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'X-Files' A to X Guide

by AOL TV Staff, posted Jul 21st 2008 6:00AM
What you need to know before seeing 'I Want To Believe.'

It's been six (long) years since 'X-Files' creator Chris Carter ended his search for the truth with a cliffhanger -- with Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully on the run (and in bed together!).

With 'I Want to Believe' hitting theaters July 25, we thought we should help fans brush up on the 200-plus hours of mythology, conspiracy and phenomena that led us to believe "the truth is out there."

Click on to read more about Abduction, X-Philes, and everything in between.



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It's been six (long) years since 'X-Files' creator <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/chris-carter/240986' target='_blank'>Chris Carter</a> ended his search for the truth with a cliffhanger -- with Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully on the run (and in bed together!). With <a href='http://www.moviefone.com/movie/the-x-files-i-want-to-believe/31906/main' target='_blank'>'I Want to Believe'</a> hitting theaters Friday, we thought we should help fans brush up on the 200-plus hours of mythology, conspiracy and phenomena that led us to believe "the truth is out there."

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A Is for Abduction

Mulder was changed forever when his sister Samantha was abducted by aliens -- his search for answers about her fate (and his feelings of guilt over her disappearance) formed the basis for his belief in the supernatural. Ironic, then, that his partner in crimefighting, Dana Scully, was also kidnapped -- but at least she came back, seemingly unharmed (though her later bout of cancer was possibly related).

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B Is for Basement

Fox and his X-files were relegated -- tellingly -- to the basement of the FBI's Washington, D.C., headquarters. Though the Bureau would've been happy to shut him down (and did, several times), Mulder bravely soldiered on in his quixotic quest for the truth. The office was cluttered, disheveled and packed full of manila folders (including the very first X-file, opened by J. Edgar Hoover), but Mulder must've had his own filing system -- he never lost a page.

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C Is for Cigarette Smoking Man

A member of the shadowy Syndicate, CSM (aka "Cancer Man") had his hand in everything, from the government's cover-up of aliens to the abduction of Mulder's sister to the assassination of JFK. Naturally, he also turned out to be Mulder's father; and as evil as he was, we couldn't help but feel a pang when he was gunned down by helicopters on a Navajo reservation.

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D Is for Deep Throat

A former CIA operative, the mysterious Deep Throat was crucial to Mulder's early investigations in the X-Files, feeding the agent privileged information about the government conspiracy while continuing his work as a member of the Syndicate. In the end, his actions caught up with him, and he was gunned down after trying to save Mulder's life. His last words: "Trust no one."

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E Is for Eugene Tooms

The series' first ever "monster of the week," Eugene Tooms (played by <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/doug-hutchison/34168' target='_blank'>Doug Hutchison</a>, pictured) was a genetic mutant who could squeeze his body into impossible places -- like the toilet, ewww. He'd sneak up on victims in their homes and rip out their livers for dinner, feasting five times every 30 years and hibernating between attacks in a nest made of shredded newspaper and bile. Sounds like a real catch.

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F Is for <a href='http://www.moviefone.com/movie/the-x-files/1120119/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'Fight the Future'</font></a>

Was 'The X-Files: Fight the Future' a movie, or just a really long episode? Let's see, there was an exploding building, a cornfield, a swarm of bees, a ginormous UFO ... but what we remember most are two things: 1) Mulder got to curse! 2) Scully was stung by a bee (which carried the alien virus) just as she and Mulder were FINALLY about to kiss. Aliens ruin everything.

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G Is for Guest Stars

Hollywood actors -- like <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/lucy-liu/267831' target='_blank'>Lucy Liu</a>, <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/luke-wilson/200995' target='_blank'>Luke Wilson</a>, <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/terry-oquinn/53623' target='_blank'>Terry O'Quinn</a>, <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/richard-belzer/5240' target='_blank'>Richard Belzer</a> and <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/tony-shalhoub/64745' target='_blank'>Tony Shalhoub</a> -- were so hot to be a part of the 'X-Files' phenomenon, they ditched sunny L.A. for woodsy Vancouver just to guest star. Most memorably, the late veteran actor <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/peter-boyle/82691' target='_blank'>Peter Boyle</a> scored an Emmy for his portrayal of a psychic helping Mulder track down a serial killer.

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H Is for 'Home'

Of the "monster of the week" episodes, 'Home,' which was banned on network TV after it aired, was by far the creepiest. We can't erase the memory of a limbless Mama Peacock being wheeled out from under the bed by her deformed, inbred sons. We still can't hear <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/johnny-mathis/46407' target='_blank'>Johnny Mathis'</a> 'Wonderful! Wonderful!' without shuddering in horror. There's no place like 'Home' ... and thank goodness for that.

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I Is for <a href='http://www.moviefone.com/movie/the-x-files-i-want-to-believe/31906/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'I Want to Believe'</font></a>

Six years after the series finale and 10 years after the first movie, series creator <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/chris-carter/240986' target='_blank'>Chris Carter</a> promises that when 'Believe' opens on Friday, fans and newbies will leave satisfied. Ditching much of the series' complex mythology in favor of a stand-alone thriller, the flick picks up six years after the last episode. Killer bees, arctic aliens, whatever -- just give us more Mulder-on-Scully action.

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J Is for Jefferey Spender

Spender's story exemplifies what was so twisted about the 'X' mythology. Introduced as a young FBI agent with a disdain for paranormal nonsense, the truth eventually revealed that his mother was a multiple-abductee, his father was the Cigarette Smoking Man (who later shot and tortured him) and that his nemesis -- Fox Mulder -- was actually his half-brother. Oh snap!

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K Is for Krycek

If all bad guys were this good-looking, maybe they wouldn't be getting such a bad rap. Alex Krycek started off as an FBI agent who was secretly reporting on Mulder's work to the Cigarette Smoking Man; as the series went on, he helped out whoever best served his purposes, be it the Syndicate, the FBI ... or the Russians who amputated his arm to save him from the alien black oil.

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L Is for Lone Gunmen

What would 'The X-Files' be without this trio of conspiracy theorists so nutty, they made Mulder look sane? Mulder's hacker pals Melvin (the short one), Langly (the blond one) and Byers (the one with the beard) could always be counted on for comedy and genius in equal measures; and when their spinoff failed, they returned to 'X-Files' to die heroically in Season 9.

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M Is for Mulder

He believed in aliens and government conspiracies; he hung out with geeks; he was obsessed with his sister; he had a thing for porn. Special agent Fox "Spooky" Mulder was one of TV's most unconventional heroes -- not to mention a certifiable hottie. Something about his brilliance, his lonely idealism, his passion for the truth and that snarky wit made us swoon ... and want to believe, too.

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N Is for Navajo

Native American mythology is threaded through the series, but Navajo had a special place in the 'X'-iverse. Mulder found a document, purportedly the history of the X-Files, coded in Navajo; he was later saved by Navajo healer Albert Hosteen, who appeared again to translate writing Scully recognized as Navajo that was found on a spaceship. It was the language used in WWII code talking.

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O Is for Oilean

The holy grail of the 'X-Files' mythology, black oil is a sentient, alien virus that invades human bodies with the goal of repopulating Earth. In the 1998 movie, it was revealed that the revealed that the Syndicate (including Well Manicured Man, above) allowed killer bees to carry black oil to the masses so they could develop a vaccine and save the planet. They failed, and the colonization is still set for Dec. 22, 2012.

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P Is for Paranoia

Sure, Mulder can be a little paranoid, but considering the massive worldwide conspiracy to colonize the planet with alien clones, he'd be crazier if he weren't a tad squirrelly, wouldn't he? And if you think Fox is neurotic, he's a rock compared to those poster boys of paranoia, the Lone Gunmen. RIP, fellas.

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Q Is for Quantico

Based in Virginia, the real-life location of the FBI Academy played a key role in Scully's career. She taught forensics there for two years before getting called down to Mulder's X-Files division. Scully returned to her teaching gig (effectively covering Gillian Anderson's pregnancy) when the division closed at the end of season 1, and again in the final season, handing investigations over to Doggett and Reyes.

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R Is for Repressed Memories

Mulder is haunted by the night his sister disappeared, and many other mysteries of his childhood. Thanks to the periodic recovery of repressed memories, he learns that she was taken, experimented on, killed and cloned ... or was she? As with the real-life phenomena of repressed memory, Mulder's recollections raise as many questions as answers.

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S Is for Scully

Originally paired with Mulder to debunk his crazy UFO theories, FBI agent Dana Scully -- skeptic, forensic pathologist, believer in God and science -- became Mulder's truest partner, both in work and in romance. Along the way she was abducted, her sister was killed and she developed cancer ... but she never ceased being the hottest redhead on TV (sorry, <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/lucille-ball/3574' target='_blank'>Lucille Ball</a>).

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T Is for 'The Truth Is Out There'

Believing that, well, the truth was out there kept Mulder loyal to his cause, despite hitting dead ends and running up against the same obstacles again and again. Mulder, and eventually Scully with him, weren't quitters ... until the final season of the show.

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U Is for UFO

The poster on Mulder's office wall encapsulates it all -- a UFO with the caption "I Want to Believe." Though actually seeing flying saucers was never really the point, it was the fallout from those encounters that mattered: alien abductions, ancient writings on extraterrestrial artifacts ... and have we mentioned the whole worldwide conspiracy to populate the earth with alien clones?

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V Is for Vancouver

Rainy, foggy and forested, Vancouver lent the show just the right amount of dark, creepy mystique. The pilot called for a good forest, so production headed north of the border for a three week shoot -- and didn't leave until the end of season 5, when the whole shebang moved to L.A. so <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/david-duchovny/20329' target='_blank'>David Duchovny</a> could be closer to his wife, <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/tea-leoni/41892/' target='_blank'>Tea Leoni</a>.

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W Is for William

Did the 'X-Files' writers have it planned all along? Both Scully and Mulder's fathers were named William, and so when Scully -- mysteriously -- bore a son, and it was revealed -- incredibly -- that Mulder was the proud pop (we always suspected those two were undercover lovers ... maybe), there was really no other name to consider. Welcome baby William.

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X Is for X-Philes

Just as Mulder and Scully were relying on e-mail and hackers (thank you, Lone Rangers) to follow trails, viewers were burning up message boards, newsgroups and listservs -- and later fan sites, wikis and blogs -- to turn a small group of geeky fans into a global phenomenon known as the "X-Philes." They kept the trail hot for nine seasons and will no doubt be first in line to 'Believe' <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/chris-carter/240986' target='_blank'>Chris Carter's</a> latest installment.

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