A Paranormal Bouquet of Inspiration
The Truth is out There
The X-Files has always held a special place in my heart. From staying up late anxiously awaiting a new episode as a child, to enthusiastically binge watching it as an adult, the show has always maintained its allure. It incorporates many mythos and urban legends, has excellent contrast between personalities, contains resilient characters, invites viewers to question constructs, and is chockfull of nineties nostalgia.
Agents Mulder and Scully tackle bad guys, the supernatural, and the government whilst investigating a new case from the X-Files every episode. The X-files is a cloak-and-dagger facet of the FBI that deals with cases of paranormal phenomenon. There are many exhilarating circumstances showcased, ranging from psychic phenomenon, the Jersey Devil, vampires, and even giant parasitic worms. One of the most thrilling and frequent themes of the show is questioning the existence of extraterrestrial life, which is always a fantastic way to pass the time! The X-Files was a major influence in steering me towards a lifelong fascination with cryptozoology and ufology.
The X-Files was graced with excellent writers whom crafted authentic characters that were able to complement each other marvelously. Scully always being the scientist and the sceptic, while Mulder devoted himself to the supernatural and the unknown. Their relationship didn’t suffer. They didn’t get angry at each other and explode anytime they tried to have a discussion. Instead, they genuinely listened to one another’s perspectives, considered both sides, and then generally met somewhere in the middle, or at the very least politely agreed to disagree.
Complimentary characters like Skinner, Deepthroat, Alex Kyrcek, or the Cigarette Smoking Man added another layer of depth to the show. One is always left wondering what side they were actually on or what move they would make next, and continually hoping to get another glimpse of the eccentric characters. Most importantly they are often a reminder to viewers to be cautious with whom they trust.
Dana Scully was one of the first powerful female characters to be crafted for television, and was truly ahead of her time. The directors made a risky decision at the time, by forgoing a scantily clad female character (Pamela Anderson was originally being considered for the role of Scully) and instead creating an intelligent hard-working professional, who has since been attributed to mainstreaming women in STEM careers.
She is savvy, brazen, medically trained, and a kickass special agent in the FBI. Whether conducting autopsies, pursuing a suspect in high heels, or subduing an attacker, Scully can do it all. Even after dealing with traumatizing events she always comes back more determined and formidable than ever. Watching her always made me daydream of being an FBI Agent when I was a child. Many would say the FBI wasn’t a feasible option for a woman, but I disregarded such nonsense and continued to live vicariously through Scully as I still do to this day.
Fox Mulder is a unique character who breaks the paradigm of many characters found on television. Delivering witty one-liners, and exhibiting such quirks as a sunflower seed fixation, he is a character who is one of a kind. A staunch believer in the paranormal and willing to go to any means to prove its existence. While his coworkers and the majority of society label him as a kook, he never waivers from his beliefs. Mulder isn’t afraid to question anything, from government conspiracies to the bizarre behaviors of a computer. He is unwavering, even knowing that the truth is deeply buried, and that reaching it will not only compromise his reputation, but place his life in the crosshairs. His unfaltering convictions are a continual inspiration in everyday life.
Governments, reputable corporations, trusted figures, and even entire countries have committed travesties under the guise of a lie, and The X-Files is not afraid to examine this. Whether a corporation testing out experimental technology on unknowing participants or the government harboring extraterrestrials at Area 51. Mulder is always pushing boundaries in order to be able to investigate things unconventionally. He is well aware that even if a government agency or a well-known media outlet verify something as true, that doesn’t mean it is.
Mulder and Scully constantly go to extreme lengths to do their own research, find alternative sources, and then make a determination for themselves. This is an incredibly important practice that I believe has shaped my life since childhood. I got involved in organizations such as MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) at a young age, was constantly going to the library to do independent research, and was often glued to my radio many nights listening to Coast to Coast AM (A radio show spotlighting paranormal and conspiracy theories). People appeared so affronted that I dared to consider seeking my own truths, that I knew it was the right path. Every individual should be encouraged to do independent research and ask themselves hard-hitting questions. It can be uncomfortable and lead to disapproval and vitriol, but in the end, one has to stop and wonder, what are they trying so hard to conceal?
Growing up in the nineties was a unique experience that I’ve come to appreciate it more and more as time flies by. Watching The X-Files again is like having my own little time machine. It takes me back to when I was an aspirant child, dreaming of all the different career possibilities and adventures I would go on. I intended to be a lawyer, archeologist, doctor, and FBI Agent, all at once. The X-Files contained various aspects from all these fields and numerous others, placing no limits on inspiration.
It is fuel for the imagination, introducing different creatures and enigmas every episode. It turns our eyes to the night sky and makes us second guess the howling wind in the middle of the night. It also embodies the last era before technology greatly changed how people lived. Seeing Scully and Mulder actually have full length conversations, whether on the road or at a park, and not just seeing them living half their days through their smartphones? Priceless.
The days where if one wished to speak to someone they actually had to call or meet up with them in real life, are ones I personally cherish. Car phones, pagers, boxy computers, and a world that didn’t revolve around the internet. The show is truly able to concentrate on the multifaceted characters, complex relationships, and the thrill of methodically investigating incidents in the physical world with tangible evidence, rather than just scrolling and clicking buttons.
The X-Files will always be a show I return to. Whether due to a hankering for a supernatural fix, a desire to revisit fascinating individuals, a yearning for the spirited Scully and Mulder, to remind myself to always question everything, or to just to take a trip into the past, The X-Files will forever remain a part of my life.
“You two came along and you taught me not to hide from it but to have the guts to shine a light directly into the darkest corners and if given the choice between advancing my career by being blindly loyal to some faceless puppeteers pulling strings from the shadows or to throw in with you two? Make no mistake about it, I'd make the same decision every single damn time.” -Skinner, The X-Files
About the author
M.R. Cameo generally writes horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and nonfiction, yet enjoys dabbling in different genres. She is currently doing freelance work as a writer, ghostwriter, copywriter, editor, and proofreader for various publications.