The X-Files : Season 1

  • Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 10, 1993
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 198 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 198

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User Reviews

  1. Jul 6, 2014
    7
    The X-Files approaches the paranormal from an entirely different perspective. The character development is sharp and the season finale is so damn satisfying.
  2. Jun 30, 2015
    8
    Despite not having a tight, definite arc, the first season helped established the strange universe of The X-Files that fascinates both sci-fi fans and non sci-fi fans alike.

    Actual Rating: 8.5/10 Pros: +David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Enough said. +The universe of The X-Files is weird and fascinating. I can see why this show is such a classic hit. +Some of the monster of the
    Despite not having a tight, definite arc, the first season helped established the strange universe of The X-Files that fascinates both sci-fi fans and non sci-fi fans alike.

    Actual Rating: 8.5/10

    Pros:
    +David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Enough said.
    +The universe of The X-Files is weird and fascinating. I can see why this show is such a classic hit.
    +Some of the monster of the week episodes are fantastic to watch.

    Cons:
    -No tight, definite arc of the first season makes watching this show a bit of a chore.

    Favorite Episodes (ranked from most favorite to least favorite):
    Ice (E08)
    Pilot
    Eve (E11)
    Miracle Men (E18)
    B.E. (E17)
    Deep Throat (E02)
    Ghost in the Machine (E07)
    Squeeze (E03)
    Tooms (E21)
    Shadows (E06)
    Beyond the Sea (E13)
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  3. Aug 17, 2014
    7
    The X-Files approaches the paranormal from an entirely different perspective. The character development is sharp and the season finale is so damn satisfying.
  4. Nov 14, 2014
    9
    First season is great with all the different monsters and strange things happening. . .
  5. Sep 1, 2015
    9
    The X-Files approaches the paranormal from an entirely different perspective. The character development is sharp and the season finale is so damn satisfying.
  6. Dec 15, 2015
    9
    The X-Files approaches the paranormal from an entirely different perspective. The character development is sharp and the season finale is so damn satisfying.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 becauseIn 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. Expand
  9. May 14, 2013
    9
    The X-Files has certainly raised the bar when it comes to tv shows with consistent and well written episodes. Few tv shows have come close to its quality ever since it first aired in 1993.
  10. Feb 17, 2013
    10
    Ah, the 90's. Oh how I wish I could return to the better times. The chemistry between Mulder and Scully is just so amazing for lack of a better word. The way this show was filmed and acted are just simply superb. I love that it's on Netflix instant. Thank you Chris Carter and the whole team!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. Sep 14, 2013
    9
    still one of my all time fave shows, and a staple to this day thanks to the web. The only reason i didnt give a 10 is because of the last two seasons which are hard to watch, the once great show had devolved into insipid stupidity. Seaons 2-5 or so are some of the best tv ever created IMO.
  12. Mar 30, 2015
    10
    The X-Files approaches the paranormal from an entirely different perspective. The character development is sharp and the season finale is so damn satisfying.
  13. Sep 18, 2014
    5
    As with most introductory seasons for a science fiction show, there's some good stuff and bad stuff and it all shows up unpredictably. Usually the writers, actors, directors, etc are all working out what's the best way to use the setting to tell good stories, and that shows here as well I think. Plus, there are some issues with pacing that you get with early 90s shows in general. The styleAs with most introductory seasons for a science fiction show, there's some good stuff and bad stuff and it all shows up unpredictably. Usually the writers, actors, directors, etc are all working out what's the best way to use the setting to tell good stories, and that shows here as well I think. Plus, there are some issues with pacing that you get with early 90s shows in general. The style then was usually more comfortable with padding out scenes, and you can sometimes feel it, even when it's a "monster perspective" type of shot that's supposed to be tense. Expand
  14. Dec 21, 2016
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. FBI agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) has dedicated his career to solving cases that others have discarded but that he believes have a paranormal explanation. In an attempt to discredit him his immediate supervisors assign a young female agent, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), to monitor and disprove his work. Their very first case together however asks more questions than it answers and leaves Mulder to believe that government officials are hiding information about the existence of alien life on Earth.

    Most fans would probably agree that The X-Files didn’t really hit top gear until **Spoiler Alert** after Scully’s abduction early in season two but this first season does a great job of setting up the shows premise and developing Mulder and Scully’s characters. While some episodes do look a little dated (I can’t believe The X-Files is over 20 years old!) episodes such as ‘Squeeze’, that introduced the character of Eugene Victor Tooms, stick in my mind memory to this day and really demonstrated just what the show was capable of at it most imaginative.
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  15. Feb 24, 2016
    3
    This whole Season 10 mini-series was a waste. It feels like it was done out of some forced obligation, like Chris Carter lost a bet and some nerd held him to doing a 6-ep mini-series. Duchovny and Anderson seemed old and tired. Gillian's voice sounded labored as if she has a chronic respiratory problem. It may have been better if the short season was devoted to the alien theme but again,This whole Season 10 mini-series was a waste. It feels like it was done out of some forced obligation, like Chris Carter lost a bet and some nerd held him to doing a 6-ep mini-series. Duchovny and Anderson seemed old and tired. Gillian's voice sounded labored as if she has a chronic respiratory problem. It may have been better if the short season was devoted to the alien theme but again, the nerd who won the bet probably made Chris do these silly monster-of-the-week diversions. Horrible, just horrible. Now, FF 20 yrs and JJ Abrams will get green-lighted to do a reboot, ugh. Expand
  16. May 2, 2017
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. [Excerpt from S1 E8 Review:]

    Chris Carpenter- cited with creating the series as we know it and also with the writing and filming of the majority of its episodes, essentially states that this episode was heavily influenced by films such as “The Thing” and novellas such as John W. Campbell’s “Who Goes There?” As with the majority of The X-Files’ episodes, which deal with extraterrestrial or paranormal activity, this episode falls into the former category and deals with a team of deceased scientists inside an arctic research facility. Just where do everyone’s favorite FBI detective duo come in? Sent to investigate the mysterious radio silence of the base, Mulder and Scully (accompanied by several scientists and their pilot) encounter a strange alien organism that has lain dormant in the ice for thousands of years.

    For a show rooted in genres and tropes such as the supernatural, horror, modern myths, and conspiracy theories, this particular episode got my blood pumping and my mind thinking. Between the thought of what an organism such as the parasitic worm they encountered could do should it break quarantine, the creeping sensation that anyone in the group could be infected and masquerading as sane, and the moral choices and dilemmas between how best to approach the situation, it is a tense thriller of a forty-five minute episode.

    The most obvious inspiration for the episode is John Carpenter’s 1982 rendition of “The Thing” which has since been remade by other cinematic directors to varying success. The X-Files’ take on “the thing” is intriguing in its own narrative and nail-biting, chilling, and overall sensational in my own opinion. It quickly establishes a narrative for the one-off story of the episode and introduces the key characters- three scientists of varying backgrounds such as geology and biology, Mulder and Scully who hardly need an introduction by this point, and the maverick plane pilot crazy enough to fly them to the remote arctic ice core drilling facility.

    Sticking to the vein of tense alien horror flicks, the episode goes by but not without killing off a few of its cast for added effect. It helps that the set is one confined location and that the arctic weather outside and the death of pilot “Bear” effectively traps the crew in with the parasite. Knowing next to nothing about the worm-like creature, how it is transferred from hosts, and more importantly how to eradicate its presence in their body, this serves as a tense experience overall. Perhaps the greatest moments of all are when each member of the crew showcases little ticks as lack of sleep and exhaustion get to them, causing viewers to question who, if any of them, may be infected with the parasitic life form.

    This culminates into a wonderful scene where Mulder puts Scully’s trust to the test and they square off with guns held on each other, leading the former to be briefly imprisoned on suspicion of infection while the others search for a cure. Later on there is another brilliant scene between them that ratchets up the tension even further when Doctors Hodge and DaSilva ambush Mulder and Scully, seeking to introduce the alien life form into Mulder’s bloodstream in hopes of combating the one they think is already inside. I won’t completely spoil the twist, but needless to say Mulder isn’t the one who is infected and things play out quite differently than expected, blood-curdling screams and all.

    As with the best moments of the show, “Ice” embraces the cliches of horror thrillers and tense extraterrestrial encounters, making for an interesting homage and an intriguingly moral episode. To top matters off, when Mulder recommends returning to the base in order to more properly investigate the alien life form found there, he is told that the army has destroyed all trace evidence. As will be a continuing theme for the show, there’s something potentially much larger at stake and in play. Conspiracy theorists abound!
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  17. Nov 5, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 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. Expand
  18. Jan 31, 2016
    10
    This is a serie amazing than worth seeing, highly recommended and is a great return of a classic series as x -files...................................
  19. Feb 23, 2016
    5
    As of 2/16/16 I have to change my rating from an 8 to a 5. Seas10 Ep 05 IMO jumped the shark with the addition of two younger (and im sure cheaper for the producers) versions of scully and moulder . one of the actors names is agent Einstein ffs, why not just name the characters "smart guy 1 " and "smart guy 2"??

    but in addition to this , the series as a whole this season seems to be
    As of 2/16/16 I have to change my rating from an 8 to a 5. Seas10 Ep 05 IMO jumped the shark with the addition of two younger (and im sure cheaper for the producers) versions of scully and moulder . one of the actors names is agent Einstein ffs, why not just name the characters "smart guy 1 " and "smart guy 2"??

    but in addition to this , the series as a whole this season seems to be more of a comedy then a mixing of genres like the original. I don't mind funny episodes periodically however it seems like the writers are consistently writing in ways to keep the content on a humorous level, which is not really what I'm looking for when I watch X-Files. what a shame this show had so much going for it.
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  20. Mar 22, 2016
    7
    Trying to appraise the first season of any show is quite different from judging any other season. While all subsequent seasons have some measure of continuity to build off, some experience to guide the cast and crew, some familiarity to play into or away from, the first season literally starts with nothing. Even when there’s a sizeable gap between the production of the pilot and the startTrying to appraise the first season of any show is quite different from judging any other season. While all subsequent seasons have some measure of continuity to build off, some experience to guide the cast and crew, some familiarity to play into or away from, the first season literally starts with nothing. Even when there’s a sizeable gap between the production of the pilot and the start of work on the series proper (with over a year between the filming of The Pilot and Deep Throat), there’s still a sense we’re watching the production team settle into their roles.

    All of this is a round-about way of saying that the first season of The X-Files is not a great season of television, judged on its own merits. It’s certainly not the strongest season of the show, which would go from strength-to-strength over the next three years, while also having an ambitious (if not entirely successful) fifth season. The first season of The X-Files is probably the weakest of the first five years of the show, but to express it in those terms is to miss the point.

    The first season does a pretty great job laying the ground rules for the franchise, and offers a pretty solid indication of the talent involved in the show, if they can figure out what they want to do. (With quite a few episodes serving as examples of what the show doesn’t want to do.)

    Let’s be fair here. The first season contains – depending on your own allowance – somewhere between three and five episodes that still stand with the best the show has ever done. Indeed, you can see how these successes went on to shape the show’s approach to storytelling, as most of the stronger episodes this season were either alien episodes or episodes based around the arc and development of our lead characters.

    Chris Carter’s season closer, The Erlenmeyer Flask, sets the template for the “conspiracy” episodes by tying the show’s first season cliffhanger revolve around shady government cover-ups and alien paranoia. Beyond the Sea deserves consideration when discussing the best Scully episode the show ever produced. E.B.E. and Fallen Angel make a compelling case for the popularity of the mythology arc.

    Interestingly, these aren’t stand-alone tales, they are episodes that tend to tie to a larger internal continuity – even if it’s still hazy at this point. The government conspiracy doesn’t quite exist in any concrete form yet. The Cigarette-Smoking Man has had a single line. Deep Throat was our only true recurring character. However, these episodes provide a context for The X-Files. E.B.E. gives Deep Throat history. Fallen Angel puts the X-Files themselves at stake. Beyond the Sea explains Scully’s central philosophy and motivation.

    The X-Files would become one of the first network television dramas to embrace serialisation, trying to balance the serialised “mytharc”, which often included character arcs for Mulder and Scully, with more conventional episodic adventures. The mytharc doesn’t quite exist yet.

    For now, the first season is more keenly focused on establishing mood and tone, and it does that rather well. Anybody watching the show has a pretty good idea of what the show is capable of doing after twelve episodes – aliens, paranoia, ghost stories, the supernatural and fringe science. Sure, the show would get bolder and more experimental as it went on – there’s nothing here to hint at the gleeful insanity of X-Cops or The Post-Modern Prometheus – but the first season lays some essential groundwork, even if we don’t get much more than a foundation.

    I came to expect that Howard Gordon scripts would be efficient thrillers, tending to focus on Mulder’s paranoia as an entirely justifiable world view. Glenn Morgan and James Wong tended to be a bit more introspective, more sympathetic to Scully’s perspective, and more willing to question the show’s basic concepts. Later on, we’d get writers like Vince Gilligan and John Shiban and Darin Morgan, but it’s interesting to note that certain styles and trends remained clear from the first season.

    The most obvious is the fact that Chris Carter is far from the strongest member of his own writing team. Carter has some great ideas, but he’s not always the best at translating them to screen. His dialogue tends to be over-written and clunky, his philosophical soul-searching excessive and distracting. He seems to struggle, at times, with the voices of the characters he created. Being the show’s guiding light, it’s creator, Carter’s teleplays can seem a little too indulgent – in need of a thorough edit to let the good ideas shine through.

    The first season stumbles a bit when it comes to classic monster stories. Shapes is a werewolf story with Native American trappings, and feels far too generic for its own good.

    The first season of The X-Files isn’t the strongest season of the show. However, it’s a solid starting point. It provides a nice foundation for the years ahead, providing a taste of what was to come.
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  21. May 19, 2016
    10
    Definitely, The X Files series, has been one of the best TV series of all times. Honestly, I have been trying to find the substitute, but in vain. Not because it's the series from my young age, but simply it's irreplaceable. Well done guys!
  22. Jul 31, 2016
    1
    there are some very good episodes from the season 3 to season 5, in the better Twilight Zone style, and some good episodes in some others seasons too, but that's it. The main story behind the series, the conspiracy, is very bad with a lot of gaps that only begin to be explained in the 5th season and as they go deeper in it, it becomes more and more stupid. If they had never tried to createthere are some very good episodes from the season 3 to season 5, in the better Twilight Zone style, and some good episodes in some others seasons too, but that's it. The main story behind the series, the conspiracy, is very bad with a lot of gaps that only begin to be explained in the 5th season and as they go deeper in it, it becomes more and more stupid. If they had never tried to create this main story and kept doing episodes about mysterious phenomenons it would be a nice series, or maybe if they could create a convincing and interesting story. Expand
  23. Mar 5, 2017
    9
    Muy fascínate historia, el desarrollo de la relación entre Mulder y Scully es llevada de gran manera, además de combinar de gran manera casos paranormales con investigaciones detectivescas.
  24. Aug 9, 2017
    7
    The X-Files. Quite an interesting mystical series from the 90's. Aliens ... Perhaps we are not alone in the universe. I would like to believe, but hard to believe.
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: David Hiltbrand
    Jun 26, 2013
    75
    If the producers can keep the mood spooky, this show will have its devoted adherents. Deservedly so.
  2. Baltimore Sun
    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. Orlando Sentinel
    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]