X-Files Creator Chris Carter on The Mulder & Scully Reunion, Lone Gunmen & More X-Files Stories

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The truth is out there people, and its coming straight from The X-Files creator himself, Chris Carter.

I had the true honor to talk with X-Files series creator, and massive writing genius, Chris Carter about the new season of The X-Files which aired last Sunday on Fox.

While this new season is simply a six episode series event, it still wets the whistle and leaves audiences craving more for this science fiction show about aliens and the two detectives (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) searching for the truth behind it all.

While Carter didn’t want to spoil much for fans eagerly awaiting the shows return, he did give us a few hints about what we can expect, a few of his favorite things about the show and the fandom supporting it, and if we can expect any future episodes of this massive sci-fi hit that inspired a legion of fans in the near future. (Hint: he and the cast are game.)

So without further ado, here’s the man, myth, and legend himself. So try and ditch the Cigarette Smoking Man while you can, and be prepared to find the truth for yourself in our interview with Chris Carter.

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THE X-FILES: BEHIND THE SCENES: Chris Carter (R) during a production meeting. Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX

When The X-Files first aired, obviously, it was hugely popular on the internet, but there was not exactly social media then. Can you talk about how you think that’s going to affect the new show and if you have any plans with social media, specifically, to engage the fans?

Personally, I have an Instagram account that I think I’ve posted two photos to. I’m not a social media person but I appreciate how much social media plays a part in the interaction between fans and the interaction between fans and producers.

When I went to a marketing meeting with Fox before we shot the show, or during the shooting of the show, I was amazed to see that there were 50 people in the room and I’d say a good amount of them were there because they conduct marketing via social media, so the show is marketed very actively on social media platforms. I think that the second screen experience will help the show. I think that the show will, I think, rise, or I should say, its popularity will be enhanced by what I think is the beauty of social media.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX
Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/FOX

What was so enjoyable about the premiere episode was that it was a 2016 perspective on ’90s perceptions and it sort of flipped the script on what Mulder thought he knew about what was going on. Can you talk a little bit about where the basis for sort of turning everything on its ear came from and exploring that? Will we spend all six exploring that?

In a way, all six explore it because they are told in a contemporary context. They turn the mythology not necessarily on its head, but the mythology takes a big right hand turn and that plays most actively in the first and last episodes. But I think that technology, and it’s really technology is what you’re talking about, besides what I would call a very strong undercurrent of distrust for government, authority, and for the picture we’re being sold.

But the show is, I think, owes to people like Alex Jones, people like Glenn Beck, and all the conspiracy sites that I look at on the internet, that I digest every day. I get a lot of stuff in my mailbox every day from these sites. I’ve also been—I’ve gone to conventions. I’m actively up on this stuff and I’m actually surprised sometimes how many journalists are unaware of these, as I say, very strong undercurrents.

Picking up these characters after such a long stretch, was there any one thing that was easiest or hardest to pick back up about writing for Mulder and Scully again?

No. As you see, they’re no longer together. They’re not under the same roof, I should say, so that provided an interesting point of departure dramatically and I think that it made the characters interesting to explore because that’s how they began their lives together. Their lives changed. They were a couple and now they’re apart, so as we’ve lived our lives, they have lived theirs. That’s the way we’re playing it.

Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FOX
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FOX

In your initial meetings with Fox, when they were talking about bringing the series back, were there any bullet points, or specifics, that they wanted to have you hit in bringing it back?

No, nothing. They were very respectful that the producers know what they’re doing and what we’re doing. That said, they were very specific about where they wanted to do it, which was Vancouver, which was music to my ears. So I was happy to hear that. Of course, when they called me they said David and Gillian wanted to do it. I wouldn’t have done it without David and Gillian. I think there’s this idea that I own the show and I don’t. I’m one of the, I would say, a stakeholder in this show but Fox can do anything they darn well please.

You’ve mentioned you have a third movie that you’ve written but now that you’ve done the six-episode arc and kind of have seen how that looks, a) is that’s still the movie you would put out at this point and b) would you rather keep doing these kinds of shorter, episodic versions?

I like doing the television show because it gives me a chance to tell a lot of interesting X-Files stories. I probably wouldn’t want to do the third movie that I wrote. I think I would have to rethink it. I might use some elements of it. I can tell you that if and when we do a third movie, I wouldn’t do it if it were not the proper budget and the proper release date. I feel we didn’t have either in the last movie, so I’d be looking to do something more like the first movie.

Just out of curiosity, are there any plots or characters from the original series that you would have liked, or the movies, that you would have liked to have brought back this round that either you couldn’t just because of the episode period or because of conflicts?

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You know, I can’t think of anything specifically. There’s an episode that I’ve wanted to do for about 20 years and one day I actually may do it, but it didn’t work out in this series. You know, when you only have six, you have to be very selective of the kinds of stories you tell and they’ve got to work not just individually but kind of work together as a whole and so I think that’s why you’re seeing the episodes that you’re seeing now.

You talked a little bit about the Scully/Mulder relationship and where it stands in the beginning. Could you talk a little bit about how it will evolve over these six episodes and if we will see them getting closer to where we had last left them?

So, it was my thinking and our thinking, the producers, that Mulder and Scully would have had a very hard time living under the same roof based on their personalities and their passions. I see Mulder now as probably, because he’s got Google and the Internet and search engines, he probably spends a lot of time sitting at home in front of his computer in his underwear. I didn’t imagine that would sit well with Scully who is a serious scientist and doctor, so I think it would spell, I believe it would spell a bump in the road for them, which is why you find them not together. But I think you’ll see, through the course of these six episodes, that they begin to be drawn closer together through not just their investigations but through, I would call it, a deep love for one another.

With these six episodes, is there any thinking that if it’s successful, that you’ll be bringing it back for more?

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I think everyone had a very good experience. I think everyone’s happy with the way it worked out. I think, now, it’s waiting to see if we build it, will the audience come? I hope they will. It’s seems as if there is a viewership out there but, you know, we live in a different world now where the viewership is fractured. Fox has fewer viewers. They are able to market, do on-air promotions, reaches fewer people. Everyone’s got to get the word out there in order to get the ratings that will promote more episodes.

You have a lot of the great writers from the show: James Wong, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, all back for this event. What was it like getting the band back together, like giving them that call or that email asking them that they wanted to come back. What was that experience like?

You know, it’s funny. I don’t remember specifically calling them and asking them. It kind of happened—Glen and I share an agent, so it kind of happened through our agent and then the same agent told me that Jim was interested. Glen told me that Darin was interested. The band kind of folded back together in the most natural way. Everyone had good ideas. Jim and I are tennis players. We played tennis one day, sat down and talked about his episode, but Glen and Darin both had very worked-out ideas when we first met in Glen’s backyard way back in the spring of last year. So the band came back together as if no time had passed at all.

Can you tell us anything about the role The Lone Gunmen are playing in this six-episode series?

I would only spoil it for you if I told you, but I can tell you that they come back in a way that you will absolutely never expect. If I gave you 100 guesses, right now, you’d never get it.

Chris Carter’s The X-Files airs Monday nights on FOX.

Hello!
My name is Laura Dengrove. I am currently a Junior at Rutgers University, double majoring in Journalism/Media Studies and Cinema Studies. I am a film critic and interviewer by choice, professional Linda Belcher impersonator by birth.

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