It seems like just yesterday that The X-Files was the little cult show that could. But now the successful series is heading into its seventh-and likely final-season. And although the series isn’t quite the media hype magnet it once was, in many ways the show is still on top of its game.
“It’s like a marriage,” says X-Files executive producer Frank Spotnitz. “We have been around for six years and people know us. It becomes harder to surprise people, but we just keep doing the same hard work we’ve always done and try and deliver the best quality show we know how.”
In the seventh season, the show’s writers will have to work hard to pick up the shards of The X-Files mythology arc that was obliterated in last year’s watershed two-parter “Two Fathers/One Son.” Spotnitz admits that the government conspiracy was becoming too unwieldy and that he and series creator Chris Carter thought that partially resolving the arc in the sixth season had an advantage: the element of surprise. “We thought it would be great because no one expected us to do it [then],” he says.
Instead, they decided to take the mythology in a new direction. “We really opened up a new chapter in the mythology with [the sixth season cliffhanger] ‘Biogenesis’, and that will be the final chapter of the series. The effects of that discovery and what happened to Mulder will drive all the mythology episodes [leading] into the series finale,” Spotnitz promises. “I think you can expect to see all of the major characters involved in the resolution of the series.” He adds that viewers can look forward to the series coming full-circle in the seventh season and dealing “very directly” with the disappearance of Mulder’s sister and his relationship with Scully
Although The X-Files cast and crew are counting on the seventh season as being their last, they recognize that there may be pressure from FOX to pump put an additional year. Nonetheless, Carter and Spotnitz are already planning ways to bid their characters a fond farewell. “We are plotting out the last thing you will see of Cigarette Smoking Man, the last you’ll see of Krycek, of Skinner. We do that with a lot of mixed feelings, even though I think the time is right [to end the series],” Spotnitz says.
But take heart, disconsolate X-Philes – Mulder and Scully may return for another big-screen adventure as early as 2001. “We’re just at the very early stages of discussing that with the studio,” Spotnitz reveals. “I anticipate the series finale will leave room for films in the future.”
by Melissa J. Perenson and Annabelle Villanueva