The Lone Gunmen (TV series)

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The Lone Gunmen
The Lone Gunmen logo.jpg
Genre Drama
Created by Chris Carter
Vince Gilligan
John Shiban
Frank Spotnitz
Starring Bruce Harwood
Tom Braidwood
Dean Haglund
Stephen Snedden
Zuleikha Robinson
Country of origin United States and Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Running time 43 minutes
Production company(s) Millennium Canadian Productions Ltd.
Ten Thirteen Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television
Original channel Fox
Original run March 4 – June 1, 2001 (2001-06-01)
Related shows The X-Files

The Lone Gunmen is an American thriller dramatic television series created by Chris Carter and broadcast on Fox. It was a spin-off of Carter's science fiction television series The X-Files and a part of The X-Files franchise, starring several of the show's characters. The Lone Gunmen was first broadcast in March 2001 and, despite positive reviews, its ratings dropped.[1] The program was canceled after thirteen episodes. The last episode was broadcast in June 2001 and ended on a cliffhanger which was partially resolved in a ninth-season episode of The X-Files entitled "Jump the Shark".

The series revolved around the three characters of The Lone Gunmen: Melvin Frohike, John Fitzgerald Byers, and Richard Langly, a group of "geeky" investigators who ran a conspiracy theory magazine. They had often helped FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files.

Typical plots[edit]

Unlike The X-Files, whose storylines dealt mainly with supernatural events and alien abduction conspiracies, episodes of The Lone Gunmen generally featured more "plausible" plots, such as government-sponsored terrorism, a creeping "surveillance society" under the eye of the government, cheating husbands, corporate crime, arms dealers, and escaped Nazis. The show had a light atmosphere and focused heavily on physical comedy. The trio were often aided (and sometimes hindered) by a mysterious thief named Yves Adele Harlow (Zuleikha Robinson).

The plot of the first episode, which aired March 4, 2001, involves a US government conspiracy to hijack an airliner, fly it into the World Trade Center and blame it on terrorists, thereby gaining support for a new profit-making war. Parallels of this scenario to the September 11 attacks are noteworthy, if not uncanny, since the episode was aired six months prior to 9/11.[2]

The series was filmed in Vancouver, Canada.[citation needed]


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
1 "Pilot" Rob Bowman Chris Carter & Vince Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz March 4, 2001 (2001-03-04) 1AEB79 13.23[3]
While The Lone Gunmen are thwarted in their attempt to steal a computer chip by Yves Adele Harlow, John Fitzgerald Byers receives news of his father's death and the trio soon find themselves unravelling a government conspiracy concerning an attempt to fly a commercial aircraft into the Twin Towers, with increased arms sales for the United States as an intended result.
2 "Bond, Jimmy Bond" Bryan Spicer Vince Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz March 11, 2001 (2001-03-11) 1AEB01 9.0[3]
While searching for the killer of an infamous hacker, the three Lone Gunmen find a fourth member when they stumble upon a practice of a football team for the blind.
3 "Eine Kleine Frohike" David Jackson John Shiban March 16, 2001 (2001-03-16) 1AEB02 5.4[3]
With help from Yves, Melvin Frohike attempts to convince a woman suspected of being a Nazi war criminal that he is her long-lost son—and survive to talk about it.
4 "Like Water for Octane" Richard Compton Collin Friesen March 18, 2001 (2001-03-18) 1AEB03
While searching for a water-powered car, the Gunmen encounter missile silos, rude government clerks, and cows.
5 "Three Men and a Smoking Diaper" Bryan Spicer Chris Carter March 23, 2001 (2001-03-23) 1AEB04
The Lone Gunmen turn into babysitters while working to expose the truth behind a murder linked to a Senator seeking re-election.
6 "Madam, I'm Adam" Bryan Spicer Thomas Schnauz March 30, 2001 (2001-03-30) 1AEB05
A man contacts The Lone Gunmen, believing his life has been stolen after being abducted by aliens. They end up getting caught in a love triangle involving a one-eyed stereo salesman, brainwashing, and a wrestling dwarf.
7 "Planet of the Frohikes" John T. Kretchmer Vince Gilligan April 6, 2001 (2001-04-06) 1AEB06
The Lone Gunmen receive an email from an ingenious chimp, a self-named Simon White-Thatch Potentloins, attempting to escape a government laboratory.
8 "Maximum Byers" Vincent Misiano Vince Gilligan & Frank Spotnitz April 13, 2001 (2001-04-13) 1AEB07
At the behest of a man's mother, Byers and Jimmy Bond pose as prisoners on Death Row in a Texas penitentiary to prove the man's innocence.
9 "Diagnosis: Jimmy" Bryan Spicer John Shiban April 20, 2001 (2001-04-20) 1AEB08
While recovering in a hospital, Jimmy begins to suspect that his doctor is a wanted killer. Meanwhile, the Gunmen attempt to stop a man who kills grizzly bears to sell their gallbladders.
10 "Tango de los Pistoleros" Bryan Spicer Thomas Schnauz April 27, 2001 (2001-04-27) 1AEB09
Yves and Frohike go undercover as tango dancers to stop a man from selling government secrets.
11 "The Lying Game" Richard Compton Nandi Bowe May 4, 2001 (2001-05-04) 1AEB10
While investigating the death of Byers' college roommate, The Lone Gunmen find evidence implicating FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner.
12 "The Cap'n Toby Show" Carol Banker Vince Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz June 1, 2001 (2001-06-01) 1AEB11
The Lone Gunmen try to solve the murders of two FBI agents who were working undercover on Richard Langly's favorite TV show.
13 "All About Yves" Bryan Spicer Vince Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz May 11, 2001 (2001-05-11) 1AEB12
The Lone Gunmen team up with Man in Black agent Morris Fletcher to find Yves. What they uncover is Romeo-61, a secret government organization responsible for decades of major incidents.

"Jump the Shark" (2002) (The X-Files episode)[edit]

No. # Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
197 9.15 "Jump the Shark" Cliff Bole Vince Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz April 21, 2002 (2002-04-21) 9ABX15
When Morris Fletcher approaches agents Scully, Dogget, and Reyes with information related to the super soldiers, they turn to the Lone Gunmen. But the Gunmen and Jimmy are already knee-deep in a bio-terrorist’s plot to release a deadly toxin, and his links to the mysterious Yves Adele Harlow.


Reviews of the show are generally positive. 3,142 user reviews on IMDB give the show an average of 7.5 out of 10 stars.[4] gives the show an average of 8 out of 10 stars from 427 votes.[5] On Rotten Tomatoes the show got an average of 3.8 out of 5 stars based on 11 user reviews, but 100% of people liked the show.[6]

DVD release[edit]

Fox Home Entertainment officially released the series (along with the episode of The X-Files titled "Jump the Shark" which finishes the cliffhanger that ended The Lone Gunmen as an additional episode) on a three-disc Region 1 DVD set on Tuesday March 29, 2005. In the UK, it was released on January 31, 2006.


External links[edit]