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Writers Guild of America: 101 Best Written TV Series – The X-Files

101 Best Written TV Series – The X-Files
Writers Guild of America

[Original article here]


Created by Chris Carter


Aired: FOX, 1993-2002

Fox’s signature drama for most of the ’90s, The X-Files, created by Chris Carter, was one of primetime television’s all-time great hit science-fiction series, although to call it sci-fi is requires qualifying that it delved into the paranormal and the conspiratorial. Those tones were leavened by the relationship between FBI partners Scully and Mulder, he the dreamer and she the left-brain skeptic; their dynamic gave the show a human, big-tent appeal. “As early as the third or fourth season,” recalled Frank Spotnitz, the show’s exec producer and Carter’s frequent collaborator, to the WGAW Web site, “we started to realize that there were some audiences that knew every detail of the ongoing alien mythology storyline and were waiting for very specific questions to be answered and then there was a much larger audience that was vaguely aware of it and would be lost if you tried to answer these very specific questions. That was a balancing act we were engaged in for most of the life of the series.”

Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz on their creative process and the longevity of The X-Files


TVWise: New Details Emerge On GVTV’s ‘The After’ From ‘X-Files’ Creator Chris Carter

New Details Emerge On GVTV’s ‘The After’ From ‘X-Files’ Creator Chris Carter
Patrick Munn

[Original article here]

New details have emerged on Georgeville Television’s drama series The After, which hails from The X-Files creator Chris Carter.

When the project was announced last October, GVTV offered only a vague description for the series which described the series as “a thriller that tells the story of an unexplained event and features elements of science-fiction, suspense, action and paranoia.” The series doesn’t yet have a broadcaster attached with GVTV and distributor Sierra/Engine targeting the series for either cable or a broadcast run of 13 episodes. That said, however, Sierra/Engine Television shopped the series to international buyers at MIPCOM 2012 and the more recent MIPTV 2013.

According to a number of potential buyers who heard the pitch for the series, The After is in fact a thriller set in Los Angeles which explores the coming apocalypse. I hear that the drama begins after a strange event strikes the Earth. There is no government statement on this event and it is shrouded in secrecy and will ultimately lead to a far greater cataclysmic event. The series will follow a core group of characters who try to discover just what has happened and why, while also doing what they must to survive. One source described it as a combination of The X-Files and Falling Skies. “It’s a mystery series set right at the end of the world”, one source tells me. I also understand that, as one would expect with a genre show such as this, The After will be largely serialised and utilise season long story arcs.

Los Angeles Times Hero Complex: ‘The X-Files’: Remembering mood and mystery of a sci-fi landmark

‘The X-Files’: Remembering mood and mystery of a sci-fi landmark
Los Angeles Times Hero Complex
Robert Lloyd

[Original article here]

Gillian Anderson as Agent Dana Scully and David Duchovny as Agent Fox Mulder in "The X-Files." Three episodes from the landmark television series will screen as part of the fourth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)

Gillian Anderson as Agent Dana Scully and David Duchovny as Agent Fox Mulder in “The X-Files.” Three episodes from the landmark television series will screen as part of the fourth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)


I came to “The X-Files,” which turns 20 this year, after its first season, and for a time I had no idea what was happening. This was a good way to watch a show whose greatest strength was its air of dreamlike mystery.

Folded across the turn of the 21st-century, it was a millennial show for a millennial time, reflecting a popular preoccupation with apocalypse and messiahs, puzzling phenomena and unexplained mysteries, psychic surgeons and alien autopsies, random mutations and science gone too far. It was also, looking back on old episodes, a time of pay phones, answering machines, tape recorders, dot-matrix printouts, padded shoulders and big eyeglasses.

The basics were fairly clear: Fox “Spooky” Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dr. Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) were FBI agents whose particular job it was to handle cases outside the bounds of conventional human crime — paranormal this and that. He was (mostly) a believer and she was (largely) a skeptic, which gave them something to disagree on.

Their superiors, some of whom were also villains, were not happy about their work, but for some reason — possibly there was a reason, which I have since forgotten, other than that there was a TV show to make — they mostly let it go on.

“Again, nothing but evidence,” Mulder says at the end of another hour in which they have discovered much and proved nothing, “and again ,no evidence at all.”

Gillian Anderson, left, and David Duchovny in a scene from "The X-Files." (Fox)

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in a scene from “The X-Files.” (Fox)

Between the “monster-of-the-week” episodes, the show also established a complicated ongoing story founded on Mulder’s search for his missing sister, whom he believed to have been abducted by aliens when they were children. This eventually worked itself out into a relatively neat intertwining of alien-colonization and government conspiracy stories.

Yet I preferred to not quite follow this “mythology,” to keep it a little out of focus. In the realm of the fantastic, you are always better off with questions than with answers, which  even when they are supernatural are by their nature prosaic. And though creator Chris Carter and story editor Frank Spotnitz made sure there were more of the former, the truth, in the words of the series’ tagline, was better kept “out there,” a little beyond our grasp — just as Mulder’s “wanting to believe” was more interesting than any confirmation of his hopeful belief.

Characters such as William B. Davis’ Cigarette-Smoking Man were less interesting the more I knew about their motives, even if there was always something new and unsuspected (and sometimes seemingly arbitrary) to learn.

Indeed, similar plots and plotters have been recycled through countless films and television series, some of which took inspiration directly from “The X-Files” and few of which have had anything like that series’ allure, intelligence or impact.

I don’t know how much direct inspiration Carter took from “Twin Peaks,” whose two-season run ended the year before “The X-Files” began. (The mid-’70s “Kolchak: The Night Stalker,” with Darren McGavin as a reporter weekly engaging the supernatural, is its most frequently mentioned influence.) But the two have much in common: woodsy, murky Pacific northwest locations (“The X-Files” filmed in and around Vancouver for its first five seasons, and “Twin Peaks” filmed in Washington state); mysterious, sometimes nameless characters; and a deep investment in the notion that there is meaning in a beautiful image.

Even more than “Twin Peaks,” “The X-Files” explored mood as content. Though it was born in the age of the 4:3 aspect ratio and (comparatively) low-resolution image, there was from the beginning an intentional, emotional, painterly use of color and shape and a choreographic approach to light. You can watch the show with the sound down and still feel what you are meant to feel.

At the same time, there were occasional flashes of meta-fictional self-consciousness: “Where’s the writer? I want to speak to the writer,” a dissatisfied Mulder says at the end of “The Post-Modern Prometheus,” which was shot, in shadowy black-and-white, like an old Universal Pictures “Frankenstein” — and framed as a comic book, for good measure.

In the Season 3 episode “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space,” Mulder decries “the military-industrial-entertainment complex”; a few seasons later, in the Duchovny-written and -directed “Hollywood A.D.,” Mulder and Scully are transformed into Garry Shandling and Téa Leoni, in a big-screen, high-octane mangling of their lives.

"The X-Files" actors Gillian Anderson, left, and David Duchovny. (Michael Lavine / Fox)

“The X-Files” actors Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. (Michael Lavine / Fox)

Such episodes were, to be sure, exceptions. Most weeks, “The X-Files”unrolled at a deliberate, dreamy pace that was echoed in the measured energy of its leads. Both Duchovny and Anderson had a softness, even a sleepiness, superficially at odds with their roles as FBI agents and action heroes. They were not dry and deadpan, exactly (though they were, through the years, increasingly droll.) Theirs was a kind of restrained sensuality, a narcotic eroticism.

(I mean no disrespect to Robert Patrick or Annabeth Gish, who as agents Doggett and Reyes slid into lead roles in the last couple of seasons — seasons that certainly had some good and even great episodes — but they are somewhat beside the point.)

Scully and Mulder, Mulder and Scully — pivoting on that central “ul,” you can begin with one name and end with the other: Mully. Sculder. They are two sides of the same coin, interlocking yin and yang, one unthinkable without the other. It was therefore the custom of the show to endanger them in turns — to abduct, imprison, experiment upon and/or sicken them, in order to turn up the feeling.

Carter kept them scrupulously out of each other’s arms for most of the show’s run; their commitment was to the Job, and to the out-there Truth. For the first five or six seasons they were less Romeo and Juliet than they were Hansel and Gretel, wandering in the woods (there were a lot of woods in “The X-Files”), flashlights in hand.

"The X-Files" director Chris Carter in 2008. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

“The X-Files” director Chris Carter in 2008. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

For fans who wanted to see them romantically engaged, Carter’s refusal did nothing to dampen that desire, and likely compounded it. Eventually, he did bring them together, or stopped keeping them apart. Even then, though, the relationship was more glimpsed than explored — as if to say, yes, viewer, we will give this to you, and no, it is really none of your business.

When last seen, at the end of the credits to the 2008 “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” — the second film sprung from the series, released six years after the end of its run — they were rowing toward a tropical island (having spent the rest of the movie in the snow.)

For all we know, they are there still.

The episode “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” will screen as part of the Hero Complex Film Festival on Sunday evening in Hollywood. Look for more coverage from the festival, including from the 20th anniversary tribute to “The X-Files” featuring special guest Chris Carter, in the coming days. And feel free to leave your favorite “X-Files” memory in the comments below.

IDW Press Reelase: IDW Publishing and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products Open THE X-FILES!

IDW Press Reelase: IDW Publishing and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products Open THE X-FILES!

[Original article here]

The Landmark Series Finds a New Publishing Outlet in 2013

San Diego, CA (January 28, 2013) – IDW Publishing and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products are thrilled to announce a partnership to publish an exciting series of works based on the legendary series, THE X-FILES. IDW’s publishing plan includes reprinting collections of the classic issues published intermittently from 1995 through 2009, as well as creating brand-new X-FILES comics to launch in June 2013.

Over two movies and two hundred television episodes, THE X-FILES, is a juggernaut of science fiction-tinged intrigue, unique characters and carefully constructed stories. The show’s popularity raged into the comic world, seeing successful series mounted by publishers Topps and Wildstorm. Despite this, new publishing has not been available since 2009’s joint Wildstorm/IDW crossover – 30 Days of Night/The X-Files – leaving fans without a venue for the continuing sequential adventures of Mulder and Scully… until now.

THE X-FILES is a classic property that helped redefine fans’ expectations for the science-fiction and horror genres,” said IDW’s President/Chief Operating Officer Greg Goldstein. “The possibilities for new comic stories are virtually unlimited!”

“The fans of THE X-FILES have remained loyal to the series since its conclusion. What better way to continue the show’s legacy and give back to them than through new stories in a different medium,” said Jeffrey Godsick, President of Fox Consumer Products. “IDW has worked with a number of our Fox properties, and we know they’re going to do great things with these iconic characters.”

In 2013, fans of THE X-FILES will want to believe in new comics from IDW Publishing! The home of successful kindred series like 30 Days of Night, Doctor Who, and Locke & Key, to name a few, IDW is excited to bring the enduring legacy of THE X-FILES back to comics.

“Few shows have captured the zeitgeist and fans’ imaginations like THE X-FILES, and fewer shows still have left people hungry for more in the way this one did,” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief. “Our new series will be picking up where the second film left off, which will hopefully be as exciting for fans to read as it is for us to develop.”

The Hollywood Reporter: MIPCOM 2012: 'X-Files' Creator Chris Carter Shopping New Supernatural Drama

MIPCOM 2012: ‘X-Files’ Creator Chris Carter Shopping New Supernatural Drama
The Hollywood Reporter
Michael O’Connell

[Original article here]

The sci-fi scribe, joining distributor Georgeville TV, will present “The After” to buyers next week.


Chris Carter‘s new distribution pact with Georgeville TV will present its first pitch to buyers at Mipcom next week.

The X-Files creator and the independent studio are set to start work on The After, a supernatural drama penned by Carter.

“Chris has woven his mythology magic within a very human, grounded story about the moment when we realize all of our worst fears about the world and its future,” Georgeville CEO Marc Rosen said of the announcement. Sierra/Engine Television will be shopping the project at the TV market.

Carter, who tried to get another thriller off the ground at last year’s Mipcom with Media Rights Capital, has not had a television series since X-Files. The 20th Century Fox Television drama preceded and outlived his other TV efforts, Millennium, Harsh Realm and The Lone Gunman.

This new series follows the aftermath of a mysterious event and will incorporate both supernatural and suspense elements that run through most of Carter’s work.

Georgeville is currently producing Crossbones, NBC’s midseason entry based on the legendary pirate Blackbeard. Coming from Luthor creator Neil Cross, the adaptation of Colin Woodard‘s book The Republic of Pirates was given a straight-to-series order in May.

Deadline: Chris Carter To Do Thriller Drama Series For Georgeville Television

Chris Carter To Do Thriller Drama Series For Georgeville Television
Nellie Adreeva

[Original article here]


Independent TV studio, Georgeville Television has teamed up with The X-Files creator Chris Carter to finance a new drama series. Entitled The After, the series will debut at next week’s MIPCOM TV market where it will be shopped by newly formed Sierra/Engine Television.

Written by Carter, The After is a thriller which revolves around a mysterious, unexplained event. In the vein of The X Files, The After incorporates elements of science fiction, suspense, and real-world fear and paranoia. “Chris has woven his mythology magic within a very human, grounded story about the moment when we realize all of our worst fears about the world and its future,” said Georgeville CEO Marc Rosen, who co-founded the company earlier this year with Leon Clarance of Motion Picture Capital, the financing arm of Reliance Entertainment.

In addition to The After, GVTV is also financing a remake of the cult UK sci-fi series Blake’s 7 with feature director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) for Syfy, Hunters, a pandemic thriller drama from Overbrook Entertainment and Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski at ABC as well Sense8, a supernatural series from the Wachowskis (The Matrix) and Straczynski. Sierra/Engine is handling the international distribution for GVTV’s projects, which also include Neil Cross’ midseason NBC pirate drama Crossbones. Carter has been looking at non-traditional TV development/production for his return to television after The X Files. Last year, he teamed with MRC for female-drive thriller Unique, which didn’t get set up at a network. Carter and Georgeville are with CAA.