Archive for 2001

Zap2it: Chris Carter Continues Search for the Truth

Nov-30-2001
Zap2it
Chris Carter Continues Search for the Truth
Vanessa Sibbald

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) – Producer Chris Carter doesn’t sound nervous, though he has good reason to be, at least when it comes to his show, FOX’s “The X-Files.” With his series’ ninth season underway without star David Duchovny, and rumors of Gillian Anderson on her way out, the executive producer is faced with the task of having to find a way to continue his hit drama with two new leads.

“What’s certain is that there’s still a tremendous number of stories that can be told, the trick is exploring them with this new cast of characters,” he tells Zap2it.com.

This is especially important since Anderson has said that she won’t return to the show next year. The departure of the actress may also signal the end of Carter’s time on the series.

“I never imagined doing what I’m doing on season nine. It’s against all odds,” he says. “The only reasons I stay are that I feel a tremendous loyalty to the people I work with. I feel that the show still is a good storytelling vehicle, and I feel a responsibility to make good on a promise that I would stay on the show as long as David and Gillian stayed with it.”

While it’s too early to tell what next year holds, Carter is in talks with 20th Century Fox to produce a sequel to the show’s feature film, which would likely re-team the “X-Files” creator with Duchovny and Anderson.

In the meantime, Carter is faced with creating the same kind of dramatic tension on the series that has made the show a favorite among critics and fans. Towards that effort, regular viewers will notice a deepening bond between the show’s leads, new agents Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Reyes (Annabeth Gish), but especially between Doggett and Scully.

“From the beginning Doggett has tremendous respect for Scully and I think that respect has blossomed into something else,” says Carter. “That was always our intention, that we would have a sort of triangle.”

Instead of a triangle, it appears the writers have created more of a linear line. Reyes is interested in Doggett, while he’s interested in Scully and Scully’s still thinking of Mulder. Add to the mix Doggett’s boss, Brad Follmer (Cary Elwes), who’s still interested in his former flame Reyes.

“There’s a lot of unresolved, unrequited and unspoken feelings going on in the show,” Carter agrees.

However, this is still “The X-Files,” and while Scully and Mulder did finally consummate their relationship at the end of last season (off camera, mind you), viewers must remember that Carter et al. have never been big supporters of the characters having actual fully-realized sexual relationships.

“There was a term I used, I was resistant to ‘domesticating’ the show,” he explains. “I felt it was wrong. ‘The X-Files’ was not a show about those kind of relationships, it was a show about ideas and about a search and a romantic quest — in the truest sense of the word.”

“It seemed to me that it would almost go against that kind of romance to have a physical relationship.”

So far, the ratings have suggested fans aren’t interested. “The X-Files,” which is normally one of FOX’s top three show, drew its lowest numbers since the show moved from Fridays to Sundays in 1996 for the second part of the season premiere on Nov. 18, pulling in just 9.4 million viewers. Last season, the show averaged 13.2 million viewers per episode. Carter points to stunt programming for sweeps and a late launch as to the cause behind the dip in numbers.

“It’s the same good show,” he says. “We premiered so late that there were a couple other shows in that timeslot that had already gathered some audience.”

Indeed, competition has increased this season with the introduction of NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and ABC’s “Alias.” It remains to be seen if the fans of the show will care as much about Doggett and Reyes as they did for Mulder and Scully.

“People are resistant to change,” Carter says. “It’s been Mulder and Scully for eight years and we’ve changed our focus from that relationship to another more complicated one. A relationship that has a different geometry because it involves more people.”

“I think it’s going to take people a little while to understand that we are moving in a forward direction, not a backward one.”

Kevin & Bean: Interview with Chris Carter

Nov-30-2001
The Kevin and Bean Show, KROQ radio
Interview with Chris Carter

Kevin: How are you doing, Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files? Good morning.

Chris: Thanks for having me.

Kevin: Sure.

Bean: Good to see you. What have you been doing? How you been?

Chris: I’m good. Doing the same thing, ninth year of The X-Files.

Kevin: Nine years!

Bean: Ninth! Damn you!

Chris: Ninth inning. And, you know, just sort of doing the same thing. I went on a big surf trip this summer. That was my big summer vacation.

Kevin: Oh, really? Where’d you go?

Chris: I went to Indonesia.

Kevin: Indonesia to go surfing?

Chris: Yeah.

Kevin: Wow. It’s good to be Chris Carter.

Bean: Why — Chris, by the way, has a deep background in surfing, has done a lot of it — why Indonesia? Is there something special about the water or the waves down there?

Chris: Yeah, it’s this perfect surfing destination, and that’s where everyone wants to go.

Bean: Oh, is that right?

Chris: Yeah, so I went on a three-week trip.

Bean: That’s, like, the ultimate place?

Chris: It is right now.

Kevin: Now, did you run into any trouble? They’re having bad times down there in Indonesia. They’ve got a civil war going on. Was there trouble for you on land?

Chris: I was there just before all hell broke loose.

Bean: You weren’t dodging bullets as you were surfing?

Chris: I was dodging a lot of things but they weren’t bullets.

Kevin: Wow. Well, that’s good. A guy like you — and we’ve visited Chris on the set and we know how hard he works and the deadlines that he’s up against — you just need some time where you can just forget it, right? Just not think about the job.

Chris: Yeah, one of these days.

Bean: How do you keep — I know it’s an impossible question to answer, but you have to keep coming up with interesting storylines after nine years.

Chris: Yeah.

Bean: I mean, at the beginning at least you hadn’t exhausted everything.

Chris: Actually, I think what happens is that when you have exhausted the obvious stuff it actually gets better because it’s stuff no one else has thought about, so it forces you to work harder.

Kevin: So, the original stuff is just basically off the top and then you start really having to delve deep.

Chris: You have to figure out new ways to deal with the characters and new stories, just new ways to tell good X-Files stories.

Bean: Do you have what most writers consider writer’s block, where you just throw up your hands and say I can’t get past this place? And what do you do when you hit that spot?

Chris: They have a gun to your head so you’re just (laughs) not allowed to —

Kevin: You can’t do that?

Chris: You can’t have writer’s block.

Bean: In other words, you’ve got to write it even if it’s bad because it’s got to be done at a certain time.

Chris: It’s never bad, Bean.

Bean: I don’t mean — I don’t mean you — I mean — (Chris chuckles as Bean sputters) (all three laughing)

Kevin: What did you mean, Bean, exactly?

Bean: I’m just saying sometimes you just have to write. You don’t have any choice, and that forces you to pull from places you didn’t even know you had because of the deadline.

Chris: Well put.

Kevin: Do you have — A lot of writers have to figure out a way to get input. Do you? What do you do to try and replenish the well? Do you go to books? Do you read, watch movies?

Chris: I think we just really go to what scares us most. And then try to figure out interesting ways to tell good stories with the characters, take them through the journey so the audience kind of goes through it, too.

Bean: The truth is, there aren’t a lot of shows that have ever been on nine years on primetime television. That’s pretty remarkable.

Chris: Yeah.

Bean: And isn’t the show on X — I mean —

Chris: FX. Yes, and in syndication. You can’t miss The X-Files, it’s on at least three times a day. (laughs)

Kevin: It’s everywhere!

Bean: And you tune in and you go, “Man, Duchovny was, like, 17 when he started this show! Look at him!” And obviously Gillian didn’t have a stylist back then. It’s just so funny because you have literally seen these people grow up since they’ve been on TV.

Chris: Yeah, it’s true.

Bean: Now, I was telling Kevin earlier, I got the opportunity to get a sneak peak of the show that’s airing this Sunday night at 9 on Fox, and tell me if I’m overstating this — the best vomit scene in this history of primetime television. (Kevin laughs) Wouldn’t you say that’s accurate, Chris?

Chris: I think it is, actually. The guy who wrote and directed the episode, that’s his metier. That’s his deal.

Kevin: What’s that mean? He’s good at vomit?

Chris: Yes. He puts vomit in every script he writes for us.

Kevin: Really? Why?

Bean: In other words, he’s the vomit expert? If American Pie 2 is filming and they need some guy to throw up, they call your guy?

Chris: They should.

Bean: There is also one of — and you talk about having to mix it up, you think about how many people have been killed on The X-Files, I don’t know what the body count is over nine seasons, but one of the great murder weapons of all time, I think, is on the show this week, too. You know the one I’m talking about, Chris?

Chris: Which is?

Kevin: Are you guys just going to tease us all day, or what?

Bean: That’s the whole point of Chris coming in. The doctor in the chair. You know what I’m talking about.

Kevin: Doctor in the chair. Doctor in the chair. He must use a needle?

Bean: Come on, Chris. You’ve seen the episode.

Chris: (laughing) You’re gonna have to tell me. Oh, you mean the hypodermic needles?

Bean: Hypodermic needles all over her.

Kevin: Oh, ouch.

Chris: Human pin-cushion.

Bean: Yes! I mean, you just talk about something that just creeps you out when you see it, you’re like, “Oh man, I wasn’t prepared for that at all.”

Kevin: I see what you mean about stuff that scares you. That would freak me out. I am not a needle guy. We had your friend Robert Patrick in a couple of weeks ago, had not had him on the show before. What a terrific guy he is.

Chris: Yeah, he’s great.

Kevin: And you think about what he went through. He made it clear when he was on, “Look, I wasn’t brought in to replace Duchovny, no one replaces Agent Mulder on the show. I was brought in to play another character, to do something else.” And he’s just so good on that show.

Chris: Yeah, we actually lucked out. Not only is he a good actor and it’s great to write for him, but he’s just a great guy, a really hard-working, solid guy.

Bean: Is it hard to find people that are both good actors and good people?

Chris: Well, um … no, it’s just one of those things. When you get both you are blessed two ways.

Kevin: And tell us about — because I didn’t fully understand the need to bring in — I guess it’s Annabelle?

Chris: Annabeth.

Kevin: Annabeth, and also Cary Elwes. What was your thinking in terms of expanding the cast so much this year?

Chris: Well, it had been Mulder and Scully for eight years and so we just thought, let’s see if we can tell these stories in a different way, try not to repeat ourselves or duplicate ourselves, so we kind of went to an ensemble situation. But it’s really still a three-lead show now with Gillian still on the show.

Bean: How many times do you come up with an idea and then somebody else says, “Uh, no, that was year two?” “Sorry, we did that in year four.”

Chris: Every day.

Bean: It’s hard to keep track of, I imagine.

Chris: Yeah.

Kevin: What’ s your goal now for the movie franchise? Is it going to be difficult to bring back Duchovny for the movie, as we’ve always heard that he would do, now that he’s not on the TV show?

Chris: No, that was always the plan. I think it can become a movie series. We probably have 3-4 movies, X-Files movies to make. We’re very excited.

Bean: Really? Do you know in your mind where those three are gonna go?

Chris: Yes, and I tell no one so they can’t fire me.

Bean: So, you pretty much already have that figured out?

Chris: Yeah.

Bean: Damn, if it were me, I’d be going, “Oh, my God! I got to come up with three movies? How the hell am I gonna do that?” You’ve already got them in your mind?

Chris: Roughly.

Bean: Now, the first one was so great. It was better than anybody expected it was gonna be, because people looked at it as, oh, they’re cashing in, it’s a TV spinoff, or whatever. But it was terrific, and it held up on its own. You really took advantage of the things you could do on the movie screen that you couldn’t do on the small screen. It was just fantastic.

Chris: Thanks, and I think this next one will be even better.

Kevin: We need to take a break. We have Chris Carter in the studio. I would like to bring up — they always give us bio information on our guests that come in, and I had forgotten that you wrote and directed The Nanny. (laughing)

Chris: It’s not The Nanny that you know. It’s another Nanny.

Kevin: Good, because I was telling Bean, “Did he do The Nanny? Chris Carter — The Nanny?! No way!” All right, good, that’s good to hear. We’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll come right back with Chris Carter and talk The X-Files next.

Bean: In the studio, one of the guys who has been on our program many times over the years. We are always happy to make some time for Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files, Sunday nights on 9:00 on Fox. You know, porn legend Ron Jeremy is coming in next hour, Chris. He wasn’t in The XXX-Files, was he? He didn’t star in that movie, did he?

Chris: I think he wasn’t.

Bean: Because he was in Ally McFeel, so we weren’t sure if —

Kevin: He was also in I Love Juicy, so… (laughs)

Bean: We are talking about The X-Files. The 200th episode is on Sunday night. Is that right?

Chris: Uh, no, it’s coming up this year. We are in the 190s now, I think.

Bean: Wow. That is unbelievable.

Kevin: That is amazing. You got time for a couple of calls, Chris?

Chris: Yeah, sure.

Kevin: ‘Cause every time you come in, the fans have questions they’re burning to ask you.

Bean: Let’s say good morning to … Katrina?

Woman: Katrinka.

Kevin: That’s a made-up name.

Bean: That’s what it said, I just didn’t believe it. All right, Katrinka from Cyprus.

Katrinka: Hi. Chris, I just wanted to say thank you. I’m a big X-Files fan, such a big fan, my 4-year-old son knows that Sunday night is X-Files night. We love it. My question is, we just started watching Smallville this season and started noticing a big similarity in the show, especially Tuesday night, they did one where the girl was sucking the fat out of people —

Chris: Yes.

Katrinka: And that was a big X-File once. When stuff like that happens, do you feel flattered, does it upset you, or you don’t care, or what?

Kevin: You don’t have anything to do with that show, do you?

Chris: No, I have nothing to do with that show.

Kevin: Okay. They copy you?

Chris: You know, actually, I saw a little bit of the pilot. People have been saying they have been seeing some X-Files stories on the show. I don’t know, I guess it is flattering.

Kevin: Well, they do draw from the same well, too. So, there are people who come up with ideas independently who are working in the same genre.

Bean: You have developed that well for quite some time, too.

(K&B ask the caller about her name, etc.)

Kevin: How much time do you have to even watch TV or movies, Chris? Any?

Chris: (chuckles) None.

Kevin: Really?

Chris: Yeah.

Bean: Chris has a miserable life. I’m telling you right now, Chris is miserable. He sits in front of his little computer screen and just types. Twenty hours a day.

Kevin: That’s so sad.

Chris: (defensive) No, I watch enough TV.

Bean: No, you don’t.

Kevin: What are your favorite shows on TV?

Chris: I like The Sopranos.

Bean: So this is great for you, ’cause you got a year off. You don’t have to worry about watching that.

Chris: That’s true. I want that job.

Bean: What else? (silence) You can name one TV show.

Chris: I’m a surfer. I watch NYPD Blue. I think it’s great.

Bean: Yeah? What’s the last movie that you enjoyed?

Chris: I saw Spy Game the other night. That was kind of good.

Kevin: I liked that a lot.

Chris: And … um …

Bean: And that’s it. (all laugh) Let’s talk to Joe from West LA. This is a question that is asked of every person who creates entertainment in Hollywood these days. Joe, good morning, you’re on with Chris Carter.

Joe: Hi. When you did the movie, you blew up a building in Dallas which looked reminiscently like the Oklahoma City bombing —

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Joe: And also the pilot episode of The Lone Gunmen, you had a plot for a passenger jet to be crashed into the World Trade Center. I’m just wondering, in light of the September 11 events have you gotten more self-conscious with your writing?

Chris: You think about it every day. So, it’s something that we won’t touch on the show. I don’t think we have any perspective on it, and we do entertainment.

Bean: So, you’ve tried to stay away

Chris: Yeah. It’s a very sensitive subject right now, and I don’t think that it’s subject matter for us.

Kevin: You also depict people high up in the Government and for a while after September 11, you weren’t allowed to cast aspersions on the President or any of his staff.

Bean: Boy, did we find that out the hard way.

Kevin: Yeah, we sure did. I mean, your presentation of the government, even, some people could look at and kind of feel weird about it because it’s not patriotic right now.

Chris: Well, we deal with factions inside the government, so it’s not the government, per se. It’s not the big bad evil government, it’s factions within it.

Bean: And that’s how you make yourself feel better at night? (laugh)

Kevin: One more, from Mike in Hollywood. Hello, Mike? (no answer) Oh, he’s gone. He wanted to know if you were going to release seasons 5-8 on DVD.

Chris: Yes, we are.

Kevin: I imagine that makes sense. Isn’t it great to be have DVD, to be able to have the entire collection?

Chris: Yeah, it’s incredible to me

Bean: Have you been able to do stuff? What kind of things have you been able to add to The X-Files DVDs?

Chris: We add some stuff in, scenes that were missing or deleted or had to be taken out for time, and then there’s commentary. So it’s got a lot of bonus stuff.

Lisa [a show staffer]: Will it help us understand?

Kevin: No.

Chris: Follow the bouncing ball?

Bean: Nothing will do that.

Kevin: Although we’re convinced — we didn’t even bring this up — Chris has no idea what’s going on in The X-Files.

Lisa: He lost control in season two.

Bean: He doesn’t have a clue.

Kevin: All along he said, “I know what’s going to happen, I know what’s going to happen.” And we just doubt him.

Bean: We are calling bogus on that. Absolutely calling bogus!

Kevin: We have to go, but what else you can tell us about Sunday night’s X-Files, except the throw-up scene? What else have you got for us, anything? Whet our appetite?

Chris: It’s a stand-alone episode, which means it’s not a mythology episode. It really does what The X-Files, I think, does best, which is scare the pants off of you.

Bean: It does that. I’ve seen it, I recommend it, folks. You should check it out, Sunday night on 9 on Fox.

Kevin: There you go. Chris Carter, thanks very much for coming in.

Chris: Thanks for having me.

Kevin: We appreciate it.

SciFiWire

Nov-21-2001
ScFiWire

The X-Files writer-producer Frank Spotnitz told us that he’s not sure if there will be a 10th season of the SF series, but he added that this year’s episodes are being crafted with an eye towards the possibility. “One of the first things this season, before we even knew if [series creator] Chris [Carter] was coming back, was figuring out how the show would work for season nine, and then how it could work for seasons 10 and 11 and beyond if the audience were there,” Spotnitz said in an interview. Spotnitz added, “We didn’t want to write ourselves into a corner, so we really planned for the future.

We took into consideration the fans and the actors who are putting so much into making the show a success. Robert [Patrick] and Annabeth [Gish] are really killing themselves, working incredibly long hours, being very disciplined and dedicated, and trying to make everything as good as it can be, because they have to prove themselves. We wanted to honor that and find a way for the show to go forward.”

A 10th year could prove problematic, however, even assuming the lackluster ratings for this year’s batch of shows perk up. Gillian Anderson is in the last year of her contract. Carter only signed a one-year deal for this season. And even Spotnitz has yet to ink a deal. “Will I come back?” he asked. “I don’t know. I really don’t know. Will Chris come back? Given how long it took him to sign this year, I think there’s a very good chance he won’t. And the same questions apply to the rest of the people who’ve made the show what it is all these years. I would like to think the show, because it’s such a good idea, because of all the great people, could go on even if we didn’t come back, but there are other issues, too. [There are issues of] economics and political support, internally and at the studio. There are battles fought that people don’t know about, that they don’t need to know about, but that all factor into the final decision.”

Cinescape: The Scares Are Out There

Nov-??-2001
Cinescape
The Scares Are Out There
Melissa J. Perenson

[typed by Megan]

While The X-Files originally started out as a cult series focusing on the paranormal, over the course of eight years the genre mainstay has managed to deliver more thrills, chills and scares than any other network series on television. Most of those jolts came during the show’s initial four years (as evidenced by our lists here) …which is probably later seasons for not being scary enough.

The all-time creepiest X-Files episodes ever

5) “Tooms” (season one) Writers: Glen Morgan and James Wong | Director: David Nutter Plot: A sequel to the series’ third episode, “Squeeze”, it’s the return of the liver-eating mutant who can hibernate and elongate his body.

Why it’s scary: Among other things, Tooms is crushed to death by an escalator.

Origin: “Tooms’ was just about trying to get it right,” says Morgan, who wasn’t pleased with how “Squeeze” turned out. “That [idea] came about when I was Christmas shopping at the Thousand Oaks Mall and these guys were working the elevator. The base of the escalator is a metal plate and you lift it up and these guys were inside of it. And I thought, “That would be great if somebody lived down there.”

4) “Pusher” (season three) Writer: Vince Gilligan | Director: Rob Bowman Plot: Robert Modell, also known as Pusher, can get into people’s minds – literally. That’s handy for bending his victims, not to mention the police and the FBI, to his will.

Why it’s Scary: The concept of a killer who wills death on his victims, making it look like suicide, is scary enough, but the fast-paced, tautly written script heightens the drama.

3) “Die Hand Die Verletzt” (season two) Writers: Glen Morgan and James Wong | Director: Kim Manners Plot: A high school in a sleepy New Hampshire town is riddled with occultists and dark forces.

Why it’s scary: Take your pick from the cornucopia of topics here – devil worship, repressed memories, a teenager’s suicide, a high school parents’ association filled with members who practice Black Magic.

Origin: For his last hurrah before leaving The X-Files, Morgan thought it would be appropriate to do a horror episode. “The idea of a satanic PTA just struck me as funny,” recalls Morgan who adds that its most vicious moment is when a snake eats a human being. “People talk about ‘Home’ being the most violent episode. I think ‘Die Hand Die Verletzt’ is the most disturbing.”

2) “Unruhe” (season four) Writer: Vince Gilligan | Director: Rob Bowman Plot: Killer Gerry Schnauz generates psychic photographs of his victims – whom he has lobotomized with an ice pick.

Why it’s scary: Again abducted by a killer, Scully is bound, gagged and at a madman’s mercy; in this case, Pruitt Vince plays the madman to perfection. Mulder find his partner in time – but just barely.

Origin: Gilligan explains that the story sterns from the world’s first modern mass-murderer Howard Unra who was a war vet from New Jersey back in 1947. “He came home and took his stolen German world for unrest is unra; so, the guys name literally meant unrest. The finished story had nothing to do with that, but the idea, originally, was that somehow the word keeps coming up and then people start to kill.”

1) “Home” (season four) Writers: Glen Morgan and James Wong | Director: Kim Manners Plot: A grotesquely malformed infant is discovered in a shallow grave and the FBI is called in.

Why it’s scary: The incestuous plot is disturbing enough, but Manners’ crafty shooting makes this one of the most horrifying and notorious episodes ever aired.

Origin: After creating the short-lived Space: Above and Beyond, Morgan and Wong returned to the show wanting to create a truly scary episode. “I had no idea it would create the ruckus it did,” admits Morgan who was inspired by a passage in Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography for this episode. “[Chaplin] had been traveling in a musical theater vaudeville circuit in England and had stayed at a place that was like a tenement and the family that ran it took a liking to him and they said, ‘Come on in here, we’ve got to show you this.’ So he goes upstairs to this one-room tenement with a cot, and from beneath the cot they wheeled out a boy with no arms and no legs. They lift him up and the family starts singing and clapping and the kid starts dancing. The family thinks this is really some special treat and Chaplin is just horrified. I thought, ‘This is the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard and we should do some variation of that.'”

In spite of the reaction to the graphic nature and disturbing concept, Morgan hoped to bring the characters back while executive producing Millennium. “[The idea was] the mother and the one kid survived and Frank comes across them,” says Morgan. “It would have been great, but then FOX put a ban on ‘Home’ forever.”

Looking back, Spotnitz muses that the commotion generated by the episode was really a case of much ado about nothing.

“There were a lot of notes and a lot of things cut out,” he says of the episode. “The ideas were very disturbing, but what was actually shown? It’s actually very artfully done.”

The dirty secret at the heart of the FBI, a project no one at the prestigious law enforcement agency wants to talk about. The X-Files are the morass of unsolved cases whose details are too perplexing for modern investigative methods to crack. Dealing with subject matter too embarrassing or irksome for the establishment, they were left to languish in the basement until Special Agent Fox Mulder assumed responsibility for that section, sacrificing his reputation in the process. Special Agent Dana Scully was assigned as his partner shortly thereafter, to debunk his investigations on scientific grounds and keep an eye on “Spooky” Mulder.

Unfortunately, during the course of their adventures – now popularized through a successful FOX network television series – Scully began to tolerate and later adopt many of Mulder’s wild theories on alien abduction, mutant maniacs, magical and supernatural phenomena and complex government conspiracies aimed at assisting an alien race with the subjugation and colonization of the planet Earth. Naturally, most of their so-called investigations have ended with inconclusive results and would be laughed out of every court in the nation.

Perhaps realizing the futility of his crusade, and feeling he had achieved closure in his decade-long search for his missing sister (who he believed was abducted by those same aliens!). Mulder has left the X-Files. They are now the domain of Agent Scully and new Agents John Doggett and Monica Reyes. As Agent Scully once said, “The truth is out there – but so are lies.” Those two newcomers will no doubt be hearing some big ones very soon.

The Hollywood Reporter: TV Talk

Oct-15-2001
The Hollywood Reporter
TV Talk

It has become an annual ritual: “The X-Files” wraps its season with a cliffhanger on- and offscreen. Will the show return for another season? That drama has been as engaging as the onscreen pursuit for the truth that everyone knows by now is out there.

Now the show’s creator, Chris Carter, who renewed his vows with 20th Century Fox TV for another season in a midnight call to Fox TV Entertainment Group chairman Sandy Grushow in July, and the rest of the “X-Files” gang are back and ready to re invent the long-running series.

The trademark “X-Files” humor also is set for a comeback, and there will be new faces, including Cary Elwes and Annabeth Gish, who is starting her first season as a regular. “There are new characters who are sharing the stage with the old characters and, by necessity, they’re driving the show in new directions,” executive producer Frank Spotnitz said of the upcoming season, set to launch Nov. 4. “So it’s definitely the ‘X-Files’ television series that we’ve all come to know so well over the past eight years, but it feels very fresh and different.”

Agent Scully’s (Gillian Anderson) baby, whose birth was the culmination of the series’ cliff hanger season finale in May, will be central to the plot this year.

“There’s something afoot, and it involves what could be looked at as a new conspiracy, but one far different from the one that Agent Mulder (David Duchovny) pursued all those years,” Carter said.

While they’re all energized for the new season, the show’s creative team feels a little disappointed that the series spinoff, “The Lone Gunmen,” didn’t come back. On the bright side, though, it is a break from recent years when they had to split their time between “X-Files” and another show. First it was “Millennium,” then the short-lived “Harsh Realm” and, earlier this year, “Gunmen.”

“Now that we’re just doing ‘The X-Files’ again, it feels like a luxury to be able to concentrate solely on one series, and it’s a pleasure to focus exclusively,” Spotnitz said.

This fall, the Lone Gunmen trio will be back on “X-Files,” as will goofy humor. “Last year we were establishing Robert (Patrick)’s character, so we didn’t do any lighthearted episodes like we’ve been known to do over the previous seven years of the show,” Carter said. “This year, I think you will see a number of those.”

Of the three leads this season _ Anderson, Patrick and Gish _ only Anderson is an original cast member, and she has said she will leave at the end of the season.

Carter and Spotnitz believe they “still (have) plenty of stories left to tell,” even without the original leads.

“I never imagined telling these stories without David to a point, and now I have to imagine telling them without Gillian, but I think that it’s possible,” Carter said.

Rebuilding the show around new central characters could give the long-running series a new lease on life, Spotnitz said. “Strictly creatively, we all feel like (the show) has new life and could go on indefinitely,” he said.

But Carter is not that certain about his future on the show.

“This has already been a decade of my life because it took a year to take (‘X-Files’) off the ground,” Carter said. “You have to think about how you want to spend your creative energy.”

Cinescape: Fall TV Preview: The X-Files

Oct-??-2001
Cinescape
Fall TV Preview: The X-Files

[typed by Megan]

High Concept: FBI agents searching for intelligent life in the universe also find conspiracies, monsters and big ratings.

Major Players: Gillian Anderson, Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish.

Why Should You Watch: With Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Anderson) finally consummating their relationship (with a kiss) at the end of last season, the originator of the “X-Files” will be suspiciously absent, leaving Scully to contend with her new baby (and its secrets) all by herself. How producers handle Mulder’s absence will be an amazing sleight of hand trick, but seeing if new partners Doggett and Reyes click will be what most X-Fans will be watching.

Reasons To Be Concerned: It’s season nine – and no Mulder. The show’s mythology was tired in season five and there are very few adversaries left from the monster gene pool to exploit. Doggett revitalized the show last season while we waited for Mulder to return, but will Gish do the same?

Buzz-O-Meter: 5 (out of 10)

It was sealed with a kiss and now he’s gone…again. At the end of The X-Files’ eighth season, Agent Mulder (David Duchovny) and Agent Scully (Gillian Anderson) admitted to each other the “truth” that was out there all along – their love for each other. And with that, X-fans finally got what they wanted – confirmation that indeed Mulder and Scully did have something going on.

If the series ended on that note, it would have been a fitting conclusion to one of the TV’s most challenging and interesting genre television shows. Yet, FOX wanted another season. They got their wish, but not without a price – sans Duchovny. Now, the show is going to have to find a suitable way of resolving that kiss without making Mulder’s absence seem like he’s a deadbeat sperm-donating dad.

“I care how they resolve Mulder kissing and running [away],” Duchovny admitted to Cinescape, while promoting his summer feature Evolution.

Of course, the writing staff is well aware of this dilemma, but executive producer John Shiban feels they’ve come up with an adequate solution.

“I think we all share David’s feeling about the character,” says Shiban. “We have come up with a way for Mulder to still be at the heart of the show and be absent. If he does the movies, it works. If he comes back for a cameo, it works, though right now the latter is not going to happen, but you never know. We came up with a beautiful way that fits with the mythology that has already been established to still have Mulder be in Scully’s heart, be the father of her child and not be present. He will still be the center of The X-Files.”

Whereas last year, the subtext of the show focused on “the search for Mulder,” this year the major subplot will be “what’s up with Scully’s baby,” explains Shiban.

“We intend to use Scully in ever episode in some very interesting ways,” says Shiban. “She has been left with a big question: ‘What is with my baby? Why did the aliens want it and then let it go?’ Her relationship with Mulder is still central to the show – if not there in person, he’ll be there in spirit. Still, this new world for Scully – motherhood – is very important.”

The season ender also paired up Agent Doggett (Robert Patrick) with recurring character Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) the new “head” of the X-Files. Predictably, Gish joins this season as a full-fledged cast member.

“Agent Reyes is very important next year, and so is Agent Doggett,” says Shiban. “We will get into Doggett’s past with his son and what happened with that.”

Making an appearance in a key arc next season will be Xena star Lucy Lawless, whose character has yet to be revealed, and Shiban says you should never count out the Cigarette Smoking Man for making an appearance despite being dead.

AOLchat/TV Guide Online with Chris Carter

Aug-23-2001
AOLchat with Chris Carter

Chris Carter: Hi. Ready for any and all questions…

Question: Chris, Lucy Lawless is well known for her role on Xena. How do you think fans will react to her playing an Agent on The X-Files?

Chris Carter: Well, I hope they like her. 🙂 We had a chance to cast someone who I had met at the…I think 1997 or 98 Emmy Awards. She came up to me and introduced herself, and said she was a fan of the show. Late last year, when it was announced that Xena wouldn’t be coming back, she and her husband sent me a nice note about what fans they were of the show. I took that as an opportunity to take someone who was a fine actress, who would clearly be looking for a role different from the one she had played for the last number of years, and figure out a way to use her in the show. And it just so happened that how we were plotting out Season Nine that she fit perfectly into the X-Files mythology. It’s interesting that Lucy studied acting in Vancouver under Bill Davis, who played the Cigarette-Smoking Man for so many years.

Question: are you really into sci-fi stuff or would you like to expand to another category?

Chris Carter: I never considered myself a science-fiction writer to begin with. I always thought of the X-Files as a mystery show that dealt with the paranormal. Now I’ve been labeled as a science fiction writer, and it’s accurate. But it is a limiting label. So, I am interested in doing something outside of that label, but that doesn’t rule out a good mystery or thriller story, which is what the X-Files primarily is.

Question: were you disappointed that Mulder left or were you excited about the new opportunities that opened up?

Chris Carter: Well, we were all sorry to see David go, but it was an understandable decision. Anything that presents itself as a problem to TV producers or writers seems like a bad thing. But, it can be a constructive thing, if you can figure out a way to solve the problem. So, what we’re doing is taking a situation — a Mulder-less X-Files. We’re adding some new characters. While it is still a 2 or 3 lead show, there are many more ensemble situations this year that I think will make the show better in some ways.

Question: With the shady disposal of the Cigarette-Smoking Man in Season 7, are we to expect any re-appearances or more satisfying closure for the almighty CSM in Season 9 ?

Chris Carter: Anything can happen on the X-Files.

Question: Chris, your shows are fantastic! “Millennium” was truly the best show on television. Any chance that it (or any of your other wonderful shows) will be released of video or DVD?

Chris Carter: They’re talking about Millennium on DVD. Beyond that I wouldn’t think there is much hope for Harsh Realm, or Lone Gunman. But, I think there are a lot of people asking for the Millennium DVD, so I think that will happen.

May I just interrupt to say “Yaaaaay!”? Thank you. *g*

Question: Chris, thank you so much for adding Carey Elwes to the cast! “The Princess Bride” has long been a favorite movie, and I’ve always thought he would be great on TXF. What are the biggest changes we’ll see early on next season, mythology-wise?

Chris Carter: Well, Cary Elwes plays a pirate with a patch on his eye, so that will be a big change..

It’s Dread Pirate Brad! LOLOLOL

Chris, cont’d: I think you’ll see when you watch the first episode, there will be some obvious changes. I won’t go into them, but they are obviously the result of the introduction of new characters, and ones who have had relationships that aren’t about sexual restraint.

Question: Thank you for bringing us The Lone Gunmen series, even if it was unfortunately brought to an end. Any chance the guys (with Jimmy and Yves?) might be appearing in Season 9?

Chris Carter: Yes. You’ll see them in the first and second episode. We’re just pulling a trick on Fox. The X-Files the ninth season will just be starring the Lone Gunmen.

This one had me ROTF. Way to go, Chris! *g*

Question: Mr. Carter, will there be a resolution to the cliff-hanger season finale of “The Lone Gunmen” on “The X-Files”?

Chris Carter: Yes. But, you really have to have been a careful watcher of that program to understand what it is.

Question: Will Doggett’s son’s disappearance become part of the mytharc?

Chris Carter: It certainly is something that has shaped his character. So I would say that it won’t be the replacement for the Mulder/Samantha search, but it is something that informs his approach to life and his relationship with Monica Reyes.

Question: Hi there, Mr. Carter. I really like the new characters and I think they bring a lot of very positive energy into the show. I’m more excited about the X-Files than I have been in years. How much will Scully be working with Doggett and Reyes?

Chris Carter: From the first episode we’ll see how she works with them, even though she is a mother. She is drawn back into the X-Files by the biggest mystery in her life.

Question: Can you make Cary Elwes say ‘As you wish’ on the X-Files?

Chris Carter: Yes. 🙂

GREAT question, even better answer! LOL

Question: What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the last year?

Chris Carter: I haven’t seen that many movies, but I’ve seen some good ones. Last night, I saw the Apocalypse Now re-release. It was nice to see it on the big screen, but I though the original release was superior. We’ve had screenings of a couple of movies here recently. We saw Planet of the Apes, which none of us liked. And we were all big fans of the original. And the guy at Miramax/Dimension sent us a print of The Others, and we liked that. We thought it was really smart and really scary. And you can’t take your eyes off Nichole Kidman. It was scary like my favorite scary movies. They made a movie based on Henry James’ Turn of the Screw, called the Innocents. It had two creepy kids in it, and the two kids in this were even creepier. It also had a lot of good moments that weren’t effect-driven, which was nice to see.

Question: Will Scully’s pregnancy be fully explained in the next season?

Chris Carter: Yes. It’ll be explored extensively. Explained? You’re asking a lot for the X-Files.

Question: How are you doing on the next X-Files movie? Have you even started?

Chris Carter: We’re talking about it now, pretty actively in fact. If all the business can be worked out, we could see a new X-Files movie in the next few years.

Question: Chris, are Gillian and David going to make a 2nd X-Files movie?

Chris Carter: But, there’s less interest while the series is ongoing. And, yes that’s the plan to have David and Gillian in it.

Question: Are Krycek, CSM, WMM, and other people from the Consortium really dead?

Chris Carter: That’s a question that you have answer specifically… But, I will say that it looks as though all of them have met real and final ends. But, one of them is possibly still alive.

Question: Is there any chance of us seeing the faceless rebels or even Marita this season??

Chris Carter: Marita has been busy working with Jim Carrey. And, if we make any more budget cuts, we’ll have to see more of the faceless rebels, because we won’t be able to cast real actors. 🙂

Question: Will we be seeing a different side of Scully now that she’s a mother…maybe more of a motherly side?

Chris Carter: Yes. We’ll be doing the breast-feeding episode. 🙂 I think she’s going to have to balance her life between being a mother, and being a person who is still looking for the truth.

Question: Hi! Loved season 8! Keep up the great work! But we have to know FOR SURE, who’s the father of little baby William? And how is it gonna work without Mulder to play daddy?!

Chris Carter: We’re going to turn the X-Files into a sitcom called “Everyone Loves Mulder.”

Question: What did you do over the summer, we heard you were on island or something catching up on your surfing?

Chris Carter: I went on an amazing surf trip this year to Indonesia.

Come on, we want pictures! *g*

Question: Are you influenced by any current TV shows or movies?

Chris Carter: I loved the movie “The Insider,” and I think any contemporary movie… that and “L.A. Confidential” are movies I watch again and again… so I would have to say that I’m influenced by those movies.

Great taste in movies. *g* Maybe we’ll see him at Russell’s concert Sunday night. *g*

Question: I heard a rumor that there’s gonna be a new syndicate…is it gonna be headed by Director Kersh (I hate that guy).

Chris Carter: Kersh is wrapped up in a case that begins the X-Files season, but his involvement in it is, and in any larger conspiracy, may not be what you think.

Question: Will there be any scripts written by cast members? Famous authors? Aliens?

Chris Carter: Yes.

TV Guide Moderator: Is that a first?

Chris Carter: We’re going to have two of them written by aliens this year. That’s a first. And if they do well, we’re thinking about bringing them on staff.

Question: Are there any plans to “intensify” John Doggett this season? We all love watching him let loose on villains!

Chris Carter: Yes. We love his character because he wears his heart on his sleeve, and he is quick to act and do the right thing. So, I think you can expect to see more of that.

TV Guide Moderator: Was Doggett a collaborative character or was it from one person?

Chris Carter: I think it was something that we all talked about, but I wrote his voice. So, I think he was someone we all came up with together, but his voice came out of my head. But, it was something that was helped in a large degree by casting Robert Patrick.

Question: Will there be some humor oriented episodes in Season 9, or is the Doggett/Scully dichotomy not developed enough yet to play off of it?

Chris Carter: It’s tricky because Scully’s a mother, and there’s great suspicion that Mulder is the father, so you have a relationship that is unresolved and largely unspoken. So, I think it’s a little early to see Scully and Doggett get together. But, I think the humor this year will come out of situations. And also because we know Doggett better, and we’ve established his character, so we’ll see him lighten up. So, we should see that with Scully, and with Monica Reyes.

Question: How have the changes in technology affected the filming of the XF over the years and what effects do we expect this new technology to have on the XF in the future?

Chris Carter: The practical technology hasn’t changed all that much. The effects have become, I think, cheaper because of the advances in technology. You can do more in less time, so you can do it on a TV schedule. But, technology itself is still used best on the X-Files as a storytelling device, because we are all still so afraid of it.

Question: How do you feel about the movie on TV? Is it edited?

Chris Carter: There are some real slight, and you may not even notice them, deletions from the movie to fit the time format. Rob Bowman, the director, did them himself, so we’re all satisfied. It is going to show on Fox on Friday, September 14th, at 8:00.

TV Guide Moderator: Thanks so much for chatting with you!

Chris Carter: Thank you!

TV Guide Online: Tune into The X-Files on Fox on Sunday nights. Don’t miss your chance to catch the network television premiere of The X-Files movie on Sept. 14th on Fox. And visit www.thexfiles.com for all news and information about the series. Thanks for coming tonight.

Airlock Alpha: Reyes loves Scully?

Aug-04-2001
Reyes loves Scully?
Airlock Alpha
Michael Hinman

[Original article here]

It could’ve been an X-Files matching made in heaven

Move over Xena and Gabrielle.

It was a single line that erupted in a summer long of debate among fans of “The X-Files.”

In the season finale, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) is giving birth to her child when Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) comments how “amazingly beautiful” Scully was during the birthing process.

So the question is now whether or not Agent Reyes is going to be a lesbian on the show.

“We talked about it,” executive producer John Shiban told TV Guide Online in a recent interview. “But we (ultimately decided) that it’s the kind of baggage that we (creator Chris Carter and producer Frank Spotnitz) that we didn’t want to deal with with this kind of character right now. We had other ideas that we were more excited about.”

Shiban says that while Reyes has “an affection for Scully that is deep and real,” there might be more implied from the season finale line than there should be.

“Most women look beautiful when they’re giving birth,” Gish said. “And it was a very authentic birth experience, so I think it was very harmless.”

Will there ever be a gay relationship on the show?

“On The X-Files, anything can happen,” Shiban said. “So I don’t want to discount anything. Life is complicated.”

San Francisco Chronicle: Special Effects on TV The X-Files starring Gillian Anderson and Mitch Pileggi: Special effects add to television experience

Aug-04-2001
San Francisco Chronicle
Special Effects on TV
The X-Files starring Gillian Anderson and Mitch Pileggi: Special effects add to television experience
Candace Havens

During Summer 2000, moviegoers watched as gigantic waves crushed a fishing boat in The Perfect Storm and Tom Cruise dangled from a cliff in MI-2. A ghostly apparition chased Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford in What Lies Beneath, and the stars of X-Men fought battles with supernatural strength as they flew through the air.

All these films and most major releases in Hollywood these days use special-effects makeup and computer-generated images to make stories more exciting. And as these effects become more refined and easier to duplicate, the same technology is being used more than ever on primetime and daytime TV.

[snip bit on Discovery Channel special]

Fox’s The X-Files and the WB Network’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer use special effects on a weekly basis. HBO’s crime-drama The Sopranos, which created a talking fish last season, digitally put the head of deceased cast member Nancy Marchand on the body of another actress in the season opener.

“We are using more effects than ever in TV, and we are streamlining the process as we go,” says Matthew Mungle, an Academy Award-winning special-effects designer who creates bizarre beings for The X-Files and is working on several feature films, including The Mummy Returns. “The TV audience is savvy, and they expect to see film-quality effects on their favorite shows. There’s no more just slapping it together and throwing it on.”

For the X-Files episode “Dead Alive,” Mungle and his crew created a body suit for a character to make it look as if he had been floating dead in the ocean for several days. “And then … when he’s in the hospital, he still has to look bloated, but his skin is dry. He gets up one night and takes a shower, and all that bloated skin sloughs off. That was another effect we worked on. We had five days to create the whole thing, and it was a real challenge.”

The short time span isn’t unusual for special-effects experts who work in TV. Two weeks before they begin shooting an episode, Mungle meets the department heads and creative forces behind The X-Files. They discuss what they want to see happen and how it can be done within the budget. Mungle goes back to his lab and develops a prototype of the creature or effect to see how it will work in full form.

“Technology has helped a great deal because I can just e-mail the director and producers a picture of what we are working on,” Mungle says. “In less than 15 minutes, I can get feedback from them on what changes need to be made. Then we start putting it all together. We use whatever is the fastest and most appropriate to make it happen. Luckily, we’ve come a long way in this business and have a plethora of materials we can use that set up quickly; otherwise, there’s no way we could do it.”

Krause Publications: The X-Files enters the unknown without Duchovny

Jul-12-2001
Krause Publications
The X-Files enters the unknown without Duchovny
Tom Kessenich (aka Unbound)

It ended, with a kiss. And just like that, a door was closed on the past while another was opened to a future ripe with change and riddled with uncertainty.

When “The X-Files” begins its ninth season this fall, the landscape of the long-running Fox drama will have undergone a massive transformation. David Duchovny, the series’ top-billed star, has departed for good, leaving co-star Gillian Anderson behind, along with Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish, who joined the show last season as FBI Agents Doggett and Reyes.

Duchovny is not the first TV star to depart the small screen hoping to find more creative opportunities in the film world. But his departure creates a Grand Canyon-sized hole at the center of this series.

“The X-Files” has never been an anthology series or an ensemble show with a rotating cast of stars. It has always been about Mulder’s world as seen through the eyes of Anderson’s skeptical, scientific-minded Scully. Mulder’s quest to find the elusive “truth” was the impetus that drove the series forward, while the Mulder-Scully dynamic provided its heart and soul.

Now Mulder is gone after an emotionally compelling send-off in last season’s finale that saw him with Scully, holding their baby and kissing her passionately as the screen faded to black. That scene has fans wondering what will become of this series now that Duchovny has departed, and what will become of Scully, whose presence will serve as a constant reminder of who is no longer there?

“Mulder and Scully really are the heart and soul of the series,” executive producer Frank Spotnitz said in a recent telephone interview. “You can’t separate the success of The X-Files from the success of David and Gillian as actors and the characters they play. All you can do really is just rely on all the strengths you’ve got which is a great idea for a television series and some wonderful actors who are here and have chemistries of their own.”

Spotnitz said one thing fans of the series will not have to be concerned about is the paternity of Scully’s baby being revised in the ninth season. Much of the eighth season was spent examining how the baby came to be since it had been previously established that Scully was unable to conceive.

Numerous red herrings were trotted out, including the idea of alien tampering. But in the end, the naming of the baby after Mulder’s father and their tender kiss provided confirmation that the baby was Mulder’s and the product of a sexual relationship between he and Scully that had only been hinted at in the past.

“The final scene was meant to say that Mulder and Scully had consummated their relationship and this child was a result of that,” Spotnitz said.

That final scene would have been significantly different had Duchovny and director Kim Manners not intervened after both were unsatisfied with series creator Chris Carter’s original ending which featured a mundane kiss on the forehead.

“We all sat down with Kim Manners and Chris Carter and said, ‘We’ve been teasing and doing that bull for so long, let’s have a real kiss at this point,'” Duchovny said during his press junket to promote his latest film “Evolution.” “I said, ‘I’m pretty sure I’m not coming back at this point so let’s have a romantic kiss.'”

So out went the forehead and in came the lips. And in that final moment, with their child between them, Mulder and Scully were given a rare moment of happiness in their journey into the unknown.

The kiss capped the most controversial season in the show’s storied history. Fans were divided over the introduction of Patrick’s character and many were outraged over the re-writing of history that had Mulder inexplicably being given a fatal brain disease and Scully trying invitro fertilization using Mulder as a donor.

It all resulted in declining ratings and a reinvention of the series so pronounced it left many fans wondering what had become of the show they loved.

“Chris Carter had his chance to go out with a bang, leaving a memorable mark on TV history,” said Katherine Ramsey, a fan from Virginia since the first season. “Instead, he squandered it in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. Without Mulder’s wit and humanity, The X-Files has no soul. Everything I saw in Season 8 reinforced that belief.”

“Somewhere along the way, the writers managed to get themselves sidetracked by mindless gore, inane and irrelevant plots, timeline blunders, and soap-operatic teasing,” said Konrad Frye, a fan from the Canadian province of Manitoba who also has watched the series since its inception. “It’s a shame because things didn’t have to be that way and as a longtime fan of the show, I’d come to expect more.”

These fans weren’t the only ones disappointed. Duchovny also lamented how the series had shifted away from Mulder and the Mulder-Scully dynamic after his full-time return for the final six episodes.

“When I came back, I felt somewhat peripheral,” Duchovny said. “Mulder’s story was one of three or four stories and it didn’t feel like the same show to me.”

Spotnitz responds to such complaints by saying 1013’s hands were tied creatively due to Duchovny’s contract, which called for him to be a part-time participant.

Many fans disagree, believing greater care should have been taken to weave Mulder’s absence (he spent half of the season on a spaceship after being abducted by aliens) and Scully’s pregnancy into the framework of the first half of the season, rather than focusing so intently on Doggett. They were also unhappy that, in some instances, Mulder and Scully were reduced to being guest stars on their own show.

The discontent was reflected in the ratings, which were higher for the episodes Duchovny appeared in compared to the ones he did not. The five highest-rated episodes last season all featured Duchovny and there was a steady decline in the ratings in December and January, when Duchovny did not appear in any episode, that ended only after his return in Feburary.

With Duchovny gone, many fans have said they have no interest in Doggett, Reyes or a show called “The X-Files” that does not feature Mulder and Scully together.

“To put it simply, The X-Files is Mulder and Scully,” said longtime fan Jan Skinner from Peoria, Ill. “Without them, you have a show that happens to have the same name, but is something else entirely.”

Not only is the series at a crossroads with Duchovny gone, it may move forward without its creator.

Planning for the ninth season began in June with Carter absent for the first time since he created the series in 1993. He has yet to reach a deal with Fox to return for the ninth season and there is speculation he will not return or serve only as a “consultant,” with Spotnitz assuming the lead role for the show’s creative decisions along with co-executive producers Vince Gilligan and John Shiban.

Carter declined to be interviewed for this story, but Spotnitz said it has been odd going to work without the show’s creative driving force around.

“Obviously, we hope he comes back because it’s his show, it’s his vision that we’ve all been serving for all these years and he’s an enormously talented writer and producer,” said Spotnitz, who has been in charge of the series with Carter gone. “If he doesn’t, it’s not like we don’t know where all the files are.”

Spotnitz also said contrary to speculation, Anderson will be in all of the episodes next season. The Emmy-award winning actress is in the final year of her contract and has been vocal about being a reluctant participant, saying – as Duchovny did – that she is tired of the weekly TV series grind.

Despite that, Spotnitz said Scully will be a vital part of the ninth season with one of the central story lines exploring how Scully’s fertility was restored. Another issue to be addressed is how to explain Mulder’s absence given the romantic relationship with Scully that was confirmed in last season’s finale.

“I think we’ve got a way that’s going to be pretty satisfying to people to address that issue that’s completely true to the character and completely true to the series,” Spotnitz said, declining to reveal anything further. “We were able to plot certain things in (last season’s finale) considering he may not be back.”

For the first time in series history, the writers at 1013 do not have the luxury of relying on the strength of the Mulder-Scully relationship to push the show forward. They no longer have the luxury of knowing that when things are in doubt, Duchovny and Anderson’s amazing chemistry can lift the show to greatness.

Like Mulder, that is now part of the show’s past. The present is filled with uncertainty and in many ways, “The X-Files” is embarking on a tenuous high-wire act without a net.

“If I went into the season thinking things were hunky dory and there were no risks associated it, I’d be foolish,” Spotnitz said. “Mulder and David Duchovny have been incredibly important to the success of the show and now we’re going forward without that character at least physically present. So it’s a gamble, there’s no doubt about it.”