For the majority of the time that “X-Files” was coming out with new episodes, the show was my favorite TV show; I liked it more than the Simpsons, another Fox show, more than the science fiction series Babylon 5, more than all the serious dramas on television.
It ended in rather an abrupt fashion: After Duchovny decided to leave the series the creators sought to replace him, but the character of Mulder was one that could never be replaced. No one could capture the desire for truth like Duchovny’s role as Mulder.
The series came about at the perfect time as there was a renewed interest in all things alien in the 1990s, and “X-Files” capitalized on this.
The conflicts between Mulder and the government conspiracy was the main basis of the show.
Mulder was an FBI agent involved in cases that involved the paranormal.
He had lost his sister early in his life in a paranormal event he attributed to aliens. The loss drove him to spend the rest of his life trying to find the cause of what had happened.
Dana Skully, played by Gillian Anderson, played a key role as she doubted the majority of Mulder’s assumptions. She believed in what she could find proof for; she did not speculate on extraterrestrial life or government conspiracies. This added a balance for the series, a sense of cohesion, as even the viewers had to doubt some of the notions that Mulder had.
There was the Smoking Man who was the main antagonist of the show, behind all the plans for alien colonization and other secret government projects.
While aliens provided the basis of much of the show, there were plenty of other elemen too,whether they were people with the power to create fire, werewolves, or men who fed on other men. “X-Files” was always keying on the supernatural.
I can’t recall every episode as I have not seen them all, but I saw just about every episode before Mulder was replaced. Duchovny brought the character to life, and it just wasn’t the same without him.
The acclaimed series ended in 2002, and I did watch some of the closing episodes. It was a series that should have found a way to end with Mulder instead of trying to bring in new characters so late in the game.
Duchovny has yet to have a successful film role since his leaving the show. Mulder might not be his last major role, but it will probably be the best.
The alien phenomenon might not be ever as big as when X-Files was running. Still, you can find shows on The History Channel late at night about alien conspiracies or flying saucers.
Also, “X-Files” reruns play on the Sci-Fi channel all the time.
“X-Files” could have ended better, but it was still a genre defining series. I enjoyed watching it growing up, and will likely enjoy watching the occasional rerun for as long as they air.