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The X-Files: The Truth Is Out There

Updated on May 2, 2016

"It's a conspiracy wrapped in a plot inside a government agenda."

THE X-FILES ran from 1993-2002 and was a present-day show that followed FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully as they investigated paranormal cases and attempted to uncover a vast government conspiracy to hide definitive evidence of extraterrestrial life. 

It blended elements of science-fiction, fantasy and horror along with a pacing and style that borrowed from both the world of movies and music video.  In 1998, a full-length feature film was released, fitting neatly in between seasons five and six of the tv show. A second movie was released in 2008. It was a stand-alone story, and takes place in the present-day lives of the characters.

Season One

In the first season we are introduced to Special Agent Fox Mulder, whose career at the FBI has led him to the "X-Files" and a basement office with no windows. He likes to pursue cases that deal with the paranormal and extraterrestrial, especially the later, as he believes in a large conspiracy by the government to hide the existence of off-worldly aliens.

He's assigned a new partner, Special Agent Dana Scully, a doctor and forensic investigator at the top of her game. She's quite frankly being assigned to Mulder to debunk his claims and provide solid, scientific reasons for the strange things he has been reporting. She feels there is a scientific explanation for everything.

Meet the Basic Cast of Characters

There weren't clear cut forces of good and evil in the X-Files. It was more like those seeking the truth and those who worked to keep it obscured. And frequently it was revealed that not everyone was how they seemed. Here are some of the major characters of the X-Files universe.

  • Special Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) - our ultimate truth seeker, Mulder has made the X-Files the focus of his FBI career.
  • Special Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) - she is a scientist, the "non-believer" assigned to Mulder as his partner to reign him in and debunk his theories.
  • Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) - Mulder and Scully's boss.
  • Cigarette-Smoking Man (William B. Davis) - this mysterious government agent was so entrenched in conspiracy, he remained unnamed throughout the show, part of the shadowy group known as the Syndicate.
  • Agent Alex Krycek (Nick Lea) - originally assigned to Mulder as a partner during a period where Agent Scully had disappeared, Krycek acted as if he was on Mulder's side, only to then reveal himself as one of those working to maintain the cover-up.
  • The Lone Gunmen: John Fitzgerald Byers (Bruce Harwood), Melvin Frohike (Tom Braidwood) and Richard 'Ringo' Langly (Dean Haglund) - These men were conspiracy theorists and masters of underground trivia who occasionally did research and provided info for Mulder and Scully.
  • X (Stephen Williams) - It was never clear which part of the government this man worked for, but he was providing Mulder with clues up until the character's death at the end of the first season.
  • Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin) - this man replaced X as Mulder's source for inside information until this character's death at the end of season three.
  • Alien Bounty Hunter (Brian Thompson) - this character mostly appeared as a large man in suit and coat, but was in fact an alien working with the Syndicate as an assassin.
  • Special Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick) - brought in after Agent Mulder disappears to be Scully's new partner and assigned the task of finding the missing agent.

FIGHT THE FUTURE - the first X-Files movie

The X-Files - Fight the Future (Widescreen Edition)
The X-Files - Fight the Future (Widescreen Edition)

An X-Files movie was released in the summer of 1998, and the story was crafted to fit in between the end of season five (which had just ended), and the beginning of season six (which started that fall).

This film played like an extended episode with no commercial breaks. The depth of the alien/Syndicate conspiracy is revealed, via guest star Martin Landau. The Well-Manicured Man meets his demise. Mysterious apiaries are explored and Mulder finally gets proof of aliens.


Guest Stars on THE X-FILES - An Incredible Who's Who

As the show gained in popularity, an incredible array of actors and actresses got to play minor characters in the show. Some were around for just one episode and some starred in minor story arcs.

  • Brad Dourif - condemned killer Luther Lee Boggs in "Beyond The Sea"
  • Steve Railsback - abductee Duane Barry in "Duane Barry" and "Ascension."
  • Giovanni Ribisi - electrical conduit Darryl P. Osborne in "D.P.O." Also the owner of the video game parlor in this episode is played by Jack Black.
  • Peter Boyle - insurance salesman/psychic Clyde Bruckman in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose."
  • Charles Nelson Reilly - tabloid writer/author Jose Chung in "Jose Chung's From Outer Space."
  • Jodie Foster - she provided the voice for a Betty Page-type tattoo that talked in "Never Again."
  • Luke Wilson - plays a small town sheriff in a town of vampires in "Bad Blood."
  • Lily Tomlin and Ed Asner - they play a pair of ghosts in "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas."
  • Garry Shandling and Tea Leoni - these two appear as Mulder and Scully in "Hollywood, A.D." Leoni is Duchovny's real-life wife.
  • Lucy Lawless - she plays super soldier Shannon MacMahon in "Nothing Important Happened Today" and "Nothing Important Happened Today II."
  • Burt Reynolds - he is credited as "Mr. Burt" in the episode "Improbable."

X-Philes - fansites and more

Fan sites and other websites related to the X-Files television show.

Who was your Special Agent? - give us your opinion

Who is your favorite Special Agent?

Spooky Mulder

Spooky Mulder

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    • anonymous 6 years ago


    • QuantumTraveler1 9 years ago

      Without a doubt Mulder is "The Man" when it comes to UFO's. Thanks for the info about the new X-Files movie. Great news!

    • anonymous 9 years ago

      Mulder :)

    • Rae Schwarz 9 years ago from Seattle, WA

      The red Speedo, the issues of AVN news, the funky bachelor apartment, and the desire to believe. As if there was any doubt I'd go with Mulder...

    Scientific Scully

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      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Actually I'm having trouble choosing, I like them both! But Scully is cuter, it has to be said!

      • anonymous 8 years ago

        i loved, and still do to this day happen to love dana katherine scully.

      • anonymous 8 years ago

        scully is da best

      • CleftyToo 8 years ago

        I definitely liked Gillian Anderson the best. She always tried to put Mulder in her place!

      • daoine lm 8 years ago

        Scully. Because once she accepts the evidence, she works with it instead of being yet another person to try to cover things up or explain it away.

      X-Files: I Want To Believe - the second X-files movie

      July 25, 2008 saw the return of Mulder and Scully. She's working as a medical doctor at a Catholic children's hospital and he's been a bit of a recluse. But then an FBI agent disappears and the only lead is coming from a pedophile priest who happens to also be psychic. Definitely a case for Mulder and Scully!

      Are you an X-Phile? - fan feedback, comments, questions

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          anonymous 9 years ago

          been watching this during my high school years, the best sci-fi tv show for me. 5 stars from a fan.

        • Kiwisoutback profile image

          Kiwisoutback 8 years ago from Massachusetts

          This new movie slipped under the radar. I think the Dark Knight is going to overshadow everything whether anyone likes it or not. I never even heard this movie was coming out, they didn't promote it enough! I wonder how it is...Ah well. Nice work!

        • CleftyToo profile image

          CleftyToo 8 years ago

          Oh what a great lens! Rated 5-stars. Very thorough and some nice pictures :)

          I too, am a fan of the X-Files. I saw the movie and loved it enough to make a lens dedicated to it :)

        • CleftyToo profile image

          CleftyToo 8 years ago

          oh yeah. I really appreciated the season by season summary :)

        • profile image

          inkedskin 8 years ago

          Kick-ass show, but the movie could have been better...

        • xriotdotbiz lm profile image

          xriotdotbiz lm 5 years ago

          This lens is my World UFO Day Quest choice. Great lens for one of my favorite shows of all time.

        • RestlessKnights profile image

          RestlessKnights 4 years ago

          One of my all time favorite shows.

        • Sharpe79 profile image

          Alan Sharpe 2 years ago from Whitehouse, Texas

          So happy to hear this show is probably going to return and with David Duchovny & Gillian Anderson

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