It is difficult for those who are growing up with the sci-fi television boom of today to appreciate just how out-of-the-box and ratings-shatteringly popular The X-Files was. The show about a couple of FBI agents investigating paranormal occurrences was the mature, gritty counterpart to the Star Trek franchise behemoth.
The show built its reputation for mystery by rarely divulging more information than strictly necessary, even about its main characters. Here are 10 such facts you can finally discover about the show's main characters!
10 The Search Is Personal For Mulder
From the first episode, Mulder, played by David Duchovny, has been the epitome of the tireless detective. Examining the most minute clues, doing tons of research, and diving headfirst into danger - all for the sake of solving a case. While this kind of dedication is impressive, the reason behind it is not entirely professional.
Mulder's sister was abducted as a child, by sources who the detective strongly suspects have paranormal origins. Mulder's entire adult life, right down to his choice of profession, was in service of finding out the truth about his sister's disappearance.
9 Mulder Fears Sleep
One of the ways the X-Files established that Mulder was a deeply troubled character was by making it clear that he very rarely sleeps. In most scenes involving the bedroom at night, Mulder can still be seen working a case or researching a new piece of paranormal investigation.
The few times that Mulder is actually shown to be sleeping, he is often in the throes of a nightmare. It is strongly hinted that, unlike for regular people, sleep is not a time of rest and relaxation for his troubled soul.
8 Mulder Has A Stash Of Dirty Movies
X-Files was praised for breaking down many taboos of the times, with Scully being much more than just eye candy, and Mulder being allowed to show his vulnerable side by crying frequently. One more amusing way the show broke taboos was by frequently referencing Mulder's vast stash of dirty movies.
Mulder himself was never embarrassed by his collection and simply saw the movies as a way to fulfill a basic human need in his otherwise quite lonely life. Mulder and his fondness for dirty movies became something of a running gag on the show.
7 Saw A Movie 42 Times
Mulder has seen the movie Plan 9 From Outer Space not once, not twice, but forty-two times. Before you start thinking he must really love the movie, it should be explained that Mulder's reason for watching the movie is because the activity is to him the opposite of a good time.
According to Mulder, the movie is so bad that forcing himself to sit through it numbs his regular brain functioning and allows his intuition to kick in, allowing him to solve complex problems.
6 Scully Suffered A Crisis Of Faith
At the beginning of the series, Scully, performed by Gillian Anderson, identified herself as a non-practicing Catholic. She is practically an atheist. This was hardly a surprise since she was shown to be naturally logical and rational in her approach to the world. Over the course of the series, Scully saw many things that could not be explained by science alone.
Due to her newfound respect for the unknown and unexplained parts of life, Scully is shown in later episodes to have become a more religious person, attending church more regularly and finding strength in prayer.
5 Scully Has Daddy Issues
Scully has a history of being attracted to men who are not good for her. This can largely be attributed to her troubled relationship with her father. He was a navy captain who did not have a very fulfilling relationship with his daughter, even though she adored him and always sought his approval.
Adult Scully admits to being attracted to authority-figure type men because a part of her is trying to find her father in them, and find the paternal approval through them that she always craved.
4 Scully Might Be Immortal
Scully and Mulder are two completely ordinary people who are constantly caught up in extraordinary circumstances. However, Scully's ordinariness has been called into question by several hints and jokes throughout the show pointing to the fact that she might be immortal.
The issue first comes up in Season 3 when a psychic states that Scully will never die. She also once met an actual immortal human, and it was hinted that she may have replaced him at the end of the episode as the new immortal. Showrunner Chris Carter had also once hinted that there was more to the 'Scully is immortal' references than throwaway jokes.
3 Agent Doggett Had A Painful Marriage
John Doggett had the thankless task of replacing fan-favorite character Mulder after Duchovny exited the show. Thankfully, Robert Patrick's character had enough of his own personality to get away from Mulder's shadow and stand on his own.
Unlike Mulder, Doggett had a family life, although not a happy one. Doggett had a son from his marriage who was murdered. The death caused his wife and him to grow apart and eventually separate, although they still tried to remain on good terms.
2 The Main Villains Are Not Totally Evil
The big bad of the series is a group of powerful individuals known collectively as The Syndicate. These are the people who are aware of alien incursions on Earth and are actively working to keep the larger population ignorant of this fact.
While some members of the group embrace the notion of an alien species taking over Earth and are trying to speed up the process, other members are actually working towards staving off the alien invasion until humanity has developed enough to fight against them.
1 The Cigarette Smoking Man Was Just An Extra
The overall show has one main villain, the Cigarette Smoking Man we see in the background in one of the earlier episodes. Originally, the character was supposed to be nothing more than an extra in the scene. Fans were so awed by the sinister figure that they made up all sorts of theories regarding his importance in the show.
As a response to this, the show creators expanded on the character of the Cigarette Smoking Man and made him a much more prominent figure, making him essentially a middle man for The Syndicate and the one who is in charge of carrying out their orders.