Question: Do you think Chris Carter should continue with The X-Files after Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny leave? — Sara

Televisionary: The real question is about Duchovny, actually, since Anderson recently extended her contract through May 2002, while Agent Mulder will appear in only 11 episodes over the upcoming season.

It all depends on what the series creator can do with new cast member Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Sopranos), who's signed on to play an ex-cop brought in to help search for the abducted Mulder. A large part of what makes The X-Files work is the Odd Couple-esque interplay between the slave-to-logic Scully and the oddball, anything's-possible Mulder.

Attempting to replace Mulder with a carbon copy would be a mistake, certainly — every classic show that survived the loss of a major character did so because the writers created new players who carried out the same dramatic task with a different take on things (M*A*S*H, Cheers). Carter better get someone in there to balance out Scully's hyper-seriousness with humor and quirkiness. Duchovny plays his character's deadpan-but-driven strangeness perfectly and Patrick's got his work cut out for him in trying to attract an equal fan base.