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Scorelogue: Behind the X-Files: The File on Mark Snow

Behind the X-Files: The File on Mark Snow

Mark Snow is best known for his X-Files opening whistle and legions of fans know his name through the mysteriously cultish show. But there is no mystery behind Mark’s talent as an accomplished film and television composer and with 1999, Mark proves that the new millennium is full of diverse possibilities. His latest show with Chris Carter (Harsh Realm) debuts in the Fall and his feature Crazy in Alabama marks the directorial debut of Antonio Banderas and a foray into dark comedy. And although Millennium died a slow ratings death last year, Snow’s career has never been more alive. (Editor’s Note: This interview took place in May 1999 before it was announced that Millennium was cancelled.)

How did the compilation The Snow Files come about?

I’d had a few scores put out on CD by Sonic Images, and they thought it would be interesting to show a sort of diverse grouping of other pieces of mine that people don’t necessarily associate with me. The X-Files and that genre has been my most popular thing at the moment, but I’ve been doing this for twenty years so there’s a whole bunch of other music I’ve written as well. There was tons of stuff to listen to, and I just gave it over to them and told them to pick out the stuff and I’d approve it or not. I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

It’s a great way for your following to learn more about your work.

Right. Speaking humbly, if I were a Mark Snow fan, I would think it would be interesting to hear his other styles. I know if you’ve seen the CD, it’s definitely an X-File-oriented package, but if that’s what it takes to get them interested…

Were you happy with the X-Files suite produced by John Beal on the CD?

Yes. He really studied the style. At first he was a little timid, and I said, “Hey, I think you’ve got the idea; go with it more, add more of your touch.” He really was very true to it and sensitive and did a great job.

There are some television composers who find it a little more difficult to break into features, even with strong television credits. How has that worked for you?

It’s been very difficult, and no matter how many great TV credits I have, that really doesn’t mean much unless there’s sort of a “cool” factor. X-Files is a very au current, cool show, and that’s helped at least to get people to listen to my stuff and think that could be great. About a month ago, I did a movie Antonio Banderas directed, Crazy in Alabama, where I was submitted, read the script, put some music together that had no X-Files whatsoever. The film is a very sweet, nonviolent movie that takes place in the ’60s. It’s somewhat comic, somewhat poignant, and he just liked the music. X-Files really had no bearing on it whatsoever. He said, “You did the X-Files movie, right? That’s nothing like this movie!” I remember some colleagues of mine started doing TV when I did and weren’t that successful, but they were able to gravitate to B-movies and from there were able to raise their career stakes and have done amazingly well. Sometimes you can fail in TV and really resurrect beautifully in features. Sometimes the reverse is true; you can have a couple of features with nothing and find yourself back in TV. In this day and age, the line between features and TV isn’t what it used to be. There are so many excellent TV shows being made, and TV isn’t the sort of trite thing it was thought of years ago. I know the producer Bob Godwin (X-Files) in Canada, a prolific writer and director, had an interview with Steven Spielberg. Spielberg wanted him to be the producer of a TV series he’s doing, and Bob called me and said the enthusiasm of Spielberg for this series was incredible. He seemed as enthusiastic about it as Saving Private Ryan. So TV is nothing to be ashamed of now. The new Chris Carter show, Harsh Realm, has had an amazing budget. It looks like a movie – great writing, a terrific cast, beautifully directed. It looks very impressive.

So as far as TV versus features, aside from time and budget constraints, are there any differences in the whole process?

Features now are tending to be more like TV just in the way they’re scored, in terms of time constraints. That one thing is so amazing. They’ll finish a movie, temp track it, and test it. If the scores are not so great, they’ll do it again and again. The more they test it, the less time the composer has to write the final score. Oftentimes, people are getting way less than three weeks, somtimes even a week, to do an hour’s-plus work. That’s sort of a new phenomenon. You have to be really agile. Some aspect of your work has to be quick and fast to survive that kind of thing.

How has that changed through the years?

I remember the great story of Stravinsky when he was in Hollywood and was approached to do a film score. He said, “I’d love to,” and they started on the movie. He was all thrilled with it, the money was arranged, and they said, “When will you have this ready for us?” And he said, “Oh, six months from now we’ll have the first half of it.” End of story! You used to have a month or more, so I think that’s changed a lot. In TV, there never was much time, so that hasn’t changed. Producers and directors don’t have that much time to bang on you and really take it apart every which way they can. In features, it’s done over and over, and that can be a real miserable experience. This last experience with Banderas was fantastic because he understands music, and when he didn’t, he’d say, “I don’t understand this; I need your help.”

When is that going to be released?

That was going to be in May, then summer, then September, and now it’s November. They’ve tested this movie, and it tested great, so the studio is really high on it. It’s not a big budget; it’s a very sweet film, and there are some amazing performances. Melanie Griffith and this kid, Lucas Black from Sling Blade, are terrific. I think the only thing about what I do that can get kind of tiring and relentless is that you don’t have much break when the season starts, usually around September through the middle of May. Through the year there are days off, but there’s not weeks or months off. I always say the dream composing job would be to do features where you could pick and choose if you were lucky enough, do a movie, have a month or two off. That’s a pretty cool life, but even some of the big guys like Jerry Goldsmith are so into it they don’t turn down to much. I would love a little more balanced life with a little more free time, but I’m still into it and still can do it, so I’ll go with it for a few more years.

Do you have anything planned for the summer?

There are a few things brewing. I have a place in New Mexico, and I’m looking forward to taking a break there, go and look for UFOs in the desert!

You’re mixing the final episode of Millenium right now; do you think the show will come back?

It’s still possible. The ratings haven’t been good, but the shows have been great if you’re into that kind of dark world.

When did the talk begin about this possibly being the last season for X-Files?

Maybe two years ago when the movie was thought of and they wanted to see if the movie would do well. That would mean possibly another movie, even a third one, but whatever was arranged with the actors, who are beginning to have feature careers, so be it.

Is there a second movie brewing?

There’s talk. I’m hoping that if there is another movie, it’ll be different than the first. I’d hope that it would be smaller and more like the stand alone episodes are instead of having to do the big mythology government coverup. But hey, I just write the songs.

X-Files: Fight the Future is a big album, a big score, and it’s wonderful to hear the sound of the show in a larger manner.

I felt that score had to be somewhat generic of big action movies, which this was, but I was hoping to put as much of my own mark and personality into it. It was the first time the show theme was really used in the underscore – not everywhere, but enough that I’m sure people recognized it. I knew having a new theme it would be musically okay, but I thought it would be a neat way of bringing the TV audience into the movie without overdoing it. It was great fun to have a 90-piece orchestra.

The length of the album was great, too.

There’s a lot of stuff! It was very exciting. Of course, with all the X-Files episodes, there’s always two producers, a writer, a director, sometimes as many as five people who come every week to hear the score in the studio, and they’ve never seen me in action conducting an orchestra. So this was recorded at the Fox scoring stage, which has been renovated, one of the great places in town.

Do you have a team for orchestrating? Do you work with the same people?

There are two main people I use: Jonathan Sacks, a fine orchestrator who’s done many high profile movies, and Lolita Ricmonitz, who’s also brilliant and a terrific composer in her own right. A lot of times I’ll flesh something out on electronics, and it will be pretty complete. I would have time to put pencil to paper a lot of the time, and these people can hear the music and turn it into orchestration with the help of some MIDI score manipulation where the notes appear on score paper in a very simplistic way. This is the way that it’s done mostly. Most of the big composers do it this way, electronically, with the orchestrator working off the tapes and doing the realizations of the score.

20,000 Leagues under the Sea is one of your most beautiful scores; how did that come about?

I knew the producers, so that’s how I got that job. The subject matter felt like the great old-fashioned action movies that Bernard Herrmann scored, like Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jason and the Argonauts. That sort of simplistic but big, monolithic type sound, I thought, was really appropriate. I was also influenced by John Barry – this simple, big theme. Between the two, since it had to be a period piece, it felt somewhat like an homage to the great early film scores, and I thought again a simple approach in the melodic writing would be the way to go.

Special Thanks to Ray Costa, Ford A. Thaxton & Sonic Images Records, and to Mark Snow for his generous hospitality.

Source: Vance Brawley; Scorelogue [www.scorelogue.com/snowtalk.html]

The Millennial Comet: Interview with Mark Snow

The Millennial Comet [Vol. 2, No. 5]
Interview with Mark Snow
Brian A. Dixon

Interview conducted and edited by “Millennial Comet” staff writer and Editor-in-Chief Brian A. Dixon (WackiDixon@aol.com).

Here is a man who, to X-Files and Millennium fans, requires no introduction. From day one of both series he has been composing some of the most powerful underscore music we could ever hope for. He’s used sounds in some of the moodiest, most atmospheric, and most frightening manners possible. That man is, of course, Mr. Mark Snow.

You’ll find his name in the credits of every Millennium episode made. A powerful part of the Ten-Thirteen crew, Mr. Snow is the creator of the wailing violin sounds that are the very soul of Millennium’s onscreen presence. He’s given passion to Frank and Catherine’s most emotional scenes and added an edge of excitement to each serial killer show-down. Without the sounds of Mark Snow running underneath it all, Millennium would NOT be the show it is today. It would not be the series we’ve come to know and love. To say that his creation influences Millennium’s very being would not be an exaggeration. The element he adds to the dramatic events is invaluable.

So, without further introduction, I proudly present my recent conversation with the man responsible for giving so much to Millennium….

MC: “Millennial Comet”
MS: Mark Snow


MC: What is your official title when working with Millennium?

MS: Mark Snow – composer of the underscore music for the TV series Millennium.

MC: You had already been working with Chris Carter and 1013 for some time on The X-Files… what was your first reaction and initial thoughts when Millennium was first proposed to you as a new series and began undergoing development?

MS: Chris Carter wanted a feeling of hope and horror for the Millennium theme and underscore music. So, I thought a melancholy, celtic feel would be right since so many of the first shows had an early or medievil religious themes… and for the theme, the contrast of the solo violin (Hope) over the dark sustains and percussion (horror) of the accompianment.

MC: Was there any specific inspiration for the “Millennium” theme song? How was it recorded?

MS: Chris Carter sent over a CD of Kiley Minogue (Celtic fiddle stuff), so that was my initial inspiration. I had a live violinist play over my electronic track.

MC: What sets the overall tone or musical feel for the series when you’re writing a piece of music for Millennium?

MS: The slow, deliberate brooding Frank Black seems to set the tone of the action and therefore the music tone.


MC: How, if at all, do you try to separate your work on Millennium and The X-Files?

MS: The Millennium music is simpler and more folk, celtic, modal ancient sounding music than X-Files. X-Files in general is more modern avante garde sounding, with symphonic traditional overtones.

MC: What other shows or movies have you worked on recently?

MS: The X-Files movie and Disturbing Behavior directed by David Nutter, who directed the pilot of Millennium.

MC: Is it difficult to work on two or more television series at a time? Do you find that it limits or stifles your creativity?

MS: No, the shows are so different, and basically very well done (some of best on TV), that they’re usually very inspiring and different from week to week. They also seem to be shows that count on the music for its complete effect, unlike a show like L.A. Law which relies on dialogue mostly. Working on both shows does not limit my creativity but actually inspires it.

MC: Who are your favorite musical groups or artists to listen to?

MS: Eagle Eyed Cherry, Metallica, Foo Fighters, Suzanne Vega, Natalie Merchant, Crash Test Dummies, Chumbawumba, Tracy Bonham, to name a few.


MC: I know that one of the pieces of show music you’ve composed which will always stand out in my mind is the exciting and very different chase music from the climax of The Thin White Line. Do you have a personal favorite piece of music from an episode of Millennium?

MS: The show “Luminary” was a favorite of mine for the music, and more recently “Closure”; the montage cue with Emma at the computer cutting back and forth with Frank at the computer, and the black and white flash backs of Emma as a young girl!

MC: Did you enjoy writing the lighter, more humorous scores for the Darin Morgan comedy episodes of the second season?

MS: Yes! That was a fun change of pace for me, and very enjoyable! Sort of going on a mini-vacation!

MC: With season three we not only got new opening credits sequence images but also a slightly tweaked version of the Millennium theme song. Why was the decision made to alter the theme music for the third season, and how exactly was it changed?

MS: I just added a choral countermelody that was to announce the arrival of the Emma character. Chris Carter’s idea, but very subtle. I don’t know if all listeners hear the differance, but obviously you do! Bravo!

MC: Popular music, in addition to the underscore, has become very important to Millennium. We’ve heard such artists as Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Patti Smith, America, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the Talking Heads, and Zager & Evans highlight some of the most important scenes of the series. What is your view concerning Millennium’s artistic and dramatic use of music?

MS: I think it’s very cool and helps maintain the edgy, fresh hip tone that the creators hoped for. And the fact the these source pieces are so eclectic is a cool thing!

MC: On The X-Files movie you were given the chance to utilize a full orchestra for your soundtrack. How did it feel to use the orchestra, and do you think you’ll be given the same opportunity again anytime for Millennium or X-Files series work?

MS: The big orchestra was a thrill, but absolutely impossible to do on a weekly basis because of the time constraints. Watch for it on next X-Files feature film!!!

MC: Any personal views on Frank’s musical obsession with classic swinger Bobby Darin?

MS: I think that comes from Glen Morgan, he’s the big Darin fan. It also seems consistent with Frank’s generation.


MC: A lot of rumors and strong anticipation follow the idea of a Millennium soundtrack CD similar to The X-Files album “The Truth and the Light”. Can you shed some light on the situation concerning a potential Millennium soundtrack CD?

MS: Two labels are interested in releasing Millennium music. Electra, which did the X-Files score and pop albums, and Sonic Images, a label that specializes in soundtracks. Stay tuned for updates. That’s all the information that I have now.

MC: In regards to the future of Millennium in season three… any special musical pieces you’ve recently composed for upcoming episodes we should be listening for?

MS: Yes… in “Omerta”, the Millennium Xmas show, I really push the envelope by incorporating elements of Opera and classical Choral elements, soloists and groups. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done on this episode, and hope you all enjoy it!

MC: Thank you very much, Mr. Snow, for taking part in this interview and being willing to speak with the Comet. Both myself and all of our fan readers extend our gratitude for being able to look into your world.

MS: Thank you, Brian, and I apologize for taking so long to get this to you!!! I hope you find it interesting and informative!

Source: Brian A. Dixon, The Millennial Comet Vol. 2, No. 5 [members.aol.com/Rings13/Abyss.html], Dec. 18th, 1998

Sci Fi TV: Conspiracy Kingpin – Mixing truth with lies, Chris Carter fashions The X-Files

Sci Fi TV
Conspiracy Kingpin – Mixing truth with lies, Chris Carter fashions The X-Files
Ian Spelling

[typed by alfornos]

CC, master of the X-mythos, keeper of the conspiracies, sounds quite pleased with his first cinematic X Files.

“I am very pleased. I thought that The X Files translated wonderfully to the big screen,” he enthuses. “I thought the story worked. I thought the special effects were really nice, that they serviced the story well – you wouldn’t call this an FX-driven movie. I felt the scares were there. People jumped and they laughed and, hopefully, they were moved. It also sets up season six of The X Files beautifully. It did all I could ask of a first X Files film. It took the theme that has been central to the show – the government conspiracy to prevent us from knowing the truth about the existence of alien life – and set many of those elements in stone.

“We had previously taken those same elements,” continues CC, “and played with them – hinted at, hid, answered and/or lied about them. The X Files writers are already dealing with what was revealed in the film and how it will impact on the series. It will give us many new and interesting opportunities to tell stories. The movie really did what I hoped it would do, which was, in a way, to EXPLODE the series. We’ll have new pieces to deal with now, new angles to explore.”

By now, everyone knows that TXF: FTF propelled FBI Agents Mulder (DD) and Scully (GA) through a series of escapades involving deadly bees, doomsday scenarios, alien spaceships rising out of the ice, government conspiracies, Black Oil, bombing cover-ups, and the pair’s feelings for each other. It spotlighted several familiar characters, among them CSM (WBD) and AD Skinner (MP), and such newcomers as Strughold (AM-S), Kurtzweil (ML) and FBI AD Cassidy (BD). And it did, as promised, answer some questions – while posing others.

CC both produced the XF film and penned the screenplay based on a story co-written with FS. He admits he was personally most satisfied to “finally being able to have someone explain WHAT the conspiracy is about, what it’s attempting to do, where it came from, what its historical roots are, and what its biological roots are. I was also happy that we could show there’s a real defense against it, a way to fight the future. Again, we’ve done some of that in past episodes, but only in bits and pieces. Here, in the film, it was much more of a concentrated story.”

Asked how different was the feeling of producing a film vs. the show, CC avers, “It’s hard to say which was more satisfying. I like the pace of moviemaking, but I like many of the things TV allows you to do. You can have a not-so-great episode one week, but make up for it the following week. You don’t have that luxury with a film. TV allows you to explore things that a movie doesn’t, in terms of relationships, tangents or whatever. It’s much more forgiving in creating small, interesting avenues of discovery and character development than a movie is. But a movie is a movie, and there’s something to be said for that, too.”

The sinister secrets of season six will soon unfold.

There are several specific points worth exploring thanks to the film. First, there’s the matter of M&S possibly delving deeper into their romantic feelings for one another, a topic CC won’t even touch. He is, however, more willing to contemplate how Mulder and, particularly, Scully, return to dealing with killer trees, inbred families, vampires and the like after they’ve seen what they’ve seen, after they’ve come to realize what”s at stake regarding the conspiracy. “Well, Scully was pretty woozy,” CC says, “and it will be very hard for Mulder and Scully to prove what they witnessed or get anybody to listen to them. That will become part of their agenda now, getting people to listen to them and to take them seriously. That has always been Mulder’s thing, [though less so for] Scully, who has seen less.”

It looked as if WMM (JN) fell victim to a wrathful Syndicate when his limousine blew up. Is he really dead? “Stay tuned,” CC replies with a mischievous laugh. Might audiences see more of AD Cassidy or Strughold in the future? “I would hope so, but we had some very pricey movie stars in the film,” he notes. “So, it’s a matter of money, time and desire on the parts of the actors.” And what of CSM and Mulder? A scene between them at the film’s end was dropped and re-shot because, during test screenings, non-fans expressed confusion as to why two characters who had no contact with each other during the film would suddenly converse. “CSM has obviously decided to favor this ‘son’ of his and, in doing so, has set up a political situation so that Mulder can SURVIVE,” CC notes. “What CSM’s agenda is, what his motives are in furthering and fostering Mulder’s career are interesting, but still not established.”

Season five witnessed contributions by writers William Gibson (with Tom Maddox) and Stephen King, who delivered Kill Switch and Chinga, respectively. Both Gibson and King may write further scripts during season six, CC reports. Also waiting in the wings is Harlan Ellison, although his scripting contribution is less certain. “Harlan is a busy man,” explains CC, who participated in a recent Sci-Fi Channel tribute to the writer. “He has always said he has wanted to write an X Files episode for us. The day he actually WANTS to do it, I’m sure he’ll give us a call.”

When season six begins on November 8, one familiar name will no longer appear in the credits, and that’s R.W. Goodwin. A longtime XF executive producer/director who has helmed previous season openers and finales (Anasazi/The Blessing Way and Talitha Cumi/Herrenvolk), RWG represents one of the casualties of the series’ relocation from Vancouver, British Columbia to LA. “We really kind of left Bob, in a way,” CC explains. “Bob decided to stay up in Vancouver. He lives there. He has a kid in high school. He really couldn’t make the trip to LA with us. His contribution to the show was in never, ever, flinching or blinking when we gave him something impossible to do. Along the way, he directed some [sic] our most important episodes. So, we’ll miss him.”

Looking even further into the future, there’s season seven of TXF as well as additional features to consider. “I imagine that the show will go through the seventh year, which would be the 1998-99 season and the year after that. Anything beyond that would be gravy,” CC says. “I have no idea if David and/or Gillian would be interested in staying BEYOND a seventh season. We’ll have to see what happens. I just signed my own contract, so I’ll be around for a while. If the movie is [regarded as] successful, we’ll get to do more movies, and we’ll get the chance to continue on the big screen as a series after the show ends. I don’t know how many films we’ll do, I just hope there will be more.”

CC, as most everyone knows, rules more than just the XF Universe.

He’s the mastermind of Millennium, which is also returning for another season. Though the show had a commendable fall 1996 debut, its ratings had declined, prompting most people to assume that Fox would not pick up the dark, somber series for the 1998-99 season. The network, which also airs TXF and thus probably wanted to keep CC happy, elected to bring back the Lance Henriksen vehicle. “I will be more active in the show this season,” promises CC. “I think you can expect us to turn a corner. We have some really good ideas for the new season. I’m really excited about what we’re going to do with Frank Black [LH] now that he has lost one of the most important things in his life. The stories will deal with that this year.”

When Millennium debuted two years ago, much was made of the fact that it was the new series from the creator of TXF. CC himself doesn’t deny that Millennium has suffered from the comparison to TXF, and that people were tougher on Millennium because of their great X-pectations. “I never wanted to make Millennium like The X Files,” CC argues. “I really loved the original concept of Millennium. It has strayed a little bit from that now. In some ways, that has been good and in some ways, bad. For season three, I have really exciting ideas that I’m looking forward to incorporating into the series. I’ve had long meetings with Lance, and we’re all very excited about season three. I hope people will come to the show again and see what we’re doing. Frank will ultimately end up affiliated in some way with the FBI, which is where he began his career.”

Returning to TXF, CC insists that even after 117 hours of TV episodes and a two-hour movie, there’s still plenty left to uncover about the mythology and about M&S, CC insists. “They are VERY complex characters. We played with Mulder and Scully’s belief systems in the fifth season. They’re both unmarried. They’ve both lost parents, and they’ve both lost them in a tragic way. Mulder and Scully have a lot to learn about life, I think, and they’re things that people have to learn as they move through their 30s and on into their 40s,” CC observes. “So, I really do think we’ve got a lot more to learn about our characters and about the conspiracy. I don’t think we’ll run out of ideas anytime soon.”

Sci-Fi Age Magazine: As The X-Files moves to L.A., the series' stars consider season six

Sci-Fi Age Magazine
As The X-Files moves to L.A., the series’ stars consider season six
Melissa J. Perenson

Where does a television show go when it’s coming off a summer that saw the release of a successful feature film, the relocation of production, and a whopping 16 Emmy Award nominations? Well, when you’re the X-Files, you keep on doing what you do best: Throwing curve balls to your audience while striving to reinvent yourself and raise the creative bar even higher.

The X-Files is due for a shake up. After all, the series is entering its sixth season, a time in any show’s life span during which lethargy can set in and stories can become stale. But the series’ new Los Angeles home base, coupled with the events of The X-Files movie, which answered some long-standing questions as well as raised a host of new ones, have ensured that The X-Files is in no danger of succumbing to the perils that afflict long-running series.

The movie may have focused on the black oil, but the coming season will explore the conflicting alien factions introduced in such episodes as “Patient X,/The Red and The Black.” “We’ll see a lot more of that,” promises series creator and executive producer Chris Carter. “Now that we’ve set it up with the black oil, we can explore that.”

Meanwhile expect intrepid FBI Agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) to come to terms with their experiences in Antarctica, and to convince others of the fantastical events they witnessed there. “It will have to be dealt with as the series goes forward. But that’s the fun of the series. It’s going to be getting people to believe that this is, in fact, going to happen,” Carter offers. “And Mulder and Scully still may have been told some lies. We still don’t know. We’ll play with this and continue on with that conspiracy.” A central component of the mythology thus far, Scully’s abduction back in season two and the consequences of that abduction, will be addressed in the coming year, as will questions surrounding what really happened to Mulder’s sister, Samantha.

Originally, the truth about Samantha had been addressed in the movie’s limousine scene with Mulder and Well Manicured Man (John Neville), but it quickly became lost within the context of the film. “We realized that there was a lot of information to digest in that part of the movie, and it ended up coming out of the blue in a way that made the scene less easy to understand,” explains Carter. “So we decided to take out that scene and play with it in season six.”

Even though it was Scully’s evidence that convinced the FBI to reopen the X-Files, early word about the coming season is that Mulder and Scully are off the X-Files and have a new boss, although their former superior, Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), will continue to help them off the record. Two characters introduced in the fifth season, Agents Spender (Chris Owens) and Fowley (Mimi Rogers), have been assigned to the X-Files instead. Picking up on the story line from the fifth season’s finale, the first episode jumps right in by revisiting Gibson, the chess playing child prodigy whose ability to tap his brain’s God module could hold the key to explaining the nature of paranormal phenomena.

That’s not all that’s revisited. “We’ve established Mimi Rogers as an old flame coming in, so I think that [the audiences] are going to have to accept it, [allow us] to play that out,” Carter says, presumably well aware that he’s broaching dangerous territory in the eyes of both those that wish to see Mulder and Scully move their relationship to the next level, and those who wish to avoid the series deteriorate into a soap opera.

The direction of Mulder and Scully’s relationship is a topic of hot debate. “From day one we’ve been talking about the fact that it just wouldn’t work in the series,” remarks Anderson, “but I’m curious as to how, after the movie and the extra zing that’s in the film and whether it should or shouldn’t influence how we are with each other in the series. If it does, how will it influence the work that we do? I don’t know.”

Duchovny is equally unsure of what’s right for the show. “It’s hard to say what would ruin the show, or what would make it good, without actually doing it. But [a relationship] could be interesting. If we had someone come in who wrote beautifully in that direction I’m sure it would work, but I don’t see that happening.”

Although the X-Files will always be defined by its eerie look, that look is bound to change now that the show has moved from dark and atmospheric Vancouver to bright and sunny Los Angeles. “It’s obvious it will change,” affirms Carter. “I’ll have a new crew. I’ll have a new environment to shoot in. We’ll have bright sunshine in the daytime, although if it’s anything like last year, it will be just like Vancouver; the weather in Los Angeles was so bad last year.”

Shooting in LA’s environs presents a new creative challenge to the production, and not just to avoid inadvertently getting palm trees into scenes that are supposed to be set in Maine. “It’s going to be different because you’re not going to get the diffuse light every day, you’re going to get hard sun and you’re going to get LA sun,” explains Rob Bowman, who’s directed over 25 episodes as well as the movie. That’s different from what we’re used to.”

Look to the bright lighting seen in the film for an example of what the X-Files may look like in the future. “[The movie] certainly was harder because day exterior in the Mojave desert is about as hot a light as you can get and about as far from Vancouver as there is,” says Bowman. “But the movie couldn’t all of a sudden look like another show. I had to make it look like The X-Files.”

Bowman has a similarly positive spin on the impact the movie will have on the series. “I think it might be farewell to an old friend and hello to a new one. We’ll find a new look that takes the old one and goes a little further with it,” he says confidently. “That’s what we must do because we certainly can’t go backward.””

Adds Carter, “We’ll just use the new environment to our advantage. Just make a virtue out of the problem, which is that we’re now shooting in sort of a concrete jungle. [we’ll] tell stories that we wouldn’t have been able to tell in Vancouver, so I think it’s going to be an interesting opportunity.”

Carter draws on reality for many of the ideas for the series. “People say, ‘Where do you get all these wild ideas?’ Many of them come directly from science. The show needs a scientific foundation, because that is Scully’s point of view. Without a Scully point of view, you’ve got no point/counterpoint. So it’s important the science be accurate, and it’s important that the science be good, because it provides the leaping-off point for the rest of the show,” maintains Carter.

When conceiving the series pivotal mythology episodes, Carter knows where he’s ending up, but not necessarily how he’s going to get there. “I have a big general idea of what the conspiracy means and what the conspiracy is,” he explains, ” but as we go forward, we find new little things to do to add to it. And so that’s the fun of it. If you set everything down too clearly for yourself in the beginning, I think you end up without the sort of wonderful discovery of new things to add in. So, I think flexibility is important in this kind of storytelling. Also the faith that you’re going to make the right choices as you go forward.”

“We don’t have ending points. Sometimes we don’t know, and that’s part of the excitement of the show to us, too, [as writers],” contributes Frank Spotnitz, co-executive producer on the series. “Chris is very specific on where he wants the show to be and he’s not willing to say, ‘okay, that’s close enough to what I had in mind.’ He won’t do that.”

The series’ intelligent, and at times convoluted and contradictory, stories often subscribe to the tenet that less is more. “I think far more often that approach is appreciated by the audience. That’s one of the reasons why the show is so successful,” reasons Spotnitz. “You’re left to put the pieces together yourself in order to understand the conspiracy. It’s a jigsaw puzzle, and we keep adding new pieces and taking pieces away. There’s an awful lot of questions that aren’t resolved and that’s what makes the show interesting.”

“You know, you make a mistake in thinking the audience is not as smart as you are. I think the audience is very smart,” elaborates Carter. “I think the audience is very sophisticated. We have so much information these days. Everyone knows about the human genome project now that’s going on; it’s in the paper every day. While the dialogue [of the show] is sophisticated, it also never attempts to confuse or baffle.” Well, perhaps not consciously, at any rate.

Another unusual thing about The X-Files is the show’s application of a cinematic approach to making television. “We try to tell our stories visually and we use a lot of movie conventions in the telling of our stories. It just feels like a movie most weeks, anyway. And that’s our goal,” says Spotnitz.

“Now after having made the movie, I know whatever you do in television isn’t quite cinematic because making a movie is a much more elaborate process than making a television show,” admits Carter. “But, we tell the stories as if they were little movies, and we take a big screen approach on the small screen in the way we tell our stories and the way the shows are directed, certainly, and in the way the stories are very plot driven. They are good, round mysteries, and a lot of television gets by on character development ensembles, a-b-c-d-e-f-g stories. The X-Files tells one good, strong story every episode, and I think that’s much more of a movie approach.”

Even the series’ recurring, mysteriously named characters have come to life. “After working with so many scripts and telling so many stories with these ancillary characters with names, if there’s more than three of them, you’ve got your work cut out for you just to remember who these people are,” explains Bowman of the nomenclature system developed. “So Chris’s approach was: He’s just a guy smoking a cigarette, that’s all he is. So, he’s Cigarette Smoking Man. When CSM started the series, he was leaning against a filing cabinet listening to a conversation and not reacting at all. He was a paper figure. Then you start to learn more about him. It’s funny because on the set we’re always making up new ones. And we’ve been through Plain Clothes Man, Red Hair Man, and Black Tie Man, but it makes it easy for identification.”

The X-Files’ real ace in the hole, however, lies in the chemistry between leads Duchovny and Anderson. Together, Duchovny and Anderson have taken the art of subtlety to new heights. Certainly, these two roles, like the cases the duo investigate, have proven to be anything but ordinary over the years

“It’s incredibly gratifying,” says Anderson of what it’s been like to play Dana Scully. “It would have been harder to stick with it were I not playing such an intelligent, such an interesting, and multidimensional character as Scully is. When I read the pilot, I was struck how unlike a TV script it was and, also, by how complicated and interesting the relationship was between Mulder and Scully. I think that more than anything,” she continues, “[it was] her intelligence and her strength in standing up to Mulder and feeling confident about expressing her beliefs in front of somebody who was touted as being near God in terms of his work at the FBI.”

From Duchovny’s perspective, Mulder is perhaps the hero who’s best described as the anti hero. “He is a loser. He just never succeeds, basically. He doesn’t get what he wants. He doesn’t win fist fights. He doesn’t get the girl,” notes Duchovny. “I like him as a hero because I always intended to play him as a guy who doesn’t win but who seems to win. That is, I think, a difficult thing to do. People at home see that Mulder is right, so it’s all kind of skewed in his favor. We’ve seen what he sees. We know that he’s right, that his quest is good and moral and all of that. In that sense he’s more of a straight-up hero.”

As stimulating as the characters are, though, both actors admit to feeling the strain of The X-Files’ intense grind, a strain which was only amplified by spending the hiatus between the fourth and fifth seasons filming the feature.

“Some days it’s not fresh and it’s not exciting. Some days it is. It usually has to do with the challenge of the material. If there is a difficult scene to do or a fun scene to do or a challenging scene to do – then it’s fresh and exciting. If there are just five pages of back story, dates, figures, numbers, or names, then it’s just hell,” explains Duchovny. “It’s not really the show or Mulder. It’s the bare fact of doing the same show and the same part for five years.”

“I think that these survivor mechanisms just poke up and rear their heads,” Anderson muses of the relationship between the grueling hours on the set and her performance. “Sometimes – a lot of times – I’m dead on my feet, and sometimes I phone it in and sometimes I have the energy to keep going and be better and better. It just depends.” With all the key players, including leads Duchovny and Anderson and Carter, signed through seven seasons, the current expectations are that The X-Files will continue its fast track run on television before releasing a second feature. in the meantime, the show will strive to improve upon itself, completing its evolution from cult hit to mainstream phenomenon. Notes Duchovny, “It’s fairly unique in the fact that it takes 100 clichéd elements, puts them all together and makes something new. It is the Night Stalker. It is sometimes a medical drama, as bogus as it can be. It’s bogus in its chastity and its repartee between Mulder and Scully. And it’s creepy for the kids. You take all of those things together and, somehow, it comes off as being fresh, unique and original. You could never have sat down and predicted it. It wasn’t in the pilot I read. It’s something that has grown of as all of the ingredients in the show have grown, as Chris, Gillian, Rob, and myself have grown as performers, directors, writers, whatever. It just becomes better and better.”

Kevin & Bean: Interview with Chris Carter

Kevin & Bean
Interview with Chris Carter

Transcript from PA X-files site
K/B: Kevin or Bean (can’t tell these guys apart on the show)
LM: Lisa May (traffic girl/girl in the two-guys-and-a-girl formula used for any kind of show these days)
CC: Chris Carter

K: …people who haven’t met him, think a guy who writes all this, just, bizarre weirdness, is… He’s just, like, a — he’s just, like, a… easy-going…

LM: …surfer dude…

B: …surfer dude, yeah.

K: Like, a nice, just a really nice — doesn’t want to upset any-anybody — kind of a guy.

B: Yeah.

K: It doesn’t make sense. [gives off an abrupt puff of amusement]

B: People who are famous in horror are — I mean, you expect when you meet Wes Craven, he’s gonna have fangs.

CC: Right.

B: You know what I mean?

CC: But he doesn’t either.

B: He doesn’t either. He’s a very normal nice guy. Yeah, exactly. It’s a surprise. I guess it all, it just comes from the mind. Did you — Was Halloween fun for you when you were growing up? Was that a holiday you enjoyed?

CC: [says this in the middle of starting to laugh] I, actually, I hate Halloween. [KBL chuckles]

B: No! Really?

LM: [in a mocking tone] …don’t want to dress up…I hate the pumpkins…

CC: It’s-it’s like a-a, uh, day for closet drag queens. [KBL crack up]

B: So the people who are doing Halloween year ’round, those are your folks.

CC: Yea-heh-heh… [KBL still chuckling]

K: [chuckling] …closet drag queens, I like that.

B: So how you’ve been? How was your summer? How’s your fall been?

CC: Uh–

B: Just crazy? Busy?

CC: — It’s been busy…with two shows again now and uh, (takes a breath in) travelling to Vancouver now and again. It’s just been a, uh, whirlwind. (lets the breath out)

K: Oh, you’re gonna forget about all those Vancouver people. [C chuckles]

K: What the hell, you’re back in L.A. now.

CC: I-I– Millenium’s still back there. So I still…

K: Oh, it is…

CC: yeah, yeah

K: I didn’t even realize that. No wonder you go back and forth.

CC: Yeah. And I love it actually.

K: Yeah, well, it’s a great city.

CC: yeah, yeah

K: Been up there a couple different times. It’s a great city.

B: What–

K: You have a lot–you have a lot, uh, to do with Millennium, too, this season again, right?

CC: Yeah, I’m back on the show. I-I left the show last year to do the X-Files movie. But I’m back in full force this year.

B: We love that show so much and you, you probably know this, but every week, we talk about it and every week, we urge people to check it out.

CC: thank god

B: Cause it’s on, I mean, let’s be honest, it’s a tough time slot, as you found out when The X-Files use to be on Fridays.

CC: yeah

B: It’s just a tough time slot.

K: I tape it every single week and watch it over the weekend.

CC: Although, we’ve hung in there. This is year three and, uh, last-last (?) we got a big victory over, uh, some new shows. So we’re still [some more proverbial CC-stutters here] we’re, uh, uh, still, uh, a strong show on the Fox network.

B: Alright let me ask you this because I know they’re a lot of Millennium fans who are wondering. You made quite a few changes in the off season

CC: mm-hmm

B: with, uh, with, uh, Frank Black and his family–situation. What was the, uh, what was the, uh, impetus behind jettisoning the wife?

CC: uh… [CKBL chuckle]

K: Do you consider it jettisoning the wife?

CC: The, uh, the truth is that she was a terrific actress and we just could never write enough story for her, uh, because Frank Black tended to, uh, get all the, uh, all the, uh, drama. So, uh, it was an over-idealized marriage, uh, he loved his wife, there wasn’t, there were no issues and so, uh, it was something that seems like it was time to go.

K: There wasn’t, uh, there wasn’t enough for her to do.

CC: Yeah, exactly.

K: Which is what– When we’ve had Megan Gallagher in here before, I mean, that was her fear that when she first signed up was just cause she knew it wasn’t gonna be a traditional relationship show, she was afraid she would be squeezed out.

CC: And I-I promised her otherwise but [L chuckles]

CC: in the end [starts to laugh] I couldn’t do it. [CKBL laugh]

LM: oh, well. heheh…

B: Let me, uh–

K: You’ve had a lot of these problems lately, Chris.

B: what–

K: Chris has convinced everybody in Hollywood that he’s the King… [CKBL chuckle]

K: …and now he’s got, like, 75 different projects to do… You gotta come through on them — that’s kinda tough.

B: Hey, let me read this, uh, email, because, uh, Chris, uh, wrote in yesterday with this question for you, Chris Carter. “As a loyal Millennium fan, I was glad to see Megan Gallagher’s character eliminated as the character grew tiresome for me. Ask Chris why we didn’t get to see her death though. It left this viewer really cold.” [CKL chuckle]

B: “Is there some way you could do some flashbacks? I understand she may not be under contract anymore, but someone dressed up as her should suffice.”

K: Cause we never actually got to see what happened to her. She just kinda wandered off into the…

CC: This-this guy wanted to *see* her die. [L laughs]

K: Yes, he wanted to see her.

CC: He really didn’t like her character. [KBL laugh]

K: I guess not. But, uh, there’s probably no plans for a flashback or anything of that, uh, sort at all, right?

CC: You never know, I mean, uh, the truth is I’d really like to get Megan back on the show and she is part of the mythology, if you will, of the show so, uh, I think there is reason to bring her back.

B: She should come back as a member of the Millennium group.

K: Yes, exactly. That’s right.

B: Dude, and Frank sees her and says, “What’re you *doing*?”

CC: Can I–

K: “I’m a member of the Millennium group.”

CC: –can I have a pen? [KBL crack up]

B: And then it’s a big end-of-the-season show-down between Frank and her! [pause]

B: You know, Chris can have this written by nine a.m., Lisa? (It’s 8:15) [K cracks up]

LM: I know, he’s that fast. [K still laughing]

B: Alright, now, what– Can you get rid of the, uh, the kid, though? Can you get rid of the annoying little girl? Is that possible? [K chuckles]

LM: She *is* annoying.

CC: I-I– She’s great. I like her.

B: Nooo. Nooo.

LM: in an annoying way

K: Bean doesn’t like kids at all. So you have to know that… [C chuckles]

B: She’s really annoying, Chris. [K chuckles]

B: What is she doing for ya? Does she just give– Is she supposed to give Frank some humanity? Is that why…?

CC: E-exactly. And it-it’s what grounds him. And it’s his reason for, you know, for doing what he does.

B: I wanna see her hit by lightning or something cool. [KLC chuckle]

B: Alright, now, uh, so now tell us about, uh, now on Millennium, Frank has kind of-kinda an unofficial partner…

CC: Right, right.

K: Let’s take a phone call about that real quick.

B: Oh, we have someone…

K: Right, we have Keith. Hello Keith.

Keith: Hi, I have a question about, um, someone who I really liked, was C.C.H. Pounder

CC: yeah

Keith: I know you made her, uh, a bad, uh, guy, as it were a bad woman,

CC: uh-huh

Keith: but I would’ve loved to see her becoming the new partner or something.

CC: She-she’s coming back this year.

Keith: Oh great.

CC: Yeah. So, uh, stay tuned.

B: Alright, what is the, uh, so, why does Frank now have, a, kind of a partner? Why did you decide to do that? Cause he’s kind of famous as a, as a loner.

CC: Right. Well, I-I didn’t want to do another cop show with Millennium so I wanted to do something different and I-I went outside of the-the typical t.v. franchise thing with the show and, uh, what I found was that, uh, moving to season three, we needed that franchise again and so we brought Frank back to the FBI again and gave him a partner, a woman, we didn’t want to do the Mulder-and-Scully relationship, um, so we gave-made it more of a teacher-student relationship and I think it’s worked out really nice. She’s a terrific actress and she’s really fun to write.

B: She is good.

K: yeah

B: She’s real good. And tonight you have KISS on the show?!

CC: Yeah.

B: Now you don’t picture a lot of stunt casting on a show like Millennium. [KL chuckle]

B: I was really surprised–

K: Would you consider this stunt casting?

B: When I saw this in the promos, I thought, well, it’s Halloween weekend. It kinda makes, uh, sense. We talked to Gene and Peter from-from KISS, earlier and they were telling us from their perspective. Now tell me where the idea came from.

CC: Um, Fox told me they were doing some promotional stuff with KISS and would we consider putting them on the show? And my first response was “You-you must be kidding.” [KB chuckle]

CC: Then we sort of tossed it around and thought why don’t we do a sort of spoof, a Halloween spoof, for, uh, Millennium, for, you know, Halloween, and, uh, uh, and so that sort of, uh, gave us an idea to use KISS. And, uh, they need the money. [KBL crack up]

K: Oh yeah, KISS really needs the money, alright. Did they need to do any sort of acting? Or are they pretty much playing themselves?

CC: They have cameo roles and you might not recognize them out of make-up, uh, we certainly didn’t. [K chuckles]

B: They are really *the* most unattractive band–of all time.

K: They’re the four ugliest guys in America.

B: I mean they really are.

CC: They’re hanging in there.

K: But they were good on the show then?

CC: yeah

B: They’re alive if that’s what you mean by ‘hanging in there.’ They are alive…barely. [K laughing]

K: Uh, so they’re, uh, so they’re playing themselves. And they– Did they perform on the show?

CC: They perform on the show too.

K: Wow, that’s wild.

CC: yeah

B: Now what if Fox had come to you and said, you know, “Hey, we’re doing a big Celine Dion pay-per-view.” [KL chuckle]

B: “Can you work” there? Would you have done that? I mean, are you a whore now? You sell yourself out? What’s the deal here? [CKL crack up]

B: Whatever Fox says, you know, you do?

CC: (chuckling) I-I actually like Celine Dion. (chuckling)

K: Oh!

B: Chris!

K: for god’s sake!

B: Dude, you could kill her on the show though. That’d be cool. [C still chuckling]

B: W’ that be neat?

LM: Drown her.

K: Come on, kill Celine. [L cracks up]

B: You’ve got the power to do that, Chris… [C still making little chuckles in the background]

B: Alright, we need to take a quick break. Uh, so, Millennium, nine o’clock tonight with the big Halloween spectacular, uh, with KISS on the show. We want to take a break. We want to find out some more about what’s coming up with The X-Files this season. And uh–

K: If it’s ever gonna start. [CC chuckles anew]

B: As the, officially, the last show *ever* to premiere, with the new season. The first show is the Christmas episode, right? [K chuckles]

B: …the way it’s going? And we’ll take some phone calls if you want to speak to Chris Carter.


K: Chris Carter is in the studios. Millennium tonight, nine o’clock. Uh, X-Files is returning on the…eighth? Is that right? The eighth of November?

CC: Yes.

K: Coming up a week from–a week from Sunday, it’ll be coming up. Uh, let me ask you a couple X-Files questions and then we’re gonna take, uh, take some calls for you, Chris. First of all, we had an interesting conversation on the air last week when FX re-aired the incest episode.

B: Oh man, that was ‘f’-ed up.

K: Which is one of the all time great hours in the history of television. [KBL chuckle]

B: You wrote that?

CC: No.

B: Oh, thank god.

K: Uh, here’s the question, is it true or is it just hype: Does that one not rerun on Fox?

CC: Yeah, the, uh, network will not, uh, will not rerun the show.

B: That’s the one where the mom is kept

LM: …under the floorboards…

B: under the floorboards.

CC: It’s funny cause it’s one of the all-time favorite episodes for, uh, for fans.

LM: oh yeah

CC: And yet there were enough complaints that…

B: And rightfully so. That was ‘f’-ed up. [KB chuckle]

K: When-when the thing– I-I wanna hear cause you were there at the time, when the episode was turned into Fox

CC: yeah

K: was there a phone call made to you from some big-wig at the network who said “Listen, you know, Chris, we love you, man, but we can’t–with the woman–and the–under the floorboard–and the kid–” Did they make a call to you and say “Don’t make us air this.”?

CC: There was a lot of nervousness before it ever aired, um, uh, just even in script form. Uh, Standards and Practices had a little, uh, problem with the, uh, scene where the son gets into the trunk with his mother–

K: yeah [KBL laugh]

B: But isn’t incest one of the great American values though?

CC: But it leaves a lot to the imagination and, uh, actually, people thought it was a very violent episode but if you look at it carefully, um, the violence is all imagined

B: yes

CC: it-it’s actually edited in such a way as to, uh, uh, you know, make the violence, uh, implied.

B: Mm-hmm. And, uh, did they ever, did they run it again at all? Or did they just run it one time on the Fox network?

CC: It aired one time and, uh…

B: It didn’t even come back for repeats.

CC: nope [K chuckles]

B: Wow, but, but FX, are they not getting the same complaints when they air it?

CC: Uh, they, they may be. Actually they asked us to edit out, uh, for network run again, scenes that we decided we didn’t want to edit out, so I-I don’t know what’s been edited out of the FX version, but, uh, all those FX episodes have at least a minute edited out of them. so.

B: oh I see

K: oh they do

B: We, uh– I hope you won’t be offended by this, but I taped it when it was on last week and now I’m selling copies to my friends for ten bucks a pop. [KL chuckle]

B: Uh, and this was weird. I had never seen the black-and-white episode

CC: yeah

B: that aired this past week, which was your Halloween show.

CC: yeah, yeah

B: That was *very* funny

CC: thank you

B: very funny. And Jerry Springer was on the show.

CC: Jerry Springer

B: The last person you’d except to show up on an X-Files but he was very funny on that thing. That was cool. It was a good episode.

CC: thank you

K: Alright, let’s take a few phone calls. Ted?

Ted: Good morning.

K: Say hi to Chris.

CC: Hello.

Ted: How are you?

CC: good

Ted: Good. Um, I was wondering about the X-Files expo. Are you gonna make it more intimate? It just seemed kind of…not as intimate as the previous ones.

B: Are you having trouble stalking Gillian? [KL chuckle]

B: What’s the problem here?

Ted: No, actually, thanks to KROQ, I got to meet her at the, uh, X-Files post party. So thank you.

K: okay

B: I don’t know but, Chris, you don’t have much to do with the expos, do you?

CC: Um, we do but, uh, I think right now they’re on hold, uh, until we figure out how to do them a little bit better.

B: Because they were getting a little too big?

CC: It-it-it’s just, uh, uh– We-we went around the country, uh, last year, and, uh, there were places where the expos really were, uh, big turn-outs for the expos and some places, they weren’t so we have to figure out where to do them again.

K: Oh I see. Okay. Hey thanks for the call. By the way, we talked to Gillian a, uh, couple of weeks ago. She seems real happy about being back here in Los Angeles.

B: yeah

K: She sounds like she was just having the time of her life.

CC: Both Dave and Gillian, I think, are very happy to be close to home.

B: How has it been for you, uh, envisioning the show, here in Southern California.

CC: It was a lot of work for me because we came back here and I had to hire a whole new crew and figure out how to do the show in Los Angeles. I’m still figuring it out and we’re in episode–doing episode nine.

K: yeah

CC: So, uh–

K: Where the aliens come on to the beach surfing? [KB laugh]

CC: Yeah, exactly. [C chuckles]

K: I mean, that’s kinda tough, isn’t it?

B: You’re just, uh, you’re just, uh, you just have to look at everything a little bit differently. I mean, that’s what Gillian said

CC: yeah

B: is you’re just doing a lot of deserts

CC: yeah

B: and stuff like that.

CC: David was funny. We were out in Lancaster for, I don’t know, a week straight or something. He said, “When’s the show coming back to Los Angeles?” [KB chuckle]

K: Alright, let’s, uh, say good morning to Ron. Hello Ron.

Ron: Good morning.

K: You have a question for Chris?

Ron: Yes, Chris, I, uh, was just wondering now that Frank is involved with the, uh, FBI,

CC: mm-hmm

Ron: is there a possibility of a Millennium/X-Files crossover?

CC: Yeah, this is the year to do, if we do it.

Ron: Yeah, oh great.

K: Wow, that was kind of a non-answer answer. [C chuckles]

B: Wouldn’t that be funny though if Frank’s walking down the hall of the FBI and, uh, Scully and Mulder just walk right past him and they don’t say anything, they just see him…

K: bump into him

CC: That would be the [chuckles] easiest crossover.

B: yeah, no kidding

K: Like, these guys, like, your staff has any more time to do a crossover, right?

CC: yeah, yeah. Well now, of course, you’d have to either get the Millennium people down to Los Angeles or the, uh, David and Gillian back up to Vancouver.

K: Now you said this year would be the year, if you were going to do it. Are you thinking of doing it?

CC: Yeah, actually, I thought about it but, um, I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do it, so it doesn’t just seem like some, sleazy, you know, ratings–

Ron: Hey Chris–

CC: yeah?

Ron: How ’bout, you know, um, uh, Scully and Frank kind of getting a thing on for an episode or two? [B chuckles]

K: Yeah, that’s not a sleazy, uh, ratings thing.

B: No, no, no, that, uh, that Lance Henriksen, man, he’s, uh, he’s a sexy guy. [CKB laughs]

K: I could certainly see that one working out. We had the director of your movie, Rob Bowman, in a little while ago and he was telling us that there’s additional footage on the home video too.

CC: yeah

K: What, uh, what kind of stuff did you leave in that was not on the, uh–

CC: There was some stuff to do with, uh, Mulder’s sister that was explained, and, uh, we just thought it was too much information for the, uh, for the movie, which was, uh, pretty complex. So we decided to take it out and deal with it in season six of the show, but, uh, we put it back in for the widescreen movie version.

B: So for folks who’re watching on the t.v. show, they’re not gonna get that, they’re not gonna know what that information is. You’ve gotta see the movie on home video, right?

CC: Yeah, you can get it in the movie or, you know, season six will explain a lot that, uh, was set up in the movie.

B: Yeah, if season six ever starts, dude. [CKB crack up]

B: Come on, get with the program.

K: Chris Carter’s in the studio. Can you stay for one more?

CC: Yeah, yeah.

K: Do you mind? We’ll take some more phone calls.

B: We have our big interview with the Los Angeles Kings coming up next. That’s my only fear with Chris.

K: We can move that.

B: Okay, I didn’t know that.

K: Yeah, we can move that. Trust me. Everything can be worked out.

CC: Trust no one. [KB crack up]


B: Hey, speaking of Billy Corgan, by the way, Chris, you know him, right?

CC: Yeah.

B: Hasn’t he been up to the set of The X-Files in Vancouver?

CC: He spent some time on the set but I got to see, uh, one of his shows up there and go back and meet him and he was cool.

B: He’s a hell of a guy. I can’t remember if it’s–if he told us this story or Duchovny told us this story, but somehow somebody got somebody’s watch. Do you know anything about that?

CC: Yeah. He got–[chuckles]

B: He got Dave’s watch.

CC: I-I was informed that an X-Files watch had disappeared, uh–somehow, someone had stolen [chuckles] it and then I later learned that David had actually just given it to Billy.

K: Given it to Billy. [B chuckles]

K: Well, we can, you know, we can ruffle him up and get it back for ya if you want–we’re gonna talk to him in, like, thirty minutes here or so. Alright, Chris Carter is in the studio, with two great shows, uh, on the Fox network. Millennium, tonight, nine o’clock. It’s the special Halloween episode. And then The X-Files premieres a week from Sunday. By the way, before we go to some more phone calls here, what did I read in the paper about you, uh, signing, uh, a big contract for some–to write some books.

CC: Yeah, it’s a little premature. It’s not finished.

B: It’s not gonna happen.

CC: yeah, yeah–well, it may happen.

K: Have you written books before?

CC: Uh, not books. [pause]

B: But there’s *nothing* he can’t do. [K chuckle]

K: What kinds of stuff are you interested in writing?

CC: It-it actually has to do with, a little, with the supernatural but they’re period pieces–something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. And just an opportunity arose.

B: Could there–could this be the, uh, could this be, the, the, genesis of some new series down the road, maybe? Or–

CC: Quite possibly.

K: Who knows.

B: Wow.

K: Man, you’re just, uh, you’re a tumultuous (?) machine.

B: Well, with all your spare time, you think you gotta write books, right? You gonna do a Broadway play? [CKL chuckle]

B: A one-man Broadway play?

K: Why not. Alright, let’s take a few more calls. Cathy in Pico Rivera. Hello.

Cathy: Hi. Hi Chris.

CC: Hi.

Cathy: I wanted to know how can you, um, cast your extras. It would be kind of fun to be a creepy person on one of your shows.

K: Now that you’re down here.

B: Well, they let Tad audition for the show before. (Tad is an intern on the show who tried out for the part of the pizza boy in Bad Blood.) So there’s not much of a process. [K chuckles]

Cathy: Yeah, that’s scary.

CC: I think you have to be a member of the, uh, Extras Guild, which is a part of SAG now, so you actually have to go through a process to, uh, be, um, considered.

B: Is that true? Even to be on just one time?

CC: Uh, no, you could, you, I mean… if-if you know me [chuckles] you could be on– [CKBL laugh]

B: Alright, then let’s dust Cathy and let’s hit up Chris again. And how many times have we said this to him? Kill us on The X-Files.

LM: Yes, kill them.

B: Chris, you’re here in L.A. now.

K: You got some kind of scene where we flash onto the screen for maybe two seconds, and then a train, and then just, like, a train hits us. [C chuckles]

K: Come on.

CC: It’s a deal.

K: We’re not asking for that much.

LM: Whoa, whoa. Did you hear? It’s a deal.

K: Are you gonna do it though?

B: Yeah, but he’s said that five times last time.

LM: Oh he did?

K: And he’s already, he’s already in episode nine for this season. You’re telling me you haven’t killed *anybody* in the first eight episodes?

CC: We have, uh, a year and a half to go.

B: alright. [K chuckles]

K: Chris… [L groans]

K: Don’t be stretching it out ’til the last episode. We’ll have to hunt you down.

B: Chris–

CC: Let me know if your ratings are descending. [B chuckles]

K: Dude, we want you to put us on the show as bodies, as corpses. [C chuckles]

K: seriously [C chuckles]

K: we’re not joking here, pal

CC: Don’t-don’t you want do something else besides be corpses?

K: No, we just–

LM: –wouldn’t look good as anything else. [C chuckles]

B: Well, we want the audience to see the process of going from human beings to corpses.

K: We wanna die.

B: I mean there are times when people, uh, uh–very brief roles where people get killed on the show.

CC: That’s true.

K: That’s all we’re asking. I mean, we can be bad guys who get shot or something. We don’t care how we die. We leave that up to you. We just wanna die.

CC: Okay.

K: Alright.

B: It can be like an Airplane, uh, scene, like the movie Airplane, where Dave and Gillian drive up in a car, and they just hit us for no reason. [CL chuckle]

B: Alright, let’s say good morning to JoAnna. Hello.

JoAnna: Hello my funk soul brothers. [B chuckles]

K: Yes, JoAnna, you’re on with Chris Carter.

B: I think Chris Carter would, uh, would be, uh, a funk soul brother too.

K: I think so.

B: If I’m not mistaken.

K: Alright, go ahead JoAnna.

JoAnna: Uh, I had a question about the movie.

CC: mm-hmm…

JoAnna: Where is that in the planning stages right now? Is it being shot? Is it still being written?

CC: You mean the next movie?

JoAnna: Yeah.

K: Oh, your staff is gonna commit suicide if you get them on another movie right away.

CC: Yeah, we’re think–it’s in the thinking stages right now. Uh, there was some talk about trying to do it, uh, this coming summer so it would come up at the end of the X-Files series, which would be after season seven but, uh, that’s not gonna happen.

JoAnna: What ever happened to the last movie that came out? The rumors were it was supposed to pick up where the season finale ended and that didn’t happen.

CC: It-it kind of did. Um, the X-Files had been closed and, uh, Mulder and Scully began anew in the movie. So that was really where one picked, uh–left off and one picked up. Um, but now when you watch the season opener this year–November eighth–um, Sunday night [KBL chuckle]

CC: uh, you will see that, uh [ching sound] [C chuckles]

CC: it emphasizes both the season finale and the movie, and, uh, we pick up from there.

K: Was the plan when the movie came out–and was obviously very successful–is that when you started thinking “hey we should do some more of these, you know, every couple of years maybe. I mean, even perhaps like they did with the Star Trek movie where the show is not on anymore but the movie’s still come out.

CC: It’s kind of the idea. I think it’s a chance for us to get together and do some, something every year or two. Uh, and, um, the t.v. series will become the movie series, I hope.

B: How do, uh, how do your actors feel about that in terms of the long-range plans?

CC: I think they’re cool with it. Uh, I think everybody’s going to be, after season seven, happy to, uh, you know, call it quits for a time. But, uh, I don’t know, we have fun working together I think, so, um, I look forward to it.

K: It’d be cool to have a new X-Files movie every year or two.

B: In your mind–so you have two seasons left, right–in your mind, do you already, kind of know, where it’s all, uh, going? Are you already now starting to put the pieces in play?

CC: For this year, I do. Uh, next year is a big year, of course, because, uh, we’re headed toward, you know, the, uh, the end

K: millennium

CC: the finale and so–yeah, the millennium, exactly–so there’re lots of questions to answer.

B: Do you know what the ultimate end is going to be? You just don’t know how to get there?

CC: I-I’ve had some ideas and they’ve changed over time but, but uh, I have a rough idea. I’m not telling anyone of course.

LM: Of course. [K chuckles]

B: I think that’s wise. [CKBL chuckle]

B: I can’t disagree with that as a strategy really.

K: Where you want to go to here?

B: Uh, let me see–blah…blah–I don’t know what Lisa’s calling about. Let’s try Lisa.

K: Lisa? Hello?

Lisa: Hello?

K: Hi. Lisa, are you west L.A.?

Lisa: Uh, yeah.

K: Go ahead. You’re on with Chris Carter.

Lisa: Oh, hi, um, actually, I work for Scientific American magazine…

CC: oh yeah?

Lisa: and we had read somewhere that you sometimes use the magazine as a background for some of your storylines.

CC: uh-huh

Lisa: Is that true or–?

B: Are you calling to sue? [CKBL chuckle]

Lisa: Oh god, no. [laughs] No, no, I’m just a listener of the show and I’m on my way to work.

CC: Actually the show has, uh–If it weren’t for, uh, Scully’s good science, uh, the show wouldn’t be, uh, would have no counterpoint to Mulder’s weird science. So we use, uh, magazines like Scientific American, journals and all sorts of really good, uh, scientific foundation to, uh, to do our stories.

Lisa: That’s great.

B: That woman that was profiled in People magazine as being kind of the science–

CC: yeah

B: We had her on the show.

CC: Dr. Ann Simon?

B: Yeah, yeah. She was terrific.

CC: She’s great.

K: She is a party waiting to happen. She, uh, she says she just does it for the love of science. I mean, she’s not interested in showbiz really and she didn’t really know much about the show. She just said “hey I’m just happy to be able to spread good information.”

CC: Yeah, she’s been great. Uh, anything to do with genes or viruses.

B: Yeah, yeah.

CC: she’s an expert.

B: She seems like a nice lady too.

CC: very nice

B: Alright, do we have one more, our big closer?

K: We’ll try Jeff.

B: alright

K: See what he’s got. Jeff in Tustin.

Jeff: Hey, how you guys doing.

K: Good, thank you.

Jeff: Chris, just want you to know that I’m a huge fan, right off the bat, of X-Files.

CC: thank you very much

Jeff: Yeah, and the Peacock episode was awesome, unbelievable. But, um, one of my favorite things about The X-Files is the use of a lot of your hidden meanings and stuff. How you use a lot of your relatives and influences’ names and characters and birthday numbers and file numbers and just any type of number, anything that comes up, sometimes have meaning behind it.

CC: uh-huh

Jeff: And I was just wondering if you could give examples of upcoming or unknown ones in future episodes or maybe where we could find out more about that.

B: He wants to know if there’s a key to crack the code of what everything means. [chuckles]

B: The internet is your friend, Jeff, I’m telling you.

Jeff: –behind it and a lot of information that you put out there.

K: Wow, this guy frightens me.

B: Yeah, it’s very scary.

K: I don’t care where you come up with your numbers. [L chuckles]

B: I’m a big fan of the show. I didn’t know all that stuff.

CC: Neither did I. [KBL crack up]

K: Do you do that? Do you put relatives’ names–

CC: Uh, yeah, there’s lots–there’s relatives’ names. I’ve got, uh, dead girlfriends, uh, strewn across the, uh, five years of the show. [CKBL chuckle]

K: Is that right?

B: Wow, how many dead girlfriends do you have, Chris? That kind of concerns me. [K chuckles]

CC: Um, I got a letter from, uh, an old friend high school who thanked me for being a dead person on The X-Files. [L chuckles]

K: Oh very nice.

B: Hey, uh, wouldn’t it be great to see Kevin and Bean get killed on The X-Files? [chuckles]

B: Alright, here’s one more plot idea, Chris. And I know you get tired of this because everywhere you go, people, I’m sure, everywhere you go, people go “dude, I got this great idea for the show.”

K: But we really do.

B: This is, no, seriously, I know this sounds fantastic, unbelievable, it could never happen, but I think you could pull this off on X-Files. You got a guy who’s running for sheriff, okay, but here’s the thing: he’s dead but he still wins. (This is a real news story in California right now.)

CC: That story is…too weird for me. [CKBL chuckle]

K: Isn’t it though?

LM: It could never happen.

CC: That headline this morning was unbelievable.

B: Here’s the headline in today’s Los Angeles Times. Tell me if you’ve ever seen anything stranger in a newspaper. “Sheriff Block Dies, His Campaign Still On, Backers Say.”

K: Everybody wants to vote him, still, sheriff.

B: Seriously, that’s the weirdest thing–it is stranger than fiction. [chuckles]

K: Alright folks, let’s say goodbye to our friend, Chris Carter. Millennium, tonight, nine o’clock on Fox, the big Halloween show. That is a terrific program. Lance Henriksen is one of the finest actors on t.v. It really is a great show. We’re so proud of that.

CC: Thank you very much. Thank you.

K: And we urge everyone to watch that. Then on The X-Files, premieres, like, in eight weeks or so.

B: I think it’s Valentine’s Day. [L chuckles]

K: That’s right. Valentine’s Day is gonna be the first one of the season.

B: No, actually, it’s gonna be a week from Sunday. It’s finally here–a week from Sunday.

CC: That’s right.

B: We can’t wait. Chris, say hi to the cast for us–

CC: Uh, David and Gillian and Lance and Claya–and–

B: everybody, everybody you know

CC: I want to say hi to my wife too cause I know she’s listening.

B: Okay, you can call her on the phone too, you know. [CKBL crack up]

B: We’re trying to do a radio show here, Chris. You can take care of your personal business– No, I meant, *when you see them,* when you see them: Hey, Kevin and Bean say hi.

K: We can say “Hi Dave” now, ourselves.

CC: I gotcha. [CKBL chuckle]

K: Chris Carter, everybody.

CC: Thank you.

Cult Times: Myth Maker

Cult Times
Myth Maker
Melissa J. Perenson

We sent Cult Times’ best agents to try to get the truth out of Chris “Conspiracy” Carter once and for all

Chris Carter, The X-Files executive producer, leans back in his chair as he discusses his hit series and the new feature film that has resulted from its success. “I had a three day surfing weekend and I was thinking about what it is as a surfer that I bring to my occupation.” Carter, a long-time surfer who spent over a decade earlier in his career as an editor and writer at Surfing magazine, certainly looks the part, given his relaxed, laid-back manner and his casual dress consisting of jeans and a T-shirt.

“I think, for me, it’s a minimalist sort of self-reliance, a focus that all surfers have,” he continues. “Surfers have this one thing they love to do, and I’ve sort of taken that focused energy and applied it to what I do. That has nothing to do with anything other than basically a work ethic.”

Whatever its origin, Carter’s solid work ethic has certainly achieved results: The X-Files is widely recognized as being one of the best series currently on television. Rather than feel the pressure to succeed ratchet up a notch, Carter has drawn strength from the show’s popularity. “Does the pressure mount? It’s the same pressure. You still face that same blank page,” he confides. “What you start to develop, though, is confidence in your ability to come up with the ideas, confidence in your ability to execute the ideas, so in that way the pressures are the same, but your confidence builds.”

After 16 Emmy nominations, and a worldwide box office take that’s well over the magical 100 million dollar mark, Carter should be experiencing an abundance of confidence right about now. In fact, the only wildcard going into the series’ sixth season is how, if at all, the show’s relocation from Vancouver to Los Angeles will affect The X-Files’ trademark dark and atmospheric look.

“I’m going to do a heatwave episode,” jokes Carter about the impact of their new location on the show’s dark and damp settings. “Mulder and Scully solve crimes in different cities, so we’ll just take advantage of some environments to do stories in Nevada and Idaho and California and New Mexico and Texas. We’ll use places like that, that we wouldn’t have been able to use in Vancouver. The show is really told at locations around the country. So we’ll get to be in different places telling new kinds of stories.”

Even though the favourable exchange rate in Canada made filming in Vancouver a producer’s dream, Carter plans to keep any budget increases in check, and to avoid a sudden surge. “It better not, or else I’m in big trouble,” he laughs good-naturedly. “I think that there will be some increases. I hope to minimize those. But I don’t know – there are going to be some increased costs, and that just happens to be the nature of what we do.”

Carter had a taste of what it’s like working with a larger budget while filming The X-Files feature last year. The feature’s budget was about $65 million. With it came a level of action and special effects that could never have been attempted on the kind of money available to a weekly television series.

One of the toughest things about doing the film was getting the fifth season of the show to end up where it needed to be in order to set up the film. “That was the hard part, because we never plan too far ahead, by design. We want to feel our way through the dark a little bit, with a general idea of where we’re headed,” explains Carter. “Season Five was the first season that we actually knew what we needed to accomplish. So we knew there were certain marks we needed to hit, certain characters we needed to bring in and out, belief systems that needed to be played with. It actually provided us with a much more rigid set of demands in the story telling than we’ve ever been set with.”

Determining how to get there required a road map of sorts. “We just sat down and tried to imagine everything. We tried to be very big and bold about it and not hold anything back. We wanted to put it all out there,” Carter says. “Because my philosophy is don’t hold back, just put as much out there as you can. There will always be more stories to tell, there will always be something else to do that you can’t really exhaust these things completely because you can always turn them, flip them, take the truth back and make it a lie. There are lots of ways to play with The X Files.”

While the original plan was to have the fifth season finale lead directly into the film, Twentieth Century Fox vetoed that plan: “They were afraid that people would think that you needed to be an avid fan to watch the movie,” Carter reveals. “So they started back-pedaling a little bit. And I understand why they did it. They invested a lot of money in the movie, so they want to make sure it’s a hit. I think you’ll get more enjoyment out of the movie if you do know some facts, but I think you can completely enjoy the movie not knowing anything.”

It was important to Carter that the film maintain a balance so that it could appeal to fans who’ve invested in the series as well as newcomers to The X-Files. “You don’t want to alienate the hardcore audience. The movie,” he recognizes, “really in a way, came as a result of there being fans. And you don’t want to make it a movie that alienates the other movie-going audience because you want to make it a great movie-going experience for anybody who doesn’t watch television or The X-Files. So you try to calculate all these things and address them all.”

One story element Carter originally intended to include in the film – the explanation of what really happened to Samantha – was pulled from the final cut of the feature. “It wasn’t that we took something out that needed to be there,” he explains, emphasizing that the Samantha mention was getting lost in the shuffle of the movie’s bigger themes. “It’s something that is going to now be addressed naturally through the story telling process.” According to Carter, Samantha is just one of several outstanding XF issues that will be addressed in the coming season.

While the film’s director, Rob Bowman, has said in the past that he didn’t think the movie gave dedicated viewers as much cake as they wanted, Carter disagrees. “I think it’s given then a lot. I think there are lots of big, big answers in there. And big things happened that I think really satisfy the audience. But it’s not like we brought the series to an end, though. We didn’t sacrifice everything, but there are big things that happen in the movie.”

As some of the series’ more astute fans may have noticed, Carter purposefully paraphrased a line from the second season episode, Ascension, when he had the Well-Manicured Man (John Neville) state to his Consortium colleagues, “Kill Mulder, we take the risk of turning one man’s quest into a crusade.” “I just did what I thought was right. I didn’t weigh it that carefully,” says Carter of his choice to use a quote similar to the one used so long ago. “I did what I felt was right for the story we were telling. And that line, which I think is really an important line, says why they don’t just ‘off’ Mulder. It’s important to understand why they just don’t kill him. Imagine if you’ve got a guy out there railing against the world. But still, he could become a martyr to a much bigger cause. It suggests, as it’s been suggested in the series, that Mulder may be out there doing work for them [the Consortium]. In fact, he may be a pawn in a much bigger game.”

That there’s a bigger game afoot draws heavily on Carter’s early influences of conspiracy theories and scary stories. Carter’s own belief in conspiracies was forged while he was in high school. “It was right when I was becoming an angry young man,” he laughs. “Watergate happened and I developed this sense of paranoia and lost all of my faith in institutions. I loved that movie All the President’s Men, and those sorts of things helped to foster and cultivate my natural paranoia.”

Also as a teenager, Carter found himself drawn to Kolchak: The Night Stalker. “I could have watched it every night of the week. I loved that show as a kid,” he recalls.

“Then I end up becoming a television series creator and, after being in the business for about 10 years, someone asks me what I want to do, and I said I wanted to do something as scary as Kolchak: The Night Stalker, since there’s nothing scary on TV anymore. They said that sounds like a good idea. And that’s how you got The X Files.”

Ironically, Carter seems to identify better with Scully’s scepticism than Mulder’s willingness to believe. “I’m a sceptic,” admits Carter of his own perspective. Indeed, Carter had initially been sceptical of the series’ long-term prospects when it first premiered in 1993; certainly, he hadn’t anticipated the groundswell of popularity that has since launched the show to previously unimaginable heights.

Although Carter likes to say that it’s TXF stories that draw viewers week after week, he recognizes the important role that actors David Duchovny (Agent Mulder) and Gillian Anderson (Agent Scully) have played in making the series the phenomenon it is. “Their stardom, international stardom, beyond just even here [in the US], has been the thing on which we’ve all been successful,” he admits. Plus, he adds, “they need good stories and they’ve gotten good stories, so that’s very important to the success of the show.”

Another reason Carter cites when speaking of the series’ success is the sheer ambiguity of the meaning behind the stories told. “‘The truth is out there’ – these are all metaphors for something bigger and really are kind of religious, if you think about it,” Carter offers, “you can replace the word ‘truth’ with another word very easily. So I think that’s what gives the show its magnetism.”

Ambiguity is all fine and good, yet even Carter realized the need to spell things out once in a while. Which explains the short narrative piece that’s included on The X-Files’ movie soundtrack, also featuring music by such artists as the Foo Fighters, Crystal X [sic], and Noel Gallagher. “What I really did with that is tell you what you’ve seen in the series. It doesn’t tell you anything more,” he maintains. The explanation of the conspiracy “is very dense and you’ve got to listen to it very carefully, as it sets up what happens in the movie. I just thought it was an opportunity to give something a little special to people who are paying attention.”

Carter knows he treads a thin line between viewer loyalty and utter frustration as he keeps dangling questions in front of audiences, but, as he says, “that’s the fun of the show. I hopefully provide enough sustenance that people are able to enjoy it.”

Case in point: the electric tension surrounding Mulder and Scully’s relationship. The romantic overtones of not just the now-infamous hallway scene’s almost-kiss, but indeed the entire film, are a development that at one time Carter eschewed – and yet, viewers have been interpreting that level of emotion for years. Now, five years later, the tide has changed. Somewhat. “I think it’s a natural expression of the love these two people obviously have for one another. And that was an expression of that love, it’s not necessarily a perfectly…” Carter drifts off for a moment, stumbling for the right words to describe his thoughts on the matter. “It’s not a sexual expression. That they almost kiss isn’t stepping over a line that I think that neither of them are quite prepared to step over. But it’s a quite believable one,” Carter insists. “That it doesn’t happen, that’s part of the fun.”

Although Carter says Mulder and Scully’s relationship will be dealt with in Season Six, he does stick firm to one of his former proclamations: “I don’t see Mulder and Scully getting in the sack.”

In addition to tackling Mulder and Scully’s relationship, the sixth season opener, The Beginning, picks up on the plot from the fifth season finale, resolving at least some of the outstanding issues concerning Agent Diana Fowley (Mimi Rogers) and the chess prodigy Gibson Praise.

Although you won’t need to have seen the movie in order to follow the series, the virus that affected Scully in the film will be brought back into the limelight, as will Scully’s abduction. “We’re going to point it out in a big way this season. I mean, her abduction was all-important to the mythology of the show,” teases Carter.

When asked whether there will be references to the spaceships and aliens from the movie as well, Carter affirms, “Yes, there will be.” Switching gears a bit, he continues, “I think what’s interesting is the fact that this group, which seems to be orchestrating the whole thing, has stated that they are working on a vaccine. But if they’ve been working on a vaccine, that means in fact they could be a force of good. So there is some question about what their agenda really is.”

The movie’s new directions promise to give the series a renewed energy as it heads into its sixth season, a critical time when most series start showing their age. “We’ve got a lot to play with,” says Carter with a twinkle in his eye. Reading between the lines, that means: ‘Expect the unexpected.’ After all, that’s what The X-Files continually does best.