×

Amazon’s ‘The After’: Creator Chris Carter ‘Needed a Good Break’ After ‘The X-Files’

“X-Files” creator Chris Carter will soon return to screens with Amazon Studios’ “The After,” more than ten years after Fox’s cult sci-fi hit left the air. While an airdate for the Amazon Prime Instant Video series has yet to be announced beyond an “early 2015” window, during a panel at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour, Carter did confirm that the series will debut on a week-by-week basis instead of the entire season being released at once (the opposite model to fellow Amazon series “Transparent,” which will bow all ten of its half-hour episodes in late September).

Carter admitted that he “needed a good break” following the conclusion of “The X-Files,” since he’d spent “10 years of output [and] needed the equivalent input” in order to recharge creatively.

In “The After,” eight strangers are thrown together by mysterious forces and must help each other survive in a violent world that defies explanation. The cast includes Aldis Hodge, Andrew Howard, Arielle Kebbel, Jamie Kennedy, Sharon Lawrence, Sam Littlefield, Louise Monot, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Adrian Pasdar and Jason Lewis.

The concept for post-apocalyptic drama “The After” came to him years ago while working at Walt Disney Studios, after a construction worker dropped a box of nails on Sepulveda Pass and “it brought the city to a standstill,” which made Carter realize how quickly things could turn to chaos in Los Angeles with “something as low-tech as a box of nails.”

While Carter said “The After” has a “rigorous process where we carefully plot episodes every step of the way,” and that he ultimately knows how the series will end, the show’s trajectory isn’t entirely set in stone. “You shouldn’t know exactly where you’re going … you should leave room for discovery; that’s where the fun happens.”

Through creating “The X-Files,” he realized that mythology-driven stories begin to tell themselves due to the narrative choices the writers make along the way. “Either you’re hemmed in by those choices or liberated … luckily [on ‘X-Files’] we were liberated and it made for rich storytelling.” The producer ultimately envisions 99 episodes for “The After,” which was also inspired by “Dante’s Inferno.”

The show’s appearance on Amazon was mostly due to “good fortune,” according to Carter. “The simple truth is, Amazon read the script and liked it and wanted to do it and were getting into the business. It was just good fortune to be involved in a frontier in the business — I think it’s the way people will watch television exclusively in the future.”

The process of producing the show for Amazon shares many similarities with the broadcast network model, said Carter, including dealing with “compromise and limitations budgetarily.” However, the creator was attracted to the prospect of creating eight episodes, as opposed to the 22-25 required by Fox during “The X-Files.”

“That was a trial by fire — that is a tremendous amount of work,” he admitted. “I’m going to be able to focus, write the episodes before we ever film them, and make the best possible show.”

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • homepod-white-shelf

    Apple Said to Prep Cheaper HomePod for 2020

    Apple is getting ready to introduce a cheaper version of its HomePod smart speaker in 2020, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The company is also working on a new version of its AirPod headphones for next year, according to Bloomberg. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The new version of the HomePod is said [...]

  • Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Copyright

    Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Massive Copyright Infringement

    Eminem’s publishing company Eight Mile Style filed a major copyright infringement lawsuit against Spotify late Thursday, claiming that the streaming giant has no license to host about 250 of Eminem’s songs, while also taking aim at the Music Modernization Act, the federal law enacted last year to improve royalty payments for songwriters. The news was [...]

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    China’s iQIYI in Talks for Indonesia Expansion

    Chinese streaming firm iQIYI is in negotiations to expand further into Southeast Asia through a venture with Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra. iQIYI announced its first step outside Chinese-majority territories in June, when it revealed a linkup in Malaysia with pay-TV leader Astro. It also operates in Taiwan. In April, the company said that it planned [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify Triples Free-Trial Period on Premium Service

    Spotify today extended the free-trial period for its Premium service from one month to three, tripling the amount of time listeners can take full advantage of the streaming giant’s offerings without paying for them. According to the announcement, the offer is “always-on/not limited time,” and will roll out across Spotify Premium plans globally: Individual and [...]

  • Moviepass

    MoviePass Confirms Security Lapse May Have Exposed Customer Credit Card Data

    MoviePass, the struggling movie ticket subscription service, confirmed that a security issue may have exposed customers’ records online, including credit card info. In a statement, MoviePass said Wednesday that the security lapse was recently discovered and its system was immediately secured. News of the data breach was first reported Tuesday by TechCrunch, which alleged that [...]

  • Tycho weather app

    This Website Creates Spotify & Apple Music Playlists Based on Your Local Weather

    Electronica musician Tycho launched a clever promotional website for his new album “Weather” this week: Visitors of Tycho’s website can use a web app to generate a playlist based on their local weather. Playlists can be saved to both Spotify and Apple Music, and consist of 25 songs, both from Tycho’s catalog as well as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content