The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series. It is part of The X-Files franchise, created by Chris Carter. The program originally aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 , spanning nine seasons and 202 episodes. The series recounted the exploits of 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 skeptic, is assigned to make scientific analyses of Mulder's discoveries that debunk Mulder's 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. They develop a close relationship, which begins as a platonic friendship, but becomes a romance by series end. In addition to the series-spanning story arc, "Monster-of-the-Week" episodes formed roughly two-thirds of the episodes. In such stand-alone episodes, Mulder and Scully investigated strange crimes that had no effect on the show's mythology, though the episodes enriched the show's background.
The X-Files was inspired by shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, Tales from the Darkside and especially Kolchak: The Night Stalker. When creating the main characters, Carter sought to reverse the usual gender stereotypes and made Mulder a believer and Scully a skeptic. For the first seven seasons, the show featured Duchovny and Anderson equally. In the last two seasons Anderson became the star, while Duchovny appeared intermittently, following a lawsuit. New main characters were introduced: FBI agents John Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish). Mulder and Scully's boss, Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), also became a main character. The first five seasons of The X-Files were filmed and produced in Vancouver, British Columbia, but the series eventually moved to Los Angeles, California to accommodate Duchovny.
The X-Files was a hit for the Fox network; initially it was considered a cult show, but eventually gained mainstream popularity. By the time it ended, the show had become the longest-running science fiction series in U.S. television history. The series spawned a spin-off show, and two feature films. The series received largely positive reviews from television critics, although its long-term story arc was criticized near the show's conclusion. The series won multiple Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama and Duchovny and Anderson received multiple award nominations. It became a popular culture touchstone, tapping into public mistrust of governments and large institutions and embracing conspiracy theories and spirituality.
" is the fourteenth episode of the television series The X-Files
. The show centers on FBI
special agents Fox Mulder
) and Dana Scully
) who work on cases linked to the paranormal, called X-Files
. In this episode, they investigate a series of murders following sexual encounters, and soon discover that a member of a religious sect living in Massachusetts
may be responsible—and may not be human. Premiering on the Fox
network on January 21, 1994
, it was directed by Rob Bowman (pictured)
and featured guest appearances by Brent Hinkley
and Nicholas Lea
. The episode was inspired by producer Glen Morgan
's desire for "an episode with more of a sexy edge"; however, the writers found it difficult to write a story that showed sex as scary. This difficulty led to the introduction of an Amish
-like community as well. "Gender Bender" had mixed critical responses, facing criticism for its abrupt deus ex machina
ending. Academic analysis of the episode has placed it within a science-fiction tradition that attributes a powerful, supernatural element to physical contact with aliens. It has also been seen as reflecting anxieties about emerging gender roles
in the 1990s.