The X-Files Australian Conne-X-ion News Stand
Keep in touch, Mulder
Friday, July 28, 2000
By Kristi Turnquist of The Oregonian staff
Green-blooded aliens couldn't do it. Chain-smoking
conspirators couldn't do it. No, what finally broke up Mulder
and Scully is a distressingly down-to-earth culprit --
Now that Chris Carter, creator of the otherworldly hit TV
show "The X-Files," has announced that leading man David
Duchovny will appear in only 11 of the upcoming season's
20 episodes, "X-Files" watchers are speculating that the
end is near.
Though still a key show for Fox, "The X-Files" saw its
ratings erode last season, overshadowed in the buzz
department by HBO's "The Sopranos" and prompting even
die-hard fans to grouse that the show had lost its spark.
The added news that Carter is bringing in a new actor --
Robert Patrick, best known as Arnold Schwarzenegger's
shape-shifting nemesis in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"--
for the eighth "X-Files" season is also sending X-philes into
orbit. Among the responses found on the Internet fan sites
and news groups:
"Carter has murdered his own show."
"Say it ain't so!!! That guy (Patrick) is so . . .creepy!!"
"There is no 'X-Files' without Mulder! 'The X-Files' is the
story of Mulder's quest for truth. Therefore without Mulder
there is NO SHOW. It would be like 'The Odyssey' without
Patrick, who reportedly beat out fellow candidates Lou
Diamond Phillips ("La Bamba"), Chris Noth ("Sex and the
City"), Hart Bochner ("Die Hard") and Bruce Campbell
("The Evil Dead"), will play by-the-book FBI agent John
Doggett. Doggett will help Mulder's partner and soulmate,
agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), search for Mulder,
who was taken by aliens -- a vexingly frequent problem in
"The X-Files" universe -- in the 1999-2000 season finale.
As if that isn't challenge enough, Scully also will be dealing
with her pregnancy, another jawdropper from the
season-ender. Who's the father? Carter has hinted in
interviews that it's Mulder, but fans will have to wait for the
Nov. 5 season premiere for more info.
Mulder's part-time "X-Files" duty is the latest example of
how offscreen conflicts affect viewers' favorite shows.
Duchovny, who became a star playing obsessed FBI agent
Fox Mulder, completed his seven-year contract at the end
of last season. Suspense about whether he would return
for an eighth season swirled all year long. Complicating
matters was Duchovny's messy lawsuit against 20th
Century Fox, alleging the company cheated him of profits
associated with the show's syndication, among other
When Carter and crew filmed the season finale, nobody
knew if the show would return for another season. Finally,
in mid-May, Fox negotiated a deal to bring "The X-Files"
back, albeit with a part-time Mulder.
Lee Petrik, director of programming and broadcast
operations for KPDX-49, the Portland-area Fox affiliate,
isn't worried. "Obviously, David Duchovny is a big star and
is the lead character," Petrik says, "but I know the person
they're replacing him with has done some good stuff and
he kind of has that 'X-Files' look to him. I'm totally confident
that there won't be any slippage there."
But to many fans, the core of "The X-Files" is the complex,
evolving relationship between Mulder and Scully. As one
Internet poster put it: "Every show reaches a point where
it's time to hang it up. I don't care if they resurrect young
Laurence Olivier and cast him as Mulder, the show is
ABOUT Scully and Mulder, and if one of them goes, the
story is over. Doing it with another 'Mulder' would change
the central story, and therefore the show. Let it go quietly
into that good night."
You can reach Kristi Turnquist at 503-221-8227 or by
e-mail at email@example.com.
The X-Files is © 20th Century Fox
This story is © oregonlive.com
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