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People Online: People Online's first conference with "The X-Files" creator Chris Carter

People Online
People Online’s first conference with “The X-Files” creator Chris Carter

PEOPLE: Hi Chris! Our first question is from New Jersey… Chris? Just type! We can see yr response.

Geoff Gould: The Jersey Devil is a completely different entity (feel free to e-mail me and I can send you its complete legend). Also, regarding the “Newark Fluke” episode: there is *no* “Newark County” or “North Orange.” We have Essex County (in which there is the city of Newark) and Orange and the East and West Oranges. Everything but North Orange. Apart from those inaccurate episodes: I love the show and in the TVZONE I scribe its episodes (I was quite impressed with the accurate definition of Wicca in the Azal episode, btw, re-aired last Friday night). Any comments on the to-date NJ geographical inaccuracies, and will any future NJ based episode be more accurate?

Carter: Hiyes

Gould: What I meant (with which to begin) was that your two NJ b sed episodes were nightmarish in its geographical inaccuracies (as well as the NJ Devil legend being completely Not Done).

Carter: hello Newjersey. Sorry about the inaccuracies. What were they?

Gould: There is *no* “Newark County” or “North Orange.” We have Essex County (in which there is the city of Newark) and Orange and the East and West Oranges. Everything but North Orange. Atlantic City is not within walking distance of a primevil forest (sp?) either. It’s on a swamp. (Well, pretty much).

Carter: Sorry about the county stuff. Sometimes we cannot get the rights to use the city or county names.

Gould: How do you need rights to use public names of cities?

PEOPLE: Geoff — there are a lot of people here to ask questions…

Carter: By the way, we shoot Vancouver for everywhere, so sometimes the foliage doesn’t match.

Gould: (Sorry).

PEOPLE: From Wayne NJ comes the next question

Did you have any role models in mind when you developed the characters of Scully and Mulder (Both individually and as a team?)

Carter: Not really. They’re pretty much equal parts of me. The doubter and the person who wants to believe. I describe myself as a non-religious person looking for a religious experience.

Question from Hyattsville, MD (Carol): Will there be an XFILES movie?

Carter: Yes. There are plans afoot for a movie. More on that later.

Question from Chicago, IL (Hilary): I read recently you said next season’s episodes would get away from relationship and character development. Say it isn’t so. They are much of what makes the show so terrific. Thanks for the great work.

PEOPLE: The suspense is killing us, Chris!

Carter: It really ain’t so. I was misquoted or misinterpreted.

Question from Toronto, ON (Robert J. Lewis): Chris, your show was recently dismissed by a no-brainer/coworker of mine who said “X-Files goes too far”. Too far into what he didn’t say. Do you agree with “There are no limits!”. Or, are there limits to what the media portrays and explores, especially television? Can a writer/director ever go too far? Cronenberg says no subject is taboo. Do you agree? Could the films go in this direction?

Carter: That’s a difficult question to answer. We try to be restrained with the X-files. There are certainly taboo subjects for TV. For the movie, we will definitely try and give you something you can’t get on TV.

Question from Fairfax, VA (Matt): I saw on the sci-fi channel about an X-files convention? Planning any more, and if so, where? It looked like a pretty neat thing.

Carter: I’m answering the convention question. There are a whole bunch of conventions coming up. Call Creation Entertainment for the schedule.

Matt: Are they fun?

Carter: The conventions are pretty fun. They’re getting better and better.

Question from Dublin, OH (Sunil Karve): Hi Chris. On that terrible day when the series comes to an end, are you planning on having Mulder and Scully finally get to the “truth” (and more importantly, be able to prove it?)

Carter: They’ll be too busy jumping each others’ bones.

Question from Monrovia, CA (Rachel H.): Care to clarify a rather garbled rumor about Mulder getting a date or girlfriend next season?

Carter: David D. has expressed great interest in Mulder having a girlfriend next year. I’m holding out for a bribe.

Rachel H.: A regular girlfriend or just a date or two?

Question from Columbus, OH (Mary): Mr. Carter, we spotted you in ANASAZI — any chance of another cameo?

Carter: It hasn’t been decided. You spotted me. How do you even know what i look like?

Mary: Magazine pictures! So… any more?

Carter: No. I’m possibly the worst actor in the world. Luckily, I also edit the episodes.

Question from Morristown, NJ: (Sidney Gittler): Do you believe that we have either been visited by aliens or are being observed by them?

Carter: I would like to believe we have, but I have no proof. Do you?

Sidney Gittler: No, but you write with such conviction

Carter: Hey, I WANT to believe.

Sidney Gittler: about their existence and other phenomena. Do you have a feeling for the validity of the kinds of people you write about, their powers etc.?

Carter: I don’t have a strong feeling about anyone unless I’ve met them.

Sidney Gittler: how do you get your inspiration for you story lines

Carter: The writing staff is seriously sick and twisted.

Sidney Gittler: But wonderful.

Carter: Thanks.

Sidney Gittler: one final question is what minimum age do you think is right for “The X-Files”?

Carter: That’s tough. I think younger than eight, you should definitely be watching with mom and dad. Is there anyone else with a question?

Sidney Gittler: thanks my 10 year-old won’t w/o me, and preferably not. What do you feel about the comic books?

Carter: Love the comics.

Sidney Gittler: I heard you have another show coming onto Fox?

Carter: As from the producers of the X-Files, but that would be Morgan and Wong.

Sidney Gittler: How many projects did you have in development when x-files was picked up?

Carter: I had one other project.

Sidney Gittler: What happened to it?

Carter: Sidney, you again!!!!!! It was shelved.

Question: Why so much shooting in Canada lately? I notice a lot of shows filmed there now?

Carter: They are film friendly.

Hi Chris! Will we see more UFO / Alien episodes this Season? The ones I saw last season were some of my favorites?

Carter: Yes. We will see more alien episodes. Look for the season openers. I have several faves. First season: Beyond the Sea. Second season: ??? Several.

Question from Toronto, ON (Dana Scully): Chris- I know that your idea came from watching Kolchak-Night Stalker, but how else were you inspired to create such a “daring” show as “The X-Files”?

Carter: I’m a daring guy!

Dana Scully: Chris! I’m so nervous!

Carter: I can tell.

Dana Scully: Sorry-I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks! I really love your show!

Carter: Thanks. I love your work, too.

Dana Scully: Golly-you flatter me so!

Carter: Well, you flatter me.

PEOPLE: I’m getting embarrassed watching this… Chris, were you inspired by Night Stalker? I’m always the last one to know!

Carter: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Dana Scully: What’s it like working with up and rising stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson?

Carter: David and Gillian are both friends of mine. I love working with them

Question from Minneapolis, MN (Brian Lee): Is it true that we may see Deep Throat return this coming season? And what ever happened to Section Chief Scott Blevins?

Carter: Deep throat is coming back. Blevins is not. Deep Throat is dead.

PEOPLE: Intriguing!

Question from Norfolk, VA (william r halvorsen): Thanks for the show, Chris. How is it doing in the ratings?

Carter: Much better, thanks.

william r halvorsen: Is the movie coming soon?

Carter: Not for a while.

Question from Goleta, CA (chris bonham): When will you next be appearing in person?

Carter: Right now.

PEOPLE: They have to accept that on faith though, Chris. I mean — are you really YOU??

Carter: Yes. I have aliens here with me who can corroborate.

chris bonham: We at Metro Comics are looking live and in person. Do you have a certain DoWhat do you want to drink Saturday?

Carter: Hey, Metro Comics!!!!!!! I’d like margaritas.

Question from Toronto, ON (David Faul): Question: Who will star in the movie. What will the movie be about?

Carter: Jodie Foster and Richard Gere. NOT!

PEOPLE: Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone?

Carter: Yes. Sly and the Stone!

PEOPLE: I’ll have their agents call your agents…

Question from Towson, MD (Janelle E. Keberle): Hi Chris! What is your policy regarding scripts? Do you accept submissions from new writers? Do we need to submit through an agent or can we make arrangements directly with you? If we must go through an agent, are there any in particular that you suggest?

Carter: I can’t comment on agents.

Janelle E. Keberle: Okay…what about the rest of the question?

Question from Atlanta, GA (Jonathan Somers): Chris, David Duchovny’s name appeared on the story lines of several great episodes this season. How much do David and Gillian contribute to the writers, while the teleplay is in the works as well as on the set?

Carter: David and I worked on two stories. Gillian and I haven’t collaborated as of yet.

Question from Toronto, ON (Sergio Cecchin): Hi Chris. Love your show. One of the few that challanges the mind. (Sure beats the OJ saga on CNN). My question is; Is the show based on actual FBI files? If so, just how much creative liberty do you take given, I assume, that that factual details you get are likely vague?

Carter: We try for accuracy always on our science.

Ty Burr: How about on your fiction?

PEOPLE: It’s not fiction, Ty… The TRUTH is out there, remember?

Carter: With good science we can build a better fictional story line.

PEOPLE: I know the hour is drawing to a close…but we have lots and lots of fans…

Carter: Let’s go on!

Question from New York, NY: Missed you at the con this past weekend. What did the title in Navajo say at the beginning of “Anazasi”?

Carter: The truth is out there. I can’t remember the con schedule.

Question from Toronto, ON (Robert J. Lewis): You must have read the book “A Martian Wouldn’t Say That”. I’ve done some screenwriting myself and I can’t believe what the suits demand sometimes! Any particularly weird arguments you’d care to share (c’mon, name names!)

Carter: I’ve already appeared. Unlike Hitchcock, I actually talked! Anasazi. Also unlike Hitchcock, I’m not fat!

Question from Huntsville, AL (Perry & Sharon): Any danger of losing the actors?

Carter: Their contracts are renewed.

Question from Toronto, ON (Penelope): Are you planning to make Scully less of a believer? Please don’t – the contrast between the characters is great and some of us devoted fans aren’t believers yet either.

Carter: Scully is the skeptic. Count on it.

PEOPLE: Is Scully at all modeled after the Clarice character in Silence of the Lambs?

Carter: No, but I loved the movie.

Question from Los Angeles, CA (meredith): Recently you likened M & S’s relationship to the one in the movie “Remains of the Day”. For those of us who didn’t see that movie, what did you mean? Thanks.

Carter: I just meant, I thought it was more powerful that those two characters didn’t get together. For the last time, I don’t know. But I’ll find out before the session is over. The real FBI has never really had a problem with us. I don’t think.

Question from North Syracuse, NY (Ellis): Will a romantic relationship develop between Mulder and Scully?

Carter: No romance.

PEOPLE: Ah the QUESTION…Why not?

Carter: More alien stuff is coming soon.

PEOPLE: Better than romance, I agree!

Question from Melbourne, FL (Louis Pinto): Hi Chris! It’s been known for a while that Whoopi Goldberg has been trying to get you to let her do an episode. Any chance of that happening, or any other big name actor/actress?

Carter: It could happen but not soon. Several “marquee” actors have expressed interest.

Question from Monrovia, CA (Rachel H.): Care to share the reason “Zoo” was renamed with the Blake reference? We have our theories about “Fearful Symmetry,” structural and iconic, but these all lack the stamp of authority.

Carter: It was never called Zoo. It was always Fearful Symmetry. I was last time I looked. I’m going to ignore the private messages.

Question from Denver, CO (Autumn Tysko): I have heard you state in interviews that next seasons shows will be more “plot driven” and less “character driven”, but it seems like the best episodes (Beyond the Sea, One Breath, Irresistible) center more on the characters. Why the change if this is true?

Carter: No, it’s not altogether true, but I don’t want to keep putting the characters. in jeopardy quite as much.

Question from Dallas, TX (Alan Laska): How does one submit story ideas & scripts for an episode. I have an idea & two for something. The BIG PROBLEM is getting an agent. STAR TREK:TNG has a way of fans sending in ideas by filing out a form. Any plans for “The X-Files”???

Carter: Not currently. Sorry.

Question from Toronto, ON (Deep Throat): What gave you the idea of creating “The X- Files”? I really enjoy the series and I am looking forward to the new season. Can you tell us about was is going to happen to Mulder?

Carter: About Mulder, you’ll have to wait. Sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!

Question from Minneapolis, MN (Stephen): Chris: How many scriptwriters do you employ on the X-files? What are the qualifications you look for? How does someone “break into” the screenwriting of future X-files? Thank You.

Carter: Eight writers on X-files currently. If you want to break in… write write write. This is a hard show to work on.

Question from Denver, CO (Bobby W. Jones): When is the next paperback due out?

Carter: The next book will be a Hardback, actually. By Kevin Anderson.

Question from Pittsburgh, PA (David M. Lishego): What is your favorite episode of “The X-Files”?

Carter: My fave is Beyond the Sea.

Question from Concord, CA (abby): Mr. Carter, many of my friends wanted to know what effect painting the rocks for “Anasazi” had on the environment… i just wanted to say we missed you at the Las Vegas con…

Carter: it didn’t affect the environment. Missed you, too.

Question from External Network (Sarah and Janet): calling from northern ireland..hi Chris – you said once that you wanted writers who “share your vision” – what is your vision??

Carter: Did I say that? I don’t think so. I want X-files writers to share the vision.

Question from Redding, CA (Mary Naber): How many seasons do you plan on the XFs running?

Carter: Only answering official questions. Sorry.

PEOPLE: The question about how many seasons is an official question, Chris!

Carter: Oh. I would like it to go at least five seasons.

Question from Austin, TX (Bill): Do you have an overall arc that runs through the various episodes of X-Files?

Carter: Yes. Roughly. I KNOW basically where I am going with the series. I know what the final eps will entail.

Question from Columbus, OH (Sara Davis): Will we see more development of Scully’s abduction also when will the trrds be coming out?

Carter: We will continue to explore Scully’s abduction. Coming soon , Sara.

Question from Montclair, NJ (Geoff Gould): When you hired DD and GA, were you aware their personal beliefs were “reversed” from those of their characters? (Comment): love Mulder’s dry wit! More more!

Carter: No, I didn’t know their beliefs.

Question from Denver, CO (trampy): Chris, has anyone from the FBI given you their opinion of the show? Especially any Special Agents?

Carter: Some agents have become big fans of the show.; They have been very helpful.

PEOPLE: Perhaps an episode where Scully and Mulder run into J. Edgar Hoover’s ghost…Altho William Casey is spookier…

Carter: Hey, I just got a call from David Duchovny and he’s calling from the set. I have to go, everyone. This was fun, if not confusing sometimes. See you next time.

PEOPLE: Chris, I want to thank you very much for coming here tonight and bearing with the frequent alien abductions of the moderator.

Carter: Thank you very much.


PEOPLE: And thanks to all of you in the audience… You were great. Remember: The Truth Is Out There!

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4 Responses to “People Online: People Online's first conference with "The X-Files" creator Chris Carter”

  1. […] And yet The Jersey Devil feels like a cheat. It’s a bait-and-switch from Carter, so that he can suddenly shift the episode to start talking about biological relicts, which is an interesting topic in its own right. However, the characters in the show seem to know next-to-nothing about the Jersey Devil mythology – or perhaps the in-universe mythology is just radically different. Indeed, the lack of awareness of the characters was so great that it was the first question posed to Chris Carter in People‘s first web chat. […]

  2. […] I’m in good company. Darin Morgan points to it as his favourite episode. Chris Carter has (again and again) singled it out as the best episode of the show’s first season – a piece of television […]

  3. […] refusal to contemplate a romance. Asked by a fan if Mulder and Scully would hook up, he replied, “No romance.” In an interview with Rolling Stone, he […]

  4. […] “first semi-dud.” Similar criticisms came from less distinguished quarters. See for instance this guy who told Chris Carter, in a kind of People Online conference call, that “The Jersey Devil is a […]