Files originally, you never know if the chemistry that you’ve imagined will actually work on screen.

Ana Pinto, Lisboa, Portugal: After all these years, HOW do you expect us to believe that Mulder has been lying to Scully about a possible brain illness?

Chris Carter: He hadn’t lied to her. The only thing that he did was withhold information last year…that he had been undergoing treatment. But it was the same illness that we saw him suffer from at the end of Season 6 and the beginning of Season 7.

Christina, Boston, USA: With Mulder absent for much of the season, will Scully finally get her own desk or appropriate Mulder’s?

Chris Carter: That’s a very good question. And I will leave episode three to answer it!

Adam Roberts, Memphis TN, USA: Ever since Krycek had utilized nanotechnology to control the health of Skinner, I thought that nanotechnology would resurface as a possible weapon against the aliens – do you plan to revisit this powerful technology during this next season?

Chris Carter: Yes! And it still is not clear for the audience, I think, whether or not the nanotechnology is still inside Skinner and if Krycek still has control over him due to this. This will be explored this season.

DB, Sao Paulo, Brasil: Chris, in the first season episode “Shapes” (#1X18), the chief of the tribe says to Mulder:-“FBI” -“I’ll see you in the in about… 8 years. When will this encounter take place?

Chris Carter: LOL. I guess it would be this year, wouldn’t it? Unless the Indian is wrong. That’s a very good question, and I hope no one else makes me think back to season one!

Danielly, Fortaleza, Brasil: How will the humor dose be administered in the new season? I think that little by little the x-files started losing its true essence, which was to frighten and make people go beyond the plausible reality, right?!

Chris Carter: Right. The humor has always been a part of The X-Files, but as the show matured it became a bigger and bigger part…where entire episodes would be based on a comedic premise. This year, we’re gonna go back to what we did so well in seasons one and two, and just tell good, scary stories. But the trademark humor between Mulder and Scully will now, at least for the beginning of the season, be left to Scully and Doggett.

Juanjo, Archena (Murcia), Spain: If Duchovny indeed leaves the series, will we see the death of Mulder?

Chris Carter: No. Not if I have anything to do with it! My contract runs out this year…and I have big plans for more X-Files movies and David Duchovny and Mulder are a part of those plans.

Claire, Dallas, USA: OK, will Mulder be phased out and replaced by Doggett?

Chris Carter: I read recently that David Duchovny is not ruling out a ninth season of the show. Robert Patrick has a multi-season contract, as does Gillian Anderson. Next year could be very interesting.

Bridget, Mackay, Australia: Was Scully’s pregnancy something that you envisioned from the very beginning of the series?

Chris Carter: Not really. Most things I had an idea how I was going to move the series toward in the end. But I never imagined Scully’s pregnancy; although, I didn’t imagine Gillian’s pregnancy during seasons one and two. That real pregnancy created an interesting fictional problem and this fictional pregnancy helps solve a real problem…which is, how to keep the show interesting between two characters who are romantically involved but have never had any physical contact. It’s sex, The X-Files way!

Marta_r, Sao Paulo, Brasil: What does the future of Scully’s baby hold? Could you share any type of information at this point?

Chris Carter: Scully will become Murphy Brown! And she’ll do a spinoff series where she’s a single mother by night…FBI agent by day. I’m predicting a hit.

Amber, Toronto, Canada: Is it Mulder’s baby??? Please oh please oh please let it be his!!! **fingers crossed** 😉

Chris Carter: The person asking that question has a great year in store.

Leonardo da Fonseca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Will Scully’s pregnancy interfere with her investigative capabilities? At the end of the season, is there a chance that Mulder and Doggett will work together?

Chris Carter: I think the answer to both questions is “yes.” But we’ll try to make a virtue of the problems that arise from Scully’s pregnancy. And Doggett and Mulder will undoubtedly have to work together sometime in the last half of the season.

Calli Webs, Bello Horizonte, Costa Rica: What is your rationale for sending a pregnant Scully out chasing monsters when she still hasn’t found Mulder. The myth seems so much meatier now, still so much unexplained, aliens planning an invasion…why not pursue that more?

Chris Carter: We try to tell many different stories, and not lean to heavily on the alien mythology. It’s been a winning approach and we’ll probably stick to it.

Zotzirene, Chicago, USA: Do you foresee the X-Files becoming similar to a show like “Law and Order” in its ability to move stars in and out over time, like a repertory company of sorts? Or is this show always going to be about Mulder and Scully?

Chris Carter: I don’t foresee it being like “Law & Order.” It could possibly go on without Mulder and Scully. But I’m not exactly sure how. It might have to be a “next generation” show.

Michael Doyle, Dublin, Ireland: It’s evident from X-Philes on Message Boards, the official FOX Forum and others, and on web-sites and news groups, that over 3/4’s of fans do not want the X Files to continue without Mulder, regardless of how much they like Agent Doggett. Will this affect your decision to make a 9th season?

Chris Carter: Yes. I’m finding the fan feedback important and I wouldn’t want to continue trying to produce a popular show with an unpopular approach.

Lilith, New York City, USA: If there is a ninth season with Gillian Anderson and not David Duchovny, will you spilt up our favorite duo or end the show? Do you think Scully could get along without Mulder?

Chris Carter: I only did the show this year if David Duchovny would come back. So… I’m reluctant to ever split Mulder and Scully up. But the actors’ contracts and Twentieth Century Fox’s ultimate control over the show’s destiny prevent me from being the only person with a vote.

Pat, Vancouver, USA: Last season, you said you have always known how you would like to end the series. Has David’s departure and Robert Patrick’s introduction this season changed your vision at all?

Chris Carter: Yes, because I never imagined the addition of Agent Doggett originally. But it doesn’t change the bigger ideas that I have.

Sandy, Greenville, SC, United States: Is it possible for The X-Files to return for season 9 without you in control? Could Fox take the show from Ten Thirteen if you don’t sign?

Chris Carter: I presume they could. They are legally the owners of the show. But I don’t believe they would force the show on an audience who wasn’t receptive.

Jennifer, Seminole, USA: The X-Files ratings have declined in the last two seasons. Why do you think that is and what are you doing to gain back the viewers you lost?

Chris Carter: We were very excited to see the ratings for last night. I believe the reduced number of viewers is due to several things: very good counter-programming on cable and on the other networks, natural attrition for a show in its later years, and general consumer appetites which are always looking for something new.

Paul Munnings, Manawaka, USA: Does any potential feature film rest on the success on this season, or is another movie a forgone conclusion in your mind? And what our your thoughts of David’s statement in a recent online chat that he wouldn’t want to return to the role of Fox Mulder in another movie?

Chris Carter: David has always said to me, and I’ve never read anywhere that he wasn’t interested in doing another movie. The success of the show this year is very important to the future of The X-Files, but I don’t believe we could fail so miserably as to sabotage chances for another movie.

Tom, Boston, USA: If there is another X-Files movie, would you expect it to pick up where the series leaves off, or would it be more stand-alone?

Chris Carter: It would definitely be more of a stand-alone. And I don’t look forward…or I wouldn’t look forward to trying to do another movie in the middle of the series. I still can’t believe we pulled that one off!

alex winck, criciuma, Brazil: You’ve said that your father was a union man, and John Doggett has a blue-collar sensibility. Did your father inspire you to create him?

Chris Carter: I’m sure that somewhere all of my male characters have elements of important male role models in my life. I never thought about Doggett being inspired at all by my father. But now that I do think about it, there are very interesting similarities to my father as a young man.

Heidi, Charlestown, USA: It’s going to be difficult for some fans to like the Doggett character since he will be partnered with Scully while Mulder is gone. Even though the change is necessary, it’s still pretty risky, so what about Doggett is going to appeal to us?

Chris Carter: He’s a very determined, capable, intelligent man and a person who is respectful of Scully and will ultimately be very protective of her during her pregnancy. He has a tough role of trying to be the man in the life of a woman who has another man constantly on her mind. I think all of us can relate to that in some way or another.

Sue Ellen, Sylva, USA: Hi Chris. I was wondering, what are some parallels between the Mulder and Doggett characters?

Chris Carter: I believe the most obvious parallel is in their relentlessness, but also in their uncompromising quality, their protective natures and in their integrity…and that’s pretty much it.

elly r, eugene, usa: A question on many people’s minds: will Scully and Doggett have any romantic interest in each other, or will this simply be a working relationship?

Chris Carter: It would be a very strange year if Scully, being pregnant and longing for Mulder, became romantically involved with Doggett…with everyone knowing that Mulder is ultimately going to return! But that sounds exactly like something I would do! (laugh)

Cynthia Delmar, Los Angeles, USA: Chris, when XF began you often mentioned how the characters of Mulder and Scully were like two sides of your own personality. Eight hard-working years later, how does John Doggett mirror you, other than his, uh, dogged work ethic?

Chris Carter: He is the kind of extreme version of Scully’s skeptical nature and of mine. In 8 years, I still have had no good, satisfying paranormal experience. So maybe he represents my growing impatience for that experience to happen.

Marta Pujol Monterde, Barcelona, Spain: Why did you pick Robert Patrick as the replacement for Mulder?

Chris Carter: He is not Mulder’s replacement. Robert Patrick is an addition to the show. He, along with Mitch Pileggi and his expanded role, were necessary to tell good X-Files stories in the absence of Mulder.

Allison, New York, USA: In the episode, The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati, there is much debate as to the meaning of the little boy on the beach. Many fans believe that he is a premonition, a glance at what is to come…Mulder’s future son. I am of the opinion that he represented Mulder’s inner child, or being. Since this episode is key to Mulder’s abduction and the mythology, is there any validity to the idea that this boy is representative of Mulder’s future child?

Chris Carter: I believe that David Duchovny, who co-wrote the episode with me, wanted the image of the child to be open to interpretation. But I think that both of those interpretations are valid and interesting.

Nicole Czerwinski, Furstenwalde, Germany: Why you decide for the “Millennium”-kiss?

Chris Carter: We thought after 7 years that they deserved that kiss that never happened in the movie. And that the most natural time in the world to do it would be on New Year’s and on New Year’s of the Millennium for that matter. I was very happy with the way it came out. But, it’s still amazing to me that so much importance and anticipation could be locked up in an innocent smooch… when we see or almost see is pretty racy sex on almost every other TV show.

merlinsky, Winston-Salem, USA: We heard there were 2 possible endings for “Requiem”…can you tell us what the other ending we didn’t see was and how long before you filmed the episode did you decide to make Scully’s pregnancy an option?

Chris Carter: It was never an option, it was always the ending. I just did not inform the actors or the crew that Scully’s pregnancy was going to be in the script. I had planned this for months with Frank Spotnitz and only delivered the script pages to Kim Manners — the director — and to Gillian and Mitch Pileggi minutes before they performed the scene. I’m just paranoid!

Elizabeth Grieve, Alamogordo, USA: Chris, what prompted you to finish the last season with Mulder’s abduction? Was this based on David Duchovny’s schedule?

Chris Carter: We didn’t know if David Duchovny would come back for Season Eight or be leaving the show. We didn’t know if The X-Files would come back, for that matter. The episode needed to be satisfying in any event and also set up a movie. I believe that it worked in almost every way and for any eventuality, but here we are!

Valerie Ouaknine, Helen, USA: Do you try to stay pretty detached from what your fans want as opposed to what you’ve been planning for the show?? And if so, is it hard??

Chris Carter: We’ve always listened to the fans and paid careful attention to what they were saying. Mulder and Scully’s relationship, and what happened in Season Seven, I’d say were greatly affected by some of the things that we read. But we’ve never done anything that we didn’t feel was right for the characters…and continue to trust our instincts.

Annelies van der Veen, Dieren, The Netherlands: From a neutral point of view you can see that a lot of fans are worried about the future for the Mulder and Scully relationship. They all want a happy ending for them. How much does that influence or affect you or your writing? Or do you feel that those fans have a lack of trust in your writing capabilities / qualities?

Chris Carter: I understand their need and I also understand about satisfying audience expectation, but I also know that people are prone to want things that aren’t necessarily good for them. Or the characters. Or The X-Files, for that matter.

JenS610, Pleasanton, CA, USA: There is one aspect of the show that’s always bothered me. Why is Mulder such a New York sports fan when he grew up in Massachusetts?

Chris Carter: That’s really due to David Duchovny’s being a fan of the Knicks. I think his New York fandom ends there though. Tell me if I’m wrong…

Thomas, Copenhagen, Dennmark: Are you planning to use Krycek more this season? I heard there was supposed to be an all Krycek episode last season but Nicholas Lea wasn’t available for it. Will there be an episode explaining Krycek and Skinners relationship this season?

Chris Carter: Yes. Krycek and Skinner will kiss! On New Year’s Eve. Blame it on the nanotechnology!

Andrea Kino, Yokkaichi, Japan: In both the x-files and millennium, the characters (Mulder, Frank, and his wife) utilize psychology as the basis of the investigations. This is not just a mere coincidence, right? What is Chris? personal interest in psychology?

Chris Carter: On The X-Files, Mulder is trained in psychology and the character of Frank Black used psychology to get into the minds of criminals. This is one of the most interesting aspects of storytelling for me. But, psychology only goes so far on both shows. And actually presents the leaping off point for the paranormal on The X-Files and for good and evil on Millennium. Both shows are actually about the limits of psychology.

Mercedes Quintieri, Buenos Aires, Argentina: If you could go back, would you do anything different with the storyline that you weren’t able to do at the time?

Chris Carter: I can’t say that I would, and I believe that we have made some very good and lucky choices. This occurred to me during the episodes Redux and Redux II, when the mythology storylines almost created themselves. But I’d have to think about this question…get back to me later!

Marlui Vega, veracruz, mexico: Has the responsibilty of creating one the most successful television series affected your personal life?

Chris Carter: I have no personal life! So, the answer is yes. Actually, it’s been a very consuming experience that has been full of sacrifice and I’m sure I’ll only make sense of it all once it’s over.

Eduardo Romero, mar del plata, argentina: What is your favorite series, apart from your own?

Chris Carter: I loved “The Larry Sanders Show.” But beyond that, there’s very little now that I feel compelled to watch regularly. That has more to do with time than preference.

Mulder_1013, USA: Hey, Chris, I was wondering what do you think people will think of this season? Just to let you know, that was the greatest episode in all 7 seasons.

Chris Carter: Wow. That’s very unexpected! I hope that other people liked it as much. I hope that this season continues to satisfy in the same way.

George, UK: Are we ever going to see Skinner’s wife again?

Chris Carter: Only when she renegotiates her alimony payments. No plans on the books.

Laura Cap, US: The alt.tv.xfiles news group had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the season opener. Were you expecting that kind of reaction? And what do you think appealed to people most about it?

Chris Carter: I think what appealed to people most is that the same elements that have made the show a success are still intact. There are just additions and new loyalties, but I’d say in this case it’s just about good storytelling…and an interesting approach from the actors and the director.

FOX HOST: Chris, you’ve been a fantastic guest… Thank you, again, for being part of this unprecedented event!

Chris Carter: Goodbye chatters! Thanks!

The X-Files Official Site: Chris Carter International Chat

Nov-06-2000
The X-Files Official Site
Chris Carter International Chat

FOX HOST says:
Chris, welcome! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with “The X-Files” fans around the world.

Chris Carter:
Thanks, it’s nice to be doing this on the day after the Season Premiere in the U.S. And I’m anxious to hear what the fans who saw it thought of the episode and of Robert Patrick.

Joe Horton, USA
There has been much speculation online about the new season. Were you more excited or apprehensive about how this season would be received?

Chris Carter:
I was both excited and apprehensive. I was excited because I thought it would be a challenge to partially reinvent the show. But, just as with “The X-Files” originally, you never know if the chemistry that you’ve imagined will actually work on screen.

Ana Pinto, Lisboa, Portugal
After all these years, HOW do you expect us to believe that Mulder has been lying to Scully about a possible brain illness?

Chris Carter:
He hadn’t lied to her. The only thing that he did was withhold information last year…that he had been undergoing treatment. But it was the same illness that we saw him suffer from at the end of Season 6 and the beginning of Season 7.

Christina, Boston, USA
With Mulder absent for much of the season, will Scully finally get her own desk or appropriate Mulder’s?

Chris Carter:
That’s a very good question. And I will leave Episode 3 to answer it!

Adam Roberts, Memphis TN, USA
Ever since Krycek had utilized nanotechnology to control the health of Skinner, I thought that nanotechnology would resurface as a possible weapon against the aliens – do you plan to revisit this powerful technology during this next season?

Chris Carter:
Yes! And it still is not clear for the audience, I think, whether or not the nanotechnology is still inside Skinner and if Krycek still has control over him due to this. This will be explored this season.

DB, São Paulo, Brasil
Chris, in the first season episode “Shapes” (#1X18), the chief of the tribe says to Mulder: -“FBI” -“I’ll see you in the in about… 8 years. When will this encounter take place?

Chris Carter:
LOL. I guess it would be this year, wouldn’t it? Unless the Indian is wrong. That’s a very good question, and I hope no one else makes me think back to Season 1!

Danielly, Fortaleza, Brasil
How will the humor dose be administered in the new season? I think that little by little The X-Files started losing its true essence, which was to frighten and make people go beyond the plausible reality, right?!

Chris Carter:
Right. The humor has always been a part of “The X-Files,” but as the show matured it became a bigger and bigger part…where entire episodes would be based on a comedic premise. This year, we’re gonna go back to what we did so well in Seasons 1 and 2, and just tell good, scary stories. But the trademark humor between Mulder and Scully will now, at least for the beginning of the season, be left to Scully and Doggett.

Juanjo, Archena (Murcia), Spain
If Duchovny indeed leaves the series, will we see the death of Mulder?

Chris Carter:
No. Not if I have anything to do with it! My contract runs out this year…and I have big plans for more “X-Files” movies, and David Duchovny and Mulder are a part of those plans.

Claire, Dallas, USA
OK, will Mulder be phased out and replaced by Doggett?

Chris Carter:
I read recently that David Duchovny is not ruling out a ninth season of the show. Robert Patrick has a multi-season contract, as does Gillian Anderson. Next year could be very interesting.

Bridget, Mackay, Australia
Was Scully’s pregnancy something that you envisioned from the very beginning of the series?

Chris Carter:
Not really. Most things I had an idea how I was going to move the series toward in the end. But I never imagined Scully’s pregnancy; although, I didn’t imagine Gillian’s pregnancy during Seasons 1 and 2. That real pregnancy created an interesting fictional problem and this fictional pregnancy helps solve a real problem…which is, how to keep the show interesting between two characters who are romantically involved but have never had any physical contact. It’s sex, the “X-Files” way!

Marta_r, Sao Paulo, Brasil
What does the future of Scully’s baby hold? Could you share any type of information at this point?

Chris Carter:
Scully will become Murphy Brown! And she’ll do a spinoff series where she’s a single mother by night…FBI agent by day. I’m predicting a hit.

Amber, Toronto, Canada
Is it Mulder’s baby??? Please oh please oh please let it be his!!! **fingers crossed** 😉

Chris Carter:
The person asking that question has a great year in store.

Leonardo da Fonseca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Will Scully’s pregnancy interfere with her investigative capabilities? At the end of the season, is there a chance that Mulder and Doggett will work together?

Chris Carter:
I think the answer to both questions is yes. But we’ll try to make a virtue of the problems that arise from Scully’s pregnancy. And Doggett and Mulder will undoubtedly have to work together sometime in the last half of the season.

Calli Webs, Bello Horizonte, Costa Rica
What is your rationale for sending a pregnant Scully out chasing monsters when she still hasn’t found Mulder. The myth seems so much meatier now, still so much unexplained, aliens planning an invasion…why not pursue that more?

Chris Carter:
We try to tell many different stories, and not lean too heavily on the alien mythology. It’s been a winning approach and we’ll probably stick to it.

Zotzirene, Chicago, USA
Do you foresee “The X-Files” becoming similar to a show like “Law & Order” in its ability to move stars in and out over time, like a repertory company of sorts? Or is this show always going to be about Mulder and Scully?

Chris Carter:
I don’t foresee it being like “Law & Order.” It could possibly go on without Mulder and Scully. But I’m not exactly sure how. It might have to be a “next generation” show.

Michael Doyle, Dublin, Ireland
It’s evident from X-Philes on Message Boards, the official FOX Forum and others, and on web-sites and news groups, that over 3/4’s of fans do not want the X Files to continue without Mulder, regardless of how much they like Agent Doggett. Will this affect your decision to make a 9th season?

Chris Carter:
Yes. I’m finding the fan feedback important and I wouldn’t want to continue trying to produce a popular show with an unpopular approach.

Lilith, New York City, USA
If there is a ninth season with Gillian Anderson and not David Duchovny, will you spilt up our favorite duo or end the show? Do you think Scully could get along without Mulder?

Chris Carter:
I only did the show this year if David Duchovny would come back. So…I’m reluctant to ever split Mulder and Scully up. But the actors’ contracts and Twentieth Century FOX’s ultimate control over the show’s destiny prevent me from being the only person with a vote.

Pat, Vancouver, USA
Last season, you said you have always known how you would like to end the series. Has David’s departure and Robert Patrick’s introduction this season changed your vision at all?

Chris Carter:
Yes, because I never imagined the addition of Agent Doggett originally. But it doesn’t change the bigger ideas that I have.

Sandy, Greenville, SC, United States
Is it possible for “The X-Files” to return for season 9 without you in control? Could Fox take the show from Ten Thirteen if you don’t sign?

Chris Carter:
I presume they could. They are legally the owners of the show. But I don’t believe they would force the show on an audience who wasn’t receptive.

Jennifer, Seminole, USA
“The X-Files” ratings have declined in the last two seasons. Why do you think that is and what are you doing to gain back the viewers you lost?

Chris Carter:
We were very excited to see the ratings for last night. I believe the reduced number of viewers is due to several things: very good counter-programming on cable and on the other networks, natural attrition for a show in its later years, and general consumer appetites which are always looking for something new.

Paul Munnings, Manawaka, USA
Does any potential feature film rest on the success on this season, or is another movie a foregone conclusion in your mind? And what are your thoughts of David’s statement in a recent online chat that he wouldn’t want to return to the role of Fox Mulder in another movie?

Chris Carter says:
David has always said to me, and I’ve never read anywhere otherwise, that he was interested in doing another movie. The success of the show this year is very important to the future of “The X-Files,” but I don’t believe we could fail so miserably as to sabotage chances for another movie.

Tom, Boston, USA
If there is another “X-Files” movie, would you expect it to pick up where the series leaves off, or would it be more stand-alone?

Chris Carter:
It would definitely be more of a stand-alone. And I don’t look forward…or I wouldn’t look forward to trying to do another movie in the middle of the series. I still can’t believe we pulled that one off!

alex winck, criciuma, Brazil
You’ve said that your father was a union man, and John Doggett has a blue-collar sensibility. Did your father inspire you to create him?

Chris Carter:
I’m sure that somewhere all of my male characters have elements of important male role models in my life. I never thought about Doggett being inspired at all by my father. But now that I do think about it, there are very interesting similarities to my father as a young man.

Heidi, Charlestown, USA
It’s going to be difficult for some fans to like the Doggett character since he will be partnered with Scully while Mulder is gone. Even though the change is necessary, it’s still pretty risky, so what about Doggett is going to appeal to us?

Chris Carter:
He’s a very determined, capable, intelligent man and a person who is respectful of Scully and will ultimately be very protective of her during her pregnancy. He has a tough role of trying to be the man in the life of a woman who has another man constantly on her mind. I think all of us can relate to that in some way or another.

Sue Ellen, Sylva, USA
Hi Chris. I was wondering, what are some parallels between the Mulder and Doggett characters?

Chris Carter:
I believe the most obvious parallel is in their relentlessness, but also in their uncompromising quality, their protective natures and in their integrity…and that’s pretty much it.

elly r, eugene, usa
A question on many people’s minds: will Scully and Doggett have any romantic interest in each other, or will this simply be a working relationship?

Chris Carter:
It would be a very strange year if Scully, being pregnant and longing for Mulder, became romantically involved with Doggett…with everyone knowing that Mulder is ultimately going to return! But that sounds exactly like something I would do! (laugh)

Cynthia Delmar, Los Angeles, USA
Chris, when XF began you often mentioned how the characters of Mulder and Scully were like two sides of your own personality. Eight hard-working years later, how does John Doggett mirror you, other than his, uh, dogged work ethic?

Chris Carter:
He is the kind of extreme version of Scully’s skeptical nature and of mine. In 8 years, I still have had no good, satisfying paranormal experience. So maybe he represents my growing impatience for that experience to happen.

Marta Pujol Monterde, Barcelona, Spain
Why did you pick Robert Patrick as the replacement for Mulder?

Chris Carter:
He is not Mulder’s replacement. Robert Patrick is an addition to the show. He, along with Mitch Pileggi and his expanded role, was necessary to tell good “X-Files” stories in the absence of Mulder.

Allison, New York, USA
In the episode, The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati, there is much debate as to the meaning of the little boy on the beach. Many fans believe that he is a premonition, a glance at what is to come…Mulder’s future son. I am of the opinion that he represented Mulder’s inner child, or being. Since this episode is key to Mulder’s abduction and the mythology, is there any validity to the idea that this boy is representative of Mulder’s future child?

Chris Carter:
I believe that David Duchovny, who co-wrote the episode with me, wanted the image of the child to be open to interpretation. But I think that both of those interpretations are valid and interesting.

Nicole Czerwinski, Fürstenwalde, Germany
Why you decide for the “Millennium”-kiss?

Chris Carter:
We thought after 7 years that they deserved that kiss that never happened in the movie. And that the most natural time in the world to do it would be on New Year’s and on New Year’s of the millennium for that matter. I was very happy with the way it came out. But it’s still amazing to me that so much importance and anticipation could be locked up in an innocent smooch…when what we see or almost see is pretty racy sex on almost every other TV show.

merlinsky, Winston-Salem, USA
We heard there were 2 possible endings for “Requiem”…can you tell us what the other ending we didn’t see was and how long before you filmed the episode did you decide to make Scully’s pregnancy an option?

Chris Carter:
It was never an option, it was always the ending. I just did not inform the actors or the crew that Scully’s pregnancy was going to be in the script. I had planned this for months with Frank Spotnitz and only delivered the script pages to Kim Manners — the director — and to Gillian and Mitch Pileggi minutes before they performed the scene. I’m just paranoid!

Elizabeth Grieve, Alamogordo, USA
Chris, what prompted you to finish the last season with Mulder’s abduction? Was this based on David Duchovny’s schedule?

Chris Carter:
We didn’t know if David Duchovny would come back for Season 8 or would be leaving the show. We didn’t know if “The X-Files” would come back, for that matter. The episode needed to be satisfying in any event and also set up a movie. I believe that it worked in almost every way and for any eventuality, but here we are!

Valerie Ouaknine, Helen, USA
Do you try to stay pretty detached from what your fans want as opposed to what you’ve been planning for the show?? And if so, is it hard??

Chris Carter:
We’ve always listened to the fans and paid careful attention to what they were saying. Mulder and Scully’s relationship, and what happened in Season 7, I’d say were greatly affected by some of the things that we read. But we’ve never done anything that we didn’t feel was right for the characters…and we continue to trust our instincts.

Annelies van der Veen, Dieren, The Netherlands
From a neutral point of view you can see that a lot of fans are worried about the future for the Mulder and Scully relationship. They all want a happy ending for them. How much does that influence or affect you or your writing? Or do you feel that those fans have a lack of trust in your writing capabilities / qualities?

Chris Carter:
I understand their need and I also understand about satisfying audience expectation, but I also know that people are prone to want things that aren’t necessarily good for them. Or the characters. Or “The X-Files,” for that matter.

JenS610, Pleasanton, CA, USA
There is one aspect of the show that’s always bothered me. Why is Mulder such a New York sports fan when he grew up in Massachusetts?

Chris Carter:
That’s really due to David Duchovny’s being a fan of the Knicks. I think his New York fandom ends there, though. Tell me if I’m wrong….

Thomas, Copenhagen, Dennmark
Are you planning to use Krycek more this season? I heard there was supposed to be an all Krycek episode last season but Nicholas Lea wasn’t available for it. Will there be an episode explaining Krycek and Skinners relationship this season?

Chris Carter:
Yes. Krycek and Skinner will kiss! On New Year’s Eve. Blame it on the nanotechnology!

Andrea Kino, Yokkaichi, Japan
In both the x-files and millennium, the characters (Mulder, Frank, and his wife) utilize psychology as the basis of the investigations. This is not just a mere coincidence, right? What is Chris? personal interest in psychology?

Chris Carter:
On “The X-Files,” Mulder is trained in psychology and the character of Frank Black used psychology to get into the minds of criminals. This is one of the most interesting aspects of storytelling for me. But psychology only goes so far on both shows. And actually presents the leaping off point for the paranormal on “The X-Files” and for good and evil on “Millennium.” Both shows are actually about the limits of psychology.

Mercedes Quintieri, Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you could go back, would you do anything different with the storyline that you weren’t able to do at the time?

Chris Carter:
I can’t say that I would, and I believe that we have made some very good and lucky choices. This occurred to me during the episodes Redux and Redux II, when the mythology story lines almost created themselves. But I’d have to think about this question…get back to me later!

Marlui Vega, veracruz, mexico
Has the responsibilty of creating one of the most successful television series affected your personal life?

Chris Carter:
I have no personal life! So, the answer is yes. Actually, it’s been a very consuming experience that has been full of sacrifice and I’m sure I’ll only make sense of it all once it’s over.

Eduardo Romero, mar del plata, argentina
What is your favorite series, apart from your own?

Chris Carter:
I loved “The Larry Sanders Show.” But beyond that, there’s very little now that I feel compelled to watch regularly. That has more to do with time than preference.

Mulder_1013, USA
Hey, Chris, I was wondering what do you think people will think of this season? Just to let you know, that was the greatest episode in all 7 seasons.

Chris Carter:
Wow. That’s very unexpected! I hope that other people liked it as much. I hope that this season continues to satisfy in the same way.

George, UK
Are we ever going to see Skinner’s wife again?

Chris Carter says:
Only when she renegotiates her alimony payments. No plans on the books.

Laura Cap, US
The alt.tv.xfiles news group had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the season opener. Were you expecting that kind of reaction? And what do you think appealed to people most about it?

Chris Carter:
I think what appealed to people most is that the same elements that have made the show a success are still intact. There are just additions and new loyalties, but I’d say in this case it’s just about good storytelling…and an interesting approach from the actors and the director.

FOX HOST says:
Chris, you’ve been a fantastic guest. Thank you, again, for being part of this unprecedented event!

Chris Carter says:
Goodbye, chatters! Thanks!

FOX HOST says:
Don’t forget to check back at thexfiles.com for the transcript of this International event tomorrow! Good night!

Vancouver Province: Scully’s new guy: X-Files’ eighth season opens with new agent

Nov-05-2000
Vancouver Province
Scully’s new guy: X-Files’ eighth season opens with new agent
Dana Gee

[posted to atxfa by Alfornos]

After a spring of uncertainty, The X-Files is back and this time the truth is really out there.

When last we saw the FBI gang, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) couldn’t believe she was pregnant. Us either — don’t you have to have sex for that? Mulder (David Duchovny) was sucked up by a spaceship and Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) was stunned after witnessing the event.

Tonight’s eighth-season premiere has Skinner searching for an answer and Scully searching for the closest toilet to throw up in.

The hunt for Mulder heightens when new FBI types, including the show’s newest character, John Doggett (Robert Patrick, of Terminator 2 fame), are brought in.

Patrick is great as a steely skeptic who wants just the facts.

Translation: He’s not big on alien abduction theories.

Besides the inclusion of a new resident cynic, fans have to deal with major character-trait shifts in Scully and Skinner.

“The two of them become believers, although reluctant believers,” said Chris Carter during a press conference for the show in Pasadena in July. “And that’s really the way we make room for this new character.”

What Doggett brings is another layer to the show and an opportunity for Scully to face off with someone different than Mulder.

“We had written the part and conceived of a part that was very much an insider at the FBI,” said Carter. “He’s part of the fraternity. Mulder had always been the consummate outsider.”

While Mulder’s disappearance certainly fits the X-Files’s unknown, creepy profile, Scully’s pregnancy is far more puzzling.

“There is a potential she was having sex,” grinned Carter, after he was faced with conception questions. “We’re going to play with that storyline this year and find out exactly what happened.”

Yeah, whatever, Chris, what we want to know is, who is the dad?

“I am,” Carter said. “I’m his father and his mother.”

Yeah, thanks.

The paternity outcome aside, the pregnancy was almost terminated as Duchovny and Carter both had contract issues at the end of last season.

Duchovny, who is tortured extensively in both parts of the season opener, has agreed to appear in 11 of 20 X-Files episodes this season.

“I had to write the season finale, truly honestly, not knowing whether or not we’d be back next year,” said Carter. “So I had to write a sort of all-purpose season finale.

“It was difficult but it was a wonderful exercise, too. And it actually has set up for a very interesting way to approach season eight.

“The entry of a new character, new blood, a new dynamic balance, is actually going to be a really fun thing to play.”

Already that dynamic is working. Patrick’s presence is strong, as is the potential for an interesting relationship between him and Scully, who will eventually become partners.

“I saw them as worthy adversaries and worthy partners,” said Carter.

“He was not going to be a person that would shrink — because she’s a very powerful person and actor — from her. And I just thought he really filled the bill for me in that way.”

And he should do the same for even the most diehard Mulder fans.

Finally, for you X-Files trivia types, the name Doggett is another Carter homage to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jerry Doggett was Dodgers announcer Vin Scully’s co-host.

Arizona Republic: Pleasantly mystifying ‘X-Files’ takes a few cool new turns

Nov-05-2000
Arizona Republic
Pleasantly mystifying ‘X-Files’ takes a few cool new turns
Bill Goodykoontz

[posted to atxfa by Alfornos]

When last we left our man Mulder, he was busy being whisked away in a spaceship as FBI Deputy Director Skinner watched.

Scully, the no-longer-so-skeptical skeptic – and, by all the available evidence, celibate workaholic – dropped a little bombshell of her own on Skinner: She’s pregnant.

Now, as a new season begins, Skinner and Scully – sounds like a law firm in a Marx Brothers movie – must find Mulder, even as new agent John Doggett comes aboard.

And so it goes with The X-Files, the only show I know of that doesn’t have to make a lick of sense to be entertaining. The first two episodes of the new season certainly carry on both elements of that tradition.

The whole series was in doubt until late last season, when David Duchovny, who plays Fox Mulder, agreed to a limited role for the upcoming year. Happily, getting abducted by aliens makes a good excuse for not being around all that much.

But before we delve further, a few quick answers to questions haunting X -philes everywhere:

Yes, Duchovny appears in both new episodes. Sort of.

Yes, Robert Patrick is good as Doggett, who’s now the skeptic.

No, the father of Dana Scully’s baby isn’t revealed. Yet.

Come on, this is The X-Files. We don’t find out much. We never do. Which has never really bothered me. I want to like this show, the way Mulder wants to believe. I’ve never been one of those slaves-to-the-mythology types, who need to make sense of all the alien gobbledygook. I just th ink it’s cool.

It still is. But it’s different. At its core, the relationship between Mulder and Scully is what has made the show work. That relationship has changed drastically, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

“I think, really, Mulder and Scully are the reason – David and Gillian (Anderson) are the reason – for the show’s great success,” creator Chris Carter told critics this summer. “But that doesn’t mean that you can’t threaten the paradigm, you can’t threaten the model, you can’t threaten the relationship.

“In fact, I think, dramatically, you better do that every once in a while, or else you’re going to have a very stale show.”

He doesn’t. Although at times seeing the familiar faces in different roles is unsettling, a kind of alternate-universe feeling. Sounds like it might make a good X-file.

Kevin & Bean: Interview with Chris Carter

Nov-04-2000
Kevin & Bean
Interview with Chris Carter

Transcribed by ‘C’ [from The Haven]

This the Kevin & Bean Show on the world famous KROQ 106.7 and it’s 8:42 am

We have been SO looking forward to this weekend. Ladies and Gentlemen Sunday night, Nov 5, on FOX at 9 is the season premiere, Season 8 of the X-Files. Joining us in the KROQ studios, our old friend Chris Carter. (applause)

Kevin or Bean: Hey, Chris!

Chris Carter: Hey guys

Kevin or Bean: How are you?

Chris Carter: Good.

Kevin or Bean: You know the funny thing is we’ve known you for many, many years now and you’re one of the hardest working guys we’ve ever met. And your show is the very last show to debut. You are the last television program to debut, is that right?

Chris Carter: I’ve been on a little vacation (laugh)

Kevin or Bean: How come you picked this weekend?

Chris Carter: After the world series, after the Olympics… we sort of wanted to wait until the dust settled before we started up.

Kevin or Bean: Did you make that decision?

Chris Carter: No, but actually I’m glad though, it makes my job a little bit easier.

Kevin or Bean: Because you only have to produce 3 new shows and then you are off for next summer. (All laugh.)

Kevin or Bean: Well, we have a lot of ground we have to cover, a lot of things we’ve got to catch up on since the last time we talked to you. First of all, how close were we to not having a season 8 of the X-Files? Was it ever a serious consideration?

Chris Carter: Oh. Yeah. I didn’t think it was going to happen, actually.

Kevin or Bean: Really? You were convinced it was gone?

Chris Carter: I thought we were going down. I thought it would be the last episode but uh, we found a way to do it and actually, there are really good things this year on the show. We’ve got a new character, Robert Patrick plays a character named John Doggett. I think it’s really good story-telling now.

Kevin: I’ve seen this uh, this episode that is going to air this Sunday night with him, and he’s a great choice.

Chris Carter: Yeah.

Kevin: He is a great choice. He’s a perfect fit for the X-Files.

Chris Carter: Thank you. Yeah, he is.

Kevin: For people who don’t know, he’s from Terminator 2. He was the bad guy? Good guy? The liquid guy?

Chris Carter: The metal man

Kevin: Yeah, he changed into metal in Terminator 2.

Bean: Chris, did you know that sometimes Kevin signs autographs as that guy because he looks so much like him? Because people come up to him all the time and say “Hey, aren’t you that dude from the Terminator?”

Kevin: It’s happened like twice or three times. (Lisa laughing) And I’ve signed the name Robert Patrick.

Bean: Chris now, be honest, were you angry when David Duchovny decided he didn’t want to come back or were you completely like understanding– hey, this guy’s got to have a life of his own, too?

Chris Carter: No. I understood. I mean. .. It was… We are all working hard and it’s.. it’s… you know the work is actually too hard. And so, these guys are still young, they have careers. They want to go out and do other things. So, it made sense and he didn’t have a contract. So, it was a good time for him to leave. But fortunately, we found a way to have him back.

Kevin or Bean: Yeah, but you were thinking when he said “I don’t want to come back” … that’s why you were thinking this is going to be the end because at that time until you come up with a new plan and with a new agent and everything you couldn’t see it going on with one agent missing?

Chris Carter: Yeah. I told FOX I didn’t want to do it without David. And they had asked me to bring the show back. And Uh.. so when he came to me and said that he would.. uh.. would do 11 episodes. I thought this is a chance to do something interesting and different.

Kevin or Bean: Sure, you could.. now how far from the end of last season did you realize that he… that you had to start on a plot line to get him out .. to get him abducted?

Chris Carter: um..

Kevin or Bean: Or whatever happened. Well, that’s what we are led to believe, I think at the end of the last season.

Chris Carter: yeah.

Kevin or Bean: Sure.

Chris Carter: I had to plan for that last show to be the last show or the beginning of a new era.

Kevin or Bean: So, you had both in mind?

Chris Carter: Yes.

Kevin or Bean: So, you were going to leave us with him getting abducted?? (laughing) That was going to be your ending??

Chris Carter: No. I hope to do movies so I hoped to have the chance to work it out..

Kevin or Bean: Ah, there ya go. How’d you get Robert Patrick? How’d that come about?

Chris Carter: It was actually a… I can’t believe we got him because we wanted him. He was under contract. Uh.. FOX was able to work out a deal with Paramount to spring him from his contract. He’s a guy we’ve wanted to work with for a long time so this was like an opportunity to do something else that we didn’t think was going to happen and at the last minute they figured out a way to make it happen.

Kevin or Bean: Wow…What has he been doing all this time? He’s not like a guy we’ve seen alot. Has he just been doing alot of smaller projects?

Chris Carter: He works alot actually. He’s in a couple of different things coming out. He’s done some television projects recently. But he did a turn on the Sopranos which I think a lot of people saw.

Kevin or Bean: Oh sure. He was the guy who was running the sporting goods store, who was in all that debt. Right. Yeah, totally forgot about that.

Kevin or Bean: Obviously the chemistry between him and Agent Scully had to be there. What lengths did you go through to make sure that would work on screen?

Chris Carter: Well, Scully’s pregnant now, so the idea presents (Yeah, ding sound effect) a whole new sort of dynamic on the show. So, when he comes in…we figured the audience would not really like him because.. uh… he was sort of coming into.. NOT to replace Mulder, but in Mulder’s absence, so Scully doesn’t like him either actually, so there is tension between the two of them that plays out for a little while and you’ll see then the partnership develops in an interesting way.

Kevin or Bean: At the end of the last season two things that happened were he gets abducted

Chris Carter: Right

Kevin or Bean: And she gets pregnant

Chris Carter: Right

Kevin or Bean: Ok. How much do you want to tell us about how he.. comes in…with the oversight committee, etc?

Chris Carter: Well, the whole season is really about the search for Mulder. Ah, we don’t know what’s happened to him. And Scully, who has been a skeptic all these years, all of a sudden to find Mulder, she has to adopt kind of Mulder’s work which is a belief in the existence of extraterrestrials. So, she has to become kind of believer now. This new character comes in as a knee jerk skeptic. He’s a former cop. He just doesn’t believe any of this stuff. He thinks it’s all B.S.

Kevin: And he’s put in a position where he’s over her and running the investigation. It’s really… It’s GREAT! (Bean whispers: Kevin has seen the episode)

Kevin: It’s really great! I don’t want to give away too much, but I want people to know that it totally works!

Bean: After what happens to Scully in the movie though it’s inconceivable that she could be anything less than a die-hard 100% believer. She’s seen it with her own eyes for God’s sake!

Chris Carter: Yeah, she’s seen alot so I think we are playing true to the character. We are playing that she’s still a scientist, but now she’s playing with a side that she’s seen a lot of thigns she can’t explain.

Kevin or Bean: Let me ask you one mroe thing about the season finale from alst year. And then we need to take a break. And if you have just started with us, we have Chris Carter in our studio. The shroud of secrecy around her being pregnant must have been something. Was it one of those deals where you went over to her in the last scene on the last day and whispered to her what he line was?

Chris Carter: It was almost like that. I brought in pages. They were filming and I brought in pages like 15 minutes before they filmed them.

Kevin or Bean: Really?

Chris Carter: And I told no one. Only one other person knew and she guessed what we were going to do

Kevin or Bean: Oh so she said “I thought you were going…”

Chris Carter: Yes.

Kevin or Bean: Because it was a shocker. The last line of the show is “I’m pregnant” and you went “WHOA, IT’S GOING TO BE A LONG SUMMER. HEY!!!” (All laughing).

Chris Carter: Yeah, you didn’t think she’d ever had sex.

Kevin or Bean: YEAH!

Kevin or Bean: I mean people had been.. you know.. people speculate about everything. They tear your show apart more than any other. So, they’d seen her mysteriously waking up in Mulder’s house at least one time, right?

Chris Carter: Right

Kevin or Bean: And it was never really addressed. We never really knew what that meant. I mean are we sure? Do we know for sure it’s his? Yeah, is it fair to assume that? What do you want us to assume?

Chris Carter: Uh.. actually, it’s something we are going to play with during the season. We are going to find out clues to who the father is. And it will be part of the…

Kevin or Bean: It’s going to be an alien baby! She’s got an alien inside her (Chris laughing)

Lisa: No!

Kevin or Bean: Is it…

Lisa: Does she know who the dad is?

Bean: Yeah, that’s a good question. Does she know? Or is she just a slut when she’s off work?

Kevin: She’s had no sex, I’m telling you it’s an alien baby.

Chris Carter: It’s one of the lone gunmen. (all laugh).

Kevin or Bean: You are such a tease, Chris.

Kevin: Let me ask you just one more thing and then we need to break. And I know you might no be able to tell us. Is it Gary Coleman’s baby? (all laugh)

Chris Carter: Gary Coleman’s a virgin, I thought.

Kevin or Bean: That’s right! We forgot. Chris Carter is in our studios. Creator of the X-Files. We’ll be right back. Commercials.

Kevin or Bean: We are here with Chris Carter of the X-Files. You wrote the first 2 shows right?

Chris Carter: Actually, I’ve written quite a few of the 1st 10. I’m working on 10 right now.

Kevin or Bean: Sunday night. 9 Fox Channel 11 here in Southern California. Are we allowed to talk about the spin-off project you’ll be working on?

Chris Carter: I hope you will (all laugh)

Kevin or Bean: What can you tell us about it so far?

Chris Carter: It’s a spin-off of the X-Files starring the 3 computer geeks, the Lone Gunmen, and will premiere in the springtime when the X-Files takes a little vacation.

Kevin or Bean: I will tell you. I don’t know how it will end up playing out, but I do know they are some of the characters you see on tv that you wish you could see more of. Every time they were on this show it’s so much fun.

Chris Carter: Well, you’ll be seeing them in…

Kevin or Bean: a lot!

Chris Carter: Yeah.

Kevin or Bean: We’ll take a few phone calls– Sydney

Question: Hi. Um. Chris, how are you?

Chris Carter: Good.

Question: I was wondering if there is going to be another X-Files movie. And if so, what is David Duchovny’s role in that?

Chris Carter: There will be another X-Files movie as far as I am concerned, and I know FOX wants one. The story is kind of developing right now. We have a big idea, it will be a stand alone, rather than a mythology episode like we did in the 1st one.

Kevin or Bean: Right, but the question is… If you’ve got the new guy coming in…

Chris Carter: We haven’t quite figured that out yet.

Kevin or Bean: Are they going to battle to the death?

Chris Carter: Gladiator (all laugh)

Kevin or Bean: Would it be summer 2001? Is that a reasonable prediction of when the next movie will be?

Chris Carter: Uh, I think that’s a little premature.

Kevin or Bean: Dude! Get busy. Come on. Write us a movie! We like your movies… Ok. Thanks for the call. Jamie–

Question: Hi, Chris, First of all I want to thank you for giving us a great show for the past 7 years.

Chris Carter: Thank you.

Question: The first question I have is about Robert Patrick. There has been from what I’ve seen, a really big fan backlash against him even though he hasn’t appeared in an episode yet.

Chris Carter: Right.

Question: I was wondering what you think about that and what you want to say to the fans out there who are reacting so badly against him already?

Chris Carter: Well, I hope everyone watches and they’ll see how we use him. It’s not like he’s replacing Mulder. Mulder is missing. And he comes in to find Mulder. So, he’s an addition to the show. And I think.. he’s a great actor, and I think you’ll like his character. .. Scully doesn’t like him… so, Uh, just give him a chance.

Kevin: I’ve seen it, Jamie, the one that airs Sunday night, and he’s great! I think people will really like the way he’s brought in, the way he’s used.

Bean: Chris, remember the weird acid flashback you were on the day you wrote about the bald kid playing Chess. Remember? (all laughing) Then we never saw him again. We never heard about him again. He just kind of vanished? What were you on back then? (laughs). What is going on there exactly? Is he ever coming back?

Chris Carter: Yeah, he’s actually coming back Sunday night.

Bean: No!

Chris Carter: yeah.

Bean: You’re kidding? I was just joking. I figured the kid has got be like 30 years old by now.

Kevin: I thought you had heard he plays a major part in Sunday night?

Bean: well, good because you’ve got some “splaining to do there, Lucy!” Steve from Irvine…

Question: Hey, Chris

Chris Carter: Hey

Question: In an episode a couple of seasons back, Agent Spender was apparently killed off with no explanation. I was wondering what the deal was with that?

Chris Carter: Well, there was an explanation but you didn’t actually see the death, but his father actually did him in. And uh.. he’ll be back but it will be in flashback, but he will play a part.

Kevin or Bean: . Ok. Thanks, Steve.

Kevin or Bean: It’s amazing to me, Chris, that you are able to keep this universe straight in your mind at all times. Now that you are 10 shows into it…

Kevin or Bean: Does it get easier to write an episode of the X-Files?

Chris Carter: No, It’s actually.. I don’t know how, but it gets harder and harder.

Kevin or Bean: Does it?

Chris Carter: Yeah, because the stories are harder to come up with. But I still think the harder they are to come up with the better they are.

Kevin or Bean: How long does it take you to write an episode?

Chris Carter: Too long. Uh.. sometimes it takes as little as a week, and sometimes a couple of weeks. But the whole process is 10 1/2 months a year.

Kevin or Bean: Wow. Do you have any cool guest stars coming up this season? You’ve had so many memorable ones over the years.

Chris Carter: Yeah, uh, it’s really the same cast of character actors we’ve done so well with. Joe Morton is in an episode.

Kevin or Bean: But no Lily Tomlins or Ed Asners?

Chris Carter: Not yet really. We’re really going back to our bread and butter which are good, scary episodes. Which are always more scary when they seem like real people…

Kevin or Bean: Can I make a suggestion?

Chris Carter: Yeah.

Kevin or Bean: Can you kill Carrot Top? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Kevin: What? One of the characters just drives over Carrot Top for no reason?

Bean: Like Carrot Top is at Universal or something like that. They are in there looking for.. you know… an alien and something happens. The bullet goes wild and just kills him on stage, and the kids are crying. It would be cool.

Chris Carter: Uh.. I think you went to see Carrot Tops show last night (garbled)

Bean: No, I was not. (Laughing)

Kevin or Bean: Chris, always great to see you. We are so delighted that you were able to figure out how to keep the show on. And it sounds like everybody’s happy with it. So that gives us hope too for this weekend! Brand new season. Season number 8 for the X-Files. It’s on Sunday Night. 9 pm on FOX. Let’s do this again soon.

Chris Carter: Thanks.

Kevin or Bean: And say Hi to everyone on the set for us.

Hollywood Reporter: Fate of new ‘X-Files’ is latest Fox mystery

Nov-03-2000
Hollywood Reporter
Fate of new ‘X-Files’ is latest Fox mystery
Gina McIntyre

[typed by Alfornos]

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) — One of fall television’s most shocking cliffhangers will be resolved this weekend when the season premiere of “The X-Files” airs Sunday night on Fox. But the suspense has nothing to do with the fates of Special Agents Mulder and Scully; it stems instead from the uncertainty surrounding whether viewers will tune in.

“X-Files” has long been the focal point of the network’s weekend lineup, anchoring Sunday nights for roughly four years. Although it was widely held that the show would conclude at the end of last year, controversy erupted when Fox sought to extend the series’ run for an eighth season.

Neither star David Duchovny nor series creator Chris Carter had a contract in place, and Duchovny had filed a lawsuit against Fox claiming lost royalties from a syndication deal the network inked with its own cable subsidiary FX. The suit alleged that Fox sold the show for less than its actual value.

After down-to-the-wire negotiations, Carter’s contract was renewed, the lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed sum, and Duchovny was signed for about half of this year’s 22 episodes, most of which will air during the latter half of the season.

In Mulder’s absence, a new character named John Doggett (Robert Patrick) will partner with Gillian Anderson’s Dana Scully.

But no matter how adept Patrick might be at assuming his new FBI mantle, beginning the show’s eighth year with a new leading man is nothing short of risky. Duchovny and Anderson together defined the series’ singular style in many viewers’ minds, and breaking with that proven formula could lead straight into troubled ratings territory for the sci-fi drama.

“I make no secret of the fact that I wasn’t sure it was a good idea to come back for another year,” executive producer Frank Spotnitz said. “It was a huge gamble to replace a character like this. It’s not an ensemble show like ‘NYPD Blue’ or ‘ER’ where there are so many fine actors to carry the series. Mulder was one of two central characters in this show. But having been drafted to do this, I just was determined to make a success of it.”

To help “X-Files” remain on course despite the cast changes, Carter has stepped in to write or rewrite six of the show’s 10 episodes thus far, and he has directed one of his own scripts, marking the first time he has helmed one of his own episodes since the series’ sixth season.

“It’s strange not to have David around every day, but I have to say his absence has really framed the season, which is (about) the search for Mulder,” Carter said. “By adding a new character to the show, we have a new way to tell ‘X-Files’ stories. Scully now has seen too much to deny, and she becomes a kind of reluctant believer, sort of taking Mulder’s place, and Robert Patrick comes in as a knee-jerk skeptic. All of a sudden, Scully’s the provocateur.”

New creative direction aside, it remains to be seen whether the show can still deliver the same kind of quality episodes it once did and if the series’ audience, which has consistently waned during the past few years, will continue to watch each week without Agent Mulder at the helm.

Even though the show is still perceived among the top of the ratings charts, its audience has slipped by nearly 26% during the past three years. At the end of the show’s fifth season, “X-Files” claimed some 17.1 million viewers; the next year, that number dropped to 15.2 million viewers. By the conclusion of last season, viewership totaled 12.6 million.

The Hollywood Reporter’s TV critic Barry Garron admits that it is possible for the show to find success despite Duchovny’s lessened involvement. What is more pertinent, he said, is the series’ ability to develop interesting story lines at this point in its television life span.

After a feature film, a spinoff series starring the Lone Gunmen, the show’s computer hackers (set to debut on Fox as a midseason replacement) and an absentee leading man, “X-Files” might have simply run out of steam.

“There’s no question this show has peaked,” Garron said. “Virtually everyone who is going to watch it has sampled it by now. It’s really a question of how quickly or slowly viewers desert it for other shows.”

“Under other circumstances, this show might have ended after seven seasons,” he added. “It certainly would have gone out a winner, both for its solid ratings and for its unique style. Fox, however, could ill afford to put the show to pasture at a time when the network already was scraping the bottom of its development barrel just to fill all the other holes in its schedule. With or without Duchovny, Fox knew that having ‘The X-Files’ was better than anything else it had to replace it.”

Fox Entertainment president Gail Berman agreed that the series is vital to the network’s programming roster, but she is optimistic that the retooled show will perform as well as it has in previous seasons.

“We certainly view it as a very important piece of our programming roster and have for many years now,” Berman said. “I feel that the show is in excellent shape. I think Chris has been creatively energized this year. We think the episodes thus far are really wonderful, and we’re very satisfied with where things are at the moment.”

Even at this early stage, the network is hoping to be able to keep “X-Files” in its Sunday night slot for at least one additional season and perhaps for years to come, Berman said.

“Of course, we are absolutely looking beyond this year,” she said. “I’d like to think it is a new day that’s moving forward and embracing your former life as well.”

Carter said he would continue on with the series under the right circumstances but that it is too early to determine how likely that scenario might be.

“I know Fox would love it to be on the air next year, but there are many factors,” Carter said. “David doesn’t have a contract for next year, and I’m sure he’d be looking for a rich deal. I don’t have a contract for next year. Most importantly, I want to make sure I’m working toward something. I don’t want to ever let this show peter out or just die of its own weight. This show has to be good for me to continue, and that’s what I’m working to do this year. If I’m satisfying myself that it can be good, I would certainly consider it.”

Toledo Ohio Blade: ‘X-Files’ reopened: Expect more questions, few answers, over eighth season

Nov-03-2000
Toledo Ohio Blade
‘X-Files’ reopened: Expect more questions, few answers, over eighth season
Elaine Liner

[posted to atxfa by Alfornos]

Every year X-Files creator Chris Carter guarantees answers to the sci-fi show’s many lingering questions about virus-carrying aliens, global conspiracies, and FBI agents Mulder and Scully’s love lives. And every year he and his writing staff wind up the season with a cliffhanger that leaves viewers with more puzzles to ponder until the show returns with fresh episodes months later.

That it does Sunday (9 p.m. Fox) with the first of a two-part story arc taking up where last season’s finale left off. But will viewers really find out if Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) was abducted by an alien spacecraft? Is Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) pregnant and was it Mulder or one of the extraterrestrials who did the deed? And who is this new guy, Agent Doggett (Robert Patrick), who joins Scully to search for her missing partner?

FBI agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick), left, will be the skeptic this season as he joins agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and D.A. Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) on The X-Files.

In its eighth season, The X-Files has a lot to answer for, and, as usual, Carter is coy about what’s going to happen.

Like, about that baby …

“I’m his father and its mother, thanks,” he says.

Carter wasn’t even supposed to be writing and producing the show after last season. His and actor Duchovny’s contracts with X-Files were at an end, and both had expressed desires to move on. Duchovny is still trying to ignite a movie career (Return to Me didn’t return much box office revenue.) Carter wants to continue X-Files mythology in feature films while launching the more lighthearted spin-off series The Lone Gunmen on Fox midseason. Only Anderson was willing to return to X-Files full-time, and her salary bump (to a reported $250,000 an episode) was contingent on signing for both the eighth and ninth seasons.

But Fox couldn’t see doing the show without the X-Files power trio. So with a little persuasion and a big pile of money on the table, bling! Carter came back (for at least one more year) and Duchovny signed to appear in 11 of the 20 episodes this season.

“I really do not want to do this just as a matter of commerce,” Carter insists. “I wanted it to be a good show. I wanted it to be special. I want this to be a great season of The X-Files. I want the event of Mulder’s disappearance to be important. I want the possibility that the show could go on.”

Carter admits that last year was a tough one. X-Files’ ratings dipped, and the series was shut out of the Emmy nominations. Duchovny and Carter weren’t even on speaking terms after the actor sued over what he considered the producer’s low-ball sale of X-Files reruns to cable’s FX channel, a deal Duchovny thought denied him lucrative residuals from syndication.

After settling the suit (with Duchovny getting millions), the two now are working amicably.

“I think there has been a lot of repair of something that was damaged,” Carter says.

Fans of X-Files might say that what was damaged last year was the show itself. After years of mysterious utterances by the Cigarette-Smoking Man (William B. Smith) and Assistant Director Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), little has ever really been revealed about the central theme of the series – whether there are space aliens living among humans on this planet, and if there are (as Mulder believes), whether they are good or bad.

At the end of last season, Scully, long the skeptical scientist, had at last been convinced by Mulder of the government’s conspiracy to conceal the existence of aliens.

With her on Mulder’s side this year, Agent Doggett will fill the role of disbeliever.

But won’t keeping Mulder and Scully apart cheat viewers of their favorite aspect of the drama?

“Mulder and Scully – David and Gillian – are the reason for the show’s great success,” Carter says. “But that doesn’t mean that you can’t threaten the paradigm, that you can’t threaten the relationship. You better do that every once in a while or else you’re going to have a very stale show, particularly when you have characters who didn’t kiss for seven years.”

Carter also thinks Robert Patrick’s performance as Doggett will ignite new interest in the show. “I think he is going to strike a chord. And I certainly think the relationship that (Doggett and Scully) are going to have is going to make the Mulder and Scully relationship more interesting.”

And if it doesn’t, The X-Files may be filed away after season No. 8 – with or without answering all the Big Questions it’s toyed with all these years. Carter hints at tying up loose ends before the series heads into permanent reruns. But he’s not promising anything.

“It would be nice to come to some sort of conclusion, but my fear is that when you have a show about the unexplained, to actually try to explain any of that is kind of ridiculous,” Carter says. “The X-Files always leaves as many questions as answers, so I think that’s probably what I would say we would end up with.”

Mothership.com: As X-Files enters its eighth season it now must contend with being partially Mulder-less and the introduction of a new partner (Robert Patrick) for Scully – yet the cast and crew affirm that it’s still business as usual for Fox’s popular sci-fi show

Nov-03-2000
Mothership.com
As X-Files enters its eighth season it now must contend with being partially Mulder-less and the introduction of a new partner (Robert Patrick) for Scully – yet the cast and crew affirm that it’s still business as usual for Fox’s popular sci-fi show
Anthony C. Ferrante

[typed by Alfornos]

As the end of Season 7 of X-FILES was drawing near, it looked like the doors were finally closing on FOX’s venerable series. David Duchovny was getting increasingly impatient with not being able to move forward in his movie career and the increasing reliance on humor on the show was taking some of the dark edges off its once truly creepy stories.

At the 11th hour, though – after the season finale was shot where it was revealed Scully is pregnant and Mulder abducted by aliens – Duchovny worked out an agreement with FOX. He would appear partially in a handful of episodes (around five or six) and full time in the last six of the season. Hence, the show was back from the dead, but the question was: how do you cope with a Mulder-less show for most of the season?

“David is still a regular,” admits the show’s creator Chris Carter. “Even when he’s there he’s going to be ‘not’ there – he’s going to be an absent presence and an absent center. And so, his involvement in the show, even though it’s in an abbreviated fashion, is going to be very important.”

Naturally, this meant bringing in a new character to fill the void in Mulder’s wake. With FBI agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), and now her and Mulder’s boss Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), being firm believers based on what they’ve seen, bringing in another skeptic was almost a requirement.

Enter John Doggett (Robert Patrick) – a former New York cop thrown into the mix who will be working alongside Scully during her investigations throughout the season.

“Doggett is an FBI agent and he was a cop and that’s actually not atypical for FBI agents,” says Carter. “He is not assigned to the X-Files to begin with. He is not Scully’s partner to begin with. There is a gradual, hopefully realistic integration of the character into the series.”

While at the premiere of the Season 8 two-parter in North Hollywood last weekend, the cast and crew of X-FILES were obviously relishing in these changes, and Patrick’s chumminess with Carter and others looked like he’s been welcomed into this sci-fi staple’s fold with open arms.

“It’s nice to have a really fine new actor to write for,” says Carter. “It’s interesting to be doing some of the shows without David. He’s always a big presence on the show, even when he’s not there, because this is the search for Mulder this year.”

Patrick, who is best known for playing the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (and more recently for a multi-episode arc on HBO’s The Sopranos) was thrilled to join the show calling it a “no brainer.”

“It’s a win-win situation,” says Patrick. “It’s a brand new character. They wanted to write a brand new character, and I think Chris is a great writer. I’m having a ball working with Gillian and I’m looking forward to working with David. It’s all about the work for me.”

For the new dynamic with Scully, Patrick confirms his character’s “skeptic” status.

“I don’t buy any of it and think it’s all bullshit,” says Patrick. “I just go for the facts and try to solve everything with facts only. He’s a very street-smart guy and that’s how he goes about it. He has a really strong work ethic and he tackles each case with those abilities and traits.”

Though one of the appeals of the show has always been Mulder’s dry sense of humor, Patrick says there isn’t a lot of levity with his character – as of yet — but he says there is definitely a chemistry all its own going on between his and Scully’s characters.

“My chemistry with Gillian is my chemistry and David’s chemistry with Gillian is David’s” says Patrick. “I think Doggett really enjoys Scully and admires her craft. He enjoys working with her and bringing his abilities to work in tandem with hers. It’s thrown his reality a bit for a loop – that these things are kind of otherworldly — but he’s keeping his feet on the ground.”

Coming back to a show without your familiar partner might be a bit jarring, but for Anderson she says the presence of David is felt in every episode they’ve done so far this season, despite him being holed up on the spaceship by his lonesome.

“Even though David wasn’t here, he was the focus of the episodes, so I feel like he’s there,” says Anderson. “We’re always talking about him. We’re looking for him. It’s not as if Mulder is completely gone. It doesn’t feel like he’s not there.”

The quality of the writing continues to remain high, Anderson also notes.

“It’s going really well,” she says. “I think they’ve written some amazing episodes. Everybody is really enthusiastic the way things are going. The new character of Doggett is interesting and Robert is great to work with. I think there won’t be as much lightness and back more to the old flavor of X-FILES. You’ll like them – they’re good.”

However, one thing that executive producer and writer Frank Spotnitz actually misses this year, so far, is the way Mulder’s character was able to explain even the strangest scenarios – which the writers haven’t been able to fall back on as readily.

“You realize how much having Mulder around helps tell these stories because he can come out with the big theory and take the big leap,” reveals Spotnitz. “There’s nobody to do that now so it has put us in more than one quandary on how to tell a story.”

While the mystery of Scully’s pregnancy will be an ongoing arc throughout the season, one of the show’s mainstay directors Kim Manners notes that a February sweeps episode will deal specifically with this new revelation.

“We just finished up that episode and it’s a bit of a new conspiracy,” teases Manners. “Her pregnancy is going to be a conspiracy.” Another character going through a major change during Season 8 is Assistant Director Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) who watched as Mulder was abducted during last year’s season finale. He will now finally get a chance to get up from behind his desk and actually be an active part in the rescuing of Mulder. “Skinner has changed enormously since the end of last season because he saw a spaceship so he’s no longer the man in the middle,” says Spotnitz. “He’s firmly in Mulder and Scully’s camp. That’s really changed the role he plays on the show. He plays a bigger role this year than he’s ever played. He’s out of the office and clearly an ally of Scully and Doggett – and one episode in particular we have Doggett and Skinner together in an investigation.” For Pileggi, this rethinking of his character has been a breath of fresh air, too, and he says whole-heartedly that this season he’s been able to do “the best work of my career.”

“The episodes I’m in I definitely have a lot more involvement,” says Pileggi. “He is now a firm believer and it has really impacted him and how he feels about what Scully and Mulder have been doing.”

The show will be getting more dramatic according to Pileggi but for Skinner at least his character’s awakening has definitely provided more shadings for him as an actor to work with.

“It’s not so negative,” he admits. “That skeptical aspect of Skinner is gone and he can be a little more active. It’s really a nice new avenue for this character to go down.”

While it may seem like Season 8 could very well be one very long mythology episode, Spotnitz notes there will be the regular mix of stand-alones and mythology episodes.

“It’s mostly broken down in the way it has been in the past,” says Spotnitz. “Most of the episodes are still stand-alone investigations, but it’s the relationship between Scully and Doggett in each of those stand-alones which makes it more serial than it used to be. There is the search for Mulder that keeps coming back and it, along with Scully’s pregnancy, those are the big mysteries that drive the season.”

Of the stand-alones, Spotnitz notes an episode about a man “who seems to kill like a bat” will be particularly startling as are a handful of others.

“One has Scully getting stranded in this community that’s nowhere on any map and the people are really creepy and have a very scary secret, so it’s up to Doggett to find her and rescue her from this small town,” says Spotnitz. “There’s another where a boy who has disappeared ten years ago returns and looks exactly the same – he hasn’t aged a day. That’s a very scary one, too.”

According to Carter, he confirms like others on the show that it’s going to be a good scary season like the first year and there will also be some high concept stories thrown into the mix as well.

“Joe Morton guest stars in the episode where time goes backwards and Joe finds himself convicted of a crime that he doesn’t know he committed,” says Carter. “Then he starts living his days in reverse.”

In the end though, the big questions are about where Mulder is and where he will be when the season comes to an end and Manners is excited to see what happens when the actor comes back to the show full time.

“It’s going to be exciting when David returns and does the last six episodes of the season because it will be an interesting challenge for the writers,” says Manners. “It will be interesting weaving new stories and how we’re going to create the whole dynamic when Fox Mulder comes back from space.”

The whole absence of Duchovny may seem like a big deal for a show like X-Files, but it’s not the only controversy the show has faced both behind the scenes and from fans. When Duchovny wanted to be closer to his wife Tea Leoni, the show moved from Vancouver to Los Angeles two seasons ago with many fans thinking it would lose its look and feel. However, that has become a non-issue now and Spotnitz feels the show being Duchovny-less will be a non-issue as this year progresses as well.

“Nothing went wrong once we came to L.A. though one of our editors said before we were ‘wet and dark’ and now we’re ‘dry and dark,'” says Spotnitz. “For us, the big change that came with L.A. is it costs more than it did in Vancouver so we have to be a lot more clever in how we tell our stories and have to manage to hide the fact we can’t do the things we did before. We used to have huge locations. One two-part episode had moving trains and train cars blowing up – stuff on bridges. It’s stuff like that which is huge to do on a TV schedule and budget and even though the budget of the show has increased quite a bit since we moved to L.A., it’s still not enough to allow us to do the same epic things we did in Vancouver frequently.”

Spotnitz also wants fans to know that the behind-the-scenes talent are still firmly entrenched in delivering a show that won’t disappoint in Duchovny’s absence.

“I think the fans should know we love the show as much as they do,” notes Spotnitz. “We love the character of Agent Mulder as much as they do. This wasn’t our choice to do the show this way. This is something between David and the studio. The only thing Ten Thirteen had to say about it is that ‘we will not go forward unless you make David Duchovny happen. Give him what he wants.’ Our audience hopefully understands we’re telling the best stories we know how and keeping the X-FILES as good as we know how. We’re on the same side as they are.”

While the whole season has been mapped out, whether the show will return for a ninth year is still up in the air and Carter reveals that it will likely stay that way until it comes time to renew contracts in the Spring.

“Last season was the first where it was up in the air and while I anticipate every season would be like that I don’t think it will be quite as 11th hour as last year was,” adds Carter.

One thing is for certain – Patrick’s contract extends beyond this year if the show continues.

“I’m committed for the full season this year and then some,” says Patrick. “I think I can say I’m contracted for another year.” And now that he’s tied up with a show, Patrick might also have problems scheduling in Terminator 3 if he were asked back but he says no one has approached him about it yet – “I’m not aware of it.”

Whether the creative team in place may still be around for another X-Files season is entirely a big question mark too, but Spotnitz thinks it may be time to move on.

“I suspect this will be the last year for us – for this creative team,” he admits. “I never say never. I never thought we would last this long. I don’t know what will happen beyond this year. We definitely have a plan of what will get us to end of this season and where the characters will be. It can certainly go beyond this year. Whether it will or not, I don’t know. ”

Some of the team’s energies might actually be funneled into The Lone Gunmen spin-off which is scheduled for mid-season with a 13-episode commitment.

“It will be much lighter than X-Files,” says Carter. “The characters actually get to develop in ways we’ve never seen them before on X-Files. They aren’t in service to Mulder and Scully. They’re working on their own beat.” As countless shows past and present continue to appear and disappear on FOX all hoping to fill in that void likely to be left once X-Files finally leaves the airwaves, Carter reflects on how lucky he’s been to keep the show on half as long as it has.

“With reality programming, there’s hardly room for anything on TV, so it’s a miracle that everything worked with X-Files,” says Carter. “There’s just a million ways to fail in television. And when you have something like this that hits, I know how lucky I am that I had the Gods in my favor. Everybody can be lined up, but you’d better make really good choices and hire really good people every step of the way or else there’s a good chance you’ll fail. A lot of people would like to be popular and successful – however it’s mostly hard work, but it’s a lot of luck too.”