Hey! Hey! Hey! Whaddaya say?! "Fox & Rat" Virtual Series is coming back to your computer monitors (and mobile phone screens!) this coming Saturday for its eleventh season! Eight years ago we thought "Fox & Rat" was gone forever, but in this era of miraculous television and movie revivals and reboots, it seems to be that this fad can even hit the little online world of virtual series!
How does it feel to be less than one week away from the "Fox & Rat" season eleven premiere?
CASSIE: It makes my stomach turn in anxiety. I've written almost all of the episodes of season eleven, and I'm not sure how readers will react to them. I hope they like them. I'm also just a couple weeks behind writing the final handful of episodes of the season so... there's that.
KRISTI: And I've got one in the middle that isn't done yet. But I'm working on it if/when I get a lunch break at work via my phone. So... you know, autocorrect issues. I don't know the air date of it, but yeah... I'm kind of freaking out and reminded why I was happy we "ended" back at the end of season 10.
Back in 2009 you guys were rather adamant that season ten of "Fox & Rat" would be its last. Why did you decide to come back for another season and movie?
CASSIE: The first thing that comes to mind is that there is a new "president" of the USA, and with life feeling like it is in a constant state of turmoil, it is nice to escape from reality for a bit and write for a fictional world. Yes, I could write stand-alone X-Files fanfics, but I know the world of FRVS so well that it's easier to dip back into it, and continue their story. After season ten, Kristi and I did have a lot of story ideas that never fit into our ten seasons of FRVS, and I think with season eleven I was able to fit almost all of them in. I'm excited about that.
KRISTI: *points at Cassie* She made me do it.
What can you tell us about the upcoming season?
CASSIE: The first episode, "How They Meet," airs next Saturday (2 September). The first handful of episodes of this new season will be a little trip back in time to explore the lives of the characters in the late 1970s and the 1980s. After that episodes will jump forward to 2020, and a story idea that we have wanted to do since the mid-2000s! I'm most excited to introduce the X-Files' 2016 Event Series' character Agent Kyd Miller to the FRVS mix. He was my favorite character of that Event Series, and I just had to Fox&Rat-ize him!
KRISTI: I have a "hashtag" episode. *grins*
In the finale episodes of season ten, Mulder and Krycek helped defeat the alien colonists. Will aliens play a part in any storylines in season eleven?
CASSIE: No. We won't be going back to the alien colonist story in the new season. That's been wrapped up and finished. Season eleven deals more with the personal lives, and professional lives of the FRVS characters.
KRISTI: And we haven't erased what has been done on the original series. All that is still within the realm of the FRVS world. So there's no 'take backs', it's all still there, just evolved.
This is a question for your new readers. How much of the "Fox & Rat" back story needs to be known heading into season eleven? Is it important that readers first read the previous ten seasons?
CASSIE: I approached planning season eleven with new readers in mind. You do not need to have read our previous ten seasons to follow along. Today we uploaded "Here We Go Again!" which is a little recap "episode" which contains all you would need to know about FRVS to start with season eleven next Saturday. I would love it if new readers did take the time to read our other seasons, IMO, we have some really good episodes and storylines once you get to season five, but I can't control how people read the series.
KRISTI: I don't even remember all of the original series, so, I'm pretty sure newbies will be all right.
Will there be any guest writers in the upcoming season?
CASSIE: No. Season eleven was conceived in February 2016 and was mapped out in so much detail for almost a year. If we had new writers, or guest writers they would have to have deep knowledge of the FRVS series and its characters. I thought about reaching out to a couple people to help write, but decided against it because... I won't spoil it for you.
How many episodes can we expect in season eleven?
CASSIE: As of today, twenty episodes are planned for season eleven. I've written eighteen of the twenty, Kristi has two.
KRISTI: But I'm still working on the Hashtag episode... so it may be one, it may be two, it most certainly will not be three.
According to the "Fox & Rat" season eleven press release from this past June only Mulder, Krycek, Scully, and Doggett are listed as the main cast. Why did you chose these four characters, and downgrade other main characters from previous seasons?
CASSIE: This was the hardest decision to make because the previous ten seasons of FRVS had a couple handfuls of main characters. But in planning out season eleven I realized that if I tried to incorporate all the characters into the episodes that it would be too loose, and I need season eleven to be tight. I chose our four most popular characters: Mulder, Krycek, Scully, and Doggett. The other characters will pop in and out of episodes, but I just... I had to be selective this time around.
Will "Fox & Rat" finally explore romantic relationships between Mulder and Scully, and Doggett and Reyes? I know this question shows up in another form in your FAQs, but I'm asking again.
CASSIE: Kinda, sorta, somewhat... but probably not in the way any MSR or DRR fans would want. Any MSR or DRR in FRVS is the FRVS version of MSR and DRR. Am I being too vague?
KRISTI: People need to worry less about a favorite 'ship, and pay a little more attention to actual plot and character development. There are more to stories than "Oh-em-gee! They just held hands!"
Can you give us any hints about what the third "Fox & Rat" movie will be about? Anything at all?
CASSIE: It takes off right where season eleven will leave you with its cliffhanger. Season eleven will finale some time in February 2018, and the third movie is set to air on each Saturday in June 2018. Again, the story behind movie three is something that Kristi and I have wanted to do for years, over a decade now. I can't wait to bring this to you all!
KRISTI: It's gonna be fun. It's gonna be so out of the galaxy awesome, you won't know what hit you! I just hope I can make the deadline.
What has been the easiest part about coming back to "Fox & Rat," after so many years away? The hardest?
CASSIE: The easiest part, for me, has been delving back into the fictional world of "Fox & Rat." I've had story ideas for these characters for years, "Fox & Rat" has never left me, I just didn't have much time to write, and I didn't want to produce another season until recently. The hardest part has actually been writing. I think since FRVS ended in November 2009, that I have only written maybe three X-Files fanfics. When I began writing season eleven I was so rusty. I went through about five or six different (handwritten) versions of the first three episodes before realizing the best way to write the premiere episode. It's gotten easier since then, no worries.
KRISTI: The easiest is writing Mulder and Krycek. You'll notice that my Hashtag story is primarily them. They are so dumb, and so loveable and irritatingly adorable that it is so easy. All the other characters I struggle with. Because I so easily let go of FRVS back in 2009 I really have a hard time getting back to the world. So, I kind of just do my own thing. *grins* Oh, and those deadlines. Definiately meeting deadlines and balancing the muse to write while trying to eat lunch at work. And autocorrect. Autocorrect really slows me down. For the record, it is not a writer so it shouldn't pretend it knows what I mean when I write Krycek ghetto speak.
Looking back over ten seasons (and two movies) of "Fox & Rat," with eight years hindsight, what are your thoughts about the original run of the series?
CASSIE: I wish that Kristi and I had had more organization when we first started. The first three seasons are fun, but there's no direction. Season four was a disaster (I don't recommend reading it, and in fact you can go straight from season three's finale to the season five premiere and not miss anything - just know, for in-jokes sake - that in season four the core cast died and lived in the Afterlife for the season <--- yeah, even saying that is painful!). I'm glad that after the debacle of season four, that Kristi and I really sat down and plotted out how we wanted to end "Fox & Rat," and how we wanted to go about reaching that goal. I wish seasons one through four were like the last six seasons of the series.
Every now and then I will skim through (or re-read) an episode and I can't believe how much I have forgotten about what has happened in the series! I catch myself laughing at things that I wrote. It's great fun to go back through the episodes like that.
KRISTI: I wish every single episode off the top had a "Star Wars" reference. It's like the new thing. But back then we didn't realise how important "Star Wars" was for the boys. And yeah, totally would do away with season 4.
If you could take a time machine back to 1999, would you do "Fox & Rat" all over again?
CASSIE: Yes, and I would save the original "Adventures of Fox & Alex" stories that were written and lost (before we started archiving them on our website, back in 1998). Those lost stories were so hilarious! They included a lot of Krycek hanging out with the Syndicate ("he must Christmas." - Strughold <--- LOL that's the only line I remember from the lost stories!), and more strange roommate Mulder/Krycek adventures. Damn! I wish we had thought to save them!
KRISTI: Yes and no? As a writer, FRVS was a great excerise to do all that writing and planning. I'm fond of a lof of the memories I have: the height of creativity, all that time spent plotting and planning. Designing, video editing. It was such a creative time in my life, but it was also a lot of stress. So... yeah, yes and no. More yes, though.
Will there be more seasons after season eleven (and movie three), or is this the last we will hear from "Fox & Rat?"
CASSIE: As of right now, I'm not sure. We always keep the door open with our "Fox & Alex and..." stories (which are canonical episodes that were written after the season they take place in - on this version of the FRVS website, we have injected those episodes into the season they belong). I think any seasons after season eleven would depend on how much time and motivation I/we have to do another. Stay tuned!
KRISTI: Wait... I thought that.. are we scrapping that? Did I sleep through a meeting? You know... my episode with Jake? *gives Cassie a quizzical look, then smiles politely*
I think I speak for all old (and new!) readers of "Fox & Rat" when I say that I'm totally stoked that this series is coming back! Now before I can let you go, could you take a few minutes to answer a few questions from fans?
CASSIE: Absolutely! This is my favorite part of doing these interviews.
KRISTI: *waves to fans*
Sarah: Who would win in an arm wrestling contest? Mulder or Krycek?
CASSIE: On FRVS, neither one of them would win. They'd be stuck in a stalemate for a few days before giving into hunger and going out to eat at a McDonalds. On The X-Files, I would have to say... Krycek. Even with one arm, he's a lot more "battle ready" than Mulder is, IMO.
KRISTI: Krycek would win. Because Mulder would help his little buddy and not want to risk damaging his fragile ego.
RealXFan: Why are your X-Files characters so different from the characters of the real X-Files show?
CASSIE: We admire Mel Brooks. And like Mel Brooks, we like to take serious, respectable characters and warp them to fit into a comedy. Once FRVS got established, it was difficult to try to make them serious... who am I kidding?! LOL We never tried to make our FRVS characters too similar to their X-Files counterparts. Maybe once in a while, but the silliness had to continue.
KRISTI: Well, I like comedy. I like creating fresh characters, so what happened was, what we were given on the actual show were so one-dimensional that they were pretty much a free-for-all in terms of developing them into characters. The actual "X-Files" show had so many loose ends and "oh fill in this blank" that it just begged to be worked with. For me, as a creative person.
@doggettscully: What is the state of the Doggett/Scully relationship in the new season?
CASSIE: They're still married. But life is different now that they're not living on The Pequod.
Ok, that does it for today! We hope to see you all back here next Saturday for the season eleven premiere of "Fox & Rat" Virtual Series!
If you have any questions about "Fox & Rat" or "The X-Files" that you would like to have answered in an upcoming interview, please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!