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The X-Files - Season 7 ##VERIFIED##

The seventh season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files commenced airing on the Fox network in the United States on November 7, 1999, concluded on May 21, 2000, and consists of twenty-two episodes. Taking place after the destruction of the Syndicate, this season marks the end of various other story lines; during this season, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) learned the true fate of his sister, Samantha.

The X-Files - Season 7

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Before the broadcasting for the season began, Duchovny sued Fox and eventually announced his decision to leave the show. As a result, the season would be the last to feature Duchovny in a full-time capacity until the show's tenth season (which aired in 2016), although he would return in seasons 8 and 9 as an intermittent main character. Due to this eventual character change, this season would be the last to feature the original opening sequence for the series, as the two later years updated the intro in an attempt to renew and revive the series.

After five seasons in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, production of The X-Files moved to Los Angeles. The X-Files' sixth season was the first season of the show to be filmed in the new location. The move was instigated by Duchovny in order to facilitate his work in films as well as to give him a chance to be nearer to his wife, Téa Leoni. Series creator Chris Carter opposed the move, but Fox network officials eventually made the decision to film in California.[11] Although the move was unpopular with some members of the cast and crew, both series director Kim Manners and Anderson supported the move, although less vocally than Duchovny.[11][12] Many fans accused the show of "Hollywood-izing" by adding notable guests stars as well as making the plots simpler and more enjoyable for mass audiences. Furthermore, the move to Los Angeles also meant a drastic increase in production costs.[13]

While filming was underway for the seventh season, many members of the crew felt that the show had entered into its final season. Executive producer Frank Spotnitz later explained, "There was a pretty strong sentiment inside and outside the show that it was time to call it a day."[17] Because the show's producers felt that the show was nearing its end, many story arcs were ended in the season. The fourth episode, "Millennium" was written as a way to bring closure to the recently cancelled Carter-created series of the same name.[18][19] The episode features Lance Henriksen reprising his role as Frank for the last time.[20] The eleventh episode, "Closure", features Mulder discovering what happened to his sister. The idea to close the story arc received mixed reactions from various production and crew members. However, many of the show's producers realized that the time had come to answer one of the show's biggest questions. Paul Rabwin noted that, "It's been seven years. I don't think any of us are going to miss Samantha Mulder. That device and motivation were very strong in the early years of the show. But as the years have gone by, the speculation kind of melted away."[21] As the season progressed, however, the idea of producing another season emerged. Paul Rabwin explained that, "we found ourselves starting to get energized again. [...] As we got toward the end of the season, everyone was kind of hopeful."[22]

The season also saw several of the show's cast write their own episodes. Series co-star Gillian Anderson directed and wrote her first episode of the series, "all things". Anderson originally approached Carter about writing and directing an episode of the series during the sixth season.[23] Anderson crafted a script that would see Scully pursuing a "deeply personal X-File, one which in [she] is taken down a spiritual path when logic fails her".[23] Anderson had only a rough outline of the script until one day she wrote a majority of the story in one sitting. She explained, "A certain concept began to form, [and] I just wrote the entire outline for 'all things' right then and there. It all just kind of came together on the page".[23] The next day, Anderson pitched the script to Carter, who approved of the "personal and quiet" characteristics of the story.[23] In addition, series regular Davis wrote his only episode, "En Ami". Davis approached Carter with his idea about Cigarette Smoking Man trying to seduce Scully with medical knowledge, and Carter, who was intrigued, responded positively to the idea. He assigned executive producer Spotnitz to work with Davis and craft a full-fledged script.[24] The script went through many revisions. Because Cigarette Smoking Man was able to manipulate Scully, Carter later referred to the "En Ami" as "the creepiest episode of the year."[25]

Before the season aired, David Duchovny filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox. Duchovny claimed that Fox had undersold the rights to its own affiliates, thereby costing him huge sums of money. Originally, in the contract, Duchovny was eligible for an estimated five percent, but, according to him, he "had seen only a fraction" of the money.[26] Eventually, the lawsuit was settled, and Duchovny was awarded a settlement of about $20 million.[26] The lawsuit put strain on Duchovny's professional relationships. Although his lawsuit never called Chris Carter a defendant, their friendship was notably impacted. One anonymous source noted that "the whole lawsuit thing revealed that Carter knew (Duchovny) was getting screwed and didn't warn him. Carter proved where his loyalties lay with his actions."[26]

Series creator Chris Carter also served as executive producer and showrunner and wrote six episodes. Spotnitz continued as executive producer and wrote five episodes. Vince Gilligan continued as co-executive producer and wrote six episodes. John Shiban was promoted to supervising producer and wrote two episodes. David Amann was promoted to co-producer and wrote two episodes. Jeffrey Bell was promoted to story editor and wrote two episodes. Cyberpunk novelists William Gibson and Tom Maddox returned to write their second of two episodes for the series. Cast member Duchovny wrote two episodes in the season, while other cast members Anderson and Davis also wrote an episode each. New writers in the seventh season included Steven Maeda and Greg Walker, who wrote one episode; and Chip Johannessen who wrote a single freelance episode. Other producers included Paul Rabwin, Harry V. Bring and Bernadette Caulfield, and Michelle MacLaren who joined as co-executive producer.[28]

Producing-directors for the show included producer Rob Bowman, supervising producer Manners, and co-executive producer Michael Watkins, who directed the bulk of the episodes for the season. Bowman directed two episodes for his final season on the series, Manners directed seven, and Watkins directed three. Cast members David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson each directed one episode.[28] Series creator Chris Carter directed a single episode, while series writer Vince Gilligan made his television directorial debut.[28][29] Other directors for the season included Thomas J. Wright who directed three episodes, with Robert Lieberman, Cliff Bole, and Paul Shapiro each directing one.[28]

The seventh season earned the series six Primetime Emmy Award nominations, with three wins. The episode "First Person Shooter" won for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series. The episode "Theef" won for Outstanding Makeup for a Series.[45] Other nominations included Mark Snow for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) for "Theef", the episode "First Person Shooter" for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series, and "Rush" for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series.[45][46] The series, as well as Gillian Anderson, won a Entertainment Award for Best Drama Series and Best Actress in a Series, respectively. Other nominations included two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, an Environmental Media Awards nomination for "Brand X", and an International Monitor Award nomination for "Rush".[45]

Season 7 would also be the last to feature David Duchovny as the lead star in the show's original run. Duchovny would only appear in roughly half of season 8's episodes, and only appeared in the finale of season 9, before returning for the season 10 and 11 revivals.

Indeed, going into the season, the production team were quite certain that it was going to be the end. Chris Carter and David Duchovny had signed two-year extensions to their initial five-year contracts that would expire at the end of the season. David Duchovny had signalled that he was unlikely to return for an eighth season. Frank Spotnitz suggested that the writing staff were approaching the seventh season like it was their last time working with these characters on this show.

As a result, the entire seventh season occupies a hazily-defined realm between life and death. As the season goes on, it feels more and more like the seventh season is hedging its bets; that the production team might be happy to move on to other projects, but are not entirely ready to give up on The X-Files yet. Watching the season in hindsight feels weird; it often feels like the production team want to bring the curtain down, but are unwilling to definitively or conclusive wrap up all the threads.

However, as the season goes on, the Cigarette-Smoking Man finds himself panicking in the face of his own mortality. By the time that the season reaches Requiem, the once imposing figure is confined to a wheelchair smoking cigarettes through a hole in his throat. In the final forty-five minutes of the season, his inner circle reduced to Marita and Krycek (and Nurse Greta), he makes a last desperate bid to restore the mythology to its former glory. He tries to reassert the way that things were.

The conspiracy itself seems to exist in a weird state throughout the season. Biogenesis seemed to suggest that the Cigarette-Smoking Man was still overseeing plans for colonisation, even if the show was ambiguous as to how much of the conspiracy survived. In The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati, the Cigarette-Smoking Man had enough pull and resources to organise brain surgery with Mulder in a top-secret government facility. Even in Closure, the Cigarette-Smoking Man held enough power that the mention of his name could cause him to appear. 041b061a72


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