San Francisco Chronicle
January 20, 1999

'X-Files' to Get Closer to Truth During Sweeps
By John Carman

(01-20) 04:00 PDT Pasadena -- "The X-Files" will finally resolve its pesky "mythology" mystery next month and then gear up for a seventh and final season in the fall.

Maybe. Possibly.

In the typically ambiguous words of the show's creator and executive producer, Chris Carter, "Every answer has its own set of questions."

So when the Fox network issued a release a few days ago claiming that the show's "deepest secrets" would be solved in a February two-parter, well, some of that grand declaration can be attributed to sweeps-month fever.

But the February 7 and 14 episodes, called "Two Fathers" and "One Son," will at least provide some long-concealed "mythology" answers.


"Mythology" refers to "X-Files" episodes dealing with the underlying conspiracy facing FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). Namely, a government coverup of an alien presence.

"You're going to understand this conspiracy after the end of the two-parter," Carter said in an interview. "But that doesn't necessarily mean everything's wrapped up and finished. . . .

"This is part of the move to get to the ultimate answer, if you will, about what happened to Mulder's sister."

Abducted by aliens, you know. Something about bees. And there's Cigarette Smoking Man, who is quite insidious between puffs on the poisonous weed. What's Mulder's old girlfriend, Agent Fowley, hiding from him? What is Cassandra Spender all about?

And why can't Carter ever put the wraps on this thing?

"There are going to be a lot of answers," he said. "A lot is going to be explained. You'll actually understand a lot about how Mulder didn't necessarily choose the X-files. They were kind of chosen for him. You will learn, historically, how the X-files came about and what Mulder's father's part was in them . . .

"I can tell you that the Cigarette Smoking Man is all but stripped of mystery, to an extent, and I think that's going to be interesting, for him to be so exposed in the series."

Fox's jointly owned FX cable channel will pitch in, beginning Monday, by running 24 previous "mythology" episodes on weeknights.


Actually, the tangiest mysteries concern the future of "The X-Files." Carter said his stars are "very anxious to start doing something besides playing Mulder and Scully," and that next season probably will be the last.

After that, Carter hopes to convert his hit TV series into periodic feature films. The first, released last year, failed to crack the $100 million domestic box-office mark. But Carter said it grossed $85 million in the United States and nearly $200 million worldwide.

"It's a successful movie," he said. "It means that we'll do another movie. That movie will answer the question if there will be a third movie."

But the Fox television network won't part with "The X-Files" happily, and Carter is hedging his bets. There is still a chance of an eighth season in 2000-01, he said, and he wouldn't even rule out the possibility of a protracted "X-Files" television franchise without Duchovny and Anderson.

"I wouldn't not consider it," Carter said, "but because I don't have to consider it right now, I don't. Is that evasive enough?"