Chris Carter Expects More ‘X-Files,’ Definitely Reads Reviews

“I can tell you, almost without a doubt, we will come back.”

That’s Chris Carter, the creator of “The X-Files,” who surprised viewers on Monday night by wrapping up the show’s highly rated, six-episode mini-season revival with a cliffhanger. With the world in the grip of a global plague and Agent Scully poised between distributing a vaccine and saving the life of her comrade, Agent Mulder, an apparent spacecraft appeared to bathe her in an electric blue light.

And then… credits.

It was the latest salvo in the ongoing arms race between ever-savvier television fans and the producers trying to trip them up, joining other gimmicks like recent non-deaths on shows like “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead.” Viewers did what viewers tend to do in such situations — unloaded on Twitter — many unable to believe or accept that such a long-awaited revival would end without resolution.

The “X-Files” stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were coy — “The truth is on hiatus,” Mr. Duchovny tweeted — but Mr. Carter was more direct in an interview not long after the episode, saying he’d had spoken with Fox executives and expected the principals to return for more episodes at some point.

“I don’t know how or when — Fox owns the show,” he said. “But because the ratings were what they were, I think the show will come back one way or the other.”

Here are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Q. So what was up with that ending?

A. [Laughs.] Well “The X-Files” has traditionally ended with a cliffhanger, and people who know us well would expect nothing less.

Surely this means there’s more to come.

I just had an informal conversation with Dana Walden [a co-chief executive of Fox Television Group], who said they would like more. The question is when. There’s an appetite for it and I think everyone is excited about doing more. It’s just how to get it done.

Can we expect to hear some sort of announcement within the next week or so about future episodes?

No, because it’s complicated. It’s really a matter of when the actors would be able to do it, when they’re available at the same time. We’d also need a schedule that would give us enough lead time to make it interesting. Nothing’s been written yet. I’ve written down a lot of ideas but there’s nothing even close to a script.

Was the cliffhanger at least partly a calculated way to get more episodes and sustain interest?

Of course. [Laughs.] It’s the way we always did it. You have to let us show how we are going to get them down from the cliff.

What would you say to fans who feel cheated by the lack of resolution?

I’ll go back to what I just said: We’ve always ended with a cliffhanger. This isn’t a movie; it’s a TV series. Any resolution would have to lead to more stories to tell. If they feel cheated, they’re not familiar with how we’ve done the show. I think they’d feel more cheated if we resolved it and didn’t come back at all.

Did you know from the beginning that this new mini-series would have an open-ended conclusion?

I was looking for a way to have a cliffhanger but didn’t know how it would work. We were still without a complete story worked out for the finale while I was directing [an earlier episode]. What you saw was a lot of hard work done with much help from the scientists who shared the story credit [Dr. Anne Simon and Dr. Margaret Fearon]. That was cutting-edge science, and was all real and plausible. None of it was made up — they made me stay honest.

So were those aliens in the last scene or the one of those replica crafts we saw in the first episode?

I’m going to hopefully answer that question for you when and if we come back.

What do you think was the most successful aspect of the revival?

It wasn’t just an exercise in nostalgia. We came back to do something new, original and fresh, and I think we did. This wasn’t a cynical ratings grab. We could’ve come back and just done sequels to old episodes but we didn’t do that. Nothing prepares you for a 14-year break, or for how to make the show fresh and thought-provoking after that much time away. Luckily I was able to recruit a lot of the original group that put “The X-Files” on the map back together again. So there was a shorthand there and we had stories to tell.

Anything you want to take a mulligan on?

No, but there are some critical responses I’d like some critics to take a mulligan on.

Yes the reviews have been mixed. So that’s something you pay attention to?

I do pay attention, and I … [long pause]. Yes I pay careful attention.

You’ve all gone on to other things but have you accepted that in many ways “The X-Files” is essentially your life’s work?

If I come back for the next series, I will have spent four decades of my life on it. So I don’t think I could deny it has become something that could be labeled a life’s work.

FONTE: New York Times (USA)


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