Plus One is the third episode of the eleventh season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files. The episode was written by Chris Carter and directed by Kevin Hooks. It aired on January 17, 2018, on Fox. The traditional tagline, "The Truth is Out There" is displayed twice. The cold open features the song "Unsaid Undone" from David Duchovnys debut album Hell or Highwater.
The X-Files is an American sci-fi/drama television series that aired from 1993 until 2002. X-Files may also refer to: The X-Files: The Album, 1998 soundtrack album for the 1998 film X-files unit, a fictional case that has been deemed unsolvable by the FBI, as referred to in the series The X-Files film, Fight the Future, a 1998 film based on the series The X-Files comics, original tie-in comics from the 1990s The X-Files composition, the instrumental by Mark Snow used in the series The X-Files: Original Motion Picture Score, 1998 film score album for the 1998 film The X-Files Collectible Ca ...
The tenth season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files commenced airing in the United States on January 24, 2016, on Fox. The season consists of six episodes and concluded airing on February 22, 2016. When Fox initially announced the string of episodes, the network referred to them collectively as an "event series". After the episodes release, Fox began referring to the string of episodes on their website as "season 10", as did streaming sites like Amazon.com and Hulu, and myriad critics. The season, which takes place fourteen years after the ninth season 2001–02 an ...
The third season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files commenced airing on Fox in the United States on September 22, 1995, concluded on the same channel on May 17, 1996, and contained 24 episodes. The season continues to follow the cases of FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, portrayed by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson respectively, who investigate paranormal or supernatural cases, known as X-Files by the FBI. The season features the conclusion of several plot-lines introduced in season two, while also introducing several new plot elements. Major plo ...
The fourth season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files commenced airing on the Fox network in the United States on October 4, 1996, concluding on the same channel on May 18, 1997, and contained 24 episodes. Following the filming and airing of the season, production began on The X-Files feature film, which was released in 1998 following the shows fifth season. The fourth season of the series focuses heavily on FBI federal agents Fox Mulders David Duchovny and his partner Dana Scullys Gillian Anderson investigation of an alien conspiracy, which is protected by the my ...
The fifth season of the science fiction television series The X-Files commenced airing on the Fox network in the United States on November 2, 1997, concluding on the same channel on May 17, 1998, and contained 20 episodes. The season was the last in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; subsequent episodes would be shot in Los Angeles, California. In addition, this was the first season of the show where the course of the story was planned, due to the 1998 The X-Files feature film being filmed before it, but scheduled to be released after it aired. The fifth season of the series focused heav ...
ⓘ The X-Files
The X-Files is an American science fiction drama television series created by Chris Carter. The original television series aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox. The program spanned nine seasons, with 202 episodes. A short tenth season consisting of six episodes premiered on January 24, 2016, and concluded on February 22, 2016. Following the ratings success of this revival, Fox announced in April 2017 that The X-Files would be returning for an eleventh season of ten episodes. The season premiered on January 3, 2018, concluding on March 21, 2018. In addition to the television series, two feature films have been released: The 1998 film The X-Files, which took place as part of the TV series continuity, and the stand-alone film The X-Files: I Want to Believe, released in 2008, six years after the original television run had ended.
The series revolves around Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI special agents Fox Mulder David Duchovny, and Dana Scully Gillian Anderson who investigate X-Files: marginalized, unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena. Mulder believes in the existence of aliens and the paranormal while Scully, a medical doctor and a skeptic, is assigned to scientifically analyze Mulders discoveries, offer alternate rational theories to his work, and thus return him to mainstream cases. Early in the series, both agents become pawns in a larger conflict and come to trust only each other and a few select people. The agents also discover an agenda of the government to keep the existence of extraterrestrial life a secret. They develop a close relationship which begins as a platonic friendship, but becomes a romance by the end of the series. In addition to the series-spanning story arc, "monster of the week" episodes form roughly two-thirds of all episodes.
The X-Files was inspired by earlier television series which featured elements of suspense and speculative fiction, including The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, Tales from the Darkside, Twin Peaks, 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 eighth and ninth 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 Scullys 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 and eleventh seasons 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 its conclusion the show was the longest-running science fiction series in U.S. television history. The series also spawned a franchise which includes Millennium and The Lone Gunmen spin-offs, two theatrical films and accompanying merchandise.
1.1. Premise General
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 Mulders nonconforming theories, often supplying logical, scientific explanations for the cases apparently unexplainable phenomena. Although she is frequently able to offer scientific alternatives to Mulders 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 Mulders 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 Scullys partner and helps her search for him, later involving Reyes, of whom Doggett had professional knowledge. The initial run of 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.
1.2. Premise Mythology
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 that covers up the existence of extraterrestrials and their sinister collaboration with said government. 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 also known as "Purity", 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.
2.1. Cast and characters Main
- 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 sons death, he joined the FBIs Criminal Investigations Division. In 2000, Alvin Kersh assigned him to the X-files unit as Scullys partner after an unsuccessful task force attempt to find Mulder. He did not appear in The X-Files feature films.
- Monica Reyes 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 masters degree in religious studies. Her first FBI assignment was serving on a special task force investigating satanic rituals. She is a longtime friend of Doggetts and becomes his partner after Scullys departure. She did not appear in The X-Files feature films.
- Walter Skinner 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 Scullys 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.
- Fox Mulder 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 lifes 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 1–11, main is portrayed by Gillian Anderson. Scully is an FBI special agent, a medical doctor, and scientist who is Mulders 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.
2.2. Cast and characters Recurring
- Cigarette Smoking Man seasons 1–7, 9–11 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 Mulders 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 also appears in the 1998 feature film.
- 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, 11 is portrayed by Chris Owens. Spender was a skeptic who was assigned to The X-Files after Fox Mulders 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 Scullys son William.
- Alvin Kersh seasons 6, 8–9, 11 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.
3.1. Production Conception
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.
Carters 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 Carters 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 shows 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 shows FBI Agent Dale Cooper. The producers and writers cited All the Presidents 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. Carters use of continuous takes in "Triangle" was modeled on Hitchcocks Rope. In addition, episodes written by Darin Morgan often referred to or referenced other films.
3.2. Production Casting
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. Duchovnys 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 couldnt 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 Skinners 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 Duchovnys 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 Duchovnys 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 Mulders 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. Doggetts 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 Andersons possible departure at the end of the eighth season. Although Anderson stayed until the end, Gish became a series regular.
3.3. Production Minor recurring characters
Glen Morgan and James Wongs early influence on The X-Files mythology led to their introduction of popular secondary characters who continued for years in episodes written by others: Scullys 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.
3.4. Production Filming
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 Tea Leoni, although his discontent was popularly attributed to frustration with Vancouvers persistent rain. 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 shows new director of photography and episodes generally had a drier, brighter look due to Californias sunshine and climate, as compared with Vancouvers 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 Gilligans "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 Nevadas 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 for the city and surrounding areas. The 2016 revival was also shot there.
3.5. Production Music
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, Snows 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 songs famous whistle effect was inspired by the track "How Soon Is Now?" from the US edition of The Smiths 1985 album Meat Is Murder. After attempting to craft the theme with different sound effects, Snow used a Proteus 2 rackmount sound module with a preset sound called "Whistling Joe". After hearing this sound, 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 Snows 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 orchestral instruments; previous music had been crafted by Snow using digitally sampled instrument sounds. Snows 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.
3.6. Production Opening sequence
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. Producer Paul Rabwin was particularly pleased with the sequence and felt that it was something that had "never seen on television before". In 2017, James Charisma of Paste magazine ranked the shows 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 Duchovnys departure as a chance to change things. The replacement shows various pictures of Scullys pregnancy. According to executive producer Frank Spotnitz, the sequence also features an "abstract" way of showing Mulders 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. Duchovnys 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 revival seasons use the series original opening credits sequence.
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.
4.1. Broadcast and release Nielsen ratings
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 Foxs 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 shows final three years. The X-Files was nevertheless Foxs highest-rated show that year. The seventh season, originally intended as the shows 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. Its like the audience had gone away and I didnt know how to find them. I didnt 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. A few years later, the premiere episode of the tenth season, "My Struggle III", was watched by 5.15 million viewers. This was a decrease from the previous seasons debut; it was also the lowest-rated premiere for any season of the show. The season concluded with "My Struggle IV", which was seen by 3.43 million viewers, which was also a decrease from the previous season. "My Struggle IV", which became the de facto finale for the series, was also the shows lowest-rated finale. In total, the season was viewed by an average of 5.34 million viewers, and it ranked as the 91st most-watched television series of the 2018–19 year.
4.2. Broadcast and release Films
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 shows fourth and fifth seasons and re-shoots were conducted during the filming of the shows 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 films 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 studios 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 "Were looking at the movies as stand-alones. Theyre 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 1998s 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 films stars both claimed that the timing of the movies 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 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 were meant to believe in."
4.3. Broadcast and release Revival
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 thats 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. A year later, on April 20, 2017, Fox officially announced that The X-Files would be returning for an eleventh season of ten episodes, which premiered on January 3, 2018. In January 2018, Gillian Anderson confirmed that season 11 would be her final season of The X-Files. The following month, Carter stated in an interview that he could see the show continuing without Anderson. In May 2018, Foxs co-CEO Gary Newman commented that "there are no plans to do another season at the moment."
4.4. Broadcast and release Home media
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 led to Fox offering corrected discs and eventually issuing new sets with the correct color balance.
5.1. Spin-offs 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", included in the DVD release of the series.
5.2. Spin-offs Comic books
The X-Files was converted into a comic book series published by Topps Comics during the shows 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 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 on July 1, 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.
6.1. Influence Overall
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 Scullys believer-versus-skeptic dynamic created a TV template thats 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 Bruckmans Final Repose" and "Small Potatoes" respectively ranked #10 and #72 on "TV Guides 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 as the #4 sci-fi show and the #25 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 Chungs From Outer Space". In 2015, on The Hollywood Reporter s entertainment-industry ranked TV list "Hollywoods 100 Favorite TV Shows", The X-Files appeared at #3. 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 shows catchphrase "The Truth Is Out There" was among Britains 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."
6.2. Influence 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 "Duchovnys delineation of a serious scientist with a sense of humor should win him partisans and Andersons wavering doubter connects well. Theyre a solid team." Variety praised the writing and direction: "Mandels cool direction of Carters ingenious script and the artful presentation itself give TV sci-fi a boost." The magazine concluded, "Carters 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 shows 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 Scullys 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". Emily VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club argued that the third season of The X-Files was the shows "best season and maybe one of the greatest TV seasons of all time", noting it was consistent and 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 shows 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 Homers word and depart. Cigarette Smoking Man appears in the background when Homer is interviewed and the shows theme plays during one particular scene. Nathan Ditum from Total Film ranked Duchovny and Andersons 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. Bennetts 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 Scullys 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 Smithsonians National Museum of American History. Some of the items included the original pilot script and the "I Want to Believe" poster from Mulders office.
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