Chris Carter (‘The After‘), creator of ‘The X-Files‘ has recently been asked to share his memories of the finale of his show. Looking back it is easy to say that ‘The X-Files’ is one of the more important and influential shows for science fiction and horror of all time. It gave us a solid ongoing story, introduced millions of people to a perfect blend of darkness that has been a cornerstone for multiple shows and gave us nine seasons of entertainment. While many of the earlier episodes may not have aged that well, the series itself is still phenomenal.
When ‘The X-Files’ came to a close it wasn’t directly planned to end when it did. It just felt that it was just time. As Carter explains:
“I think we decided to end the show about mid-season of the ninth season. It was a couple months after 9/11, which I really feel was, for me, a turning point. For the country and the world, of course, but for the TV show as well. We lost our steam in a way, so the next few months helped form our approach going to the end… I don’t remember exactly how many episodes we did in season 9 — we probably did somewhere around 20. We really didn’t have a chance to work on it, and we made a two-hour finale, something we had never done before. So we didn’t really think about how exactly it would end until we were forced to, because there was just too much work to do with a broadcast schedule. But certainly, because it was a part of the mythology, we had a good idea of where we had been and where we were going.”
When you think about a finale these days, if a show has a half season advanced warning they may end things a little differently. One thing that wasn’t pushed off in the finale was that Mulder and Scully would end up back together:
“It was a must for me, in that they ended up essentially where they began. One thing that was sweet for me and the characters, and was just a touching scene: One of my favorite scenes from the pilot is when Mulder really throws down with Scully in the dark hotel room [which the finale alludes to]. That was … you can imagine that you’ve spent a really good portion of your life with these characters, so that’s a powerful thing.”
In fact when asked if Duchovny was aware if he’d be in the finale he responded, “Yeah. And you know, while he was absent from the show directly for part of the season and previous to that, he certainly wasn’t an absent center. It wasn’t as if he had really disappeared. And it was a command performance.”
While his return in the two hour finale was welcome and happily needed, I don’t think you could say that his being missing wasn’t felt by fans. Not in a good way either in many cases.
Of course we all know that ‘The X-Files’ didn’t end with the finale that could have been a good end cap to the series. There was always the second movie that most of us try to pretend never existed. So did Carter write the finale with a second film in mind?
“It was talked about, but it wasn’t … it was a notion and not a goal, necessarily. But it was certainly out there as a possibility. And we actually talked to Fox quite soon after the show ended about doing a movie. That energy dissolved for some reason. 20th Century Fox didn’t want to do something on the scale of the first movie; they wanted to do something smaller, and we thought that could be an interesting approach — to go back and essentially do what was essentially a standalone type of approach. And that actually took a number of years — I think six years — before we ever sat down to do that.”
I’m sure we can all agree that maybe going low budget wasn’t really the right direction to go. Maybe a little less craziness and pedophilia in the cold and a little more “The Truth Is Out There” would have given fans what they wanted and truly opened up a legitimate possibility of a third movie.
You can read Carter’s full interview over at Entertainment Weekly.
What do you think of Carter’s answers on the closure of one of the greatest science fiction shows of all time?