TV Guide Online Chat: Chris Carter

TVGuide Chat: Welcome, Chris! Thanks so much for coming!

Chris Carter: Hello, “X-Files” fans throughout the world.

Question: Is last season’s season finale the last we are going to be seeing of Agent Spender? (We saw no body.)

Chris Carter: Agent Spender is dearly departed. But his ghost will live on.

Question: On average, how many days does it take for you to write a script for one episode?

Chris Carter: Average is seven to ten days.

Question: What gave you the idea to start the show?

Chris Carter: I was under contract with a gun to my head.

Question: What do you think of the fans? Do you think we’re crazy?

Chris Carter: Not nearly as crazy as the producers.

Question: Is the rumor true about the New Year’s kiss?

Chris Carter: I’m assuming that you mean does it happen. You’ll have to wait for the New Year.

Question: What is your most favorite episode of “The X-Files”?

Chris Carter: I have too many that I am proud of. But I have favorites from each season. The one that was the most personal one to me was the black and white one called “Post Modern Prometheus.”

Question: Hey Chris, we met some time ago, and I didn’t get the chance to ask you, who where your influences growing up? What motivated you to make such an extraordinary series?

Chris Carter: Rod Serling, Richard Matheson, Philip K. Dick, Sinclair Lewis, Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe and John Cheever. My television inspiration was “Kolchak: The Night Stalker.”

Question: Do you base your characters on real-life people, or are they solely fictional creations?

Chris Carter: Mulder and Scully are fictional characters, as are most of the characters in “The X-Files.” But occasionally, and not so occasionally, we name characters after our friends and coworkers.

Question: What are your views on the paranormal?

Chris Carter: I’m a skeptic by nature. But, like Mulder, I want to believe.

Question: Do you get recognized often in public?

Chris Carter: More often than I’d like. I’m surprised that anyone recognizes me.

Question: From interviews I’ve seen and read, you seem like a truly sincere, all-around nice guy. Because you are able to come up with great story lines for “The X-Files,” you obviously have a dark side. How do you get in touch with that side? Music, movies, books?

Chris Carter: I turn on my computer.

Question: Are we going to learn more about Mulder and Scully’s personal lives?

Chris Carter: Yes, definitely. This could be the last season, so we want to explore them thoroughly.

Question: How has religion affected the decisions you make about the show? (I think it’s really cool that Scully is Catholic!!)

Chris Carter: Faith is an all-important, ever-present component in the stories we tell. It is Scully’s struggle with her religious faith and her faith in science that provide a good bit of character conflict. It is Mulder’s faith in the unknown, in its unknowableness, that drives his quest.

Question: If/when you get writer’s block, what do you do to get past it? Being a writer myself, it’s tough.

Chris Carter: 20th Century Fox doesn’t allow us to have writer’s block. It’s in our contract. And we are summarily executed upon display of any symptoms.

Question: Can we expect to get answers to a lot of the questions that have been left for us since the first season up until now?

Chris Carter: Yes. Sit back, put your feet up, no clicking, and we will explain it all for you.

Question: If you could choose one “X-Files” episode to watch on Halloween (besides “Home”), which would it be? Keep in mind, I enjoy being spooked.

Chris Carter: “Irresistible.” Or “Oubliette.”

Question: Have you ever read the tabloids to get ideas for an episode?

Chris Carter: I only read the tabloids for the articles on the “worst dressed.”

Question: Hi, Chris! Have you ever thought about doing a show of just the Lone Gunmen?

Chris Carter: We have done shows of just the Lone Gunmen. If you mean a series of just the Lone Gunmen, we’ve thought of that too. We’re still thinking.

Question: First, please let me thank you for the many great hours of entertainment that you have provided for me and my husband. We would like to know how much of the story line behind “The X-Files” is based upon fact.

Chris Carter: Thank you, first of all. Almost every episode of “The X-Files” is based on science fact. We work very hard to be true to science. You might want to pick up Anne Simon’s book, “Science of the X-Files,” which is just out, that does a wonderful job of explaining the science foundations of the show. But it’s where we go from there that creates the science fiction.

Question: Are the fans going to be paid off by seeing Scully destroy Fowley before the end of the season?

Chris Carter: Stay tuned for the season opening two-parter.

Question: Some of the stuff you write about makes the viewer stop and think… is there any one show that you feel does the same for you?

Chris Carter: Nothing that I can think of. But… I have to say “Gumby” made me stop and think.

Question: Are there going to be any more “X-Files” novels? I really like all the previous ones.

Chris Carter: I can’t say, honestly.

Question: Will the show get refocused next season on paranormal activity with a kitchy twist… like the circus episode?

Chris Carter: We felt last season was very light, and this season we want to see how much we can scare you. But there will be the oddball episode.

Question: Two-parter? What’s that all about?

Chris Carter: We couldn’t tell the story in just one hour of how Mulder survives (or doesn’t) whatever has befallen him in last season’s finale.

Question: Chris, I love your show, but can you tell me if there are going to be any new characters?

Chris Carter: Nothing through the first eight episodes.

Question: Is it true that there will be a sequel to “Irresistible”?

Chris Carter: Yes. Episode seven this year.

Question: Will Smoking Man ever be set free?

Chris Carter: He is free. Or at least discounted.

Question: Will Mulder and Fowley’s past with each other be talked about?

Chris Carter: Referenced.

Question: Mr. Carter, don’t you find it amazing the following “The X-Files” has?

Chris Carter: Every day. It’s like a dream. But I just go with it.

Question: What is the purpose of the rebels? Why do they want to stop colonization?

Chris Carter: They want to control Earth and its resources for themselves.

Question: There are crossovers in fan fiction. I wondered if you ever thought about crossing over with another sci-fi show.

Chris Carter: “Harsh Realm.” Too late now.

Question: Just wondering… did you decide to stop the “Millennium” story line?

Chris Carter: No. The ratings were such that Fox believed that they could do better.

Question: Is the “Consortium” really dead, or are they otherwise detained?

Chris Carter: They’re dead. Good riddance.

Question: Does Fox censor what you can air?

Chris Carter: Only the most indelicate or sensitive images and content. But they are very reasonable and always open for arguments.

Question: Is Fox’s sister even alive?

Chris Carter: Stay tuned for season seven.

Question: Is “Millennium” gone for good, or can we expect Frank Black to make additional appearances on “The X-Files”?

Chris Carter: Frank Black will be in “The X-Files” this season for an episode titled “Millennium.”

Question: Are there any books that have inspired you?

Chris Carter: I was not into science fiction as a kid, but my brother was. I read some of his books, mostly Ursula K. LeGuin.

Question: What do you believe is one of the more astounding facts that the government has kept under wraps?

Chris Carter: That Elvis is alive.

Question: Did you feel that the “flavor” of “The X-Files” changed last season?

Chris Carter: Yes. After the movie, we wanted to take the show in new directions, and it lightened considerably. But David and Gillian are very good comedic actors and they helped, also, to let us choose this direction.

Question: David and Gillian have incredible on-screen chemistry. When did you first begin to sense this?

Chris Carter: I didn’t know it until the first day I saw them on the set, which was in March 1993.

Question: Where did you get the idea for “Neighborhood” episode?

Chris Carter: There were several different elements that came out of a writer’s meeting, but one of them was something called the “Ubermencher,” which I had somewhere in the back of my brain. This was wedded to the idea of a planned community.

Question: Any hope of one last Darren Morgan X-File?

Chris Carter: There’s hope, but that’s about all there is.

Question: How did you come up with the name Fox Mulder?

Chris Carter: Mulder is my mother’s maiden name. But please don’t try to activate credit cards. Fox is the name of a kid I grew up with. And NBC Mulder just seemed too weird.

Question: How long does it take to make an episode from start to finish?

Chris Carter: About five weeks.

Question: What was your very first reaction to the fans’ obsessive behavior towards your shows?

Chris Carter: Glee. Wild glee. And ecstatic jubilation. Speaking in tongues and running around naked.

Question: Will we ever learn more about what Krycek is really up to?

Chris Carter: Yes. Stayed tuned for the season opener and episode #2.

Question: Is Donnie Pfaster really coming back? If so, can you tell us anything about the episode?

Chris Carter: Yes, he’s coming back. And he’s hungry for finger food.

Question: What are your hopes for the upcoming season?

Chris Carter: I hope that the season will be of a quality with the previous six seasons; that if this is the last, that we end with a bang and not a whimper.

Question: Do other people write episodes for you?

Chris Carter: No. There’s a staff of writers, who are mostly listed in the credits as producers.

Question: Will we be seeing more of the bounty hunter this season?

Chris Carter: I don’t know.

Question: When can we expect another feature film?

Chris Carter: I won’t know until we decide when the series ends. But probably a year after that.

Question: Have you decided if this is going to be the last season?

Chris Carter: I haven’t decided yet. There are many things that factor in, including the actors’ desire and their contractual obligations, and my contractual obligations. And keeping the show good and fresh. Also, the writing staff. We wouldn’t want to do it without the people who have gotten us all this way.

TVGuide Chat: Thanks so much, Mr. Carter, for chatting with us! We’ll definitely keep watching, and we wish you the best!

 
 
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