The Internet is still breaking due to confirmation that Fox is officially making six new episodes of The X-Files, so now it's the perfect time to see what series creator Chris Carter has to say about the show's legacy.
HitFix sat down with Carter recently (before the new season was announced) and talked about several things that could prove prescient now that we know the series is actually being revived with the original stars and creative team. First up, Carter talked about how the show developed its now-famous mythology, noting that the entire situation was a "happy accident" to tell more personal stories between Mulder and Scully:
"We didn't invent [mythology]. Charles Dickens invented it, in a sense, and I'm sure there are examples before him. It worked for us, but it was a happy accident. It was something that was instinctual, but not necessarily a conscious decision. When we saw that the stories about Mulder and Scully were best told through the mythology — that they were more personal — it gave the show an emotional grounding, that I think the mythology of a show does. So it's simply a good way of telling the most personal kind of stories.
It's interesting. There's something going on with culture. My brother teaches at MIT. He talks about a culture where the students challenge the teacher's wisdom, in a way. It's not dissimilar to what's going on in television with the direct connection viewers have with the producers of a show. People think that they know better. It's probably the same as it ever was. Now it is more pronounced because of technology, and because of the new media culture."
Carter also addressed a topic he's left largely unexplored in the decade or so since the show ended — those controversial final few seasons, which saw the mythology take some weird turns as some of the original cast (most notably David Duchovny) left full-time duty and passed the baton to some new cast members. Not surprisingly, fans are fiercely mixed on the quality of those final few seasons. For Carter, he said he still stands behind those episodes and believes several stack up well within the show's legacy.
But he did admit the show's success (which led to its nine-season run) did force the creative team to rework the mythology to allow for more stories to be told and characters to be introduced:
"When you set out to do a show, you don't imagine it's going to go nine years. And all of a sudden, you have to start looking at it in new ways. The mythology was complex, and I think complexity equals, in people's minds, confusing. I don't accept, necessarily, this idea that it folded in on itself. I think if you go back and watch it from beginning to end — I've actually talked to people who have done that recently, and they say, 'It all holds up. It works together.' Whether you like where it went after season 5, you can cavil with me there. But I think all of the choices were still lovingly made, and I would back every one of them."
No word on when the new season will arrive, but we'd have to think Fox is fired up to make it happen quickly. Do you think Carter & Co. can recapture the sci-fi magic?