Although last season ended big cliffhanger, X-Files fans are currently in the dark regarding the roll-out of future episodes. What's going to happen to Mulder and Scully? Is humanity doomed? Are there probes on that UFO? IGN recently had the opportunity to chat Carter about the tonal evolution of his classic show, its legacy, and of course, his plans moving forward.
IGN: I'll start with the most obvious question first. Are there going to be more episodes?
Fox wants to do more. The ratings were good so there’s an appetite for more, I’m very pleased with the work that we did so I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be more.
By all accounts Gillian and David are very keen to do more as well.
That’s what I’m hearing from them directly and from their representatives.
I’d love to know more behind your decision-making behind playing around with tone in the last season. The third episode with Rhys Darby is such a hilarious outlier from the rest.
There are a couple of things at work. As the show went on through the years, after the success of Darin Morgan’s original comedy episodes, there were episodes that were sometimes light, or sometimes crazy and slapstick. And it became part of the recipe of the show. In season 10, we had Darin Morgan coming back, so we had the master of that part of our repertoire. With him coming back...we could take a breather between scary episodes, between thriller episodes and mythology episodes.
It must be satisfying for you as a creator to be able to play around so much.
I think light and dark has become a hallmark of the show. The show became different over the time. I think if we’d done it as a straight genre show, people would have been less happy than they were with this leavening of the mix.
Tell me about the decision-making behind introducing Agents Miller and Einstein.
You know, Fox came to me and said “have you ever thought of doing episodes without Mulder and Scully?” and I said “well, that’s an interesting idea, I’d never considered that". And I don’t think I would ever consider it, to be honest. But in saying that, I thought it would be interesting for Mulder and Scully to kind of look in the mirror at themselves and see their younger selves reflected back, and how that might infuse the storytelling with another layer. And I was very happy to have cast Robbie Amell and Lauren Ambrose, who were perfect for the parts. I would love to see them come back even though we don’t have any kind of hold on them.
Do you prefer helming the overarching story episodes or is directing the monster-of-the-week episodes as much fun as it seems?
I have to say I’ve got no preference. I love that the show can be so many different things. I love when it’s scary, and when it’s tongue-in-cheek. I love the mythology episodes because they’re very personal stories for the characters. I love the genre and I love taking new chances and reinventing things. I always love tackling fresh new material and trying to be as original as possible.
If you are moving forward with another season, where would you like to take The X-Files next?
I think you would see a mix not dissimilar to what you got in this last one. I’d like to get Darin back to do another episode. There are other people out there. There are many ways to skin this cat and I look forward to seeing who I can entice back to the X-Files world.
Why was 2016 the right time to bring X-Files back?
There are a couple of things at work here. We’re in - let’s call it an ‘era’ - of reboots right now, so I think that there was a kind of trend being followed. And when I got the call it was simply an opportunity to do good work with people who were capable of doing good work. But it’s also a fantastic time to be telling X-Files stories. When we went off the air in 2002 the last thing people wanted to know was about government conspiracies, we were living in a time when we were looking to the government to protect us. But that’s changed now. We live in a time when institutions authority, government and global powers are being held to account and are under suspicion.
Why do you think X-Files has lasted? Why are people still hungry for it so many years later?
I’ve always said the the secret to our success is David and Gillian. It’s Mulder and Scully. It’s that relationship. It’s also that we have a very strong female character in Scully, and a very respectful and protective character in Mulder. And I think those things resonate. As storytellers we’ve always tried to push the limits and never say die. All we’ve tried to do the best work that we can.
The X-Files Event Series hits Blu-ray and DVD on May 25.