ARTICLE: THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO THE X-FILES
watched a single episode of the X-Files yet? Or just the occasional episode or two? Afraid
you'll be completely lost while watching the new big screen X-Files
movie? Then don't fear - with The Sci-Fi Movie Page's Beginner's Guide to the X-Files
you'll get the rundown on who's who and what's what in this popular TV show.
all the basic information you'll need so as not to be completely lost while watching the
THE GOOD GUYS
FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder
Mulder (he's never called Fox) saw his older sister
being abducted by aliens right from in front of him as a ten-year-old boy. Needless to say
this sort of experience somewhat colors one's adulthood, so Mulder joined the FBI where
he was put in charge of the X-Files. The X-Files are basically a collection of cases that
was never solved by the FBI - such as Mulder's sister's disappearance for starters and
usually involves all kinds of unexplained and paranormal phenomena.
FBI Special Agent Dana Scully
Scully (in the X-Files universe everybody names each
other by their surnames) was appointed by her superiors to debunk the work and assumptions
of Special Agent Mulder. Having a sound scientific training as a medical practitioner, she
seemed the ideal choice for this task. Nicknamed "Spooky" by his colleagues,
Mulder is the believer (in UFOs, extraterrestrial, the supernatural, etc.) in the whole
equation whilst Scully is the skeptic. But after having witnessed too many unexplained
events (such as being kidnapped by aliens herself), Scully needless to say isn't such a
skeptic anymore - so now she and Mulder makes quite a unique team even she still provides
the "scientific" analysis of whatever happens in the show.
OTHER GOOD GUYS
A unique team? How unique? Well, despite being quite a hot couple they have never so much
as kissed in the entire television series, never mind jump into the sack! (Gillian
Anderson who plays Scully is often dubbed "the thinking man's sex symbol" -
don't be fooled by those conservative clothes she wears, man, she is HOT!) So the key
concept that explains their relationship is "strictly platonic".
POSSIBLE GOOD GUYS
The Lone Gunmen
Supplying both comic relief and important bits of information are the Lone Gunmen.
Playing like the Marx Brothers (both Karl and Groucho!) they are a trio of paranoid
renegades who often supplies Mulder with key bits of information.
In the quintessentially 'Nineties universe of The X-Files it
pays off not to trust others. The following characters may or may not be "good
guys". Chances are that they are merely following their own agenda (which isn't
necessarily the same as Mulder and Scully's) or may be in the pay of the bad guys. So who
FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner
Mulder and Scully's boss. Is he to be trusted? Do you trust your boss? In earlier episodes
his loyalty to our intrepid FBI heroes was questionable, but in later episodes he seems to
have turned into a friend. Or has he?
The Various Informants
Pouncing from the shadows at opportune moments usually dressed in trench coats, the various
informants in the show serves the same function as the anonymous crew members of the
Starship Enterprise who beam down to alien planets: they are usually expendable.
The X-Files has played like a Biblical epic drenched in the
blood of lead characters - usually the informers' blood. In fact, one scene had a dying
informant write cryptic words in his own blood while lying in the hallway in front of
Mulder's apartment! (Fans of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books
might be gratified to learn that Mulder stays in apartment number 42.)
Supplying Mulder and Scully with hints and tips, they always seem
frustratingly unwilling to supply the two agents with any definite information. The main
informant in the movie is a Dr. Kurtzweil (played by Martin Landau) who
may or may not know more than he is willing to let on. Informants may or may not be in the
pay of the bad guys.
THE BAD GUYS
The chief bad guys are a group known simply (and ominously) as the Syndicate, a group
of international government insiders and businessmen. The main conspirators are portrayed
by (left to right) John Neville as The Well-Manicured Man, Armin
Mueller-Stahl as Conrad Strughold and William B. Davis as The
The bad guys are obviously up to something - but what exactly? It would
seem that there is a plot underfoot involving aliens, ex-WWII criminal scientists and
experiments on human subjects. However, the odds are that we are talking global Armageddon
stuff here . . .
In the impossibly vague smoke and mirrors world of The X-Files,
there are many theories on what is exactly happening. But you don't have to sweat any of
that - X-Files cases are seldomly solved and that is part of the show's appeal.
Mulder's father was in with the Syndicate. That is, until wracked by
guilt, he decided to tell Mulder everything. He was however killed by an assassin sent by
The Cigarette-Smoking Man (dubbed Cancer Man by fans because of the proclivity to light up
wherever and whenever). Why don't they simply kill Mulder? In the "Unopened File"
episodes of Season Three it was revealed that Mulder has dirt on the Syndicate which could
destroy their well-laid plans. But this isn't a very good explanation of why the Syndicate
is tolerating Mulder. Cancer Man and Mulder's father were both friends and colleagues.
Some of this had led to speculations that Cancer Man has been protecting Mulder because -
wait for this - he may be Mulder's actual father! As yet, there has been no "I am
your father, Mulder" type of revelations. . .
The Syndicate may be in cahoots with fellow alien conspirators, but they
don't trust the aliens it would seem. Nor do they trust each other as well! So expect some
members (such as Cancer Man) to be possible good guys in disguise. The Syndicate could be
good guys themselves (despite their underhanded tactics) and trying to outwit their alien
co-conspirators. Who knows?
Confused yet? Now you're ready to go watch the X-Files movie . . .