Posts Tagged ‘xf2’

USA Today: Title of ‘X-Files’ sequel released

Apr-16-2008
Title of ‘X-Files’ sequel released
USA Today
David Germain

[Original article]

LOS ANGELES — The truth is finally out there about the new X-Files movie title.

The second big-screen spinoff of the paranormal TV adventure will be called The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Chris Carter, the series’ creator and the movie’s director and co-writer, told The Associated Press.

Distributor 20th Century Fox signed off on the title Wednesday.

The title is a familiar phrase for fans of the series that starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI agents chasing after aliens and supernatural happenings. I Want to Believe was the slogan on a poster Duchovny’s UFO-obsessed agent Fox Mulder had hanging in the cluttered basement office where he and Anderson’s Dana Scully worked.

“It’s a natural title,” Carter said in a telephone interview Tuesday during a break from editing the film. “It’s a story that involves the difficulties in mediating faith and science. I Want to Believe. It really does suggest Mulder’s struggle with his faith.”

I Want to Believe comes 10 years after the first film and six years after the finale of the series, whose opening credits for much of its nine-year run featured the catch-phrase “the truth is out there.”

Due in theaters July 25, the movie will not deal with aliens or the intricate mythology about interaction between humans and extraterrestrials that the show built up over the years, Carter said.

Instead, it casts Mulder and Scully into a stand-alone, earth-bound story aimed at both serious X-Files fans and newcomers, he said.

“It has struck me over the last several years talking to college-age kids that a lot of them really don’t know the show or haven’t seen it,” Carter said. “If you’re 20 years old now, the show started when you were 4. It was probably too scary for you or your parents wouldn’t let you watch it. So there’s a whole new audience that might have liked the show. This was made to, I would call it, satisfy everyone.”

Hardcore fans need not worry that the movie will be going back to square one, though, Carter said. The movie will be true to the spirit of the show and everything Mulder and Scully went through, he said.

“The reason we’re even making the movie is for the rabid fans, so we don’t want to insult them by having to take them back through the concept again,” Carter said.

Carter said he settled on I Want to Believe from the time he and co-writer Frank Spotnitz started on the screenplay. It took so long to go public with it because studio executives wanted to make sure it was a marketable title, he said.

The filmmakers have kept the story tightly under wraps to prevent plot spoilers from leaking on the Internet, a phenomenon that barely existed when the first movie came out in 1998.

“We went to almost comical lengths to keep the story a secret,” Carter said. “That included allowing only the key crewmembers to read the script, and they had to read it in a room that had video cameras trained on them. It was a new experience.”

20th Century Fox is owned by News Corp.

USA Today: ‘X-Files’ creator spills film details

Mar-27-2008
‘X-Files’ creator spills film details
USA Today
Derrik J. Lang

[Original article]

LOS ANGELES — The truth about “The X-Files” sequel — some of it, anyway — is now out there.

“X-Files” creator Chris Carter, writer Frank Spotnitz and other crew members gathered Wednesday to discuss the TV series — and declassify some information about the upcoming film.

The popular Fox paranormal drama, which aired from 1993 to 2002, starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully

“While this is not a mythology movie, it’s true to everything that’s come before,” Spotnitz said at the William S. Paley Television Festival. “It’s true to Mulder and Scully, who they are and where they would be this point in their lives and all of the experiences that they’ve had.”

The series first made the leap to the big screen with 1998’s “The X-Files: Fight the Future.” Plans for another film were grounded in 2005 when Carter sued Fox over syndication profits for the show. The lawsuit was later settled.

Carter, who also directs the new movie, said it takes place in the present and uses a story envisioned when the series ended. While the show’s sprawling alien mythology isn’t part of the plot, Carter said there is a reference to Scully’s seemingly supernatural son, William, who was born in season eight and later given up for adoption.

The film is due out July 25.

Carter was tightlipped about the title.

“I can’t tell you,” he said. “I know what I want it to be, but Fox has some ideas of their own.”

USA Today: First look: ‘X-Files’ returns to theaters, minus alien mythology

Jan-16-2008
First look: ‘X-Files’ returns to theaters, minus alien mythology
USA Today
Scott Bowles

[Original article]

LOS ANGELES — The sequel is out there.

The conspiracy theories will not be.

Ten years after the first film and six years after the show went off the air, The X-Files returns to theaters with Fox Mulder, Dana Scully — and a lot riding on the bet that fans want more of the FBI’s paranormal-investigating agents.

The film, which remains without a formal title, will dump the long-running “mythology” plotline — that aliens live among us and are part of a colonizing effort — that made it one of the most popular television shows in the late 1990s but ultimately drove away some viewers who found it too complex and ambiguous.

“We spent a lot of time on (the mythology) and wrapped up a lot of threads” when the show went off the air in 2002, says Chris Carter, creator of the series and director of the new movie. “We want a stand-alone movie, not a mythology conspiracy one.”

That will come as welcome news to fans of the show’s stand-alone episodes, which included cults, ghosts, psychics and ancient curses.

Carter refuses to divulge any plot points of the movie, but says he wanted to make the film immediately after the show ended. A contractual dispute with 20th Century Fox kept it on the shelf until the case was settled out of court.

He says the delay may turn out to be a blessing.

“There’s a whole audience I want to introduce X-Files to,” Carter says. “There were kids who couldn’t watch it on TV because it was too scary. Now they’re in college. I wanted a movie that everyone could go to.”

Whether they will could be a test of the show’s legacy, says Blair Butler of the G4TV network, which caters to video-game enthusiasts and science-fiction fans.

“At its strongest, it had really creepy stand-alone episodes,” she says. “They turned it into a great franchise. But a lot of years have passed. We’ll see if it’s fallen off the radar.”

She says the film could benefit from an ironic twist: the Writers Guild strike.

“I think it could be a sort comfort food for the people who loved how original the show was and aren’t seeing original TV now,” she says.

But Carter believes they’ll be drawn by something else: the show’s stars, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

“For me, The X-Files has always been a romance,” he says. “They had an intellectual romance that’s very rare and restrained compared to so many relationships on TV. I think that’s what appealed most to the fans. And they’re back.”

TV.com: X-Files movie sequel still in works

Jul-17-2007
X-Files movie sequel still in works
TV.com
Tim Surette

[Original article]

Conspiracy theorists’ ears perked up yesterday, as a few remarks from former X-Files star David Duchovny led them closer to the truth–the truth about a new X-Files movie.

On hand at the Television Critics Association press tour to promote his upcoming series Californication, Duchovny told members of the press that he was due to see a script for the movie next week.

“I’m actually supposed to see [the script] next week,” Duchovny said, according to E! Online. “Before I would just say that because [executives] told me [to say that].”

Duchovny also said that his X-Files co-star Gillian Anderson and series creator Chris Carter were on board for the film. The movie would be based on a script from Carter and series writer Frank Spotnitz, with Carter attached to direct. Production could start as early as November, pegging the movie for a summertime 2008 release, according to Duchovny.

The X-Files ran from 1993 to 2002, and followed paranormal FBI investigators Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson) as they worked their way through a web of conspiracies, aliens, and other spooky situations. A movie based on the show was released in 1998 to mediocre reviews and managed to rake in almost $200 million worldwide.

TeenHollywood: David Duchovny: He’s Funny! Honest

Apr-16-2004
David Duchovny: He’s Funny! Honest
TeenHollywood
Lynn Barker

[Original article here]

He’ll always be known as Agent Mulder from “The X-Files” but actor David Duchovny is so much more. He’s very funny, which Mulder rarely was, he gestures when he talks and he is more interested in comedy timing than UFO’s.

In the new comedy film Connie and Carla, David plays Jeff, a really nice guy who falls for Nia Vardalos…in drag. Being a straight man, Jeff wonders why he’s so attracted to this drag queen. In casual blue tee and matching long-sleeved shirt, the actor buzzed in to our interview room at the Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills (where Pretty Woman was shot) and was willing to answer all questions, including those about another possible “X-Files” movie, his on-set pranks and his previous experience with being in drag.

TeenHollywood: Is this character Jeff similar to you? Or, having played a guy in drag, did you give advice to Nia and Toni?

David: I suppose Jeff is similar, but in my history, from “Twin Peaks”, I’m the one usually wearing the dress which is what I would’ve preferred, but they wouldn’t let me. It’s been 15 years since I did that and my a** isn’t as good as it used to be. There were real drag queens in this movie though. I’m just a dilettante, a dabbler. I’d done it and really enjoyed doing the character and thought I was decent at it. But these guys, they were real performers. I wanted to show them, I wanted the chance to dress up and dance and sing, but they wouldn’t let me.

TeenHollywood: Not even between takes?

David: Well, it’s really hard to all of a sudden bust out in a dress and a wig. It’s not something you can do, ‘just give me 30 seconds and I’ll come back with my own drag name’. No, it didn’t happen, but maybe if there’s a sequel, Connie and Carla and That Guy.

TeenHollywood: How did you get that famous “Twin Peaks” cross dresser role anyway?

David: That part was written for James Spader who knew the producers of “Twin Peaks”. And he, for some reason, had to drop out and they were desperately trying to cast the role and I think I came in on a Friday with an emery board. That was my big deal. That’s all. That’s what I did during the audition and it worked. I just remembered thinking ‘oh my God, I’ve never been in a dress or shaved my legs and now I’ve got to go do this on Monday’. And I had no idea what I was doing. I was thinking why, aside from sexual preference or liking to wear a dress, would a man want to be a woman? And I just felt well, you get to be more spontaneous and open and friendly. That’s kind of the approach I took. A very innocent, friendly kind of point of view.

TeenHollywood: Did you look hot?

David: (laughs) Not good. I had good legs, but as Bill Murray said in Tootsie, “Don’t play hard to get.” That’s probably what I would be told. (note: Hey, we saw him in drag on that show and he was cute!)

TeenHollywood: Talk about what attracted you to this role in Connie and Carla? There’s a nice relationship between Jeff and his cross-dressing brother in the movie.

David: I saw the fun kind of Cyrano part of falling in love with a woman that you think is a man, the Shakespeare in Love part and I thought that was a fun and classic comedy set up in a way, but on top of that or below that was this relationship with the brother… and I thought that was really interesting. One of the difficult things in trying to do the performance was to strike a tone in the movie and in the performances that could withstand both the wacky comedy aspect but also a very real kind of family situation and two brothers coming together.

TeenHollywood: Did you go try out for the role?

David: Well, we had to meet in the middle somewhere. They came to me to express interest but I think that there is always this thing where they wonder too if I was funny. They thought I might be funny, but they wanted to see me be funny. So I went and I was really funny. Then we did the movie. And I just look at auditioning as rehearsal, because there’s so little rehearsal that we get to do in movies. They spend millions of dollars and then the first time these actors are saying the words to one another is on film, and it’s ridiculous.

TeenHollywood: We hear you are famous for on-set pranks. Did you pull any pranks on this set?

David: I seem to remember that I gave Nia a Polaroid of my a**. I can’t remember why, or how I took it. Because when you do it in the mirror, it flashes out and you don’t get anything, because I’ve tried that 100 times. When I’d gotten to my trailer, they had already been up for like two weeks working and Nia had done something to my trailer, something bad. I can’t remember what it was but I had to avenge it. I saran wrapped her toilet seat at one point. You know that trick? It seems clear and it’s not and then you, you know. But she never said anything about that which leads me to believe- – well, we all know she doesn’t have to go. She’s perfect.

TeenHollywood: Okay, here come the “X-Files”questions. Do you still have to box your way out of being typecast?

David: For sure. I’m always joking with my manager about how people always say to me, “I didn’t know you were funny.” It’s just part of the baggage of being on a show that was that big. It doesn’t make any sense to run from it or deny it. It just is what it is, I’m proud of “The X Files”, I’m happy that it made so much happen for me as a person, as an actor. I wouldn’t want it any other way, but it also brings these other barriers. If you look at it the right way, it can be fun to overcome because you can surprise people.

TeenHollywood: Will there be another “X-Files” movie?

David: I think it definitely will happen. Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz are busy at work. They have an idea which they like and they keep threatening to tell me. I wish they would. They’re going to tell me soon. They’re just setting about writing it now, so we’ll be doing it in the next year.

TeenHollywood: How will the character develop?

David: I don’t know if Mulder should develop. I mean, Mulder is Mulder. That’s one of the things I learned fighting for the last three or four years on the show trying to change the guy or give him a French accent one day. The nature of the character and what I eventually learned to love about him is he’s set. He’s set and he’s a great character. So the great thing about Mulder is we know what he’s going to do and we know what he likes and what he loves and what he hates. We’re just going to play with that I’m sure.

TeenHollywood: Will the film start where the series left off?

David: I don’t know. My feeling about the second “X Files” movie was, since it’s going to come after the show is not running anymore, is that it had to be like a stand alone show with a really great part for a guest star, another actor who’s not part of the show. So apparently, that’s what Chris and Frank have is a great X-File idea with another actor or actress who can really score in a really great thriller/sci-fi role, so I hope that takes the show towards the fans but also towards new fans. And Mulder will wear a dress of course.

TeenHollywood: We’d pay to see that. Would you star in something opposite your wife Tea?

David: Tea and I have chemistry, obviously I think we do in life, but sometimes that’s a very sacred thing. We’re married and we consider our chemistry sacred. So in a way, if we were to act, it might feel weird exhibiting this sacred chemistry and in a way, we might be more inhibited as performers with one another than we are as people with one another, or it could be great, I don’t know. But it’s my feeling that I would feel a little more inhibited showing people what I feel about this woman because I feel like that’s my business. Whereas I can fake showing how I feel about any other woman. That’s my show business. That was well put, come on.

TeenHollywood: Connie and Carla are great musical theater lovers. Are you?

David: I can’t stand it. No, I kept saying I could dance as long as you don’t tell me I’m supposed to be dancing. I never was a big fan of musical theater. When we all did the big table read before we were going to start shooting, Nia and Toni had all these song cues and they had the actual song arrangements down and they sang. And at first, I thought, “Oh my God, this is going to take forever.” And it did. But, I kept turning to Nia and I go, “That’s a really good tune.” And she was just laughing at me because it was all these really famous tunes that I was hearing for the first time and I was like ‘That’s from “Cats”? Really? If I had to sit through three hours to hear that one tune, I wouldn’t do it but the good thing about this movie is it seems like they had all of the good tunes put together. It’s fun.

***

Lynn Barker is a Hollywood-based entertainment journalist and produced screenwriter.

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: 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. #

Cinescape: Interview with Frank Spotnitz

May-24-2002
Cinescape
Interview with Frank Spotnitz
Melissa J. Perenson

Agent Mulder’s (David Duchovny) return leads to a military tribunal that could cost him his life in The X-Files two-hour series finale.

Frank Spotnitz on the End of The X-Files – Part Two
Chris Carter’s right hand man on the close of Mulder and Scully’s TV journey

Last Sunday saw the conclusion of The X-Files’ formidable run after a nine-year stretch. We finally did learn The Truth – though much of it proved to be a recap of the past more than new revelations in the present. And we finally had to say goodbye to Mulder and Scully – two characters whose odyssey we’ve followed through monsters-of-the-week and labyrinthine government conspiracies alike. Today, executive producer Frank Spotnitz continues his chat with Cinescape about the end of the groundbreaking show.

We know now that Mulder is the father of Scully’s baby, William; Mulder states it himself. Yet now that he’s back, the family can’t be reunited, since Scully made the heart-rending decision to give her son up for adoption in one of the show’s final episodes, “William.” “She doesn’t get him back in the finale,” acknowledges Spotnitz, who adds the decision to have her give up the baby was a difficult one. “But I think the decision to have Scully give up the baby was something that, in no small way, makes it easier to do another movie, and really sort of frees you in what that movie can be, in a way that you would not be free if the baby storyline had to be serviced. You’d just have to have another threat to the baby in the movie, and that dictates the entire story of the movie.”

Then again, he adds, “I can’t predict, because I don’t know how many movies there are going to be. I’m sure if there are enough movies, William will become important. Maybe William will be in the next movie. I don’t know, because Chris and I haven’t even started talking about what the next movie might be.”

The show may have served up unpredictable plot lines, but the one thing Spotnitz was always able to predict was the pace of Mulder and Scully’s evolution – if for no other reason than the fact that it was, by nature, glacial. “The characters evolved very, very slowly. Chris was very strict about who Mulder and Scully could be,” explains Spotnitz of the world’s best-known team of FBI investigators. “But I think through the plots, through the mythic journey these characters were on, they slowly began to change.”

The more Scully saw over the years, the more voices cried out that she should change. “We used to get criticisms all the time: ‘Oh, come on, she’s seen so much.’ By the end of season one, season two, people were already saying, ‘C’mon, how can Scully still be a skeptic, she’s seen so much?'” remembers Spotnitz. “But Chris knew that’s what made the show work, and you needed to preserve her skepticism. And even in ‘Endgame,’ there was a voiceover in that episode that was designed to tell us where Scully’s head was at that early point of the series; that, after all she’s seen, she’s still going to bring science to everything she sees. And it was an attempt to preserve Scully as a scientist and a skeptic. Yes, there’s stuff that we can’t explain, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be explained one day.”

Now, that one day has arrived.

Whether you loved the finale – or loathed it – will have little impact on The X-Files’ historical contribution to dramatic television. While many will argue the series went out past its prime – the stories the show told, right up to the end, were some of the most ambitious projects on the small screen. “I think in terms of the ambitions of stories, and the ideas we tried to communicate – I mean, there was no idea too big. One of the first things that struck me when I came to work here was how smart we tried to be,” muses Spotnitz. “It’s the opposite of what everyone’s impression is of television. We were never smart enough. We were always trying to be smarter.”

“To this day, we’ve always tried to be smarter, because our audience is so smart. And no matter how smart we are, our audience is always smarter,” explains Spotnitz. “It became a very constructive dialectic. Less so the last two years, I’ve got to say, because so many of the voices on the Internet have been dumbed down, and it’s no longer what it was – a race to see who could surpass the other in terms of achievement and understanding the ideas we were going for.”

As smart as the fans were, Spotnitz laments the changes among the show’s Internet following. “Before ‘Sunshine Days’ aired I was distressed to read on the Internet that a lot of people were saying, ‘Oh, this is going to be them dissing the fans, and telling us that we were idiots.’ It’s such a misreading of us and how we feel about our fans. We love our fans, we’re so grateful for our fans – we think they’re so smart and attentive,” he reaffirms. “Nothing could be further from the truth. We would never do that. There was also a misreading of the ending of ‘Scary Monsters.’ ‘What are you trying to say, people are stupid for watching our show?'” he quotes. Determined to set the record straight, he adds, “You’ve got to be crazy to think that or do that if you’re in our line of work. I think that there’s a lot of wasted energy in some quarters talking about things like that.”

There’s no doubt that the devoted fans are still out there, though: some 13.4 million viewers tuned in for the finale – more than two-thirds of the show’s audience when it hit its peak four years ago.

Nostalgia for X-Files of yore brought back viewers in droves, but nostalgia of another sort has set in for someone like Spotnitz, who joined the series in its second season. “Oh sure,” he says candidly. “This is what happens in human nature; you forget about all of the pain. It’s the nice thing about human beings – you just forget about the pain and you just remember all of the good things. That’s what’s moving about [the end].”

At the Fox lot hub of 1013 Productions, they’re preparing to turn out the lights. The X-Files has taken its final bow, executive producer John Shiban has moved over to his new home at Paramount’s Enterprise, Chris Carter has a one-way plane ticket for a long-overdue vacation, and even Spotnitz will be moving on in a few weeks to take a producing job on a new CBS cop show series. But Mulder and Scully’s impact will not soon diminish. And while the logistics (including the final go-ahead from Fox) for another movie have yet to be worked out, there’s always that little hint bit about an alien colonization set for the year 2012…