Originally created 09/06/98

'X-Files' crew members enjoy rays of sunshine



HOLLYWOOD -- There goes that rainy day feeling again.

And here comes the sun.

As The X-Files moves into its sixth season, the Truth Is No longer Out There in dark and rainy Vancouver, British Columbia, the drama's home base since its 1993 premiere. Series creator and executive producer Chris Carter, stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and select crew members have all migrated from Canada to sunny Los Angeles and are deep into production on new episodes.

But don't expect Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, the two FBI agents portrayed by Mr. Duchovny and Ms. Anderson who hunt down aliens, conspiracies and unexplained phenomena, to burn their trench coats, put on Ray-Bans, hop into a convertible and launch into a chorus of I Love L.A.

Like The X-Files feature film this summer that was shot largely in Los Angeles, Mr. Carter insists that the series will retain much of its dark flavor and foreboding despite the change in locale.

However, when The X-Files has its season premiere on Nov. 8, fans of the series will see the light -- literally.

"In the first episode I wrote, we have a teaser where the first shot is of the sun, and we hold on that," Mr. Carter said. "Then we pan down to a desert landscape, which we never would have had in Vancouver. It's a wink to the audience that we are now in the land of sunshine."

It's also a move that has considerably brightened the dispositions of Ms. Anderson and Mr. Duchovny, who had been commuting to Vancouver since the show's debut. Mr. Duchovny, who was married last year to actress Tea Leoni, had said repeatedly that he would leave the series if it did not move to Los Angeles so he could spend more time with his wife. (Mr. Duchovny declined to be interviewed for this story.) Mr. Carter took other considerations into account but noted that all involved seem pleased with the new home base.

"Both David and Gillian are very happy to be able to go home after work," Mr. Carter said.

"Now that we're in a mostly urban environment, we're going to have to tell stories using the landscape that is presented to us now. Before, we had rain and misty conditions. Now we'll have to make them, without it looking forced. Directors are using angles to create the atmosphere that will keep the show what it is. And you can do good, scary stories anywhere if you do it right."

Sandy Grushow, president of 20th Century Fox Television, which produces The X-Files, agreed.

"I really don't think the change in locale will dramatically impact the creative look and feel of the show," Ms. Grushow said. "There will be those occasions where we can actually take advantage of the best L.A. has to offer. But by and large, people can expect the same quality series that Chris has been producing for the last five seasons."