|Selected from Starburst #258|
As The X-Files nears the end of its seventh season, its two stars prepare to move on to pastures new
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?
Were 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. Youre 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 Duchovnys 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 wouldnt 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 Im happy the way it worked out.
Now well into its seventh year, its 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 isnt so sure that they will.
I imagine that the shows going to continue on in movie form, so I dont think that well have to have an end, he insists. Were not going to blow the place up or we wont 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.
The nature of serial television is teasing. Theres rarely resolution until an actor has to leave or a show has to end. I think its an unnatural situation to be in because we have to keep coming back week after week. I mean, the thing about everybodys 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 years two parter Two Fathers/One Son, and no doubt will discover more in the February sweeps presentation Sein und Zeit, dont expect everything to become clear.
Ive 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 thats not as exciting as not knowing. Why did you tell me?Image © Jean Cummings. Feature © Visual Imagination 2000. Not for reproduction
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 twos Irresistible, followed up by Mulder and Scullys 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 Gilligans X-Cops, which borrows the hand-held video cameras and title sequence of the Fox networks fly-on-the-wall show Cops.
But before this comes the equally inevitable mythology two-parter for Februarys sweeps fortnight, in the form of Sein Und Zeit.
The suicide of Mulders 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 Scullys personal relationship.
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New season overview by Anthony Brown
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