(PCM) If you are anything like us than you are positively overjoyed that The X-Files is back on TV! Over the years there has been a ton of murmuring and hope among fans that the series would finally make it’s way back, however this was not concrete until the official announcement was made in March of 2015 that we would be getting at least six new episodes of our beloved sci-fi series.
After viewing the first three episodes, we can truly say it feels as if no time has passed at all despite that fourteen years has gone by since we had a chance to delve into the mysteries and conspiracies that surround The X-Files with duo Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. What was even more thrilling for fans was that both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson had both agreed to reprise their roles.
The new episodes are everything you would imagine and showcase what we adored about the show from the very beginning. They provide the perfect blend of both drama and humor while keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. While the first two episodes provide us with a darker and edgier X-Files, especially showcasing the way the characters have adapted to the world we live in today (a breeding ground for conspiracy), episode three takes us back to The X-Files we all knew and loved, it’s fantastic!
We recently had a chance to catch up with series creator Chris Carter to chat about the new episodes, revisiting the characters of Mulder and Scully in a new world, conspiracy theories and more.
On Scully’s decision to give William up and it’s effect on these new episodes of the show
CHRIS CARTER: If you remember, they gave up William to protect him. They were afraid that with his whereabouts known, meaning that either one of them would have him, that they would be better to give him up and not know his whereabouts so they couldn’t be tortured into giving him up. So, obviously, William is all important, not to just them, but to others and he will play an important part in not just the episode you saw that aired as Episode 2, but also in Episode 4. But I think he’s always, even though he’s not in the show, per se, he is an absent presence.
On how the up rise of social media will have an effect on the series
CC: 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.
On the basis for sort of turning everything on its ear. such as exploring 2016 from a 90’s perspective
CC: 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.
On writing for Mulder and Scully again
CC: 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.
On deciding the way the first episode would be put together and completed after being away from these characters for quite some time
CC: Well, it took a lot of consideration because I had to think about the characters and their relationships. I had to think about the character in a contemporary context, so much has changed technologically, geopolitically, so I had to put a contemporary context both personally and professionally. I also had to be mindful that the reason we’re back is because of the hardcore fans but, also, there is another audience out there that I think everyone wants to—doesn’t want to ignore as a possible new audience. With more viewers there’s a chance for more X-Files.
On the possibility of a third movie
CC: 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.
On Mulder and Scully’s evolving relationship in the first three episode and if eventually we will see them where we left them years ago
CC: 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.
On seeing a present day William in the new episodes
CC: He does not appear again in the series, but he is important to the arc of the stories going forward.
On how the fandom for the series has evolved
CC: It’s hard for me to say because I don’t—in term of its systematic sophistication, I guess it has because of social media. I still hear the drumbeat loud and clear. I would say it takes, for me, experiences like Comic-Com 2013 where I got a direct hit from the fans for their desire to see this show, either back on the big screen or back on the small screen. It’s that direct experience that is most impressive to me.
On FOX developing any non-X-Files projects he has worked on or developed such as bringing back Millennium
CC: Right now we’re so focused on this that there are no talks about doing anything else. I can tell you, there is a constant drumbeat to bring back Millennium and I’m just always so taken by that, also that hardcore group of fans out there who would like to see it back. I have ideas how it might come back but, it’s really, once again, it’s a Fox show. They own it. It’s really up to them whether or not they would ever want to go down that road.
But, you know, I also think Harsh Realm would deserve another chance. I’m not sure if The Lone Gunmen would ever see the light of day, but Unique would be a show I would love to see done, if not at Fox, someplace else.
On bringing back writers James Wong, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, for this event series
CC: 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.
On the role of The Lone Gunman in this six-episode series
CC: 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.
On the differences between working the FOX on the series now versus when it first aired
CC: You know, when you first get up and running, everyone is very nervous because you’re spending millions of dollars. Everyone is prepared for you to be a big failure. They’re prepared for you to waste all their money so everyone, there’s a tremendous amount of nervousness. This time out, there was a tremendous amount of respect. Fox was very hands-off in almost all respects. That’s not to say they didn’t have notes, they didn’t have ideas, they didn’t have suggestions, they didn’t have good direction…
They have done a fantastic job marketing this show, but it’s funny that we came back to do six episodes which, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t seem like very many. I can tell you that I’ve worked as hard on these six episodes as I ever worked on this show and my involvement with Fox was as—even though, as I said, it was respectful, it was as collaborative as I’ve ever experienced.
On the possibility of additional episodes
CC: You know, 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.
On why 2016 was the right time to bring this series back to life
CC: The question kind of answers itself. Anyone who’s picked up a newspaper recently, or gone on the internet, knows that we live in an era of tremendous amount of suspicion and distrust of not only our government leaders, but world government. So that’s an interesting time to tell an X-Files story.
When we went off the air in 2002, there could not have been more trust in government and institutions and we allowed a lot of our rights and liberties to be abridged in the name of security. I think that we’ve all witnessed now the abuse of that trust and The X-Files wants to point a very bright light at some of those dark corners that have developed.
On making the new episodes appealing for both long-time fans and those who may be new to the series as well
CC: Yes, it was important to us to actually be mindful that there’s an audience out there that we know, they know the show. They know it better than I do , to be honest, and this series is for them. But if there are to be more of these episodes, we have to be inclusive of a casual viewing audience, people who may have seen it, may have known about it in the past, but we also—I have to tell you that I’ve had a number of times kids say to me that they loved the show and I look at them and I realize that they weren’t even born when the show was on. Maybe some of them were not even born when the show went off the air, so we’ve got another audience out there that we need to make sure that we don’t forsake going forward.
On the placement of Easter Eggs in the new episodes
CC: There are Easter eggs and, you know, when you do a show that has been off the air for 14 years, it’s funny that even with—you do unintended Easter eggs. There are specific ones and then there are the unintentional ones that come just because the show has to be self-referential in order to tell these stories. I would say, yes, intentionally and unintentionally, we do.
On the idea that Mulder is this kind of prophesized savior of mankind
CC: It’s interesting. He’s got a heroic quality. He’s the most unlikely hero, but he does have a kind of heroic quality, in that sense, and the mythology that developed around him gave him a kind of savior-like quality. That said, I would never label him a savior, but I would label him an agent of change.
On if it is scarier for him to believe their are aliens out there or there may not be
CC: It’s scarier to me that there are aliens out there because I think once that would become a reality, and I’m talking about the kind of aliens that we’ve come to either [indiscernible] fascinate us or terrify us, which is a somewhat humanized or humanoid life form. I think that it would throw mankind into a panic both biologically, psychologically, philosophically, spiritually. I think that it would be—it would change the world as we know it immediately and overnight and I think that is a rather harrowing idea.