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X-Files is back after 13 years: Are you a believer?

Asad Ali | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 3:18 IST

The event

  • X-Files, the iconic show about paranormals and aliens, is primed to hit the screens again after 13 years

The excitement

  • It\'s about aliens, government cover-ups, shape shifters and the desire to believe or not in higher life forms
  • It ran as a series between 1993 & 2002

More in the story

  • Get a lowdown of the main characters and basic concepts behind the show
  • Watch the 21-minute preview that\'s been released ahead on the Jan airing

The show that nudged you to believe in little green men, disbelieve the System's practiced denial of them, and most significantly professed that 'The truth is out there' is back after a gap of 13 years.

X-files, the Chris Carter-directed 90s US sci-fi drama about aliens, paranormal activities and the FBI's attempts to cover up sinister conspiracies, first aired in 1993. Then on, it's been a nine-season spooky ride spanning over 200 episodes.

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X-Files closed its final season in 2002, and now the show's producers are back with a mini-series. The US release has been slated for 24 January 2016 and the UK dates are yet to be finalised though it should follow soon after.

If you haven't seen the show yet, and the thought that it might somehow be related to X-Men (the horror!) is surfacing in your imagination, kill that thought and read on to get an idea about what the X-files is actually all about.

What does X-files mean?

X-files refers to a series of FBI cases that have remained unsolved or those that the officials haven't been able to solve, mostly because they dealt with paranormal phenomena.

What's the basic premise?

The show follows special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) as they investigate the X-files, mostly on a case by case basis though not always.

Aliens exist on planet earth and they intend to colonise it. Sections of the government are colluding with the aliens and covering up their plans for their own suspicious needs. Besides of course the deal that once the aliens invade, those government officials will be spared.

Every episode = a fresh case?

Not necessarily. The show was structured in a very distinct manner: Mythology episodes and Monster of the Week (MoW) episodes.

The Mythology episodes comprised the overall storyline of the whole series and dealt with conspiracy theories, government officials who were part of cover up operations (they were called the Syndicate), aliens and alien super soldiers etc. These episodes, though fewer in number, really formed the backbone of the show around which MoW episodes were made.

The MoW episodes usually dealt with some specific case that involved alien creatures/monsters, or criminals with extranormal abilities and the like.

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Major characters/terminologies to know?


A top-secret organisation comprising, among others, members of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of State. They're the interface between mankind and a group of extraterrestrials with a massive plan to colonise earth. They're the ones colluding with the aliens and covering up all their tracks.

Black Oil:

A virus that the aliens intend to use to infect humans on earth once they invade.

Faceless Rebels:

Those aliens who are opposed to the colonisation efforts of the majority of aliens.

Super soldiers:

They make an appearance around the sixth season. They're basically aliens in the form of soldiers and their objective is to thwart any attempt by humans to resist colonisation. As the name implies, they're quite unstoppable in their abilities.

Fox Mulder:

A talented agent who's always been plagued by the memory of his missing sister Samantha. Mulder believes that she was abducted by aliens when he was 12, and ever since, he's had a strong interest in investigating the paranormal.

Dana Scully:

Well-trained doctor and a sceptic of extraterrestrial life. She's in fact brought in as Mulder's partner to keep a tab on him and to make sure he imbibed a 'scientific' temperament while dealing with cases.

Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi):

Ex-Marine Corps background. He's the direct supervisor of Mulder and Scully. Initially reluctant of the pair's unconventional investigation methods, Skinner later comes to be on good terms with them, even believing in the existence of aliens after a point.

The Smoking Man (William B Davis):

An influential and mysterious personality who works with the higher ups in the government and the Syndicate. He's one of the lead antagonists of the show though he hardly ever makes an appearance.

Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin):

A Syndicate member and informer to Mulder and Scully.

Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea):

An operative for the Syndicate, Alex was also a special agent for the FBI partnering Mulder a number of times. He actually was always working for the Smoking Man and meant to jeopardize Mulder-Scully on most occasions, though he tried switching allegiances as well later.


A recent VICE documentary tracked down a person called Joe Nickell, often known as a real life counterpart of Agent Scully! VICE travels with him to Roswell - famous for being a supposed alien crash site.

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First published: 31 December 2015, 7:31 IST
Asad Ali @asadali1989

Asad Ali is another cattle class journalist trying to cover Current affairs and Culture when he isn't busy not saving the world.