The Lone Gunmen and new additions Jimmy Bond and Yves Adele Harlow

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

They've been about for years but unfairly denied their own show. That changes right now, as two thirds of The Lone Gunmen, Tom Braidwood and Dean Haglund, set out to uncover conspiracies. James E Brooks tried to hack his way into their lair.

Excerpts selected from Xposé #55

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During the first season of The X-Files, things stayed pretty dark and sinister with a single exception - the three publishers of an underground conspiracy magazine called The Lone Gunman. Taking their name from the publication, these poster children for computer geek-hood are hardly the type to live in their parents' basements, though. Starting out as a one-off resource for Mulder in that first year, the three guys, Frohike (Tom Braidwood), Langly (Dean Haglund), and Byers (Bruce Harwood), returned to the show several more times and became critic and fan favorites.

Fans of the show will remember that the Lone Gunmen even began to get their own episodes. Talk had already begun about a spin-off for Mulder's three some-time allies, but when Chris Carter and Fox did decide to produce a Lone Gunmen show, the three principals had been teased so many times that they didn't believe the news.

"We heard a year ago last January," Braidwood says. He and Haglund share a seamless rapport, sometimes eerily… "We were at the Television Critics Association party and all the reporters started coming up to us and saying, 'Congratulations! We heard you got a series!'" Haglund says, picking up from Braidwood without a beat. "We said, 'Aw… that old joke again. You're drunk! You're high!' Then one reporter cornered me and said, 'We're serious - Sandy Grushaw announced the Lone Gunmen series today'."

"The next morning it was in the trade [magazines]," Braidwood says. "He [Haglund] phoned me at the hotel and said, 'Grab the trades, buddy, and read page such-and-such.' And there it was."

"You know, usually you're the last to know when it's bad news," Haglund laughs. "This is probably the first time in the history of showbusiness that somebody was the last to know when it was actually good news!" Braidwood agrees. "What's interesting is that nobody spoke to us; nobody even talked to our agents to find out if we were still alive."

"Yeah, that set my natural paranoia into high gear," Haglund says. "I told Tom, 'You know why they haven't told us, don't you? They're recasting the show - Bruce's gonna be recast with Dennis Miller. I was going to be Dana Carvey - with a Garth wig, you know. And Tom - they're going to get Yoda."

They both laugh and Braidwood finally says, "We just didn't take it seriously." "And we still don't! Obviously, nothing's changed!" Haglund says.

Many things had changed in the time between their last appearance on The X-Files and the first word of the Lone Gunmen series. After The X-Files moved its filming base of operations from Vancouver to Los Angeles, at least one of the trio drifted away from intimate involvement with the show. While Harwood acted on other shows shooting in Canada and Haglund continued with his wicked form of stand-up comedy, Braidwood segued from his assistant director duties into production and direction.

Fortunately, anyone seeing the new show knows instantly that there has been no problem shifting focus, and concerns as to whether or not the three characters - and the actors who play them - could carry the series are completely unfounded. That's not only due to the strength of the characters, but also the close, albeit fractious, relationship they share. That onscreen bond isn't just acting though, but an accurate reflection of the connection the three men share off-camera.

"Funnily enough, we fell into it effortlessly when they called us back for the second season of The X-Files," Braidwood says. "I mean, we hit it off quite well, the three of us, on a personal level. The first time we worked together we didn't know each other, but when we started working together more it became a natural progression and growth between the three of us. We've always worked as a team. We continue to work as a team…"

"That mysterious thing called chemistry," Haglund interjects. "Don't know how it works, but it does..."

More of this interview in Xposé #55

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