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PEIA: The X-Files Articles

Goodbye Mulder
The truth is out there

by Ken Parish Perkins

Rumors are rife in Hollywood that David Duchovny is leaving The X-Files. The show's creator Chris Carter, started the ball rolling by tipping that he is looking at the next 22 episodes as wrap-up.

As for Duchovny he is not giving too much away.

But the truth is out there. Asked weather he will return for a eight season as The X-Files Fox Mulder, Duchovny does not immediately answer.

Instead he slowly pours water in a cup and takes a sip as though he is the only one in the room.

"I really can't answer that" he finally replies.

"I wouldn't say 'never' about anything. But as of right now, my contract is up at the end of this coming year. So I'm living life as if this would be the last year."

Duchovny is not being coy. He is just politely serving notice that this interview will be conducted on his terms.

In this year he has played Agent Mulder on the critically acclaimed show, Duchovney has always had something of a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, and nothing much has changed.

He is speaking as word spreads that the final season of the Fox drama is near and that the series will live on only on the big screen.

Carter let the rumor mill churning when he let slip his thoughts on the matter to a meeting of television critics.

"I've heard second and third hand that Fox might approach us about taking the show past the seven season," Carter said.

"Right now, as I'm plotting the series, I'm looking at these next 22 episodes as a wrap-up."

So here is Duchovny, being asked to place the remaining puzzle piece. And forget reading between the lines. Duchovny displays no obvious nervous tics or showy emotions, only amusement, which is usually preceded by a biting sarcasm often mistaken for celeb ego-tripping.

But that is the wonder of Duchovny. Loaded questions make him smile, and lighter questions make him serious.

He does not adjust his seat when discussing what many consider uncomfortable subjects, because to Duchovny, there are no such things.

Asked if he believes in the supernatural he answers: "Yes. No." Asked if his perspective has changed by doing The X-Files, he answers: "Completely and not one bit."

Then he smiles and says: "Next question?"

Some might say that the fame he has gained as Mulder has taught him well. Others figure he has enough money in the bank and stature in the business to feel secure. Maybe both, maybe one, maybe none.

But Duchovny knows more than he is telling concerning the future of the series.

One minute, he seems very possessive of Mulder, sounding upbeat and guddy when discussing the possibilities of more big-screen stories.

Yet the next, he is trying to convince us that another actor could end up partnering Scully (Gillian Anderson) if there's an eighth season. Anderson, who's new film, Playing By Heart, with Sean Connery, opens in Sydney this month, has an X-Files contract that expires a year after Duchovny's, so it is possible the show could go on without him.

"I'm no longer indispensable," Duchovny acknowledges. "No body is." The X-Files has it's own life, it's own brand identity.

"I'd be an idiot to sit here and say: 'oh,my god, you know,it's no going to go on without me.'

"Of course it could, if the stories were good, if the writers were good, if the directors were good. I'm sure they'd hire a good actor.

"But there's a part of me that would be sitting at home wishing fervently it would fail.

"I want to take care of this character to make sure he's not misrepresented. I want to do right by the character that I've lived with and helped create for six years."

As for Carter, he's obviously ready to move on, venturing out first with the cancelled Millennium and now with Harsh Realm.

The pilot for Harsh Realm, which stares Scott Bairstow as a military man who finds himself stuck in a virtual-reality world, may not be the smash-hit follow-up Carter wants. It's dark, moody and confusing.

But many didn't seem to get The X-Files,either.

"It was fun and it was exciting and it was well-written and it was well-acted and it was well-directed," Duchovny says of The X-Files. Duchovny is talking in past tense. Should we read something into that?


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