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The X-Files: The Truth Is Out There

Updated on August 23, 2017

"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?

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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    • profile image

      Oya Lee 5 months ago

      Hi Rae

      I’m not an X-Phile.

      The X Files TV Series is a propagandist tool designed to continually perpetrate dissensions within the faculties of all sciences - i.e. that part of science that validates our consciousness. It sets out to ridicule and destroy that part of science which more and more of us are coming to rely on and accept as Science Faction - i.e. ’our own personal truths’ and experiences - ‘Paranormal Mumbo Jumbo’ is how Agent Jeffrey Spender puts it in S6: Ep1 - The Beginning.

      ‘The X Files’ TV Series does not represent all branches of ‘science’, only those parts of science deemed menacing to ’society’ - i.e. ‘the alpha male ego - (Mulder), or those parts of science that gives us ‘permission’ ‘To Be, To Do, To Have’ - i.e. the emotions of being the career mind Vs the child bearing years of female fertility - (Scully).

      We are educated by ‘The System’, taught by our parents and trained to ignore or uphold The Secret’ - i.e. The Secret Life Science - The X Files. However, the point of The X Files TV Series is to send the message not to become an X-Phile, or, to deter potential X-Philes from alienation - (alien-national) pursuits.

      Thank You!

    • Sharpe79 profile image

      Alan Sharpe 3 years ago from Whitehouse, Texas

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

    • RestlessKnights profile image

      RestlessKnights 5 years ago

      One of my all time favorite shows.

    • 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.

    • profile image

      inkedskin 8 years ago

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

    • CleftyToo profile image

      CleftyToo 9 years ago

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

    • CleftyToo profile image

      CleftyToo 9 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 :)

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 9 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!

    • profile image

      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.