X-Files’ Chris Carter on the conspiracies: ‘I didn’t just throw everything in’

Premiere of 'The X-Files'
Spoilers for The X-Files premiere episode, and mild spoilers for the second episode
The conclusion of Sunday night’s premiere X-Files reboot episode, My Struggle, saw so many conspiracy theories tied together in a messy package that it made me roll my eyes. There was mass government surveillance, chemtrails, alien fetal implantation, FEMA prison camps, false flag operations, the militarization of local police, the obesity epidemic and conspicuous consumerism, which were all presented as part of a mass conspiracy by a mysterious cabal to control the populace.

With so many conspiracy theories crammed into one, and especially with Joel McHale’s ridiculous Alex Jones-like conservative talk show host character, it came across as a kind of send up of the conspiracy culture. Scully is the straightwoman to this nonsense, and when she spoke out and called the mass conspiracy theories borderline treason I was reminded of all that’s good about the X-Files. It presents scary, creepy, supernatural and unbelievable events and then encourages us to doubt them. We never really know what’s true.

In a new interview with The Daily Beast, series creator Chris Carter addresses the inevitable criticism that he crammed too many conspiracies into the show. He also explains why now is the time for the X-Files to come back: Americans are doubting our government again after going through 9/11 and a couple of wars. I get the impression that Carter’s own belief system is not near as radical as Mulder’s or as pragmatic as Scully’s. He’s somewhere in between, and he skirts that with these two characters, the skeptic and the believer.

“I didn’t just throw everything but the kitchen sink in, you know,” [Chris Carter] says. “I really went through and chose the things that have some kernel of truth or, if not, some element of fear in them for everyone. It’s not just done carelessly, and it also does not necessarily represent my or the other producers’ point of view.”

In that way, he says, he shares Dana Scully’s philosophy. “I’m a skeptic by nature,” he says. “With this New World Order and with aliens and also the paranormal, you’ve got to prove it to me. That poster in Mulder’s office that says ‘I Want to Believe’ is pretty much my point of view. I wanna believe this stuff, but without proof or evidence, I’m reluctant.

“The show is really Scully’s show in the sense that science, real science, is the anchor,” he adds. “And if it weren’t for Scully, Mulder would just be a kook.”

“So many of the rights and liberties that we gave up willingly have been abused,” he says. “The government admits it’s spying on us—presumably for our own good, but this is a frightening thing. A lot of people my age recognize that there is a lot of potential for abuse. People give up their privacy so willingly now, believing that if you’ve got nothing to hide, why not, but without understanding that that could also lead you down the path to injustice, that what you say today could be used against you tomorrow. What you buy today could be used against you tomorrow.”

To Carter, the xenophobia and destructive rhetoric trumpeted by high-profile presidential candidates is a grim foreshadowing of the abuses of power inherent in Tad O’Malley’s vision of the future.

“When you get presidential candidates saying ‘just bomb the shit out of them’ or ‘don’t allow this group of people into the United States,’” Carter says, alluding to Donald Trump’s proposed anti-Muslim mandate, “it just suggests a kind of wholesale intolerance that could trickle down or filter down into all kinds of policy. So I think that whether we want to admit it or not, there is a sort of—not the Internet version, not the conspiracy site version—but there is a sort of possibility of a New World Order.”

[From The Daily Beast]

I think there are definite privacy and security concerns for US citizens especially, but when it’s sensationalized so much and turned into some kind of unbelievable huge conspiracy it’s hard to take it seriously. Still, this is a show about aliens and we want to see aliens and creepiness and it delivers. I want it to be more humorous and light, but those episodes were few and far between in the original and supposedly that’s coming in episode three.

The second episode, which aired last night, was a capsule episode which felt particularly genuine to the original show. I don’t think they properly explained how Scully and Mulder were working together again so quickly but they definitely got back in the groove again. There were also “what might have been” dream montages from Scully and Mulder featuring their child, whom they gave up for adoption as an infant to protect him. (I never particularly liked that story arc and it felt like they had to close up loose ends.) The rest of the show was classic overwrought X-Files, but whether that stands the test of time or not is up to interpretation. I kind of loved it.

Anderson told The Daily Beast that she’s open to doing more episodes if the demand is there. Carter has a similar sentiment and said that “If the [show] does well now, I’m certain [Fox] would want more.” It feels so familiar to me and I would watch it every week as it is now, but I’m a very specific demographic.

Premiere of 'The X-Files'

Premiere of 'The X-Files'

Premiere of 'The X-Files'

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

24 Responses to “X-Files’ Chris Carter on the conspiracies: ‘I didn’t just throw everything in’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Astrid says:

    Eh, I watched a few episodes back in the day but I have no interest in the reboot.

  2. Mia4s says:

    So I assume this is a set up for them seeing their son again? Has to be right?

    I’m OK with that given the whole alien DNA issue but I am also looking forward to the werewolves next week. Stand alone monster of the week episodes were always some of the best

    • Sarah(too) says:

      I keep thinking the same thing. I’ve loved the first 2 episodes. It’s given us everything that any X-file fan from back in the day would love (and hate!). Familiar characters. Familiar themes. I do love that the conspiracy this time is that what if everything they were chasing before was wrong. And yes, I do think the set up is for them to learn what happened to their son. I was actually wondering if one of the kids last night was him.

  3. Pinky says:

    He sure did! That rant Joel McHale went on in the first ep of the reboot was a mishmash of every zany thought anyone has ever had about the government.


    • delphi says:

      He was so good! Joel corners the market on walking the thin line between charming and smarmy, and his character was whack-job perfection.

      I didn’t realize how much I missed Skinner until he came on-screen!

  4. Anon says:

    The monster of the week episodes were always my favorites! There is something wonderful about having them back together again. Maybe it’s nostalgia- I guess we will see if it holds up- but I am loving it so much I am willing to overlook how thin the conspiracy reboot plot was.

  5. Naya says:

    So all those years of evidence of alien shenanigans but it was the illuminati all along? Really? Will Jay Z have a special guest star appearance? The show runner better get smarter. Fast.

  6. grabbyhands says:

    Uh, yeah you did Chris. Which is why your episodes are the least well received of the new ones.

    Having said THAT, I am reduced to a giggly pile of twentysomething fangirl when I see the credits and hear that theme music again. I am going to be heartbroken when it goes away again.

  7. Jen43 says:

    I am absolutely loving this, which comes as a wonderful surprise. Episode 1 wasn’t
    great, but it was a tough situation to begin with. Some of the dialogue was beyond cheesy. Last night’s episode was disturbing as hell, and everything I love about the X-Files. I have to add that despite what most people have been saying, I don’t think Mulder looks so bad, and I don’t think Scully looks so good. The wig is too flat and Gillian looks better as a blond. I guess that red is a tough color to pull off as we age.

    The only thing that I find super annoying are the references to 2016. Yes, we get these episodes are new. No reason to mention Obamacare, Snowden, etc.

  8. Sarah01 says:

    I want to watch I think it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with and I really adore Gillian.
    Like her dress a lot except for the black bits that look misplaced.

  9. H says:

    As a huge fan of XF, I’ve been fairly bored with the new episodes. Not even DD and GA’s chemistry have made it interesting. However, looking forward to MOTW episode next Monday. Chris Carter needs to stay away from the conspiracy themes, he can’t write it worth sh*t, never could.

  10. EscapedConvent says:

    We had better get some Lone Gunman, pronto. And I wouldn’t mind if Alex Krychek popped out of the shadows in a parking garage, like he did in the good old days.

    I absolutely loved that show and always will. It was brilliant. I wish they would just keep making them.

  11. kay says:

    i have only seen the first one so far, and i liked it far more than i thought i would.
    i cannot get over how contained gillian is playing skully…but in light of all the back stories leading to here, it makes sense.
    will be watching episode two tonight.

  12. chaine says:

    I thought the first episode was more like a parody of the X-Files then anything else. Too ridiculously-much rolled into one hour. And Duchovny’s stubbly jowls, yuck. Didn’t bother watching last night’s second part. Call me when they bring back Doug Hutchinson as Tooms somehow with a special guest star, Courtney Stodden.

  13. anne_000 says:

    Was Kyle’s last name Gillian? If so, probably an joke refering to Anderson.

  14. Lisa says:

    I loved last night’s episode! It was classic XF with a modern twist. Sunday night was a bit of a disappointment, but I cut them some slack, since they were coming back after such a long stretch.

  15. pinetree13 says:

    To be honest…while I loved the intro to the first episode and Joel McHale did fantastic…the rest…is kind of meh for me. Perhaps I never noticed when I was younger but Mulder and Scully seem to wear the same facial expressions constantly and just mutter to each other devoid of any emotion. All the peripheral characters seems so much more animated in comparison. It’s like everytime they speak I just think of the script they memorized and I’m not drawn in, you know?

    Also, this time I caught Lucifer at the end of show. I started watching it and….I loved it! It was so entertaining! This might just be my new show. It’s cheesy but I like the leads.

  16. Lilo says:

    They changed the order in which the episodes air. the 2nd (founder’s mutation) was supposed to be the 5th. that’s why it doesn’t really fit, mulder and scully working together again, the whole experiments on stolen children etc that don’t quite fit the other storyline. It’s because it ties into the whole miniseries and was supposed to be the penultimate episode, not the 2nd.

    • Lisa says:

      I thought the continuation was way off, but that’s never stopped CC before, lol. What was supposed to come after?

  17. Baba Ghanoush says:

    GA looks amazing with blond hair. DD looks old.