An On-Line Chat with X-Files Writer Glen Morgan

Copyright 1994 America Online, Inc. All rights reserved.

OnlineHost: Glen Morgan was about to sign on to work on "Moon Over Miami" when he and his friend James Wong grudgingly saw the pilot for "The X-Files". Both were quite impressed. The rest is, as they say, "history". During the course of the season o f "Files", they were made Co-Executive Producers. The second season of the series, filmed in Canada, will open with an episode they wrote. Now, from "The X-Files", meet Glen Morgan!

FoxxMulder: Hi everyone! Welcome to what we hope is the first of several chats with the Cast & Production Staff of The X-Files!

JackDL: Thank you for joining us tonight!

GlenMorg: Thank you, Jack. I'm so relieved that I could tear my 2 yr. old daughter away from the Crayola Art adventure to make it here. I'm quite thrilled to join you. FOXX, you've been very, very helpful. Thanks.

FoxxMulder: No problem.

GlenMorg: The AOL Guide to "Being a good speaker in the CS" said to be brief, so I guess I'll be off to a bad start.

GlenMorg: But this is very overdue and heartfelt. As "Deep Throat" would say I'm sure you're quite aware that there are those of us who have been monitoring your activities for quite some time". All of you are invaluable to this series. For myself, the AOL reactions are more important than the Neilsen ratings. Since the 3rd episode, the opinions and comments of the on line community *to each other*, not to us have steered the direction of "The X-Files". There have been moments in creating an episode that the direction of the story is decided by considering "What would the X-Philes really love to talk about? "What would blow their minds?" I hope we came through. Thank you.

Question: What gave you the idea to write about the Xfiles, what compelled you?

GlenMorg: The show was created by Chris Carter who developed it at 20th TV He realized there was not any horror shows on TV.

Question: Q for Glenn: When does shooting for next season begin?

GlenMorg: We go into pre-prod next Wed. and start shooting July 11.

JackDL: Here is an audience comment:

Comment: I just dropped in to say that the X-Files is an excellent program! Keep up the good work!

GlenMorg: Agreed. Sorry, I thought you said X-Files group, as in you guys.

FoxxMulder: Thanks Glen! I think they meant the Program.

GlenMorg: I write long hand, so this is tough.

Question: Q: What can you tell us about next season?

GlenMorg: There will be no alien babies.

Question: I just wanted to congratulate Mr. Morgan, and other X-FILES associates on being listed as one of the best 15 shows based on quality, and merit, by VQT as listed in the T.V. guide.

Question: looking forward to next season!

GlenMorg: Thank you very much.

FoxxMulder: Folks, We are talking to Glen Morgan tonight. He is the Co-Exec Producer of The X-Files.

Question: Q: What do you think of all the fan enthusiasm for the show?

GlenMorg: Blown away. I worked on "21 Jump Street" and saw girls offer $5.00 for Johnny Depp's cigarette butts. But, this is better.

Question: Do any of the stories/ideas emanate from the Twilight Zone and Rod Serling?

GlenMorg: No, that was a great show, and he was a great writer. He is an influence, but the ideas, we hope, are ours.

Question: My wife is deaf. Will there be any deaf actors, or a single episode that might feature a deaf actor in the upcoming season?

GlenMorg: Sorry, not in the works.

Question: Do you guys know if (not asking either way) DT is dead or alive for 2nd season? (for those who don't know, DT being Deep Throat.

GlenMorg: ;)

Question: Mr.Morgan: Will there be a new season next year and will Mulder & Sculley be broken up?

GlenMorg: We've been ordered for 25 episodes this TV season. They'll be...kinda...broken up.

Question: What can Mr. Morgan tell us about the first episode of the second season?

GlenMorg: I'm late writing it. Vancouver is breathing down our necks. Sorry, I'm not trying to be a creep by hedging, but it's more fun, really, to find out when you're watching. Question: How will Gillian Anderson's pregnancy affect the show?

GlenMorg: It's been tough, however when she looks back on her life, I'm sure she'll want her children by her side and not an episode of "Squeeze". So, we'll make do.

Question: We all love the mulderisms and scullyisms. Are they the result of the witty writers, production staff, cast, or everyone at once?

GlenMorg: Many belong to Chris Carter. Many are inside jokes Jim Wong and I are making to David Duchovny. David has many of his own. He's very funny and very smart.

FoxxMulder: Those are the unique phrases the characters use in the show for those not familiar.

Question: What are the other X-Files episodes that you have written?

GlenMorg: Squeeze, Tooms (the stretchy guy) Shadows, Ice, Beyond the Sea and EBE.

Question: Is there any filming outside Canada planned for this season?

GlenMorg: No, we were planning on going to Moscow for a moment but it fell through.

Question: How does someone send in scripts for consideration?

GlenMorg: They must be submitted through a literary agent or an attorney. They should be sent to 20th TV development.

Question: Glen Morgan, how many seasons do you think you will go with the X- Files?

GlenMorg: Is that Chris Carter? Probably another year. Jim and I want our own show. We're hungry.

Question: What can you tell us about the process for casting DD&GA;? Who else was "in line"?

GlenMorg: Randy Stone, the 20th TV casting vice-pres wanted David from the word go. Chris had to fight for GA because the network wanted a bimbo type.

Question: Why are the forest scenes always filmed in what seems to be the same exact forest?

GlenMorg: We film in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Those are the forests we have. Its not the same spot. It just looks that way. Beautiful city, BTW.

Question: Were the cast members reluctant to join a series that may have sounded, well, a little kooky at first?

GlenMorg: David wants to do films. That's why he was uncertain. GA was very new to TV and quite excited.

Question: Which episode was he least pleased with ... and why?

GlenMorg: I am proud of Beyond the Sea. I realize people say it seems like Silence of the Lambs. I love that movie, but we went out of our way to avoid being too similar. It was written with the emotion of people close to me who had lost loved ones. I also liked "Tooms" and "Ice".

Question: Hi Glen, I just wanted to know if you are planning to create a new recurring villain in the second season like Tooms?

GlenMorg: Sorry, in regards to the least liked -"Born Again."

GlenMorg: I would like to create a villa, but Chris, I believe has the new Tooms in the works

FoxxMulder: Folks, tonight's guest is Glen Morgan, Co-exec Producer of The X- Files.

Question: Are any of the ideas on X-Files true?

GlenMorg: Well...there are no FBI X-Files. Some incidents are true. In Beyond the Sea, for example 70% of widows say they see their husbands again after the first year of their death. So, we use "real" episodes like that and incorporate them into the story.

Question: How much of the scripts are re-written "on the set"?

GlenMorg: We're in LA. They're in Vancouver. They call if there's a problem but not as much rewriting goes on as with other shows.

Question: How do you feel about the fact that the first-run episodes have gotten ratings very close to Star Trek: TNG?

GlenMorg: The audience for these two shows are very intelligent. I think they appeal to the same viewers.

Question: How long are the scripts, in pages?

GlenMorg: 53-55

Question: It's been said that the X-Files is a 90's Kolchak: The Night Stalker. How do you feel about that?

GlenMorg: Proud. We hadn't seen that show since the 70's but we all loved it as kids. Mid way through the year I found the two hour on video and was shocked to see how similar they are. I LOVED that show!

Question: How are Fox and Dana going to do their thing if they're not in the X Files unit anymore?

Question: Please reassure us that there is a "next" season.

GlenMorg: There is indeed a next season. You'll have to watch and maybe be patient. Her pregnancy actually forces us to take chances we never would have had the nerve to take.

Question: How have DD and GA gotten along as far as a professional relationship is concerned?

GlenMorg: Great. They are friends.

Question: Are there any plans for T-shirts, hats, etc.? How about releasing soundtrack music?

GlenMorg: I hope there will be a soundtrack. I could use it to listen to when I write. Mark Snow is WONDERFUL. As for T-shirts, I know they are in the works but I don't know the specifics. Sorry.

FoxxMulder: Folks, We are chatting with X-Files Co-Exec Producer, Glen Morgan!

Question: Have the characters' backgrounds developed as the shows are written, one by one, or is there an overriding concept of what makes them tick?

GlenMorg: Well, around the time of episode 12 last year many people on AOL were saying Scully was a wet blanket. To counter this, we worked up Beyond the Sea. That is what I meant at the opening. Last year there wasn't a real season arc to the characters. We flew by the seat of our pants. This season, because of GA's pregnancy we are a little bit more thought out about what to do with character - especially Mulder.

Question: How and when did you and James Wong become a writing team?

GlenMorg: In 1983, we wrote a film called "The Boys Next Door." Don't ever watch it.

Question What agencies do you think would be the ones to block an investigation by the current president to make public the documentation of extraterrestrials?

GlenMorg: The FDA.

FoxxMulder: LOL!

Question : How many hours a day do you work on the set?

GlenMorg: We go to Canada for a couple days at the end of pre-production. The set works, on average, 14-16 hours per day. They think we just sit around, but we put in 12 hours days also. We actually don't spend much time on set. The things we want a re established before we shoot.

Question: Glen, in Beyond the Sea, why doesn't Scully return for Boggs' execution? I understand that she had resolved her relationship to her father, but since Boggs had played straight with her, I would have thought she'd have respected his last request.

GlenMorg: She was afraid to believe. This is how I feel about the paranormal.

Question: Glen: what are the next season's episodes going to be like?

GlenMorg: Abductions, Mutants, psychic phenomenon.

Question: Are there story-brainstorming sessions, or do writers just sort of walk in one day, and say, "I've got a story. Here's the script."?

GlenMorg: Mainly, we all do our own thing.

Question : The critics reactions have been quite good - how have the Neilsen numbers been?

GlenMorg: Pretty good. On FOX, the ratings are not as important, per se as the demographics. We are strong with men 18-40 years old and so they are pleased with us. Friday is a tough night.

Question: I was wondering if any plot work with a recurring theme would eventually happen: i.e. the same aliens popping up over and over again. This would seem to make more sense than a whole galactic cornucopia of aliens constantly arriving on Earth, n'est pas?

GlenMorg: I agree, however, the studio wants "closure" and not continuing stories because it makes it easier to sell in syndication. Also FOX is trying to get new viewers and it turns them off if they come in half-way through a four-parter. We will be a bit serialized at times this year.

Question : Will Agent Sculley ever be right about a case?

GlenMorg: Very good. I hope so.

Question: What is your new movie Shadow about?

GlenMorg: Sorry, that isn't me.

Question: Will Mulder and Scully share a kiss?


Question: Will we see higher-profile actors as guests next season?

GlenMorg: Yes. Although, Brad Douriff, in my book, is high profile.

Question: Your show is the best of its kind since "Nightstalker" with Darren McGavin. I do notice some similarities but whereas Kolchak came up against a monster of the week, you seem to take your heavies right from the headlines of todays news. What headline topics have you got planned for next season?

GlenMorg: Why did they shut down the SETI program. Is the pesticide they're spraying us with doing anything to us. Did genetically altered food get washed up in the mid-west floods. Stuff like that.

Question: Is everyone on staff happy about keeping the same time slot?

GlenMorg: Yes. It's good luck.

Question: Any word about the Novels - will they be based on show stories, or original?

GlenMorg: I believe originals. I know nothing more about them, but I can't wait to read them.

Question: What other shows have you been a part of?

GlenMorg: "Knightwatch." "21 Jump Street" "Booker" "The Commish".

Question: Are there any planned spin-offs?

GlenMorg: Kinda. Nothing specific that I can ramble on about.

Question: X-Files received a brief but positive write up in the Wall Street Journal the other day. To paraphrase, it said the show was creative, scary, but flawed. I tend to agree, with most of that assessment. Will "technical" errors be taken care of?

GlenMorg: Sorry, "technical" as in...factually accurate?

Question: Do you think that other shows related to paranormal activity will "suddenly appear" due to the success of "The Files"?

FoxxMulder: Folks, we are talking with X-Files Co-Exec Producer, Glen Morgan.

GlenMorg: Yes, however other networks will be more comfortable doing this as "documentaries." "48-Hours" did it, already. Even Fox is doing that.

FoxxMulder: If you would like to ask a question, use the INTERACT button on your screen.

Question: Why was Deep Throat killed off? Is there someone else to replace him?

GlenMorg: Who said he's dead?

Question: Will the 400-yr-old mutant be returning?

GlenMorg: If you mean 100 year old Eugene V. Tooms? R.I.P.

Question: When will re-renewal (for a 3d season) be up for decision? (Getting ready for a letter-writing campaign, if necessary:-)

GlenMorg: Thank you. You're great:) Not until the end of next season. Thanks.

Question: Are you worried at all about the "Cult status" label that the press in general has put on the show?

GlenMorg: No, we kinda like it. It allows us to use it as an argument to the network for weird things we want to do.

Question: Will Mulder come close to finding out more about his abducted sister?

GlenMorg: Yes.

Question: Why does the FBI like the show so much? (Do they WANT people to believe they are almost completely ignorant about UFO's?)

GlenMorg: Good question. You know, last year at this time they would call up and suspiciously ask, "When do you go on the air?". Now, DD, GA and Chris received the "Jodie Foster" tour of the FBI in Washington and Quantico! They see it now as good PR, I think.

Question: About how long do writers have to whomp up a script?

GlenMorg: Once last year, three days.

Question: Dear Mr. Morgan, another X-Phile asked why our hero's seemed to rack the slides on their weapons every time, are they carrying it without a chamber in the round ? And if so, is that in accordance with official FBI policy?

GlenMorg: I am not at liberty to answer.

Question: Are there any plans for a two part (or more) episode in the future?

GlenMorg: Yes. Maybe around November. (You people are breaking down my vow to secrecy!)

Question: BTW, I want to congratulate you on EBE -- its my favorite episode. A nice bit of writing, that.

GlenMorg: Thank you. I am being quite sincere that EBE was designed with you in mind more than any other episode. We wanted to give you some things to talk about.

Question: How does FOX treat you? How intrusive are they?

GlenMorg: first they were, in a bad way. I suspect they can't figure out what we're doing. So they're afraid of us now. Besides, we told them we have arctic worms in our offices and they stay away.

Question: Any plans for a theatrical movie version of the X-Files???

GlenMorg: Nope.

Question: Is it possible to get an autographed picture of Mulder and Sculley?

GlenMorg: Well...I really, really don't want to sound rude, and I hope you'll understand there is an overwhelming amount of requests. You can write them and ask. They're very nice.

Question: Any chance of any more real-world mysteries (i.e. Loch ness) appearing on an X-file and if so, what will they be? Will there be an episode on Artificial Intelligence or Artificial Life?

GlenMorg: Some of you are cringing now, because of "Ghosts in the Machine!". Yes, I think it's important to use paranormal events that people are familiar with. I'm sorry I don't have specifics at this time.

Question: Us Philes would like to see more background on M&S; individually. Like their families and such. Any of that in store?

GlenMorg: First episode.

Question: How much of the various net-chatters (AOL,, CompuServe, etc.) is actually monitored? Do you have a "net-spy" in the office?

GlenMorg: Spy? Chris' assistant used to download, I believe the Internet. Jim Wong has had Prodigy for quite awhile. And I like it here. We try to read it all. It means a great deal to us.

Question: Has there ever been a "supernatural" occurrence during production or filming?

GlenMorg: I'm having one now. Not to my knowledge. I was hoping there'd be stuff going on like they always said went on during filming of "The Exorcist", but I guess the afterworld thinks we have to work harder.

Question: Who are your technical advisors?

GlenMorg: We don't have any

Question : Has an episode with dolphins or killer whales been considered?

GlenMorg: Yes, there is a great aquarium in Vancouver. We hope to use it for that someday.

Question: What year were the X-files supposedly opened? And who was Mulder's predecessor?

GlenMorg: In Shapes it was said J. Edgar Hoover began them in...1938?. Any other agents working on them have not been established.

Question: What episode has captured the most attention and acclaim?

GlenMorg: Squeeze or the pilot.

Question: How does this season's budget compare with that of last year?

GlenMorg: I believe we have a bit more money to blow.

Question: Have you been besieged by people who claim to be ready to give you "real information" on paranormal stuff? Have you had a problem with people coming to you "offering" "real information" for your shows. ("Real UFO footage", like that?)

GlenMorg: Yes. I respect them, however. Everyone needs something to get them through even if I don't believe in what it is.

Question: Will Scully ever come up with something Mulder won't believe?

GlenMorg: Watch Beyond The Sea.

Question: Have the actors had much input into the development of their characters?

GlenMorg: Yes. David is very very smart. He scares me, his notes are so right on. Gillian is very smart also. Frankly, David is more seasoned and may have less trouble asking for changes or improvements.

FoxxMulder: Folks, we have time for one more question....

Question: Tell us about the funniest "blooper" to happen on the set.

GlenMorg: The best one is filthy. The second is hard to explain. It was for "Fallen Angel" and an effects shot was needed of the alien. To do so required an orange suit...walking like John Cleese...maybe some day FOX will show the Bl ooper reel.

OnlineHost: Time is up for tonight's event.

FoxxMulder: Thank you Glen for coming online to chat with us!

JackDL: Thanks for joining us! Any last words?

GlenMorg: Thank you very much for having me. I hope I didn't sound smug or elusive, but its more fun to learn about the future episodes by watching them. Thanks Foxx. Thanks Jack.

JackDL: Thanks again!

GlenMorg: Thanks everyone.

FoxxMulder: Thank you for coming folks!

JackDL: Good night everyone!

OnlineHost: Our thanks to Glen Morgan, Co-Executive Producer of FOX Television's "The X-Files" for a look at the series and a glimpse into his life as well. For an edited transcript of this conference, use keyword: "CENTER STAGE". The transcript will be available in a few days. Thank you and good night!