X-Files mythology, TenThirteen Interviews Database, and more

Posts Tagged ‘harsh realm’

San Diego ComicCon 2000


San Diego ComicCon transcript

[typed by marita1121]

First, the whole experience. So cool! I was so excited! My friend and I wandered around the ComicCon ’til it was time for CC, and I met some artists from The Simpsons, and got some Princess Mononoke posters, and it was pretty neat.

Then CC! We managed to get seats about three rows back on the left side, which were actually really really good, because CC was standing at a podium on the left side of the stage, and I had a very clear view of him, and we were quite close. They started off showing a montage of clips from TXF, including some outtakes (basically GA laughing and being unable to deliver her lines; I recognized some from the gagreels), and then some very brief clips of the Lone Gunmen show. I taped this, but didn’t transcribe it because it’s mostly creepy music and GA laughing. You didn’t get much from TLG clips, but as I recall we saw Frohike rolling around in mud, which was kinda erotic, in a sense. ;-D

Then CC came on stage. Like Spooky’s Toy said, he was wearing a white t-shirt and grey pants (jeans maybe). My general impressions of him were that he was very sincere. True he was somewhat distant and guarded when it came to plot specifics, but he seemed very nice and very appreciative of us, his fans.

Afterwards he signed these cards that were passed around (not everyone got a card, and that’s the only thing he’d sign), but I had to leave right after the session, so I gave my card away to some kids who were begging for them. I had brought along my Pilot script to be signed, but I guess that wouldn’t have worked out. Still, my life is that much closer to being complete. ;-D

Guy: Ladies and Gentlemen, would you please welcome Chris Carter!

[cheers from crowd]

CC: Thank you very much. I don’t even know what to say. I hope you liked that little Lone Gunmen preview. We had a lot of fun making the show. We’re starting to work on it now, we’ll be filming it in October, and I think you guys’ll see it in March. I’ve never been to Comic-con, I’ve heard a lot about it, and I’m hardly a replacement for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Lady in crowd: You’re better!

CC: I was setting you up. Um, but I’m going to open the floor to questions. I know people have a lot of questions, and I’d rather hear what you want to hear than what I want to tell you. Anyone?

Shout from crowd1: What’s going to happen to Mulder?

CC: What’s going to happen to Mulder?

Shout from crowd2: I heard he has a replacement.

CC: He’s looking for a place to invest his money right now. [laughter] He’s coming back. Actually he’s in the season opener, believe it or not. And he’s going to be in a lesser number of episodes this year, but we’re going to make it really interesting. It was actually something..it was a happy accident. I had to write the season finale — which is called “Requiem” — I had to write it without knowing whether or not we’d be back. So it actually set up an interesting problem for me in cutting that [something I can’t understand] in doing an eight year, that has actually worked with David’s availability this year. But, as some of you may know we announced an addition to the cast, yesterday actually, I think was yesterday, the day before yesterday, that’s Robert Patrick, who you guys know [cheers] as, among other things, I’m sure you all know him as the terminator guy. So he’s going to come into the show, and he’s not going to be Scully’s partner, but he’s going to be playing an important part. Of course Agent Scully over the seven years has seen a tremendous number of things that have eroded her skepticism and even though she’s still a scientist she’s a reluctant believer because to find Mulder now she has to accept the fact that he may have been abducted, so it leads us into, I think, a new era of The X-Files and I’m really excited about that. Next question?

Shout from the crowd3: Are there plans for another movie?

CC: Yes, there are plans. [cheers]

SfC3: Is there a script?

CC: No, the plans are all in my head. [laughter] Actually, I had a lot of time to think about it. It took me three hours to drive here, so I was working on the movie during the traffic jam in Oceanside today. [laughter]

SftC4: O-side!

CC: Anyway, next question?

SftC Are we going to see Mrs. Scully next season?

CC: Are you going to see Mrs. Scully, that’s an interesting question. Yes, you will see Mrs. Scully next season. She didn’t appear at all in the seventh season, which was not by choice, it just kind of the way it worked out. So I think now that Scully’s alone that she will go to her mother, certainly for comfort, if not dinner. [laughter, cheers]

[Brian Thompson walks up onto the other side of the stage with a microphone. He looks a lot hotter than as ABH. yee-ha]

Brian Thompson: Uh, Mr. Carter, my name’s Brian Thompson, I live in Los Angeles. I play the Bounty Hunter on the X-Files. It’s the television show you wrote about seven years ago, and, uh, I was in the last episode. Did you see that? I got in this space ship, and I was just wondering: what have Mulder and I been doing these last three months?


CC: That’ll be the cable version of the show.

BT: One more question. You know, what’s her name, the girl on the show, she’s pregnant…

CC: Scully.

BT: Oh, right. Everybody at the show says that’s going to be the Bounty Hunter’s baby. [laughter] And, could you confirm that?

CC: It’s actually going to be my baby.

BT: At the very least could you write a scene where I get to make out with her?

CC: I’m corruptible. [cheers] I’m not taking off my shirt. Next question.

[someone asking very softly a question about fansites]

CC: Right. I have an answer. The question was, how do I feel about fan sites that promote the show but aren’t necessarily official, and my feelings are, I’m all for them. I think what happens is Fox gets a little upset when people start to sell things on them or there’s copyright material on them that’s downloadable, I think that’s where the Corporation gets sticky. Me, personally, Chris Carter, I don’t care. [cheers] ‘Nother question.

Guy in crowd: I’ve been looking around for books on your directing techniques, the way you brought about X-Files and your past experience. I haven’t found very many, you know, they’re mostly about, you know, the fandom, you know, “The truth is out there.”

CC: Right.

GiC: Are there sources that can say influences you’ve had, techniques you’ve used to bring the mood about in X-Files, etc., etc.?

CC: I talk a lot about what my influences were and, so, those things, I’ve never spoken about…I’ve resisted speaking about it because I have to pretend I have some, something to say. Now, one of these days I’ll actually get it straight in my head then maybe I might talk about it. Ok, all right, stand up.

[Someone in the crowd saying something too quietly to be picked up on my recorder. She’s talking about newsgroups — not ATXF — and about a HR fanfic list. She asks what CC meant by the line at the end of some HR ep (didn’t catch the title) when someone says to Tom, “The healer thinks you’re the one: she’s right.”]

CC: Um, it’s a good question, I don’t remember. I’ve sort of repressed that experience. [someone shouts something indecipherable from the crowd] Thank you. She’s talking about Harsh Realm, she had some questions about Harsh Realm, a line that was in the end of one of the episodes, latter eight episodes. Um, I don’t remember exactly, I’d have to go back and read the script and think about why that was in there. But I’m certain it had to do with the mythology. And she’s also…and there’s obviously some fan fiction out there related to Harsh Realm, which is actually my, probably my only real connection to the comic book world, which is a very, very, very, very, very thin one. Anyway, next question?

VfC [a very very very faint one that took me a long time to decipher]: Why make Scully pregnant?

CC: Why not?

SfC5: It’s his baby!

CC: I thought it was interesting. I thought as we get into our relationship with Mulder, we’re going to go back and explore that. In the episode “all things” if you guys saw it [cheers]. And I thought it was interesting it complied with former character, too, because she’s a very lonely character, and now she’s even lonelier without Mulder.

Guy sitting next to me: Mr. Carter?

CC: Yes?

GSNtM: Will there be future X-Files conventions with the cast being able to tour with those conventions?

CC: There aren’t any immediate plans to have any more X-Files conventions, with or without the cast. I think it’s just because it was logistically really tough. I never wanted to merchandise the show, but all of a sudden it felt like when we did the movie there was a lot of stuff out there. I thought it was all pretty good because I had a lot of people who worked for me, one person particularly, who make sure the stuff that got out there was good, but, it took just too much time, it was a whole job in its self, so if we did it again I’d want to make sure that our quality control was what it should be.

Voice on the Microphone: Folks, if you have any questions, I’m going to have you come down here, I have a wireless, so if you have any questions come on over.

CC: That’s a good idea.

SfC6: Who killed JonBenet Ramsey? [laughter]

SfC7: What about the boys?

CC: What?

SfC7: The Lone Gunmen!

CC: The Lone Gunmen.

SfC8: Bruce Harwood! Woo!

CC: I bet you Bruce Harwood never thought in his life he’d have women catcalling him. [laughter]

SfC9: He’s a teddy bear!

CC: All right.

Questioner1: Are we going to see anymore Krycek, [cheers] and in particular are we going to see any more Mulder/Krycek interactions? [cheers]

CC: You’ll see more Krycek, he’s coming back. And Mulder/Krycek, I mean, we’ve got to get Mulder back before we get any interactions. Yeah, the mythology lives on, and even though there are certain things that have been resolved, there are things to explore, and as you saw in the season finale, Krycek’s very much alive. So’s Covarrubias, and since Laurie Holden, who plays Marita Covarrubias, sent me a nice letter at the end of the year, I’ll probably give her as much screen time as I possibly can.

Q2: Do you have any plans to bring Frank Black into any more episodes?


CC: I was thinking about that, too. I think I was thinking about that right around Del Mar. Yeah, you know, I love that character and I love working with Lance, so the big treat last year was being able to bring him back and doing it in an episode where Mulder and Scully actually get to consummate their relationship with a kiss, you know, a smooch. That’s pretty good, after seven years, you have to admit for two characters who have had such sexual tension that they finally smack on the lips. It’s the world’s longest foreplay. Anyway, I hope to bring Frank Black back, I came up with an idea on the way here on how to do that. It’s really Lance’s availability. There’s some Millennium fans out there. [cheers] All right.

Q3: Are there plans to increase Skinner’s presence on the series?

CC: I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of letters, that I think this is an orchestrated movement to get Mitch Pileggi on the show more, and the truth is I’d love to do that. I spoke to him yesterday, we’re trying to figure out ways to do that. It’s really just being true to the characters, true to the stories, how we do that, because obviously the character of Skinner is extremely important to the show because he has seen something now, he’s seen something even Scully hasn’t seen, so I think that it’s a pivotal role that he now plays in the development of the show.

Q4 (a small Asian girl with a blue wig): Um, hi.

CC: Hi.

Q4 (asAgwabw): I’m nervous.

CC: How can you be nervous? You have blue hair.

Q4 (asAgwabw): I know you already had the episode about it, but I was wondering if you could kind of clarify what happened to Samantha. It was kind of confusing.

CC: Right. It was supposed to be just a little big vague, but Mulder believes that through the course of those two episodes this year, that when bad things are about to happen to children that there is some force, some presence that comes down and, perhaps, saves children from those terrible fates. And he thinks that because of the testing that was being done on Samantha that, in fact, that’s what happened and that she has been removed and will perhaps be returned. She has become starlight, if you will. So that’s what he believes.

Q4 (asAgwabw): Do you need, uh, any Asian 15-year-old girls for the show?

CC: Uh, leave me your number.

[sAgwabw starts to walk away; stops in front of CC and looks hopefully]

[CC looks at her]

[sAgwabw doesn’t know quite what to do, but is still quite hopeful]

CC: Ok.

[she’s still kinda hopeful]

CC: Next.

[sAgwabw walks back to her seat dejectedly] [meanie]

Q5: I have a few questions about the Lone Gunmen. I’ve been keeping my eye out for the pilot all summer long and I haven’t seen it anywhere. Is there any way that we can see that?

CC: No, I’m sorry, you have to wait for the spring. Although, as with Millennium, I actually saw it bootlegged long before I saw it on the air, so there’s no telling today where it might pop up. That’s all I can tell you. Not that I would be involved in that.

Q5: And then, I’m not sure about your relationship with them now, but I’d really love to see an episode by Wong & Morgan, especially Darin Morgan.


CC: Yeah, those guys did great X-Files episodes, some of the best, I think. Actually, they’re all from the San Diego area. [cheers] But they’re off doing their own stuff now.

Q6: The only show that I’ve seen that’s done what your show has done, in terms of longevity of being good, is the Simpsons. I’ve watched your shows and seen story arcs complete and I stop right there and think, ‘you can’t get any better,’ but you would! How do you do that? What do you contribute to the longevity of being good. Even at the first show, it was good.

CC: Are you on my payroll? [laughter]

Q6: It’s just that I remember your show when it had just started, and people told me about it.

CC: Yeah.

Q6: Then I started watching it and it was good and it was before everybody got in to the, you know, Mulder’s all sexy and everything like that. It was a good show.

CC: You know, the reason for that is, one thing is that the people who have come to work on the show, you know, besides David and Gillian, who are the secret to the success of the show is David and Gillian, and hopefully now Robert Patrick will even add to that in a greater way, but the secret to the success is the people who come to work on the show. The writers, the directors, Rob Bowman and Kim Manners, David Nutter, people like Bob Goodwin and Michael Watkins, and the writing staff, which right now includes Frank Spotnitz, Vince Gilligan, John Shiban and some other people, some staff writers. This is the reason we’re successful, ’cause everybody works really really hard to make it good.

Q6: Are you taking cards? [he holds up his business card]

CC: Uh, when I’m signing autographs I’ll take some, you can hand me stuff.

Q7: Mr. Carter, I enjoy your work.

CC: Thank you.

Q7: More of a wishlist, or a plea. Is there any chance you could use Darren McGavin as Kolchak the Night Stalker? Have a cameo of him in The Lone Gunmen.

CC: He is Kolchak the Night Stalker.

Q7: Yeah. Could you have him maybe show up…

CC: As Kolchak the Night Stalker…That’s a good idea. He’s already playing Mulder’s predecessor on The X-Files. I’ll have to think about it.

[some quiet mumblings I can’t quite catch…that could have been people sitting around me]

CC: There’s a person trying to tell me how to do my job.

Q8: Can you tell us how far the interactions between Robert Patrick’s character and minor characters like Skinner, the CSM, [mumble], how will they interact?

CC: The character that Robert Patrick plays will be Special Agent John Doggett, is a member of the FBI fraternity, so he’s like one of the guys, he’s like one of the hardcore there, he’s on his way up the ladder, he’s a do-gooder in a sense, but he’s his own man. So what he represents to them is a threat to this thing, the X-Files because it is a basement operation. So in coming to look for Mulder, to find Mulder, he is a threat because he’s part of the system, and now he’s attacking the X-Files. So he isn’t working as Agent Scully’s partner, but at some point they will come to a place where they can agree to disagree.

Q8: Also, could you not make him another Spender, please?

CC: You didn’t like Spender?

Q8: [choosing his words carefully] Not in continuing the show, if that’s going to happen. Also, can you tell us anything about the Season 2 DVDs? And the rumored Millennium and Harsh Realm DVDs?

CC: I don’t think, I don’t know about Harsh Realm. They don’t do anything nice to that show, that they could possibly do. But the X-Files DVD, I don’t know, right now I think they’re doing the second printing of the first batch, so I think they might get that out of the way first because they’ve been very popular. And the rumor is about the Millennium, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t do it if there was a big enough demand.

Q9: Hi, this is another Millennium question.

CC: Yeah.

Q9: Do you think that the one episode that you did was sufficient to tie up the three years that the Millennium series had. Were you satisfied with how it was done.

CC: I would like to make a Millennium movie. [cheers] I think it would be a great movie, and I would go back to the pilot, what the pilot was, what the whole show could have been, and I would kind of like to go back and start all over again and do that as a movie. If I knew that there were people who would go out and watch it, because I would make it good. I think that would be something I’d spend some time on.

Q10: Hi Mr. Carter. I was curious whether you feel that as a body of work, and assuming that the X-Files is on its last season, do you feel completed, or satisfied with what you’ve done with the show, or is there anything you would have liked to have done that you’re not going to get an opportunity to do?

CC: Well, you know, I’m going on, so I have the opportunity right now to explore the things that I wasn’t going to be able to do. There was a point last season, it was actually distressing, where it was right around Christmas time and I came into Frank Spotnitz’s office and I was kind of excited and I said, ‘I’ve got this idea, and it’s be really great if we could do this and this and this.’ And he said, ‘You know, we only have ten more episodes left to go.’ And that was when we thought the show wasn’t coming back, and it was like, wait a second. I never actually imagined that the show actually ending, so there’s still a lot of things I want to explore, but I’ve got a new character now so I’ve got to integrate them in an interesting way so that I can explore those things.

Q11: I’ve noticed in the last few years that humor, specifically a kind of, almost slapstick at times, a kind of sarcastic humor, has been really prevalent. Is that going to continue, or…

CC: That’s a good question. I think that this year we’ll really go back to our roots, which is good scary stories. [cheers] And, but you know, with the X-Files, as with Mulder, and oftentimes with Scully, we always inject humor into the show, we just won’t be doing those big, slapstick-y, slaphappy episodes.

Q11: I was just going to say I’ve always really enjoyed — I’ve always enjoyed the X-Files, obviously — the non-Mythology episodes, the ones that are real plain scary stories. Can you do more of those?

CC: What are your favorites?

Q11: Oh, gosh. Well I love, Small Potatoes is one of my favorites…

CC: That’s a funny one, though.

Q11: It’s funny but it’s…

CC: Yeah, it’s touching.

Q11: I also love the one, that’s back in the fifties with the kid who was kind of deformed…

CC: The black and white one?

Q11: Yeah.

CC: Yeah, that’s one of my favorites, too.

Q11: I also really like the old ones.

CC: She likes the old ones.

Q11: I like them all!

CC: Ok, thanks.

Q12: First of all, I’d like to say thank you for creating the show.

CC: Thanks.

Q12: I would like to know, will the actors be writing any more episodes?

CC: I don’t know. I think it’s really about time and availability. Both of them…I know Gillian, who did a great job this year, you know, it took a lot of time and she has a daughter and the more time she gets to spend with that daughter the better. So I think that it’s all about time and timing.

Q13: First of all I have to say, I love your stuff.

CC: Nice t-shirt.

Q13: Thank you. I have two questions. First of is, is there any chance they’ll have a Harsh Realm movie now to wrap everything up? Or, Fox won’t do that, or what? ‘Cause I love the show.

CC: Thanks.

Q13: I think it’s excellent.

CC: Thank you. I doubt it, I really doubt it. It’s really too bad, too, ’cause Scott Bairstow and D.B. Sweeney were two really great guys to work with. And the character who played the non-speaking part, the woman, Florence. I thought that was a really interesting role to get to develop, I’m sorry we didn’t get to develop it.

Q13: My other question is, I got to appear in “Fight Club,” I got to be in the crowd, fighting.

CC: Yeah.

Q13: And I was just wondering if there are going to be any other episodes where they’re going to have open casting calls like that, so I can be on it again? ‘Cause it was, like, one of the highlights of my life.

CC: Ooo-kay. [laughter] I don’t know yet.

Q14: Regarding your influences on the mythology of the show, I know you mentioned in the past that All the President’s Men, Star Wars…

CC: Yes, yes.

Q14: Recently there have been some online print publications that have pointed out some striking similarities between the X-Files mytharc and Nigel Neil’s Quatermass series that ran during the ’60s and ’70s. Were you aware of these similarities, and was it an influence directly on you?

CC: No. That’s somebody that’s really working hard. But if you start the show with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon… [laughter]

Q15: Hello, Mr. Carter. I was just wondering if real life conspiracy theories and UFOs interest you, or if it’s just a way to let your creativity flow?

CC: What was the question?

Q15: If, uh, real life conspiracy theories and UFOs interest you?

CC: Yes, it does. Especially now with corporate America consolidating, I think these are real things we’re talking about here. I believe that these aren’t just stories we’re telling, that these conspiracies are going to start becoming more and more real at a more personal level. So it’s fun to tell, what’re now almost like allegories or metaphors for what’s actually happening in the real world.

Q16: I’d just like to say that I think all your shows have hands down some of the best writing ever seen on television.

CC: Thanks.

Q16: And I’d like to ask, do you have any advice you’d like to give to future television writers.

CC: Work really really hard, and everybody, I have a lot of people come up to me, not everybody, I have a lot of people come up to me and say, ‘I want to write.’ And I always say, ‘what’s stopping you?’ It’s a matter of sitting yourself down in front of a computer, a notepad, a typewriter, and doing it. You’re about 90% of the way there if you can do that.

Q17: Hello. I was in a group of students that you spoke to at USC about five years ago, when X-Files was in season 3, and you said back then you sort of had a plan in your head that you were going to go about five years and then wrap it up and everything. We’re entering season 8, and I’m wondering how much the plan has changed. What was that original plan? Will we ever know what that was?

CC: Well, it changed because of the movie. And it changed because of the popularity of the show. And it changed because Fox didn’t want the show to end. So, I think the television series will ultimately become a movie series. So right now we’re telling the stories that ultimately will lead to that, so we’re just…I think the X-Files could probably go on forever if it was in the right hands. So, you’re right, I didn’t anticipate going into the eighth year, nor did my wife. And, she’s looking forward to seeing me home one of these days, rather than on the phone.

Q18: Hello, I’m a huge fan of Darin Morgan’s writing. Is there any chance of persuading him of coming back and writing another episode or two?

CC: We call him every year, several times a year, and, I think the last conversation someone had with him, he said that he saw the movie, “The Sixth Sense,” he had actually he had threatened that he had a ghost story that he wanted to tell, and he saw the movie “The Sixth Sense” and he said, ‘oh, they took my idea.’ And he went into a state of depression. Or so he said. Anyway, we’ve not been able to get Darin to come back to the show, sadly, because he added something to it that I think was special. And even though he only did four episodes, out of 161, I think all of those four episodes are among the top shows that we’ve ever done, and he added something to the show that I think it needed, and has benefitted from, which was a sense of humor, a particular sense of humor.

Q19: Are you planning on introducing a mytharc to the Lone Gunmen show?

CC: I seem to introduce a mythology to all of the shows that I do. So, I would say yes. But you’ve got to be careful, because as I saw with Harsh Realm, if you introduce it too early, you lose your opportunity to get people to come to the show. So you’ve actually got to build just good hard straight story telling before you actually start to build the mythology, so that’s probably the way the Lone Gunmen will work.

Q20: You were working on a couple novels. Do you have to go through a couple more traffic jams before we see them?

CC: Yes.

Q21: Hi. This has been bothering me for quite a while now, and I was just wondering. What happened to Gibson Praise? Are we going to be expecting him?

CC: I’m glad you asked that question. If you remember the character Gibson Praise, he was a little boy, the chess-playing boy. [applause] He’s coming back. [cheers]

Q22: I was just wondering what Mulder’s reaction will be to Scully’s pregnancy. I mean, did they have sex, or what? It wasn’t clarified in “all things,” and it’s just been bugging me forever.

CC: How old are you?

Q22: I’m 13. [laughter]

CC: Uh, that’s a PG-13 question, so I can answer it. We’re going to explore what happened this season, so while it may seem as if you missed something, and you did, you will not miss it in the end.

Q23: In the first two episodes, is Mulder coming back only in flashbacks?

CC: Uh…one of these tape recorders I was asked to bring up here just went off, the other one’s still working. I’m not going to tell you, ’cause I want to keep that a mystery. All right? Thanks.

Q24: How many scripts have you developed for the Lone Gunmen at this point?

CC: Right now there are three or four stories in the pipeline. I’m sorry. There are three or four stories in the pipeline, but there are no scripts actually written past that, but one is being worked on. So we’re really right at the beginning of that. But we want to be careful with that, especially after Harsh Realm, we want to be careful to do it just right.

Q25: We got an official glimpse at some gags that you’ve done on the show, I’ve seen some online for the first three seasons. Are you going to release at all some gags from those three seasons, as well as the last five?

CC: Yeah, we’ll do like those Jerry Springer tapes. [laughter]

Q25: I mean, you can see here that everyone liked them, but I think it’d be great to officially release them.

CC: I think that that would be tied up in big legal issues, about what could be released and how people would be paid for it and compensated. I think it’s sticky as far as the finances. That’s probably the reason you don’t see them, because…sometimes I think X-Files is the proverbial chicken, that Fox would sell every single part of it that it possibly could.

Q26: I’ll understand if you can’t answer the question, but, when do we get to see the FBI raid Area 51?

CC: Well, you saw a little bit of it, you saw at least Mulder escape into it in “Dreamland” which was, admittedly, a humorous two-parter. We really hinted at an Area 51-like base in the “Deep Throat” episode, which is the first one past the Pilot. I don’t know if we’ll go back to that base particularly, but we may actually explore that area because we’re actually back in UFO territory and alien territory with the abduction of Mulder.

Q27: I just want to thank you for writing the greatest show ever.

CC: Thank you.

Q27: Could you possibly clarify the two alien races, or do we have to wait?

CC: There are actually several alien races, and of course there’s the greys and there are the faceless aliens, who are another race, and then there’s the alien bounty hunter who is a renegade, he left the faceless crew. So these things are actually all going to be explored this year, because I know people have big questions about that.

Man on Microphone: We’re running short on time so we’re going to take two more questions.

[aww’s. The third girl in line looks incredibly distressed.]

CC: That’s a long line out the door there.

Q28: In contrast with her question, in the movie “The X-Files,” well, if Mulder’s sister was also abducted would she also have been on that ship? Or was she abducted by a different race?

CC: Well, the idea was that she wasn’t abducted, this was actually more of a spiritual thing, so we’re going to explore that this year and answer some questions that I think are still outstanding.

MoM: Last question.

CC: I’m sorry. You know what? Let’s answer them real quick.

Q29: Do you see in the future any more X-Files PC games?

CC: Uh, yes, actually, I think there’ll be different platforms for sure, but I think something else is being developed right as we speak.

Q30: Do you know when the next season’s gonna start?

CC: In November. [laughter]

Q31: How’s that Serios project going?

CC: Uh, we’re right in the beginning of that.

Q32: Two questions. First one: with regard to the writing, if 90% is sitting down in front of the typewriter and typing something, what’s the other 10%, in a nutshell?

CC: 5% of it is talent, and the other percent of it is luck.

Q32: Just go for it, right?

CC: Yeah.

Q32: Also, with regards to the metaphor of the government…I know that your view on aliens is that you don’t believe in them…or that’s what I heard you say on a documentary earlier.

CC: It’s not that I don’t believe in them. I have no reason to believe in them. So I’m waiting for a reason.

Q32: Ok, thank you. It’s just I’m really big [?? I can’t quite understand her.]

CC: That’s something we’re going to explore, too.

Q33: I was just wondering, did you change your mind about Mulder and Scully’s relationship? Because in the beginning you said they’d never get together, and now she’s having his child. [laughter]

CC: You obviously see they’re not together.

Q34: I love the show. Uh, the Lone Gunmen show, is that gonna be much more humourous [he had an accent, too] than the X-Files?

CC: Yes, it’s going to be a very lighthearted show.

Q35: Hi, I’m [insert name I can’t understand], we met at the [something] workshop.

CC: Yeah, I remember you. I sent you something, didn’t I?

Q35: You did, too, yeah. [oh no, this guy is not only mumbling, but talking really fast] And you said you’d let me pitch [??] when you were gonna do a new season.

CC: Not right here, I’m not. [laughter]

Q35: I’m here to call you on it.

CC: Haha. Ok. All right. Thank you guys very much. [cheers] [end of tape]

FilmScoreMonthy: Downbeat: Harsh Realm

Downbeat: Harsh Realm
Jason Foster

[Original article here]

Jason originally wrote the following for use in "Downbeat," our section in FSM dealing with current scores and the challenges featuring well-known (and some not well-known) composers. He talked to Mark Snow about Harsh Realm -- which was canceled before anyone could blink. So, we didn't run the piece. Recently, however, Harsh Realm has been broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel so we thought we'd dust this off: -LK

Having already cemented their place in TV shows dealing with the paranormal, ten-time Emmy-nominated composer Mark Snow and X-FILES creator Chris Carter are at it again — this time with the series HARSH REALM.

Described as a tense and edgy contemporary-looking virtual reality adventure along the lines of THE MATRIX, Snow says that HARSH REALM should easily lend itself to music, much in the way THE X-FILES has.

“THE X-FILES is such a great show. It’s like scoring a mini-movie each week,” says Snow. “And coming from the same people, HARSH REALM, from what I’ve seen of the pilot, I expect the same quality which makes scoring the shows much more inspiring and a pleasure rather than just work.”

While Snow’s weekly scores for episodes of THE X-FILES have tended to stay in a similar musical ballpark throughout the entire series run, he says that won’t be the case with HARSH REALM.

“I think that it will be a combination of many, many different styles because the show is virtual reality at least 80 to 90 percent of the time,” says Snow. “I think they’re planning to have many different virtual worlds from periods dating back to the Dark Ages, futuresque, and all over the world. It’s going to be wide open to a lot of different cultures and we’ll be using a lot of different musical styles.”

Snow has enjoyed the musical freedom he’s been given in his previous collaborations with Carter and crew. But he points out that with a successful show, freedom isn’t all that rare an occurrence.

“Well, once you get on a TV series that’s successful, basically it’s the first ten episodes where everyone is involved and giving a lot of input into the project,” he says. “Then if they’re happy and feel comfortable, they leave you alone and then you have the freedom to experiment. My experience with X-FILES has been just that. After the first bunch of episodes, I was left to my own devices and felt totally uninhibited by whatever I wanted.”

Much like the music for THE X-FILES, and most television scoring in general, Snow will not develop different character themes for HARSH REALM. While that isn’t something that would be very difficult to do, Snow says it would be very limiting.

“The TV show works better for me to have themes for situations rather than people,” he says. “I think that by now if you had a theme for Mulder or Scully you’d grow sick of it. That’s why it’s not about themes for them as much as it is the situations they get in to. Each week the situations are, as you know, colored so differently and there are so many variations of the themes — so to keep my interest in it and to keep it sounding fresh, I prefer to score new thematic material every week and I think that’s how it’s going to work for HARSH REALM.”

One of the trademarks of THE X-FILES is Snow’s very memorable main title melody. But unlike his scores for that show, Snow says he’ll incorporate the HARSH REALM main title theme into the different episode scores.

“I’ll be able to use the theme as underscore a lot more than with X-FILES and certainly variations of it,” he says. “I also have a four-minute version of it where I’ll be able to take sections of it and use for underscore which will help the identity of the show. I’m looking forward to that. With THE X-FILES, I never used it (the main title) in the underscore. I did use the theme for the feature film, and come to think of it, I did use it a few times after the film because I liked how it sounded. I’m looking forward to having a different approach for HARSH REALM.”

While Snow says that nobody involved predicted the success of THE X-FILES, he says the ingredients are there for HARSH REALM to be successful, but says there’s really no way to know that.

“I can only do the best work I can, cross my fingers and hope that it will be another hit show,” he says.

Snow has also chosen to shed a little light onto the recent rumor that the name of FSM’s own Jeff Bond appears somewhere in the HARSH REALM main title.

“I’m not going to say it is or isn’t,” says Snow. “People are welcome to try and speed up, slow down, or play the music backwards to discover what’s there. It’s kind of like the 60s when people played that Beatles song backwards to try to hear it say, ‘Paul is Dead.'”

The truth is out there.

Dreamwatch: Lighting the Darkness

Lighting the Darkness
Jenny Cooney Carillo

Jenny Cooney Carillo probes the mind of The X-Files’ creator Chris Carter, and learns that there are still some surprises in store for the future….

For someone who spends so much time on the dark side, Chris Carter is surprisingly light. The youthful-looking 43-year old, whose white wavy hair makes him look more like an ageing surfer (which he is) than one of the highest-paid TV producers in Hollywood (which he also is), is the talent behind The X-Files, Millennium and the short-lived virtual reality drama Harsh Realm, based on the sci-fi comic of the same name.

These days he has a lot on his mind: the lawsuit which his former friend David Duchovny filed against 20th Century Fox naming Carter as a co-conspirator in efforts to short-change everybody else who shares profits by selling the Show to a Fox affiliate for less than the fair market price. Then there is the debacle over the cancellation of his long-awaited follow-up series Harsh Realm and finally the struggle to decide whether his major cash cow, The X-Files will close down as it heads to the end of its seventh season.

But for somebody who has spent much of the past eight years dealing with aliens, monsters, UFOs and serial killers {and that is just the people he works with!}, he is remarkably good-humoured and adept a not taking himself or his shoes too seriously no matter what the stakes.

Where do you think The X-Files is headed?

Fox has approached me about trying to figure out a way to bring it back for an eighth season, and they haven’t spoken to me beyond that. They’ve asked me if there is a way to do it. I told them I would think about it, but the truth is I think there’s a lot of other things that need to be resolved before we get to that point, so right now our work is simply doing really good episodes in anticipation of either it being the end or the beginning of the end, as it were. I think the show is as good as it has ever been, and the mythology will play out either this season or in some later season.

Can you imagine The X-Files without one of two of the major players as has been the suggestion lately?

I’ve never had to imagine it, so I haven’t really put much thought into it. But to be honest, it’s one of those things that you can imagine. The possibility is out there but I don’t know exactly how it would play out.

So what can we look forward to in the seventh season?

We began the season with a two-parter that is the answer to the Season 6 cliffhanger and that really goes deep into agent Mulder’s psyche. If you remember, in the season finale, Mulder is bouncing off the walls in a psychiatric ward and we learn a lot about Mulder through the course of the treatment of that illness, which has both modern medical complications and perhaps complications that go beyond that to the paranormal, and just possibly to outer space, so that is the way we begin. I can’t exactly tell you any more than that, or how it’s going to wrap up, but we do have general plans. I can tell you there will be a wrap-up with Mulder’s sister and his whole quest, so you’ll learn the truth, which has been out there, but there will be something left to ponder, and I think that will lead us into the movies.

What is happening with the movie franchise?

That is our hope when the series finally comes to an end; that we will begin the movie series after the television series, so now it’s sort of in the idea stage. We’d have to figure out how the series ends, I think, before we do our next movie, but certainly the relationship of Mulder and Scully is the strongest thing that will lead us into the series of movies.

Looking back on The X-Files movie, do you have any regrets?

I loved the movie, and saw it again on cable the other night, and really enjoyed watching it – and I’m very critical of my own work, so I’m glad with the way it came out. I think that we accomplished what we needed to and wanted to accomplish, I think when we do the next movie, we won’t have to tie it into the mythology, which will remove The X Files fan connection to the movie. That was all-important to the first movie, but I think will be less important to the next movie, since the series will be gone.

How do you feel about the legal problems between you, Fox and David Duchovny?

I don’t really know anything about it, I’m not named as a defendant so it’s not a legal problem for me and as far as David and I are concerned, we just co-wrote a script together so right now it’s all about the work.

Has it created bad blood between you?

No, there has been no words exchanged, nothing. [in fact rumour has it the pair quite literally haven’t spoken since the lawsuit was filed and actually co-wrote all episode together via fax…].

Looking back on The X-Files, could you have imagined this success?

No one ever imagined that the show would be as successful as it is. Most TV shows don’t have this kind of success, which is international, and develops the kind of following where there are episode guides every year and conventions and so many different things that most TV shows don’t have. Most TV shows don’t create this kind of devotion, so that’s just one of those amazingly lucky things which has afforded me less lifestyle! Professionally it’s been incredible but personally it’s also meant that I have less time to do what I want to do.

And what do you want to do?

I’d like to go surfing more, that’s for sure! It’s one of those things that you are thankful for, and you’re blessed for having it, but at the same time I look back, I’ve been working on this for eight years now and those eight years lave just been devoted to really one pursuit, so sometimes you think, ‘Well I’d like to write a book or take some time to go to Europe. I haven’t been to Europe in eight years because of this show, so it has a sort of limiting quality is well; it’s a trade-off.

What are the qualities that you think Duchovny and Anderson contributed to the success of the Show?

You don’t want to think too deeply because it’s magic. Putting them together, I had no idea how the chemistry would be, and now we’re more than 150 episodes into the show and it’s still there – there are still sparks there and these people have never truly had any kind of romantic relationship. There were near-misses in the movie and in the show but you can’t imagine what the qualities are that you need to make it work. I think mostly they are terrific actors who are both serious about the work. I don’t think either of them missed a day of work in seven years so they’ve been extremely professional.

Given what you said about your lifestyle, why did you sign a {lucrative five year multimillion-dollar} deal with Fox to keep working so hard?

I’ll use a surfing analogy and say: once you catch the wave, you should keep riding it until it breaks, or I should say until it crashes. So that’s what we’re doing right now. We’re riding this wave and we have a lot of really good people that came to work on The X-Files and Harsh Realm, and when those people come on board and good ideas are in the air, there is good work to be done and you have to really treat that very, very carefully. You don’t want to blow it because it doesn’t come along too often.

How difficult is it to keep producing such enormous amounts of material for television and what do you do when you get stuck?

That’s a really good question, Because you truly have a gun to your head in television, you must produce every day and it must be good work, because you don’t have a chance to go back and make bad work good. You keep churning the stuff out so you develop instincts that tell you, ‘This is good’, or ‘This won’t work’. You are your own sort of quality gauge and scale and detector about what’s acceptable or not, but you still have to figure out a way and a reason to sit down and write every day. The reason to keep doing it is the people you work with and the reason to keep writing is that the actors perform it well. The stories come out good and are fun to do. You have to find the joy in work in order to keep doing it, I think. And beyond that, I could tell you I go out surfing when I get stuck but that doesn’t help my work any. That actually works against me because it makes me want to surf more!

What are your own personal interests in virtual reality and what sparked your interest in making Harsh Realm?

I’m not a big video game player because I just don’t have the time, but I’m interested in the technology and in the creativity that goes into these things. I think virtual reality is one of those ideas that is out there right now, because it is a kind of story-telling genre in a way. It’s a parallel world. It’s another dimension is really what it is, and that’s not anything new. It’s just a new way of telling that kind of story and there is now enough familiarity with technology and virtual reality and the idea of the digital world that we can start telling these stories and have them be understandable to people, so that when you do jump into a world that has different rules and different consequences, people will get it.

You are known for these dark, sombre TV shows but you’re certainly not a dark person. What’s the attraction?

I prefer to do dramatic shows but I really just like writing heroic characters so I never see those as dark, per se. I see them as shows with a very big bright hero at the centre. Even though Lance Henriksen [in Millennium] was a sombre guy, he was goodness, and he loved his family and wife, and wanted to save the world, and that was a very bright centre with that yellow house he lived in. The same way with Harsh Realm, because we have two wonderfully heroic characters in Scott Bairstow and D B Sweeney and they are different from one another but want the same thing, which is to save something or someone. What is interesting for me about all my shows is the light versus the dark. The X-Files was a very different show, in a way, until Episode 48, where we did a show about circus freaks and then the show really saw that it could expand and be light-hearted instead of just incorporating those bits of humour into it like we used to, so you can’t say there isn’t any comedy in my shows!

Do you personally have any conspiracy theories about how the new millennium will affect the world in general and Hollywood more specifically?

I know it is a tremendous time of reflection, but everybody is looking backwards, and we should be looking forwards because it’s a chance to start anew, like walking out of the Betty Ford Clinic and getting a new lease on life until you screw up again. It already has affected my business, if you look at all these movies about good and evil – Stir Of Echoes, Stigmata, The Sixth Sense, all these dark movies that are really reflective of the time that we live in. 1 think people find it frightening, the prospect of new technology, and it will be interesting once we pass this period to see what kind of stories we start to tell once it’s over. Are they going to be more serious or less serious? I don’t know.

TV and Satellite Week: Great Expectations

TV and Satellite Week
Great Expectations
David Bassom

Season seven of The X-Files has been so successful in the US that the Fox network is now begging the series’ cast and crew to make an eighth. David Bassom previews Mulder and Scully’s latest x-ploits, which begin on Sky One this month.

By the time an American TV show reaches its seventh season, conventional wisdom dictates that it will face a struggle to stay on screen. Naturally, however, there are exceptions to every rule. And one of the most recent exceptions has been The X-Files.

For The X-Files seventh season, the series’ cast and crew have continued their pursuit of excellence as successfully as ever. Following its premiere Stateside last November, the new season has garnered exceptional ratings as well as a better response from viewers than season six. But perhaps even more surprisingly, the show’s spiraling production costs have done nothing to dampen the Fox network’s enthusiasm for the series. As production of season seven reached its halfway mark, Fox was practically begging to get show’s leading cast and crew members to sign up for an eighth series.


Life was far less complicated in the summer of 1999, when The X-Files’ seventh season entered pre-production in Los Angeles. From the off, all parties were happy to regard the seventh season as its end. Series creator Chris Carter and actor David Duchovny (Fox Mulder) both wanted to end their seven-year contracts with show on a high note, and Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully) said she had no desire to fulfill her eight-year contract if the show lost its guiding light and leading man. Fox chiefs accepted that The X-Files’ future lay on the big screen following the popularity of the movie in 1998, and felt that they already had the show’s replacement lined up – Carter’s hotly tipped new virtual reality drama series, Harsh Realm.

And so season seven was launched with Carter’s tantalizing promise to resolve The X-Files’ two principal ongoing plot strands. The truth about the Syndicate and their nasty alien allies would finally be uncovered before The X-Files permanently relocated to the big screen. Similarly, Mulder and Scully’s long- simmering attraction would be brought to the boil, following years of foreplay.

Carter and crew also vowed to produce some of The X-Files’ most ambitious and innovative stand-alone tales. As the series had placed too much emphasis on comedy during series six, its writing staff were told to push up the terror quota in the closing year.

With this strategy in place, shooting began on August 9, 1999. The first episode to be filmed was Hungry, a terrifying creature feature which takes the monster’s point of view. It wasn’t until another episode – the whimsical The Goldberg Variation – was in the can that work began on the season’s opening two installments, The Sixth Extinction and The Sixth Extinction II: Amore Fati. Besides resolving the previous series’ cliffhanger, these episodes advance the myth arc storyline as the sinister Cigarette Smoking Man gains a dangerous alien-induced edge over his enemies.

From there, the series continued to impress, with a solid run of satisfying stand-alone adventures, including the thriller Rush, the light-hearted mystery The Amazing Maleeni and the sizzling snake-fest Signs And Wonders.

Another early highlight was Millennium, The X-Files’ long-awaited crossover with Carter’s failed detective series. Not only does the episode bring Mulder and Scully face to face with former FBI agent Frank Black (Lance Henriksen), but Millennium also represents The X-Files at its scary best. To top it all, the episode’s closing moments see Mulder and Scully celebrate the start of the new millennium by doing something viewers have wanted to see for years. As the series reached its halfway point, The X-Files returned to its myth arc plotline with an epic two-part adventure, Sein Und Zeit and Closure.

Like last year’s mind-blowing mid-season installments Two Fathers and One Son, the episodes promise revelations about alien activity on Earth and also deliver a shocking blow to Mulder.

Incredibly, with supposedly just 10 episodes left to be produced, cast and crew then began work on two of the series’ most innovative installments. The first, X-Cop, is shot in the style of the popular US docu-drama COPS, and promises to be an X- Files unlike any other. The second, First Person Shooter, was written by cyberpunk guru William Gibson, and pits Mulder and Scully against a Lara Croft-style computer-generated villain. Not bad for a show that’s supposed to be on its last legs!


When the new series premiered last November, it was one of the few shows to survive opposite America’s top-rated quiz, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

It was then that the series’ success had one unexpected side-affect. As The X-Files went from strength to strength, Fox suffered its worst season ever. All the network’s major new offerings, including Carter’s Harsh Realm, drew lackluster ratings and were quickly axed.

By January 2000, the truth about Fox’s dire performance was out there – as was its desire to produce an eighth series of The X-Files, no matter what the cost. Fox TV chief Sandy Grushow confirmed that he wanted Carter and Duchovny to renew their contracts with the show. His announcement cast serious doubt over The X- Files’ future, and raised the possibility of a Mulder-less eighth season or even a spin-off focusing on The Lone Gunmen.

The future of The X-Files as a weekly series probably won’t now be certain until season seven ends production in April. Both the conspiracy and the relationship between Mulder and Scully may yet be extended into an eighth season.

But whether or not it is the show’s last year, series seven is one of The X-Files’ most accomplished in years. That should be enough to get most viewers to rejoin Mulder and Scully’s quest for The Truth.

Talk City: Frank Spotnitz Online Chat

Talk City
Frank Spotnitz Online Chat

Hello and welcome to the live chat with — Frank Spotnitz, — the Executive Producer of “The X-Files” and the President of Ten Thirteen Productions. Hopefully you will have all seen last night’s episode, “Sein Und Zeit,” and will have plenty of questions for Frank about these two-part mythology episodes, as well as the direction “The X-Files” is headed this year. I know you are all eager to talk directly to one of the show’s writers, so let’s get to it. Please welcome — Frank Spotnitz

XFILEKATE: What was it like to make the 150th episode? Did it feel like a milestone, or just another hard day at work?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: It’s a little unreal to think about having done 150 episodes. On the other hand, just when I stop to think about it, I have to get right back to work.

ADAMRS: Is Chris Carter creating the Lone Gunmen series, or are you developing the series too?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: It’s the four of us together that are creating the series. The characters were originated by Glen Morgan, and James Wong.

LAURACAP: When you and Chris Carter co-write an episode, how do you decide who will write what and do you have any preferences as to the type of scene you like to write?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: It’s never that organized! What usually happens is Chris and I discuss the story concept, then I go off and develop it more specifically. Then we split up the acts, or oftentimes I haven’t finished the story in time to even start writing, so he’ll be writing while I’m working out the rest of the story. But his is always the final typewriter.

LAURACAP: Have you personally made any plot decisions you’ve regretted in hindsight?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: No, I’m happy to say I have not. In fact, I’ve been amazed at how plot decisions from early seasons have borne fruit years later, in ways we never would have anticipated.

ADAMRS: Will the final episode be multiparted or a single episode? If this is the last season…

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I won’t know until I know if this IS the last season. I would imagine whenever the end comes, it will be hard to conclude in a single hour.

LAURACAP: What aspect of your Executive Producer job gives you the greatest satisfaction?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Hmm. I always say my favorite part of the job is going to the house of the composer, Mark Snow. That’s because the show gets so much better, and all I have to do is sit and listen 🙂 I enjoy so many parts of my job I get great satisfaction from working with the writers, to help them develop their stories. But the best feeling is when I watch it on the air, and feel it’s turned out well. And I always do watch it on the air, even if I’ve seen it 100 times, because seeing it broadcast is like watching an opening night.

LAURACAP: “When “The X-Files” is over, what do you think will be your fondest memory?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Wow! There are so many things that I will remember fondly about doing the show. I can say already that fortunately the good memories last longer than the painful ones. But I guess the true pleasure, if there is such a thing, will be in watching shows years from now and still being proud of the work.

ADAMRS: Will Scully’s religion and spirituality be explored further after such episodes as “Orison” and “Amor Fati?”

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Do you want it to be explored further? I feel we have mined Scully’s Catholicism quite a lot. You’ll see Scully’s belief system examined in a way unlike any we’ve done before.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The question to this answer was lost. However, FS provides some nice insight to the television-making process — NLYNN

FRANK SPOTNITZ: … because you have to have a new episode every 8 business days, or this big machine shuts down. So there’s always a challenge, and the storytelling process is so complicated you can never master it. So, in that sense, you usually feel that you’re falling a little short. But that’s a good thing, because it keeps you working hard.

CLARISSE: I want to believe that the answers to all Mulder’s questions about what happened to Sam are going to be revealed next week. Are they going to resolve the previous appearances of Sam (the bee colony clones, the grown up Sam who appears with CSM) are will that just be left “out there”?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: As anyone who has watched this show knows, information comes out slowly. Having said that, a lot of the important questions about Samantha will truly be answered next week. But, as is so often the case, it’s usually more interesting to ask questions than to answer them.

PATSANDIEGO: It seems Samantha would have much insights to the Aliens. Is there a chance of her becoming a more visible character?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Wait till next week!

LAURACAP: What types of shows is Ten Thirteen now looking to develop?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: We are going to do a spin-off of The X-Files, featuring the Lone Gunman. Hopefully, that will keep us busy for a while, or at least longer than Harsh Realm did.

ISAUO: I am confused as to what happened to the adult version of Mulder’s sister. Last we heard she didn’t know if she wanted contact with Mulder. And now in last night’s show we are again wondering where she is. Can you explain that a bit?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: How can you be sure? How do you know that adult really was his sister? It may well be that was just another clone using Samantha’s genetic material. Again, wait until next week 🙂

KRYCEKSARM_2: Do you have big plans for Mulder and Scully’s personal relationship?


AMY: Scully was a little harsher than usual in last nights episode, she wasn’t as compassionate towards Mulder as she usually is, do you have any insight as to why that is and if it will continue next week?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I didn’t see it that way, although I can see why some viewers might. I thought Scully’s anger stemmed from the fact that Mulder was involving murder suspects in what she saw as a theory, colored by his own emotions.

AGENTFISHGIRL: Why are Mulder and Scully acting so strangely toward one another lately?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I don’t know! LOL. They kissed on New Year’s Eve – I thought that was a good sign!

TINA670: It doesn’t make sense in “Sein Und Zeit” that Mulder suddenly believes that his sister wasn’t abducted by aliens after having it confirmed by WMM in FTF, Cassandra Spender in “Two Fathers” and CSM in “One Son.” For what reason would he suddenly change his mind?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Mulder doesn’t know what to think or believe. In the scene you’re talking about, he’s trying to make sense of his mother’s death and what she was trying to say.

MIKE_X: When you are writing an episode do you ever consult the main characters for insight or input into the script?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Yes, although almost always after the first draft has been written. We are blessed with very bright perceptive actors who invariably make our scripts better.

JAMIERUBY: The episode’s mythology is very different. Is it going to still have a connection with the colonists/hybrids?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Wait till next week!

HOT_TODDY: Assuming that there is no season 8, do you think that there is enough time left to wrap up the mytharc in a full and satisfying manner? Including any future movies, of course…

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I hope so! LOL one thing I have noticed is that everybody who follows the show closely has a completely different set of burning questions that we MUST answer before it’s too late. I know we’re going to piss off someone! We’re probably going to piss off a lot of people. But I think when the end comes, we will have answered all of the most important questions and probably raised some new ones.

MOX: Is there a particular character you want to bring back before the series’ end?


IKKLEOSU: Do you ever worry when pitching a story that it sounds a tad cheesy when described, but you know it’s brilliant in your head? 🙂 it’s the dilemma some fans face in describing eps to non-fans .

FRANK SPOTNITZ: LOLOL!! Usually I think it’s brilliant, and other people tell me it’s cheesy.

GWOMANSTAR: How do you write the episodes? Do you always write them in screenplay format?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Yes, we do. We have a very specific neurotic format that we adhere to. We find that being extremely controlling in this way somehow gives us a higher degree of success.

TRUBLUE: For as much as Fox Mulder says to “trust no one,” he is often credulous of everyone, even those he shouldn’t be. How do you balance both aspects of his nature so believably?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: David Duchovny helps a lot, because he gives reality to whatever is written. Beyond that, I think we have so internalized Mulder’s character that we don’t need to think about it consciously very often. We just have a sense of what sounds like him, and what doesn’t.

BROCK: Would you ever consider doing a prequel to the X-files in a motion picture say centering it around Fox’s father and his early X-files experiences?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Do you have any financing?

DKS916: Are you happy with the way the show is progressing?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Yes. I think we do a good job of not repeating ourselves, and I am frequently amazed at what a versatile framework the X-Files is for storytelling. There are so many different types of stories we tell, and for us, the characters never seem to get old.

MELISSA: Is there any other stand alone episodes that you would like to do a follow up episode on (like Orison)?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: There are characters from past episodes I would love to revisit, because I loved those characters so much. But it’s very hard to even come close to the first time, both because you’re probably already said everything fundamental about that character the first time around and because nostalgia inevitably taints your second attempt.

LORI925: I especially enjoyed the spiritual exploration of both characters in “Signs and Wonders.” Will there be more of this character development?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Yes, but without snakes!

HENRY: Frank, about Diana Fowley. Her character seemed disappointing because she seemed nothing more than an obstacle in the M/S relationship. Were you hoping for more?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I thought Diana was deliciously threatening and the turns she took from appearing to be nothing more than Scully’s rival to being CSM’s ally, to finally betraying CSM, were interesting. I know a lot of people hate her character, but I think a lot of that is because they love Scully. I’m always interested to watch how opinion changes over time. When I joined the show, nearly 6 years ago, everyone hated X and wanted us to bring back Deep Throat. Now, more people know who X was, than Deep Throat so I’ll be curious to see what people think of Diana in a few years’ time.

CAROJC: Any plans to bring back Mrs. Scully or any of the Scully family this season?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I would love to bring back Mrs. Scully, and even another hated character, Bill Scully, but there are no plans of yet.

WATCHER: The Smoking Man’s role seems diminished. Will he become more prominent ? Will we see a clear connection between him and Mulder’s mother?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: That depends on whether this is the last year.

CHARLES: Do you use story lines submitted from other people?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: No. We only accept submissions that come from agents, and we never read fan fiction because our lawyers tell us not to. We’ve had a few outside writers, most famously William Gibson, who has another episode at the end of this month.

FOXYTIME: Will you be writing any episodes on your own this season?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I doubt it. I find it is nearly impossible to make time to write alone. And whenever I have done it in the past few years, I have suffered so much in trying to complete my other duties, that I found it’s not worth it.

LILSCULLY2: Do you feel your writers have the energy and freshness to produce new material as good as last night’s IF the show continues for another season?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: God, I hope so!

GUEST-RZD: How important is the post-episode fan reaction to you? Does it EVER help?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I used to log on religiously when the mythology was developing to see what was understood and what was misunderstood. Now, people know a lot more than they think they do, and I rarely get anything constructive out of it. So as a result, I do it much less often.

DOJO: Any plans on doing episodes that take place in the past?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: We’re open to that. The problem has been that time travel is a very well worn science fiction idea, and we have not yet found something fresh to do with it.

MOMSHERE: Will you guys respond to fan pressure to put Mulder and Scully together romantically?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Never!! Over my dead body!! (Which doesn’t mean it won’t happen)

FOXPHILE: Can we expect to see more of AD Skinner and Krycek regarding their strange tie?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I don’t know what tie you’re referring to, other than the fact that Skinner hates Krycek, but I would hope you would see more of both these characters. But again, if this is the last season, we only have a few more episodes to go.

BROCK: If this isn’t the last year of the show, is there any chance we could see The Smoking Man get waxed?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I’d say that’s an occupational hazard. Keep watching.

FANNIN: Hi Mr. Spotnitz, thank you for the best seven years of television. Can you tell us if there will be anything on Gibson towards the end of this season?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: It’s entirely possible. He’s one of those characters I was referring to earlier, the ones I’d like to bring back. I don’t mean to be evasive, but so much depends on whether this is the last year.

SAULTOPAUL: I don’t think I have ever seen Skinner move as fast as he did in Sein Und Zeit….Can we expect to see him out in the field more??

FRANK SPOTNITZ: How come he still couldn’t outrun the fat guy? Just kidding 😉

AGENTDANASCULLY: Do you think there is any chance of Harsh Realm being put back on the air?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Never say never! The show will get a full airing on FX starting March 24th. All 9 episodes, including 6 that were never broadcast. It would be a Herculean task to reassemble the cast and crew, but you never know…

CHANCE_171: Do you think that anything that happens in the show could possibly be true?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I was once approached by a fan late in the third season who asked me when we were going to run out of true stories!! A lot of the things we write are based on real science and even more are based on actual mythology. So I think there is usually some basis in reality for our stories.

ZOLA: If this is indeed the last season of the X-Files, what do you think the atmosphere will be like on the set that final week?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I think it will be very emotional and bittersweet. I think everyone who’s been with the show has loved working on it. But when the time comes, I know they will all be excited about the opportunities facing them ahead.

MYSTY: When will there be a decision reached about the fate of the show and the last season?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I wish I knew! No-one is asking me. It’s entirely a question of negotiating new contracts with Chris Carter and David Duchovny.

JAX-GUEST: What do you guys have planned for the February sweeps episodes?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: This Sunday is the conclusion of the two-part episode in which we really, truly, honest-to-God find out what happened to Samantha. Then, there’s an episode written by Vince Gilligan that is shot exactly in the style of the Cops TV show and finally, there is an extremely visual science fiction episode written by William Gibson and Tom Maddox, directed by Chris Carter.

BACKITUP17: Do u ever sit back in amazement that you are one of the leading people of the x-files, one of the most popular shows on television?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I am??? I’m often amazed by myself, but rarely for that reason 🙂 No-one I know treats me like I’m one of the leading people on one of the most popular shows on television, although I wish they would!!

LILSCULLY2: Without giving any specific details, how would you like the series to end? I hope it’s not a Newhart ending where Mulder wakes up and the whole series was a dream!

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Darn!! I have some very specific ideas, as you might imagine, as does Chris Carter, who thought about the ending of the TV series when he created it so long ago. But I think the catch phrase of the show, ‘The truth is out there’, will mean a lot in its conclusion.

MATT: How do you keep track of the mythology, and not contradict yourself? How much was planned from the beginning?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Some people think we DO contradict ourselves, although really we don’t; it’s just that it’s all so complicated that you’d have to devote your life to studying it as I have.

LALA: Which of the two characters, Mulder or Scully, that you feel closer to, or more supportive for?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: When I joined the show, I was a Scully in temperament and outlook. But I have become much more like Mulder. I think the beauty of these characters, and indeed of this series, is that you need both characters to get a complete view of the world. In a lot of ways, Mulder and Scully together make one whole person. And so, I’m not exaggerating when I say that I love both of them.

MFLUDER: Who came up with the idea for “The Amazing Maleeni”?? I love that one!!

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Thank you. I had wanted to do a magic show all by myself, starring Ricky Jay, for years, and this is what I was talking about earlier – I couldn’t possibly do it by myself, and we needed a script. So John, Vince, and I scrambled to develop the story together, and wrote it amazingly fast. We were desperate to get Ricky Jay, and begged him for weeks before he finally agreed. As far as we’re concerned, that’s what made the episode. But we liked it too.

DJXMAN982: What inside secrets can you reveal to these audiences about the shows plot twists involving the alien invasions?


T-PREECE: What are your plans if xfiles ends?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: I hope The Lone Gunman TV series will be a massive success that writes itself and requires no effort on my part. Even if it does require some work, I hope to do that show and continue to develop movies and new TV series with Chris Carter.

GUEST-REALITY: What is it like to work on one of the most loved series ever made?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Believe it or not, you rarely feel that love on a daily basis. It’s like a lot of jobs – it’s a great way to make a living, I like the people I work with very much, but most of the time, all I see are the problems that need to be overcome if the show is to be any good. It’s only at moments like this, where I get to pause and enjoy the fact that other people enjoy the work.

QUESTION: Do u like resolution in story lines??

FRANK SPOTNITZ: LOLOL!!!! That’s a very subtly worded question, I think! Yes, I do, but I think it’s important to answer the important questions, and only those questions so the viewer has something to think about after the show is over.

RDYFRDE: Is the season finale going to lead to the movie or will the movie be a self contained plot?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: If there is another movie, it will in some way be connected to the end of the television series. But I think both Chris and I would love to do a stand-alone movie not connected to the show’s mythology.

GUEST-RZD: How many episode of the year do you have left to film? How many left to write?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: We are about to start shooting episode 16, and we’ll be doing 22 this year. Right now, we’re working on the story for episode 19.

GUEST-RZD: have production difficulties or expense ever prevented you from doing something special? any regrets along that line?

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Frequently! It’s a constant balancing act, trying to be as ambitious as possible and still deliver the show for a price. It’s become much more difficult since we moved from Vancouver to Los Angeles, but we’ve tried to disguise that as best as possible.

FRANK SPOTNITZ: Thank you all for the great questions.

FOX Well that about wraps it up. Thank you to — Frank Spotnitz — for providing some insight into THE X-FILES as well as giving the fans a direct link to one of the minds behind the show.

Dreamwatch: Riding the Wave – Jenny Cooney Carillo catches up on a hectic year in the life of Chris Carter

Riding the Wave – Jenny Cooney Carillo catches up on a hectic year in the life of Chris Carter
Jenny Cooney Carillo

Like the avid surfer he is in real life, it seems appropriate The X Files creator/producer Chris Carter rides the ups and downs of his career so smoothly. After the series became an international phenomenon he launched another drama, Millennium, which was met with mixed reviews, but survived three years, and then got the go-ahead for Harsh Realm. But harsh reality hit when his new series was cancelled only weeks after it first aired, and then both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson announced that they thought it unlikely they would be back for another season. And if all that wasn’t enough, Duchovny filed a lawsuit against Fox for bilking him out of millions of dollars of profits through the practice of vertical integration – selling syndication rights to the show to another arm of the same company for less than market value – and he named Carter as a co-conspirator.

But now the waters seemed to have calmed and Carter finds himself coasting along again as The X Files returns for an eighth season; one which some insiders are already proclaiming to be the best yet….

Q: How many actors did you see before you cast Robert Patrick, and why did you choose him?

We probably saw about 50 to 75 actors. We had heard that Robert was unavailable because we asked about him right away before we saw anyone else. He was attached to another project but I have a hard time taking no for an answer and I knew I wanted to work with him, so I was determined to make it work and eventually I did. He was perfect for the character we wrote.

Q: So tell us about the character if FBI Agent John Doggett…

For seven years it has really been Mulder as the believer and Scully as the skeptic, so with Mulder’s abduction, Scully now has to really accept certain things. Mulder was taken away and to pursue him she has to pursue the paranormal and she has to become something of a believer in it. Enter this new character, John Doggett, who is assigned to help her, or I should say is assigned to do this and she’s actually taken off the case. He is a former New York cop and, unlike Mulder, is very much liked and respected at the FBI and is actually a more hard-core disbeliever than Scully. So now we’ve got a new dynamic: Scully as the reluctant believer and a new guy who I would describe as a knee-jerk skeptic.

Q: During all the negotiations and problems last year, did you ever reach a point where you thought, forget it – I’m going surfing!

Yeah, honestly, there were many times last year when I didn’t think year eight would happen and we would go on and make movies instead. But there were good reasons for it to happen so I’m happy about it and I’m really looking forward to getting on with a more human existence and pace in my life. When a show has been so good to you and still has life in it… I decided to go ahead and sign up for one more year, and that doesn’t preclude me or rule out the fact that I would still do other years as well.

Q: You said there are many reasons why the show should go on. Can you elaborate?

When there was talk last year about possibly doing the show without David, I thought that was a bad idea because I thought the show should include David in some small way and it should be about what it’s always been about. We shouldn’t just be doing it because it’s a hit show and it makes a lot of money for everybody. We should find reasons to tell stories, and so I deliberated and considered all these things before I started out and I realized there were good stories to tell by adding a character like Doggett, making Scully’s character a little bit different and making Mulder a kind of absent center. He is till very, very much a part of the show even when he’s not there because his absence is what fuels Scully’s search.

Q: How does Gillian Anderson feel about returning after being so reluctant to do so last year?

Gillian has been a dream to work with. I just finished directing an episode and she called me up at the end and thanked me for the work and said it was a joy. She’s a happy person and she’s getting to spend time with her daughter who last year spent a lot of time between here and Canada. It was exhausting for Gillian.

Q: So how did you actually get Gillian to return and be committed to the show after the way she felt last year?

I wasn’t involved at all, actually. Everybody goes through cycles in their life and periods where you’re tired or something went wrong or your relationships are stressful, and I think that was what you were hearing from her last year – the venting of that particular time in her life. I have to say, through the rest something changed and it had nothing to do with anything that I said to her. I think that she saw she had an eighth year in her contract, that Fox was looking to bring the show back for an eighth year, and I think wisely she figured out that it would be better to do it in a constructive way rather than a destructive way.

Q: Does she get a break in her schedule?

She gets some breaks. Her daughter is now going to school in Vancouver so it was important to her to spend more time there. We’re actually making allowances for her to be with her daughter for periods of time, and I understand it and support that decision.

Q: How tough was the lawsuit on your friendship with David Duchovny?

We’ve had several meals at several different times since the settlement of the suit, and since we’ve gone back to work I think we’ve buried the hatchet. I still blame vertical integration as the big problem, and this is the beginning of something you’re going to start seeing a lot more of because what happens is that when the buyer and seller are the same person, it pits everybody against everyone else and it’s not good for working relationships.

Q: So you don’t deny there was a hatchet?

I was just using a figure of speech! But I can’t say it wasn’t without its tension. I’m still unclear what I was accused of doing. Even though I was not being sued, there was an accusation that I was somehow part of the problem, and that was just not the case.

Q: So could David’s decision to cut down his time on the show be a blessing in disguise?

I kept trying to see it as creating a solution for a problem that was interesting to solve. The solutions sometimes make for very interesting storytelling. Now we have Robert aboard, I can tell you that it’s working and it’s working well, and the storytelling is as good as its ever been. The stories are scary. We’ve got a new life in the show and so I have to say the search for Mulder – which is what season eight is about – makes for a new, interesting X Files season.

Q: Will it be scarier?

I think the show will go back to its scarier roots. I don’t think there will be as many comedy episodes this year, although we never actually started comedy episodes on The X Files until episode 48. You have to earn a little bit of trust before you can start messing with the formula.

Q: It felt like you got no support for Harsh Realm from the network. Was that a painful experience for you?

I’m still a little bitter about it but it’s water under the bridge now. The truth is that the guy who I hold responsible for the quick demise of that show has been cancelled himself so that relieves some of the feeling. But every time I see a billboard for Dark Angel, I think ‘That’s one more billboard than Harsh Realm had.’ No one knew about the show so it was no surprise that it didn’t get the ratings that they had hoped for.

Q: What about the Lone Gunmen pilot. How is that shaping up?

Lone Gunmen will air five episodes in the spring during the X Files hiatus, and the pilot is terrific.

Q: How do you divide your time?

Since the third season of The X Files I really have been working on two things at once, so I have learned to divide my time well. A guy like David Kelley… I hope people appreciate what he does because he writes everything and he’s got three show’s this year. That is superhuman and my hat is off to him. Our shows are different shows, but I think it’s insanity to do it all yourself.

Q: So what kind of relationship will Scully and Doggett have? Romantic or strictly platonic?

Well, at the end of last season Scully announced she was pregnant and we still don’t know who the father is, but she is pregnant. So a romantic relationship right now seems a bit awkward but I think that, like Mulder and Scully, their relationship is very much about protectiveness, about respect, and shared passions, and the things that the best relationships are built on. I think you’re going to see some of that here too because Robert’s character is a very protective character and he’s watching Scully sort of stumble forward trying to deal with what’s happened to Mulder. He deals with her belief in the paranormal, but he lets her go and watches her stumble and then picks her up because while he doesn’t believe in it, he respects her struggle.

Q: So no love scenes?

I think what you’re going to find this year is we’re going to deal with all that in a delicate and provocative way. We deal with how Scully got pregnant – we’ve not done anything like that on the show before.

Q: Is it true that you may resurrect Harsh Realm?

I have this idea that I think Harsh Realm was under-appreciated and mistreated, so there is a way I may be able to resurrect it. I actually have an idea how to do that but I have to be secretive about it, so I’m not going to tell you more just yet.

Q: You are shooting Lone Gunmen in Vancouver and you own a house there. Do you prefer working in Canada?

I bought a loft there because I was just paying rent for five years, so it was an opportunity to put a root down in Vancouver. I love my crew in Los Angeles and we do great work, but I was in Vancouver before because they had terrific locations and it was the perfect place to do a show like The X Files. The only reasons I’ve gone back now is I have friends up there. I have a crew up there. I have developed a working relationship with the city and the community and its a nice place for me because I’m familiar with it.

Q: You’ve answered some of the big conspiracy questions on the show. Was that because you thought it was over?

Those characters had for us reached a point where we felt that they needed to be given some kind of resolution. Not a total or absolute resolution but a resolution of some of those storylines. So we just thought it was the time to do it, whether the show was going to end or not.

Q: Didn’t William B. Davis [Cigarette Smoking Man] move down to Los Angeles and then you killed him off?

No he didn’t. He still lived in Vancouver and we still don’t know whether he’s dead or not! We left him lying at the bottom of a flight of stairs and he was looking in pretty bad shape, but this is The X Files…