During the X-Files writers panel at EW Fest, Glen and Darin Morgan discussed their re-opening of The X-Files.
Chris Carter wanted to come back to The X-Files only if there was an original idea that could “update” the series -- rather than reboot or revive as we’ve labeled it for months. Yet in telling new X-Files stories, Carter found comfort in old friends, who found beats in old conspiracies that still resonate today.
During the “The Inside The X-Files Writers’ Room” Panel at EW Fest, Carter sat down with X-Files writers Glen and Darin Morgan, who penned many of the series’ iconic episodes, to talk about the writing process for the 6-episode miniseries.
“When [The X-Files] ended in 2002, everyone said the government is going to save us from terrorism,” said Glen Morgan, who left the series after season four to work on Millennium. “Now we’re close to 15 years down the road and everyone’s saying the government is out to get us again. I think the things [The X-Files] did early on kind of came true.”
In Hollywood, writers move from show to show and keep their eyes on to the next project, but the X-Files always stayed with the Morgans. “The X-Files was a thing I always thought about creatively,” Glen said. For the revival, he wrote the episode "Home Again," not a sequel, but a play on the classic "Home" episode he co-wrote with his brother.
For Darin Morgan, who penned a few of the series’ most beloved episodes (“Jose Chung's From Outer Space” and "Clyde Bruckman’s Final Response") and famously donned the Flukeman suit, rejoining the X-Files was an easy professional and artistic choice.
During Darin’s time writing stories for Mulder and Scully and then again with his brother and Carter on Millennium, he said those were “the only two shows where the people running them liked my work and do whatever I wanted.” Ever since then, he’s said he’s always had “nothing but problems” with the people running the shows or the executives involved.
Darin’s new X-Files story, a Monster of the Week episode titled “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” is actually an old one.
There’s a possibility that Darin’s script was nearly used for another series and since has been repurposed as an X-File. In 2005, Darin was a producer on Frank Spotnitz's reboot of Night Stalker for ABC and wrote a script titled “The 'M' Word” that was never produced before the series was cancelled after just one season. The script (which you can read more about from The X-Files Lexicon Blog) touches on similar themes Darin teased when discussing his standalone “Mulder and Scully Meet The Were-Monster,” episode.
“I had a story I had been wanting to tell for a long time that had a monster in it, but it was more about human life than a monster story,” Darin said. “There’s no show you can do that on. I thought about doing it as a feature, but that world has changed. So I had an opportunity with The X-Files. This is the only place you can tell that story.”
With Glen and Darin back, Carter put his trust on the Morgans to help develop the new era of X-Files conspiracy and paranoia. It shows early in the premiere episode with something as subtle (*light spoiler*) as Mulder covering the camera on his laptop with a piece of tape. For Carter, bringing on longtime producer and writing partner of the Morgans, James Wong, meant having a discussion that would led to the “modernization” of the show.
“It’s not like you’re trying to take today and cram it into back then,” Glen Morgan said. “A lot of that stuff that we thought was kind of goofy came true.”
On stage, they referenced the notion that they were bringing the band back together, albeit without a few former mates.
“Initially, we had Vince [Gilligan], Frank [Spotnitz], and Howard [Gordon], but they all had shows. We’re the only losers who didn’t have anything else to do, ” Glen joked.