X-Files Iconic Theme Is A Complete Accident

By Britta DeVore | Updated

The X-Files

While names like Jurassic Park and Star Wars composer John Williams and Dune and Interstellar’s Hans Zimmer may be the orchestrators behind some of cinema’s greatest tunes, we’d say that The X-Files’ Mark Snow is up there for TV productions. The musician is the visionary talent who came up with the iconic theme for the spooky series of yesteryear which, a few years ago, he revealed was a complete accident. That’s right, more than two decades after the hit sci-fi show debuted on Fox, Snow set the record straight on his lucky stroke of genius. 

Whistling Joe

As Snow tells it, he was simply goofing around when The X-Files theme made its very first sound in this world after he leaned against his keyboard and “accidentally” hit it with his elbow. Further breaking the happy accident down, Snow says “There was this echoplex digital delay that became the accompaniment figure in the theme.”

From there, the composer says he simply hit the repeat and penned up the melody which he recorded as a whistle – “It was called ‘Whistling Joe’ on a certain sample,” he said.

Voila, One X-Files Theme

And just like that, The X-Files theme was born! Depending on your age when the iconic series came out, those first few notes and whistles would either send you flying out of the room in terror or pin you down to the sofa for the next hour.

Everyone knew what was going to follow that synth-sounding theme, with the latest adventure and investigation conducted by Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) just seconds away.

The X-Files Is A ’90s Classic

the x-files monster

When it comes to peak ‘90s television, few titles can compete with The X-Files by way of the legacy left behind. For nine seasons (originally), audiences were taken along for other-worldly quests and discoveries with Scully and Mulder – a team of detectives who investigate the bizarre reportings in the X-Files.

The pair played perfectly off one another with Scully being a science-based skeptic and Mulder being a conspiracy theorist, with both trying to uncover the truth behind some incredibly bizarre occurrences. 

The Revival

the x-files monster

After calling it quits in 2002, The X-Files was only available to its dedicated fanbase by way of re-runs and DVDs from the dead and gone series, as well as a second movie, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, which arrived in 2008.

Then, in 2016, a six-episode tenth season dropped, giving audiences something to live for as they dove back into the murky waters of The X-Files. The short but sweet season was a hit with an eleventh season to follow which garnered mixed reviews but still garnered a solid number of viewers during its run.

New X-Files On The Way

x-files villain

Now, the future of The X-Files is in the hands of Black Panther and Creed helmer, Ryan Coogler, as the filmmaker plans to revamp the series. Currently, no further plot details have been discussed and word surrounding Gillian Anderson or David Duchovny’s possible reprisals is non-existent.

But, Ryan Coogler promises to bring a new story to the frontlines of his take on The X-Files while keeping it classic and staying true to the fanbase who launched the show into the phenomenon that it became. Hopefully, he’ll keep the theme song.

Source: LAist

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