The X-Files creator Chris Carter debriefs us on Season 10
If you have been reading my weekly recaps of the latest season of The X-Files, you will know that I am an obsessive fan of the series. I didn’t love every episode (sorry, but “Babylon” didn’t work for me), but I didn’t love every episode of the original series, either. I think that the term “mini-series,” which is how FOX promoted the six-episode run, threw off a lot of people. When you hear “mini-series,” most people think of a continuous storyline. Additionally, the cliffhanger was a doozy, and with no guarantee of more episodes, I didn’t want to be left wondering what happened. (I still have not gotten over getting burned on the finale of HBO’s Carnivale, which ended on a huge cliffhanger that was never resolved.)
Like everyone else, I had a ton of questions for X-Files creator Chris Carter after the massive cliffhanger of an ending. I knew that Carter had been asked the same questions over and over, and I got the sense that he was a little defensive about season 10. So while there are some questions that I would be remiss if I hadn’t asked, even if I knew the answer (usually, “You will have to wait for the next batch of episodes!”), I tried to mix in some other questions that were bugging me, as a fan, in hopes of answering the questions that you, a fan, might have.
The biggest takeaway I had from the interview was that the X-Files creator seems fairly confident that they would get more episodes. This is not a confirmation of a pickup, however, and if more episodes come, it wouldn’t be for a while.
ComingSoon.net: Let’s talk about the cliffhanger.
Chris Carter: The X-Files has always ended on a cliffhanger. We never knew if there would be more episodes. So it’s no different than The X-Files ever was. If hardcore fans took it into consideration, it actually suggests that there will be more X-Files episodes, and it sets it up for more X-Files episodes. If everything had been resolved, it might have been the end of The X-Files. So take your pick.
CS: In the last two episodes, Mulder and Scully hardly had any scenes together. Was there any reason for that?
Carter: That’s just the way the episodes worked out. If you consider Scully’s desperation to save Mulder, to me, that is an expression of love and concern that would be much more satisfying to me than if they were in bed together.
I think there is some…I’ll say a “petulant” need to see harmony, when their relationship isn’t necessarily harmonious right now. I think what we see is deep respect for one another, deep love for one another. We saw them in “Babylon” come together in a way we had not seen them come together in the entire series, where they were holding hands in front of Mulder’s house. I think someone is doing the calculations on screen time without figuring the emotional impact. I felt there was a warmth there that we haven’t seen the entire series. [I agree!]
CS: What of Daggoo [the dog Scully steals/adopts in “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster”]? I was hoping we would get to see him again.
Carter: I think you’ll have to wait for the next series of episodes.
CS: Have you already started to work out where the next season/mini-series/whatever will go?
Carter: Only in my head. I’ve written down some ideas. I’ve got a clear idea of how the first episode would go, if we go.
CS: You have said in other interviews that this season is structured like previous seasons: some mythology, some monster-of-the-week episodes. It felt awkward to be shoved into a six-episode season. Was there ever any thought to making it more of a traditional mini-series format?
Carter: You mean mini-series, like it was all one long story? We’ve never done that on The X-Files, so for me, it wasn’t a consideration, especially considering the talent I had who wanted to come and do stories on this show. They didn’t want to come and do a serialized show; they had their own ideas. So it made sense to do it the way we did it.
CS: William. Will we get to see him in upcoming episodes?
Carter: Stay tuned!
CS: I may be reading way too much into this, but is Mulder bipolar?
Carter: Well, there was the suggestion of that, when Scully said, “You’re on fire” and “You’ve got him dodging your depression.” So I think that one might wonder, if Scully were questioned by another doctor, what her diagnosis would be.
CS: She also makes the kind of joking remark, “Did you take your meds?”
Carter: I think that was said in jest in the “Were-Monster” episode.
CS: Were Einstein and Miller (Lauren Ambrose and Robbie Amell) brought in as a “test coupling” in case FOX wanted more episodes, but couldn’t get Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny?
Carter: No, they weren’t.
CS: In “My Struggle II,” was there any concern that a contagion being presented through vaccinations would fuel anti-vaccine propaganda?
Carter: It has nothing to do with anti-vaccination. Scully said it was transferred through the smallpox vaccine, which is something that was given at a certain period, but is not mandatory any more. It is not propaganda and I wouldn’t read anything into it.
CS: The X-Files has always been known for feeding on the paranoia of the day. I felt like there was a lot of that in these six episodes. Some people seem to respond very negatively to that. I actually heard one person say it was like Fox News wrote the episodes. But fear has always played into conspiracies.
Carter: All those things you are pointing out are, for me, some of the scariest, real-life things there are. The X-Files tries to scare you, and what is scarier than the suggestion of all those elements that Tad O’Malley enumerated, and Mulder expanded upon? For me, those are some of the scariest ideas in the world.
CS: Why no sunflower seeds?
Carter: [chuckle]. There were sunflower seeds on his desk.
CS: The Lone Gunmen, the stoners, and Monica Reyes came back… were there any other “fan-favorite” characters you were hoping to get in?
Carter: I wanted Robert Patrick back, but he is on his own TV show so we couldn’t get him. It would have been nice to have [FBI Deputy Director] Kersh back on, but [James Pickens, Jr.] is also on a TV show. I got a call from Laurie Holden [who played Marita Covarrubius], who said she would like to come back, as would Veronica Cartwright [who played Cassandra Spender] but we were unable to find ways to use them.
CS: Are you keeping them in mind for future episodes?
CS: Will we get any answers on Margaret Scully’s quarter?
Carter: No. That’s a mystery for Scully, one that will probably drive her crazy for the rest of her life.
CS: The opening credits were identical to first season’s credits, save for the addition of Mitch Pileggi [who plays Skinner]. Was there any reason that it wasn’t updated?
Carter: I think it would have been a kind of sacrilege to touch those credits, when they ran for nine years with the same photos. I understand the criticism, but I think this is a William Shatner moment.
CS: I don’t think anybody was complaining – I certainly am not!