'The X-Files' Pilot Was Missing Those Iconic Opening Credits & 8 More Things You Forgot About The Series' Very First Episode
After months of waiting and anticipation, it's finally time to see what The X-Files revival has in store for us and I couldn't possibly be more excited. I mean, I appreciated the efforts of the 2008 film I Want To Believe, but Mulder and Scully's storylines seem far better suited to the small screen and it's basically every fan's dream come true to have them back — even if it is for a miniseries rather than a full season. It's hard to believe that there are over 200 episodes in the original series and I did my best to re-watch every single one. (I'm kidding, it didn't require that much effort.) But now that the revival is upon us, I felt the need to watch The X-Files pilot for old time's sake.
What surprised me the most during my re-watch was that Chris Carter didn't pull any punches and the pilot is most definitely one of the series' creepiest episodes. It also successfully set up multiple arcs that would play an important role throughout the entire nine seasons — Mulder and Scully's unlikely bond, the Cigarette Smoking Man's devious ways, and the agents' propensity to run around in the dark woods. So, without further ado, here are nine moments from the pilot that I'd totally forgotten about:
1. It Kicked Off With This Super Creepy Title Card
I'm not going to sugarcoat it — I got a little nervous when this was the first thing that appeared on my TV screen. In my defense, this episode is super creepy and I watched it alone at 2 a.m. Needless to say, I frantically searched the web for confirmation that the pilot is, in fact, based on real events to no avail. If these documented accounts exist, I assure you they're nowhere to be found. So, uh, that's comforting.
2. The Opening Credits Were Missing
This isn't really out of the ordinary for a pilot episode, but The X-Files boasts one of the most iconic opening credits sequences ever. In fact, they're being kept exactly the same for the revival because at this point it would feel like sacrilege to change them. So, it's a little strange to watch an episode that doesn't have the signature music and images that we've come to associate with the show.
3. Mulder & Scully Were So Young
Is it just me or do these two look like they may not even be of legal drinking age? As it turns out, Gillian Anderson was only 24 years old when she was cast as Dana Scully. David Duchovny is eight years older than her, but it's still crazy to think about how long both actors have embodied their characters.
4. "There's Nobody Down Here But The FBI's Most Unwanted"
This is the warm greeting that Mulder gave Scully when she knocked on his door to introduce herself — and he followed it with the declaration that she was there to "spy" on him. Good old Mulder, paranoid as always.
5. Let's Just Take A Minute To Appreciate Mulder's Running Attire
Why did Mulder stop going for late night runs? Whatever became of this fantastic baseball cap? Some X-Files mysteries will remain forever unsolved.
6. Mulder & Scully Spent A Lot Of Time In The Dark Woods
Of course, they brought their trusty flashlights. The iconic opening credits might be missing from the pilot, but it's good to remember that Mulder and Scully jumped right into their signature activities — like entering the dark woods at night, promptly separating, and running directly towards danger.
7. Scully Had An Uncharacteristic Moment Of Panic
Scully momentarily panics when she sees markings on her back that resemble wounds on the victims they're investigating — until Mulder determines that they're just mosquito bites. She doesn't lose her cool again until approximately five seasons later, so it's pretty humorous to see her behaving so out of character.
8. Mulder & Scully's First Bonding Session Mirrored The Series Finale
When Mulder opens up to Scully about his sister's abduction and how it's impacted his entire life and career, it's the first sign that they're about to form a real, trusting bond. And, in the series finale, the last scene mirrors this one in multiple ways — from the hotel room to the pouring rain outside to their nearly identical positions. Except, in the finale, they discuss everything that's happened over the past nine years and how it's led them to believe in many of the same things.
9. The Cigarette Smoking Man Was Already Watching Mulder & Scully
The iconic villain was present right from the start. He doesn't have any spoken lines in the pilot, but the Cigarette Smoking Man is present during Scully's initial briefing and he's later shown getting rid of the evidence that Mulder and Scully brought back from their first investigation together.
Now that we've enjoyed that walk down memory lane, we are fully prepared for the revival and I'll just be patiently (OK, maybe impatiently) waiting until 10 p.m. on Jan 24.
Images: Screengrabs/FOX (9); Giphy