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AMC Filmcitic: Scifi Masters of SciFi – The X-Files's Chris Carter Discusses His New Film's Extreme Possibilities

AMC Filmcitic
Scifi Masters of SciFi – The X-Files’s Chris Carter Discusses His New Film’s Extreme Possibilities
Clayton Neuman

[Original article here]

X-Files creator Chris Carter has a message for anyone who gets vertigo thinking about alien abduction, lone gunmen, syndicates, black oil, and super soldiers: It’s OK to come back to The X-Files. He discusses why this time around, newcomers will find reason to believe.

Q: Why did you decide to make a new movie now, six years after the series ended?

A: Actually we had talked about doing another movie even when the series was ongoing. Then there was a contractual dispute over some television profits, and the resolution ended up taking years. But when it was finally solved in March of 2007, I was hanging up the phone with my lawyers, and Fox was on the other line saying, “Do you want to make that movie?”

Q: Did the story you envisioned change over the years?

A: This will make you laugh, but we worked out a story that we really liked in 2003, and when we went back to look at that story again, we had lost it. We couldn’t find our notes. It was maddening, but it ended up being a really good thing because over that time, we’d changed and the characters in our mind changed. We wanted to play this in real time, so the characters had grown. The heart of the story changed, and that was for the best.

Q: This movie veers away from the alien invasion mythology of the series, towards monster-of-the-week horror. Why?

A: I’d call it more suspense/thriller than horror. But the reason is we’d already done an alien mythology movie. Also, six years have gone by since the show and there is a brand new audience out there that has very little exposure to The X-Files. I thought this was a good time to introduce it to them, and reintroduce it to casual viewers. We’ve tried to interweave the characters’ development into the story, but it’s got very easy handles on it for new viewers — we didn’t want to abuse the hardcore fans by trying to explain all the mythology again.

Q: Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad, told us he learned from you that a story is only as good as it is believable. How do you make such fantastical stories believable?

A: My rule is it’s scarier if it takes place with in the realm of extreme possibility. And that’s true of the movie we’ve done. I resist the horror and science fiction labels because our story is something that takes science and says, “What if?” If you can look right over the horizon of the frontier, then I think you’re dealing in the zone I’m talking about.

Q: Mulder and Scully’s romantic relationship in this film is the subject of much speculation. Why did you wait until now?

A: I think we always dealt with this relationship. It was the centerpiece of the series. And while it was chaste and respectful and professional, the relationship played itself out through a shared quest for a search for the truth. But the passage of time gives us a chance to look at these characters, imagine what they’ve been doing for the last six years, and treat that like we never would on the series. It would have ended up being a soap opera, and I always resisted a temptation to domesticate the show.

Q: Why did you choose I Want to Believe as the title for this film?

A: There’s been a poster on Mulder’s wall since the beginning that says “I Want to Believe.” It’s always been about his struggle with faith. The characters each have built-in conflicts, Scully’s being that she is a scientist, but she’s got a cross around her neck — she’s Catholic. Mulder is a non-religious person and yet he has tremendous faith in what I would call a spirit world. “I Want to Believe” for me always represented that struggle. It’s emblematic of the show, and I thought it was the right title for this movie. I like that poster.

Q: You’ve said you’d like to do a third movie. Would you want to return to the alien invasion story, or do you feel like that was wrapped up enough in the series?

A: No we don’t feel like it’s been resolved. There’s this roving date out there we’ve been talking about since the beginning of the series and it’s actually part of the literature of the subject, which is December 22, 2012. It’s the day that the Mayan calendar says the aliens will return. It’s something we put out there, and it’s something that if we’re lucky enough to go forward, we would think about.

Taki's Magazine: The Truth About “The X-Files”

The Truth About “The X-Files”
Taki’s Magazine
Tom Piatak

[Original article here]

One of the most accurate assessments ever offered by a government official came when FCC chairman Newton Minow’s described television as a “vast wasteland,” a depiction that has, generally speaking, grown only more accurate since Minow spoke those words in 1961. Today, most programs on television are either vapid or subversive of traditional values—or sometimes both. Rare indeed have been programs of exceptional quality, rarer still those that dissented from the liberal consensus of the day.

One of the few programs in recent years that managed to offer quality entertainment while also suggesting that the Left might not be right was “The X-Files.” The series went off the air in 2002 after a nine-year run, but is still being rerun and might gain a new generation of fans through the release this Friday of the second “X-Files” movie, “I Want to Believe,” which I am eagerly looking forward to. I only regret that I will not be able to hear the thoughtful analysis of the film from a man I had the pleasure of discussing many of the show’s episodes with, and who would always ask to borrow the tape I made of any installment he happened to miss, the great conservative writer and thinker Sam Francis.

Sam was a knowledgeable fan of science fiction and horror, and he recognized “The X-Files” as a superior example of the genre. The show was consistently well acted, and featured intelligent, well-written stories, and production values equivalent to those of most feature films. The series’s central characters, FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (played by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson), were attractive, intelligent, enterprising, and likable, and the supporting cast was superb as well. These were the principal virtues of the series, which could be enjoyed by people of all political persuasions.

But there were hints in “The X-Files” of a worldview far closer to paleoconservatism than is generally found in anything emanating from Hollywood. Sam had in fact been put off by the liberal plot lines he found in other fine examples of television science fiction, such as the “Twilight Zone” or the original “Star Trek.” Unlike those series, “The X-Files” had a certain conservative sensibility, offering no vision of “utopia” or even progress in the human condition. It’s telling that the first “X-Files” movie bore the reactionary title “Fight the Future.”

Rather than guiding the way to a brighter tomorrow, Mulder and Scully face the same fundamental problems human beings have always faced, including the persistence of evil. The aliens and monsters who appeared in so many episodes were not benevolent or even misunderstood but implacable foes who needed to be stopped. There was no hint of moral relativism: The serial killer Donnie Pfaster is shown morphing into a demon or other serial killers as he goes about his work, and those who misunderstand the nature of evil get what they deserve. In the first season episode “Tooms,” a social worker accepts a serial killer’s claim that Mulder had brutalized him, and then attempts to befriend him, only to become the killer’s next victim. And almost every episode featured the tagline “The Truth Is Out There,” meaning not only that the truth might be found in unusual places but that there was in fact an objective truth that could be found, despite what the postmodernists want us to believe.

A recurrent theme of the show was that the government can not be trusted. Mulder and Scully weren’t just chasing dangerous aliens but aliens in league with a conspiracy in the federal government and United Nations. The conspiracy is willing to do anything to further its objectives, including killing, lying, and engaging in massive surveillance of the American people. “The X-Files” gave new meaning to the derisive slogan, “We’re from the government, and we’re here to help.” There were episodes devoted to government attempts at mind control, government use of bioweapons against its own citizens, and government medical experiments on unwitting Americans.

As Scott Richert put it in “Us vs. Them,” from Chronicles in ’97, “The X-Files” achieved success “not because of any popular fascination with aliens, but because, after Ruby Ridge, Waco, Whitewater, Vince Foster, Mena, NAFTA, and GATT, Americans have every reason to believe that their government is being run with a callous disregard for their rights and welfare and for the enrichment of an entrenched ruling class.” In fact, as Richert noted in that article, the show even featured an episode, “Unrequited,” that showed the members of a right-wing militia as being both heroic—they had rescued MIAs left behind in southeast Asia by the government—and truthful—the militia leader is the only one who tells Mulder and Scully about the assassin who’s killing the military officers who had signed off on the decision to abandon him and his comrades in Vietnam. How many other TV shows ever cast a militiaman in a positive light?

Bill Clinton once affirmed that you could not both love your country and hate your government, a remark Sam observed was worthy of Brezhnev. It’s obvious why Sam was such fan of “The X-Files.”

However distrustful Mulder and Scully were of the government for which they worked, they never lost faith in America. Scully was the dutiful daughter of a Navy officer, and the boss and protector of Mulder and Scully at the FBI, Walter Skinner, was a proud Marine veteran of Vietnam. (Sam thought it significant that Mulder and Scully worked for the FBI, a bastion of Middle America, rather than the far more elitist CIA). That there is no contradiction between distrusting the government and loving America was brought home in “Jump the Shark,” the final episode featuring the Lone Gunmen, three freelance conspiracy theorists who kept tabs on government misdeeds and often aided Mulder and Scully.

In “Jump the Shark,” the three freely sacrifice their lives to stop a terrorist intent on unleashing a biological weapon and killing thousands of innocent people, causing one of their former adversaries who had worked with the conspiracy to describe them as “patriots” and prompting Skinner to “pull some strings” and get the trio buried at Arlington. As Scully observes at the burial, “like everyone buried here, the world’s a better place for their having been in it.” The love for America evident in those lines is as genuine as the distrust of the government.

“The X-Files” was also largely (though not entirely) devoid of the leftist themes that regularly appear in so much popular entertainment, such as a focus on the glories of multiculturalism and the evils of discrimination. In fact, the show eschewed the de rigueur multiculturalism which dictates that every scene (except ones depicting villains) be carefully integrated and that minorities show up as computer geniuses and the like in vastly greater numbers than in the real world. In many, perhaps most, of the show’s episodes all the characters were white, the minority characters who appeared in the show, just like the white characters, ranged the gamut from the morally ambiguous (Deputy Director Kersh, Mulder’s informant “X”) to the heroic (Agent Reyes), and there were no anguished discussions about race or discrimination.

What the series showed in terms of encounters between the established American culture and immigrant cultures also deviated from the standard multiculturalist script in which Americans are either oppressing immigrants or being enriched by them. In “Hell Money,” a Chinese doctor exploits his fellow immigrants by running a rigged lottery in which no one ever wins, but the losers end up being operated on and eventually killed so that their organs can be sold for profit. Even when the lottery is exposed as a fraud, the doctor evades justice because none of the immigrants are willing to testify against him. And a very sympathetic immigrant who has participated in the lottery in the hopes of earning money to treat his daughter’s leukemia (and loses an eye for his efforts) asks his daughter, “Do our ancestors scorn us for leaving our home? Is that why you are sick now?”

Although the immigrant father in “Hell Money” stays in Chinatown, other “X-Files” immigrants do indeed defy standard Hollywood protocol and decide to return home. In “Fresh Bones,” the problem is caused by a Marine colonel overseeing a refugee camp for Haitians. The colonel fully embraces multiculturalism to the point of becoming a practitioner of voodoo and actually holds the Haitians in North Carolina against their will until the leading priest reveals all his secrets. The problem is solved when the Haitians return to Haiti, after the colonel loses a voodoo contest with the Haitians’ leader and ends up buried alive.

In “El Mundo Gira,” Eladio Buente, a Mexican farmworker in California is exposed to an extraterrestrial enzyme and begins to spread a disease that kills on contact. He is ostracized by his fellow illegal immigrants as “El Chupacabra,” a Mexican monster in which the immigrants fervently believe. For most of the episode, Buente is also being pursued by a brother seeking vengeance for Buente’s first victim, a woman loved by both men. None of his fellow immigrants is willing to protect him from his brother—even an ostensibly assimilated Mexican-American INS agent—because they all believe that “God curses a man who stands between two brothers.” Like the Haitians in “Fresh Bones,” Buente sees his salvation in returning to his homeland for good. “Diversity is strength,” as we all know, but it’s also clannishness and suspicion of outsiders, voodoo and superstition, and blood feuds.

“The X-Files” was largely silent on the hot button issues of the culture wars, but there were intriguing hints that once again the show’s sympathies were not with the Left. In “Colony,” Mulder and Scully investigate the deaths of abortionists who are not being killed by radical pro-lifers but by an alien bounty hunter. The aliens are using the fetal tissue gathered in this grisly trade to attempt to create an alien-human hybrid that will further their plans to colonize the Earth. The conspiracy, too, is working on creating transhuman hybrids, and for this reason one of its leading members is shown in “Redux II” watching with approval as Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin describes as futile any effort to stop human cloning.

Then there’s the subject of sex, sex, sex—a topic to which much of our popular entertainment devotes endless hours and which “The X-Files” virtually ignored. The friendship between Mulder and Scully did not become a physical relationship until they had worked side by side with each other for many years, and even then the exact nature of their relationship was somewhat mysterious. It was as if each character was on a quest for the truth, and nothing else could take precedence—a chivalric ideal within a culture of “if it feels good, do it!”

This ideal was in fact realized in the case of the Lone Gunmen. In the episode “Three of a Kind,” their leader, John Fitzgerald Byers, is shown dreaming about what life would be like if he were married to Susanne Modeski, a woman he has fantasized about since meeting her nearly a decade before. At the end of the episode, Byers is given the chance to go off with Modeski but, fearing that he would endanger Modeski and not wanting to abandon his friends and their own quest for the truth, he declines to follow the woman he loves, a kind of choice that would have made perfect sense to a member of the Templars or the Hospitallers but that is exceedingly rare in today’s culture.

Perhaps the clearest conservative themes in “The X-Files” emerged in connection with religion. Scully’s Catholicism was the focus of several episodes, and she was depicted as a woman of sincere faith, if not a consistent churchgoer. Two episodes show Scully in the confessional, once after saving a boy who is a stigmatic from a man who was in league with the devil, and again after helping to thwart the devil from taking the souls of four teenage girls, whom Scully comes to believe had been sired by an angel. It’s doubtful a leftist show would ever feature the devil as a real character. It’s even less likely it would depict him occupying the professions he did when he appeared on “The X-Files”: a high school biology teacher (“Die Hand Die Verletzt”), a social worker (“All Souls”), and a liberal Protestant minister who advocates tolerance and opposes fundamentalism (“Signs & Wonders”).

“Signs & Wonders” might be the most reactionary episode in the entire series. Mulder and Scully go to rural Tennessee to investigate a murder, and they immediately begin to suspect Enoch O’Connor, a snake-handling fundamentalist preacher who expelled his daughter and her boyfriend from his congregation when she became pregnant. (Interestingly, in addition to sharing the same last name as the great Southern writer Flannery O’Connor, Enoch has the same first name as a character in O’Connor’s novel Wise Blood and wears old-fashioned glasses reminiscent of the type worn by the writer). When Scully complains to Mulder about O’Connor’s “intolerance,” he replies, “Sometimes a little intolerance can be a welcome thing. Clear cut right and wrong, hard and fast rules, no shades of gray.

O’Connor’s opponent in the town is a liberal Protestant minister, whose church encourages members to “think for themselves” and “live [their lives] the way [they] want,” and which offers an “open and modern way . . .of looking at God.” Despite the attractiveness of the liberal minister and the rough edges of his fundamentalist counterpart, Mulder and Scully learn in the end that the murders have been committed by the liberal minister to discredit his fundamentalist rival, and the viewer learns that the liberal minister—who disappeared from Tennessee only to become the pastor of a church in liberal Connecticut—is the devil. Sam felt that no other series on TV would have produced an episode that so perfectly transgressed the norms of the liberal Zeitgeist, in which “tolerance” is the supreme good and any Christian who takes the traditions of his own faith too seriously is treated with suspicion at best or hostility at worse.

The religious theme became more explicit in “The Truth,” the final episode of the series. The series ends with Mulder and Scully on the run from the conspiracy and its friends in the government, hiding in a hotel room in New Mexico. These are the final lines spoken in the series:

Scully:  “You’ve always said that you want to believe.  But believe in what Mulder?  If this is the truth that you’ve been looking for, then what is there to believe in?
Mulder:  “I want to believe that the dead are not lost to us. That they speak to us as part of something greater than us—greater than any alien force.  And if you and I are powerless now, I want to believe that if we listen, to what’s speaking, it can give us the power to save ourselves.”
Scully: “Then we believe the same thing.”
Mulder: “Maybe there’s hope.”

Lest the viewer have any doubt about what is being discussed, the camera zooms in on the tiny gold cross Scully has worn throughout the series. In discussing this ending with Sam, he told me that it contained the most pro-Christian sentiment he had seen in a mainstream television show in some years. “The X-Files” was hardly an apology for orthodox Christianity, and it explored many ways of believing, but its respect for belief certainly encompassed the Western traditions.

It appears that “I Want to Believe” may delve into some of these same themes. The tagline for the movie in its theatrical trailer is “To find the truth you must believe,” which is not that different from Anselm’s credo ut intelligam. But even if my guess about the movie is wrong, and Mulder and Scully end up embracing every leftist shibboleth imaginable, the original series will still continue rewarding intelligent viewers who give it a try, particularly those viewers who believe that the truth is out there, somewhere off to the right.

Tom Piatak is a contributing editor to Taki’s Magazine.

SmithsonianMag.com: Q&A: Chris Carter of "The X Files"

Smithsonian Mag
Q&A: Chris Carter of “The X Files”
Jesse Rhodes

Original article available here.

The creator and writer behind “The X-Files” reveals his inspiration for the sci-fi series and motivation behind the upcoming film.

Chris Carter, creator and writer of The X-Files came to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to donate several props and posters—including the original pilot script—from the popular television sci-fi series. The items were courtesy of Carter, producer Frank Spotnitz and 20th Century Fox.

After the donation ceremony, Carter sat down with Smithsonian magazine’s Jesse Rhodes to discuss the life of the series and the upcoming film The X-Files: I Want to Believe in theatres July 25, 2008.

Where did the “I Want to Believe” poster from Mulder’s office come from?

It [the poster donated to the Smithsonian] came from Gillian Anderson’s collection. All the rest of the original posters had been stolen or, I assume, destroyed.

The original graphic came from me saying, “Let’s get a picture of a spaceship and put—Ed Ruscha-like—”I want to believe.” I love Ed Ruscha. I love the way he puts text in his paintings. (I actually got to say to him, “I was inspired by you.”) When I saw the [finished] poster I recognized the photograph because it came from a series of photographs taken in Europe by a guy named Billy Meier. And I said, “Did we get the clearance for that photograph?” And they said, “Oh, yes!” Ten years went by and all of a sudden I got a call from Fox legal: “We have an intellectual property lawsuit we have to depose you for.” And there was a lawsuit and they had not done the proper clearance for that photograph.

While you were working on the show, did you ever have a sense that your creation was a major piece of American pop culture?

The first inkling was when James Wolcott wrote about it in The New Yorker and I figured that if someone at The New Yorker wrote glowingly about The X Files that it had made an impact in a place I consider to be something for the record. But beyond that, I have to tell you that other than the Nielsen ratings and other than X-Files references, I had no sense of its popularity and to this day I don’t have a true sense of its popularity. Even if I see 300 X-Files fans together, I can’t fathom—I cannot imagine—the audience itself. All I think about is the show and all I think about is why I like it and why I like to write it and why I like the characters and what I have to say through them.

What inspired you to write The X-Files?

All the shows from my childhood. All the scary shows: Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Night Gallery, Outer Limits. There was a particularly good show on when I was in my early teens called Kolchak: The Night Stalker starring Darren McGavin. They were two two-hour movies. They were fantastic. Scary. Those things were my inspiration in terms of entertainment. Silence of the Lambs was an inspiration. It’s not a mistake that Dana Scully has red hair like Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. So there were a variety of inspirations. But the idea itself came out of my religious background and my interest in science. My brother is a scientist. He’s a professor at MIT. He brought science fiction into my world. But I am a person of faith and so it’s the combination of those two things.

Barring the episode titled “Jump the Shark,” as a writer, do you think The X-Files ever “jumped the shark?”

I don’t think X-Files jumped the shark and that tongue-in-cheek title was our way of lowering the boom on anybody who thought that it did. I think it was good till the end and I think that while it changed with the exit of David Duchovny, I believe that during that period there was excellent work done, excellent storytelling, and I’ll stand by all nine years of the show.

The show has been out of production for six years. What are you hoping to achieve with the upcoming film?

It was an opportunity to give the fans of The X-Files what they wanted: more Mulder and Scully. It was also an opportunity for me, having stepped away from it, to look back at it and imagine what it might be six years later and how the series might be re-evaluated by the work that is done in this movie. [Hopefully] you can look back at [the series] and realize that it’s not just a scary show, it’s not just a suspense thriller. It’s a show about two people who have built-in personal conflicts. One is a medical doctor, a scientist who is a religious person of the Catholic faith. The other one is a person of no particular religious faith who has a great passionate belief in something that I’ll call spiritual or metaphysical, which is tantamount to a religious belief. And so you’ve got these warring ideas inside the characters and you’ve got them together in a way that, for me, addresses and asks a lot of the important questions about life itself.

Los Angeles Times Hero Complex: David Duchovny: ‘The X-Files’ is equal to God

David Duchovny: ‘The X-Files’ is equal to God
Los Angeles Times Hero Complex
Geoff Boucher

[Original article here]


These days, every major genre film and hit show has a significant presence on the Internet, but that wasn’t the case when “The X-Files” became a spooky sensation in the 1990s. David Duchovny said that, like his character Fox Mulder, the relentless faith of true believers is astounding to behold.

” ‘The X-Files’ was said to be the first Internet show,” Duchovny said over coffee on a recent morning in Los Angeles. “We had chat rooms and fan sites and all that. Look, I’m usually five or six years behind whatever is hip. So it was around 2000 that I started doing e-mail and finally started understanding what all that was about.”

And what was it about? The answer is religion, apparently.

“My initial response — and I still hold this to be true — is that it takes the place of some of the functions of a church in a small town: A place where people come together, ostensibly to worship something. But really what’s happening is you’re forming a community. It’s less about what you’re worshiping and more about, ‘We have these interests in common.’ Someone has a sick aunt and suddenly it’s about that, raising money to help her or sharing resources to make her life easier. That’s what it was about with ‘The X-Files’ on the Internet.”

Duchovny and co-star Gillian Anderson are back on autopsy and trench-coat duty on July 25 as “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” pulls the FBI tandem away from the complicated conspiracy plots of the old series and puts them in the “monster of the week” mode of investigating an isolated supernatural threat.

Duchovny said that he has come to view the most loyal fans of the show as celebrants of self, not of celebrity.

“When I was at Comic-Con it felt the same as the small-town church thing. I’m not denigrating ‘The X-Files,’ but that fellowship isn’t essentially about the show. The fans came to Comic-Con to honor us but I think they’re honoring us because we inspire them to have a certain kind of fellowship. Now, I’m not saying we’re not worthy of that kind of honor. I want to be clear about that.”

Oh, that’s very clear; essentially, his point is that “The X-Files” is bigger than God and religion, right? “No, no! You’re going to get me in trouble. I didn’t say bigger than God. I said ‘The X-Files’ is equal to God.”

Beliefnet: X-Files Artifacts at the Smithsonian

X-Files Artifacts at the Smithsonian
Nell Minow

[Original article here]

The setting was almost too perfect. In order to get to the ceremony for the donation of X-Files artifacts and memorabilia I had to go into the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History through the “staff health center” entrance inside the parking lot and be escorted to the event by an intern who took me through eerily empty exhibition halls, all the items disassembled and covered with plastic sheets. What would Mulder and Scully say? Is the truth out there?

The museum is closed to the public for renovations (or so they say…) but the donation of this important collection was an event, and I was lucky enough to be invited. The people behind The X-Files television series and movies were there to donate artifacts from the show to the museum’s permanent collection. The nine-season television show, with its second feature film to be released next week, starred David Duchovney and Gillian Anderson as FBI agents Mulder and Scully, caught up in a series of mysteries and conspiracies relating to the normal and the paranormal.

x-files.jpgThe donated items include a “maquette” (model) of an alien used as a reference point in the first X-Files movie, a stiletto used by characters to exterminate aliens masquerading as people, an “I Want to Believe” poster that appeared in Mulder’s office on the show and is signed by Carter and stars David Duchovney and Gillian Anderson, the annotated script from the very first episode with a page of storyboards, prop FBI badges and business cards, a photograph of Mulder’s sister, Samantha, whose abduction by aliens is the motivation for his work, and the crucifix necklace worn by Agent Scully that symbolized her commitment to her faith.

“We are in the forever business,” said Melinda Machado, director of the museum’s Office of Public Affairs. They were delighted to make these items a part of the Smithsonian’s “forever” collection of over 6000 artifacts from the world of entertainment, including Dorothy’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” and Mr. Rogers’ sweater. Curator Dwight Blocker Bowers spoke about the way that the show reflected the ambivalence of contemporary society with its dark themes, ironic humor, and balance between skepticism and hope.

IMG_2522.jpgThe creator of the series, Chris Cooper, said, “my love is telling suspense thrillers with smart people and interesting subjects.” He was especially proud of staying with the show throughout its nine years, citing Robert Graves: “one of the hardest energies to find and sustain is maintenance energy,” and remained committed to “creating it anew every week.” He said that one of the best pieces of advice he received was from a production designer who read the original script and told him, “Don’t show them anything. Keep it in the shadows. You will have no time and no money and what they don’t see is scarier than what they do see.”

Carter, who recently completed a three-month fellowship in theoretical physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said he liked to create scripts that began with hard science and then asked “what if?” The students there knew of the show but had not seen it and he realized there was a new audience to be introduced to these stories and characters. He assured us that the new movie will satisfy the non-fans and the casual fans, and “will not insult the hard-core fans.”

We want to believe!

Smithsonian Institute Press Release: Smithsonian Wants to Believe!

Smithsonian Wants to Believe! National Museum of American History Acquires X-Files Collection

Original article available here.

During a special ceremony today, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History received a collection of objects from “The X-Files,” the television series and movie franchise. Twentieth Century Fox together with Chris Carter, series and film writer, director and producer, and Frank Spotnitz, series and film director and producer, presented an annotated script from the series’ pilot episode, FBI badges, posters and other objects to the museum’s entertainment collections.

“The X-Files” series quickly became one of the most popular science-fiction television series in entertainment history during its nine-year run on FOX Television (1993-2002). The series featured 202 episodes and led to two feature films; the newest film is slated to open July 25. The show earned acclaim and recognition: It was nominated for 141 awards and honored with 61, including a Peabody award in 1996 and several Emmys and Golden Globes in the acting, writing and technical categories.

“The series is a significant representation of science fiction in television drama,” said Dwight Blocker Bowers, museum curator. “‘The X-Files’ captured the genre’s penchant for the paranormal and cleverly used it to address such contemporary issues as governmental control, national and international conspiracy theories and the possibility of extraterrestrial life.”.

In the world created by Carter and Spotnitz, FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are tasked with investigating the “X-Files”: marginalized, unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena. Mulder plays the role of the “believer,” having faith in the existence of aliens and the paranormal, while Scully is a skeptic, initially paired with Mulder by her superiors to debunk his unconventional work. The “X-Files” main characters and key phrases, including “The Truth Is Out There,” “Trust No One” and “I Want to Believe,” became pop-culture touchstones.

Science fiction has been a vital narrative strand in nearly every aspect of popular culture, from comic books to radio, theater, television and movies, as evidenced in such wide-ranging works as “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Star Trek,” which also are represented in the museum’s collections.

The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays items of American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. Documenting the American experience from Colonial times to the present, the museum looks at growth and change in the United States. The museum is closed for major renovations and will re-open in fall 2008. For information about the museum, please visit http://americanhistory.si.edu or call Smithsonian Information at (202) 633-1000, (202) 633-5285 (TTY).