David Duchovny X-Files feature title Selected from Starburst #258

David Duchovny
by Jim Lloyd

As The X-Files nears the end of its seventh season, its two stars prepare to move on to pastures new…

Gillian Anderson
by Jean Cummings

If reports are to be believed, in just a few months time production on The X-Files will cease forever. The show, which began as a minor hit on the fledgling Fox Network and grew, by word of mouth, into the highest-rated Science Fiction series in years, has reached the inevitable crossroads. Should it continue, and run the risk of delivering substandard goods? Or should Fox gracefully call it a day, while the quality is still high, and exploit the franchise as a movie series instead?

Getting old

“We’re going to get old and it happens,” admits leading man David Duchovny, speaking to the assembled press at the Ritz-Carlton Huntingdon Hotel in Pasadena. “You’re going to run out [of ideas] and fans are going to get hip to our tricks.”

Not that the show has displayed much sign of senility in recent seasons. Though criticized by many as a bad move, the change of production base from Vancouver, British Columbia to Los Angeles in 1998 came as a shot in the arm. Rumoured to be at Duchovny’s behest (the star had recently married Téa Leoni), the arrival of The X-Files in Hollywood allowed for new interesting locations, more high profile talent while retaining the indefinable atmosphere of the series.

“It was just a lot easier in terms of lifestyle for me,” says Duchovny of the change. “I got to live at home. I got to live with my wife. My wife got pregnant, which probably wouldn’t have happened if I was in Vancouver! [laughs] My life was a lot easier.

“My working life was probably harder. It was tougher to do the show, logistically, in Los Angeles just because of locations being further spread apart and the traffic... I miss Vancouver, in terms of shooting and in terms of having relationships with a crew for five years. But it was time for me to have a change and I’m happy the way it worked out.”

Now well into its seventh year, it’s pretty much business as usual at The X-Files. With over a dozen episodes left to run, fans are hoping that Carter and his team are working to some sort of final conclusion of the story arc – but Duchovny isn’t so sure that they will.

“I imagine that the show’s going to continue on in movie form, so I don’t think that we’ll have to have an end,” he insists. “We’re not going to blow the place up or we won’t have it all be a dream. I imagine the end of the seventh year will be pretty much as open ended as the end of every year that we do.

Big Tease

“The nature of serial television is teasing. There’s rarely resolution until an actor has to leave or a show has to end. I think it’s an unnatural situation to be in because we have to keep coming back week after week. I mean, the thing about everybody’s interest in the relationship between Mulder and Scully is that they want some kind of resolution with that. But each week something happens to Mulder and/or Scully that is completely life changing and yet we come back the next week as if nothing happened...”

So, while we have learned elements of the alien conspiracy in The X-Files movie and last year’s two parter Two Fathers/One Son, and no doubt will discover more in the February sweeps presentation Sein und Zeit, don’t expect everything to become clear.

“I’ve always thought that the conspiracy is best if it remains unexplained,” says the actor. “Chris and the writers are in a Catch-22 because people want answers and when you give them answers they go, ‘Well that’s not as exciting as not knowing. Why did you tell me?’”

Image © Jean Cummings. Feature © Visual Imagination 2000. Not for reproduction

Seventh Heaven

CONTINUED from Page 1

Bizarrely, though Millennium is set on New Years Eve 1999, it was transmitted a month earlier, leaving two more episodes to come before the end of December, Rush and The Goldberg Variation.

The year 2000 opened with Orison, a reported sequel to season two’s Irresistible, followed up by Mulder and Scully’s duel with a bank-robbing magician in The Great Maleeni, and a venture into evangelical religion for Signs and Wonders, where an encounter with self-styled saints who charm snakes and speak in tongues hints at a messianic destiny for Scully.

The annual experimental episode is Vince Gilligan’s X-Cops, which borrows the hand-held video cameras and title sequence of the Fox network’s fly-on-the-wall show Cops.

But before this comes the equally inevitable mythology two-parter for February’s sweeps fortnight, in the form of Sein Und Zeit.

The suicide of Mulder’s mother coincides with a child abduction case which appears to shed light on the fate of the real Samantha, creating an emotionally charged atmosphere with major consequences for Mulder and Scully’s personal relationship.

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New season overview by Anthony Brown

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