The X-Files is one of the most cult series in the history of American television. However, it still has some well-kept secrets! Here are five that will certainly make you see the adventures of Mulder and Scully in a different light.
Airing from 1993 to 2002, before making its return to screens between 2016 and 2018, the X-Files series features Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, two FBI special agents who investigate unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena. Here are five tidbits you should know about the cult fiction.
1. Chris Carter got the idea for the “X-Files” series from a study
Director Chris Carter got the idea for the X-Files from a report by John E. Mack, a psychiatrist, and professor at Harvard University. In this article, Mack said that 3.7 million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens. Convinced that “everyone wanted to hear this story,” as he told Entertainment Weekly magazine in 1994, Chris Carter pitched his idea to Fox. One of the best series of the 90s was born.
Producers and writers of series sometimes have to redouble their efforts to hide the pregnancy of their main actress. This was the case of X-Files, which in season 2, staged the kidnapping of Dana Scully. The young woman is kidnapped by Duane Barry, a dangerous and mythomaniacal former FBI agent, from episode 6 onwards and mysteriously reappears in episode 8 where she is put into a coma in the hospital. In reality, this plot was set up to hide the fact that Gillian Anderson was pregnant with her first child since the end of the shooting of the first season.
3. “The Pack” was the first episode not recommended for viewers under 17 in the history of American television
Episode 2 of Season 4 of the X-Files, titled The Pack, is arguably the most shocking episode of the series. It follows Mulder and Scully as they are confronted by a family of self-sufficient farmers with various deformities. Airing on October 11, 1996, it was the first episode in the series and in the history of American television to be rated R-rated due to its violence. This episode of the X-Files was censored and not shown again until 1997.
4. A strange connection between the credits of “X-Files” and “Charmed
If the X-Files and Charmed series don’t have much to do with each other, apart from the fact that they date back to the 90s, they are still linked on a musical level. The whistle in the X-Files theme music – by Mark Snow – is inspired by the whistle at the end of the Smiths’ How Soon Is Now, a song that would be covered by Love Spit Love and then serve as the theme song to Charmed. It’s not only with Buffy the Vampire Slayer that Charmed has similarities.
5. “The X-Files was a major influence on Vince Gilligan’s creation of Breaking Bad.
X-Files has had a lot of influence on the writing of series, and especially on one of them: Breaking Bad. This other cult series was created in 2008 by Vince Gilligan, who had previously worked as a writer on X-Files. It is notably by seeing Chris Carter working that he learned the job of showrunner.
But that’s not all, because in 1998, Vince Gilligan wrote the script of the episode Pursuit in the X-Files, with the actor Bryan Cranston as guest. The interpretation of the latter has so marked the writer that he subsequently had the idea to entrust him with the mythical role of Walter White in Breaking Bad.