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Were you excited by the evolution of the conspiracy theorist since The X-Files?

Yes. There’s so much you can now weed through on the internet. There’s over 500 conspiracy sites so there’s just plenty of material out there to cherry pick.

Has it surprised you that the conspiracy theorist is not underground anymore?

No, it’s internet driven now so it’s not necessarily mainstream media but it’s risen to the surface as you say.

In contrast, is someone like Mulder on the normal side of things?

Well, I don’t know about that. He still believes in some pretty, I would call them fringe things.

As you’ve watched the real world and things like the 9/11 truthers come up, have you taken mental notes of, “Man, if I ever do another X-Files, that would be something to address?”

Yes.

Was it fun to make Mulder the skeptic a little?

Always. It’s always fun to put a twist on the concept, especially when we do the Mulder and Scully turnaround, where Mulder became the skeptic and Scully the believer, but this time Mulder has reason to be skeptical of Tad O’Malley.

Do you have any new writers for this X-Files?

I don’t. These are all some of the originals.

Were there any original writers you couldn’t find room for?

Yes, I had reached out to Frank Spotnitz who’s busy with his own two series [The Man in the High Castle and Crossing Lines], and Vince Gilligan who’s busy with Better Call Saul. Once they turned me down, I had three people. I decided to do three myself.

When there is a monster, was it important to you that it still be a guy in a suit?

[Laughs.] Well, there are different kinds of monsters on The X-Files but in this case, it was Darin [Morgan]’s choice to do kind of an old-fashioned monster. Even the transformation effects are kind of old style.

Did you explore any newer visual effects techniques?

Yes, all the way through there are tiny little things and then big things too. In the first episode, there’s lots of CG but we built two enormous spaceships and actually shot those. They were real but had CG elements. Throughout there are CG elements. The really good thing about this time around, this series, is we had an extended post so we could really perfect those effects. When you’re doing a 22- or 25-episode season, you never have the time or the money to do it.

Did you blow up the practical model?

No. We didn’t blow it up. It appears to crash and the same with the one that appears to disappear. Those are all tricks.

What was your decision to actually visit Roswell?

I actually never imagined that as Roswell. I imagined it as there were a series of crashes. So I imagined it as something other than Roswell but it ended up becoming kind of synonymous with Roswell. It was something we’d never done before so I wanted to do it.

Do you have more resources now to do something big like that?

Yes, but you know what, my budget was kind of equal to what we finished with in 2002.

Have you shifted your thinking from an alien conspiracy to a human conspiracy?

Well, we mention that when Mulder says, “A conspiracy of men.” It has expanded on the conspiracy.

Is the business of show running a six-episode series different than doing the 22 a year?

In the obvious way that there are fewer episodes, but at the same time, the demands on your focus and instincts are the same because once the clock is running, it never stops. You shoot an episode in eight days. On the ninth day, you start the next episode and the ninth day, you start the next episode. It is a running process with never a break.

Now that you’ve gotten The X-Files back up and running, are there any new shows you want to do?

Well, my wife [Dori Carter] has a six-part miniseries that I’m aching to bring to TV. It’s based on her second book called We Are Rich.

***

The X-Files returns January 24 on Fox.

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