1993-2018, 11 seasons, 208 episodes, longest running science fiction series in American network tv history, 23 various writers including David Duchovny. Network: Fox Broadcasting Company.
Conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and medical doctor Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are FBI Special Agents assigned to the X-Files unit, which handles cases that no one else wants because they do not fit into any usual category of crime.
You got your supernatural, science fiction including space aliens, mysterious snitches, Illuminati-type secret organizations like the Syndicate, government schemes, humor like Mulder country line-dancing under the influence (“Babylon”, seas. 10, ep. 5), Native American folklore and their terrible treatment (“Shapes”, seas. 1, ep. 19; “Anasazi”, seas. 2, ep. 25), and mostly human monsters like the Smoking Man.
My five favorite episodes have to do with eating gross things:
“Squeeze”, Season 1, episode 3, air date 9/24/93
This is our introduction to Eugene Victor Tooms (Doug Hutchison), a serial killer who has been alive for 90 years in which he hibernates every few years only to come back out to eat a few live peoples’ livers before hunkering down again. He is caught by Mulder and Scully and imprisoned in a mental facility, but it wasn’t long until he escaped because he could squeeze through vents and chimneys to get his prey. His hole in the wall for sleeping was nasty and oozing.
Written by Glen Morgan and James Wong; directed by Harry Longstreet and Michael Katleman.
“Tooms”, Season 1, episode 21, air date 4/22/94
Eugene Victor Tooms is back with a vengeance against Scully, squeezing through her bathroom vent. He should have left well enough alone and moved to another state. Suffice it to say, he will not be bothering anyone else for their liver.
Written by Glen Morgan and James Wong; directed by David Nutter.
“Humbug”, Season 2, episode 20, air date 3/31/95
A drunken circus performer (Vincent Schiavelli) has a symbiotic brother inside of him as part of a circus act. I think you might drink too if you had to carry your brother inside you everywhere and always. However, his drunken circus brother is dying so his symbiotic host brother is constantly escaping from his drunken brother trying to find a replacement host before it is too late. He ends up murdering other people with whom he is not compatible. And, of course, Scully and Mulder are called in on the case. But, before they can solve the case, the symbiot finds the perfect host to get into but is eaten by Conundrum (the Enigma), the potential host, his fellow circus performer who is a flesh eater. Not for the squeamish, especially the circus performer pulling needles through his body parts.
Written by Darin Morgan and directed by Kim Manners.
“Leonard Betts”, Season 4, Episode 12, air date 1/26/97.
Leonard Betts/Albert Tanner (Paul McCrane) was a paramedic who was decapitated in an accident. His head was put into a vat of waste and his body grew a new head at home. This is when he became Albert Tanner working at a hospital and started killing people to eat their cancerous organs. I felt sorry for him because it seemed to me that he could have subsisted on the cancerous organs that hospitals were throwing away anyway, but no, I guess he liked his organs fresh.
Written by Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, and Frank Spotnitz; directed by Kim Manners.
“The Gift”, Season 8, Episode 11, air date 2/4/01
Skinner and FBI Special Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick) get to investigate the disappearance of Mulder. Another sickness eater (soul eater played by Jordan Marder) was required by his town to eat their diseases. And this guy was forced at gunpoint to perform this free labor which affected his body adversely for decades. Not for the squeamish either because his body displayed the sickness he absorbed. He was the victim in this episode who saved Mulder’s life.
Written by Frank Spotnitz and directed by Kim Manners.
Sure, there were a few flaws in the plots, but I was never disappointed. Fox believed that his sister was abducted by aliens, and Scully depended on her medical skill and her faith. I would holler at the screen especially when they would split up inside a dark dangerous building or go somewhere by themselves without a partner. Both were thrown together by their FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) who was skeptical at first, but eventually had their backs.
“Fresh Bones”, Season 2, episode 4, 1995 was an episode that I could relate to today.
Haitian people were being held longer than necessary to be sent back to their native country because the commander secretly wanted to learn the secret of voodoo at any cost. He had begun studying voodoo when he was stationed in Haiti many years before. These are adults in cages, and the only child is a ghost. There is no press and no third-party monitoring. This story really relates to today’s situation of immigrant children in cages in the U.S. today where even the guards say, “they were never made to handle this type of prisoner”.
Written by Chris Carter (Creator) and Howard Gordon; directed by Rob Bowman. Chris Carter also had a horror series, “Millenium”, (one of the executive producers) which I intend to look up.
Special Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny also in Return to Me, Zoolander, Chaplin, Red Shoe Diaries, The Craft, etc.)
Special Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson also in American Gods, Bleak House, Great Expectations, etc.)
FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi also in Supernatural, Shocker, Sons of Anarchy, Basic Instinct, Flash of Genius, Knight Rider, Transformers: the last knight, Vampire in Brooklyn, etc.)
Special Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick also in Terminator 2, Walk the Line, Trueblood, Bridge to Terabithia, Spy Kids, Die Hard 2, Endless Love, The Faculty, Last Action Hero, etc.)
Special Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish also in Wyatt Earp, Bag of Bones, etc.)
The drunken brother in Humbug (Vincent Schiavelli also in Ghost, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Batman Returns, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, Night Shift, Escape to Witch Mountain, The Beautician and the Beast, etc.)
Leonard Betts/Albert Tanner (Paul McCrane, also in Rocky II, Fame, Robo Cop, The Shawshank Redemption, ER, 24, Ugly Betty, CSI, etc.)
Soul eater in The Gift (Jordan Marder also in American History X, Virtuosity, L.A. Confidential, etc.)
Eugene Victor Tooms (Doug Hutchison, also in the Green Mile, The Lawnmower Man, A Time to Kill, Con Air, Batman and Robin, Shaft, etc.)
The Smoking Man (William B. Davis, also in The Messengers, The Dead Zone, etc.).
Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin, also in Cujo, The Firm, Big Trouble in Little China, Roots: The Gift, Are We There Yet? etc.)
X (Steven Williams, also in Cooley High, Route 666, 21 Jump Street, The Equalizer, Blues Brothers, Supernatural, etc.),
Well-Manicured Man (John Neville, also in Fifth Element, Billy Budd, etc.)
Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea)
[TV shows and movies mentioned are ones that I have seen the actors in.]
Thank you to all the stunt people, the special effects makeup people, and the CGI computer people who helped make this series successful. I thoroughly enjoyed the series so much over the years that I recently borrowed the whole series from the public library—one season at a time.
Devon Maloney, “The 10 Most Embarrassing X-File Episodes”, Vulture, Vulture Lists, January 18, 2016.
Ira Madison III, “Every Episode of the X-Files, Ranked from Worst to Best”, Vulture, January 22, 2016. (For some of these he did not explain what the episode was about but just gave it a pass or fail.)
Kimberly Roots, “The X-Files: A Deep Dive into Mulder and Scully’s Love Story (Which Began Waaaay Before You Thought It Did)”, TVLine.com, April 24, 2020
Meg Downey, “49 Actors You Forgot Were on X-Files”, Gamespot.com/amp-ga…, April 30, 2020.
Written by Rosa L. Griffin