Archive for the ‘Interviews: Official Magazine (US)’ Category

The X-Files Magazine: Agent Anderson

Sep-??-2002
The X-Files Magazine
Agent Anderson
John Reading

In an exclusive interview for The X-Files Magazine, Gillian Anderson reflects on her nine years playing Agent Dana Scully, as she faces the future without her alter-ego. Interview by John Reading

It’s all just starting to dawn on Gillian Anderson. The X-Files television series is over. She spent nearly one-third of her life portraying F.B.I. Special Agent Dana Scully on the show, first opposite David Duchovny as Fox Mulder and, later, opposite Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish as John Doggett and Monica Reyes.

Along the way, Anderson made time for a wide range of other experiences, both personal and professional. She married, divorced and became a mother during the show’s run, and helped raise nearly half a million dollars for Neurofibromatosis, Inc., a charity dedicated to those, like Anderson’s brother, who suffer from this genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on a person’s nerves. The actress also managed to squeeze in performances in such films as Chicago Cab, The Mighty, Playing By Heart and The House of Mirth, and lent her voice to the likes of the animated feature film Princess Mononoke and TV shows such as Frasier, Harsh Realm and The Simpsons. Closer to home, Anderson wrote and directed the “all things” episode of The X-Files.

Now, however, it’s time to get on with the rest of her life and career. We caught up with Anderson just as filming on the series was approaching its end, engaging her in a wide-ranging conversation about matters past, present and future as they relate to both The X-Files and to Gillian Anderson.

THE X-FILES MAGAZINE: So what are your thoughts on this major chapter of your life closing?

ANDERSON: This is so surreal. I swear to God it’s only started to hit me over the past couple of days. It feels like the nine years was so short. You know what I mean? While we were in the middle of it I felt that it would never end and now all of a sudden it just feels unfathomable.

XFM: So does that mean you don’t want it to end?

GA: No, no, no. I think ultimately that it’s good. I think it’s good for everybody and I think that everybody has put in such a huge effort over the years in really trying to keep the quality of the show up, to continue with its integrity as much as we could. There’s a time for everything to end and I think this is the right time. I think everybody in their own way is excited about moving on to other things. But both things can co-exist; one can be sad and in the process of mourning and at the same time be excited and hopeful for the future and change.

XFM: After nine years, is there a favorite episode that stands out in your mind?

GA: I felt akin to (all things). It certainly wasn’t one of my favorite episodes, but the process of it was exhilarating and rewarding. There are a few that I liked, that were fun. Bad Blood was a bit of a comedic episode that I felt was fun and smart and well written. Our schedule is so crazy that it’s hard for me to keep them straight. I’m terrible at that, so I couldn’t even begin to tell you favorites, but you know there are some.

XFM: The X-Files went from cult favorite to pop culture phenomenon. Let’s talk about the so-called craziness of the fans.

GA: I haven’t been feeling the craziness of it lately. We’re pretty well protected from that. It all just feels like there’s another entity out there that’s kind of breathing with the same heartbeat as we are and they support us.

I don’t experience a lot of craziness. We don’t get a lot of visitors on the set. Once in a while we do and people burst into tears and stuff, but the crazy period of time was earlier on and I didn’t even realize that that was crazy until it stopped being crazy. Then I thought, “Oh God, that **was** crazy!”

XFM: But you must go to restaurants and get recognized?

GA: Yeah, but it’s not on the same level as other people have. It’s not what Gwyneth Paltrow has, where you can’t sit in a restaurant without the entire restaurant stopping and trying to listen to your conversations. So I’m blessed in that way that I don’t have the pressure of that in my life. I live a very quiet, private life and every once in a while it feels abruptly jarred by somebody who’s extra-enthusiastic.

XF: OK, let’s get into the show a bit more. The past couple of years have focused not on Mulder’s story, but Scully’s. She was the anchor. What’s your take on the character’s evolution and where she’s at as we build to the end?

GA: Well, it’s happened by necessity because of the fact that David was going to be leaving. I think that for the first year he was gone the writers did a very good job of keeping him in the public consciousness even though he wasn’t around. It was remarkable. It’s interesting how if someone is talked about, it feels as if they’re present even though they’re not. So they were very successful in doing that. The show certainly did start out as Mulder’s quest. The show was primarily about his character and his genius and his revelations, and Scully’s job was to kind of help solidify that in the questions she would answer. They created a whole partnership, but it was 70/30, then it got to 60/40 and then to 50/50. And I’m not talking financially.

XFM: This season, Scully spent a lot of time with baby William and away from Doggett and Reyes. What did you make of that turn of events?

GA: That’s interesting. I don’t know about this whole baby thing. It certainly adds a level of complication to the filming! I think it added an interesting storyline, but it’s also been complicated. How do you involve Scully in the cases they’re investigating to a degree without the audience thinking, “Well, where’s the baby and why isn’t she home with him?” And if she **is** with the baby the fans are going, “We want her out in the field. We don’t want her home with the baby.” It was a very fine balance that they had to play.

XFM: Speaking of kids, how excited is your daughter Piper about the likelihood of having you home more often?

GA: Well, she’s not necessarily going to have me back home. She’s going to be doing a lot more traveling is what she’s going to be doing.

I don’t know what she’s feeling right now. I mean, we’ve had a couple of conversations about it and she’s just at that age right now where she’s starting to understand what it is that Mommy’s being doing for her lifetime. And I think she has, for the first time, a bit of a romantic view of what that is, and I’m trying to break that down as quickly as possible!

XFM: How do you feel about David coming back for the finale?

GA: I think it’s great. I didn’t realize how important it would be for that to happen. When I heard I was very excited and he called me and we had a conversation about the fact that he was coming back and possibly going to be directing something. I guess I didn’t realize how much I was missing him and integral he was [to the show], and I didn’t realize that we needed his presence to make a necessary closure.

XFM: You and David started on this journey together. How differently do you think you might feel if he didn’t come back to close things out?

GA: I don’t think I would have known that until the very end when I would have thought, “Well, wait a minute. This isn’t right. This isn’t right.” I’m very glad that the show is completely ending now because I have a feeling that, even though I would have mourned to a certain degree in saying goodbye, there would have been something left undone. Because the crew would have been continuing and, even though I was saying goodbye, it wouldn’t have been as clean. I feel like we have an opportunity now to really tie it up in a whole and constructive and completing way.

XFM: What will you miss most about The X Files?

GA: There are many, many things that I’m going to miss. I’m really going to miss David and Kim (Manners) and Chris (Carter). I think my body is going to keep expecting to do something familiar that it’s not going to have an opportunity to do. I’ll have the hiatus and then come July it will kind of feel like, “Well, something’s supposed to happen now, right? I’m supposed to go on a sound stage.” So it will be interesting to watch how it transpires in my body and in my psyche.

XFM: Would you even for a second consider jumping into another TV series?

GA: No, I’m just done. Please, it’s been nine years. There are so many other things to do, so many other things not even in the business that I want to do and in the business, but in other ways. Eventually, after I do some features, maybe if HBO asks me to direct something, I might do that. But there are so many things I want to do first.

XFM: How about the next X-Files feature?

GA: Well, there’s one that they’re hoping to do in the next couple of years. That I would definitely do.

XFM: Any concerns about ending the show now and then having to turn up on the set of an X-Files feature a year or so down the road?

GA: No. I’ve got a lot of stuff that I’m going to be doing between now and then that will be feeding me creatively in completely different ways. So when an X-Files film eventually presents itself, it will feel more like a reunion, I think, than something to dread or be afraid of.

XFM: Chris was asked about the meaning of the tagline “Trust no one,” and he said, to paraphrase, “I live in Hollywood. I work in Hollywood.” Do your experiences in Hollywood make you think the same way?

GA: I don’t trust anybody. I don’t trust anybody in Hollywood or Ohio. No, that’s not true.

XFM: But does working in this business, if nothing else, make you more cynical?

GA: Probably, I think. It’s interesting, because what I’ve heard about that aspect of the business is much more devastating than my experience. Because I don’t tolerate that, and I don’t behave in that way with people, I have a tendency to bring people into my experience who do not behave that way, because there’s no room otherwise. And so I don’t have that experience very much. I generally work with and get into business with people who are very on the line and honest and straightforward.

XFM: You’re currently gearing up to do a play and a movie. What can you tell us about those two projects?

GA: I optioned something that I’m going to adapt and direct eventually. Hopefully I can start writing over the summer. It’s a book called Speed of Light by Elizabeth Rossner. It’s a beautiful little book. But I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to get to that. I’m looking for different film projects for the summer and then I’m going to do a play in London in October and then maybe a feature after that. Or I might take a little time off. The play is a new Michael Weller (show) and it’s called What the Night is For.

XF: How full an experience has this show been for you? You started as a young unknown and you’re leaving as a mature woman and a famous and respected actress?

GA: The fact of the matter is that I grew up during the course of the show. I started when I was 24 and ended at almost 34. That’s almost a third of my life. I was young and naive and impressionable and didn’t have a clue about the business or anything at that time. Then, to grow up and to make mistakes along the way and to experience my life while trying to be somebody else (Scully) and try to be something other than myself for 18 hours a day was an interesting task. I also was doing that very publicly. So, as I’ve said, it’s been surreal.

The X-Files Magazine: Good Manners

Sep-??-2002
The X-Files Magazine [US]
Good Manners
Ian Spelling

After joining The X-Files in Season Two, Kim Manners went on to direct over a quarter of the episodes in the whole series. Ian Spelling caught up with the long-time X-Files director/producer, as he was literally and figuratively in the middle of telling ‘The Truth’.

As the official X-Files Magazine speaks to director Kim Manners, he is coming to terms with the fact that he is working on the very last episode of the show. ‘There are days that are really emotional and days where we’re all very stoic,’ says the long-time X-Files director. ‘We’re going through every human emotion. It’s very strange. We’ve fought with each other. We’ve apologized to each other. Everybody is under great pressure. It’s a very, very foreign feeling. It has been a very bittersweet resolution for all of us knowing that, finally, we are doing the last show. For the last four years we wrapped up in April, never knowing whether or not we were coming back for another season. Now we know this is it. Knowing that, I think we’re all savoring ever day, every moment on set, as painful as it may be, as demanding as it may be.’

The Truth, as we all know by now, heralds the return of Fox Mulder He’s captured and put on trial for the murder of Knowle Rohrer, a Super Soldier who cannot die, which makes it clear to all in the know – you, me, millions of other fans, not to mention, Scully, Skinner, Doggett and Reyes – that Mulder is being framed. Much of the show unfolds in a courtroom, as a parade of familiar faces return to provide testimony or, as apparitions, support Mulder. Among those on hand are Marita Covarrubias, Jeffrey Spender and Gibson Praise, as well as the long-dead X and Krycek. Later portions of the two-hour finale find Mulder on the run and encountering yet more familiar visage: the Cigarette Smoking Man and the ghosts of the Lone Gunmen.

“Directing this has been the epitome of the eight years I’ve been on the show,” Manners notes. “It’s been a very difficult shoot. The script is still evolving, and that’s only because every day we want to make it better. It’s always been a challenge. It’s always been last-minute. It’s just spontaneous.”

“That’s one of the reasons the show has worked over the years. We thrive under pressure and we don’t stop trying to make it the best it can be until it’s time to put it on the air. This finale is no different. We’re winging it, buddy! What can I tell you? And we’re getting it done. I knew David would come back. Whatever money he got I don’t even think was that important to him. He wouldn’t miss the end. This show is too much of his life. Now it’s the end and he’s here. And it’s important in terms of the story, the X-Files arc.

So does Manners feel that The Truth is a satisfactory end to the series? “The finale answers a lot of questions and, at the same time, it clears the slate, or some of the slate, for the next feature. If David hadn’t come back for the finale, the movie would have to be very different from whatever it’s going to be now.

“I think the finale does a lot of things,” Manners continues. “It opens up a completely new chapter for Mulder and Scully. The finale sets up a fugitive run, if you will, and that fugitive run will probably be addressed in the next feature. Chris (Carter, series creator) has said that the finale answers a number of the big questions and, in answering the big questions, answers some of the small questions, too. I tend to agree with the boss. The truth is revealed and the storyline of The X-Files is revealed in this courtroom drama, and you have to listen to every word. It brings you back to old episodes. It reminds you of old episodes. And you understand more clearly what this entire mythology story arc was.

“I think it’s a good path to the end. It’s a new beginning for a couple of people who are actually running from the law now. It’s a good way to go because it’s very tough to close out nine years of storytelling in two hours. It’s extremely difficult. That’s why we did it in a courtroom setting, with people testifying about what happened over the last nine years. It’s a clever idea, a clever script. You’ve got the courtroom drama and some very dramatic scenes at the beginning, for the first hour and 10 minutes, and then it becomes a chase at the end. I think Chris and (executive producer and co-writer) Frank Spotnitz have created a strong storyline and set themselves up for a good feature franchise.”

Manners own storyline goes like this: he’d directed episodes of Charlie’s Angels, Hunter, 21 Jump Street, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Adventure of Brisco County, Jr. when he met Carter in the bar at the hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, where those involved with The X-Files usually stayed. Manners was up in Canada at the time – in 1993 – working on Brisco County, which then served as Fox’s lead-in to The X-Files.

Manners told Carter “I really want to do your show,” and Carter, after screening a Manners-directed episode of 21 Jump Street, agreed to hire Manners for the Season Two episode Die Hand Die Verletzt. Bob Goodwin, then an X-Files co-executive producer, informed Manners that much of his footage might be reshot, as that happened often on the show. Those words reinforced Manners’ resolved that no one would reshoot any of his footage. Manners did his thing and two weeks later he was invited to join the show as a producer. And he’s been there ever since, directing episodes from Oubliette and Home to Leonard Betts, Max and Demons to Two Fathers, Requiem to The Gift to This is Not Happening, and from Nothing Important Happened Today, Part 1 to 4-D to The Truth.

The producer-director laughs when asked to pick a few favorites from among the dozens of episodes he helmed over the years. “Home is definitely one of them,” he says. “That’s number one. It was a classic horror story. I was born and raised on Lon Chaney, Jr. and Boris Karloff, and when I read the script that Morgan and Wong wrote I went, ‘This is classic horror,’ and I tried my best to make it that. I think I pulled it off. A lot of fans think it’s the best show. Some fans go with Home and some go with Bad Blood, which my friend Cliff Bole directed. And that’s fine. Home is my personal favorite. I also like one called Release, which was the resolve of the murder of Doggett’s son. That was the last one I did before the finale, actually. Monday was a bank robbery story told four different times. Milagro was the one with an author whose character comes to life in the seduction of Scully. Closure was Mulder finding his dead sister as a ghost. Tunguska was with Mulder and the Black Oil in Russia. I did Audrey Pauley this season, and that was one of my favorite shows, too. There were just so many great, great opportunities for me as a director.”

It should be noted that Manners wasn’t just a director on The X-Files. He also earned a paycheck as a producer. When he wasn’t prepping or shooting or editing his own shows he worked on other people’s shows. “I am really a troubleshooter,” Manners explains. “They rely on me in that way.”

As part of the inner circle, Manners was among the first to learn that Carter had decided to lock the doors and turn off the lights at The X-Files. “Chris made the right decision,” he opines. “The show is over. It ran for nine years. I think it’s time to walk away and move onto other things. I think The X-Files itself ran its course. I was sorry to see that the X-philes didn’t follow our show for the eighth and ninth seasons after Duchovny. Those people, I think, missed a great arc in the odyssey of the adventure. But it’s definitely time to go.”

Some fans believe Carter should have closed up shop with Season Seven, once Duchovny chose to pull back from the series. The more critical longtime viewers argue that The X-Files simply overstayed its welcome by continuing on, first with Duchovny on hand only part-time, then with him off the radar entirely. Manners is typically straightforward in offering his thoughts on the issue. “They shouldn’t have called it a wrap after David left,” he insists. “The X-Files is just that, The X-Files. They’re not ‘Mulder Files.’ They are The X-Files. I thought that Robert and Annabeth with Gillian brought a whole new dimension to the show. You can’t predict how the show would have gone had it been turned over entirely to Doggett and Reyes, to this new X-files team. It could have gone for another year or two, maybe or maybe not. We’ll never know that. The torch was being passed this season from Gillian to Robert and Annabeth, but they never had an opportunity to carry the show themselves. As actors, Annabeth really came into her own this season and Robert was a steely factor in keeping the show alive these past two years.

“If I have one criticism of the show after David left, I think the show made a wrong turn in killing off our villains. We killed off Cigarette Smoking Man. We killed off Krycek. We barely saw Marita Covarrubias again. I think that might have hurt the show (in the eyes of serious X-Files watchers). But other than that I think the show lived as long as it should live. And it’s dying a natural death when it should die a natural death. It has nothing to do with Mulder.”

So why – to pose the biggest question of all – did The X-Files last so long? “We did science fiction, but we did it in different ways,” Manners replies almost instantaneously. “We did it real. We made science fiction, we made the unbelievable believable. We did that through great production, great acting, great directing, great storytelling and great imagination. We made the stupid, the dumb, the impossible, the unbelievable believable. We could get into some ridiculous, outrageous things, but on The X-Files they were all played as real. We got you to believe it would happen and you cared about the characters who were in the middle of it week after week. We’re all very proud of that.” And how would Manners define his contribution to the phenomenon? How big a hand did he have in it all? “I directed 52 hours of the show’s 201 hours,” he notes. “So that’s a pretty big hand. I joined the show in its second year and so did Rob Bowman. Rob Bowman and I did a lot of this together. I’d say that we brought the show a look, a style, a feature quality. We had to bring that in order to translate the science fiction into TV that you could watch and follow and believe. Rob and I had great directors of photography. We had John Bartley, Joel Ransom and Bill Roe, who lit the show beautifully. I think that’s our main contribution.”

Bowman, it should be noted, graduated from producer-director of the series to director of The X-Files movie. Manners is coy when addressing the matter of his calling the shots on the next film. “I will direct the next X-Files feature,” he says, “if I’m asked to direct the next X-Files feature.” Manners’ phone rings. The Truth beckons and he’s got to say goodbye in a moment. And so he offers some closing thoughts. “There will be X-Files films and the show will continue, probably forever, in repeats,” Manners says. “But this is really it. For the people involved in making the show, The X-Files experience will never live again. Nobody in the television medium, other than those of us who were here and experienced it, will never get to taste what a great high it’s been, what a great blessing it’s been. We’ve made TV history and that’s the way it is. It’s been painful and it’s been exhilarating at the same time.”

The X-Files Magazine: The Next Files

Sep-??-2002
The X-Files Magazine [US]
The Next Files
Ian Spelling

With the end of The X-Files, the final issue of The X-Files Magazine presents one last chat with executive producer Frank Spotnitz. When we tracked Spotnitz down he was no longer at his Ten Thirteen office on the Fox lot. Instead he was ensconced in new digs and already hard at work on his latest job, an upcoming cop series tentatively entitled RHD/LA. Spotnitz lifted the lid on scenes cut from The Truth and talked about the need to move on to the next chapter in his life.

THE X-FILES MAGAZINE: What got written and not shot, or shot and edited out of The Truth?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: There was a lot more in the courtroom that we cut before shooting even began because we realized it would just be too much information, too hard to follow. And then we cut more after the show had been filmed because it was too long. So there were a lot of answers and connections to things we hoped to make clear with the finale that just didn’t get in there. There was a second scene between William Devane’s character and Kersh that occurred after Mulder’s trial that made it explicit they were just going to go ahead and kill Mulder. That helped motivate Kersh’s turnaround. I think the turnaround works perfectly fine without the scene, but it was a great scene and I was sorry to see that go. That was written and even scheduled, but not shot because we realized we just weren’t going to make our schedule if we shot it.

There was another scene, actually shot, in which Marita Covarrubias came to Scully’s apartment and warned her that Mulder was going to be killed that night in his cell. I thought that was a really nice moment for the Covarrubias character because Mulder basically saved her on the stand. He let her leave without having to name the current conspirators. Telling Scully what was going to happen was a nice way for her to repay the favor. But there just wasn’t time to include it. We also had a fantastic scene that was written and not shot. It would have been early in the show, before the trial began. It was with Skinner, Reyes and Doggett, and it was Skinner preparing for the trial. It was a really good scene with Skinner and I was sorry to see it go. It was also very funny because it was Skinner trying to tie together nine years of the mythology and trying to make sense of it. The scene was a wink at the fans, because it was really about our job as writers trying to tie nine years of the show together.

XFM: Reviewers and online fans have launched quite a lot of criticism at the finale: too slow, didn’t have enough action and didn’t provide enough pay-off. How justified are those criticisms?

FS: If people felt that way, then I guess it is justified. I know some people felt that way. It didn’t play slow for me. I think if you were hungry for answers you got answers from the finale. It’s a very funny thing. The X-Files audience is so stratified. There are people who know nothing, who maybe even tuned out the mythology episodes and preferred the stand-alones. There are people who studied the mythology episodes. And there are people in between. Well, how do you satisfy all of those people? For the people who know nothing it was probably all new. On the other end of the spectrum, for the people who know everything, the entire two hours was probably a rehash. And then there was that group in the middle, for whom some of it was new and some of it was stuff they understood. We tried to address all those levels of understanding, so it was inevitable that some people would be more enthusiastic than others.

XFM: You told us last issue you avoided the emotion of the show ending by not being on hand for the bit of filming. But what was it like the day you left your office for good?

FS: In mid June I went back to give up my keys and pick up my final box of files. My assistant, Sandra, had prepared a scrapbook for me. It was a complete surprise. And in it were all these letters that the castmembers and various crewmembers wrote to me. That’s when it finally hit me and I got the sadness of having to say goodbye.

XFM: What can you tell us about your new gig?

FS: I’m in my temporary office here at Michael Mann’s production company. I’m in week three of preparing scripts for the show with a new writing team and production staff that actually has a lot of X-Files faces on it. The title right now is RHD/LA, which stands for the robbery and homicide division of the Los Angeles police department. The show stars Tom Sizemore from Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down. I never thought I’d work on another cop show, but it was an opportunity to work with Michael, who’s such a talented filmmaker. And as we’ve gotten deeper into the show I realized it’s unlike any police show that’s ever been done. It’s a real challenge and completely opposite to The X-Files. I’m the showrunner under Michael and I’m working my ass off. We’ve got a 13 episode commitment from CBS and we’ll be on in the fall.

XFM: Lastly, where do you go from here so far as the X Files is concerned?

FS: Chris Carter went on vacation with a backpack and he has no return ticket. Someday he’ll come back and when he does we’ll start talking about the next movie. I think it’s a good think that Chris is off on vacation and I’ve gone right into this other show, because I’m so overwhelmed by dealing with RHD/LA I don’t have much time to think about the world of The X-Files. It’s also probably good for The X-Files that Chris and I clear our minds and not think about The X-Files for a while so that when we come back to it it will be with a fresh eye. And I think we’re both determined that, if we’re going to make another X-Files movie, it be unlike anything we’ve done before. We want it to be exciting and new and to push the idea of the show forward.

The X-Files Magazine: That’s a Wrap Party

Aug-??-2002
The X-Files Magazine
That’s a Wrap Party
Andy Newcomer

The date: Saturday 27 April. The Time: 7pm onwards. The event: The X-Files wrap party! Andy Newcomer fills us in on all the gossip from the event of the year!

From the moment Chris Carter announced that The X-Files was coming to a close, the Ten Thirteen staff worked to come up with a fitting send-off for the show and the crew. “A lot of importance was placed on the party by not only the producers, but the studio and the network as well,” say Ten Thirteen office manager Jana Fain. “There were many people involved who wanted the party to be an amazing event. The invite list was overwhelming, to say the least!”

Because of the party’s size, the venue – the world famous House of Blues -was booked months in advance. To help with costs, the studio made sponsorship deals with Ford and Absolut Vodka. Absolut held a drink contest within its own company to concoct a special martini using their vodka. They toyed with ideas like a dark-liquid drink (an Absolut Black Oil) but decided to use Absolut Mandarin instead.

Guests were able to enjoy this attention to detail from the moment they boarded the shuttle buses at a nearby parking garage. Images from all nine seasons ran on the video monitors in the buses, and alien lollipops were available for people to snack on. When partygoers arrived at the House of Blues, it was lit completely in green with white X’s projected onto its side. Guests walked down a green carpet (in place of the standard red carpet) past a chorus of reporters, which included Access Hollywood, E! News and more).

“We wanted to spice the whole red carpet thing up a little bit,” Fain says. Little People (known as L.P.s) dressed as aliens paraded down the carpet, posing with the VIPs for the press. Then guests took photos with the “aliens” in front of an enlarged reproduction of the famous I Want to Believe poster that normally hangs in the X-files office.

“Everyone loved the aliens,” Fain says. According to several witnesses, one of the L.Ps took off his alien head and approached The X-Files movie guest star Martin Landau to say, “Mr. Landau, you don’t know me but I’m your smallest fan.”

Inside the party, the cast and crew enjoyed a wide variety of food from a menu specially selected for the party. The X-Files set-decorating department adorned the buffet tables with foamcore X’s and four foot tall aliens. They also lined the bars with jars filled with alien fetuses, original props from the show. The most popular bar for most of the evening was known as the martini luge, which was an ice sculpture in the shape of an X through which the Absolut Truth martini was poured. “There was a line at that ice sculpture all night long,” Fain laughs. Green rubber aliens decorated the outside of every martini glass, with small blue and green glowsticks floating in the drinks.

A couple of hours into the party, Dean Haglund jumped on stage to introduce executive producer Frank Spotnitz, who gave a short speech. Spotnitz then helped gift Carter with an original painting by Los Angeles artist Cliff Nielsen to commemorate the show’s nine-year run. After he thanked all of his many co-workers, Carter moved off stage to allow the annual projection of the show’s gag reel. This one reel, however, had bloopers from all nine seasons, as well as heartfelt gratitude videos from everyone involved with the show. There was even a special tribute from outer space, as the astronauts floating in the space station sent their regards to Carter and the show.

For the music, Ten Thirteen booked a local cover band and DJ. “When we started looking at bands, we heard about this 70s cover band called Bootiequake that has a large following in L.A. for parties like this. They are just a lot of fun,” Fain notes. A couple of hours into the party, Gillian Anderson, Annabeth Gish and more than a few crew members ended up on stage to dance and sing with the band.

David Duchovny spent most of the evening dancing, as well as chatting and posing for photos with crew members. Mitch Pileggi was also seen on the dance floor. Unfortunately, however, Robert Patrick missed the fun. He was en route to South Africa to film a movie. Former guest star Junior Brown surprised the crew with an impromptu performance of Johnny Be Good. “That was my favorite moment,” Gilligan says. “I cast him in an episode I wrote early in Season Six called Drive. So it was great to see him up there performing.”

Over 1200 people attended and partied into the small hours. “It’s a great crew,” Fain says, “a great group of people. And it is a great show. I’m happy that we got to have a night that really celebrated it.” A fitting end to a fantastic show. #

Absolut Truth
The Martini

4 parts Absolut Mandarin
1 part Blue Curacao
½ part Lime Juice
1 part Sour Mix
2 parts Cranberry Juice

Can you handle the truth?

The X-Files Magazine: The Uncanny X-Man

Aug-??-2002
The X-Files Magazine [US]
The Uncanny X-Man
Ian Spelling

He’s the person without whom The X-Files would be nothing- Chris Carter. Ian Spelling caught up with the series’ creator to discuss the past nine years of the show – and his life – as well as what’s in store for the future.

It’s a bittersweet time for Chris Carter. His television baby – The X-Files – is all grown up and moving out of the house. The kid’s not quite gone yet; let’s just say he’s busily packing his bags – in other words, at the time of this conversation production and/or post-production was well underway on the last few episodes of The X-Files and on the two-hour series finale itself, The Truth. During a short break, Carter sat down to talk with The X-Files Magazine and several other publications in an old screening room on the Twentieth Century Fox lot. Carter sounded by turns proud, realistic, sad, and enthusiastic about the situation. And well he should: he created the show, executive-produced all nine years of the program, wrote, co-wrote, or fine-tuned dozens of episodes, directed a good many hours, spearheaded the popular X-Files movie and even made cameo appearances in two episodes (namely Anasazi and Hollywood A.D.).

THE X-FILES MAGAZINE: How hard was it for you to make the decision to end The X-Files?

CARTER: Actually, it wasn’t that hard to make the decision because we aired [Season Nine] against stiff competition. Our numbers were down from Season Eight. We’d always had the good fortune of being the winner for eight seasons, basically, and then this year the ratings were respectable, but we were sort of neck and neck with the competition. We’d been heavily counter-programmed. Saving Private Ryan was against us our first night. The next Sunday, the competition was Britney Spears on HBO. It was like we were taking flak, to use a war term. And so when the ratings had leveled off at about the sixth airing of the show, we came into Christmas vacation and I thought, “You know something, there are going to be articles written now about the show and what it used to be and they’re going to take shots at Annabeth Gish and Robert Patrick, and they’re going to take shots at the show.” I thought that was pretty unfair because they were doing good work. I thought the ratings weren’t justified. I thought the audience just didn’t show up. It’s not like they showed up and then decided they didn’t like the show. They just didn’t come for whatever reason. I don’t know. It’s a mysterious x-factor. So I just decided it was time to go and to go out strong and to look forward to the future, which is hopefully doing some X-Files movies. And I wanted to reward people for watching the show for nine years and to go out strong and give them something and have people say, “Wow, we didn’t realize how good the show was, and now we’re sorry to see it go.”

XFM: You sound disappointed. Are you?

CC: Well, hey, I created the show. For me it’s been 10 years now. It’s been on the air for nine years or it’ll be nearly nine years when we complete this year. It took me a year to get it off the ground. So I’ve been riding it 200 episodes worth. I haven’t written every episode, of course, but it’s something I’ve been doing for quite a long time and I just thought we were doing such good work this year that the disappointment is really the result of that good work.

XFM: How tough was it for you to pass along word of your decision?

CC: It was very hard for me to do it. Actually, I had to kick myself because I started getting emotional. I’m very attached to the show, as you might imagine. I feel very fortunate to be working with the people that I work with. It’s an amazing experience to work with a team, to feel a team spirit. That’s one of the best parts of my job. So it was very difficult, and it was also very difficult to tell the actors.

XFM: Can you go back to the very beginning and then forward in terms of where the idea for The X-Files came from and how ideas come about at this point?

CC: This idea was floating around in my head for a long time. There was nothing scary on TV in the early 1990s. When I was a kid there were good scary TV shows. I liked all these shows – The Twilight Zone, The Night Stalker, The Outer Limits. And so here I was, a television creator, and I was finally asked what I wanted to do. I said, “I want to do a good, scary show.” And that’s how The X-Files happened. And now, coming up with stories, they just come to you in the weirdest ways. One of the best experiences on the show for me has been having these other great writers that I work with come in and expand on what I originally did, and seeing what other people do with the show. I’m talking about people like Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, and James Wong, and people like Vince Gilligan and Frank Spotnitz. They’re the people who came in and expanded the idea of The X-Files.

XFM: How do you go about wrapping up the show while simultaneously keeping enough of a hook to lure fans into the next film?

CC: You know me well enough to know that I’ve always got a hook, and I do have a trick up my sleeve, but we really look to the movies as an opportunity to do stand-alone movies, not mythology movies. It’s not like what we had to do with the first movie, which I thought was worthwhile, but it was really a movie where you couldn’t have a beginning, middle and end – you could have a beginning and middle, but the end was going to come with the rest of the series, so it prevented us from really making it, I think, as big and blockbuster-ish as we might have. So I’m looking forward to just doing what we call stand-alone stories, but doing them as a movie franchise.

XFM: How quickly can we expect to see another X-Files movie?

CC: I don’t know. It depends on how long I take for vacation. I hope to write it over the summer of 2002 and I hope to prep it over the fall and spring and to shoot it in the late spring and summer of 2003. So I think you would end up seeing it in 2004.

XFM: Do you have the story in your head already?

CC: I have rough ideas and I’m sort of deciding what to do. Frank Spotnitz and I will write it. It’s one of those things where we will just sit down one day and throw out a lot of things and put in a lot of things. It’s a process rather than an idea that’s in my head. It sort of takes shape.

XFM: Any chance that Annabeth Gish and Robert Patrick will be in the next feature?

CC: We don’t know. I’d work with Robert in a heartbeat and Annabeth too. So we might find something. It just depends on the kind of story we’re doing.

XFM: Were you at all surprised that David Duchovny agreed to return as Mulder for the finale?

CC: I wasn’t surprised because we’ve been in contact all year long and any differences that we had seem to have been something we’ve both gotten past. He and Gillian [Anderson] are both very anxious to do the movies. We’ve got to do them one at a time, so I’m only fantasizing about more than one. And so he realized that it was important to the future to participate in the present.

XFM: Take us through the process of David Duchovny both directing an episode in Season Nine and then reprising his role as Mulder. How did that all come together?

CC: I approached him about the finale. I called him up and said, “Well, the show’s over and I’m making the announcement.” He said, “Congratulations, it was a good, long run.” Then I think we spoke some time later about him being in the finale. We’d actually approached him before I had ever made the decision [to end the show] about possibly directing. That looked like it was going to go away because he was going to write and direct. When he ran out of time to write I said, “I’ll write something for you,” and I wrote the episode he directed.”

XFM: In hindsight, was it a mistake to let Duchovny go?

CC: I didn’t let David go. David went. We could have tried to hang onto him, but he wanted to go. It wasn’t a question of not trying. It was a life decision for him and you can’t blame a person. When you do something for so long and you reach a point in your life, certainly around your 40s, you’re going to want to try something else. You’re never going to have another chance to be at that point in your life, so I don’t hold it against him at all. And I still think we’re doing great work. I think the reason that Fox brought the show back this year – and it was their decision to bring the show back – was because our ratings were still good and we were doing good work and David was only in roughly half the shows last year. It looked like the franchise was still very strong. That’s the reason I came back. I didn’t have to come back this year. The reason I came back was because I thought we had an opportunity to do good work and maybe even recast the show, as it were, in every sense of the word.

XFM: Some people think the spirit of the show changed when the production relocated from Vancouver to Los Angeles. What are your thoughts on that issue?

CC: I disagree. We actually had more resources in Los Angeles, resources we didn’t have in Vancouver. I thought we had more to work with, but you can look at it as pre-movie and post-movie. I look at it that way, but I think there was so much good work done after the movie on this show that it’s hard for me to look at it that way. It changed, but I don’t think it actually meant that it changed for the worse. And every show has its season. You know, every show is built on a curve, unless you’re The Simpsons, which seems to have a never-ending curve.

XFM: Why do you think The X Files works so well all over the world?

CC: Because people are scared of the same things. I think scared travels across borders very well and I want to knock some wood right now because I’m very fortunate to have created something that everyone seems to like. I get to write what I’m interested in and people like it, so that’s one of those miracles.

XFM: Would you do another TV series?

CC: If it were the right series and the right task with the right people. If I could surround myself with the right people. I’ve got lots of ideas.

XFM: Which episodes from the last season have you been most pleased with?

CC: You know, I’ve been happy with the whole year. I’m trying to think of a specific episode that stands out for me and the one I’m thinking of right now is Improbable, the Burt Reynolds one. It’s very close to my heart because I wrote it and directed it and got to direct Burt. He’s Burt, so I have to say that’s a standout because it does what the best X-Files episodes do, which is to expand this sort of storytelling possibility, meaning I’m telling a story we’ve never told before. That’s the beauty of the show. And if you’re asking me why I seem disappointed [that the series is ending], it’s because the show’s format and storytelling structure was so incredibly elastic. It was a comedy. It was an intense drama. It was a melodrama. It was a horror show. It was a thriller. It could be so many different things and so that’s what I’ll miss.

XFM: It’s got to be strange dealing with the finale. What’s the experience been like for you?

CC: It’s interesting because we’ve gone so far from where we began and now, as I’m going back to where we began, it feels like just yesterday that we were there. This mythology that people always think is very convoluted and confusing, it actually all makes perfect sense. That, I think, will be very satisfying, that there’s a beautiful structure to it all.

XFM: Did running your own show ever give you nightmares? Did you ever wake up in the middle of the night?

CC: My trouble is going to sleep. I’m a very light sleeper. I don’t sleep very much and so I tend to lie there and I work a lot even when I’m in bed.

XFM: So that’s where your creativity comes from?

CC: Yeah, that and the bathtub.

XFM: You’ve written countless episodes of The X-Files and directed a batch over the years as well. Do you have a preference, writing over directing or vice-versa?

CC: Well, I’m a writer first and that’s how I got into this business, but I have to say it’s a lot more enjoyable to direct because the words are already on the page and you just have to figure out how to get those images you have in your head, the images the script gives you, and get them out on film. That’s a trick, but looking at the blank page is probably one of the more daunting aspects of the business of what I do.

XFM: What’s next for you?

CC: There’s a movie with Miramax/Dimension that Frank Spotnitz and I have a deal to do. This one is about a guy who may be sort of a missing link. And then [I’m contracted to] Fox for approximately a year, and beyond that I was supposed to have written a novel a long time ago and I must get around to that. The novel is about one of two things. I have two ideas that I’ve had for a long time and it’s really just which one I choose to do first. One is historical and the other is a little closer to home. So that’s kind of the order of business.

XFM: Could you have done The X-Files for another 10 years?

CC: Could I have done it for another 10 years? Yeah.

XFM: At this point, do you believe in aliens?

CC: Me, no. But those aliens owe me a visit after all this time. #

The X-Files Magazine: The Next Files

May-??-2002
The X-Files Magazine [US]
The Next Files
Ian Spelling

As the X-Files series finale hit US screens, Ian Spelling caught up with executive producer Frank Spotnitz to discuss the season and the series as a whole

“We’re done,” Frank Spotnitz says. “It’s over!”

After nine years and 200-plus episodes, The X-Files came to an end in May with The Truth, the two-hour series finale. Penned by series creator and executive producer Chris Carter, with an uncredited assist from longtime co-executive producer Spotnitz, The Truth made sense of a lot of the show’s legendary mythology. With Mulder on trial, living witnesses (including Marita Covarrubias) and helpful ghosts (among them X and the Lone Gunmen), all figures from Fox Mulder’s past, were on hand to testify and/or to guide Mulder in otherworldly ways. The truth-seeking F.B.I. agent faced death by lethal injection for purportedly murdering Knowle Rohrer, a SuperSoldier who, as fans know, couldn’t die by ordinary means.

“I was pleased with the finale,” says Spotnitz, who, because The Truth was days away from airing at the time of this conversation, promised to discuss the episode in more depth next issue. “The Truth is really a culmination of the show and looks back at the show. It brings all the characters, but especially the characters of Mulder and Scully, full circle. You get the sense that they’ve completed a journey and I think it’s touching and exciting. It was quite a challenge to figure out how to do it. We only had two hours, so there were limits to what we could do, but I think we cover a lot of ground. I think it’s very satisfying dramatically and emotionally.

“I’ve really been pleased with the whole ninth season,” says Spotnitz, reflecting on the past year. “There are always ups and downs in every season of a show, but I’ve been amazed at how good a time I’ve had these last two years on The X-Files. I have to be honest and say I went into Seasons Eight and Nine with some trepidation, but I’ve been very happy to be here and we’ve done good work.

“As I said,” Spotnitz continues, “I really like the finale and I also liked the episode before that, Sunshine Days. We knew the show was coming to an end and we knew that definitively. It was the first time we’d had that luxury. At the end of Season Eight, we thought it might be the end of the show, so I very self-consciously designed Alone, the show that I wrote and directed, to be a farewell to the stand-alone episodes. I knew that even if the show didn’t end it would be the end of the Mulder-Scully era, so I wanted the Leyla Harrison character to look back on all the Mulder-Scully cases. I wanted that affectionate look back. The show didn’t end after Season Eight. This time we knew it was ending and we thought, ‘What other way can we have a farewell to ourselves and to the nine years of the show?’ And (writer-producer) Vince Gilligan had this idea to do a Brady Bunch crossover. We realized that by making it about someone’s obsession with another old TV show we could comment on our own show in the process. So while Sunshine Days felt like a very strange penultimate episode, period, it kind of did what we wanted it to do, which was to talk about the power of the fantasy of a TV show and life beyond a TV show and leaving a show behind. I thought it worked very effectively on that level. It was very sweet and touching.

“The other thing Sunshine Days did was to dangle the carrot of Scully once and for all getting proof of the paranormal,” says Spotnitz. “Scully lost that proof, but she was left something greater, which is the power of love, not to get too corny. You also got that nice shot of Doggett and Reyes holding hands. Vince was the first one to write Mulder and Scully actually holding hands, and I guess he wanted to be the first one to write Doggett and Reyes holding hands.”

Speaking again of the finale, Spotnitz reports that he spent very little time on the set during production. Part of that had to do with the fact that he was busy handling post-production chores on other episodes and part of that involved far more personal reasons. “There was just too much crying and stuff going on,” Spotnitz says. “I didn’t really want to be around for that, to be honest. I wasn’t there for the last shot, either. It was done in the desert, about a two-hour drive from the studio. Half of me wanted to go. I was going to try to make it, but I actually couldn’t get away from the office. Chris was there for the entire last week. It’s been a very emotional time. We’ve had a number of goodbyes. We had our last story meeting, our last day of filming, our wrap party and the last music scoring session at Mark Snow’s house. After that last scoring session we all went into Mark’s living room. His wife had prepared this amazing spread and we drank incredible bottles of wine. It’s all been very touching and sad and sweet.” #

The X-Files Magazine: Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, Bruce Harwood

Apr-??-2002
The X-Files Magazine [US]
Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, Bruce Harwood

It’s the last night on the set for actors Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, and Bruce Harwood. There is an air of impending sadness, because this could be their last night of shooting on any episode of The X-Files. So far, however, the mood is light. The actors and crew stand in clusters, chatting and laughing, as they wait to begin filming another scene. Several crew members ask for pictures with the cast of The Lone Gunmen. But later, the tone of the set will switch, as the cast and crew shoot close-ups for the trio’s final scene, which just happens to be the characters’ death scene. The script reads: Jimmy slowly lays his hand on the glass. The Gunmen do the same… three hands side-by-side opposite Jimmy’s, whose eyes now well with tears. This is goodbye. Reactions are mixed among the three actors. They all agree that the deaths of Frohike, Byers, and Langly while sad are fitting. “I’d already mourned the fact that the show was ending,” says Bruce Harwood, who plays John Fitzgerald Byers. “The fact that we were being killed, I don’t think made too much of a difference to me. It doesn’t surprise me that we go out this way.”

“Isn’t that how we all want to go?” remarks Dean Haglund, who plays Langly. “Well, maybe not so painfully,” he laughs.

Tom Braidwood, who plays Melvin Frohike, was not enthusiastic about the ending at first. “I guess I was a little disappointed,” he admits. “I don’t quite see why it had to happen.” Braidwood, who worked on the Vancouver set of the series as an assistant director for Seasons One through Five, is able to see the producers’ need to wrap up The X-Files characters once and for all. “In the end, it’s right for them,” he surmises.

Choosing to have the Lone Gunmen die at the end of “Jump the Shark,” did not come easy to co-writers of the episode, executive producers Frank Spotnitz, Vince Gilligan and John Shiban. “It was actually a really hard decision to make,” explains Spotnitz. He exposes his fondness for the Gunmen, saying, “It’s funny, because they’re fictitious characters, and the show is coming to an end, but we really have a lot of affection for them.”

Spotnitz says that he, Gilligan and Shiban wanted to give the Gunmen a special ending, one that could only be achieved with such a dramatic climax. “It felt like the right thing to do,” he says. “We could really make them into big heroes and give them their moment to shine.”

Although they did not, at first, know how they wanted the Gunmen to meet their fate, the writers had definite ideas about how it should play out. “We just knew that we wanted it to be unequivocally heroic,” Spotnitz wholeheartedly.

Chris Carter’s announcement that this season of The X-Files would be the last came just as the writers were plotting out this one storyline. That was when they knew what they had to do. “It gave us the impetus to do this kind of ending,” Shiban says. Although a bit traumatic to comprehend at first, Shiban found himself excited at the story prospect. “If it is done well, there is no more heroic thing to do a character,” he says. “It seems just like the perfect end for the unsung heroes of the world.”

The producers did consider the effect on loyal Gunmen enthusiasts. “The ending is going to be challenging for fans of the Lone Gunmen,” guesses Gilligan. “It makes part of me sad, but it’s hopefully a noble end.”

Shiban has his own rationalization. “They die to save the world, and that to me is a fitting end.”

The guest actors in this episode are also well-versed in the Gunmen mythology, appearing in both The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen series with the conspiracy-debunking cabal. Stephen Snedden and Zuleikha Robinson make a reappearance (see ‘Shooting Co-Stars’ box-out), while Jim Fyfe also returns, having played Jimmy the Geek in The X-Files episode “Three of a Kind” and also dead Jimmy’s twin brother, Kimmy the Geek in The Lone Gunmen. Fyfe recalls his fondness for the three actors, as well as their on-screen counterparts. “I love them,” he says. “As guys they’re great, and as characters they’re great.”

When Fox canceled The Lone Gunmen in 2001, executive producers Gilligan, Shiban and Spotnitz were sure that they still had a story to round out. “It was such a big cliffhanger sitting out there,” Gilligan explains. “And we knew we wanted to resolve it.”

The ninth season of The X-Files was the obvious place to tie up those loose ends. “Within the X-Files context, we sort of vowed to ourselves to make this work,” states Shiban.

The return of this plot meant that they had to wait a whole year from the last episode of The Lone Gunmen to write the resolution. Gilligan admits to having some trouble when he actually had to sit down at the computer. “I spent a lot of time building it up in my head,” he says. “The whole time saying, ‘This has to be the greatest episode ever. This has to serve two masters – The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen series – and marry them together perfectly. It has to be beautiful.'”

While crediting Spotnitz with making sure that the episode would get done at all, Gilligan still toiled with developing the plot. “It’s taken me the longest of about any episode to work my way through,” he says. “It’s been a tricky one.”

The writers agreed that they could not simply make this show a continuation of The Lone Gunmen finale episode, “All About Yves.” “I was thinking along those lines,” Gilligan acknowledges, “but Frank rightly said we can’t exactly do that because this is a whole different television series – one that we’re using as a platform to finish this story.”

The writers also had to bear in mind that many X-Files fans may not have tuned in to the Lone Gunmen’s series. “It would have thrown The X-Files audience too much,” says Spotnitz.

The three put their heads together to figure out just where exactly the audience would find the Gunmen and their cohorts after a whole year. The story they came up with reunites the Gunmen, Jimmy, and Yves with arch nemesis Morris Fletcher (played comically and astutely by Michael McKean) was pivotal to The Lone Gunmen finale. Fans of The X-Files will also remember the character from the “Dreamland” two-parter and “Three of a Kind,” both in Season Six. In “All About Yves,” Fletcher orchestrated a dramatic con job, kidnapping Yves and leaving the Gunmen in a secure, underground bunker. Naturally, the Gunmen are none too thrilled to encounter Fletcher again.

In “Jump the Shark,” Fletcher first draws Agents Doggett and Reyes into Yves’ case by teasing them with the claim that she is a Super Soldier. The agents then bring in the Gunmen. The episode moves quickly out of the realm of Super Soldiers and into that of international terrorism, biological agents, and shark cartilage. Yes, shark cartilage. Sharks were incorporated into the story after the title of the episode was chosen. “Jump the Shark” is an entertainment web site launched in 1997, named for the famous Happy Days episode in which Fonzie jumps over a tank full of sharks on his motorcycle. The creator of the website, Jon Hein, christened the term to portray the moment in a television series’ run when its originality has begun to go downhill. Spotnitz calls the title, “a funny joke at our own expense.”

Gilligan agrees. “I kind of like it when a show ribs itself, and the idea of jumping the shark is sort of fun.”

The producers arranged for Hein to have a walk-on role in the episode, but unfortunately, his schedule did not allow for the appearance. Hein, however, was delighted to hear of his creation’s use as the episode’s title. “I thought it was great,” he declares enthusiastically. “The X-Files has always ‘got the web’ and actively incorporated it into the show with a great sense of humour and cleverness.” The X-Files is the site’s second most popular vote-getter. Most of Jump the Shark’s voters feel that the show has never, in fact, “jumped the shark.”

After the writers secured their title, they looked for ways to incorporate sharks into the episode. Gilligan recalls that the writers liked the image of the shark in the first shot of the show. They came up with the teaser that features Fletcher on a boat in the Bahamas.

“We threw out the teaser for a long time because it felt, at first, that it got us off to the wrong start,” says Shiban. After several sessions of working out more traditional X-Files teasers, they came back to the original, more comedic one.

“We wanted to start it off and truly tease the audience in the classic sense of a teaser, to get them intrigued,” Gilligan opines. “Michael McKean does that.”

McKean is a favourite of the show’s producers. “When an actor exceeds your expectations, it’s great,” says Spotnitz. “He is a surefooted actor, period. Be he’s also a great comedic actor, with great comedic timing and instincts.”

“He’s just a delight. He so embodies this character that it’s scary,” Shiban gloats about his guest star. “One of the reasons he’s such a good fit with both The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen, is because, as comic as he is, he carries himself with such a sense of reality.”

Also praising McKean, Gilligan says simply, “He so gets it.”

The Lone Gunmen themselves are also exciting about reuniting with McKean. “We’ve been talking Spinal Tap, and I switch from fellow actor to annoying groupie,” jokes Haglund.

“Micheal’s great,” agrees Braidwood. “He’s a character and a very funny man. He’s a lot of fun to work with.”

Gilligan likens the character of Morris Fletcher to Louie DePalma from the television series Taxi. “He’s the guy you love to hate,” Gilligan laughs. “But you don’t really hate him. Deep down you sort of love him.”

After Fletcher’s humorous entrance, the story gradually becomes more serious, culminating in the Gunmen’s touching final scene with Yves and Jimmy. Balancing humour is something The X-Files writers have done numerous times throughout the series’ nine seasons, especially when the Lone Gunmen are on hand. In this episode, however, it was especially challenging.

“In the writing, we did a number of revisions around that very issue,” Shiban states.

“The world in which [these characters] live is not funny,” Spotnitz elaborates. “We had to make it more real.”

Over the course of writing The Lone Gunmen series last year, the producers, according to Gilligan, found the show “worked best when there was actually a little more drama rather than a little less.” He thinks they achieved this tone best in the series finale. “That episode struck a nice balance between comedy and sort of high stakes seriousness,” he recalls wistfully. “We tried to strike that same tone in this one.”

Admittedly, this episode hits both ends of the spectrum. “It is a balancing act, and we’re watching dailies every day and walking that tightrope,” Shiban confesses.

Another challenge was the actual melding of the two shows. Once they got into the writing of it, it became very difficult to merge the two series together. Spotnitz refers to the combination of the two shows, something they have done before with the Millennium series crossover in the seventh season X-Files episode, “Millennium,” as a “massive headache.”

Shiban remarks that it was difficult to communicate the complicated back-story that would have become The Lone Gunmen mythology had the series continued. “We kept running up to these moments where the three of us would be working on the script,” he recounts, “when we asked ‘Does The X-Files audience need to know this? Is the back story too complicated?’ You have a whole world for a series, but this is just one episode.”

The writers were now faced with the daunting task of communicating this world to a viewing audience that may not be familiar with The Lone Gunmen series. Calling it a “necessary evil,” Gilligan explains that they tried to keep exposition to a minimum.

Another challenge to writing this episode was, as Spotnitz puts it, “striking a balance in screentime between the Lone Gunmen and Doggett and Reyes.” Add Morris Fletcher, Jimmy Bond, Yves Adele Harlow, and Kimmy the Geek to the mix, and you’ve got a full plate for any writer.

“It’s an exercise in trunk packing,” says Gilligan. “You have to use every little bit of available space.”

Shiban, while discussing the difficulty of working Agents Doggett and Reyes into the initial story, says that he found it just as problematic as having to incorporate the characters into the X-file into any script. “The X-Files is a hard form to master,” he muses, “which is partly what I think makes it so good when it clicks. But we struggle every week.”

“We realized very early that our Act IV would mostly be the Gunmen, because we’re doing a story about how the Gunmen are unsung heroes,” Shiban says. “We want them to be heroic in the climax. Therefore, we knew that [Doggett and Reyes’] role would be diminished at some point, and that made it easier in some ways.”

The producers are happy with the final script as a tribute to the Gunmen, but they understand fan reaction will undoubtedly be mixed. “Some will hate us for it,” predicts Shiban. “But I bet the ones who say they hate the idea will cry when they see it.”

“At the end of the day, if the fans of The Lone Gunmen series are the ones pleased, that’d be enough for me,” sighs Gilligan. Although he hopes that all X-philes will enjoy it, Gilligan offers up some morsel of completion for the fans of the canceled series. “They stuck with us through thick and thin, and I wanted to see something resolved for them.”

As the late night on the set draws to a close, the actors reflect on the end of the Lone Gunmen, bringing up feelings about the end of The X-Files series as a whole.

“I’m really sad to see it go,” says Fyfe of The X-Files. “I think all successful shows become a part of the culture in a way. I’ll miss it.”

The cast and crew once again laugh together between takes. Although the sentiment of the episode is bittersweet, everyone on set is having fun with the one last go around.

“What I’ll miss are the people, because they’re all great to work with,” Braidwood reflects. “It’s been a wonderful experience, and that’s what I’ll miss the most.”

The X-Files Magazine: Frank Discussion

Feb-??-2002
The X-Files Magazine [US]
Frank Discussion

The X-Files Magazine: Before we get into the specifics of how and why there’s a season nine, were you among those rooting for the show to return?

Frank Spotnitz: Yes, I was. I thought Robert Patrick was such a home run last year and I was excited about Annabeth Gish and what her character could be. I believed in the show and what the show could be this year.

The X-Files Magazine: What did you make of the prospect of doing the show without Chris?

Frank Spotnitz: For some time we didn’t actually know if we had Chris and we worked for, I don’t know, four to six weeks without him this year. It was actually Chris’ idea; he encouraged the rest of us to signup without knowing whether or not he was going to come back. I never would have done it unless he wanted us to do it and encouraged us to do it. I made it clear to him that I hoped he’d come back. So I guess I felt we could do it without Chris Carter and that we would do it, that we’d do as great a job as we could, but I was hoping all along that he would decide to come back.

The X-Files Magazine: Some people feel that the show itself is about Mulder’s quest for the truth. And those people argue that without Mulder there is no X-Files. How big a hurdle is that, in your mind, for the show to overcome?

Frank Spotnitz: The show has been Mulder’s quest for the truth. It was that for seven years and part of the eighth year. But I really think that with the introduction of John Doggett last year, the TV series started to take on e a new dimension. A baton was passed, almost literally. There was a scene in “Vienen” where Mulder literally handed over the X-Files office to Doggett. It’s always a question mark whether or not the audience will accept huge changes like this, because the characters are so important and so much of why you watch a TV series. But, having said that, I think The X-Files is a very strong idea for a series with an almost inexhaustible supply of stories. If you can find other characters that are strong and other actors who people like and want to watch. I think there’s potential for the show to go on indefinitely.

The X-Files Magazine: Were you pleased with David Duchovny’s final scene?

Frank Spotnitz: Yes, totally. That was one of my favorite scenes in the series. It moved me, so I was delighted with it.

The X-Files Magazine: Let’s talk first in broad strokes about Season Nine? To your thinking, what’s the big picture story wise?

Frank Spotnitz: It’s very interesting because Season Nine is sort of a three-lead show. It’s Scully and Doggett and Reyes. As you’ll see early on, it begins the way it left off last year, with Doggett and Ryes on the X-Files. Scully has a new role to play. She’s now a forensic investigator assigned to the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia. So you’ll have these three legged investigations all season. It’s a different way to tell the stories, which is exciting for us because it makes the show fresh and new again and not things we’ve done before. That became a challenge late in the Mulder-Scully era, how to keep ourselves really interested and excited when you’re up to the 175th episode, the 180th episode. When you’ve done that much, how do you keep Mulder and Scully’s investigations feeling new? That’s not a problem anymore for anyone. We’re on our toes every week because we’ve never done this before.

The X-Files Magazine: Let’s hit specifics. What will Scully’s role be? Will she be off at Quantico, communicating with Doggett and Reyes by cellphone and in separate scenes with baby William, or will we see her with Doggett and Reyes?

Frank Spotnitz: Well, there’s no standard format for it. Sometimes she’ll be primarily at Quantico and sometimes she’ll be out in the field. Sometimes it’s focused on her, and Doggett and Reyes are in the background. There will be different shapes to all of these different stories. It really is a three-lead show in that they’ll all have individual moments to shine as characters and actors. And there will be quite a few scenes of the three of them together. That’s really interesting to what, because not only do Gillian, David and Annabeth like each other personally, but they have great chemistry together. We’ve got different dynamics on the show that we’ve never had before. We’ve got scenes with two strong, independent, professional women together, which we’d never played like this. The other interesting thing is that all three characters are heroic, but in different ways, and they’ve all got different crosses to bear as characters.

The X-Files Magazine: Take us through the various character interactions in S9.

Frank Spotnitz: Doggett has kind of declared war on Deputy Director Kersh. He’s accused him of complicity in his alien conspiracy or super-soldier conspiracy as Knowle Rohrer claimed it was. So that’s really where we’ve picked up this season. It’s a very awkward thing to do when you’re an FBI agent–accuse your superior of corruption, essentially. Agent Reyes is by his side. Agent Scully has other issues to deal with, like what is her baby? We’ve said that Mulder and Scully consummated their relationship and that Mulder appeared to be the father of the baby. That’s what Mulder and Scully believe, but we haven’t answered the question, how a barren woman could become pregnant. We haven’t answered the question of why all these aliens, if that’s what they were, surrounded Scully at the Desert Hot Springs in Georgia and then left her untouched. So there are some deep, personal mysteries that Scully has to deal with and solve. As she said in the season finale last year, the X-Files has become personal and have become her life. It’s not a case. It’s not something she can walk away from. It’s her child.

The X-Files Magazine: And Skinner?

Frank Spotnitz: For many years Skinner was this kind of Hamlet-like figure. He was torn between his responsibilities as an Assistant Director and his sympathies for Mulder and Scully. What was fun for us last year, and I think for Mitch as well, was that the character finally took sides and went with Mulder and Scully all the way. That’s still pretty much the role he plays this season. He’s much more of a character of action than he’s ever been before. And one of the reasons he’s able to be such a partisan on behalf of The X-Files is that there are new antagonists that have developed within the FBI, like Deputy Director Kersh and Assistant Director Follmer, who ranks the same as Skinner.

The X-Files Magazine: David Duchovny is gone, but how long a shadow will Mulder cast on the proceeding? Will he be a ghost lurking around the X-Files office?

Frank Spotnitz: Yes and no. A lot of people on the Internet, at least the louder, more strident voices in chat rooms, kept saying, “Mulder is the absent center.” And the other people were saying, “He’s not the absent center. Look at all these episodes that went by without even a mention of Mulder.” I think that’s the fundamental misunderstanding of the X-Files TV series and has always been. If you look at any of the seasons leading up to last season, you had these mythology episodes that really bring us up to speed on the personal lives of the characters and on the alien conspiracy. Then you’ve got these stand-alone episodes that rarely touch on the personal lives of the characters and are really separate, discrete installments of life on the X-Files. You’ll see Mulder dealt with or mentioned in depth in certain episodes, like we did in the first two episodes this year and like we will in other mythology episodes later in the season. Then you’ll have cases that are cases, that investigate monsters and other paranormal phenomena. It’s very hard to shoehorn the search for Mulder or the disappearance of Mulder into stories like that, and we really don’t try. But having said that, I think the fact that Mulder defines the X-Files, Mulder turned the X-Files into a unit, is hard for anyone to forget. He does come up a lot. His name is mentioned because of the spirit with which he investigated these cases. I also think what’s appealing about Doggett and Reyes is how much respect they have for Mulder. They very much respect and honor what came before them.

The X-Files Magazine: Simply put, will there be an episode that explains why he’s not there anymore?

Frank Spotnitz: Yes. That’s the biggest question we faced, how to gracefully address that while being true to the character because, obviously, we just don’t have David Duchovny. We wanted to come up with a worthy explanation for why he’s not there anymore. It was a big question going into the new season and it was partially explained by the end of the second episode. It’s a question that will come up again and again in the mythology episodes this season.

The X-Files Magazine: David Duchovny has said he’s willing to do another movie. Chris Carter has said there will be another movie. Do you have to bear a potential movie in mind while doing the day-to-day work on the show? And if so, isn’t that a pain?

Frank Spotnitz: It was a pain in the ass, but we’ve figured all that out, I think. We know where we we’re going this year .We have a very clear idea about this season will end for Scully and Mulder’s characters. There’s an anticipation that this is Gillian’s last year whether or not it’s the last year of the series, so we have prepared ourselves for that and have a master plan.

The X-Files Magazine: Let’s switch to the Lone Gunmen series. What went right and what went wrong with the show?

Frank Spotnitz: I thought a long more went right than went wrong. I wished very much the network had brought back the show for another year. There was a mighty campaign internally to keep it on the air. There was a lot of support for the show among the studio executives and some of the network executives too. I think they just took a gamble that they could do better. But I think The Lone Gunmen was a really good show. I was really proud of it. I’m very proud of the work the guys did and that Zuleikha Robinson and Stephen Snedden did. I think that the biggest curveball we threw the audiences was how comedic, how blatantly comedic the show was. And I don’t think people we’re expecting that from the people behind The X-Files. If I had to do it over again I might have tried to make the transition more slowly. Having said that, I think if the show had come back for another year it would have had a chance to settle in and find its audience. It’s a great disappointment.

The X-Files Magazine: After all of your years with the show, how would you define your contribution to The X-Files?

Frank Spotnitz: That’s a really hard question to answer. I was a neophyte coming into this show. I started as a staff writer. It was my first job, not only on TV, but in Hollywood. So much of this show is the singular vision of Chris Carter. He’s got a very very clear vision and I think everybody who has worked here has come to appreciate and respect that vision. Once having understood his point of view about storytelling I think we’ve all tried to bring our best work to it. And so it’s been a very collaborative atmosphere. This is my eighth year on the show, my seventh year with John and Vince. That’s a long association, a long time for a group of people to work together. I look at all of these episodes-I flip and see them on FX or in syndication on weekends-and I have memories of pieces of me and pieces of them in virtually every show. We’ve all poured our hearts and souls into it. I don’t think people generally understand, nor do they need to, particularly, how hard you have to work on a show like this and how much of your life is devoted to it. I’m very proud of it.

The X-Files Magazine: You directed your first episode in S8. How did Alone come about?

Frank Spotnitz: Season Eight was one of my best years, if not the best year, I’ve had on The X-Files. I wrote a lot of stand-alone episodes. The whole Lone Gunmen experience, though it ended, was a joy. I loved the show and I loved watching dailies every day. The directing was something I was kind of dragged into, kicking and screaming. I didn’t really have a great desire to do it. But I was convinced by a number of people, including David Duchovny, to do it before the chance went away. It was a bad time for me to do it in a way, because there was so much work to do as a writer and producer. We were still trying to figure out the season finale. My show went prep and I had no idea how it was going to end because I hadn’t finished the script. So I was extremely stressed. I had all the issues outside of being a director, plus the pressure of directing for the first time and not being entirely sure how that would go. But nobody told me how much fun it is to direct. You’ve got all these people who are trying to help you succeed. The actors were so good. I was thrilled with Robert and David and Gillian and also Jolie Jenkins, the guest actress who played Leyla Harrison. I was very proud of the show.

The X-Files Magazine: Last question. If this would be the last year of The X-Files or your last year with the show, what would you do for an encore?

Frank Spotnitz: This is the first time in six years where I’m only doing The X-Files. I’ve always been doing The X-Files and Millennium or Harsh Realm or The Lone Gunmen or Fight the Future. That’s been a great. But now I’m waiting to see what comes next, to see if Chris develops another series. If this is the end of the X-Files for me, I may go do something else, develop another show or write a movie. I don’t know what I’ll do next. But it’s kind of an exciting time.

The X-Files Magazine: Barbara Patrick

Feb-??-2002
The X-Files Magazine
Barbara Patrick

[typed by Megan]

The casting for “John Doe” took another step in instilling a sense of realism when the producers called on Robert Patrick’s real-life spouse to play his on-screen spouse. Actress Barbara Patrick made her debut as Doggett’s wife (albeit in flashback) for the first time on the show.

“I let them know that I was a real actress. I they ever wrote something about her down the line, I wanted them to know I could handle it,” Barbara explained.

But her X-Files debut wasn’t the first time she played opposite her husband. The couple actually met on the set of a movie, and they have played husband and wife on-screen in the past. “I’ve worked with him at least four times,” she says, alluding to such films as Out of these Rooms and Shogun Cop. “They usually think of casting me because they know I’m an actress, and you already have the built-in chemistry.”

Although her role is small, the crew treated her like a star. “I had one scene with my back to the camera, but the make-up and hair girls made me look so beautiful. I told them it wasn’t necessary, but they went out of their way,” Barbara says. “They treated me so well! It’s a good crew and good bunch of people.”

She has felt like part of The X-Files family since last season. “Everyone has been so great to us since Robert joined the show,” she says. “They work harder on The X-Files than anyone else on TV. Robert puts in 15-hour days, every day. Then he studies lines for an hour and goes to bed.”

Despite the grueling schedule, Barbara is please with her husband’s job. “I’m so happy to see him be successful and happy,” she says. “It’s so great for him to be doing that. He deserves to be the TV and movie star that he is.”

Barbara also has nothing but praise for the episode’s writer Vince Gilligan. “This was the first time I met Vince. He has a different voice in his writing, and I like his work a lot. I can see why the fans appreciate his episodes so much.”

It’s possible that Mrs. Doggett will return to The X-Files, but Barbara isn’t waiting by the phone. “I’ve heard it floated by me,” she laughs. “But I’ve been in this business too long, so I don’t believe anything until I get the call.”

Still, she enjoyed the job, taking its short-lived career in her stride. “I got paid to hang out with my husband all day,” she admits. “If I only did it this once, then that would be fine with me.”

The X-Files Magazine: Gish Fulfillment

Feb-??-2002
The X-Files Magazine [US]
Gish Fulfillment
Ian Spelling

[typed by MarieEve]

After an impressive debut as special Agent Monica Reyes in Season Eight, Annabeth Gish has continued to bring a fresh feel to The X-Files. The actress chats to Ian Spelling about her – and her character’s – progress.

From that deliriously odd decidedly personal X-Files called exception versus reality, Annabeth Gish observes the following so far as her character, Special Agent Monica Reyes, is concerned : “I thought that she might be more esoteric, more ethereal, based on the way that Chris Carter and frank Spotnitz presented her to me at the beginning, when we first talked about how Reyes would develop,” the friendly and soft-spoken actress says. “But I think, actually, that might have been my own misconception, because she’s also an FBI agent and she has to have a lot of practical, tactical and logistical skills that she can perform. I don’t know that any agent could perform all those skills and be too esoteric and ethereal. So the performance aspect that’s been the most challenging is being a detective, as opposed to being a spiritual, open-minded woman. The way she is now, she’s a bit of both. She’s an FBI agent who has a bit of the ethereal in her. Chris and Frank are cultivating that more and more, but she has to deliver when it comes down to wielding a gun and doing her job. That’s been interesting for me.”

Asked about her initial reaction to her character, Gish is full of enthusiasm. “I liked Reyes’ disposition right away,” she says. “She had a willingness to believe without knowing much. She was open-minded and had this attraction to the other realm without pure, direct experience of it. I don’t think Monica had seen alien spacecraft before, but it was in her nature to have a sensitive, mystical thirst for whatever is out there. We’ve touched on that and I hope it’s an aspect that they’ll really pursue. There’s also a lot about her past that I don’t know yet. I’ve sort of collaborated on our idea about how she came to be here. They’re giving me some roots to feed on, but as with any series the characters evolve as the stories evolve. So I think that Chris and Frank are discovering who Monica is, just as I am. It’s happening simultaneously and I like what I’m seeing. What else would like to know about her ? I’d like to know about her experience with her family, her mother and father. I think there’s some mystical aspect to her background, and I’d like to explore that or at least touch on that. I think that knowing what happened in the past will give you a better understanding of why she is now. I also want to know why she’s into the occult.”

Gish arrived on The X-Files scene late in the eighth season, appearing first in “This Is Not Happening” and then returning a few episodes later for “Empedocles”, “Essence” and “Existence”. The character was quickly partnered with Special John Doggett (Robert Patrick) and thrown into the mix as Doggett and Scully (Gillian Anderson) dealt with the return of Mulder (David Duchovny) and the impending birth of Scully’s baby. The realm of series television was pretty new to Gish, who’d acted in the short-lived show “Courthouse” and a bunch of made-for-TV movies, including “Scarlett”, “Don’t Look Back”, “God’s New Plan” and, most recently “The Way She Moves”. However, Gish is best known for her work in such features as “Desert Bloom”, “Mystic Pizza”, “Wyatt Earp”, “Nixon”, “Beautiful Girls”, “Steel”, the box office hit “Double Jeopardy”, and the soon-to-be-released independent features “Buying the Cow” and “Race to Space”, the latter of which co-stars James Woods, Jake Lloyd of “Star Wars : Episode I – The Phantom Menace” fame, and X-Files veteran John O’Hurley.

Gish quickly discovered that The X-Files production team spends more days shooting an episode than just about any show on TV and that those days can easily run 12 or 14 hours or even longer. And, just as the rigors of weekly television were new to Gish, so too was much of The X-Files universe. “I was a casual X-Files watcher, but you have to understand that I’ve never been a religious watcher of any television program,” she says. “I’d definitely watched the first few season while I was in college. That was a big Friday night thing, watch The X-Files before you go out. As for the entries mythology… man, I tried to download some of it on the computer before I started with the show and it was so extensive and so deep and profound that I was kind of intimidated and daunted. The good thing was that Monica Reyes doesn’t have to know everything. She, like I was, was walking into the mythology kind of blind.”

Bye the time Season Nine rolled around, Reyes was on hand as a fulltime presence, while Mulder vanished into the night, Scully spent much of the her time at her new job at Quantico, and Doggett tried to fill Mulder’s shoes, win Scully’s affections and trust, and solve cases – of both the standalone and mythology variety – with Reyes. Meanwhile, with each passing day and each passing case, Reyes seemed to grow fonder and fonder of Doggett. Where any of this is leading, Gish has no idea. “The frustrating thing about series work is that you don’t know the entire story and you have to wait to know it,” explains the actress, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and now lives in Los Angeles. “And even though you don’t know it you have to play it out every week, a little bit at a time. So there are pieces of the puzzle that don’t quite fit or don’t match up yet or that’s frustrating as an actress. I want to know what’s going on between Doggett and Reyes. There’s this unrequited love. They’ve set up that Scully loves Mulder, Doggett loves Scully, Reyes loves Doggett and Follmer, Cary Elwes’ Character, loves Reyes. So they’ve set that up and it’s all unrequited. I think there’s a lot of sexual tension going on. And I think they should explore that, dammit!”

The ongoing, teasing, will-they/won’t-they nature of the romantic situation between Reyes-Doggett forces Gish and Patrick to carefully calibrate their performances, both when the characters are together and when they’re apart. A longing glance here or there might suggest something to the audience that Carter and Spotnitz never intended to convey. No episode highlighted the point better than “4-D”, the parallel universe show. Early on, Doggett brings his partner a housewarming gift of Polish sausage with mustard. The banter is sweet and when one character affectionately wipes some mustard off the face of the other, there’s no denying the sexual tension. Gish’s face registers comfort, warmth and familiarity, while Patrick’s betrays that plus a touch of conclusion : “Hmm, I think this is woman is into me”. Later, that scene gains relevance and impact when Doggett ends ward for Robert and me to film that [mustard-wiping sequence] because we haven’t gone there romantically as our characters”, Gish notes. “But that scene was so good. And the word is calibrate. That’s the perfect word. It’s frustrating, as I said, not to know where things are going, but it’s also great as an actress to always have an obstacle. My relationship with Doggett always has an obstacle in the way. Either he doesn’t want to love me or he’s in love with Scully. I don’t know if he even recognizes that Monica love him. It’ll be very interesting to see how they play it out, but Chris and Frank haven’t told me anything.”

While many of her scenes pair her with Patrick, Gish has found herself part of an ensemble cast. That’s been another new experience and one quite to her liking. “The amazing thing about Chris and Frank is that they have the ability to find actors who are interesting and as talented as hell,” Gish enthuses. “They really do attract great actors, from the main parts to the recurring parts to even the smallest roles. David, Gilliam and Robert, myself and Cary are completely different beings. I think we each have very different characteristics and qualities, and that’s good for the show. The one thing we all are, though, is dedicated and professional. It’s not like any of us are standing around, stomping our feet and saying, ‘Get the limo to take me home!’ We’re all about the work and we’re all dedicated to the work. I think Chris sort of demands that. He chooses actors who can execute that way, under these conditions.”

Gish has been called upon to do some strange things in a handful of her previous projects. She, along with Cameron Diaz, Courteney B. Vance and Ron Eldard, wined, dined, murdered and buried Jason Alexander, Ron Perlman and others in the black comedy “The Last Supper”. And, hell, she acted with Shaquille O’Neal in the comic book-based big-screen epic, “Steel”. The X-Files, however, regularly requires that Gish participate in a variety of crazy things, the kinds of things that prompt her to call her friends and family after a day’s work and, sometimes, right after she wraps a scene. “Doing some of the stuff in “Lord of the flies” was pretty darn weird,” she says, laughing. “Getting in that plastic sheath [which served as spider webbing] was pretty weird. I’ve had to look at hamburger meat that was used as the brain in a skull. Delivering the baby [in “Existence”] was pretty wild. One of the most exhilarating experiences was doing the episodes with the ship [“Nothing Important Happened Today, Part II”]. That explosion scene was one of the most extensive stunts I’d ever been a part of and it was totally exciting.”

Gish was obviously disappointed by the news of the series’ cancellation. She wanted the show to continue and she wants fans to give her and the show – which she acknowledges was starting to morph into something new – a fair shake. “I think people like what I’m doing,” she says, bringing the conversation to an end. “I’m sure there are those who are very loyal to Mulder and Scully and don’t want to have anything to do with Reyes and Doggett. As a whole, though, I think people are seeing good work and a good show.”