|Created by||Chris Carter|
|Music by||Mark Snow|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||10|
|No. of episodes||208 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Chris Carter
R. W. Goodwin
Michael W. Watkins
|Location(s)||Vancouver (seasons 1–5, 10–11)
Los Angeles (seasons 6–9)
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Picture format||480i (4:3 SDTV) (original broadcast)
480i 16:9 (DVD seasons 5–9)
1080p (16:9 HDTV) (2014 remaster, season 10-)
|Audio format||Dolby Surround 2.0 (original broadcast)
Dolby Digital 5.1 (2014 remaster; Descriptive Video Service over SAP season 10-)
|Original release||Original series:
September 10, 1993 – May 19, 2002
January 24, 2016 – present
|Related shows||Millennium (1996–99)
The Lone Gunmen (2001)
The X-Files is an American science fiction drama television series created by Chris Carter, which originally aired from September 10, 1993, to May 19, 2002, on Fox. The program spanned nine seasons, with 202 episodes, and a feature film of the same name. In 2008, a second film was released, which preceded a tenth season revival consisting of six episodes. The revival premiered on January 24, 2016. In April 2017, Fox officially announced that The X-Files would be returning for an eleventh season of ten episodes, which is set to premiere on January 3, 2018.
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 very 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.
The X-Files was inspired by earlier television series which featured elements of suspense and speculative fiction, including 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 gender stereotypes by making Mulder a believer and Scully a skeptic. The first seven seasons featured Duchovny and Anderson equally. In the last two seasons, Anderson took precedence while Duchovny appeared intermittently. 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, before eventually moving to Los Angeles to accommodate Duchovny. The series later returned to Vancouver to film The X-Files: I Want to Believe as well as the tenth season of the series.
The X-Files was a hit for the Fox network and received largely positive reviews, although its long-term story arc was criticized near the conclusion. Initially considered a cult series, it turned into a pop culture touchstone that tapped into public mistrust of governments and large institutions and embraced conspiracy theories and spirituality. Both the series itself and lead actors Duchovny and Anderson received multiple awards and nominations, and by the end it was the longest-running science fiction series in U.S. television history. The series also spawned a franchise which includes The Lone Gunmen spin-off, two theatrical films and accompanying merchandise. After the second theatrical film in 2008, the series fans continued to push for a third film to conclude the series' plot lines, and in March 2015, Fox announced that the series would return, with Carter as executive producer and writer, and Duchovny, Anderson, Pileggi, Davis, and Gish all reprising their roles.
- 1 Premise
- 2 Cast and characters
- 3 Production
- 4 Broadcast and release
- 5 Spin-offs
- 6 Influence
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The X-Files follows the careers and personal lives of FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). Mulder is a talented profiler and strong believer in the supernatural. He is also adamant about the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life and its presence on Earth. This set of beliefs earns him the nickname "Spooky Mulder" and an assignment to a little-known department that deals with unsolved cases, known as the X-Files. His belief in the paranormal springs from the claimed abduction of his sister Samantha Mulder by extraterrestrials when Mulder was 12. Her abduction drives Mulder throughout most of the series. Because of this, as well as more nebulous desires for vindication and the revelation of truths kept hidden by human authorities, Mulder struggles to maintain objectivity in his investigations.
Agent Scully is a foil for Mulder in this regard. As a medical doctor and natural skeptic, Scully approaches cases with complete detachment even when Mulder, despite his considerable training, loses his objectivity. She is partnered with Mulder initially so that she can debunk Mulder's nonconforming theories, often supplying logical, scientific explanations for the cases' apparently unexplainable phenomena. Although she is frequently able to offer scientific alternatives to Mulder's deductions, she is rarely able to refute them completely. Over the course of the series, she becomes increasingly dissatisfied with her own ability to approach the cases scientifically. After Mulder's abduction at the hands of aliens in the seventh season finale "Requiem", Scully becomes a "reluctant believer" who manages to explain the paranormal with science.
Various episodes also deal with the relationship between Mulder and Scully, originally platonic, but that later develops romantically. Mulder and Scully are joined by John Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) late in the series, after Mulder is abducted. Doggett replaces him as Scully's partner and helps her search for him, later involving Reyes, of whom Doggett had professional knowledge. The X-Files ends when Mulder is secretly subjected to a military tribunal for breaking into a Top Secret military facility and viewing plans for alien invasion and colonization of Earth. He is found guilty, but he escapes punishment with the help of the other agents and he and Scully become fugitives.
As the show progressed, key episodes, called parts of the "Mytharc", were recognized as the "mythology" of the series canon; these episodes carried the extraterrestrial/conspiracy storyline that evolved throughout the series. "monster of the week"—often abbreviated as "MOTW" or "MoW"—came to denote the remainder of The X-Files episodes. These episodes, comprising the majority of the series, dealt with paranormal phenomena, including: cryptids, mutants, science fiction technology, horror monsters, and religious phenomena. Some of the Monster-of-the-Week episodes even featured satiric elements and comedic story lines. The main story arc involves the agents' efforts to uncover a government conspiracy to hide the existence of extraterrestrials on Earth and their sinister collaboration with those governments. Mysterious men comprising a shadow element within the U.S. government, known as "The Syndicate", are the major villains in the series; late in the series it is revealed that The Syndicate acts as the only liaison between mankind and a group of extraterrestrials that intends to destroy the human species. They are usually represented by Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis), a ruthless killer, masterful politician, negotiator, failed novelist, and the series' principal antagonist.
As the series goes along, Mulder and Scully learn about evidence of the alien invasion piece by piece. It is revealed that the extraterrestrials plan on using a sentient virus, known as the black oil, to infect mankind and turn the population of the world into a slave race. The Syndicate—having made a deal to be spared by the aliens—have been working to develop an alien-human hybrid that will be able to withstand the effects of the black oil. The group has also been secretly working on a vaccine to overcome the black oil; this vaccine is revealed in the latter parts of season five, as well as the 1998 film. Counter to the alien colonization effort, another faction of aliens, the faceless rebels, are working to stop alien colonization. Eventually, in the season six episodes "Two Fathers"/"One Son", the rebels manage to destroy the Syndicate. The colonists, now without human liaisons, dispatch the "Super Soldiers": beings that resemble humans, but are biologically alien. In the latter parts of season eight, and the whole of season nine, the Super Soldiers manage to replace key individuals in the government, forcing Mulder and Scully to go into hiding.
Cast and characters
- Fox Mulder (seasons 1–7, 10–present, main; season 8–9, intermittent lead[nb 1]) is portrayed by David Duchovny. Mulder is an Oxford-educated FBI special agent who believes in the existence of extraterrestrials and a government conspiracy to hide the truth regarding them. He works in the X-Files office, which is concerned with cases marked as unsolvable; most involve supernatural/mysterious circumstances. Mulder considers the X-Files so important that he has made their study his life's main purpose. After his abduction by aliens at the end of season seven, his role in the show diminished and much of his work is taken on by Agent John Doggett. He appeared in an episode of The Lone Gunmen and in both the 1998 film The X-Files and the 2008 film The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
- Dana Scully (seasons 1–present, main) is portrayed by Gillian Anderson. Scully is an FBI special agent, a medical doctor, and scientist who is Mulder's partner. In contrast to his credulity, Scully is a skeptic, basing her beliefs on scientific explanations. However, despite her otherwise rigid skepticism, she is a Catholic, and her faith plays an important role in several episodes. As the series progresses, she becomes more open to the possibility of paranormal happenings. In the latter part of the eighth season, her position in the X-Files office is taken by Agent Monica Reyes, and Scully moves to Quantico to teach new FBI agents. She appeared in both The X-Files feature films.
- Walter Skinner (seasons 1–8, recurring; season 9–present, intermittent lead[nb 2]) 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 incident which scarred him for life. Skinner is originally Mulder and Scully's direct supervisor. He later serves the same position for Doggett and Reyes. Although he is originally portrayed as somewhat antagonistic, he eventually becomes a close friend of Mulder and Scully. He appeared in an episode of The Lone Gunmen and 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 eight episode "Within". Doggett served in the United States Marine Corps from the 1970s to the 1980s. Later, he started to work with the New York City Police Department, reaching the rank of detective. After his son's death, he joined the FBI's Criminal Investigations Division. In 2000, Alvin Kersh assigned him to the X-files unit as Scully's partner after an unsuccessful task force attempt to find Mulder. He did not appear in The X-Files feature films.
- Monica Reyes (season 8, 10–present, recurring; season 9, main) is portrayed by Annabeth Gish. Reyes is an FBI special agent who was born and raised in Mexico City. She majored in folklore and mythology at Brown University and earned a master's degree in religious studies. Her first FBI assignment was serving on a special task force investigating satanic rituals. She is a longtime friend of Doggett's and becomes his partner after Scully's departure. She did not appear in The X-Files feature films.
- Cigarette Smoking Man (seasons 1–7, 9–present) is portrayed by William B. Davis. The Cigarette Smoking Man is the series' primary villain. In the ninth-season episodes "William" and "The Truth", it is suggested that he is Mulder's biological father. In the seventh-season episode "Requiem", he is believed to be killed after being pushed down a flight of stairs by Alex Krycek until the ninth-season finale "The Truth", where Mulder and Scully travel through remote New Mexico and reach a pueblo where a "wise man" reputedly lives and is revealed to be Cigarette Smoking Man. He appears in the 1998 feature film and in the first and sixth episodes of the 2016 season.
- Alex Krycek (seasons 2–9) is portrayed by Nicholas Lea. Krycek is a Russian-American, the son of Cold War immigrants, and first introduced as an FBI Special Agent 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 Cigarette Smoking Man. Krycek plays an important part in several events that are harmful to Mulder and Scully.
- Jeffrey Spender (seasons 5–6, 9) 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 Cigarette Smoking Man and his ex-wife, multiple abductee Cassandra Spender, as well as possibly being the half-brother of Mulder. Initially thought to have been murdered by Cigarette Smoking Man, Spender returned, horribly disfigured, in the ninth season and helped Scully's son William.
- Alvin Kersh (seasons 6, 8–9) is portrayed by James Pickens, Jr.. As an assistant director (and later deputy 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, Cigarette Smoking Man would often visit him in his office. Kersh assigned Mulder and Scully mostly to menial tasks, such as terrorist details and Federal background checks. Kersh was largely antagonistic to Mulder and Scully, but in "The Truth" somewhat redeemed himself by helping Mulder escape capital punishment.
California native Chris Carter was given the opportunity to produce new shows for the Fox network in the early 1990s. Tired of the comedies he had been working on for Walt Disney Pictures, a report that 3.7 million Americans may have been abducted by aliens, the Watergate scandal and the 1970s horror series Kolchak: The Night Stalker, triggered the idea for The X-Files. He wrote the pilot episode in 1992.
Carter's initial pitch for The X-Files was rejected by Fox executives. He fleshed out the concept and returned a few weeks later, when they commissioned the pilot. Carter worked with NYPD Blue producer Daniel Sackheim to further develop the pilot, drawing stylistic inspiration from the 1988 documentary The Thin Blue Line and the British television series Prime Suspect. Inspiration also came from Carter's memories of The Twilight Zone as well as from The Silence of the Lambs, which provided the impetus for framing the series around agents from the FBI, in order to provide the characters with a more plausible reason for being involved in each case than Carter believed was present in Kolchak. Carter was determined to keep the relationship between the two leads strictly platonic, basing their interactions on the characters of Emma Peel and John Steed in The Avengers series.
The early 1990s series Twin Peaks was a major influence on the show's dark atmosphere and its often surreal blend of drama and irony. Duchovny had appeared as a cross-dressing DEA agent in Twin Peaks and the Mulder character was seen as a parallel to that show's FBI Agent Dale Cooper. The producers and writers cited All the President's Men, Three Days of the Condor, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rashomon, The Thing, The Boys from Brazil, The Silence of the Lambs and JFK as other influences. Carter's use of continuous takes in "Triangle" was modeled on Hitchcock's Rope. In addition, episodes written by Darin Morgan often referred to or referenced other films.
Duchovny had worked in Los Angeles for three years prior to The X-Files; at first he wanted to focus on feature films. In 1993, his manager, Melanie Green, gave him the script for the "pilot episode" of The X-Files. Green and Duchovny were both convinced it was a good script, so he auditioned for the lead. Duchovny's audition was "terrific", though he talked rather slowly. While the casting director of the show was very positive toward him, Carter thought that he was not particularly intelligent. He asked Duchovny if he could "please" imagine himself as an FBI agent in "future" episodes. Duchovny, however, turned out to be one of the best-read people that Carter knew.
Anderson auditioned for the role of Scully in 1993. "I couldn’t put the script down", she recalled. The network wanted either a more established or a "taller, leggier, blonder and breastier" actress for Scully than the 24-year-old Anderson, a theater veteran with minor film experience. After auditions, Carter felt she was the only choice. Carter insisted that Anderson had the kind of no-nonsense integrity that the role required. For portraying Scully, Anderson won numerous major awards: the Screen Actors Guild Award in 1996 and 1997, an Emmy Award in 1997, and a Golden Globe Award 1997.
The character Walter Skinner was played by actor Mitch Pileggi, who had unsuccessfully auditioned for the roles of two or three other characters on The X-Files before getting the part. At first, the fact that he was asked back to audition for the recurring role slightly puzzled him, until he discovered the reason he had not previously been cast in those roles—Carter had been unable to envision Pileggi as any of those characters, because the actor had been shaving his head. When Pileggi auditioned for Walter Skinner, he had been in a grumpy mood and had allowed his small amount of hair to grow. His attitude fit well with Skinner's character, causing Carter to assume that the actor was only pretending to be grumpy. Pileggi later realized he had been lucky that he had not been cast in one of the earlier roles, as he believed he would have appeared in only a single episode and would have missed the opportunity to play the recurring role.
Before the seventh season aired, Duchovny filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox. He was upset because, he claimed, Fox had undersold the rights to its own affiliates, thereby costing him huge sums of money. Eventually, the lawsuit was settled, and Duchovny was awarded a settlement of about $20 million. The lawsuit put strain on Duchovny's professional relationships. Neither Carter nor Duchovny was contracted to work on the series beyond the seventh season; however, Fox entered into negotiations near the end of that season in order to bring the two on board for an eighth season. After settling his contract dispute, Duchovny quit full-time participation in the show after the seventh season. This contributed to uncertainties over the likelihood of an eighth season. Carter and most fans felt the show was at its natural endpoint with Duchovny's departure, but it was decided that Mulder would be abducted at the end of the seventh seasons and would return in 12 episodes the following year. The producers then announced that a new character, John Doggett, would fill Mulder's role.
More than 100 actors auditioned for the role of Doggett, but only about ten were seriously considered. Lou Diamond Phillips, Hart Bochner, and Bruce Campbell were among the ten. The producers chose Robert Patrick. Carter believed that the series could continue for another ten years with new leads, and the opening credits were accordingly redesigned in both seasons eight and nine to emphasize the new actors (along with Pileggi, who was finally listed as a main character). Doggett's presence did not give the series the ratings boost the network executives were hoping for. The eighth-season episode "This is Not Happening" marked the first appearance of Monica Reyes, played by Gish, who became a main character in season nine. Her character was developed and introduced due to Anderson's possible departure at the end of the eighth season. Although Anderson stayed until the end, Gish became a series regular.
Minor recurring characters
Glen Morgan and James Wong's early influence on The X-Files mythology led to their introduction of popular secondary characters who continued for years in episodes written by others: Scully's father, William (Don S. Davis); her mother, Margaret (Sheila Larken); and her sister, Melissa (Melinda McGraw). The conspiracy-inspired trio The Lone Gunmen were also secondary characters. The trio was introduced in the first-season episode "E.B.E." as a way to make Mulder appear more credible. They were originally meant to appear in only that episode, but due to their popularity, they returned in the second-season episode "Blood" and became recurring characters. Cigarette Smoking Man portrayed by William B. Davis, was initially cast as an extra in the pilot episode. His character, however, grew into the main antagonist.
During the early stages of production, Carter founded Ten Thirteen Productions and began to plan for filming the pilot in Los Angeles. However, unable to find suitable locations for many scenes, he decided to "go where the good forests are" and moved production to Vancouver. It was soon realized by the production crew that since so much of the first season would require filming on location, rather than on sound stages, a second location manager would be needed. The show remained in Vancouver for the first five seasons; production then shifted to Los Angeles beginning with the sixth season. Duchovny was unhappy over his geographical separation from his wife Téa Leoni, although his discontent was popularly attributed to frustration with climatic conditions in Vancouver. Anderson also wanted to return to the United States and Carter relented following the fifth season. The season ended in May 1998 with "The End", the final episode shot in Vancouver and the final episode with the involvement of many of the original crew members, including director and producer R.W. Goodwin and his wife Sheila Larken, who played Margaret Scully and would later return briefly.
With the move to Los Angeles, many changes behind the scenes occurred, as much of the original The X-Files crew was gone. New production designer Corey Kaplan, editor Lynne Willingham, writer David Amann and director and producer Michael Watkins joined and stayed for several years. Bill Roe became the show's new director of photography and episodes generally had a drier, brighter look due to California's sunshine and climate, as compared with Vancouver's rain, fog and temperate forests. Early in the sixth season, the producers took advantage of the new location, setting the show in new parts of the country. For example, Vince Gilligan's "Drive", about a man subject to an unexplained illness, was a frenetic action episode, unusual for The X-Files largely because it was set in Nevada's stark desert roads. The "Dreamland" two-part episode was also set in Nevada, this time in Area 51. The episode was largely filmed at "Club Ed", a movie ranch located on the outskirts of Lancaster, California.
Although the sixth through ninth seasons were filmed in Los Angeles, the series' second movie, The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008), was filmed in Vancouver, According to Spotnitz, the film script was written specifically for the city and surrounding areas. The 2016 revival was also shot there.
The music was composed by Mark Snow, who got involved with The X-Files through his friendship with executive producer Goodwin. Initially Carter had no candidates. A little over a dozen people were considered, but Goodwin continued to press for Snow, who auditioned around three times with no sign from the production staff as to whether they wanted him. One day, however, Snow's agent called him, talking about the "pilot episode" and hinting that he had got the job.
The theme, "The X-Files", used more instrumental sections than most dramas. The theme song's famous whistle effect was inspired by the track "How Soon Is Now?" from The Smiths' 1985 album Meat Is Murder. After attempting to craft the theme with different sound effects, Snow used a Proteus 2 rack-mount synth with an effect called "Whistling Joe". After hearing this effect, Carter was "taken aback" and noted it was "going to be good". According to the "Behind the Truth" segment on the first season DVD, Snow created the echo effect on the track by accident. He felt that after several revisions, something still was not right. Carter walked out of the room and Snow put his hand and forearm on his keyboard in frustration. By doing so, he accidentally activated an echo effect setting. The resulting riff pleased Carter; Snow said, "this sound was in the keyboard. And that was it." The second episode, "Deep Throat", marked Snow's debut as solo composer for an entire episode. The production crew was determined to limit the music in the early episodes. Likewise, the theme song itself first appeared in "Deep Throat".
Snow was tasked with composing the score for both The X-Files films. The films marked the first appearance of real instruments; previous music had been digitally crafted by Snow. Snow's soundtrack for the first film, The X-Files: Original Motion Picture Score, was released in 1998. For the second film, Snow recorded with the Hollywood Studio Symphony in May 2008 at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox in Century City. UNKLE recorded a new version of the theme music for the end credits. Some of the unusual sounds were created by a variation of silly putty and dimes tucked into piano strings. Snow commented that the fast percussion featured in some tracks was inspired by the track "Prospectors Quartet" from the There Will Be Blood soundtrack. The soundtrack score, The X-Files: I Want to Believe: Original Motion Picture Score, was released in 2008.
The opening sequence was made in 1993 for the first season and remained unchanged until Duchovny left the show. Carter sought to make the title an "impactful opening" with "supernatural images". These scenes notably include a split-screen image of a seed germinating as well as a "terror-filled, warped face". The latter was created when Carter found a video operator who was able to create the effect. The sequence was extremely popular and won the show its first Emmy Award, which was for Outstanding Graphic Design and Title Sequences. Rabwin was particularly pleased with the sequence and felt that it was something that had "never [been] seen on television before". In 2017, James Charisma of Paste (magazine) ranked the show's opening sequence #8 on a list of The 75 Best TV Title Sequences of All Time.
The premiere episode of season eight, "Within", revealed the first major change to the opening credits. Along with Patrick, the sequence used new images and updated photos for Duchovny and Anderson, although Duchovny only appears in the opening credits when he appears in an episode. Carter and the production staff saw Duchovny's departure as a chance to change things. The replacement shows various pictures of Scully's pregnancy. According to executive producer Frank Spotnitz, the sequence also features an "abstract" way of showing Mulder's absence in the eighth season: he falls into an eye. Season nine featured an entirely new sequence. Since Anderson wanted to move on, the sequence featured Reyes and Skinner. Duchovny's return to the show for the ninth-season finale, "The Truth" marked the largest number of cast members to be featured in the opening credits, with five.
The sequence ends with the tagline "The Truth Is Out There", which is used for the majority of the episodes. The tagline changes in specific episodes to slogans that are relevant to that episode. The first of these was "Trust No One" in "The Erlenmeyer Flask". Other examples include: "Deny Everything" in "Ascension", "Éí 'Aaníígóó 'Áhoot'é" in "Anasazi", "Everything Dies" in "Herrenvolk", "Believe to Understand" in "Closure", "They're Watching" in "Trust No 1", and "This Is the End" in "My Struggle II".
Broadcast and release
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||First aired||Last aired||TV season||Rank||Avg. viewers
|1||Friday 9:00 p.m.||24||September 10, 1993||12.00||May 13, 1994||14.00||1993–1994||105||11.21|
|2||25||September 16, 1994||16.10||May 19, 1995||16.60||1994–1995||63||14.50|
|3||24||September 22, 1995||19.94||May 17, 1996||17.86||1995–1996||55||15.40|
|4||Friday 9:00 p.m. (1–3)
Sunday 9:00 p.m. (4–24)
|24||October 4, 1996||21.11||May 18, 1997||19.85||1996–1997||12||19.20|
|5||Sunday 9:00 p.m.||20||November 2, 1997||27.34||May 17, 1998||18.76||1997–1998||11||19.80|
|6||22||November 8, 1998||20.24||May 16, 1999||15.86||1998–1999||12||17.20|
|7||22||November 7, 1999||17.82||May 21, 2000||15.26||1999–2000||29||14.20|
|8||21||November 5, 2000||15.87||May 20, 2001||14.00||2000–2001||31||13.93|
|9||20||November 11, 2001||10.60||May 19, 2002||13.25||2001–2002||63||9.10|
|10||Sunday 10:30 p.m. (Premiere)
Monday 8:00 p.m.
|6||January 24, 2016||16.19||February 22, 2016||7.60||2015–2016||7||13.60|
The pilot premiered on September 10, 1993, and reached 12 million viewers. As the season progressed, ratings began to increase and the season finale garnered 14 million viewers. The first season ranked 105th out of 128 shows during the 1993–94 television season. The series' second season increased in ratings—a trend that would continue for the next three seasons—and finished 63rd out of 141 shows. These ratings were not spectacular, but the series had attracted enough fans to receive the label "cult hit", particularly by Fox standards. Most importantly it made great gains among the 18-to-49 age demographic sought by advertisers. During its third year, the series ranked 55th and was viewed by an average of 15.40 million viewers, an increase of almost seven percent over the second season, making it Fox's top-rated program in the 18–49-year-old demographic. Although the first three episodes of the fourth season aired on Friday night, the fourth episode "Unruhe" aired on Sunday night. The show remained on Sunday until its end. The season hit a high with its twelfth episode, "Leonard Betts", which was chosen as the lead-out program following Super Bowl XXXI. The episode was viewed by 29.1 million viewers, the series' highest-rated episode. The fifth season debuted with "Redux I" on November 2, 1997 and was viewed by 27.34 million people, making it the highest-rated non-special broadcast episode of the series. The season ranked as the eleventh-most watched series during the 1997–98 year, with an average of 19.8 million viewers. It was the series' highest-rated season as well as Fox' highest-rated program during the 1997–98 season.
The sixth season premiered with "The Beginning", watched by 20.24 million viewers. The show ended season six with lower numbers than the previous season, beginning a decline that would continue for the show's final three years. The X-Files was nevertheless Fox's highest-rated show that year. The seventh season, originally intended as the show's last, ranked as the 29th most-watched show for the 1999–2000 year, with 14.20 million viewers. This made it, at the time, the lowest-rated year of the show since the third season. The first episode of season eight, "Within", was viewed by 15.87 million viewers. The episode marked an 11% decrease from the seventh season opener, "The Sixth Extinction". The first part of the ninth season opener, "Nothing Important Happened Today", only attracted 10.6 million viewers, the series' lowest-rated season premiere.
The original series finale, "The Truth", attracted 13.25 million viewers, the series' lowest rated season finale. The ninth season was the 63rd most-watched show for the 2001–02 season, tying its season two rank. On May 19, 2002, the finale aired and the Fox network confirmed that The X-Files was over. When talking about the beginning of the ninth season, Carter said "We lost our audience on the first episode. It's like the audience had gone away and I didn't know how to find them. I didn't want to work to get them back because I believed what we are doing deserved to have them back." While news outlets cited declining ratings because of lackluster stories and poor writing, The X-Files production crew blamed September 11 terrorist attacks as the main factor. At the end of 2002, The X-Files had become the longest-running consecutive science fiction series ever on U.S. broadcast television. This record was later surpassed by Stargate SG-1 in 2007 and Smallville in 2011.
The debut episode of the 2016 revival, "My Struggle", first aired on January 24, 2016 and was watched by 16.19 million viewers. In terms of viewers, this made it the highest-rated episode of The X-Files to air since the eighth-season episode "This Is Not Happening" in 2001, which was watched by 16.9 million viewers. When DVR and streaming are taken into account, "My Struggle" was seen by 21.4 million viewers, scoring a 7.1 Nielsen rating. The season ended with "My Struggle II", which was viewed by 7.60 million viewers. In total, the season was viewed by an average of 13.6 million viewers; it ranked as the seventh most-watched television series of the 2015–16 year, making it the highest-ranked season of The X-Files to ever air.
By the time TV Asahi started broadcasts, The X-Files was already a solid performer at video stores in Japan with sales of over 300,000. When The X-Files first hit Japan, it was the No. 1 rated show in its time slot and had an average rating of 14.9% for its first season. It was the first American-produced series to succeed in Japan in almost a decade and the only U.S. program to have a regular primetime spot on a Japanese television network during its initial three-year run.
After several successful seasons, Carter wanted to tell the story of the series on a wider scale, which ultimately turned into a feature film. He later explained that the main problem was to create a story that would not require the viewer to be familiar with the broadcast series. The movie was filmed in the hiatus between the show's fourth and fifth seasons and re-shoots were conducted during the filming of the show's fifth season. Due to the demands on the actors' schedules, some episodes of the fifth season focused on just one of the two leads. On June 19, 1998, the eponymous The X-Files, also known as The X-Files: Fight the Future was released. The crew intended the movie to be a continuation of the season five finale "The End", but was also meant to stand on its own. The season six premiere, "The Beginning", began where the film ended.
The film was written by Carter and Spotnitz and directed by series regular Rob Bowman. In addition to Mulder, Scully, Skinner and Cigarette Smoking Man, it featured guest appearances by Martin Landau, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Blythe Danner, who appeared only in the film. It also featured the last appearance of John Neville as the Well-Manicured Man. Jeffrey Spender, Diana Fowley, Alex Krycek and Gibson Praise—characters who had been introduced in the fifth-season finale and/or were integral to the television series—do not appear in the film. Although the film had a strong domestic opening and received mostly positive reviews from critics, attendance dropped sharply after the first weekend. Although it failed to make a profit during its theatrical release—due in part to its large promotional budget—The X-Files film was more successful internationally. Eventually, the worldwide theatrical box office total reached $189 million. The film's production cost and ad budgets were each close to $66 million. Unlike the series, Anderson and Duchovny received equal pay for the film.
In November 2001, Carter decided to pursue a second film adaptation. Production was slated to begin after the ninth season, with a projected release in December 2003. In April 2002, Carter reiterated his desire and the studio's desire to do a sequel film. He planned to write the script over the summer and begin production in spring or summer 2003 for a 2004 release. Carter described the film as independent of the series, saying "We're looking at the movies as stand-alones. They're not necessarily going to have to deal with the mythology." Bowman, who had directed various episodes of The X-Files in the past as well as the 1998 film, expressed an interest in the sequel, but Carter took the job. Spotnitz co-authored the script with Carter. The X-Files: I Want to Believe became the second film based on the series, after 1998's The X-Files: Fight the Future. Filming began in December 2007 in Vancouver and finished on March 11, 2008.
The film was released in the United States on July 25, 2008. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Carter said that if I Want to Believe proved successful, he would propose a third movie that would return to the television series' mythology and focus on the alien invasion foretold within the series, due to occur in December 2012. The film grossed $4 million on its opening day in the United States. It opened fourth on the U.S. weekend box office chart, with a gross of $10.2 million. By the end of its theatrical run, it had grossed $20,982,478 domestically and an additional $47,373,805 internationally, for a total worldwide gross of $68,369,434. Among 2008 domestic releases, it finished in 114th place. The film's stars both claimed that the timing of the movie's release, a week after the highly popular Batman film The Dark Knight, negatively affected its success. The film received mixed to negative reviews. Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 reviews from mainstream film critics, reported "mixed or average" reviews, with an average score of 47 based on 33 reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 32% of 160 listed film critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 4.9 out of 10. The website wrote of the critics' consensus stating; "The chemistry between leads David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson do live up to The X-Files' televised legacy, but the roving plot and droning routines make it hard to identify just what we're meant to believe in."
In several interviews around the release, Carter said that if the X-Files: I Want to Believe film proved successful at the box office, a third installment would be made going back to the TV series' mythology, focusing specifically on the alien invasion and colonization of Earth foretold in the ninth-season finale, due to occur on December 22, 2012. In an October 2009 interview, David Duchovny likewise said he wanted to do a 2012 X-Files movie, but did not know if he would get the chance. Anderson stated in August 2012 that a third X-Files film is "looking pretty good". As of July 2013, Fox had not approved the movie, although Carter, Spotnitz, Duchovny and Anderson expressed interest. At the New York Comic Con held October 10–13, 2013, Duchovny and Anderson reaffirmed that they and Carter are interested in making a third film, with Anderson saying “If it takes fan encouragement to get Fox interested in that, then I guess that's what it would be.”
On January 17, 2015, Fox confirmed that they were looking at the possibility of bringing The X-Files back, not as a movie, but as a limited run television season. Fox chairman Dana Walden told reporters that "conversations so far have only been logistical and are in very early stages" and that the series would only go forward if Carter, Anderson, and Duchovny were all on board, and that it was a matter of ensuring all of their timetables are open. On March 24, 2015, it was confirmed the series would return with series creator Chris Carter and lead actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. It premiered on January 24, 2016.
Home video release
On September 24, 1996, the first "wave" set of The X-Files VHS tapes were released. Wave sets were released covering the first through fourth seasons. Each "wave" was three VHS tapes, each containing two episodes, for a total of six episodes per wave and two waves per season. For example, the home video release of wave one drew from the first half of the first season: "Pilot"/"Deep Throat", "Conduit"/"Ice" and "Fallen Angel"/"Eve". Each wave was also available in a boxed set. Unlike later DVD season releases, the tapes did not include every episode from the seasons. Ultimately twelve episodes—approximately half the total number aired—were selected by Carter to represent each season, including nearly all "mythology arc" episodes and selected standalone episodes. Carter briefly introduced each episode with an explanation of why the episode was chosen and anecdotes from the set. These clips were later included on the full season DVDs. Wave eight, covering the last part of the fourth season, was the last to be released. No Carter interviews appeared on DVDs for later seasons. Many of the waves had collectible cards for each episode.
All nine seasons were released on DVD along with the two films. The entire series was re-released on DVD in early 2006, in a "slimmer" package. The first five slim case versions did not come with some bonus materials that were featured in the original fold-out versions. However, seasons six, seven, eight and nine all contained the bonus materials found in the original versions. Episodic DVDs have also been released in Region 2, such as "Deadalive", "Existence", "Nothing Important Happened Today", "Providence" and "The Truth". Various other episodes were released on DVD and VHS. In 2005, four DVD sets were released containing the main story arc episodes of The X-Files. The four being Volume 1 – Abduction, Volume 2 – Black Oil, Volume 3 – Colonization and Volume 4 – Super Soldiers. A boxed set containing all nine seasons and the first film was made available in 2007, which contains all of the special features from the initial releases. The set also includes an additional disc of new bonus features and various collectibles, including a poster for the first film, a comic book, a set of collector cards and a guide to all 202 episodes across all nine seasons and the first film. Due to the fact that the set was released in 2007, the second film, which was released in 2008, is not included.
Release of The X-Files' seasons on Blu-ray, restored in high-definition, was rumored to begin in late 2013. The German TV channel ProSieben Maxx began airing first-season episodes reformatted in widescreen and in high-definition on January 20, 2014. On April 23, 2015, Netflix began streaming episodes of The X-Files in high definition, marking the first time that the series has been made available in the high resolution format in North America. In October 2015, it was confirmed that the complete series would be reissued on Blu-ray, and the full set was released on December 8, 2015. The set was criticized for using the wrong fonts for the title sequence and season 8 was affected by color balance issues making the picture appear darker in most episodes. These issues let to Fox offering corrected discs and eventually issuing new sets with the correct color balance.
The Lone Gunmen
The Lone Gunmen is an American science fiction television series created by Carter and broadcast on Fox, and was crafted as a more humorous spin-off of The X-Files. The series starred the eponymous Lone Gunmen, and was first broadcast in March 2001, during The X-Files's month-long hiatus. Although the debut episode garnered 13.23 million viewers, its ratings began to steadily drop. The program was cancelled 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 titled "Jump the Shark".
The X-Files was converted into a comic book series published by Topps Comics during the show's third and fourth seasons. The initial comic books were written solely by Stefan Petrucha. According to Petrucha, there were three types of stories: "those that dealt with the characters, those that dealt with the conspiracy, and the monster-of-the-week sort of stuff". Petrucha cited the latter as the easiest to write. Petrucha saw Scully as a "scientist […] with real world faith", and that the difference between [Mulder and Scully] is not that Mulder believes and Scully doesn't; it's more a difference in procedure." In this manner, Mulder's viewpoint was often written to be just as valid as Scully's, and Scully's science was often portrayed to be just as convincing as Mulder's more outlandish ideas. Petrucha was eventually fired and various other authors took up the job. Topps published 41 regular issues of The X-Files from 1995–1998.
A 30 Days of Night/The X-Files cross-over graphic novel was published by WildStorm in 2010. It follows Mulder and Scully to Alaska as they investigate a series of grisly murders that may be linked to vampires.
In 2013, it was announced that The X-Files would return to comic book form with "Season 10", now published by IDW. The series, which follows Mulder and Scully after the events of The X-Files: I Want to Believe, was released in June 2013. Joe Harris wrote the series, and Michael Walsh and Jordie Bellaire provided the artwork. It was later announced that Carter himself would be the executive producer for the series and would be "providing feedback to the creative team regarding scripts and outlines to keep the new stories in line with existing and on-going canon." The series restarted the series' mythology, and the first arc of the story focused on "seek[ing] to bring the mythology of the Alien Conspiracy back up to date in a more paranoid, post-terror, post-wikileaks society.” In addition, sequels to popular Monster-of-the-Week episodes were made. The X-Files Season 10 concluded in July 2015 after 25 issues.
In August 2015, The X-Files Season 11 comic book began, also published by IDW. The 8-issue series served as a continuation of the TV show. Chris Carter was the Executive Producer of the comic book series, while the issues were written by Joe Harris and illustrated by Matthew Dow Smith and Jordie Bellaire.
The X-Files received positive reviews from television critics, with many calling it one of the best series that aired on American television in the 1990s. Ian Burrell from the British newspaper The Independent called the show "one of the greatest cult shows in modern television". Richard Corliss from Time magazine called the show the "cultural touchstone of" the 1990s. Hal Boedeker from the Orlando Sentinel said in 1996 that the series had grown from a cult favorite to a television "classic". The Evening Herald said the show had "overwhelming influence" on television, in front of such shows as The Simpsons. In 2012, Entertainment Weekly listed the show at #4 in the "25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years", describing it as "a paean to oddballs, sci-fi fans, conspiracy theorists and Area 51 pilgrims everywhere. Ratings improved every year for the first five seasons, while Mulder and Scully's believer-versus-skeptic dynamic created a TV template that's still in heavy use today."
In 2004 and 2007, The X-Files ranked #2 on TV Guide's "Top Cult Shows Ever". In 2002, the show ranked as the 37th best television show of all time. In 1997, the episodes "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" and "Small Potatoes" respectively ranked #10 and #72 on "TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". In 2013, TV Guide included it in its list of the "60 Greatest Dramas of All Time" and ranked it at #25 on their list of the "60 Best Series of All Time". In 2007, Time included it on a list of the "100 Best TV Shows of All Time". In 2008, Entertainment Weekly named it the fourth-best piece of science fiction media, the fourth best TV show in the last 25 years and in 2009, named it the fourth-best piece of science fiction, in their list of the "20 Greatest Sci-Fi TV Shows" in history. Empire magazine ranked The X-Files ninth best TV show in history, further claiming that the best episode was the third season entry "Jose Chung's From Outer Space". According to The Guardian, MediaDNA research discovered that The X-Files was on top of the list of the most innovative TV brands. In 2009, it was announced that the show's catchphrase "The Truth Is Out There" was among Britain's top 60 best-known slogans and quotes.
The X-Files has been criticized for being unscientific and privileging paranormal and supernatural ideas (e.g. the hypotheses made by Mulder). For instance, in 1998, Richard Dawkins wrote that "The X-Files systematically purveys an anti-rational view of the world which, by virtue of its recurrent persistence, is insidious."
First seven seasons
The "pilot episode" was generally well received by fans and critics. Variety criticized the episode for "using reworked concepts", but praised the production and noted its potential. Of the acting, Variety said "Duchovny's delineation of a serious scientist with a sense of humor should win him partisans and Anderson's wavering doubter connects well. They're a solid team...'" Variety praised the writing and direction: "Mandel's cool direction of Carter's ingenious script and the artful presentation itself give TV sci-fi a boost." The magazine concluded, "Carter's dialogue is fresh without being self-conscious and the characters are involving. Series kicks off with drive and imagination, both innovative in recent TV." Entertainment Weekly said that Scully "was set up as a scoffing skeptic" in the pilot but progressed toward belief throughout the season. After the airing of four episodes, the magazine called The X-Files "the most paranoid, subversive show on TV", noting the "marvelous tension between Anderson—who is dubious about these events—and Duchovny, who has the haunted, imploring look of a true believer". Virgin Media said the most memorable "Monster-of-the-Week" was Eugene Tooms from "Squeeze" and "Tooms".
The following four seasons received similar praise. During the show's second season, Entertainment Weekly named The X-Files the "Program of the Year" for 1994, stating "no other show on television gives off the vibe that The X-Files does". The DVD Journal gave the second season four out of four stars, calling it a "memorable season". The review highlighted "The Host", "Duane Barry" and "Ascension", the cliffhanger finale "Anasazi", the "unforgettable" "Humbug" and meeting Mulder and Scully's families in "Colony" and "One Breath". IGN gave the season a rating of 9 out of 10, with the reviewer noting it was an improvement upon the first as it had "started to explore a little" and the "evolution of the characters makes the product shine even though the plotlines have begun to seem familiar". Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club argued that the third season of The X-Files was the show's "best season and maybe one of the greatest TV seasons of all time", noting it was consistent and "[swung] from strength to strength" between mythology and stand-alone episodes. Michael Sauter of Entertainment Weekly gave the fifth season an "A – ", writing that it "proves the show was—even then—still at its creative peak (if only for another year or so) and full of surprises". He praised the new additions to the series' mythology and concluded that "many stand-alone episodes now look like classics". Francis Dass, writing for the New Straits Times, noted that the season was "very interesting" and possessed "some [...] truly inspiring and hilarious" episodes.
After the 1998 film, the show began to receive increasingly critical reviews. Some longtime fans became alienated during the show's sixth season, due to the different tone taken by most stand-alone episodes after the move to Los Angeles. Rather than adhering to the "Monsters-of-the-Week" style, they were often romantic or humorous or both, such as "Arcadia" or "Terms of Endearment". Some fans felt there was no coherent plan to the main storyline and that Carter was "making it all up as he goes along". As for the seventh season, The A.V. Club noted that while most of the first eight seasons of The X-Files was "good-to-great", the seventh season of the show was "flagging" and possessed "significant problems". Despite this, seasons six and seven included several episodes that were lauded by critics, including the sixth season entries "Triangle" and "The Unnatural", as well as the seventh season installment "X-Cops".
Eighth and ninth seasons
The show's eighth season received mixed to positive reviews from critics. The A.V. Club noted that the eighth season was "revitalized by the new 'search for Mulder' story-arc". Amy H. Sturgis commended the eighth season, praising Anderson's performance as Scully as "excellence" and positively wrote that Doggett was "non-Mulderish". Collin Polonowonski from DVD Times said that the season included "more hits than misses overall" but offered a negative word about the mythology episodes, claiming that they were the "weakest" episodes in the season. Jesse Hassenger from PopMatters, however, criticized the new season, claiming that Patrick was miscast and calling Duchovny's appearances as Mulder shallow.
The ninth season received mixed to negative reviews by critics and garnered negative reaction from many long-time fans and viewers. Sabadino Parker from PopMatters, called the show "a pale reflection of the show it once was". Elizabeth Weinbloom from The New York Times concluded, "shoddy writing notwithstanding, it was this halfhearted culmination of what was once a beautifully complicated friendship", between Mulder and Scully that ended remaining interest in what was a "waning phenomenon". Another The New York Times review stated, "The most imaginative show on television has finally reached the limits of its imagination." The A.V. Club listed the ninth season and the 2008 film The X-Files: I Want to Believe as the "bad apple" of The X-Files franchise, describing the ninth season as "clumsy mish-mash of stuff that had once worked and new serialized storylines about so-called 'super soldiers'". Brian Linder from IGN, on the other hand, was more positive to the ninth season, saying that the series could still have aired if the writers created a new storyline for Patrick and Gish's characters.
The 2016 revival of the show was met with mixed reviews; the first and last episodes were met with lukewarm to negative reviews from critics, whereas episodes two through five were generally well received. The third episode in particular, named "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster", was praised by critics, with Alex McCown of The A.V. Club calling it an "instant classic". Overall, the review aggregator Metacritic gave the season a score of 60 out of 100 based on 35 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Likewise, Rotten Tomatoes gave the revival a 64% approval rating with an average score of 6.6 out of 10 based on 48 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny's chemistry remains intact, but overall, The X-Files revival lacks the creative spark necessary to sustain the initial rush of nostalgia."
The X-Files received prestigious awards over its nine-year run, totaling 62 Emmy nominations and 16 awards. Capping its successful first season, The X-Files crew members James Castle, Bruce Bryant and Carol Johnsen won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Graphic Design and Title Sequences in 1994. In 1995, the show was nominated for seven Emmy Awards with one win. The following year, the show won five Emmys out of eight nominations, including Darin Morgan for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. In 1997, The X-Files won three awards out of twelve, including Gillian Anderson for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. In 1998, the show won one of fifteen. In 1999, it won one out of eight, in the category for Outstanding Makeup for a Series. Season seven won three Emmys from six nominations. The following season would not be as successful, catching only two nominations and winning again in the Makeup category for "Deadalive". The ninth season received one nomination in Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore).
The show was nominated for 12 Golden Globe Awards overall, winning five. The first nomination came in 1994, when the show won Best Series – Drama. The following year, Anderson and Duchovny were nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Leading Role, respectively. In 1996, the series won three awards; Anderson and Duchovny for Best Actress and Actor and for Best Series – Drama. In 1997 and 1998, the show received the same three nominations. In 1997, however, the series won Best Series – Drama". In 1998 the series won no award and received no nominations thereafter.
The show was nominated for 14 SAG Awards overall, winning twice. In 1996 and 1997, Anderson won for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. In 1996, the show won a Peabody Award for being able "to convey ideas that are both entertaining and thought-provoking". The show has also been nominated for: two American Cinema Editors awards, three Directors Guild of America Awards, nine Television Critics Association Awards and two Writers Guild of American Awards. The X-Files was also nominated for nine Satellite Awards, managing to win two of them; and two Young Artist Awards, winning one.
As The X-Files saw its viewership expand from a "small, but devoted" group of fans to a worldwide mass cult audience, digital telecommunications were becoming mainstream. According to The New York Times, "this may have been the first show to find its audience growth tied to the growth of the Internet". The X-Files incorporated new technologies into storylines beginning in the early seasons: Mulder and Scully communicated on cellular phones, e-mail contact with secret informants provided plot points in episodes such as "Colony" and "Anasazi", while The Lone Gunmen were portrayed as Internet aficionados as early as 1994. Many X-Files fans also had online access. Fans of the show became commonly known as "X-Philes", a term coined from the Greek root "-phil-" meaning love or obsession. In addition to watching the show, X-Philes reviewed episodes themselves on unofficial websites, formed communities with other fans through Usenet newsgroups and listservs, and wrote their own fan fiction.
The X-Files also "caught on with viewers who wouldn't ordinarily consider themselves sci-fi fans". While Carter argued that the show was plot-driven, many fans saw it as character-driven. Duchovny and Anderson were characterized as "Internet sex symbols". As the show grew in popularity, subgroups of fans developed, such as "shippers" hoping for a romantic or sexual partnership between Mulder and Scully, or those who already perceived one between the lines. Other groups arose to pay tribute to the stars or their characters, while others joined the subculture of "slash" fiction. As of summer 1996, a journalist wrote, "there are entire forums online devoted to the 'M/S' [Mulder and Scully] relationship". In addition to "MOTW", Internet fans invented acronyms such as "UST" meaning "unresolved sexual tension" and "COTR" standing for "conversation on the rock"—referencing a popular scene in the third-season episode "Quagmire"—to aid in their discussions of the agents' relationship, which was itself identified as the "MSR".
The producers did not endorse some fans' readings, according to a study on the subject: "Not content to allow Shippers to perceive what they wish, Carter has consistently reassured NoRomos [those against the idea of a Mulder/Scully romance] that theirs is the preferred reading. This allows him the plausible deniability to credit the show's success to his original plan even though many watched in anticipation of a romance, thanks, in part, to his strategic polysemy. He can deny that these fans had reason to do so, however, since he has repeatedly stated that a romance was not and would never be." The Scully-obsessed writer in Carter's 1999 episode "Milagro" was read by some as his alter ego, realizing that by this point "she has fallen for Mulder despite his authorial intent". The writers sometimes paid tribute to the more visible fans by naming minor characters after them. The best example is Leyla Harrison. Played by Jolie Jenkins and introduced in the eighth-season episode "Alone", Harrison, was created and named in memory of an Internet fan and prolific writer of fan fiction of the same name, who died of cancer on February 10, 2001.
The X-Files spawned an industry of spin-off products. In 2004, U.S.-based Topps Comics and most recently, DC Comics imprint Wildstorm launched a new series of licensed tie-in comics. During the series' run, the Fox Broadcasting Company published the official The X-Files Magazine. The X-Files Collectible Card Game was released in 1996 and an expansion set was released in 1997. The X-Files has inspired three video games. In 1998, The X-Files Game was released for the PC and Macintosh and a year later for the PlayStation. This game is set within the timeline of the second or third season and follows an Agent Craig Willmore in his search for the missing Mulder and Scully. In 2000, Fox Interactive released The X-Files: Unrestricted Access, a game-style database for Windows and Mac, which allowed users access to every case file. Then, in 2004, The X-Files: Resist or Serve was released. The game is a survival-horror game released for the PlayStation 2 and is an original story set in the seventh season. It allows the player control of both Mulder and Scully. Both games feature acting and voice work from members of the series' cast. A 6-player pinball game, called The X-Files, was produced by Sega in 1997.
The X-Files directly inspired other TV series, including Strange World, The Burning Zone, Special Unit 2, Mysterious Ways, Lost, Dark Skies, The Visitor, Fringe, Warehouse 13, Supernatural, and Gravity Falls, with key aspects carried over to more standard crime dramas, such as Eleventh Hour and Bones. The influence can be seen on other levels: television series such as Lost developed their own complex mythologies. In terms of characterization, the role of Dana Scully was seen as innovative, changing "how women [on television] were not just perceived but behaved" and perhaps influencing the portrayal of other "strong women" investigators. Russell T Davies said The X-Files had been an inspiration on his series Torchwood, describing it as "dark, wild and sexy... The X-Files meets This Life". Other shows have been influenced by the tone and mood of The X-Files. For example, Buffy the Vampire Slayer drew from the mood and coloring of The X-Files, as well as from its occasional blend of horror and humor; creator Joss Whedon described his show as a cross between The X-Files and My So-Called Life. It also inspired themes in video games Deus Ex and Perfect Dark.
The show's popularity led it to become a major aspect of popular culture. The show is parodied in The Simpsons season eight episode "The Springfield Files", which aired on January 12, 1997. In it, Mulder and Scully—voiced by Duchovny and Anderson—are sent to Springfield to investigate an alien sighting by Homer Simpson, but end up finding no evidence other than Homer's word and depart. Cigarette Smoking Man appears in the background when Homer is interviewed and the show's theme plays during one particular scene. Nathan Ditum from Total Film ranked Duchovny and Anderson's performances as the fourth-best guest appearances in The Simpsons history. In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations", Benjamin Sisko is interviewed by Federation Department of Temporal Investigations agents Dulmer and Lucsly, anagrams of Mulder and Scully, respectively. The pair were later expanded upon in Christopher L. Bennett's book Watching the Clock. The X-Files has also been parodied or referenced in countless other shows, like: 3rd Rock from the Sun, Archer, NewsRadio, American Horror Story, The Big Bang Theory, Bones, Breaking Bad, Californication, Castle, Family Guy, Hey Arnold!, King of the Hill, South Park, and Two and a Half Men. Welsh music act Catatonia released the 1998 single "Mulder and Scully", which became a hit in the United Kingdom. American singer and songwriter Bree Sharp wrote a song called "David Duchovny" about the actor in 1999 that heavily references the show and its characters. Although never a mainstream hit, the song became popular underground and gained a cult following. The series has also been referenced in: "The Bad Touch" by the Bloodhound Gang, "A Change" by Sheryl Crow, "Year 2000" by Xzibit, and "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies.
Carter, Duchovny and Anderson celebrated the 20th anniversary of the series at a July 18, 2013 panel at the San Diego Comic-Con hosted by TV Guide. During the discussion, Anderson discussed Scully's influence on female fans, relating that a number of women have informed her that they entered into careers in physics because of the character. Anderson also indicated that she was not in favor of an X-Files miniseries, and Duchovny ruled out working with her on an unrelated project, but both expressed willingness to do a third feature film. Carter was more reserved at the idea, stating, "You need a reason to get excited about going on and doing it again." The series attained a degree of historical importance, as well. On July 16, 2008, Carter and Spotnitz donated several props from the series and new film to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Some of the items included the original pilot script and the "I Want to Believe" poster from Mulder's office.
- Duchovny appeared in only half of season eight's episodes and only two episodes in season nine. Despite this, his face is featured in the opening credits for those episodes in which he appears and he also receives star billing in the aforementioned episodes.
- Pileggi is only credited for the episodes in which he appears during the ninth and tenth seasons.
- Delsara 2000, p. 59.
- Cooper, Tracie. "The Files: Seasons 01". Allmovie. Rovi. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- Delsara 2000, p. 62.
- Delsara 2000, p. 58.
- Baugh, Mazza, & Srampickal 2006, p. 201.
- Lowry 1995, pp. 99–101.
- Lowry 1995, pp. 99–156.
- Hurwitz & Knowles 2008, p. 137.
- Gross, Terry (March 1, 2001). "Interview with Chris Carter". Fresh Air from WHYY. National Public Radio. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- Weinbloom, Elizabeth (June 2, 2002). "'The X-Files'; A Botched Romance". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Fleming, Michael (July 20, 2000). "Patrick Marks 'X-Files' Spot". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
- Carter, Chris et al. (2002). The Truth Behind Season 8 (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete Eighth Season: Fox Home Entertainment.
- "The Truth, Part Two". BBC Cult. BBC. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
- Lavery 1995, p. 339–340.
- Kowalski 2007, pp. 243–246.
- Hurwitz & Knowles 2008, p. 71.
- Gates, Anita (February 18, 2001). "Television/Radio; Without Mulder (Most of the Time), 'The X-Files' Thrives". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
- Richmond, Alex. "All About Yves". Television Without Pity. NBCUniversal. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- Duncan 1998, passim.
- Hurwitz & Knowles 2008, pp. 221–233.
- Kowalski 2007, p. 50.
- Gross, Terry (March 2001). "Interview with Chris Carter". National Public Radio. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- "Alone". BBC Cult. BBC. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- R.W. Goodwin (director); Glen Morgan & James Wong (writers). "One Breath". The X-Files. Season 2. Episode 8. Fox.
- David Nutter (director); Glen Morgan & James Wong (writers). "Tooms". The X-Files. Season 1. Episode 21. Fox.
- Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter (writer). "Within". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 1. Fox.
- Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter (writer). "Requiem". The X-Files. Season 7. Episode 22. Fox.
- Richmond, Alex. "The Lying Game". Television Without Pity. NBCUniversal. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- Barry K. Thomas (director); Greg Walker (writer). "Empedocles". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 17. Fox.
- Michelle Maxwell MacLaren (director); Vince Gilligan (writer) (January 13, 2002). "John Doe". The X-Files. Season 9. Episode 7. Fox.
- Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz (writers) (February 25, 2001). "This Is Not Happening". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 14. Fox.
- Director: David Duchovny Writer(s): David Duchovny, Frank Spotnitz & Chris Carter. "William". The X-Files. Season 9. Episode 16. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter (writer) (May 12, 2002). "The Truth". The X-Files. Season 9. Episode 19 & 20. Fox.
- Duncan 1998, passism.
- Kim Manners (director), Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz (writers). "Tunguska". The X-Files. Season 4. Episode 8. FOX.
- Rob Bowman (director), Howard Gordon (writer). "Sleepless". The X-Files. Season 2. Episode 4. FOX.
- R.W. Goodwin (director), Chris Carter (writer). "Anasazi". The X-Files. Season 2. Episode 25. FOX.
- Daniel Sackheim (director), John Shiban (writer). "S.R. 819". The X-Files. Season 6. Episode 9. FOX.
- Tony Wharmby (director), Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz (writers). "Deadalive". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 15. FOX.
- Kim Manners (director), Chris Carter (writer). "Existence". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 21. FOX.
- Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter (writer) (November 8, 1998). "The Beginning". The X-Files. Season 6. Episode 1. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- Director: Rob Bowman Writer(s): Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz. "One Son". The X-Files. Season 6. Episode 12. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- Chris Carter (writer & director) (November 22, 1998). "Triangle". The X-Files. Season 6. Episode 3. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- Rob Bowman (director); Vince Gilligan (writer) (November 15, 1998). "Drive". The X-Files. Season 6. Episode 2. Fox Broadcasting Company.
- Bischoff, David (December 1994). "Opening the X-Files: Behind the Scenes of TV's Hottest Show". Omni. General Media, Inc. 17 (3).
- Edwards 1996, p. 9.
- Apello, Tim (March 18, 1993). "X Appeal: 'The X-Files' Builds a Cult Following by Following the Occult". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
- Edwards, p. 13.
- Lowry 1995, pp. 10–12.
- Lovece 1996, pp. 3–4.
- Edwards 1996, p. 12.
- Millman, Joyce (May 19, 2002). "Television/Radio; 'The X-Files' Finds the Truth: Its Time Is Past". The New York Times. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- Aspan, Maria (January 23, 2006). "'X-Files' Are Closed; a Lawsuit Opens". The New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
- Carter, Chris et al. (2000). The Truth About Season Six (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete Sixth Season: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Kirby, Jonathan (October 29, 2007). "Not Just a Fluke: How Darin Morgan Saved The X-Files". PopMatters. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
- Anderson, Gillian. "Biography". Official Gillian Anderson Website. Retrieved April 10, 2011.
- James Lipton (interviewer); David Duchovny (interviewee) (April 10, 2005). "David Duchovny". Inside the Actors Studio. Season 11. Episode 17. Bravo.
- Carter, Chris. "Casting Mulder". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
- Maher, Kevin (March 29, 2007). "Interview with Anderson". The Times. News Corporation. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
- Lowry 1995, pp. 15–16.
- Ryan, Maureen (January 19, 2006). "Interview with Gillian Anderson". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
- Mayhall, Robin M. (June 1995). "Mitch Pileggi interview". The X-Tapes. Retrieved July 10, 2009.
- Kessenich 2002, p. 80.
- "Duchovny Quits X-Files". BBC News. May 18, 2001. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
- Spencer, Russ (April 28, 2000). "A close encounter with Chris Carter". Salon. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
- Elber, Lynn (May 18, 2000). "Fox Mulder 'Ready to Get Back to Work'". Associated Press / Space. Archived from the original on September 24, 2004. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
- Shapiro 2001, p. 278.
- Hurwitz & Knowles 2008, p. 190.
- Stark, Jeff (April 13, 2001). "Interview with Chris Carter". Salon. Salon Media Group. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
- Hurwitz & Knowles 2008, p. 49.
- Spotnitz, Frank, Carter, Chris, Shiban, John , Manners, Kim and Gordon, Howard among others (2004). Threads of Mythology (DVD). The X-Files Mythology, Volume 1 – Abduction: Fox Home Entertainment.
- Lowry 1995, p. 17.
- Gradnitzer & Pittson 1999, p. 16.
- Meisler 2000, pp. 18–19.
- Strachan, Alex (February 17, 1998). "The Alienation of David Duchovny". Vancouver Sun. Postmedia Network Inc. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Strachan, Alex (March 30, 1998). "X-Files Creator Bids B.C. Sad Adieu". The Vancouver Sun. Postmedia Network Inc. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Hurwitz, Matt (March 2002). "Directing The X-Files". DGA Monthly. Directors Guild of America. Archived from the original on March 16, 2010.
- Carter, Chris et al. (2000). The Truth Behind Season 7 (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete Seventh Season: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Meisler 2000, p. 65.
- Schaefer, Glen (March 12, 2008). "Filming of the X-Files Sequel Wraps". Vancouver Province. Archived from the original on August 23, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
- Grainger, Peter (March 26, 2015). "New 'X-Files' Episodes to Shoot in Vancouver, Smoking Man Confirms". CTV Vancouver. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- Quijada, Avi (March 25, 2015). "XFN Exclusive: Chris Carter on #XFilesRevival". XFilesNews. Archived from the original on January 25, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "The S Files". Soundtrack.net. May 27, 1998. Retrieved June 6, 2008.
- Chris Carter et al. (2000). The Truth Behind Season 1 (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete First Season: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Hurwitz & Knowles 2008, pp. 34–35.
- Carter, Chris (2005). Audio Commentary for "Deep Throat" (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete First Season: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Larson, Randall (October 1998). "Dark Music – From Ambient Sound Design to Mahleresque Melody". Cinefantastique. 30 (7/8): 47–48.
- Love, Bret. "X-Files (Score) – Mark Snow". AllMusic. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
- Dan Goldwasser (May 30, 2008). "Mark Snow Scores The X-Files: I Want to Believe". ScoringSessions.com. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- "X-Files Theme Gets a Fresh Spin for Summer Film". Reuters. June 27, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Carter, Chris and Snow, Mark (2005). 'Trust No One' Documentary (DVD). The X-Files: I Want to Believe: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- "The X-Files: I Want to Believe – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Amazon.com. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
- Hurwitz & Knowles 2008, p. 35.
- Charisma, James (January 4, 2017). "The 75 Best TV Title Sequences of All Time". Paste (magazine). Retrieved January 16, 2017.
- Carter, Chris et al. (2002). The Truth Behind Season 9 (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete Ninth Season: Fox Home Entertainment.
- Lowry 1995, p. 156.
- Lovece 1996, p. 120.
- Lovece 1996, p. 176.
- Meisler 1998, p. 27.
- Shapiro 2001, p. 139.
- Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz (writers); Tony Wharmby (director) (January 6, 2002). "Trust No 1". The X-Files. Season 9. Episode 6. Fox.
- Miller, Liz Shannon (February 23, 2016). "Review: 'The X-Files' Season 10 Episode 6, 'My Struggle II' Brings Us a Bitter End". Indiewire. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
- "Smooth Start for 'seaQuest DSV' – Nielsen Ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company, Inc. September 15, 1993. p. 03D. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
- "Nielsen Ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company, Inc. May 18, 1994. p. D3. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
- "ABC Hits a 'Home' Run". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. April 28, 1995. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- "'Girl' Helps ABC Start Fall Season on Top – Nielsen Ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company, Inc. September 21, 1994. p. 03D. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
- "Nielsen Ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company, Inc. May 24, 1995. p. 03.D. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
- Lowry 1996, p. 249.
- Lowry 1996, p. 251.
- "Season Winner NBC Coasts, While CBS Outrates ABC". St. Paul Pioneer Press. MediaNews Group. May 30, 1996. Retrieved March 18, 2012. (subscription required)
- Meisler 1998, p. 298.
- "The Final Countdown". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. (434). May 29, 1998. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
- Kessenich 2002, p. 12.
- Meisler 1999, p. 284.
- Meisler 2000, p. 294.
- "TV Winners & Losers: Numbers Racket – A Final Tally Of The Season's Shows". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. June 4, 1999. (subscription required)
- Shapiro 2001, p. 281.
- "Top TV Shows For 1999–2000 Season". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
- Kessenich 2002, p. 146.
- Staff (November 8, 2000). "Campaign Ad Sales Outstrip Last Election's – Election 2000: Media". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. Cox Enterprises. p. E20. Retrieved March 8, 2012. (subscription required)
- Associated Press (May 2001). "Season Finales Lift NBC to No. 1". The Cincinnati Post. E. W. Scripps Company. p. 3C. Retrieved January 15, 2012. (subscription required)
- "The Bitter End". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. June 1, 2001. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
- Kessenich 2002, p. 193.
- Kissell, Rick (May 21, 2002). "Peacock struts its stuff". Variety. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
- "How Did Your Favorite Show Rate?". USA Today. Gannett Company, Inc. May 28, 2002. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
- Ausiello, Michael (May 11, 2015). "Fox Fall Schedule: Scream Queens Takes Tuesday Crown, Sleepy Rises on Thursday, X-Files Held 'Til January". TVLine. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
- Porter, Rick (January 26, 2016). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'X-Files' Adjusts Up by a Full Point". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- Porter, Rick (February 23, 2016). "Monday Final Ratings: 'Bachelor' Adjusts Up, 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Adjusts Down". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
- "Full 2015–16 TV Season Series Rankings". Deadline. May 26, 2015. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
- Powers, William (September 17, 1995). "'X-Files': Signs of Intelligent Life; Cult Favorite Gains a Following Among the Masses". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved December 1, 2012. (subscription required)
- Lowry 1996, p. 249–250.
- Brownfield, Paul (August 28, 1999). "Exploring the Unknown: 'X-Files' Future". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- Bauder, David (November 7, 2000). "NBC Out to Early Lead in Sweeps Competition". Associated Press Archive. Retrieved March 8, 2012. (subscription required)
- Goodman, Tim (January 18, 2002). "'X-Files' Creator Ends Fox Series". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Newitz, Annalee (February 23, 2008). "Chris Carter Says 9/11 Killed X-Files". i09. Gawker Media. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- "Dr Who 'Longest-Running Sci-Fi'". BBC News. BBC. September 28, 2006. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- "Smallville will break Stargate SG-1's world record". GateWorld. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
- Sepinwall, Alan; Seitz, Matt Zoller (March 1, 2001). "Blame it on Cable". The Star-Ledger. Advance Publications. Retrieved September 19, 2012. (subscription required)
- Hibberd, James (January 29, 2016). "X-Files Return Ratings Grow to Top its own Series Finale". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
- Herskovitz, Jon (January 14, 1998). "'X' Ends Japanese Run". Variety. Penske Business Media.
- Herskovitz, Jon (June 12, 2000). "Satcaster to Bring 'X-Files' Back to Japan". Variety. Penske Business Media.
- Carter, Chris et al. (1998). The Making of The X-Files Movie (DVD). Fox Home Entertainment.
- Carter, Chris, Gilligan, Vince, Shiban, John, Haglund, Dean, Manners, Kim, Bowman, Rob, Spotnitz, Frank, Cartwright, Veronica, Rabwin, Paul, Rogers, Mimi and Goodwin, R.W. "Bob" (1998). The Truth Behind Season 5 (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete Fifth Season: Fox Home Entertainment.
- Carter, Chris and Bowman, Rob (2005). Audio Commentary for The X-Files: Fight the Future (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- "The X-Files (1998) – Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Amazon. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- "The X-Files". Box Office Mojo. Amazon. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
- "X-Files Cast and Crew Talk New Movie & New Season". IGN. News Corporation. September 10, 2001. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Smith, Christopher (April 11, 2002). "Carter Sheds Light on X-Files 2". Cinescape. Kuwait National Cinema Company. Archived from the original on August 13, 2014. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Linder, Brian (May 9, 2002). "Carter Talks X-Files Sequel". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
- "Bowman Spills It On Reign of Fire, X-Files 2 Hopes". Mania.com. June 18, 2002. Archived from the original on August 13, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
- McClintock, Pamela; Siegel, Tatiana (October 31, 2007). "Fox sets date for 'X-Files' sequel". Variety. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
- "Duchovny and Two Co-Writers Announce New X-Files Feature film". Canadian Press. March 12, 2008. Archived from the original on March 16, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Clark Collis (April 18, 2008). "'X-Files' Creator Chris Carter Wants to Believe in a Third Movie Featuring Mulder and Scully". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Finke, Nikki (July 25, 2008). "'Dark Knight $314.2M In 10 Days: Keeps Smashing Record After Record; 'Step Brothers' Big; 'X-Files 2' Bombs". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for July 25–27, 2008". Box Office Mojo. Amazon. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- "The X-Files: I Want to Believe". The Numbers. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- "2008 Domestic Gross". Box Office Mojo. Amazon. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- Goodwin, Liam (August 1, 2008). "David Duchovny Blames Disappointing X-Files Box Office On The Dark Knight". Filmonic.com. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (August 4, 2008). "'X-Files' Star Reflects On Film's Performance". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- "The X Files: I Want to Believe". Metacritic. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
- "The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
- Parfitt, Orlando (July 31, 2008). "Carter Already Planning X-Files 3". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved October 14, 2009.
- Vejvoda, Jim (October 16, 2009). "Duchovny on X-Files 3". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
- "David Duchovny Talks Gay Crushes and a Possible X-Files Sequel". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. January 11, 2011. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
- Marcus, Stephanie (August 27, 2012). "Gillian Anderson: 'X-Files 3' Movie Is 'Looking Pretty Good'". The Huffington Post. AOL. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- Radish, Christian (August 2, 2012). "Writer/Producer Frank Spotnitz Talks His Desire to Make a Third X-Files Movie and the Possibility of a Millennium Movie". Collider. Toplingo. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- "'X-Files' Movie: David Duchovny Is In". The Huffington Post. AOL. August 12, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- "David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson Want to Reunite for Third 'X-Files' Movie". New York Daily News. Associated Press. October 14, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 17, 2015). "Fox Confirms 'X-Files' Reboot Talks, David Duchovny & Gillian Anderson To Return: Update". Deadline.com. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (March 24, 2015). "'The X-Files' Returns As Fox Event Series With Creator Chris Carter And Stars David Duchovny & Gillian Anderson". Deadline.com. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
- "The Next Mind-Bending Chapter Is Coming!: 'The X-Files' returns to FOX". Fox Broadcasting Company. March 24, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- Patten, Dominic (April 20, 2017). "'The X-Files' Coming Back Again For New Event Series Next Season". Deadline. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- Roots, Kimberly (November 15, 2017). "The X-Files Season 11 Gets January Premiere Date — See First Poster". TVLine. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
- "Video & DVDs – 1". X-Files Merchandise. Archived from the original on November 20, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- "The X-Files – Wave 8 Triple Pack (1993)". Amazon.com. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- "The X-Files – Wave 1, Triple Pack (1993)". Amazon.com. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- "The X-Files – Wave 2 Triple Pack (1993)". Amazon.com. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- "VHS Wave Art". Eatthecorn.com. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- "The X-Files: The Complete Collector's Edition (1998)". Amazon.com. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- "The X-Files Movie 2-Pack (Fight the Future / I Want to Believe) (2010)". Amazon.com. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- For the various seasons and their special features, see:
- Robert Mandel et al. (2006). The X-Files: The Complete First Season (Slim case) (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- David Nutter et al. (2006). The X-Files: The Complete Second Season (Slim case) (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- R. W. Goodwin et al. (2006). The X-Files: The Complete Third Season (Slim case) (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- R. W. Goodwin et al. (2006). The X-Files: The Complete Fourth Season (Slim case) (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- R. W. Goodwin et al. (2006). The X-Files: The Complete Fifth Season (Slim case) (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Kim Manners et al. (2006). The X-Files: The Complete Sixth Season (Slim case) (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Kim Manners et al. (2006). The X-Files: The Complete Seventh Season (Slim case) (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Kim Manners et al. (2006). The X-Files: The Complete Eighth Season (Slim case) (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Kim Manners et al. (2006). The X-Files: The Complete Ninth Season (Slim case) (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- For the episode DVDs, see:
- Tony Wharmby (2001). The X Files: Deadalive (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Kim Manners (2001). The X Files: Existence (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Kim Manners (2001). The X Files: Nothing Important Happened Today (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Chris Carter (2002). The X Files: Providence (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Kim Manners (2002). The X Files: The Truth (DVD). 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Lacey, Gord (June 7, 2005). "The X-Files – More Mythology sets coming soon". TVShowsOnDVD. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- Hunt, Bill (November 12, 2012). "Is Fox Bringing The X-Files to BD in 2013 as Well?". The Digital Bits. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
- Zarges, Torsten (October 12, 2013). "Neue US-Ware: So Sill ProSieben Maxx 2014 Wachsen". DWDL.de. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Lopatto, Elizabeth (April 23, 2015). "Netflix Begins Streaming The X-Files in HD". The Verge. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- Lambert, David (October 6, 2015). "The X-Files - Fox Confirms 'Complete' Blu-ray Release; Provides Package Art". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
- Seibold, Witney (December 15, 2015). "Review: The X-Files: The Collector's Set". CraveOnline. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
- Lambert, David (January 27, 2016). "The X-Files - Exchange Program for Issue with 'Season 8' Blu-ray Discs **UPDATED**". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
- Kissell, Rick (March 19, 2001). "Eye Hoops March On". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved November 29, 2012. (subscription required)
- "TV Sound Off". Corpus Christi Caller-Times. The E.W. Scripps Company. March 18, 2001. Retrieved March 9, 2013. (subscription required)
- Hurwitz & Knowles 2008, p. 206.
- Vitaris, Paula (October 1997). "The X-Files: Stefan Petrucha on His Struggle to Create a Comic Book Worthy of the Show". Cinefantastique. 29 (4/5).
- Niles & Jones 2010, pp. 1–144.
- Brown, Sophie (March 5, 2013). "The X-Files Season 10: What You Need To Know". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
- Dietsch, TJ (June 18, 2015). "Joe Harris Takes Mulder on the Run in IDW's "X-Files: Season 11"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- Burrell, Ian (July 17, 2007). "Ex-Files No Longer: Partners Once More". The Independent. London: Independent Print Limited. Archived from the original on February 28, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
- Corliss, Richard (April 7, 1997). "A Star Trek into the X-Files". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
- Boedeker, Hal (May 17, 1996). "Having Grown From a Cult Favorite to a Classic, 'The X-Files' Wraps Up Its 3rd Season". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). Retrieved August 18, 2009.
- McManus, Darragh (July 26, 2008). "X Hits the Spot". Evening Herald. Independent News & Media. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
- "25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. August 3, 2012. pp. 37–38.
- "TV Guide Names the Top Cult Shows Ever". TV Guide. July 27, 1998. Retrieved June 29, 2007.
- "TV Guide Names Top 50 Shows". CBS News. CBS Corporation. April 26, 2002. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
- "Special Collector's Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". TV Guide (June 28 – July 4). 1997.
- Roush, Matt (February 25, 2013). "Showstoppers: The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time". TV Guide. pp. 16–17.
- Fretts, Bruce; Roush, Matt (December 23, 2013). "TV Guide Magazine's 60 Best Series of All Time". TV Guide. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- "Best TV Shows of All-TIME". Time. Time Inc. September 6, 2007. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Pastorek, Whitney (2003). "The Sci-Fi 25: The Genre's Best Since 1982". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on December 11, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- "The New Classics: TV". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. 2008. Archived from the original on June 1, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- "20 Greatest Sci-Fi TV Shows". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. September 30, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
- "The X-Files: 1993–2002". Empire. Bauer Consumer Media. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
- "What the MediaDNA Research Found". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. March 13, 2003. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
- "Forsyth's Winning Words". BBC. October 30, 1998. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
- Dawkins 1998, p. 28.
- Scott, Tony (September 9, 1993). "The X-Files Fri". Variety. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- "'X' Marks What's Hot: With a Quirky Sense of Humor and a Generous Helping of the Paranormal, Fox's 'X-Files' Slyly Alters the Time-Tested Recipe for Mystery-Solving". Entertainment Weekly. January 21, 1994.
- Tucker, Ken (October 8, 1993). "Alien Nation: FBI Agents battle unearthly Boogeymen in 'The X-Files'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- "Lifting the lid on the X-Files". Virgin Media. January 30, 2007. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
- Tucker, Ken (December 30, 1994). "The Best and Worst 1994/Television". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on February 16, 2014.
- JJB. "The X-Files: The Complete Second Season". The DVD Journal. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
- IGN Staff (December 7, 2000). "X-Files Season Two Gift Pack". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- VanDerWerff, Todd (July 4, 2010). "The Blessing Way/Paper Clip/DPO". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Sauter, Michael (May 14, 2002). "The X-Files: The Complete Fifth Season". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
- Dass, Francis (April 20, 2000). "A Late 'X-Files' Collection". New Straits Times. New Straits Times Press. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
- Parks, Jo-Ann (January 2000). "What's Ailing The X-Files". Space.com. TechMediaNetwork. Archived from the original on September 1, 2005. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Adams, Sam; et al. (May 7, 2012). "One Bad Apple... We Can Live With That: 31 Rotten Parts of Otherwise Fantastic Wholes". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- Cressey, Earl (November 5, 2002). "X-Files: Season Six". Internet Brands. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- "A Look Back on Some of the Best Stand-Alone Episodes From the X-Files Series". Vancouver Sun. Postmedia Network Inc. July 25, 2008. Archived from the original on January 18, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
- Mink, Eric (February 12, 2000). "'X Files' Boldy Goes Thru 7th Season". New York Daily News. Mortimer Zuckerman. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- H. Sturgis, Amy. "The X-Files—Season 8". Revolution Science Fiction. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
- Polonowonski, Collin (March 25, 2004). "The X-Files: Season 8". DVD Times. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
- Hassenger, Jesse (November 4, 2003). "The X-Files: The Complete Eight Season". PopMatters. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
- Parker, Sabadino (May 15, 2002). "I Don't Believe It". PopMatters. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
- "The Nearly Ex Files". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. October 10, 2002. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
- Linder, Brian (January 18, 2001). "X-Files Exits After 9 Seasons". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
- "The X-Files: Season 10". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
- McCown, Alex (January 18, 2016). "Meet the New X-Files, Same as the Old X-Files". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
- "The X-Files : Season 10". Metacritic. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
- "The X-Files". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
- Hurwitz & Knowles 2008, p. 241.
- "X-Files, The". GoldenGlobes.com. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
- "The X-Files". Peabody Awards. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
- For information regarding show award nominations and wins, see:
- Millman, Joyce (March 8, 1999). "The X • E • R • O • X Files". Salon. Salon Media Group. Archived from the original on March 15, 2009. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Gumbel andrew (March 28, 2008). "Mystery Over Big-Screen Return of 'The X-Files'". The Independent. London: Independent Print Limited. Archived from the original on March 31, 2008. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
- Millman, Joyce (May 19, 2005). "The Nearly Ex Files". The New York Times. The New York Times Company.
- Whitehead, Jayson (May 6, 2002). "Anybody Can Rule". Gadfly Online. Archived from the original on June 1, 2015. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Davis, Rachel Leibrock (July 25–31, 1996). "The X-Phile Facts". Metroactive. Metro Newspapers. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Scodari, Christine; Felder, Jenna L. (2000). "Creating a Pocket Universe: 'Shippers', Fan Fiction and The X-Files Online". Communication Studies.
- Sarah R. Wakefield. "'Your Sister in St. Scully': An Electronic Community of Female Fans of The X-Files—Critical Essay". Journal of Popular Film and Television, Fall 2001.
- Lavery 1995, pp. 36–51.
- Bianculli, David (March 6, 1995). "X Hits Spot in Comics, Too". The New York Daily News. Daily News, L.P. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Renaud, Jeffrey (June 12, 2008). "Spotnitz Wants to Believe in Wildstorm's "The X-Files Special"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- O'Donnel, Maureen (June 25, 1997) "UFO Lore Alive in Chicago Area". Chicago Sun-Times (Sun-Times Media Group). Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- "X-Files CCG". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- Baxter, Steve (June 19, 1998). "Computer X-Files: The Game is Out There". CNN. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Flaherty, Mike (April 10, 1998). "The X-Files: Unrestricted Access". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- McNamara, John (June 26, 2004). "X-Files: Resist or Serve". Time. London: Time Inc. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- "The X Files". The Internet Pinball Database. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- Wertheimer, Ron (March 8, 1999). "Television Review: Caught in the Trap Of Science Run Amok". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Caryn, James (September 3, 1996). "A Virus That Speaks Of a Deadly World Plot". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Moore, Trent (February 21, 2012). "13 Supernatural TV Series That (Lovingly) Ripped Off the X-Files". Blastr. SyFy. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- Bonin, Liane (August 14, 2000). "NBC's Only New Hit May Go to Another Network". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- "Throwdown! 22 Pop-Culture Fights". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. August 9, 2008. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- Faraci, Devin (January 6, 2011). "It's Time To Bring Back Dark Skies, The X-Files Meets Mad Men Show". Badass Digest. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- Surette, Tim (May 12, 2009). "'Fringe vs. The X-Files vs. Reality'". TV.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
- MacKenzie, Carina Adly (November 17, 2010). "'Supernatural's Very 'X-Files' Moment: The Truth is in There". Zap2it. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- Zalben, Alex (June 15, 2012). "Interview: Alex Hirsch Returns To His Weird, Monster-Filled Childhood In Disney's 'Gravity Falls'". MTV.com. Viacom. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- Goldberg, Harold (September 19, 2007). "Is Eleventh Hour The New X-Files?". AMC TV. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- Rosen, Steven (September 13, 2005). "'Bones,' From the Heap of Tired Ideas". Media Life Magazine. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Burrell, Ian (October 17, 2005). "BBC to Screen 'Dr Who For Adults' as New Spin-Off Show". The Independent. London: Independent Print Limited. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2009.
- "Captain Jack to Get His Own Series in New Russell T Davies Drama for BBC Three". BBC. November 17, 2005. Retrieved August 1, 2009.
- Marshall, Rick (January 18, 2015). "7 Things We Should Thank The X-Files For". Mental Floss. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- Spector, Warren (November 2000). "Postmortem: Ion Storm's Deus Ex" (PDF). Game Developer. UBM TechWeb: 50. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 4, 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
- "Rare Revealed: The Making of Perfect Dark". Rare. December 24, 2015. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
- Steven Dean Moore (director); Reid Harrison (writer). "The Springfield Files". The Simpsons. Season 8. Episode 10. Fox.
- Ditum, Nathan (March 29, 2009). "The 20 Best Simpsons Movie-Star Guest Spots". Total Film. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
- Meehan 2005, p. 115.
- Lyons, Robert (June 24, 2011). "Book Review: Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock". TrekMovie.com. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- Gorenstein, Colin (March 25, 2015). "The "X-Files" Echo Effect: Here's Proof That the Legendary Series Never Actually Left Us". Salon.com. Salon Media Group. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
- Rawson-Jones, Ben (October 30, 2006). "Cult Nostalgia: 'The X-Files' (1993–2002)". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
- Freydkin, Donna (July 27, 1999). "Sharp Owes Her Fame to a Secret Agent Man". CNN Entertainment. Time Warner. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- "Bree Sharp Taking 'David Duchovny' To Lilith Fair". VH1 News. VH1. Retrieved October 15, 2012.[permanent dead link]
- Roeper, Richard (August 16, 1999). "This Musical Confection Holds Your Attention". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group. Retrieved October 15, 2012. (subscription required)
- Keck, William (July 29, 2013). "A Very Special X-Files Reunion". TV Guide. p. 6.
- "Smithsonian Wants to Believe! National Museum of American History Acquires X-Files Collection". National Museum of American History. July 16, 2008. Archived from the original on June 30, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
- Baugh, Lloyd; Mazza, Giuseppe; Srampickal, Jacob, eds. (2006). Cross Connections. Pontifical Gregorian University. ISBN 9788878390614.
- Dawkins, Richard (1998). Unweaving the Rainbow. ISBN 9780618056736.
- Delsara, Jan (2000). PopLit, PopCult and The X-Files: A Critical Exploration. McFarland. ISBN 9780786407897.
- Duncan, Jody (1998). The Making of The X-Files Movie. HarperPrism. ISBN 9780061073168.
- Edwards, Ted (1996). X-Files Confidential. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 9780316218085.
- Gradnitzer, Louisa; Pittson, Todd (1999). X Marks the Spot: On Location with The X-Files. Arsenal Pulp Press. ISBN 9781551520667.
- Hurwitz, Matt; Knowles, Chris (2008). The Complete X-Files. Insight Editions. ISBN 9781933784724.
- Kessenich, Tom (2002). Examinations: An Unauthorized Look at Seasons 6–9 of "The X-Files". New York, US: Trafford Publishing. ISBN 9781553698128.
- Kowalski, Dean A. (2007). "Freedom and Worldviews in The X-Files". The Philosophy of The X-files. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 9780813124544.
- Lavery, David (1995). Deny All Knowledge: Reading the X-Files. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 9780815604075.
- Lovece, Frank (1996). The X-Files Declassified. Citadel Press. ISBN 9780806517452.
- Lowry, Brian (1995). The Truth is Out There: The Official Guide to the X-Files. Harper Prism. ISBN 9780061053306.
- Lowry, Brian (1996). Trust No One: The Official Guide to the X-Files. Harper Prism. ISBN 9780061053535.
- Meehan, Eileen R. (November 3, 2005). Why TV Is Not Our Fault: Television Programming, Viewers and Who's Really in Control. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780742524866.
- Meisler, Andy (2000). The End and the Beginning: The Official Guide to the X-Files Volume 5. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780061075957.
- Meisler, Andy (1999). Resist or Serve: The Official Guide to The X-Files, Vol. 4. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780061073090.
- Meisler, Andy (1998). I Want to Believe: The Official Guide to the X-Files, Vol. 3. Perennial Currents. ISBN 9780061053863.
- Niles, Steve; Jones, Adam (2010). The X-Files/30 Days of Night. IDW. ISBN 9781401231781.
- Shapiro, Marc (2001). All Things: The Official Guide to the X-Files Volume 6. Harper Prism. ISBN 9780061076114.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The X-Files.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for X-Files tourism.|
- Official website
- The X-Files on IMDb
- The X-Files at TV.com
- "The X-Files". Archived from the original on August 1, 2001. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
|Awards and achievements|
|Super Bowl lead-out program
3rd Rock from the Sun