List of The X-Files characters
The following is a list of characters in The X-Files. The X-Files is an American science fiction television series, first broadcast in September 1993, and followed by two feature films—The X-Files and The X-Files: I Want to Believe. These characters defined the series' overarching mythology, or fictional history, and appeared in a range of episodes across several seasons.
For series' first seven seasons, the protagonists were FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). A supporting cast of secondary protagonists was gradually introduced, with the agents' direct superior Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), conspiracy theorists The Lone Gunmen (Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund and Bruce Harwood) and secretive informants Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin) and X (Steven Williams) forming a core of recurring characters. Following Duchovny's departure from the series, actor Robert Patrick was introduced in the eighth season as the replacement character John Doggett, who was later accompanied by Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) in the ninth and final season.
Although the series initially lacked a recognizable antagonist, this role was eventually filled by The Smoking Man (William B. Davis) and the shadowy Syndicate. Syndicate member Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea) was introduced in the second season as a partner for Mulder to fill in while Anderson was pregnant, growing to become a recurring villain appearing in all subsequent seasons.
Characters who had a lesser degree of importance on the series can be found at List of minor The X-Files characters, while characters who had no bearing on the overarching storyline can be found at List of Monster-of-the-Week characters in The X-Files.
- 1 Main characters
- 2 Federal Bureau of Investigation characters
- 3 The Lone Gunmen
- 4 Syndicate characters
- 5 Footnotes
Fox Mulder (seasons 1–7 main, seasons 8–9 recurring) is portrayed by David Duchovny. Mulder is an FBI special agent who believes in the existence of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and a government conspiracy to hide or deny the truth regarding such craft. Mulder and his partner Dana Scully work in the FBI's X-Files office, which is concerned with cases with particularly mysterious or possibly supernatural circumstances that were marked as unsolvable and shelved by the FBI. Mulder considers the X-Files and the truth behind the supposed conspiracy so important that he has made their study the main purpose of his life. After his abduction by aliens at the end of season seven, he is replaced on the X-Files by Agent John Doggett. Mulder appeared in an episode of The Lone Gunmen and both The X-Files feature films.
Dana Scully (seasons 1–9 main) is portrayed by Gillian Anderson. Scully is an FBI special agent partnered with Agent Fox Mulder. Together they work out of the cramped basement office at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. to investigate unsolved cases labeled "X-Files". In contrast to Fox Mulder's credulous "believer" character, Scully was a skeptic, choosing to base her beliefs on what science can prove. However, as the series progressed she became more open to the possibility of paranormal happenings. In season eight she was assigned a new partner, Agent John Doggett, after Mulder is abducted by aliens. Later in the same season she leaves the X-Files office, to be replaced by Agent Monica Reyes. She has appeared in both The X-Files feature films.
John Doggett (seasons 8–9 main) is portrayed by Robert Patrick. Doggett is an FBI special agent who makes his first appearance in the season 8 premier, "Within". Doggett served in the United States Military during the 1970s–80s. Later he joined the New York Police Department and was eventually promoted to the rank of detective. After his son's death, Dogget took a job in the FBI working in the Criminal Investigations Division. In 2000, Alvin Kersh assigned him to the X-Files office as Dana Scully's partner after an unsuccessful task force attempt to find missing agent Fox Mulder in "Without". He did not appear in either of The X-Files feature films.
Monica Reyes (season 8 recurring, season 9 main) is portrayed by Annabeth Gish. Reyes is an FBI special agent who was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, where her parents still reside (as of 2002). Because she was raised in Mexico, Reyes speaks fluent Spanish. She majored in folklore and mythology at Brown University, and has a Masters degree in Religious Studies. In 1990, Reyes enrolled in the FBI at Quantico, Virginia. Her first assignment in the FBI was serving on a special task force investigating satanic rituals. She is a longtime friend of Agent John Doggett and serves as his replacement partner on the X-Files after the departure of Agent Dana Scully. Reyes was last seen in the New Mexico desert in 2002, where she warns Mulder and Scully of the arrival of Knowle Rohrer. She did not appear in either of The X-Files feature films.
Walter Skinner (seasons 1–8 recurring, season 9 main) is portrayed by Mitch Pileggi. Skinner is an FBI assistant director who served in the United States Marine Corps in the Vietnam War. During this time he shot and killed a young boy carrying explosives, an episode which scarred him for life. Skinner is originally the direct supervisor of Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, and the X-Files office. He later serves the same position for Agents John Doggett and Monica Reyes. Although he is originally portrayed as a somewhat malevolent character, Skinner eventually becomes a close friend of Mulder and Scully. He appeared in an episode of The Lone Gunmen and both The X-Files feature films.
Federal Bureau of Investigation characters
Brad D. Follmer is portrayed by Cary Elwes. Follmer was an assistant director at the FBI. He had a romantic history with Monica Reyes that he brought up while trying to keep her away from the X-files. His true motives were more political in nature and part of his sycophancy to Alvin Kersh. He did not believe in the X-files and deliberately showed disrespect to John Doggett by calling him "Mr. Doggett" instead of "Agent".
In 2002, new evidence concerning the murder of Luke Doggett came to light. John Doggett sought Follmer's assistance because he had worked on organized crime in New York City before coming to Washington. Reyes, however, recalled seeing Follmer accept a bribe from a mobster. Although he had convincingly claimed he was only paying an informant, the truth was as Reyes suspected: Follmer was crooked. Once the truth of Luke's fate was revealed, Follmer shot and killed the mobster who had nevertheless threatened to blackmail him concerning his bribe acceptance. Follmer's future at the FBI was left unresolved, although he would have likely faced criminal charges for his actions.
Diana Fowley is an FBI agent played by Mimi Rogers and first appeared in the fifth season finale "The End". In keeping with the show's history of ambiguity, Fowley's motivations were never explained, although many viewers assumed her to be deeply associated with the Syndicate conspirators and working against Special Agent Fox Mulder in his pursuit of the truth within the X-Files. An old fling of Agent Mulder, additional tension was generated on the show and amongst viewers because of a perceived rekindling of her former close personal relationship with agent Mulder and the possibility of Fowley coming between him and his trusted partner, Special Agent Dana Scully.
The character of Diana Fowley subsequently vanished during "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati". Her absence was explained by Agent Scully stating, "Diana Fowley was found murdered this morning", although her death was not witnessed.
Deputy Director Alvin D. Kersh is played by James Pickens, Jr. Kersh was a Navy A-6 Intruder weapons officer during the Vietnam War. He is known for using the same instincts that served him as an aviator in the military to guide his career in the FBI.
As an Assistant Director, he temporarily became supervisor to Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully when they were assigned away from the X-Files division. During this time, the Cigarette Smoking Man could be seen in his office, reminiscent of his silent presence in Walter Skinner's office in earlier seasons. Kersh assigned Mulder and Scully mostly to menial tasks, such as terrorist details and Federal background checks. When they did investigate an X-File behind his back, Kersh would charge them for expenses they incurred on the case, forcing them to pay out of their own pocket. He also attempted to separate Mulder and Scully, believing that Mulder threw away a promising career as a criminal profiler, but that Scully's career could still be saved.
When Mulder and Scully were reassigned to the X-Files Section, Kersh continued to climb the ladder, culminating in an assignment as Deputy Director. It was not long after his promotion that Mulder was abducted by aliens. Kersh assigned John Doggett to run the manhunt for Mulder. When Mulder returned, Kersh refused to assign him to the X-Files, keeping Doggett in that position. When Mulder and Doggett pursued an unauthorized case, Kersh was prepared to fire them both, but Mulder accepted full responsibility and was dismissed from the FBI. Shortly thereafter, Mulder disappeared again, and Doggett brought in Monica Reyes to help him investigate Kersh's involvement in the conspiracy surrounding Mulder's disappearance. The investigation turned up nothing. Although Doggett seemed convinced that Kersh was involved in the conspiracy, Kersh insisted that he was actually protecting Mulder.
During the ninth season, the Toothpick Man, a key conspirator, could be seen in the company of Kersh, much like Cigarette Smoking Man before. In the end, Kersh showed a heroic side when during the series finale, he helped Doggett and Skinner free Mulder from a military prison. Following this, Kersh had to permanently close the X-Files to appease his irate superiors. The X-Files are still officially closed when Mulder consults with the FBI 6 years later when FBI Agent Monica Bannon goes missing, however, Kersh is noticeably absent.
Jeffrey Frank Spender is portrayed by Chris Owens. Spender was a skeptic who was assigned to The X-Files after Fox Mulder's forced leave. Spender is the son of the Cigarette Smoking Man (also known as C. G. B. Spender, or CSM) and his ex-wife, multiple abductee Cassandra Spender. Heavily involved in the Syndicate at that time, CSM abandoned the family when Spender was 12 years old. Subsequently, his mother was driven insane by what she claims were multiple alien abductions. Shortly after Samantha Mulder was abducted and then returned, Jeffrey and Samantha were raised together by his father in California. Spender met Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in 1998. That same year CSM began sending him letters, however Spender would return them unopened. After his father set fire to the X-Files in "The End", Spender and Agent Diana Fowley start working on the X-Files. Spender receives orders from CSM to push Mulder and Scully to be fired from the FBI, which he eventually does in "Two Fathers". Later on he reinstates Mulder and Scully to the X-Files but appears to be shot in the head and killed by his father in "One Son".
Three years later, it is revealed in "William" that Spender survived the gunshot, but was subjected to horribly disfiguring experiments at the hands of his father. Posing as Mulder, he infiltrated Scully's house, and injected William with a magnetite substance to seemingly "cure" the baby of his telekinetic powers. The motivation or repercussions of his actions are never fully explained. He testified for the defense during Mulder's murder trial in "The Truth" where he revealed that Teena Mulder had an affair with CSM, and that he and Fox Mulder are half-brothers. A DNA test conducted on a disfigured Spender in the episode "William" initially led agents Scully, Doggett and Reyes to believe he was Fox Mulder thus lending further credence to Spender's claim that both he and Mulder are the children of the Cigarette Smoking Man.
The Lone Gunmen
John Fitzgerald Byers
John Fitzgerald Byers is portrayed by Bruce Harwood. Byers was born in Sterling, Virginia on November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and was named after the fallen president – his parents were originally planning to name him Bertram after his father. Byers idolized his namesake, but always had suspicions about the real cause of his death.
Byers worked as a public affairs officer for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Baltimore until May 1989. At this time he met Susanne Modeski at a consumer electronics show in Baltimore and instantly fell in love with her. Initially lying about her identity to him, she revealed herself to be a scientist working for the Army Advanced Weapons facility and appealed to him for help in stopping one of her developments – a gas causing fear and paranoia – from being used by the military on innocent civilians. Enlisting the help of Melvin Frohike and Richard Langly, who were also at the electronics show, they succeeded in helping Modeski, although she was later kidnapped. Modeski had awakened a desire in all three of them to uncover the truth, which subsequently led to the formation and publication of The Lone Gunmen newsletter, providing information on government cover-ups and conspiracy theories.
Byers appears to have some working knowledge of medicine, genetics and chemistry; he is able to interpret DNA strands, instantly informing Fox Mulder that Dana Scully’s blood had been tampered with in "One Breath". All three of the Lone Gunmen died in the X-Files episode "Jump the Shark", sacrificing themselves to save thousands from a terrorist created plague by using fire doors to seal themselves in a closed hallway with the man carrying the plague. Walter Skinner pulled some strings and arranged for them to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery as tribute to their brave deeds.
Melvin Frohike is portrayed by Tom Braidwood. Frohike was born circa 1953 in Pontiac, Michigan. Prior to joining The Lone Gunmen, he was an acclaimed tango dancer in Miami. On giving up the tango, he toured the country with hippies before founding Frohike Electronics Corp., specializing in cable pirating hardware.
In 1989 at a consumer electronics show in Baltimore, where his company had a trade stand, he met John Fitzgerald Byers and Richard Langly and they subsequently formed a group publishing The Lone Gunmen newsletter. Frohike has a deep attraction for Dana Scully. In his first appearance he was taking photographs of Scully, ogling her and calling her “tasty”. Whilst this attraction seemed rather lustful at first, he has shown genuine affection for Scully (and Fox Mulder) on numerous occasions, being the first person to bring her flowers after she returned from her abduction in the episode "One Breath". All three of the Lone Gunmen died in the X-Files episode "Jump the Shark". They intentionally lock themselves in a closed hallway with a man carrying a terrorist created plague saving thousands. Walter Skinner arranges for them to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Richard “Ringo” Langly is portrayed by Dean Haglund. Langly was born circa 1968/69 in Saltville, Nebraska. He showed an aptitude for computers from an early age, which was frowned upon by his parents. In 1989 he met Melvin Frohike and John Fitzgerald Byers at a consumer electronics show in Baltimore, and they subsequently formed a group publishing The Lone Gunmen newsletter. Langly wears thick black-rimmed glasses, heavy metal and punk T-shirts (favoring The Ramones in particular) and jeans. He has long, blond hair (which sometimes leads to him being mistaken for a girl) and bears a striking resemblance to Garth Algar from Wayne's World. He idolizes Joey Ramone in particular.
Langly is The Lone Gunmen’s expert in computers, hacking and programming. He is possibly the most paranoid of the Gunmen, taping all incoming phone calls, including those from Fox Mulder. All three of the Lone Gunmen died in the X-Files episode "Jump the Shark", sacrificing themselves to save thousands from a terrorist created plague by using fire doors to seal themselves in a closed hallway with the man carrying the plague. Walter Skinner pulled some strings and arranged for them to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery as tribute to their brave deeds.
Marita Covarrubias is introduced as an informant to Mulder after the death of his former source, X. X scrawls the letters "SRSG" in his own blood as he dies, leading Mulder to the Special Representative to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. However, it is later seen that Covarrubias is working for The Smoking Man and the Syndicate. The Syndicate later discovered that Covarrubias had betrayed them and was providing information to Mulder. As a result, Syndicate scientists infected her with black oil in order to test a vaccine they had been working to create. A cured Covarrubias later makes contact with Krycek at the behest of The Smoking Man, who wishes to resume the work of the now-eradicated Syndicate. However, Covarrubias and Krycek betray The Smoking Man and leave him for dead. In the series finale "The Truth", Skinner seeks Covarrubias as a witness in Mulder's trial for murder. She is called upon to testify, and speaks about her involvement with the Syndicate. However, when pressed for further information about the continuation of the conspiracy she clams up, and at Mulder's request is dismissed from the stand for fear that if she divulges certain knowledge, she would be killed.
The character of Marita Covarrubias was portrayed by Laurie Holden in all her appearances. When auditioning for the role, Holden was not allowed access to an episode script, instead simply being told that her character worked for the United Nations and had an air of "intelligent seriousness". Writer Frank Spotnitz has described Covarrubias as "young, attractive, vital [and] dangerous" compared to the other characters working for the Syndicate. Holden has compared the character to Mata Hari, adding that "you can't really read what she's saying or what her intentions are". Robert Shearman and Lars Pearson, in their book Wanting to Believe: A Critical Guide to The X-Files, Millennium & The Lone Gunmen, felt that the character was "used so perfunctorily since her introduction" that her appearances added little to the episodes she featured in, describing her as a "bad parody" of the earlier characters Deep Throat and X.
Deep Throat was the first of Mulder's informants, leaking information to him to aid his investigations. As a member of the then-unseen Syndicate, he was in a position to know a great deal of information. Deep Throat felt that the truth the Syndicate kept secret from the public needed to be known, and believed Mulder to be the one person capable of exposing this knowledge. However, he believed the public was just not ready to know some truths. In the first season finale of The X-Files, "The Erlenmeyer Flask", Mulder was taken hostage following his investigation into an alien-human hybrid program. Fearing for Mulder's life, Deep Throat helped Scully gain access to a high containment facility, where she managed to secretly remove an alien fetus for use as collateral in saving Mulder. In the subsequent meeting between the operatives and Deep Throat, he was gunned down by an assassin. The character later appeared in dreams and visions experienced by Mulder during his recuperation on a Navajo reservation, and again years later while being experimented on by The Smoking Man.
Deep Throat was inspired by the historical Deep Throat, FBI Associate Director Mark Felt. Also cited as an influence on the fictional Deep Throat was X, the character portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the 1991 Oliver Stone film JFK. The character was intended to bridge the gap between Mulder and Scully and the shadowy conspirators who were working against them; and was conceived as someone "who works in some level of government that we have no idea exists". Jerry Hardin was cast as Deep Throat based on his role in 1993's The Firm. Hardin's performance has been cited as "the spine of the series", and his portrayal of the character has been met with positive reviews from critics.
The First Elder is portrayed by Don S. Williams. He was a high-ranking member of the Syndicate. His exact position in the Syndicate was unclear, especially in regard to the Well Manicured Man, though at times he seemed higher-ranking than the Smoking Man. He contacted Scully in person while Mulder pursued evidence of an alien autopsy on a train. He also obtained photographs taken by X of a meeting between The Smoking Man and Teena Mulder as proof that one of the Smoking Man's henchmen was a traitor. The First Elder set up a trap to reveal the identity of the traitor and dispatched an assassin to kill him. X fell for the trap and was executed.
After Mulder shot Department of Defense agent Scott Ostlehoff in his head to obscure his identity, Mulder and Scully used the situation to effectively fake Mulder's death. CSM spoke with the First Elder at a horse track about Mulder's death, which CSM saw as unfortunate and unhelpful. However, the fact that Mulder was alive soon became known to both men, upon which the First Elder ordered one of his operatives to carry out a specific task. The operative followed CSM as he tried to recruit Mulder to work with the Syndicate, watching their movements through the scope of a sniper rifle. Shortly after the discovery of Scott Blevins' betrayal, the First Elder's operative shot CSM, who had been holding a photograph of Mulder and his sister. He was killed along with the rest of the Syndicate by a group of Alien rebels in 1999.
Alex Krycek is portrayed by Nicholas Lea. Krycek is a Russian-American who makes his first appearance in the season two episode "Sleepless", where Krycek, a young FBI special agent, is assigned as a temporary investigation partner to Fox Mulder. Krycek proceeds to work with Mulder and attempts to gain his trust.
However, it later becomes evident that Krycek is actually an undercover agent working for the Cigarette Smoking Man. Krycek plays an important part in several events that are harmful to Mulder and Dana Scully: he assists in Scully's abduction, and murders Mulder's father, Bill Mulder. Krycek also assaults Assistant Director Walter Skinner and acquires a secret tape from him which reveals a US government coverup regarding alien visits to Earth. After a botched murder attempt on Scully results in the death of her sister, the Cigarette Smoking Man attempts to kill Krycek with a car bomb, but Krycek escapes. He lies low in Hong Kong for a short period, selling secrets acquired from the tape until he is found, beaten and apprehended by Mulder who takes him back to the US. Unbeknown to him, Krycek is under the control of an alien organism and he escapes Mulder before he is taken to a missile silo in North Dakota by the Cigarette Smoking Man. Having ejected the alien influence into an alien craft, he is left locked in a missile bay, screaming and banging on the door.
When escaping a gulag in Russia, where Krycek pursues a mysterious rock, his left arm is amputated to prevent some experiments on him. Later in the series, Krycek can be seen switching sides as it suits him, occasionally helping Mulder, Cigarette Smoking Man and other people. He attempted to blackmail Skinner by infecting him with lethal nanotechnology, but ended up being thrown into a Tunisian prison when the Cigarette Smoking Man discovered that Krycek had stolen an alien artifact from him. In the last season 7 episode, "Requiem", Krycek tries and fails to kill the wheelchair-bound Cigarette Smoking Man by throwing him down a flight of stairs. Later, when Mulder was abducted by aliens and returned in a deathlike state, Krycek attempts to again blackmail Skinner, with the means to save Mulder's life. Skinner refuses, and Krycek has a violent confrontation with John Doggett before escaping. In the last season 8 episode, "Existence", Krycek is shot between the eyes and killed by Skinner during an unsuccessful attempt to kill Mulder. Krycek's ghost briefly showed up to help Mulder escape a military base in the series finale.
Knowle Rohrer is portrayed by Adam Baldwin. He served alongside Sergeant John Doggett in the U.S. Marine Corps with the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit in Beirut, Lebanon. Doggett and Rohrer were friends, but lost touch when Rohrer and Shannon McMahon were taken out of their company to be the first people transformed into Super Soldiers, a new type of alien-human hybrid intended by the alien Colonists as replacements for normal humans.
Knowle reached the rank of Master Sergeant and continued on with his military career by joining the Department of Defense. The work he did there is unknown, but it is safe to assume that he was involved in classified operations. When Doggett became assigned to the X-Files, he re-established contact with Rohrer. Doggett became suspicious of Rohrer when information was given to him from Rohrer that got a man killed, but it was not until Doggett saw Rohrer meet with Alex Krycek that he realized Rohrer was a member of the conspiracy.
In "Nothing Important Happened Today II", he is decapitated by fellow Super Soldier, Shannon McMahon, but owing to his hybrid abilities, manages to then impale her with his arm, and they both fall into a water reservoir, presumably both now dead.
However in the series finale, "The Truth", it is revealed that he survived, when Mulder breaks into Mount Weather. Rohrer chases down Mulder, and in the ensuing scuffle, Rohrer plummets onto some power lines. Mulder is then taken into military custody and put on trial for Rohrer's supposed death. Eventually, Mulder breaks out with the help of Alvin Kersh, and with Dana Scully, headed to New Mexico for a final confrontation with the Cigarette Smoking Man, whom he discovered was still alive. Doggett and Monica Reyes went after Mulder and Scully to warn them that the conspirators knew where they were. Rohrer, alive and well, followed, intending to kill them all (including the Cigarette Smoking Man, who had long since outlived his usefulness to the conspiracy). However, as he approached Doggett and Reyes in the New Mexican desert, Rohrer died from exposure to magnetite. It turned out that the Cigarette Smoking Man figured out that magnetite killed the Super Soldiers, and consequently chose to hide in a pueblo saturated with it.
The Smoking Man
C.G.B. Spender, best known as the Cigarette Smoking Man and Cancer Man, is portrayed by William B. Davis, and serves as the main antagonist of the series. In Spender's first appearance, he oversaw Dana Scully's debriefing and disposed of her evidence in the show's pilot episode, and eventually developed into the series' primary antagonist. The character is known initially only by this nickname because he is almost always seen chain-smoking Morley Cigarettes, and is usually surrounded by clouds of smoke. In the first seasons of the show, he was usually present in Walter Skinner's office, which was often a sign to discredit Fox Mulder's work on the X-Files.
He is involved in the Syndicate, a shadow organization within the United States government that exists to hide the fact that aliens are visiting Earth from the public. Spender is the leader of the Men in Black (MIB) in the series. In the season 6 two-part episodes "Two Fathers" and "One Son" it is learned that his birthname or alias is C.G.B. Spender and was formerly married to Cassandra Spender, with whom he had a son, Jeffrey Frank Spender. Diana Fowley is revealed to be a subordinate of his; together, they escape the annihilation of the Syndicate. His confidence in Jeffrey falters after a failed assassination attempt and later on Jeffrey's betrayal, he confronts his son and apparently kills him. The episodes also presented further evidence suggesting that he is Mulder's father. Eventually, Fowley also splits from him, which leads to her death. After the fall of the Syndicate, Smoking Man has no more fellow conspirators who can match his power, so he begins to operate as he wishes. However, his cancer resurfaces and he requires the use of a wheelchair. At the end of the 7th season, Alex Krycek and Marita Covarrubias betray him and throw him down a flight of stairs, where they presumed him dead.
Through the 9th season, he was presumed dead until Jeffrey Spender appeared in "William". It is learned that his attempted murder on his son failed which led him to subject his son to terrible experiments. In this very same episode it is revealed that he is Mulder's biological father. In the series finale, Mulder and Scully travel through remote New Mexico, and reach a pueblo where a "wise man" reputedly lives. It is in fact the Smoking Man. He is shown to be in the same condition as when he disappeared, but has degenerated further and is now quite unkempt. He has a shock of long white hair, and living a primitive life in hiding from the New Syndicate. He reveals to Mulder and Scully all he has left to tell, including the fact that the aliens are scheduled to invade in 2012. Shortly after he is killed by a missile shot from a helicopter ordered by Knowle Rohrer.
The Well-Manicured Man is a British member of the Syndicate. An Englishman, he is an important member, along with The Smoking Man and The Elder, and was a friend of Bill Mulder earlier in his life. The Well-Manicured Man is instrumental in the Syndicate's secondary agenda, to develop a vaccination against the black oil used by the aliens as a means of mind control. To this end, he works with Alex Krycek to develop a vaccine, eventually testing it—successfully—on Marita Covarrubias.
In the 1998 feature film The X-Files, when Scully is infected with the black oil and taken to Antarctica, it is the Well-Manicured Man who, having grown disillusioned with the Syndicate, gives Mulder the coordinates needed to find her and a sample of the vaccine needed to cure Scully. The colonists had kept secret a secondary characteristic of the black oil—that those infected with it for prolonged periods would gestate a new colonist lifeform, killing the host. Upon discovering this, the Syndicate vowed to work more closely with the colonists in the hope of being spared this fate, while only the Well-Manicured Man wished to continue working on a vaccination for resistance. This rejection led to his betrayal of the Syndicate, and to him committing suicide by car bomb before his duplicity was discovered.
The Well-Manicured Man was portrayed by John Neville in all his appearances. Conceived as the "voice of reason" within the Syndicate, the character has been seen as representing an opposing viewpoint to that of The Smoking Man. The character has been positively received by critics. MTV's Tami Katzoff has called him a "legendary TV character", noting his "moral ambivalence about the work of his shadow organization" and his ability to show "empathy for Mulder and Scully". The San Francisco Chronicle's Bob Graham has praised Neville's portrayal of the character in the feature film, calling his expository monologue "a Wagnerian demonstration of the art of declamation".
X, sometimes referred to as Mr. X, serves as an informant to Mulder, replacing Deep Throat in this capacity. While X's loyalties and his own agenda were often unclear, he has more than once proven that he at least does not want Mulder dead. In the episode "End Game", he is approached by Scully, who pleads that she needs to know where Mulder is, believing his life to be in danger. X reluctantly gives her the information after a fight with Skinner. In "731", X's loyalty to Mulder is further confirmed. Trapped on a train car equipped with a time bomb, Mulder is attacked by an assassin. X fatally shoots the assassin as he is about to step off the car, and boards with only enough time left to save either Mulder or the alien-human hybrid the car was transporting, opting to save Mulder. In the season 4 opener "Herrenvolk", X's position as an informant is discovered by the Syndicate, and he is assassinated, but not before leading Mulder to his successor, Marita Covarrubias. After his death, X appears two more times—in The Lone Gunmen origin story "Unusual Suspects," set before his death, and as a ghost in the series finale, "The Truth".
X is portrayed in the series by Steven Williams, and made his début in the second season episode "The Host", although the character would not appear on-screen until "Sleepless", two episodes later. The role had originally been conceived as a female, with Natalija Nogulich cast in the role, however her initial scenes were deemed unsatisfactory by the producers, leading to her replacement. Williams' portrayal of X was intended to introduce a personality completely different from the character's predecessor, Deep Throat, and has been positively received by critics and fans.
- Tony Wharmby. "Nothing Important Happened Today". The X-Files. Season 9. Episode 2. Fox.
- Kim Manners. "Provenance". The X-Files. Season 9. Episode 9. Fox.
- Chris Carter. "Providence". The X-Files. Season 9. Episode 10. Fox.
- Kim Manners. "Release". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 17. Fox.
- R. W. Goodwin. "The End". The X-Files. Season 5. Episode 20. Fox.
- Kim Manners. "Two Fathers". The X-Files. Season 6. Episode 11. Fox.
- Michael W. Watkins. "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati". The X-Files. Season 7. Episode 2. Fox.
- Chris Carter. "Within". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 1. Fox.
- Kim Manners. "The Beginning". The X-Files. Season 6. Episode 1. Fox.
- Chris Carter. "Triangle". The X-Files. Season 6. Episode 3. Fox.
- Rob Bowman. "Drive". The X-Files. Season 6. Episode 2. Fox.
- Michael Watkins. "Tithonus". The X-Files. Season 6. Episode 10. Fox.
- Tony Wharmby. "Deadalive". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 15. Fox.
- Rod Hardy. "Vienen". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 18. Fox.
- Chris Carter. "Existence". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 21. Fox.
- Kim Manners. "The Truth". The X-Files. Season 9. Episode 19 & 20. Fox.
- Chris Carter. "I Want to Believe". The X-Files. Episode 2. Fox.
- Chris Carter. "The Red and the Black". The X-Files. Season 5. Episode 14. Fox.
- Kim Manners. "Closure". The X-Files. Season 7. Episode 11. Fox.
- Rob Bowman. "One Son". The X-Files. Season 6. Episode 12. Fox.
- David Duchovny. "William". The X-Files. Season 9. Episode 16. Fox.
- Kim Manners (director); Vince Gilligan (writer) (November 16, 1997). "Unusual Suspects". The X-Files. Season 5. Episode 3. Fox.
- R.W. Goodwin. "One Breath". The X-Files. Season 2. Episode 8. Fox.
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