The X-Files
Australian Conne-X-ion
Australian Media
March 2000

Sun-Herald Television, March 26- April 1 2000

Fatal Attraction

It's the moment we've all been waiting for, but what will the Mulder-Scully kiss mean for the future of The X-Files? Greg Braxton reports.

When Herman Hupfeld wrote the immortal lyrics, "You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, " he obviously couldn't have had Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in mind.

The two FBI agents, who form the core of The X- Files, have maintained a certain distance in their professional relationship. Despite a subtle but growing romantic attraction to each other, nothing physical resulted.

Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) have teased and flirted with each other, and they came close to locking lips in 1998's The X-Files feature film, but again, no kiss. They ultimately put their eerie work before play. Until now.

In this week's episode, the partners will finally pucker up-for real- in what will surely be regarded by some of the show's more fanatical fans as a true landmark event.

The (somewhat dated) story is set on New Year's Eve with the kiss taking place at the stroke of midnight.

Afterwards, Mulder turns to Scully and says, The world didn't end". She responds with an inscrutable smile and the comment, "No, it didn't".

The X-files devotees have been clamouring for some kind of romance between Mulder and Scully almost since the series began in 1993.

Executive producer Frank Spotnitz said:"Yes, we've toyed with their sexual tension for a long time. The movie was really the most explicit demonstration of how they felt about each other."

Spotnitz and series creator Chris Carter have always been protective of the chemistry between the two. "We've been mindful of what makes the show work, and Mulder and Scully work," Spotnitz said. "This show gives us the opportunity to take them where they've never gone before without damaging that chemistry."

That chemistry is not scripted, "It's in what David and Gillian bring to it," Spotnitz said.

The smooch will not be just a pash and dash- Carter intends to delve into the relationship between the agents in future episodes.

But the real question nagging fans is whether this series will be the end of the line for Carter, Duchovny and Anderson- and the show.

The contracts of Carter and Duchovny are up this series. Anderson has declared that she will not return, even though she is contracted for another series. But 20th Century Fox Television, for whom Carter produces the series, has stated it would like everyone back for an eight season- and Carter is interested.

But there are obstacles-primarily of a financial nature. The X-Files, at a cost of about $4.5 million an episode, is already the most expensive series on network TV, and that would presumably climb even higher with what it would take to keep the key players in the fold.

Carter indicated he would like The X-Files to continue- if some major issues were resolved and Duchovny, Anderson and other principals were on board.

He is extremely excited, personally and creatively, about the current series but he also realises Fox owns the drams and can continue it without him.

"I don't know what their plans are, " he said. "But it's their show. They can put it on without any of the principals being involved."

Nevertheless, Carter said he has been proceeding with this series of The X-Files with the same enthusiasm and freshness as previous seasons. He claimed he was not steering the series towards a conclusion although he has changed his tune on the subject on a few occasions.

"As always, I want to tell good stories, scare people, leaven it with some funny episodes, expand and possibly wind down The X-Files mythology," he said.

It wasn't until recently, when fellow executive producer Spotnitz reminded him, that the reality of a possible final countdown hit him.

"I was all excited by an idea, and after I told frank, he said, 'We may be telling our last few stories here'," Carter said. "If this indeed is our last season, there are a lot of things that we have to do. I have some big ideas."

Transcribed by Lucy.

Sydney Morning Herald, March 6, 2000

Fan sites to be blacked out


More than 260 Internet fan sites of television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files will shut down for a day in protest against Twentieth Century Fox, which has been closing fan sites that use material from its shows.

Sites will go offline on May 13 as part of Operation Blackout, a campaign hoping to pressure media companies into allowing still images and short audio and video clips to be used on fan Web sites. A statement on the Operation Blackout site says: "The shutting down of the sites for the day will show Fox what the end result would be: a drab and lifeless Internet."

In the latest clash between fans and media companies, unofficial Buffy site owners have been forced to shut down their Web sites after Twentieth Century Fox threatened legal action. In letters sent to site owners, lawyers acting for Fox said the company had a legal responsibility under contractual arrangements with the writers, actors, directors and TV stations to prevent unauthorised distribution of its material.

One letter told a site owner "you are hereby put on notice that the unauthorised use of Fox's proprietary material ... constitutes copyright infringement and trademark infringement and potentially subjects you to both criminal and civil sanctions".

It is not the first time Fox has taken such action. Fan sites for the TV series The X-Files, The Simpsons and Millennium have also been forced to close.

Paramount took similar action against Star Trek fan sites, as did the management of rock band Oasis which in 1997 demanded the removal of photographs, lyrics and sound clips from unofficial Oasis Internet sites.

The executive director of the Arts Law Centre of Australia, Ms Delia Browne, said the centre was aware of about 10 Australian cases in the past six months where copyright owners had approached site owners or Internet service providers, but none of these involved fan sites.

Recently the Australian Music Publishers Association and the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society, representing the interests of musicians, writers and publishers, asked universities to remove music from Web sites that were breaching copyright restrictions. A few months ago an artist asked a company to remove an image of his work from the its site. In both cases the site owners complied immediately, Ms Browne said.

There was no case history of online copyright breaches in Australia, she said, because site owners normally complied with requests to remove material. "If you have got someone really big telling you to take something down from your site, you are going to do it unless you have got lots and lots of money to fight it."

Australian Buffy fan Mr Luke Jennings, 18, of Malabar, said he used to upload episodes of Buffy onto his Web site, while it was not being shown on Australian TV.

"It was the best thing since sliced bread, because I could see my favourite show and I could watch it whenever I wanted to," he said. But he removed the episodes from his Web site after reading a letter from Fox threatening another site owner.

Access for proven fans had not ended, Mr Jennings said, with a group forming a Web ring that secretly circulates material from the show.

Web ring sites have been created at unlikely Internet addresses, without information that search engines would find, so that large media companies will not find them. "It's become secretive," he said. "It's a select group of people who know about it."

The X-Files is © 20th Century Fox

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