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Zap2it: Chris Carter Continues Search for the Truth

Chris Carter Continues Search for the Truth
Vanessa Sibbald

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) – Producer Chris Carter doesn’t sound nervous, though he has good reason to be, at least when it comes to his show, FOX’s “The X-Files.” With his series’ ninth season underway without star David Duchovny, and rumors of Gillian Anderson on her way out, the executive producer is faced with the task of having to find a way to continue his hit drama with two new leads.

“What’s certain is that there’s still a tremendous number of stories that can be told, the trick is exploring them with this new cast of characters,” he tells Zap2it.com.

This is especially important since Anderson has said that she won’t return to the show next year. The departure of the actress may also signal the end of Carter’s time on the series.

“I never imagined doing what I’m doing on season nine. It’s against all odds,” he says. “The only reasons I stay are that I feel a tremendous loyalty to the people I work with. I feel that the show still is a good storytelling vehicle, and I feel a responsibility to make good on a promise that I would stay on the show as long as David and Gillian stayed with it.”

While it’s too early to tell what next year holds, Carter is in talks with 20th Century Fox to produce a sequel to the show’s feature film, which would likely re-team the “X-Files” creator with Duchovny and Anderson.

In the meantime, Carter is faced with creating the same kind of dramatic tension on the series that has made the show a favorite among critics and fans. Towards that effort, regular viewers will notice a deepening bond between the show’s leads, new agents Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Reyes (Annabeth Gish), but especially between Doggett and Scully.

“From the beginning Doggett has tremendous respect for Scully and I think that respect has blossomed into something else,” says Carter. “That was always our intention, that we would have a sort of triangle.”

Instead of a triangle, it appears the writers have created more of a linear line. Reyes is interested in Doggett, while he’s interested in Scully and Scully’s still thinking of Mulder. Add to the mix Doggett’s boss, Brad Follmer (Cary Elwes), who’s still interested in his former flame Reyes.

“There’s a lot of unresolved, unrequited and unspoken feelings going on in the show,” Carter agrees.

However, this is still “The X-Files,” and while Scully and Mulder did finally consummate their relationship at the end of last season (off camera, mind you), viewers must remember that Carter et al. have never been big supporters of the characters having actual fully-realized sexual relationships.

“There was a term I used, I was resistant to ‘domesticating’ the show,” he explains. “I felt it was wrong. ‘The X-Files’ was not a show about those kind of relationships, it was a show about ideas and about a search and a romantic quest — in the truest sense of the word.”

“It seemed to me that it would almost go against that kind of romance to have a physical relationship.”

So far, the ratings have suggested fans aren’t interested. “The X-Files,” which is normally one of FOX’s top three show, drew its lowest numbers since the show moved from Fridays to Sundays in 1996 for the second part of the season premiere on Nov. 18, pulling in just 9.4 million viewers. Last season, the show averaged 13.2 million viewers per episode. Carter points to stunt programming for sweeps and a late launch as to the cause behind the dip in numbers.

“It’s the same good show,” he says. “We premiered so late that there were a couple other shows in that timeslot that had already gathered some audience.”

Indeed, competition has increased this season with the introduction of NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and ABC’s “Alias.” It remains to be seen if the fans of the show will care as much about Doggett and Reyes as they did for Mulder and Scully.

“People are resistant to change,” Carter says. “It’s been Mulder and Scully for eight years and we’ve changed our focus from that relationship to another more complicated one. A relationship that has a different geometry because it involves more people.”

“I think it’s going to take people a little while to understand that we are moving in a forward direction, not a backward one.”

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2 Responses to “Zap2it: Chris Carter Continues Search for the Truth”

  1. […] It helps that even creator and executive producer Chris Carter defines his obligation to The X-Files in terms of the two lead actors. After all, Carter originally only planned to produce five seasons of the show. At the start of the ninth season, he claimed that he only stayed with the project because he felt like he owed it to Duchovny and Ande…: […]

  2. […] Doggett has tremendous respect for Scully and I think that respect has blossom…“From the beginning Doggett has tremendous respect for Scully and I think that respect has blossom… I think the madness speaks for itself, […]