Hi reddit,

My other credits include Strike Back, Millennium, Night Stalker and The Lone Gunmen. You can find the Hunted subreddit at http://www.reddit.com/r/huntedseries and watch Episode 1 of Hunted at http://youtu.be/RsbV-ZwtbEw (available only in the US and Canada only.)

Edit: Thanks for joining me and asking so many great questions. Don't forget to tune-in to new episodes of Hunted on Fridays at 10 on Cinemax and Thursdays at 9 on the BBC. Proof: https://twitter.com/Big_Light/status/260735328212627456

Comments: 952 • Responses: 69  • Date: 

notAcrimeScene431 karma

i dont have any questions, but i must thank you for XFiles. I thoroughly enjoyed that show!

Hope to see more stuff like that in the future! cheers!

FrankSpotnitz158 karma

Thanks! Check out "Hunted" if you can. I suspect you'll like it. And if you don't get Cinemax, you can see the first episode (in the States and Canada) on youtube.

luxpiper137 karma

What, in your opinion, was the greatest flaw in the X-Files mythos (be it in story arch, character development, or something behind the scenes such as a conflict between writers)?

FrankSpotnitz195 karma

Well, I'm sure you could find a lot of flaws in the mythos -- it was something that was evolving as the show was. The amazing thing to me is how many people stuck with it, and made connections between ideas that sometimes didn't resurface for years at a time. I think the biggest challenge, certainly, was trying to make the show work while David was (mostly) absent in Seasons 8 and 9.

luxpiper45 karma

Thanks! One more, if you don't mind... What was the hardest episode/story arc to write?

FrankSpotnitz126 karma

The mythology became incredibly difficult to write, especially after the movie. But the biggest challenge was having to write the movie in the midst of Season 4, knowing it would come out between Seasons 5 & 6, even though we hadn't written Season 5!

rodriguezlrichard135 karma

Mr. Spotnitz, Let me start by saying that I am huge fan of your writing, and X-Files wouldn’t be what it is today without your help. I admire not only your work on the X-Files, but also in the production of the critically underrated The Lone Gunmen, and as a co-producer for the Fight the Future movie. Because of you, The X-Files is not only critically acclaimed, but has kept me entertained for many years. To this day, I still watch old episodes on Netflix. Which Brings me to my question that I’m sure all the X-Philes out there are dying to ask you. Will there be a third X-Files movie, and if so, will you be involved in it? Thank you for doing this IamA.

FrankSpotnitz163 karma

I hope so!! I have been campaigning for the movie, behind the scenes and in public, since the last movie opened in 2008. I continue to believe there's a really powerful creative and commercial argument for it. I'm terribly frustrated that the studio hasn't moved forward, but I believe they will, sooner or later. I would love to be involved in it, for sure, but more than anything I just want to see it made!

torchdexto95 karma

I have grown up watching X files, can you acknowledge my existence?

FrankSpotnitz116 karma


deanasaurs7759 karma

Thank you for changing television for the better.

FrankSpotnitz53 karma

Thank you so much! I was fortunate enough to learn from some of the greats on The X-Files (Chris, Howard and Glen & Jim).

ozziesoftballs51 karma

Welcome to Reddit, Frank! I hope you enjoy your time with us. First, I'd like to thank you for using that wonderfully creative mind of yours on The XFiles. Secondly, I have two questions. What were the best and worst days you remember working on TXF? For any reason. (IE: accomplishments, everything going right/wrong, illness, etc.) My second question is, in your opinion, between what episodes does 'Per Manum' fall?
PS- Please don't kill Mulder and/or Scully in the third movie. Also, if you're savvy with Reddit enough now, check out our XF subreddit. It's full of great people!

Thanks again, have a great week!

FrankSpotnitz95 karma

Already been on the XF subreddit and love it -- more people need to check it out! The hardest day on The X-Files was for sure the day in January 2002 when Chris decided to bring the show to a close. It was not just ending the series, it was separating a family that had been together a very long time. There were so many good days, but I'd say the highest point for me was the day the first X-Files movie opened. We drove from theatre to theatre and saw people screaming at Mulder & Scully's (near) kiss. It doesn't get better than that! P.S. You know Scully can never die...

derpina_is_a_mermaid48 karma

Hello, Frank, and welcome.

I always loved Milennium; it was so much darker than the X-Files. Why do you think the series never caught on in the way the X-Files did?

FrankSpotnitz87 karma

I suspect it's for the very reason you just said -- it was SO dark. That, too, is why I loved it, but it made it a tough sell on network television. And in the beginning, Millennium got hammered for not being The X-Files. I still think Fox made a huge mistake in canceling it. Ironically, Millennium would be right at home in today's cable television landscape in the US.

MyNameIsntTyler44 karma


Also, thank you so much for doing this AMA. You wrote some of my favorite x-files episodes!!

FrankSpotnitz40 karma

Go X-Files!

nohinsook44 karma

What would The X-Files fans like about your new series, Hunted?

FrankSpotnitz86 karma

They're different shows, of course, but I think X-Files fans will recognize the same kind of storytelling. It's very tense, paranoid (Trust no one!), visual and (hopefully) smart.

spookymulder76544 karma

Tell me about David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in real life. I'm dying to know.

FrankSpotnitz80 karma

David is incredibly witty and sharp, Gillian's very smart and has the greatest laugh. Both are very dedicated, very disciplined. It was incredibly hard work doing that show all those years, especially when you're in so many of the scenes, as David and Gillian were. I have enormous respect for both of them.

YoDup43 karma

Do you like Fringe?

FrankSpotnitz29 karma

What I've seen of it, I've liked. But I honestly haven't seen a lot.

Boston334634 karma

Hey there Frank! I did a lot of research on this and even consulted a doctor, but I ended up more confused from the research, so I figured I'd just ask straight out. Is the alien virus sexually transmittable? Obviously you guys spent more time on story than complex science, but I was just curious if you guys had worked that one out. And I wasn't exactly sure how to word this one in an email to BL, so I figured reddit was a good place to ask it.

P.S. I have Frankenbear's suit ready for XF3.

FrankSpotnitz42 karma

I knew that was Roi! Frankenbear will be ready for the premiere. And if you want the answer to your question, you'll have to buy a ticket to XF3.

Boston334619 karma

Oh I plan on lining up a few weeks early for that ticket. No worries there.

FrankSpotnitz24 karma

I know I can count on you!

FrankSpotnitz33 karma

Thanks for joining me and asking so many great questions. Don't forget to tune-in to new episodes of Hunted on Fridays at 10 on Cinemax and Thursdays at 9 on the BBC.

olivierclaurent32 karma

Hunted is co-produced by the BBC. How different has it been, creatively, but also in terms of the whole production process, compared with your experience in and for the US market?

FrankSpotnitz43 karma

Working for the BBC has been one of the greatest honors of my career, but television production in the UK is very, very different. The whole system is simply not designed or intended to returning series of the size and budget of Hunted. Nor does the role of a "showrunner" exist in this country. It's been challenging, for sure, but it's been a real pleasure working with so many talented and dedicated people.

dick_cheese_salad27 karma

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful work on The X-Files. I grew up with the show and am still totally obsessed. I have a few questions:

  1. What can fans do to help XF3 get made? I know people have done Twitter campaigns but is there anything else you think will make a difference?

  2. How did you feel about the decision for Scully to give William up for adoption? Along with lots of fans, I don't think this made much sense. No one would be able to protect him better than Mulder and Scully.

  3. Will the 3rd movie (I HOPE!) deal with colonization? We learned in the series finale that the date is set. Are Mulder and Scully working to fight the alien takeover? And if William has alien DNA or is in someway essential to fighting colonization wouldn't this necessitate his appearance in the 3rd movie?

FrankSpotnitz35 karma

Thank you so much, and I really appreciate all the support. I think there have been some amazing campaigns spearheaded by the folks at Xfilesnews.com. They've certainly got the attention of the studio, and I'd keep that up. The decision to give up William for adoption was the hardest thing Mulder & Scully ever had to do, but I'm sure the question you raise -- as well as alien colonization -- would figure in the third movie.

idash26 karma

Did Scully really have to stand on a box in some scenes with Mulder?

FrankSpotnitz42 karma

Yes, there's a big difference in their height! We used boxes and ramps so that when we were shooting "coverage" (close-up angles of Mulder and Scully), the framing would like right.

derpderpderp6925 karma

Whose idea was the Lone Gunmen? MY GOD.

Seriously though, huge fan.

It was always a good episode when the Lone Gunmen were involved.

Real question: How long was your tenure for the X-Files? The entire time? Even after Mulder was halfway on the show?

FrankSpotnitz34 karma

I know people who loved the Lone Gunmen spinoff, and people who hated it, but I personally loved it. I think we struggled to get the right tone for awhile there, but it was a joy to make. I was on The X-Files from early in Season 2 until the end, and worked on both feature films.

ClairelySarah21 karma

Will The X-Files ever do a reunion show or a new movie explaining the rest of the myths and secrets? I would love to see David play the role again one last time. Do you stay in contact with David or Jill? Where was mulder in season 8-9? I can not remember what the explanation was on the show. Why was he not on the show?

FrankSpotnitz31 karma

Yes, I'm hoping there will be a third movie and campaigning for it. I don't see or speak to David and Gillian often, but I am in touch with them. And of course I keep in touch with Chris Carter all the time.

maculae21 karma

How much discussion behind the scenes was there regarding the Mulder-Scully relationship and when to bring it to light? Was it always planned?

FrankSpotnitz40 karma

No. The truth is that most of the "unrequired sexual tension" wasn't even scripted. I remember having huge debates as late as Season 3 about whether Mulder and Scully's hands could even touch. But after five years, we felt the characters themselves were demanding that the nature of the relationship change.

theblankfacedman20 karma

Will there be any tram chases in the upcoming series of HUNTED?

FrankSpotnitz26 karma

There'd better be! (And this had better be an in-joke by one of my writers!)

_meganORSI__19 karma

Frank, firstly, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for your work on the X-Files. It's still my favorite show and I'm sure it will continue to be. I'm even recruiting new fans at work ;-) Secondly, if I ever met you, I'd have to hug you. Period. So, for my questions: 1) Do you have favorite episode and/or scene from the X-Files and why? 2)Do you plan on throwing any X-Files references into Hunted? You know, random 1013's, the occasional "Mulderville", "Scully Street"?

I honestly feel badly that I couldn't come up with a more eloquent or ponderous question to ask. But my fangirl heart is all a flutter :-)

FrankSpotnitz31 karma

I'll consider myself hugged online! Sorry to cop out, but I have too many favorite X-Files scenes to mention, and I love them all for different reasons. I am wary of putting explicit X-Files references into Hunted, because it feels like cheating somehow. But there's some subtle stuff -- a 1013 in a prop on Sam's wall, and a line that echoes something said in X-Files. You'd have to be a diehard fan to notice.

Salacious-19 karma

Is there any topic you ever wanted to write about on the X-files but couldn't because it was too controversial?

FrankSpotnitz41 karma

No. I remember we got intense pressure about the episode of "Millennium" that Darin Morgan wrote parodying Scientology. And Chris' original draft of "Irresistible" was rejected because it said suggested Donnie Pfaster had sex with dead bodies. Chris simply changed the script to say he had a "death fetish," and all was well.

actionring1217 karma

Hey! Would you ever consider coming to Dragon-Con? Your friend, Dean Hagland, always comes. Would be an awesome panel!

FrankSpotnitz23 karma

For sure! Invite me.

suplexkirby17 karma

Is there any movement on a third X-Files film whatsoever? Also, can we please include poor John Doggett, at least for one scene?

Thank you for everything you've done. Strike Back rocks too.

FrankSpotnitz37 karma

Thanks! It's hard to tell if there's any movement. I keep lobbying all relevant parties, but there's nothing concrete I can tell you about (yet). As for John Doggett, I can't reveal any spoilers, but let me just say I love that character, and I love Robert Patrick.

patriciasteffy15 karma

I really enjoyed the first episode of Hunted! Looking forward to seeing more! When you split production the way you have with the BBC and Cinemax, does that mean you get two sets of network notes, or is the process more "hands off" on this kind of thing?

FrankSpotnitz18 karma

Yes, that's right! We got two separate sets of notes on every draft of every script, and on every edit of every episode. The nice thing was that the notes were really smart and generally in agreement. Otherwise, it could've been a very challenging process. So glad you enjoyed the first episode -- I think it only gets better from here. I hope you'll agree.

ozziesoftballs14 karma

I already asked one so feel free to skip me..
What season is your favorite in regards to Scully's hair?

_meganORSI__19 karma

Can I chime in and say that I loved Season 4/5 Scully hair? And I know she was supposed to look sick in Memento Mori, but I think she looks so absolutely beautiful in those scenes.

FrankSpotnitz42 karma

She always looked beautiful.

FrankSpotnitz15 karma

Hmm. From memory? Season 7.

ashmaht12 karma

What advice would you give to writers just starting out in the industry?

FrankSpotnitz27 karma

It's the most boring advice there is, but keep writing. I think it's one of those crafts that demands you do it over and over again in order to improve. Listen to criticism. That's painful, I know, but if people aren't moved by what you're writing, there's a reason. And don't give up. If you really, really want to be a writer, you'll get your chance in the end. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but persistence is even more important than talent.

theregoesmypenis12 karma

I love you

FrankSpotnitz45 karma

Sorry, but I can't reciprocate given your screen name!

diogenesl11 karma

What's the main differences in TV Production between the 90s and the current decade?

FrankSpotnitz22 karma

The production side of things hasn't changed all that much, except that so much stuff is shot outside of Los Angeles now. But the business has changed enormously -- and is continuing to change. So much of the most interesting drama is now on cable television. The stories are more daring, and the runs are shorter (typically 10 to 13 episodes a year, rather than 24).

kathryn1311 karma

I am a HUGE X-Files fan. I will probably still watch the series once a year on dvd - yes nearly the whole series (until Mulder goes missing and Scully is pregnant anyway). I just want to say thanks for the story lines and I really loved some of your episodes specifically including All Souls. I thought it was great to bring in the supernatural side of religion to the X-Files and let Scully have her "crazy" which was normally reserved for Mulder. Edit to actually ask a question: What are a couple of your favorite episodes and why?

FrankSpotnitz20 karma

Thanks, kathryn13. That was so much fun and so fulfilling. I really think we could've written X-File stories forever. And I, too, was fascinated by the episodes that touched on Scully's Catholicism, and how she reconciled it with her scientific rationalism.

meowfacekillah11 karma

Just wanted to say.... The X Files is still one of my all time fav television shows ever!!!!!!

FrankSpotnitz13 karma

Thanks so much! If you liked "X-Files," I hope you'll check out "Hunted," too.

david-me10 karma

Will Mulder and Scully live happily ever after?

I've only seen the first Strike Back mini-series/season. I will need to catch up.

FrankSpotnitz21 karma

You don't think I'm going to tell you that, do you? They certainly seemed happy on that boat at the end of the last movie. But you'll need to see XF3 to find out what happens next...! Strike Back's coming back for a third season, so you'll have a lot of viewing to do.

smeaglelovesmaster10 karma

Frank, Fox seemed to give you some freedom on X-Files, but ABC not so much on Night Stalker. Do U.S. network execs help or hinder making good shows? Do execs in the U.K. and U.S. have substantively different processes?

FrankSpotnitz12 karma

Good question! I was terribly frustrated by ABC's restrictions on Night Stalker. Like anything else, there are good executives and bad ones. I'd say I've been lucky in my career, because most of the executives I've worked with have been excellent. That's certainly been the case with Hunted, where the executives both on the Cinemax and the BBC side were incredibly smart and helpful.

_meganORSI__10 karma

Frank, I'm actually streaming the Hunted premiere right now! The visuals are GORGEOUS and the music.. oh, the music. IT'S PERFECT! Who is doing the music for the show?

FrankSpotnitz18 karma

I'm so glad! The score is by the amazing Ruth Barrett, and she is brilliant. I can't tell you what a challenging show this was to write music for. Ruth met that challenge, and brought all kinds of interesting instrumentation and textures to the score. I think she's one of the great heroes of the show.

elsatan66610 karma

Myself and my gf love the X-Files, in particular the "spooky thing happens in small town America" episodes.

When writing these, what were your influences? How did you set up the mood and characters so well?

Thanks a million for telling some amazing stories, looking forward to Hunted now!

FrankSpotnitz20 karma

Thanks. We always thought the stories were scarier if they seemed "normal" -- like something that could happen to just about anyone. That's why so many of them were set in small and medium-sized cities, and involved non-famous casting. I can't speak for all the writers, but I know that I would draw upon my childhood memories and the things that scared me as a kid. I find those are the things that still terrify me most.

BunnieBonnie9 karma

Good morning!! This pertains to The X-files, what episode in particular are you especially proud to have been apart of?

FrankSpotnitz20 karma

Wow! So many. I worked on almost all the episodes, not just the ones with my name on them, and I really was in love with the show. I can't name just one favorite, although of course anything by Chris, Vince, Darin & Glen & Jim would be near the top. As far as episodes that bore my name as a writer, I'd have to say "Memento Mori" and "Milagro."

TheJazzyLady9 karma

I was thinking last night how much the X files changed my life, as stupid as it sounds. I used to watch that show when I was really depressed, it would take my mind of things for a bit. Love that show.

I'm curious about haunted now! Thank you!

FrankSpotnitz9 karma

Thanks, that's so nice to hear. Television has played that role in my life, too. I hope you'll check out "Hunted." I think you'll like it.

diogenesl9 karma

Hi Frank, looking forward to watch Hunted here in Brazil!

As a X-Files fan I want to ask (if you know) why we don't see Chris Carter creating new shows?

FrankSpotnitz23 karma

Chris was too busy enjoying himself for awhile there, but he's back writing now. He's got a new show that hopefully will be on the air before long.

timx139 karma

Why no X-Files/Fringe crossover?

FrankSpotnitz15 karma

We were never asked! But I'm pretty sure "Fringe" has tipped its hat to "The X-Files."

philter4518 karma

Hi there Frank!

My wife and I are actually re-watching every single season of the X-files right now. We are on the beginning of season 8 right now.

My wife wanted me to ask this:

  1. Why did Scully's hair and style never change over the course of so many years?

I was more curious about this:

For so many seasons, Scully played the voice of doubt and logic in the pair. In season 8, being paired up with Dogget, she all of a sudden was filling Mulder's shoes. Was the character change planned, or did it sort of evolve out of necessity?

Anyway, thanks for the amazing show and we will be checking out Hunted after we're done.

FrankSpotnitz15 karma

Thanks so much. I think if you look carefully, though, you'll see Scully's hair did in fact change from season to season, both in terms of the shade of red and the length. In Season 8, we thought it made sense -- both in emotional and character terms -- that Scully would feel the obligation to carry on Mulder's work in his absence, even if she went about it very differently.

bigblue118 karma

Mr Spotnitz, what features would have been 'the Sam Hunter' of Gillian Anderson? She would have been as physical as the Mgeorge?

FrankSpotnitz20 karma

She would have! I developed this with Gillian for a very long time, and she made incredibly important contributions to the character of Sam. It was a real blow when she had to bow out, and it took months and months of searching to find another actress who could pull it off. At the time, I honestly couldn't imagine anybody who could do it but Gillian. But now I think Melissa's made the role her own, and I couldn't really imagine anybody other than her as Sam.

Deuceonyogoose8 karma

How do you feel about Tooms marrying a 16 year old?

FrankSpotnitz20 karma

Well, it's not Tooms, thank goodness! It's Doug Hutchison, the actor who played him. I never met Doug. And I didn't write those episodes. So I have no comment!

God_Of_Beef8 karma


FrankSpotnitz11 karma

You never know! I'm still focusing on trying to get a third movie going.

kimbydub7 karma

Loved the premiere of Hunted! Are there any fun tidbits you can share about what we can expect from the rest of the season?

FrankSpotnitz10 karma

There are so many subtle clues packed into these first few episodes. One fan told me she watched Episode 2 three times to make sure she didn't miss anything! One hint: take a look at what the assassin character (we call him the Blank-Faced Man) was studying the first time we saw him in that cafe in Istanbul.

musical_hog7 karma

Frank, thank you so much for the X-Files. My friends and I are lunatics about it; lines from the show comprise about 50% of the pop culture references we make.

That said, what's your favorite sci-fi franchise?

FrankSpotnitz16 karma

Twilight Zone and the original Star Trek.

Coolala20027 karma

In hindsight, what would you say was your worst episode of X-Files, and how could you have improved it?

FrankSpotnitz16 karma

Hmm. I don't know what my single worst episode would have been. I guess the least favorite of the ones I wrote was "Medusa," the subway episode in Boston. I think the concept just wasn't clear or compelling enough to sustain the hour.

sethze7 karma

Hi Frank Spotniz

did you draw your inspiration from the jason bourne movies when you created Hunted ?

FrankSpotnitz13 karma

Yes, I did, absolutely. I love the Bourne movies and James Bond (I've already got my tickets to see Skyfall this weekend). But I wanted to focus on a female spy, obviously, and give her enough emotional depth to sustain a television series. So I started thinking about what kind of person would become a spy like that, and what events would have shaped her personality. That's really what's at the heart of Hunted.

TheGreatAlfredo7 karma

What was your average budget for an episode of the X-Files, and was that below, around or higher than the average production costs for television at the time?

FrankSpotnitz12 karma

It started out pretty low, less than $2 million an episode, and grew to more than twice that. As its popularity grew, Twentieth Television invested heavily in the show, and allowed us to do things that most shows could only dream of.

sketchampm6 karma

Hi Frank, I just want to say that I love your work on The X-Files. I'm one of those fans that loves the first six seasons or so, but I also really loved the mythology in Season 8(Vienen, Existence) and many of the random stories in Season 9 (4D, John Doe, Release). John Dogget was a great character, I'm glad I came around and gave him a chance.

What was your favorite Mulder episode to write?
Also, what was your favorite Doggett episode to write?

FrankSpotnitz13 karma

Wow, tough one. The favorite Mulder episode I co-wrote was "Memento Mori." Even though ostensibly it was Scully's story because of the cancer diagnosis, I thought David brought so much concern and love for Scully into it, that the story became just as much about Mulder. I loved "John Doe," but the favorite Doggett episode I wrote is "Via Negativa." I thought the way Tony Wharmby directed the scene with him in Skinner's office was brilliant.

TransparentCat6 karma

The only episodes I have access to from the xfiles currently are the thirteen or so that BBC america has been repeating the last year and a half. I watched the xfiles off and on as a kid, and didn't understand most of it, but goddamn do I love that show. It's a shame it doesn't air elsewhere currently. Hell, if the goddamned Scifi channel still aired it, maybe I would tune in there more often. Get on this shit, Scifi execs'

FrankSpotnitz11 karma

I believe you can watch them all on Netflix.

Freedmonster6 karma

How was it working with David Duchoveney and Gillian Anderson?

With how long X-files ran, did you feel you were running out of ideas for plot, towards the end?

What's your favorite episode from each series?

Also my dad loved Lone Gunman, is there a place I could purchase it for him for his birthday coming up?

FrankSpotnitz7 karma

They were amazing to work with -- always prepared, and always gave great performances. It's harder than it looks to do what they did, week after week, year after year, and I'm still amazed by it. I don't think we ever would have run out of stories, although we certainly did increasingly find ourselves running into situations that were similar to situations we'd encountered in other episodes. Sorry, not sure where to find Lone Gunmen at this point! eBay?

NinjaDiscoJesus6 karma

how did you start in your career?

FrankSpotnitz28 karma

This is my second career. I was a reporter for seven years, then went to film school, and somehow landed The X-Files as my first job. It really became my second film school!

wojx6 karma

LOVED XFiles! Favorite food?

FrankSpotnitz10 karma

Spaghetti bolognese. And Oreos.

charlimonster5 karma

Good morning Mr Spotnitz! What are you wearing today? Please be as descriptive as possible. Also, how is the weather where you are?

FrankSpotnitz10 karma

You don't want to know! I'm home sick with a cold, so I'm in a T-shirt and jeans. And, this being London, it is overcast and gray.

Muchuchu5 karma

What was it like working with Vince Gilligan?

FrankSpotnitz22 karma

Vince is the best. He's an incredibly talented writer, and an all-around great guy. He deserves every ounce of success he's earned with Breaking Bad, and I expect he'll be making great television for many years to come.

MarcBolansTopHat5 karma

Hello sir! May I say that I absolutely LOVED the last X Files movie ("I Want To Believe"). I thought it was very smart, layered, and an excellent way to further the story of the X Files. However I do NOT think it was a great bookend to the series. I know premiering around the same time as "The Dark Knight" probably did not help it at all, especially since it wasn't as much a "summer" movie as the original film was. My question, I guess: can we expect any more X-Files films to come out anytime soon?

EDIT TO ADD: Just read through the AMA and saw all of the XF3 questions, so I guess this will be mostly to say thanks for the second film, because I truly thought it was terrific.

FrankSpotnitz5 karma

Thanks so much, I agree with you. And I'll keep lobbying for XF3!

Logg4205 karma

First off, you rock! Loved X-Files back in the day, and Strike Back and Hunted are two of my favorite shows.

Will there be a next season of Strike Back? (please say yes) Also, I hope to hear Hunted is picked up as well. Very intriguing story, and great action.

FrankSpotnitz8 karma

Thanks so much! Yes, Strike Back is coming back again next year. No pickup on Hunted yet, but my fingers are firmly crossed. Keep watching!

lollobrigida4 karma

Thanks for doing this and I was a big fan of the X-Files and I was really excited to hear about Hunted, mostly because it was bringing Melissa George back to TV in a role where she got to kick ass again. After seeing the first episode I was not disappointed.

Has there been anything about Sam Hunter that you changed once you had casted Melissa and saw how she interacted with the rest of the cast?

And is there a story you want to tell on Hunted, but you know that the arc is too big or the cost would be too high to make it feasible?

FrankSpotnitz7 karma

Thanks, I think Melissa is awesome. There are so many things about her and her performance that inspired our writing, pretty much from the time we saw dailies for Episode 1. I think this role is incredibly challenging for an actress, and Melissa makes it look easy. Writing for her was one of the greatest joys of the job. I have BIG story ideas for Hunted, but nothing beyond the scale of our budget. Keep watching!!

SC2aNDRoM4 karma

Hi Frank, thanks for doing the IAMA. I was an avid X-Files watcher back in the day. Embarrassed to admit I haven't watched any episode in a while. Loved the Lone Gunmen as well. Had a really strange flashback moment recently when I saw Dean Haglund in a TV show recently (with Charlie O'Connell from Sliders, another flashback). The ... hilariously disturbing(?) thing was they were acting in a Cinemax (skin-e-max) softcore series.

Anyway, I believe you also worked on Harsh Realm. I had another flashback moment when I saw D.B. Sweeney around town and had to fight the urge to yell "Pinocchio!" I really loved the conceit of the show. Why do you think it didn't work out?

FrankSpotnitz7 karma

That's a tough one. I think the network didn't get the show, and really did nothing to support it. Beyond that, I don't think coming out a few months after "The Matrix" helped us. But I loved doing the show.

BraveReality4 karma

How do you go about writing a television show? Do you come up with a high concept first and stem from that or is it a collection of different ideas that you put together?

FrankSpotnitz10 karma

I have to come up with a core idea that I really know and love first. Then I work out who the characters, and how the storytelling would go. I tend to be really obsessive about that process, and know a lot about the first episode, anyway, before I try pitching it to a studio or network. I want to make sure I really understand and believe in what I'm doing before trying to persuade other people they should like it, too.

AwesomeTrillion4 karma

Where do you find inspiration? Music? History? Art? Fortune Tellers? What are your muses? I ask because the X-files is one of mine. A big one. Thanks for doing an AMA, and I am happy to hear about and excited to see your new show (in 3,..2,...1!)

FrankSpotnitz7 karma

I get inspiration all over the place. I read, I watch documentaries and movies, I listen to music, I travel, I talk to all kinds of people. There are more stories out there than I will ever have time to tell. For all its occasional frustrations, writing is a wonderful way to make a living.

munsta04 karma

In the last episode, where did you find the date given by Mulder? And do you believe something will happen that date or is it pure fiction for you?

FrankSpotnitz8 karma

It's a myth associated with the Mayan calendar. As for what I believe, I can't tell you until we get to make XF3!

Rather_Confused4 karma

Funny enough, I actually watching the X Files right now. I started watching for the monster of the week episodes and now have kind of become addicted to the narrative. I have to ask, what were your favorite episodes to work on, and of the ones you wrote, what's your personal favorite?

FrankSpotnitz8 karma

I really loved the fact that we got to do both standalone monster stories, and the mythology episodes, as they came to be known. My favorite episode (with my name on it) would have to be "Memento Mori." But there are many, many others I didn't write that I adore just as much.

jjsuperstylez4 karma

What inspired you to write Hunted? And why did you choose to focus on a female operative?

FrankSpotnitz17 karma

I really wanted to do a series in Europe, and the spy genre is my all-time favorite. I think a female character in this world is much more interesting. She's automatically an underdog, and there are emotional layers and complexity you don't necessarily get with a man doing this kind of work.

the3manhimself4 karma

The X-Files is one of the greatest shows ever, what do you feel the differences were between MOTW and Mythos episodes as far as purpose and creative freedom? Did you prefer working on MOTW episodes because there was more room to work? Do you think the mythos episodes were important to the show overall?

FrankSpotnitz7 karma

It's impossible to say which were more important -- the truth is, the show needed both. I think it became increasingly difficult to advance the mythology storyline after the first movie, and especially after David left the show full-time. I loved doing the MOTW episodes, although they were a challenge as well -- each monster's rules had to make pretty good sense, or we'd end up looking silly.

qverb4 karma

Absolutely loved Millennium (Lone Gunmen as well). Regarding Millennium, I was wondering if you felt as though the story line was adequately summed up at the end of the final season? What direction might a 4th season have taken had it been offered?

As an aside, I thought that the casting of Lance Henriksen was spot-on. Can you give any insight as to whether any other actors were seriously considered?

FrankSpotnitz5 karma

No, I don't think it was anyone's intention to end the series after three years. Chip Johannesen and Ken Horton, who were running the show at that point, had mapped out a direction for Season 4, but obviously never got the chance to produce it. There were other actors considered for Frank Black, but Lance was Chris Carter's first choice.