SFX Issue 69

October 2000

News:

Ex-cop in x-files

T2 ’s polymorphic robot joins The X-files

David Duchovny, who has played Mulder these last seven years, had been increasingly outspoken about the direction the show was taking. Although the entire production relocated to Los Angeles from Vancouver at his behest, legal wrangles with Fox and artistic fatigue with the long-running series prompted Duchovny to ask to leave. Only a $20 million pay-out from Fox enticed him to stay, and then only for half of the season.

Hence the introduction of Doggett, a blue-collar ex-cop who finds the X-Files more than a little difficult to believe.

“He’s not going to be Scully’s partner, but he’s going to play an important part,” explained Carter at the recent San Diego Comic-Con. “Agent Scully, over seven years, has seen a tremendous amount of things, and it’s eroded her scepticism. Even though she’s a scientist, she’s a reluctant believer now. Because to find Mulder, she has to accept the fact that he may have been abducted. So it leads us into a new era of The X-Files and I’m really excited about doing that.

“The character Robert Patrick plays, Special Agent John Doggett, is a member of the FBI fraternity. He’s one of the guys; he’s one of the hardcore there. He’s on his way up the ladder. He’s a do-gooder, in a sense, but he’s his own man. What he represents is a threat to the X-Files, because it is a baseless operation. In coming to look for Mulder, to find Mulder, he’s a threat because he’s part of the system, and now he’s attacking the X-Files. But at some point, they will come to a place where they can agree to disagree.”

Carter confirmed that Mulder himself will feature in the first episode of the new season, but when his other episodes will appear is unclear.

In other developments, Carter confirmed that the Lone Gunmen, Krycek and Covarrubis would be back in season eight – with hopes for more Frank Black.

“Because Laurie Holden, who plays Marita Covarrubis, sent me a nice letter at the end of the year, I’ll probably give her as much screen time as I possibly can!” joked the producer, who was in high spirits throughout the conference. “I was thinking about using Frank Black more while I was stuck in traffic. I love that character and I love working with Lance. The big treat was bringing him back for an episode with Mulder and Scully, where the agents consummated their relationship with a smooch. I would like to bring Frank Black back. The question is Lance’s availability.”

Carter also wants to use Mitch Pileggi (Skinner) more regularly than in the past, reflecting Skinner’s increasing involvement in the X-Files mythology. And Gibson Price, the little boy who reads minds, will be returning as well. The death of the Cigarette Smoking Man may even come up for examination, as might the “starlight” fate of Mulder’s sister Samantha and Scully’s pregnancy.

Carter also said that every season they ask Darin Morgan to come back for an episode, but in the last conversation someone had with him, Morgan stated that he had an idea for a ghost story but it was too much like The Sixth Sense . “They took my idea,” he purportedly told Carter’s reps, and he was depressed about it.

“He only wrote four episodes out of 161,” Carter said, “but I think all of those four episodes are among the top shows that we’ve ever done.”

On the Millennium front, Carter admitted that he didn’t know if DVDs of the series were forthcoming, but he did state that he wishes he could “start over again, and do that as a movie.”

Carter also announced, to whoops of happiness in the audience, that there are plans for another X-Files film. “But the plans are all in my head,” he added.

The near-future is X-Files on TV, and Carter promised that season eight would “go back to our roots, which is good, scary stories.”

Year eight might not be the end for The X-Files either, though many assumed it would be, as Anderson has extended her contract for another year. Though Duchovny would be unlikely to do so, the advent of Doggett’s character may yet prove to be a new lease of life for the aging show.