Disney+ Sci-Fi Mystery Series Still Finds New Fans Decades Later

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

It’s impossible to overstate The X-Files’s impact on television, not just sci-fi, but the entire medium. From encouraging women to join STEM fields in record-setting numbers to the unending barrage of parodies, it’s easy to forget that the show also helped launch the internet. Now, the ground-breaking sci-fi series is available to a whole new generation of future sci-fi fans.

Perfect Casting

the x-files halloween

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny became international megastars thanks to their portrayals of FBI Special Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. The X-Files inverted decades of television tradition by making Mulder fascinated by alien conspiracies and Scully able to be the scientific-minded skeptic. To fans, the stars will forever be linked.

Making The X-Files even more amusing to watch now is the cavalcade of guest stars each season, some of whom have gone on to become major stars, including Bryan Cranston, Ryan Reynolds, Danny Trejo, Octavia Spencer, and Tobin Bell.

The Timeless Appeal Of The X-Files

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The X-Files has dodged the pitfalls suffered by its 90 peers by appealing to different generations, which is impressive as the internet was barely accessible when the show first premiered. While the technology is dated, the cinematographic shooting style encouraged by creator Cris Carter looks like a modern series. The writing, characterization, and atmosphere that radiates from the screen make “Post-Modern Prometheus” impressive to audiences today.

The X-Files Embraced Its Most Dedicated Fans

It’s hard to answer the question, is the Internet responsible for the popularity of The X-Files, or is the show responsible for the growth of the Internet? The fandom was so large and so vocal on the Internet that the writing staff took notice and named characters after the fans. Dubbed X-Philes, these early internet adopters would write fan fiction, put together conventions, and endlessly debate the series on message boards.

Some of those fans include Marvel star Kumail Nanjiani, who hosts The X-Files Files Podcast, Kate McKinnon, Jimmy Kimmel, and even Dave Grohl, who got to be a background actor in one episode, “Pusher,” Episode 17 of Season 3, one of many written by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.

Continued To The Modern Era

The X-Files came back, with the original stars in front of the camera and some of the original creative time behind the scenes, in 2016 for Season 10. It came 15 years after the presumed series finale, but tens of millions of fans watched the revival, prompting a second season to start airing in 2018. Both Anderson and Duchovny have made it clear that they likely won’t reprise the roles again.

A Streaming Success


The X-Files has been in the top 10 Most Streamed TV Shows on multiple occasions, and that was before its recent expansion to Disney+. Available as part of the Hulu beta program, users with both services can discover if the truth is out there on the same service that airs Bluey. Unfortunately, the movies aren’t available to stream online, which is a key missing piece with the 1998 movie, but a small blessing in disguise saving fans from X-Files: Fight the Future.

Whether you’re a long-time X-Phile or a newbie to the fandom, The X-Files remains one of the most important shows in television history and one still worth binging today.