LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Chris Carter is riding an amazing wave. The creator of “The X-Files” has watched as his Fox television show has transcended its rocky start and turned into the “Star Trek” of the 1990s, developing a cultish following highlighted by the release of his “The X-Files” movie this summer.
All the while, Carter has been hailed as a creative visionary, and a pretty good surfer, as well. Showbiz Today Correspondent Paul Vercammen caught up with Carter in Los Angeles recently, where the two spoke about wave-riding, writing, and Vin Scully.
Carter, on writing as an athletic endeavour
CHRIS CARTER, CREATOR OF “THE X-FILES”: Writing is a little athletic for me. I get worked up a little bit when I do it. So I guess I’m a little bit like that composer conducting. There are a lot of things that go into what I do, but I think athletics really sort of shaped my ethic.
Gillian Anderson’s character was named after legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully. Carter, on naming Gillian Anderson’s character
CARTER: You know, Vin Scully was always the voice of God. When I was growing up my mom would fall asleep with Vin Scully in her ear on the pillow. I can hear him right now. During Sandy Koufax’s perfect game against the Chicago Cubs, I can hear his voice. and I named (Gillian Anderson’s character) Scully after him. I’ve never been able to tell him that. I’m sure he knows now.
With its mysterious plot lines and non-conclusive endings, Carter had a hard time selling “The X-Files” to Fox Carter, on selling “X-Files” to Fox
CARTER: “The X-Files” was a hard sell because people didn’t know what it was. The network didn’t understand what it was that they were buying and at the beginning, they wanted us to have closure. They wanted us to put the cuffs on the bad guy at the end of each episode.
Carter, on the conspiracy plot line
CARTER: The conspiracy is what originally fueled the show, and was the sort of core idea which drove the series — the conspiracy of the government to keep the truth about the existence of extraterrestrials from the public. And that is the story we’ve gone back to, it was the original story. It has now become the movie and we answer a lot of questions about that. And as any hard core fan knows, there are a lot more to answer.
Carter, on working with Martin Landau and other top-name actors
CARTER: It was a thrill for me to cast these guys. I’m a big fan of all of them. That’s why they’re in the movie. But they are not just marquee names, they are great actors and character actors who have added to “The X-Files” now in an interesting way. I have a secret desire to see them in the series. Next year, in some way. It’s going to be a difficult trick to get them to come and be a part of the series.
If the surf’s up, Carter has a hard time concentrating on work Carter, on the science of ‘The X-Files’
CARTER: I know we get our science right and because Scully’s point of view is a scientific point of view, the science has to be great. We’ve had a big following in the science community, by the way. And even in the movie the science is absolutely accurate. I went over the genetics, I went over the biology with a friend of mine who is a Ph.D. and teaches at UMASS (the University of Massachusetts). So everything in the movie comes from a scientific base. We’ve done that from the very beginning, we’ve had a lot of nitpickers try to pull our science apart, but it’s that hard core science which really is the foundation and the jumping-off point for the rest of the series.
Carter, on his first love: surfing
CARTER: When the surf is really good, it’s hard for me to concentrate on work. So I really have to watch when and where I surf — I won’t get anything done if I get the fever. Then it’s like I come into work and I’m wet and waterlogged and ready for lunch.