• Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 10, 1993
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Feb 17, 2013
    83
    The X-Files is the most paranoid, subversive show on TV right now...Filled with florid dialogue (''You've seen things that weren't meant to be seen!'') and not-bad special effects, X-Files is a hoot about hooey.
  2. Reviewed by: David Zurawik
    Feb 20, 2013
    80
    But the paranormal is not what counts. It's the FBI agents who matter -- they're one of TV's most interesting twentysomething couples. [10 Sept 1993, p.1D]
  3. Reviewed by: Greg Dawson
    Feb 20, 2013
    80
    The X-Files gets off to a pleasingly creepy start tonight. But even spookier is the thought that some people will mistake it for a documentary. [10 Sept 1993, p.E1]
  4. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Feb 17, 2013
    80
    A fun, intriguing new drama...Inspiration is allowed to take all sorts of liberties. Fortunately, the production values of the show are high and no attempts are made to portray aliens on screen, for instance. The director wisely lets us imagine an unexplained power source with a whirl of wind rather than cheap-looking spaceships or funny-looking men with antennae heads. [8 Sept 1993, p.1F]
  5. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Feb 17, 2013
    80
    Some UFO cliches - bright lights, mysterious marks, lost time - turn up here (could they be cliches because they're...true?), but intelligent writing and sharp plotting lift the series far above the standard for the genre. The lead characters have a quirky chemistry that (refreshingly) isn't built on the "squabble and kiss" standard. (They're both pretty appealing, however, and if they should eventually kiss, I for one wouldn't mind.) [9 Sept 1993, p.06G]
  6. Reviewed by: Rick Cogan
    Feb 17, 2013
    80
    [Mulder and Scully] are a lively team - look for love to blossom if ratings sag - and the show has some clever dialogue, a handsome look, unlimited plots (I'd imagine) and, of course, the specter of Big Brother keeping secrets from us all. [10 Sept 1993, p.Tempo 1]
  7. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jun 26, 2013
    75
    If the producers can keep the mood spooky, this show will have its devoted adherents. Deservedly so.
  8. Reviewed by: Lon Grahnke
    Feb 17, 2013
    75
    David Duchovny from "Red Shoe Diaries," "Twin Peaks" and the current film "Kalifornia" combines an off-center earnestness with a weird sense of humor to make Mulder likable and convincing. As Scully, Gillian Anderson provides a cool, logical counterpart for Spooky. It's a perfectly balanced pairing, with only a hint of sexual tension. [10 Sept 1993, p.61]
  9. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Feb 17, 2013
    70
    It's all played with suitably creepy seriousness, but without the self- conscious weirdness that made the later-day "Twin Peaks" so tedious. Duchovny and Anderson anchor the story through steady performances; we're as interested in what happens to them as in what happened to the teens...It's all pretty silly stuff, but it's silliness done well. If you're willing to give yourself over to it, it should hold your attention -- which is more than one can say for most of the season's new offerings. [10 Sept 1993, p.Ent 20]
  10. Reviewed by: Tony Scott
    Feb 17, 2013
    70
    Carter's dialogue is fresh without being self-conscious, and the characters are involving. Series kicks off with drive and imagination, both innovative in recent TV.
  11. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Feb 17, 2013
    63
    Something's going on here, but unfortunately not between the two bland lead actors. Duchovny makes a peculiar hero, too laconic even when discussing his passion for tracking aliens. His character needs oomph, but The X-Files already has a nicely offbeat tone. Maybe this is how Fox will revive its still-lamented Alien Nation series. [10 Sept, 1993 p.Life 3D]
  12. Reviewed by: Kathleen Shea
    Feb 17, 2013
    60
    An advisory at the beginning of this thing claims it's "inspired" by actual factual accounts...Snort. [10 Sept 1993, p.56]
  13. Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    Feb 17, 2013
    60
    There's not much suspense here, but the two leads, and the hour's teacup worth of mystery, are just enough to keep this flying saucer aloft.
  14. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Feb 17, 2013
    30
    It's not quite sci-fi, not quite fantasy, and yet not quite realistic either. It's not quite a show, is what it's not quite...You may get an urge to take a hike too, but pity the poor critic who has to sit there with a big grin on his face and watch the whole stupid thing. [10 Sept 1993, p.G7]
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Apr 15, 2012
    10
    'The X-Files' was inarguably one of the most influential shows of the 20th century, it delved into the public's lack of trust for the government and the '90s atmosphere of angst and paranoia. The show became a pop culture icon and is a must-watch for any true cinephile. Full Review »
  2. Dec 12, 2010
    9
    In 1993 the cult phenomenon of txf had its first appearance - but after re-watching the show in 2008 I dare to say that it is still one of my all-time favourites. The first season intelligibly lags behind later ones in terms of sfx (due to its budget and the general technical potential back then) but its overall mood easily is the most eerie/paranoid of the whole series - precisely because it feels so down-to-earth and hand-made. I still appreciate Mark Snow's score or Gillian Anderson's completely unfeminine pantsuits for what they did: They managed to make the improbable seem real because the world these things happened in was what our world looks like outside of the studios. Season 1 raises many questions (& gives only few answers), sets the direction for the rest of the series and got me hooked for nine years and beyond. Full Review »
  3. Nov 14, 2014
    9
    First season is great with all the different monsters and strange things happening. . . Full Review »