Q&A: Chris Carter

The 'X-Files' creator resurfaces to discuss his glory days

Chris Carter, "The X-Files" Series Finale Wrap Party, April 27th, 2002. Credit: Jim Smeal/WireImage/Getty

Mainstream audiences and science fiction fan boys alike made The X-Files one of the Nineties' most popular television shows. After nine seasons and the departure of star David Duchovny, creator Chris Carter said goodbye. Now he's overseeing the release of a four-disc box that gathers the first three seasons of The X-Files, sixteen episodes of a vast conspiracy that never quite adds up. We spoke to Carter to see what life is like for him now that he's out of the spotlight.

Why did you kill The X-Files?
Our numbers went down. I thought the show had come to a natural end, and it was a better time to call it quits after nine years.

How did you come up with story ideas?
It's an almost impossible question to answer. But what I'd do is look to science and say, "Well, what if? what if something were mutable? Or what if something weren't what we believed it is?" Of course, there were times we took classic horror or science-fiction stories and gave them a new twist.

Do you rewatch old episodes?
I was just in Costa Rica watching one dubbed in Spanish, and it held up, and my Spanish is pretty poor.

Did you watch a lot of sci-fi growing up?
I grew up with a show called The Night Stalker, which was my inspiration for The X-Files.

Will you ever go back into television?
I think about it, because I have some good ideas, but it's hard work and television is changing now. It's in a funny place with all the reality programming.

How about another X-Files movie?
I'm thinking about it. But I can tell you it won't be about aliens.

So do you believe in them?
I'm a skeptic by nature, so I don't believe in little green men. But I've always said, if they're out there, they owe me a visit now because I've been their best PR man.