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Audible Presents “The X-Files Cold Cases” At Comic Con 2017

By: Marjorie Galas

“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?  The Shadow knows!”

Thus began the radio play “The Shadow” which ran from 1930 to 1954.  David Duchovny wasn’t born when the show bowed off the air, but the award-winning actor behind “The X-Files” Agent Fox Mulder and many other recognized film and TV roles can remember listening to repeats when he was a young boy.  It was through these hour-long installments that he learned “all you need is the story.  You can’t get by with elements of production.”

Producer Dirk Maggs was also mesmerized by radio plays as a young tyke.  Growing up in the UK, radio plays united his family as they sat mesmerized by the story.  Passionate about storytelling, Maggs has produced content for nearly all mediums over the years.  His heart, however, remained in radio.  He’s brought his talent of producing and sound recording to countless critically praised radio dramas – and received a boatload of awards in the process.  Some of his highlights include: “A Hitchhikers Guide To The Universe” (2005 APA Drama Award), “Hitchhikers Guide” (2007 US Publishers Association Audio Book of the Year) and “Good Omens” (2015 BBC Audio Drama Award.)  Now, Maggs brings his talents to Audible’s latest series, “The X-Files Cold Cases.”

Maggs and Duchovny shared a stage at Comic-Con to describe the series.  They also presented a trailer promoting the first episode, a revisit from the TV series most popular “monster” The Fluke Boy.  As “Cold Cases” suggests, the creature, first introduced in the 1994 episode “The Host”, managed to escape confinement before agents Mulder and his partner, Dana Scully, could properly document it, leaving the mystery “unsolved.”

Maggs adapted “Cold Cases” from the IDW comic series that was created by Joe Harris – who adapted his work from the TV series with the aid of Chris Carter.  “Cold Cases” begins its story in 2008 with Mulder and Scully posing as a married couple under witness protective custody and marries the show’s mythology with the notorious entities that made it so unique.  Concept in hand, Maggs secured Carter’s blessing for his audible project, then reached out to the original stars for their participation.

Duchovny informed the crowd it was Maggs’ dedication to both the story content and the audio series production that inspired him.  In addition to adapting “The X-Files” comics, Maggs is directly involved in the studio, working with the sound design and post production of the episodes.  Dubbing his creations “audio movies”, Maggs creates balanced layers of soundscape, sound effects, score, silence and dialogue.

Duchovny enjoyed the slightly altered approach he was able to provide Mulder in the audio series.  Not being able to utilize facial gestures – a hallmark of the character – and body movements to full effect, he explored the character’s tonal presence.

“I figured out Mulder’s rhythms from the page,” said Duchovny.  “It kind of reminded me of when we started.  There was no money for the original.  The DP John (S. Bartley) suggested we make everything dark and shoot in shadows to maximize the power of the viewers’ imagination.  That’s the power of audible.”

Other actors from the original series, including Gillian Anderson, William B. Davis and Mitch Pileggi were also eager to reprise their roles.  Maggs informed the crowd a second series, entitled “The X-Files: Stolen Lives”, will be available in the fall.

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