Chris Carter

Writer / Show Creator


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Chris Carter talks about his early years, and working for Jeffrey Katzenberg at Disney. He describes pitching The X-Files to Fox, casting David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in the pilot, and getting the show on the air. He discusses the early seasons on the show and the audience reaction, as well as the process of collaborating with different writers and producers on the series. Carter describes The X-Files being one of the earliest shows that was discussed in depth on the internet, and the impact new media had on the series. He chronicles David Duchovny leaving the series, as well as the end of the show and the feature film spinoffs. He recalls his other series Millennium and The Lone Gunmen, which predicted a 9/11-style attack four months before the actual event. John Dalton conducted the interview on June 24, 2010 in Malibu, CA.

"I hope that we had an impact on the quality of television. I hope that if people talk about a golden age of television in the '90s that we were a part of it. I don't know what [The X-Files'] ultimate influence will be, but I just hope it plays forever."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Chris Carter on The X-Files' themes of government conspiracy theories
Chris Carter on casting Gillian Anderson as "Dana Scully" and David Duchovny as "Fox Mulder" on The X-Files
Chris Carter on his favorite season of The X-Files, and on leaving some storylines and questions open
Chris Carter on responding to fan criticism of season 6 of The X-Files
Chris Carter on The X-Files main theme and title
Chris Carter on the series The Lone Gunmen and it having predicted some aspects of 9/11
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on getting noticed by Jeffrey Katzenberg; on his stint working at Disney
On how The X-Files came about; on pitching The X-Files to Fox and their reaction to the pilot; on casting David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson on the show
On the filming the pilot of The X-Files, and on the audience reaction to it and the mythology arc; on The X-Files main theme and title
On the characters' motivation in the first season of The X-Files, and on the romance, themes, and goals of the show; on "Fox Mulder's" shooting on The X-Files, and on coming up with story ideas; on The X-Files' core audience and on the season 1 finale

Chapter 2

On what made The X-Files scary; on the process of collaborating with other writers and producers on The X-Files; on The X-Files' themes of government conspiracy theories
On various The X-Files storylines; on putting humor into the mix on The X-Files; on how they handled Gillian Anderson's pregnancy on season 2 of The X-Files
On the "Alex Krycek" character on The X-Files; on those episodes of The X-Files that he labeled "monster of the week" and the alien mythology of the series; on how the early episodes of The X-Files impacted television at the time, including the cinematography of the show
On The X-Files' following and the impact of the internet and new media on the show; on getting "Mulder" and "Scully" romantically involved on The X-Files; on the "Mulder" and "Scully" relationship as the show and feature films progressed
On the importance of Emmy Award nominations and other awards for The X-Files team and himself; on the season 5 finale of The X-Files, and on the first feature film based on the series; on the decision to move The X-Files from Canada to Los Angeles, and on season 6 of the series
On having stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson direct episodes for season 7 of The X-Files, and on the major plot points of that season; on David Duchovny leaving The X-Files and on replacing him with Robert Patrick as "John Doggett"; on his decision to end the first run of The X-Files and how 9/11 impacted the show

Chapter 3

On his favorite season of The X-Files, and on leaving some storylines and questions open; on The X-Files documentary "The Threads of Mythology"; on the legacy of The X-Files, and on the feature films
On the series Millennium, and on running two shows at once; on the series The Lone Gunmen, and it having predicted some aspects of 9/11; on the series Harsh Realm
On the then-future of television; on how fame has changed his life; on career achievements and regrets; on advice to aspiring television writers and show creators; on how he would like to be remembered
Shows

Harsh Realm

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Chris Carter on the series Harsh Realm

Lone Gunmen, The

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Chris Carter on the series The Lone Gunmen and it having predicted some aspects of 9/11

Millennium

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Chris Carter on the series Millennium, and on running two shows at once

Outer Limits, The (1963-65)

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Chris Carter on The Outer Limits' influence on The X-Files

X-Files, The

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Chris Carter on coming up with The X-Files characters "Mulder" and "Scully"
Chris Carter on the premise of The X-Files, and on his thoughts on area abduction
Chris Carter on pitching The X-Files to Fox executives and on their reaction to the pilot
Chris Carter on casting Gillian Anderson as "Dana Scully" and David Duchovny as "Fox Mulder" on The X-Files
Chris Carter on the filming the pilot of The X-Files, and on the audience reaction to it and the mythology arc
Chris Carter on The X-Files main theme and title
Chris Carter on the characters' motivation in the first season of The X-Files, and on the romance, themes, and goals of the show
Chris Carter on "Fox Mulder's" shooting on The X-Files, and on coming up with story ideas
Chris Carter on The X-Files' core audience
Chris Carter on the first season finale of The X-Files
Chris Carter on what made The X-Files scary
Chris Carter on the process of collaborating with other writers and producers on The X-Files
Chris Carter on The X-Files' themes of government conspiracy theories
Chris Carter on various The X-Files storylines, including the disapearance of "Mulder's" sister and the "Cigarette Smoking Man"
Chris Carter on putting humor into the mix on The X-Files
Chris Carter on on how they handled Gillian Anderson's pregnancy on season 2 of The X-Files, which led the the "Scully abducted" storyline
Chris Carter on the "Alex Krycek" character on The X-Files, and on getting an Emmy nomination for the episode "Duane Barry" which he directed
Chris Carter on those episodes of The X-Files that he labeled "monster of the week" and the alien mythology of the series
Chris Carter on how the early episodes of The X-Files impacted television at the time, including the cinematography of the show
Chris Carter on The X-Files' following, and the impact of the internet and new media on the show
Chris Carter on getting "Mulder" and "Scully" romantically involved on The X-Files
Chris Carter on the "Mulder" and "Scully" relationship as the show and feature films progressed on The X-Files
Chris Carter on the importance of Emmy Award nominations and other awards to The X-Files team and himself
Chris Carter on Cher guest-starring on The X-Files
Chris Carter on the season 5 finale of The X-Files, and on the first feature film based on the series
Chris Carter on the decision to move The X-Files from Canada to Los Angeles starting with season 6
Chris Carter on responding to fan criticism of season 6 of The X-Files
Chris Carter on Vince Gilligan writing for The X-Files season six, and on the plot points of that year
Chris Carter on having stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson direct episodes for season 7 of The X-Files and the major plot points of that season
Chris Carter on David Duchovny leaving The X-Files and on replacing him with Robert Patrick as "John Doggett"
Chris Carter on his decision to end the first run of The X-Files
Chris Carter on how 9/11 impacted The X-Files
Chris Carter on the fate of "The Lone Gunman" on The X-Files, and on tying up loose ends at the end of the series
Chris Carter on The Outer Limits' influence on The X-Files
Chris Carter on his favorite season of The X-Files, and on leaving some storylines and questions open
Chris Carter on The X-Files documentary "The Threads of Mythology"
Chris Carter on the legacy of The X-Files
Chris Carter on the feature film X-Files spin-off "I Want to Believe"
Topics

9/11

View Topic
Chris Carter on how 9/11 impacted The X-Files
Chris Carter on the series The Lone Gunmen and it having predicted some aspects of 9/11

Advice

View Topic
Chris Carter on advice to aspiring television writers and show creators

Characters & Catchphrases

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Chris Carter on casting Gillian Anderson as "Dana Scully" and David Duchovny as "Fox Mulder" on The X-Files

Creative Influences and Inspiration

View Topic
Chris Carter on The Outer Limits' influence on The X-Files

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Chris Carter on the "Alex Krycek" character on The X-Files, and on getting an Emmy nomination for the episode "Duane Barry" which he directed
Chris Carter on the importance of Emmy Award nominations and other awards for The X-Files team and himself

Fame and Celebrity

View Topic
Chris Carter on how fame has changed his life

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Chris Carter on how 9/11 impacted The X-Files
Chris Carter on the series The Lone Gunmen and it having predicted some aspects of 9/11

New Media

View Topic
Chris Carter on The X-Files' following and the impact of the internet and new media on the show

Pivotal Career Moments

View Topic
Chris Carter on The Outer Limits' influence on The X-Files

Pop Culture

View Topic
Chris Carter on casting Gillian Anderson as "Dana Scully" and David Duchovny as "Fox Mulder" on The X-Files
Chris Carter on The X-Files main theme and title
Chris Carter on how fame has changed his life

TV Theme Songs

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Chris Carter on The X-Files main theme and title

Television Industry

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Chris Carter on The X-Files' following and the impact of the internet and new media on the show
Chris Carter on the then-future of television
Chris Carter on advice to aspiring television writers and show creators
Professions

Show Creators

View Profession
Chris Carter on the characters' motivation in the first season of The X-Files
Chris Carter on keeping track of the story arc on The X-Files
Chris Carter on the process of collaborating with other writers and producers on The X-Files
Chris Carter on how they handled Gillian Anderson's pregnancy on season 2 of The X-Files, which led the the "Scully abducted" storyline
Chris Carter on the decision to move The X-Files from Canada to Los Angeles starting with season 6
Chris Carter on advice to aspiring television writers and show creators
Genres

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

View Genre
Chris Carter on creating The X-Files
Chris Carter on The X-Files
Chris Carter on The X-Files
Chris Carter on Millennium
Chris Carter on The Lone Gunmen
Chris Carter on Harsh Realm
People

Gillian Anderson

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Chris Carter on casting Gillian Anderson as "Dana Scully" and David Duchovny as "Fox Mulder" on The X-Files
Chris Carter on how they handled Gillian Anderson's pregnancy on season 2 of The X-Files, which led the the "Scully abducted" storyline
Chris Carter on having stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson direct episodes for season 7 of The X-Files and the major plot points of that season

Cher

View Person Page
Chris Carter on Cher guest-starring on The X-Files

David Duchovny

View Person Page
Chris Carter on casting Gillian Anderson as "Dana Scully" and David Duchovny as "Fox Mulder" on The X-Files
Chris Carter on having stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson direct episodes for season 7 of The X-Files and the major plot points of that season
Chris Carter on David Duchovny leaving The X-Files and on replacing him with Robert Patrick as "John Doggett"

Vince Gilligan

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Chris Carter on Vince Gilligan writing for The X-Files season six and on the plot points of that year

Jeffrey Katzenberg

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Chris Carter on getting his screenplay noticed by Jeffrey Katzenberg

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