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[Unknown] Future X

Future X
Frank Barron

[Typed by alfornos]

If TXF seemed to have a different look and feel this season, there’s a reason, says series creator CC, who claimed his goal was “taking the show in new directions. We wanted to see where we could push it in terms of storytelling. Moving to Hollywood gave us fresh stories, fresh places, fresh staff, a fresh crew. But the show looks as good as ever.”

CC, who serves as executive producer while writing and directing a number of episodes, was thrilled with the success of 1998’s XF movie, which grossed nearly $200 million worldwide. “That means we’ll do another one, and the success of that will dictate whether there will be a third movie,” he says. However, CC is uncertain as to when filming on the sequel will commence.

“It would have been great for [release at] the end of the seventh year, but that means we would have had to make it this summer, and that wasn’t going to happen,” he notes. “I can see it possibly in 2001 or 2002. Besides, we couldn’t have done it now because of our move from Vancouver to LA and getting settled.”

Nonetheless, CC already has “big ideas for the second movie. We still have time left on the TV series, and [when making the first XF film] we didn’t want to do a movie that would reduce interest in the series. We wanted to do a movie that would increase interest.

“Gillian [Anderson] is excited about doing a second movie, and I’m assuming David [Duchovny] is, too,” he adds. “We’ve spoken about it, but it’s a matter of finding the right time and setting that time aside. It’s very hard work for actors to do a dramatic show for seven seasons that’s not an ensemble. I believe both of them have movie careers ahead of them, and they are both anxious to start doing something besides playing Mulder and Scully. [Pursuing other projects] gives them some time to exercise those creative urges, and then come back and put on the FBI clothes again.”

The producer also comments on the tone of the once dark and disturbing series, which has grown increasingly comedic in recent years: “A lot of people have come to love the lighter stories,” CC says. “The shows are very elastic, and it excites the writers and actors to take the series in different directions because it can pop back to shape for a mythology episode. We decided this season to explore different kinds of storytelling, and it has been very satisfying for everyone. Certainly, the ratings reflect it.”

As for the mythology episodes, he notes, “The stories almost dictate themselves. So much has been told that you are a slave to the facts you have created. It’s a really fun way to tell stories. On every episode, every time we give you an answer, it has its own set of questions that come along with it. You can look for more of that.

“But the show will have to change, because so much is going to be explained,” he adds. “People will wonder, ‘Where could they possibly go now?’ I look forward to dealing with the whole new set of problems. Some of the characters may be working as free agents, and that’s going to be fun.”

In addition to producing XF and the final season of Millennium, CC also tackled a third series in the past year, set for a Friday debut on Fox this fall. “It’s called Harsh Realm, a sci-fi idea based on a comic book,” he says of the show, which stars D.B. Sweeney, Samantha Mathis and Millennium’s Terry O’Quinn. “Actually, it owes the title to the comic, and not a whole lot more. It deals with virtual reality, but a spin on what we think of as ‘the visored approach’ to that.”

Not surprisingly, CC’s network and cinematic commitments leave him with little time to spare. “Doing 44 episodes of entertainment a year, a lot of things get left behind in your life,” he says. “Friends, family and pursuits go by the wayside. You end up sacrificing everything for the show. And while I wouldn’t trade it for anything, I look back and [find I] haven’t surfed as much as I would have liked to over the last seven years. I’m sorry for that. One day I’ll get back out there in a big way. Even Christmas vacation was marred by having to do rewriting.”

While it appears that TXF’s upcoming seventh season will be its last, CC notes that “how long the show stays on the air also depends on the actors – what they want to do. But things have a way of changing. There’s a lot to do with enthusiasm, with contracts – many different factors. And as a storyteller, I want to know where I’m going, and what my parameters are. It’s important that I know where I’m heading. I don’t want to have the rug pulled out from underneath me.”

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