Disney+ Gets The Greatest Sci-Fi Thriller Series Of All Time

By Zack Zagranis | Published

The truth is out there, and now you can stream it on Disney+. Popular science fiction thriller The X-Files was one of the ’90s hottest shows. There is no more iconic duo on television than conspiracy-chasing FBI agent Fox Mulder and his down-to-earth partner Dana Scully.

Available In The Hulu Section

The series that introduced the phrase “Cigarette Smoking Man” into the public lexicon is now available to stream on Disney+. The X-Files is available to Disney+ subscribers through the streamer’s Hulu section, which is still in beta. A subscription to both services is required to access Hulu content through Disney+.

The Believer And The Skeptic Make The Perfect TV Pairing

The X-Files was the brainchild of creator Chris Carter. Carter was inspired by earlier television series that dealt with science fiction and the supernatural, such as The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Darkside, and decided to put his own spin on the genre. Carter developed his own concept based around two FBI agents.

One is a believer in unexplained phenomena and the other a skeptic meant to give science-based context to the first agent’s discoveries. In Carter’s own words, “Mulder and Scully came right out of my head. A dichotomy. They are the equal parts of my desire to believe in something and my inability to believe in something. My skepticism and my faith.”

David Duchovny And Gillian Anderson’s On-Screen Chemistry

the x-files monster

Mulder and Scully may have sprung from Carter’s mind fully formed, but the characters didn’t really come to life until actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were cast. Duchovny brought a combination of brilliance and naivete to Mulder. The Oxford-educated FBI Special Agent was a talented criminal profiler but would often toss logic aside when it came to his belief in government conspiracy plots involving UFOs and the like.

Meanwhile, Scully, as portrayed by Gillian Anderson, was the perfect foil to Mulder’s more out-there beliefs. A doctor and a scientist first, Scully’s job on The X-Files was to poke holes in Mulder’s outrageous theories and find the practical reasons behind some of the weird things the pair encountered over the course of the series. Scully was often a grown-up version of Scooby Doo’s Velma to Mulder’s Shaggy.

The X-Files Gave Us Some Of The Best Monster Of The Week Episodes

the x-files halloween

The X-Files split its time between one-off monster-of-the-week episodes and an overarching plot that ran across the whole series revolving around a covert alien invasion and the abduction of Mulder’s sister when he was a child. Over the course of 11 seasons and two films, Mulder and Scully slowly uncovered an extraterrestrial plot to take over the world using a sentient virus and the government’s role in helping them.

Series Creator Never Wanted A Romantic Relationship Between Mulder And Scully

david duchovny The X-Files

Carter’s initial pitch for the X-Files was rejected by Fox executives. The creator went back to the drawing board and fleshed out the concept more before submitting it once again to Fox. The second time, the network gave the X-Files a green light, and it wound up becoming one of the most successful shows on the channel.With The X-Files, Carter sought to flip gender norms by making Scully the cold and clinical analyst and giving Mulder the penchant for being emotional and occasionally irrational. It was the creator’s goal also to keep the relationship between the two FBI agents strictly platonic, something the show would eventually go back on when the partners shared their first kiss in the series seventh season.

Drew Inspiration From Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks

The series was heavily influenced by Twin Peaks, a surrealist fever dream wrapped up in the trappings of a typical TV drama. Some even saw David Duchovny’s Fox Mulder as a parallel to Peaks’ FBI Agent Dale Cooper.

The X-Files was shot almost exclusively in Vancouver for its first five seasons until Duchovny and Gillian insisted the production move to the US. Unfortunately, the series’ move to LA meant leaving the entire crew that had worked on the show behind the scenes in Canada. Despite filming seasons 6-9 in Los Angeles, The X-Files went back to Vancouver for the series’ second movie, The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008).

The X-Files Leaves Its Mark On The Sci-Fi Genre


The X-Files proved to be a ratings smash for most of its original run up until the ninth season, which saw the series jettison Mulder and Scully in favor of new agents Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) and John Doggett (Robert Patrick). Fans didn’t take kindly to the new leads and the show was cancelled after the ninth season.The series made an impact on not just the science fiction fandom but pop culture in general. Countless shows parodied The X-Files, including The Simpsons and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Meanwhile, the series inspired numerous other shows dealing with unexplained phenomena and the supernatural, such as Fox’s own Millenium and the long-running CW series Supernatural. The X-Files itself even came back for a 10th and 11th season in 2016 and 2018, respectively.It’s almost impossible to understand the footprint left by the original X-Files without experiencing it for yourself. You can stream it now on Disney+ in their Hulu section.