Add Fox's X-Files to the list of TV shows impacted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Executive producer Frank Spotnitz confirms to TV Guide Online that the FBI saga's upcoming storylines will inevitably reflect America's new reality.
"I don't think it's going to affect what we do in a literal fashion," he says, "but I do think it can't help but affect the stories we're telling and what we care about, what we're worried about, what's on our minds.
"We're working on a mythology [episode] now and you want to find a way to be thematically relevant and say something true about fighting evil and fanaticism and irrationality," Spotnitz adds. "But you want to do it in a way that is appropriate and doesn't trivialize what's really going on in the world. We've got a certain palette to paint on, which is the paranormal, and it just does not feel at all appropriate to mix that with real-life events."
Well, Spotnitz and co. unwittingly did just that in the drama's two-part season premiere, which concludes Sunday (9 pm/ET). As Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Reyes (Annabeth Gish) investigate the mystery surrounding Scully's (Gillian Anderson) baby, they uncover a secret plot to taint the country's water supply.
Despite new fears that terrorists may someday hatch a similar scheme in the U.S., Spotnitz says that removing the eerie parallel was not an option: The episodes had already been completed by Sept. 11. "Honestly, if we had wanted to change it, we probably couldn't have at that point," the writer-director concedes. "But I think it's the kind of thing that is a step removed from real life without being exactly
real life so we felt that it was okay. But it's something we are conscious of as we go forward."