21 things you might not know about THE X-FILES

With news arriving that The X-Files is returning to TV, Geek Dave goes in search of the truth...

1. Chris Carter was inspired to create The X-Files after reading a report claiming that 3.7 million Americans believe they may have been abducted by aliens. There's your core audience right there!

2. Amongst the actors who were considered for the role of Mulder were Bruce Campbell, Adam Baldwin, Dean Cain and Lou Diamond Phillips.

3. After David Duchovny was offered the part of Fox Mulder he recommended his friend, and college classmate, Jennifer Beals (Flashdance) for the role of Scully.

4. Creator Chris Carter found his Scully in Gillian Anderson, but the network executives weren't so keen. In a memo they suggested he cast a "taller, leggier, blonder and breastier" actress.

5. In the pilot episode Dana Scully originally had a boyfriend named Ethan Minette. He was added in under the insistence of Fox executives because they felt with Mulder and Scully's platonic relationship the show did not have enough "romantic interest". Chris Carter went along with the network's idea, but then cut all the scenes and the character, insisting the relationship between Mulder and Scully was much more interesting and needed the screen time.

6. In September 1993 Entertainment Weekly ran a preview article for the new shows beginning that Fall on US television. When it came to The X-Files they printed the shows tag-line 'The truth is out there', and then added "...We know - this show's a goner." How'd that prediction turn out for you EW?

7. It does not say Federal Bureau of Investigation on Mulder and Scully's FBI badges. That's because even if it's just being made for a prop on a TV show, it is illegal to make a fake FBI badge. Instead they read: The Federal Bureau of Justice, United States Department of Investigation.

8. That theme tune which we all know and love was created by accident. Composer Mark Snow rested his elbow on the keyboard with the echo function on. Chris Carter walked into the room and  liked the 'creepy' sound, so Snow built the whole theme around it.

9. When she wasn't walking, Gillian Anderson spent a lot of time stood on a specially constructed box! This was because she is 10" shorter than David Duchovny.

10. Gillian Anderson initially based her character, Dana Scully, on Jodie Foster’s performance as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. When Foster declined to return for the Lambs sequel, Hannibal, Anderson was approached. However she was unable to take the part because written into her X-Files contract was a clause preventing her playing any other FBI agent.

11. The reason Cigarette Smoking Man has that name was because he was only supposed to be an extra, leaning against a filing cabinet in the pilot episode. He was smoking, and so was given that moniker, and also Cancerman, in the early episodes. William B. Davis impressed series creator Chris Carter so much that he made the Cigarette Smoking Man a recurring character and the main antagonist of the series. Many of the producers were worried that this 'extra' would not be able to carry the part, little did they know that Davis was actually one of the most well respected acting teachers in Canada. Amongst his students Lucy Lawless, who, of course, went on to play Shannon McMahon on The X-Files.

12. William B. Davis had quit smoking when he landed the role, and had not had a cigarette in over two years. At first the cigarettes he smoked on the show were real, until he realised he was starting to become addicted again and getting cravings for tobacco when he was not in character. At his request, from Season 3 onwards the cigarettes were herbal.

13. Remember in season 2 when Scully was abducted? It was written in to the series because Gillian Anderson was pregnant. However, whilst she was away those nasty network executives actively campaigned to have Anderson replaced by another actress full time - probably a "breastier" one. Boo! Chris Carter adamantly denied their request. Yay!

14. Nicholas Lea had already appeared as a different character in the Season 1 episode "Gender Bender" when he was cast as Alex Krycek. The character was originally only meant to appear in three episodes whilst Gillian Anderson was on maternity leave, but Krycek ended up appearing in 23 episodes across 8 seasons.

15. The X-Files had it's fair share of guest stars, including some actors who got their big break on the series, like Luke Wilson, Seth Green, Ryan Reynolds, Mark Sheppard, Shia LeBouf, Lucy Liu and Jack Black.

16. The man who went on to create Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan, submitted a script for The X-Files as a freelance writer. This became the Season 2 story "Soft Light". So impressed with the episode, Chris Carter invited Gilligan to become a staff writer, and contributed 29 more scripts. He also went on to act as a Producer on the series.

17. One of the most successful and well remembered episodes of The X-Files was Season 4's "Home". It was the very first ever episode of the series to receive a viewer discretion warning for graphic content. Surprisingly, one of the inspirations for the story came from an anecdote in Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography. He wrote about a time he was staying at a tenement home, he met a quadruple amputee who was pulled from under a bed by his family. The man “flopped around” while his family sang and danced. That's some evening!

18. Mitch Pileggi, who played Walter Skinner, met his wife Arlene Warren on the set of The X-Files while she was working as Gillian Anderson's stand-in! Later in the series, she gets some screen time, as Skinner's secretary, Arlene. I'm sure you'll agree, it's quite a resemblance...

19. Before Season 7 went in to production, David Duchovny sued 20th Century Fox because he believed they had undersold the rights to the show to their own affiliates, and so thereby costing him lots of money. Duchovny was awarded a settlement of about $20 million. This put considerable strain on the relationship between the star and the network.

20. In the title sequence for Season 8, the eye that Fox Mulder falls into is that of Gillian Anderson.

21. The X-Files is returning to TV for a six episode limited series, no transmission date has been set as yet but it's likely to be 2016. Will this be the last we see of Mulder & Scully? Or might there be more stories to tell?

The show has already spawned two cinematic movies, in 1998 and 2008, but a third still remains a possibility. In an interview published in October 2013, Chris Carter revealed:
"It's really up to 20th Century Fox, whether they have the will to do it. I think all of us are interested in putting the band back together. I have an idea for a third movie in my head. The colonisation date has passed [December 22, 2012] and that is something we wouldn't ignore. For the second movie, we only had the budget for a stand-alone story, but we want to go back to the mythology."
Which is exactly what we'd want to see, right? Six episodes in 2016 and then maybe a movie in 2018, one film a decade!

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