Open Letter to Chris Carter

Open letter to Chris Carter, creator of The X Files


Dearest Chris Carter:

I realize that Lord Kinbote may be inhabiting your body and that you may not receive this letter due to being at the Earth’s molten core; however, I felt the need to reach out to you after the conclusion of The X Files, season ten, which was, if you’ll pardon my saying, the very worst season ever of The X Files and not up to the standards you set.

The X Files is (notice how I say is instead of was) a smart, ground-breaking, original show with high production values. The main characters, Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (medical doctor), are heroes in search of the truth. They are loner, workaholics. They are weird, they are quirky, they are smart, they are funny. They do not know that they are characters in a television show. Sure they once appeared “on television” in the shadows of “Cops” (see “X Cops”) and inspired the characters in a bad movie (see “Hollywood A.D.”), along with their boss A.D. Walter Skinner, aka The Skinman. They would not have loaded the classic X Files theme song on their phones as a ringtone (no matter how great of a job Mark Snow did with it), nor would Mulder replace his sunflower eating habit with straight-from-the-bottle booze in the cemetery (even if it was by a headstone in appreciation of the late Kim Manners).

While we’re talking about characters, Skinner and CSM are good ones, well-drawn with devoted fans. You did not utilize their talents enough. We also could have seen The Lone Gunman do something much cooler than be in a bad Mulder magic mushroom trip. They should have been helping the absolutely forgettable character that you had the fabulous Joel McHale play. How did you not think of that? And why is CSM living in South Carolina? And why does it take two minutes to get there? Have you discovered a wormhole? If so, that would have been good show content. I beg you to enter the wormhole yourself and see if it will allow you to travel back to whenever you came up with the scripts for season ten (aka the bad six episodes that were given the title The X Files and starred the most talented Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny) and rewrite them.

Maybe Roky Crikenson is the one who convinced you to come to the molten core to write season ten, but he was never good at the screenplay format, so please don’t take his advice anymore. Instead consult other brilliant writers that have worked on The X Files, like Vince Gilligan, Frank Spotnitz, even David Duchovny. Sure, the finale finally gave us a decent amount of Scully screen time, but come on, you guys did not give her Scully-level intelligent dialogue. I’m still trying to figure out how you got GA and DD to say some of the lines you guys gave them. I think they believed in you, like we all did, and they figured somehow the crap you gave them would turn out excellent, like had happened in years gone by. I’m sure the pitch for these episodes wasn’t as crazy sounding as, say, “Teso Dos Bitchos,” but even the famously bad “Bitchos” ep was a masterpiece compared to what you put on air this year. We know you are better than that, I mean, you’re Chris Fucking Carter, creator of The X Files. I had you sign my bag of popcorn back in 2008 at the premiere of I Want to Believe. And I still want to believe. I know The X Files can be reborn. We may see different angles on the truth, like your fine team demonstrated in “Bad Blood” and “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space,” but you know and I know that I’m not seeing Luke Wilson as he is while you’re seeing him with buck teeth. This is deeper than that. You’ve got a fundamental problem. I’d much rather pretend -that no matter how much me and all the other X-Philes loved seeing Mulder and Scully play house in “Arcadia” and we love what Scully will do for Mulder and Mulder for Scully- that they never had a kid and never gave him up for adoption. So why, of all of the cool, exciting things in the world you could have done, would you spend so much time on one of the weakest aspects of the show’s run instead of just doing what you do best – be original and weird. Remember how great it was when The X Files was funny, clever, scary, horrible and ground-breaking all at the same time instead of pulling all the things we remember you doing before and playing them like we wouldn’t remember. Um, we all watched the old X Files again on our DVDs and/or Netflix. We know what happened before. We don’t need a badly written ten-minute VO explaining everything that happened in the show in a poor way before the episodes begin. Mulder and Scully wouldn’t have taken selfies of themselves on the job back in the day, so there’s no “good” solution for using screengrabs from seasons one through nine in valuable show time.

Look, I watch everything you do (even that pilot over on Amazon, yep). I watch everything that all of you X Files writers do. Y’all are still going strong. Gilligan just came off the Breaking Bad high and is now rolling well on Better Call Saul. Spotnitz is rocking it with an adaptation of Philip K Dick’s Man in the High Castle. And there are so many more success stories with your team. So why, oh why, did you drop this piece of flaming shit on us this year?

I think it would be safe to say that I, along with all of the other loyal X-Philes, would be willing to pretend this all was a bad dream, hell, maybe time just snapped back again in a long-coming reverb from “Dreamland.” Just start us off with Dreamland 3 for season eleven (because we all know that there is going to be another season with those ratings despite the show’s quality level, even if you did use the sacred space in the show open to tell us this is the end instead of reminding us that “The Truth Is Out There”) and all will be forgiven. We know the mashed potatoes aren’t real and we are willing to eat them anyway.

X-Phile and one-time “shipper”


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