We already revealed that Monday’s episode of The X-Files will feature an appearance by fan-favorite characters the Lone Gunmen. They appear as part of what X-Files creator Chris Carter describes as “a presumed psychedelic hallucination.” That same apparent hallucination also sees Special Agent Mulder (David Duchovny) hitting the dance floor for a rather elaborate routine – set to Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart.” Carter wrote and directed the episode, and talked to us about that dance number and the episode’s special guest stars.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I don’t want to spoil anything, but can we talk about how the psychedelic hallucination involves Mulder dancing to “Achy Breaky Heart”?
CHRIS CARTER: I was a big fan of the Christopher Walken-Fatboy Slim video collaboration, “Weapon of Choice.” I wanted to have Mulder do something like that. We actually had a choreographer work with David [Duchovny]. David isn’t a trained dancer, but he’s very athletic. And he’s also game. We had a limited amount of time, not only to shoot it, but also to practice it. We actually had a choreographer work with David — he had no idea how to do that dance, or how to two-step. All that [rehearsal] happened as we were filming episode 3 and a little bit of 4.
Monday’s episode also features guest stars Robbie Amell and Lauren Ambrose. How do they fit into the show?
Fox said to me, really almost as an aside, “Would you ever consider spinning the show off?” For me, the show is Mulder and Scully, and David and Gillian [Anderson]. But I thought: “Why don’t I just play with this idea of a younger Mulder and Scully?” I would call them a more extreme, wide-eyed Mulder, and a more aggressive Scully.
The season premiere was called “My Struggle,” and the upcoming finale is titled “My Struggle II.” How does the finale tie back to the premiere?
It’s the answer to the question posed by the first part of the two-parter [the season premiere]. But as an answer, it only goes so far to the edge of the cliff. It is the predicament of their lives brought into the most frightening spotlight that I could imagine. The predicament of: Where is their child?
The show has been getting very good ratings. Have there been talks about another season, or a movie?
I had one question thrown out to me at a meeting. [Fox Television CEO] Dana Walden asked, “If there were another series, when do you think you could begin work on it?” It wasn’t an overture, more of a practical issue. That was before the show ever aired and they knew what the ratings would be. There’s been no conversation about doing more of these. With the ratings news, it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t come back to us.
I would love to do another movie. Especially coming off that second movie, which had such a heavy weight upon it: A summer-release, low-budget movie, with no promotion, in a crowded field of tentpole fare. I was asked to do so much with so little. And I tried! If we were to do another movie, it would need to be akin to the first movie, which I thought was a story worthy of the big screen. That said, I can’t imagine they won’t want to somehow figure out how to do this on TV.
If the show returned for another season, do you envision the same mixture of mythology episodes and stand-alone episodes?
I love the mythology. I focused so much on it during the run of the show because it really involved the character’s personal quests, and also their relationship as it grew, and/or as it ebbed. The struggles. I chose “My Struggle” [as a title for the premiere and finale] because those characters both struggle very much with their belief systems. I love the mythology because it did what I think the show did best. The stand-alone episodes could be light, comedic. I think of the episode with Burt Reynolds … it goes into almost concept art. A show, with the right actors, can be more than just one thing.