Hi reddit, I'm Chris Carter. I've created shows like The X-Files, Millennium, The Lone Gunmen, Harsh Realm, and I'm particularly excited about my new Amazon pilot, The After. You can watch the pilot for free at: www.amazonoriginals.com and please consider posting your ratings and comments. Victoria from reddit will be helping me with my AMA today as well.

I don't really use social media but I just started my official Instagram account today - proof! http://instagram.com/p/k7wZ81xC_v/

I'm here to take your questions, so - ask away!

Update: I'm blown away by the questions. And that the X-files still creates such interest. I only hope The After is worthy of the same love and respect.

But please pay your respects at the Amazon voting booth. Right now.


And thank you for humoring me and putting up with me once again.

Comments: 722 • Responses: 70  • Date: 

gilliananderson932 karma

Hello from Belfast!

ChrisCarterhere462 karma


Hello! And I lead such a boring life compared to you.

gilliananderson460 karma

Dearest Chris since 2002 you've surfed the world, learned how to play the drums and fly a helicopter- hardly boring. Miss you.

ChrisCarterhere333 karma

You've got a point.

gilliananderson391 karma

Oh Chris, sitting in the make-up trailer for The Fall 2 and you've brought tears to my eyes. But this is too public. Looking forward to working with you again.

ChrisCarterhere340 karma

I can't wait for that day. And I promise to try my best to give you material that justifies that work and reflects on your amazing talent.

osprey81322 karma

Hi Chris! I wanted to thank you for creating the character Scully, she was truly a role model for me and many other young women I'm sure. I started watching the X-Files when I was 11, and from the perspective of a young girl who only liked science and maths, Scully was the most awesome character ever. A woman who was intelligent, cool and confident, played by a fantastic actress who was not a typical Hollywood stick thin blonde. Made me want to be either a scientist or an FBI agent (I turned out being a scientist!).

ChrisCarterhere259 karma

Wow. Stuff like this blows my mind. That it's affected people, inspired them, and maybe changed the way they think about their lives. Thank you for telling me this.

kdbugg0674 karma

Ditto! (I turned out being an archaeologist). There are not enough female role models in science, especially ones who kick ass like Scully. Thank you Chris!

btw is she really here?

ChrisCarterhere80 karma

You're welcome! I was very lucky to cast Gillian, who actually brought that character to life in ways that I never imagined.

Boston3346130 karma

Hey Chris!

Thanks so much for doing this AMA; I’m a really big X-Files fan! Hopefully you’ll enjoy this experience and maybe come out of that secret underground bunker more often. Even though you’ll probably always “Trust No 1”.

Truthfully, The X-Files has had a really large impact on my life. Remembering back to the days of when I first watched, it was such an amazing experience for me. Understanding fandom was a new challenge, but once I did, it became such a valuable community to be a part of. Though my mother rolled her eyes, I loved every minute of it—the fans, the videos, the artwork and even the gratuitous amounts of fanfiction. Hell, she still thinks I’ll “grow out of it”, but I’ve met too many amazing people for it to be just a phase.

In countries all over the world, I’ve met Philes who I previously only knew on message boards and Facebook; we’ve gone to theme parks in Denmark and comic conventions in Australia. So many events and experiences have shaped not only my time as a fan, but also me as a person.

Out of all the TV shows I’ve watched (and with Netflix, it has been many), none have left such an impression as The X-Files. Underneath all those forum posts, all the late night exchanges about the smallest details in series, and debates about whether or not Mulder and Scully would finally get together, there was a great group of people who became amazing friends. Totally crazy stories have resulted from knowing this group of people, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To be honest though, I’m really not ready to let go of this journey. Heck I loved Breaking Bad and all the other amazing work the XF alumni have created (and I can’t wait to see more of The After either!), but there’s still one last story that needs to be told. Every time someone asks you about XF3, you tell fans that it’s up to Fox and to let the studio know we want the film. Restricting kidnapping of high level Fox executives, we’ve done everything to let them know we want our movie: videos, postcards, photos, buying out Amazon of the IWTB DVD—we’ve done it all. Except heading down to our local theaters and buying a ticket, your fans have done everything…the rest is up to you and Fox, and we really want to believe!

ChrisCarterhere175 karma

I am completely amazed and you have way too much time on your hands.

tupper93129 karma

I would just like to say that Bad Blood still makes me laugh every time I watch it.

ChrisCarterhere132 karma

Hope that you know that this episode is Gillian's favorite X-file of all time.

kdbugg06106 karma

Also I would like to say if you, Gillian, or David are EVER in the DC area, please please please come visit my paleobiology/paleoanthropology department. Or you could give a talk at the Cosmos Club, Philosophical Society of Washington, or Secular Humanists of Washington. I could also arrange a private tour of the Smithsonian Human Origins hall which showcases our research. I have X-Files to thank for inspiring me to pursue a life of science that led me here to Washington to begin with, so I would love to return the favor one day (and to meet any one of you!)

ChrisCarterhere103 karma

I'm going to take you up on that the next time I travel east.

iesvs99 karma

Dude. What was the deal with Mulder and porn?

ChrisCarterhere197 karma

Some people appreciate porn as the art form that it is.

honeybfly97 karma

Hi Chris, I have wanted to ask this question since January 6, 2002. In season 9, 27 minutes and 55 seconds into episode 6, the Shadowman says the following to Scully: "...I know the name of your college boyfriend, your true hair color, your ATM pin number, favorite charities, pet peeves." WHAT IS SCULLY'S TRUE HAIR COLOR?!?!?!

ChrisCarterhere138 karma


dayofthedead20463 karma

Hi Chris,

I’m a big X-files fan and I have two questions:

Which guest star was the most fun to work with onset and why was it Bruce Campbell?

Any updates on if there will be a third movie?

ChrisCarterhere73 karma

Ha! That's a funny question. I didn't get to work with Bruce Campbell directly, but I'm a huge Bruce Campbell fan and I wish he worked more so I could see him more. We had so many interesting guest stars. We had Jack Black and Giovanni Ribisi in the same episode, we had Burt Reynolds in the final season, he was a blast. We had Jesse Ventura, we had Jerry Springer, we had Alex Trebek, Aaron Paul, Shia LaBeouf… but when you are doing a tv show, unless you're directing, you have very little opportunity to actually work with the guest stars. But I'm gonna say, because as great as it was working with Burt Reynolds, I am going to throw a name out there that may be less than household. And that was C. C. H. Pounder. She was one of the big stars of The Shield and she was a complete pleasure.

No updates as I speak.

brittyn58 karma

Do you ever regret the decision to kill off well loved characters like the Lone Gunmen or even Krycek and Cigarette Smoking Man?

ChrisCarterhere104 karma

I think it's a waste of time to second-guess yourself. But as I said to Jerry Hardin, who played Deep Throat who was killed off the first season of the show, no one's ever really dead on the X-files. It's basically the opposite of Game of Thrones. In so many.

Lava_Lander56 karma

Hi Chris, I was wondering if you could give us some insight into the newly-remastered HD broadcasts of The X-Files coming out of Germany.

The remastering project had been a rumor for about two years, with most of us assuming it would lead to a Blu-ray release of the series (similar to the Star Trek: The Next Generation project), and that HD broadcasts would follow. Now that we can see some of the efforts released so far, it's raised a number of questions with fans.

The German broadcasts of the first season are in 16:9 widescreen, but the show didn't go widescreen until Season 5 (as evidenced by the DVD releases), meaning that what's being shown is a mix of 4:3 footage cropped for 16:9, and expanded, cropped widescreen footage (meaning that the picture has been widened to show more of the originally-filmed picture, but cropped on the top and bottom to fit the standard 16:9 aspect ratio).

Could you tell us a little bit about the decision-making process going into recomposing the shots for broadcast? If the series does come to Blu-ray, do you know if the early seasons will be released in 4:3 (as originally broadcast) or 16:9?

ChrisCarterhere60 karma

I'm imagining that they'll be released in 4:3. When we began filming the show in 1992, we actually (except for maybe the pilot) considered HD all along. And so there was image and opportunity to expand and modify the aspect ratio. But the fact is these are all decisions made by 20th Century Fox, which I'm occasionally consulted on.

clodaaagh54 karma

Oh I just have to ask as I feel this is kind of overlooked by a lot of people. IS SCULLY IMMORTAL???

ChrisCarterhere106 karma

Yes, it said so right in the show.

Shadesfsc45 karma

Oh please, for the love of all things holy, tell me there will be more of "The After"!

I was somewhat intrigued with the pilot, thinking "oh, another zombie show, let's scope it out". Then the end came and I was thrilled it was so damned unexpected! It's awesome!

ChrisCarterhere59 karma

Thank you! I hope that Amazon reads this and bases their decision to make it into a television series based on your voice alone.

Anasyx44 karma

Hi Chris.

First thanks for creating the best show ever. X-Files always will be my show and Scully and Mulder part of my life.

My question is, what do you imagine Mulder and Scully are doing those days? Scully is still a doctor? Is Mulder tweeting about the conspiracies of the Goverment?

ChrisCarterhere112 karma

The answer to that question, in my mind, is yes. Scully is still a doctor. Mulder is not on Twitter, because he is afraid of social media. He would be on an anonymous social media platform, like reddit. He's become a magician.

kdbugg0643 karma

Who was your biggest inspiration when you were growing up? Did Carl Sagan influence you, or any other public science figures?

ChrisCarterhere88 karma

Yes. When I was very young, I read a book called Broca's Brain by Carl Sagan. Not only that but I was influenced by Jules Verne, I was influenced by Ray Bradbury, and I have to say I was influenced by Nancy Drew.

hmemcpy41 karma

Hello Chris!

Two of my most favorite X-Files episodes were written by one of my most favorite authors, William Gibson.

What was it like working with William Gibson?

ChrisCarterhere54 karma

It was a complete honor and thrill to work with William Gibson, not just because I'm a fan of his work, but because actually sitting in a room with him and seeing how his mind worked was inspirational and instructive.

pharm-Dave40 karma

Chris, Thanks again for this AMA. I am re-watching the whole X-Files series. I have loved all of your series, actually, and am sad that they have not gone on as long as they should. That being said, I have two questions. How does your pilot being done by Amazon differ from regular broadcast or cable TV in how you approach things, whether it be story telling, budgets, or pitching to the audience? Second, will we ever see any more X-files?

ChrisCarterhere87 karma

There's a good chance that you might see more X-files someday. But it's really up to 20th Century Fox. The answer to the first part of this question is it wasn't so different working with Amazon. What they allowed me to do, which was sort of night & day for me, was they allowed me total freedom of language, and with imagery, and I'm sure they would have raised a fuss if I wanted to do certain things, but I didn't have to deal with censorship at all, which was for me very freeing.

Jose_Wang_Chung35 karma

Chris Carter: The cross-over character of "Jose Chung" (both X-Files and Millennium) was of course played by the late Charles Nelson Reilly. How was it that this seemingly unlikely actor came to play such a cool role? Do you get any flak from the "Suits" when a seemingly "out of fashion" actor is cast?

ChrisCarterhere36 karma

I don't think Charles Nelson Reilly - Darin who wrote this episode, who has one of the most original voices that I've ever encountered, and it's certainly one that stands out on 4 beautiful X-files - Darin I think wrote with originally Bob Newhart in mind for the role. And for whatever reason, Bob Newhart didn't get the part or didn't take the part. I think that Charles Nelson Reilly though was Darin's choice, and by that point in the series, which was season 3, we were I think doing good enough work that the studio trusted out instincts with casting.

guitarnoir32 karma

Mr. Carter, Your X-Files was the first program that I can remember where the cellphone was so key in being able to tell those stories---the cellphone seemed practically to be an inanimate co-star. As someone who's formative years were pre-cell, but who's X-Files stories so relied upon its use, do you remember when it first was that you thought, "This device is going to change contemporary story telling", and do you often run up against story telling challenges where living in the cellphone/smartphone era results in thinking, "Damn, this idea isn't going to work because someone would just Google it"?

ChrisCarterhere43 karma

You have to remember that the cell phone was new-ish, but the internet was brand new. And googling something was still an imaginary concept. So it's a hard question to answer, but if it weren't for those cell phones, I think that the FBI would have spent a LOT more money in phone booths than they did over the years.

therelentlesspace28 karma

How often do you encounter disappointed Vikings fans when you book hotels?

ChrisCarterhere41 karma

All the time. I've been disappointing Vikings my entire life.

Boston334611 karma

Just start booking things under "M. F. Luder".

ChrisCarterhere19 karma

Until they see I'm 5 feet 11 inches and white.

PeskyLesky25 karma

Super excited for your AMA! Thanks for stopping by.

I have three X-files questions (I understand if you can’t get to them, but they’ve been bugging me for years)

  1. When we meet the Samantha drone who is working with the bees, she is accompanied by a blond boy drone. I always wondered if that boy was cloned from a son of one of the Syndicate members. I realize it’s irrelevant. But since everyone in the consortium had to surrender a loved one, I always wondered if that boy belonged to one of the Syndicate Men we knew.
  2. When Fox meets the adult clones, one of them initially pretends to be Samantha. Were those women actually Sam’s genetic clones? Or were they unrelated, and just needed Mulder’s help?
  3. In Jose Chung’s From Outer Space there are two “warring alien species”. One of the alien species turns out to (possibly) have been the government playing mind tricks on the observers. But I’ve always wondered if this idea of two aliens fighting was foreshadowment for the alien insurrection that occurs later in the series. Was there any intent for that to be foreshadowing? Or just an happy coincidence?

Thank you very much for doing this AMA, and thank you for giving me one of the best shows of my entire lifetime!

ChrisCarterhere30 karma

  1. That's a really good question. And I wish I had an honest answer. But I don't remember what we had in mind. And if it was never answered, it was one of our failings.

  2. That's also a really good question, and I'll have to think about the answer, so I can't say with any certainty without going back and reviewing what the answer to that question was.

  3. I'm going to go out on a limb here and speak for Darin: that bit was the happiest of coincidences.

NDaveT24 karma

Hi, Chris. The X-Files was a huge part of my early 20s.

Nowadays there are many TV series with story arcs that span multiple episodes, or whole seasons. At the time the X-Files came out, this concept was anathema to TV networks. In my opinion, the X-Files (along with Babylon 5) was one of the first series to push the envelope on season-long story arcs. Did you get much resistance from the network on this? Did you have any idea at the time that you were revolutionizing television?

ChrisCarterhere32 karma

I still don't know that we were revolutionizing television exactly. There were shows like Wise Guy that proceeded us that actually did long arcs as well. And I think that maybe because they weren't as well known they were under appreciated for doing what they did. But that said, I think that we really lucked into an interesting approach to storytelling that took advantage of not just the genre but of the people that came to write within that genre.

morphica24 karma

Hey Chris, I love all your work- I think you had a fantastically huge impact on the X-Files. So with that being said, do you believe? Is something really out there?

ChrisCarterhere55 karma

I do. Even though that's a loaded question. But I think that my belief is really summed up in that poster which became the title of the second movie: I want to Believe. Because my faith is strong, while evidence is short.

francyphoebe23 karma

Hi, Chris! A question has always been on my mind: what do you personally think is the right age to start watching The X-Files? I'm asking you that because your show has been part of my life since my childhood. People kept telling me: “You're too young for that kind of stuff!”, and they actually did until I became an adult! Although when I watched my very first episode (at only 4 years old) I was obviously too little to understand its contents, the opportunity to grow up with two admirable role models like Scully and Mulder has been one of the greatest gifts I've ever received. YOU gave it to me! And I am here, 19 years later, to thank my fav tv writer for making me – to use Mulder's words – a whole person. I can truly say that without the influence of The X-Files I wouldn't have been the person I am today, so I'm glad I discovered it so early in my lifetime.

ChrisCarterhere38 karma

That's another amazing shout out. I had an old girlfriend whose daughter also watched it, I think at age 4. And who demanded to watch it. So was it suitable for young children? I think so. The language was suitable, the characters were suitable, the values were suitable. The scary parts were probably the only unsuitable parts. But I like to think that you turned out to be such a smart person because you grew up on the X-files.

scifichicx21 karma

X-files has been a huge influence on me as a writer and director. Thank you for bringing it to life and making it into an unforgettable, powerful piece of media history. I was wondering how it felt to see Vince Gilligan go on to the success of Breaking Bad and what working with him was like.

ChrisCarterhere29 karma

It's particularly beautiful when someone who gave his all to something I worked on gets his well-deserved respect for the original voice that he is.

GetInHere20 karma

Thanks for doing this!

If you had the X Files to do over again, what, if anything, would you change or do differently?

ChrisCarterhere51 karma

I've been asked this question over the years, and I never give it a concrete answer because I like to think we (given the time, money and opportunity) did what we thought was best along the way. That being said, there are two things I would change, but I refuse to reveal them.

m02119 karma

Hi Chris! I'm a 19 year old college freshman. I completed TXF last year, and I am finding more and more people my age that are die hard fans of the show. I'm sure you experienced this at the recent 20 year as well. I believe this show will never die. Thanks so much!

ChrisCarterhere47 karma

Wow. That blows my mind when people that weren't even born yet when the series started are finding it now and it's just as relevant to them as to people who watched it in the 90s. We obviously did something right.

Chillocks18 karma

Hello Mr. Carter. I am very interested in checking out The After, since I really love the “feel” of your shows.

However, before I put my time or emotional investment into your new series, can you tell me if there is a planned-out overall storyline, with a full-bodied ending? I am eager to see what you’ve been working on, but don't want to hit an abrupt end with no resolution.

ChrisCarterhere25 karma

I don't either. That's why I want the series, the pilot, to become a series so we actually get to see something grow and develop not just the concept but the characters, and tell a saga that I've already got big ideas for.

pendrekky17 karma

How satisfied were you with the movie x-files when it came out compared to the series? Did you see room for improvement or was it everything you imagined?

ChrisCarterhere30 karma

I only ever see the problems, and I only see the mistakes, and I only see the missed opportunities, and I only see the places it could have been better. But that said, I think that the movie (considering it was done during the run of the TV show) was remarkable in that it came out so well and worked to change, I think, the TV show in many ways for the better.

Kknowsbest17 karma

What is the best advice ever given to you on your career?

ChrisCarterhere29 karma

I think it wasn't necessarily advice, it was something that somebody said that made perfect sense for me. And for anyone who is looking to do what we do here is to understand that what a producer does best is make sure that everyone is making the same movie, or TV show. And then I had a man who's gone on to win several Academy Awards as a production designer, when I gave him the X-files pilot to read, he gave me the very sage advice that the best way to scare people is by what you don't show them. And that was a lesson he learned doing 44 of Steven Spielberg's amazing stories. And was the product of dealing with limited time and limited money.

sphinctersayhuh16 karma

Hey there, Chris. Thanks for doing this. I was like most everyone here a huge fan of X-Files during my youth. But the real thing here is that apparently so was my grandmother. She passed away a few days ago and we found a trove of VHS recordings of the show along with her soap operas. It hit me right in the feels, but it just goes to show that you never know what your typical demographic is. Anyhow, I'm going to go and plow through the series again soon. Keep being a genius, man

ChrisCarterhere16 karma

That is another amazing shout out, and I'm sorry for your loss. One of the things that prepped me when we were doing the X-files conventions somewhere at the beginning of the show was that fathers, and mothers, and grandmothers, and daughters, and children would all come to the conventions as fans of the show. This is another example of that, clearly.

dj24816 karma

Were you surprised about the reaction from all the 20th Anniversary events for the X-files last year? Or do you run into people all the time who talk to you about the X-files?

ChrisCarterhere28 karma

I was completely surprised by the hoopla surrounding the 20th Anniversary. That came right out of left field and that it's actually been 20 years might be the scariest thing about the X-files ever. I don't think that many people know who I am, so I do, occasionally, but I lay pretty low.

sha_man16 karma

Hello Chris Carter! I just wanted to let you know that to this day this episode still freaks me out...http://www.uproxx.com/tv/2013/10/10-fascinating-facts-disturbing-episode-tv-broadcast-television-history/

I'm curious, who came up with such a freaking disturbing storyline?

ChrisCarterhere17 karma

The writers Glen Morgan and James Wong. And they have spoken about their inspiration, which was a documentary called My Brother's Keeper (I believe), and also a biography of Charlie Chaplin. But I think that there are other, very personal ideas that work in that episode for them.

Derfel1915 karma

With the runaway success of the X-Files Season 10 Comics is there any chance of seeing in comic book form what Frank Black is up to these days?

ChrisCarterhere21 karma

That would be great. I think he's worthy of a comic book and I'd love to explore that.

rita156413 karma

Hi Chris! Big Fan. I don't know where to begin...

What's Gilliam Anderson really like? And what was the hardest part of filming The X-files?

ChrisCarterhere37 karma

Gillian Anderson is one of a kind. She's lovely. She's a fantastic mother. A steadfast friend. More beautiful today than she's ever been. And a natural actor who was born to her art.

EasternEuropeSlave13 karma

Let me just thank you for the inspiration you have brought me with The X-Files, they really influenced my childhood.

How did you end up in the entertainment/film industry, did you plan to be a producer or something similar?

ChrisCarterhere16 karma

No, I wrote two scripts that got me in the door at Disney in about 1984 or 85. The rest is sordid history.

beyondtheseait13 karma

Hi, Chris. It's Francesca, from Italy. I watched "The After" pilot and I really liked it. I hope it will be picked up by Amazon because I'm dying to know what is going to happen next!

I'm an X-Files fan since I stumbled upon the "Duane Barry" episode. Nine seasons and two movies (for now) were really a great ride and I have to thank you for that.

I suppose that in some hidden corner of your mind the story for XF3 already exists, in some form or another. If you should describe that story using only 3 words, what they would be?


ChrisCarterhere34 karma

The second movie could definitely be summed up in 3 words: "don't give up."

The third movie: "Just you wait."

Gay4Moleman13 karma

What was your inspiration for the cancer man?

ChrisCarterhere41 karma

I wanted a villain that we'd love to hate. And I hate smoking about as much as anything in the world. So that character embodies my idea of perfect disgust and villainy.

robinsky112 karma

What was your favourite episode you wrote on the X-Files Chris?

ChrisCarterhere21 karma

I'll say Duane Barry. And also Improbable. One was in the second season, and one was in the 9th season. Both I directed. And I liked them because they reflect for me the changed person I was as a result of the TV show.

chooter11 karma

Personal favorite scary episode?

Also, The Lone Gunmen: would they be on reddit?

ChrisCarterhere25 karma

I'm going to say Beyond the Sea. Because I think it was in the early stages of the show, one of the best-directed, written and realized stories that capitalized perfectly on the concept.

They'd be on everything.

MiddleEarthRecords11 karma

Tim Burton, "Weird" Al Yankovic, and yourself were all born a few years apart and spent their formative years within a half-hour's drive (1960's drive, that is) of one another. Other than perhaps Dr. Demento's program on KMET, is there some some common factor that caused these these Los Angeles suburbanites to shake-up mainstream entertainment culture?

ChrisCarterhere17 karma

I don't think I've ever had my name spoken in the same sentence as Weird Al Yankovic. But I think there's something about growing up in the long shadow of the Oz that Hollywood was. But I think that Dr. Demento is a much more critical factor in my wayward youth and development as a storyteller.

MapleCheerUp11 karma

Why did Dana think her son would be safer with people who had no idea of the danger he was in, rather than protected by her, who was aware of the details, and had more experience that would likely be able to shelter him?

ChrisCarterhere22 karma

She knew that she was a target, and her vulnerability would be her child's vulnerability.

no_modest_bear10 karma

Hey Chris, I'm a HUGE fan and absolutely loved Millennium (in addition to your other shows) from beginning to end. It was in my opinion Lance Henriksen's best role; he just seemed so suited to the character. I appreciated getting some closure in his X-Files cross-over episode, but felt that there was still much more to his story to be told. Is there any chance we'll ever see some sort of a revival, and where do you see his character today?

ChrisCarterhere16 karma

I don't know where I see him today, but I think that it would be great to revive him and that character so many years later. If for the 20th Anniversary of Millennium (which I believe would be roughly 2 or 3 years from now), I think it would be amazing if we brought Lance back as Frank Black as a man still basically on the job.

ImNotVenom10 karma

Back to the day where Vince Gilligan was writing for The X- Files did you really saw incredible potential from him or did you saw him like every other writer ?

Also writing advice for beginners ?

Thanks for the ama.

ChrisCarterhere20 karma

I knew Vince was a good writer before I even met him, because I read one of his early and original scripts. So we were lucky just to get him a room one day and convince him to work on the show.

And my advice for beginners is to sit in a chair, put your fingers on the keyboard, and don't take them off. And you'll be 95% ahead of most people.

BudMelba10 karma

Just wanted to say thank you for creating the X-Files. It was one of the first really cinematic shows I remember watching on TV. I was wondering if you ever go back and watch any of the old episodes of any of your shows?

ChrisCarterhere18 karma

Occasionally. And it's always like I'm watching something that somebody else made.

PeskyLesky12 karma

What episodes are your favorite to revisit? I watch them like comfort food!

ChrisCarterhere19 karma

Anything written by Darin Morgan.

ps3o-k10 karma

hi chris! huge x-files fan. i was wondering how far ahead did you write for the show?

ChrisCarterhere18 karma

Not very. We were always writing with the proverbial gun to our heads. We were never, ever allowed to write the show in a relaxed way.

watertiger2110 karma

Hey Chris! X-Files is my favorite show, hands down! Every episode got my imagination running wild when I was younger, and I still find myself re-watching my favorite episodes over and over. Thanks for creating such a great series!

My questions, if you have time to answer one or two:

  1. The Lone Gunmen were such great, well developed characters that sooooo many fans loved! Was it a hard decision to have the trio leave the show (via their heroic death)? What was it like saying good bye to characters not only important in X-Files, but also the entire Lone Gunmen series?

  2. Just a random fun question: What's your favorite color? :)

ChrisCarterhere17 karma

  1. I think that it was a really good decision. And I think the decision was Frank, Vince, and John's. Of course we loved the characters. But it made it even more heroic. Yet, one wonders if the Lone Gunmen are really dead…

  2. I don't have one, but if I was pressed, I'd say green.

robinsky19 karma

What inspired you to write the x-files, chris?

ChrisCarterhere21 karma

I was inspired by many things, including Silence of the Lambs and Kolchak the Night Stalker, but I think it was the opportunity to create characters who represented the twin towers of faith and science that drove my inspiration.

thezaycustodian9 karma

Which character (from any of the shows you've worked on) would you want with you on a deserted island?

ChrisCarterhere15 karma

This is a tough one. I'd want Mulder & Scully. I'd want Scully to rub my feet, and I'd want Mulder to make me laugh.

SpockLock8 karma

Hi Chris, big X Files fan.

I was wondering if you're a fan of The Walking Dead? I know a lot of XF alums have featured, and I just wanted to know your opinion on the show. Thanks!

ChrisCarterhere11 karma

I like the show, but I've only watched a portion of it. I am, though, working with the executive produce Gale Anne Hurd on another project.

John__Steed8 karma

Chris, thank you for The Lone Gunmen. It was commercially ahead of its time, in that with today's niche-casting I think it would have found its audience and thrived. Also thank you for the Yves Adele Harlow character, who mentally transported me back to those days of the my first TV love: the kick-ass Mrs. Emma Peel

ChrisCarterhere10 karma

That's the direct inspiration for that character as far as I'm concerned. And the actress who played the character came in and auditioned with an American accent, and when we heard her speak with her British accent, it was a bolt of lightning.

AlienMarNic7 karma

Hello! Will we ever find out what happened to William after his adoption? Is he ever going to know he is adopted and seek his real parents? Will the aliens find him? Thanks

ChrisCarterhere16 karma

I believe if there are more X-files that these questions will be answered to your satisfaction and mine.

dopeyman7 karma

Hi Chris! Huge fan of your work, and I'm really glad to see you back on TV (or whatever we're calling it now).

I always felt that Harsh Realm was never given a chance to find its audience. It strikes me that if it came out today on premium cable, it would be considered a smashing success. In a funny way, that show may have been too far ahead of its time. What lessons did you learn from that whole experience? Has it informed your approach to The After? Do you foresee it as a serialized show, or a mix of mythology and standalones a la XF?

Also: Does it tickle you that Vince Gilligan is now working on another comedic spinoff of a successful drama series? Any advice for him?

ChrisCarterhere4 karma

I really appreciate the respect you give the show. It was a labor of love for me and a lot of other people. We had lots of good stories to tell, both standalone and serialized like the X-files. The lesson I learned is that doing a failed show is just as much work as doing a successful show.

Droidette6 karma

What is your biggest regret about the X-files? (something that didn't get shown, or resolved the way you envisioned, something you wish you could maybe rewrite, etc?)

ChrisCarterhere11 karma

That Elizabeth Taylor was never in the show.

movieman12146 karma

What is the main thing you learned from THE X-FILES that you want to do differently on THE AFTER?

ChrisCarterhere10 karma

I've got tricks up my sleeve that I hope to use that involve social media as a storytelling device.

izlosst6 karma

I think of the X-Files almost every day. The quote "No matter how paranoid you are, you're not paranoid enough." comes to mind almost every time I read the news. So many things that seemed to me like crackpot theories when the X-Files was originally on are just commonly accepted facts now. Were alot of the things in the show things you thought were true then and you were just way ahead of the curve or have most of the NSA revelations taken you by surprise?

ChrisCarterhere17 karma

Completely unsurprised by those revelations. The writing was on the wall the day after 9/11.

dtomasik6 karma

You've been away from TV for a while, what made you decide to return?

ChrisCarterhere11 karma

I loved what's happened to TV. And the storytelling opportunities that new platforms have created. But mostly, I had stories that I really wanted to tell.

Kknowsbest6 karma

When you were first starting out in your career, who supported you the most?

ChrisCarterhere18 karma

Always my wife.

stormchasegrl5 karma

Hi Chris, I'm wondering if you could tell me (aside from maybe ending the X-Files a little earlier) what's one thing your regret doing or not doing with that show.

Quick followup, what was your inspiration for "The After."

ChrisCarterhere16 karma

In a way, I regret not continuing the show. Because I think that we had so many good stories left to tell. But I don't regret that we ended it when we did.

I had 2 things happen to me. One was that I was caught in a hurricane in Hawaii in 1984 and I also was involved in a nightmare gridlock experience in Los Angeles in about 1985 or 86, which I carried with me for well over 25 years.

berthachin4 karma

Hi Chris,

I wanted to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you for creating such a strong and unique character like Scully. Having Scully as a role model at a very formative part of my life was very important, and being a fan of the show has led me to my career path.

It's good to have you back on television - I love The After, and am very intrigued, once again, with the characterisation of Gigi. I hope we will get to see more of the series soon. Was there any particular inspiration that you drew from for the show (apart from the fear of being stuck in elevators like you mentioned in the interview with Avi @ XFN!)?

ChrisCarterhere12 karma

Yes. A fear of being stuck in parking garages.

Ima_lil_gspot3 karma

Hi there Mr. Carter! My best friend and I became best friends because of the X-Files! So first, thank you for creating a show that only entertains but brings people together! Second is there anywhere in the world you would love to travel but haven't had the opportunity yet?

ChrisCarterhere7 karma


robinsky13 karma

Chris why aren't you on Twitter?

ChrisCarterhere4 karma

I have no good reason or answer for that.

leontes3 karma

The after pilot was great.

I’m curious- Particularly found intriguing the time the demon/angel took at the end of the episode. How closely did you design/direct that moment?

ChrisCarterhere8 karma

I'd like to say that I directed it very carefully, but the truth is, there were about 25 unexpected problems that night with makeup, cold weather, and vegetation. And that's made me basically run for my life.

Ashok02 karma

Hi Chris, first off it's a pleasure talking with you!!! :D "The X-Files" and "Millennium" are two of my favorite shows of all time. My favorite character of yours (excluding Mulder and Scully) is Alex Krycek. Had "The X-Files" continued with both David and Gillian well beyond S8, did you ever have any other ideas for Krycek's arc (or his nanobots) that never made it into the show?

ChrisCarterhere5 karma

Krycek was a character created by Howard Gordon, but really brought to life I think in a complete way by Nicholas Lea, who I think has never realized his potential as an actor. So I'd like to think that we would have endeavored to make that dream come true. He's a rat. He was born a rat. He sort of redeemed himself in that last episode, but some people always revert to their character.

craftfreak2 karma

I remember the evening when I was in second grade when we were trying to decide what to watch on TV... "There's that new sci-fi show," my brother said. "The X-Files." The rest, for me, was history...

Chris, if you were to play a character on any one of your shows - existing or one you would add - who would it be?

ChrisCarterhere6 karma

I'd want to play the Alien Bounty hunter, because I'd love to be a shapeshifter.

MandrewCarrion2 karma

What inspired you for the all the series(es?) that you created? What was the most far-out influence you got for an episode/show concept?

ChrisCarterhere7 karma

I had so many influences it's hard to actually pin down one or even a few down. But I can tell you that one of the secrets to working on a tv show like the X-files is constantly asking yourself "what if." We did an episode where Mulder & Scully play husband & wife, Arcadia, and there is a character called the Ubermenscher, which is this monster - I dunno, I was reading somewhere, somebody talked about this Ubermenscher, and I carried that with me for the longest time. I didn't know what an Ubermenscher was, but I loved it so much that I carried it with me for years and it finally became an episode.