The X-Files is an American science fiction drama television series created by Chris Carter. The original television series aired from September 10, 1993, to May 19, 2002, on Fox. The program spanned nine seasons, with 202 episodes. A short tenth season consisting of six episodes premiered on January 24, 2016. Following the ratings success of this revival, Fox announced in April 2017 that The X-Files would be returning for an eleventh season of ten episodes. The season premiered on January 3, 2018. In addition to the television series, two feature films have been released: The 1998 film The X-Files, which took place as part of the TV series continuity, and the stand-alone film The X-Files: I Want to Believe, released in 2008, six years after the original television run had ended.
The series revolves around Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) who investigate X-Files: marginalized, unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena. Mulder believes in the existence of aliens and the paranormal while Scully, a medical doctor and a skeptic, is assigned to make scientific analyses of Mulder's discoveries to debunk his work and thus return him to mainstream cases. Early in the series, both agents become pawns in a larger conflict and come to trust only each other and a few select people. The agents also discover an agenda of the government to keep the existence of extraterrestrial life a secret. They develop a close relationship which begins as a platonic friendship, but becomes a romance by the end of the series. In addition to the series-spanning story arc, "monster of the week" episodes form roughly two-thirds of all episodes.