The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (10 Sep. 1993)
"The X Files" Pilot (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 6,886 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 4 critic

Agent Dana Scully is instructed to debunk an FBI project dubbed "The X-Files," paranormal cases that have been reopened by Agent Fox Mulder.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Cioffi ...
Dr. Jay Nemman (as Cliff DeYoung)
Sarah Koskoff ...
Zachary Ansley ...
Coroner Truitt
Dr. Glass
Alexandra Berlin ...
Ken Camroux ...
Third Man
Doug Abrahams ...
Patrolman #1 (as Doug Abrams)
Peggy O'Dell (as Katya Gardener)


Skeptical FBI Special Agent Dana Katherine Scully is reassinged by Divison Chief Scott Blevins to work with the "believer" Fox William Mulder. Their first case together takes them to Bellefleur, Oregon; where the fourth member of the BHS class of '89 has been found dead...with two mysterious pink marks on her back, which all other victims have had. Written by Marc-David Jacobs <>

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trust no one

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Release Date:

10 September 1993 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Scully is called to the office for the first time, the Cigarette Smoking Man is actually smoking a cigarette. See more »


In the exhumation scene at the cemetery, the digger driver is seen climbing down from his vehicle as Mulder and Scully pull up in their car. In the next shot you can clearly see the driver getting out of the digger again as Mulder and Scully are greeted by the police/authorities. See more »


[Mulder opens a coffin that just rolled down the hill]
Coroner John Truitt: This isn't official procedure.
Special Agent Fox Mulder: [sarcastically] Really.
See more »


Featured in Secrets of the X Files, Part 1 (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Truth Is Out There
3 August 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

"Agent Mulder. I'm Dana Scully, I've been assigned to work with you." "Oh, really? I was under the impression that you were sent to spy on me." That classic exchange marks the beginning of one of the most intriguing small-screen partnerships of all time, and also of one of the most influential and accomplished genre shows since The Twilight Zone.

The collaboration between Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) isn't born out of the best circumstances: as he implies, she has in fact been asked to spy on him. They're both highly qualified FBI agents, but whereas Scully uses her medical abilities to boost her career, Mulder has seemingly thrown away his potential (he's one of the Bureau's best profilers) to pursue his own paranoid projects. He is now in charge of the X-files, i.e. all those unsolved cases which have been dismissed as unexplainable. He, of course, is convinced that there is an explanation for each of them, no matter how extravagant his theories might get. What else to expect from a man whose office (basically an FBI basement) is filled with newspaper articles about the Roswell incident, aliens and whatnot, not to mention a poster with a flying saucer and the phrase "I want to believe" written on it?

The duo's first assignment is classic X-Files: a series of bizarre teenage deaths in a small-town community. All the bodies present two unidentified pink marks, and when the exhumation of one of the corpses reveals there's more to the case than meets the eye, it's no wonder Mulder asks Scully: "Do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrials?" Meanwhile, back in Washington D.C., the mysterious Cigarette-Smoking Man (William B. Davis) might know more about these events than anyone at the Bureau is willing to admit.

This pilot episode is a virtually seamless blend of the two kinds of stories that marked the show over the course of its nine-year run: on the one hand, it's a standalone tale with the main function of introducing the protagonists and the basic structure of the series' narrative - weird case, wild theory, investigation, possible rational solution (or not); on the other, it inserts the first small hints of the program's more complex story lines, the so-called mythology or "mytharc", at the beginning and at the end of the episode (the presence of the Smoking Man is the clearest evidence of this). In doing so, series creator Chris Carter ensures casual viewers might feel compelled to give it another try without the obvious cliffhanger gimmick, while those who pay more attention to details will find enough reasons to follow the slow, gripping unfolding of the conspiracy-style subplot.

Besides, the thriller-like plotting is the only major ongoing story that takes place in the series, or at least in the early seasons: one of the main pleasures of watching Mulder and Scully together, aside from the palpable chemistry between Duchovny and Anderson, has to do with the fact that whatever sexual tension there is between them, they're too busy chasing little green men to respond to those urges. If there has to be a deeper discussion about anything, it will have to do with the everlasting debate: faith or science? This episode, like the show in general, doesn't give a straight answer, and that's just another ingredient that makes The X-Files such an exquisite televised dish.

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