Into 'The X-Files,' 1998, In The Loder Files

Back in the day with alien-busters David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

Where do old interviews go to die? Since 1988 they've gone into the MTV News vault, but we've been exhuming them to bring you these classic natterings. Here's the latest in the series, which runs every Tuesday.

In April of 1998, when we flew up to Vancouver to talk to David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, their show, "The X-Files," then in its fifth season, was pretty much the definition of "appointment television." (You do remember appointment television?) The series had a sleek, creepy luster that had made it the biggest cult-TV phenomenon since "Star Trek," and it had launched a series of catchphrases into the popular culture: "The Truth Is Out There," "I Want to Believe," "Trust No One." (If none of this rings a bell, you can catch up with a DVD box set — all nine seasons — that retails for $250.)

"The X-Files" recounted the adventures of FBI agents Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson). Mulder's enthusiasm for the paranormal made him suspect within the agency (for sinister reasons, as eventually became clear), and Scully had been assigned to be his partner in order to keep an eye on him. The show evolved a complicated, alien-centric "mythology" over the course of its run, interspersed with "monster of the week" episodes featuring such icky beings as Arctic ice worms and a sewer-dwelling "Flukeman." Just as important to the show's uneasy texture, however, was the ambiguous relationship between Mulder and Scully. Were they really just platonic colleagues, or might they at some point go ahead and get it on? The show was coy about this, and the first "X-Files" movie, released in June of 1998, was even more so — although the two agents did almost kiss. (The movie, in which corn played a larger role than might normally have been expected, was rather underwhelming.)

Duchovny is an interesting guy, a Yale graduate (Master's degree in English lit), poet, and veteran of another great cult show, "Twin Peaks," in which he played the transvestite DEA agent Dennis Bryson. Anderson — a one-time punkette, apparently — was the more low-key member of the duo. It was rumored at the time that Duchovny and Anderson weren't much enamored of one another, and it's true that we never saw them together; on the other hand, we were only around the show's Vancouver headquarters for a couple days, so who knows?

Whatever their relationship back then, Duchovny and Anderson have now been brought together once again for the second "X-Files" movie, which'll be out on July 25th. Series creator Chris Carter directed this one, so fans are understandably pumped. Still, there is a new catchphrase hovering over the saga this time: "Is the Audience Out There?" Clearly, somebody still believes.

Enjoy digging through The Loder Files? You'll find more here, and there's much more to come from the vaults — check back every Tuesday!

Check out everything we've got on "The X-Files: I Want to Believe."

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