The Truth Is In These Amazing Facts You Never Knew About The X-Files!
First aired in 1993, The X-Files was nothing short of a phenomenon. After only four episodes had reached the small screen, Entertainment Weekly declared it “the most paranoid, subversive show on TV” – and the eerie world of Mulder and Scully would indeed change the course of TV history. Let’s take a look back at this classic show with some facts you may not have known…
10. Gillian Anderson was almost sacked in the second season
In its early days, the success of The X-Files was down largely to the chemistry between lead actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Even so, the Fox Network considering replacing Anderson during the show’s second season when the actress unexpectedly fell pregnant.
However, series creator Chris Carter was vehemently opposed to this. Instead, efforts were made to conceal Anderson’s pregnancy on camera.
9. The Smoking Man was not originally intended to be a recurring character
The part of the enigmatic Cigarette Smoking Man was initially written to be a minor role. This changed when actor William B. Davis was cast, and impressed the show runners with his chilling performance.
As a result of this, the character was developed into the show’s major villain, a powerful government figure named Carl Gerhard Busch.
8. Mulder and Scully’s badges are not accurate representations of real FBI identification
During the show’s opening titles, the writing on Mulder and Scully’s badges reads “Federal Bureau of Justice, United States Department of Investigation.” This is inaccurate: real FBI identification reads Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice.
This was deliberate, because under US law it is illegal to make a copy of a real FBI badge, even for fictional purposes.
7. At the show’s height, its stars struggled to get along
During the early seasons of The X-Files, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson often bickered and struggled to get along due to the long hours and difficult shoots spent together.
Happily, since the end of the show’s initial run in 2002, the actors were able to relax with one another and now consider themselves close friends.
6. Anderson was inspired by Jodie Foster’s performance in The Silence of the Lambs
Gillian Anderson has happily admitted that she based a lot of her performance as Dana Scully on the Oscar-winning performance of Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs.
Like Starling, Scully is still relatively new to the FBI and eager to prove her worth to the Bureau.
5. X-files producers banned Anderson from playing Clarice Starling
The similarity between Anderson and Foster’s performances was not lost on the producers of The Silence of the Lambs’ sequel Hannibal. When Jodie Foster declined to return, Gillian Anderson was among the actresses considered for the role of Clarice Starling.
However, The X-Files producers intervened, forbidding Anderson from taking the part of Starling in Hannibal. Instead, the role went to Julianne Moore.
4. Mulder was named after the creator’s mum
In a nicely personal touch, The X-Files creator Chris Carter named lead character Fox Mulder after his own mother, whose maiden name was also Mulder.
The naming of Dana Scully wasn’t so close to home: she was named after the famous sports journalist Vin Scully.
3. Anderson and Duchovny’s roles are reversed in real life
The X-Files famously hinged on a key difference of opinion between its two central agents: whilst David Duchovny’s Mulder is a whole-hearted believer in extra-terrestrials and the paranormal, Scully is far more sceptical and looks for rational explanations.
In real life, things are a bit different: Duchovny admits he’s very much a sceptic, whereas Anderson has a far more open mind on such matters.
2. The theme tune was created by accident
The theme music of The X-Files was composed by Mark Snow, who attributes its distinctive sound to an accident. Reportedly, the musician happened to press his elbow onto his keyboard’s echo function without meaning to.
The sound it produced was so striking, Snow decided to create the whole tune around this spooky sound.
1. Duchovny avoided working with Anderson again
Five years after The X-Files, David Duchovny was cast as Hank Moody in the comedy-drama Californication. As the show proved to be a big success, fans often begged for Gillian Anderson to make a guest appearance alongside her old on-screen partner.
But Duchovny staunchly refused – not because he disliked Anderson, but because he wanted to protect the phenomenal legacy of Mulder and Scully. He felt any new collaborations could detract from the magic of The X-Files.