Kevin and Bean: Interview with Chris Carter
“The Kevin and Bean Show” KROQ radio
Interview with Chris Carter
[Transcribed by CarterPhile]
(Chris called in from NYC for the interview. Also, I’m not 100% sure on the deejay’s IDs, but I tried to be consistent, anyway — I figure at worst it’s a 50-50 shot as to whether I’m consistently right or consistently wrong! *g*)
Kevin: There is good news and there is bad news. The bad news is: no new “X-Files” for the next four weeks, folks. We were left — we were left hanging with Mulder out in the middle of a field looking dead, is what we were left hanging with last Sunday night. But the good news is: in its place a spin-off show from our friend Chris Carter called “The Lone Gunmen.” Chris, good morning, how are you?
Chris: Good morning. I’m great.
Bean: Chris is the one that left us hanging, by the way, just so you know.
Kevin: You bastard!
Bean: Tell us about “The Lone Gunmen,” Chris.
Chris: It’s the three computer geeks from “The X-Files.” If you’ve been an “X-Files” fan, you know them as the three guys that Mulder and Scully go to when they can’t even get the answers.
Bean: How did you come up with them originally? Because that’s a pretty funny idea, to have computer geeks that somehow have answers that even the FBI can’t get.
Chris: They were not my original idea. They were actually the creation of Glen Morgan and James Wong, who worked on “The X-Files” for the first year and a half or so and then came back for a little while. They were three guys that were even more paranoid than Mulder, and they were really comic relief for about the first five years. All of a sudden we needed an episode without Mulder and Scully in it ’cause we were doing the movie, and then we did an episode about the Lone Gunmen — it was good, funny — and we did a second one that was even better and funnier, and all of a sudden we realized these guys could maybe star in their own TV show.
Kevin: Yeah, you know — I was a little worried, to tell you the truth, when I started thinking about this because they are comic relief and a lot of times what makes them so effective is they are two or three funny minutes in the middle of a show, and they do break the tension a little bit, and I was worried that maybe it wouldn’t be possible to spin it off. But like you said, you’ve already done that where you’ve spun them off for an hour, and they were able to carry it, so they got a lot more depth maybe than just what you had time to use them for over the years on “The X-Files.”
Chris: Exactly. Now we’ve surrounded them with some other people, so now all of a sudden, like Mulder and Scully, they’ve got other people to bounce off of.
Bean: And how — uh, how do we start off Sunday night? What’s the episode? Does it tell us how they came about?
Chris: A little bit. You learn a little bit more about their background, particularly one of the characters — Byers — about his father, and, uh — His name is John Fitzgerald Byers, so you learn a little bit about that.
Chris: Yeah. It’s a caper about people who are trying to actually fly a jet into the World Trade Center, so it has great special effects. It’s really a funny story. It’s got tight plotting. It’s all those things you’d expect from “The X-Files” but with three new guys.
Bean: Do you write it?
Chris: Yes. I actually — I am writing “X-Files” and not as much on “Lone Gunmen” this year because I’ve got three guys who I call my Lone Gunmen who are the co-creators on this show and that’s their gig this year.
Kevin: It’s their baby. Now, what do we know about these guys, what kind of personal information? I sense that none of them have ever had a date, and it seems like they live in that laboratory down there.
Chris: Yeah, they are all 30-and-over virgins.
Kevin: It seems like that. Is there any vaguely homoerotic content between the three of them, Chris?
Chris: That’s in season two.
Bean: Are the storylines gonna cross any with “The X-Files”?
Chris: Yeah, there are some crossovers, and hope to make good use — you know, “X-Files” as a source of storytelling device.
Kevin: Let me ask you this: I know you’re not quite as involved in this show as you are “The X-Files,” but is this paranoia that we sense in all of these shows — including “Millennium,” including “Harsh Realm” — is this paranoia real in you? Do you sometimes sit around and think, “Wow, I wonder what the government’s really, really up to,” or is it all fantasy for you?
Chris: I think paranoia is a healthy thing to have, and I think that you pick up the paper every day and there’s something: they let radiation out on you, they’re conducting some secret study, there’s all kinds of stuff being done. And I grew up in the era of Watergate, so I’m suspicious –
Kevin: Skeptical by nature.
Bean: That giant distrust of the government.
Chris: And I work in Hollywood, too, so …
Kevin: No kidding! So, “Lone Gunmen” for four Sundays and then what, you’re going to go to the Chris Carter Fox timeslot: Friday nights at 9, right?
Chris: Fridays at 9.
Bean: Very cool. We’re excited about it. We just wanted to touch base with you and find out what to expect. And I guess it’s gonna be on this Sunday night, so we’re looking forward to it.
Chris: Please do.
Bean: Thanks, Chris. We’ll talk to you later.
Kevin: Have a fantastic weekend.
Chris Carter: Thank you.