The X-Files: Season 1, Episode 19

Darkness Falls (15 Apr. 1994)
"The X Files" Darkness Falls (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 1,833 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 4 critic

A group of loggers working in a remote forest unearths thousands of deadly insectlike creatures that paralyze and cocoon their victims.



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Episode cast overview:
Larry Moore
Steve Humphreys
Doug Spinney
David Hay ...
Clean-Suited Man
Barry Greene ...
Bob Perkins


Mulder and Scully head off to the Pacific Northwest when there are reports that 30 loggers seem to have simply disappeared. Mulder is aware of a similar case for the 1930s and along with a Forest Ranger and a representative of the logging company, the agents head off into the woods. They know that environmental activists are active in the area and when they come across one of them, he says that a swarm of bugs that only comes out at night is responsible for the deaths. A body they find wrapped in a bug cocoon seems to bear out his claim. With no way to communicate with the outside world and with the gas for the generator running low, they have to find a way to survive. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

15 April 1994 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was intended to be a bottle episode, based in a single location to save money, but bad weather plagued production. It was one of the toughest episodes of the season for the crew. The weather delayed production so much that pick-up shots and inserts had to be filmed later on to finish. Delays were also caused by the inaccessibility of the location, since only generators, camera equipment and first aid crew were able to stay on-site, and time was wasted commuting staff in each day. See more »


Scully says the first insects appeared around 600 million years ago. However, insects did not evolve until 400-450 million years ago. 600 million years ago, no animals existed at all on the land, and the very first terrestrial plant life was only just appearing. Anyway, she herself admitted not being an expert about insects. See more »


Scully: What do you think?
Mulder: I think I'm going to suggest we sleep with the lights on.
See more »


Referenced in Gone Home (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Mulder and Scully need to keep things light if they don't want to bug out.
18 February 2014 | by (Edinburgh.) – See all my reviews

Written by Chris Carter, and directed by Joe Napolitano, "Darkness Falls" is an episode from season one that I really like. Oh, it's nothing new, neither in terms of the killer bug idea or the notion of staying safe in the light, but it's a fun episode with an enjoyably downbeat ending.

When a bunch of loggers go missing, about thirty in total, Mulder decides to head to the forest area they were working in. He wants to investigate the matter fully, before assuming that it was the work of eco-terrorists, and he convinces Scully to join him. Once they get there, with two men who will help them navigate the area (one a forest ranger and one a representative of the logging company), they soon discover that the men who have disappeared may have been affected by more than just eco-terrorists. In fact, one such eco-terrorist (Titus Welliver)is still around to try and convince them of the truth.

Really standard stuff in a lot of ways, I just like this episode because, well, I just do. Sometimes it IS that simple when it comes down to my taste in viewing choices. Nothing I can quite put my finger on, but enough all on screen to make me happy.

The banter here isn't the smartest or wittiest, but the very slight twists and turns, while never surprising in the slightest, keep the episode ticking along nicely, as characters take turns at being suspicious of, and/or irritated by, one another. Mulder is as naively optimistic as usual, while Scully loses her cool in one moment that runs counter to almost every other display of her behaviour on the show.

Perhaps I like this episode more than most people because of how I didn't really love the preceding episodes, or perhaps it just felt like things were picking up as season one headed toward its final few episodes. Whatever the case, this remains a bit of a favourite of mine from the first season.

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