In 1990 Mulder investigates the death of a man who disappeared in 1952 before he could be charged in a series of bizarre killings. The retired agent who worked the 1952 case recounts the facts to Mulder and the connection to his father.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dana Scully (credit only)
Young Arthur Dales (as Fredric Lane)
Edward Skur
Hayes Michel
David Moreland ...
Mrs. Skur
David Fredericks ...
The Director
Roger Haskett ...
Dorothy Bahnsen
Douglas Stewart ...
Landlord (as J. Douglas Stewart)
Cory Dagg ...


In 1990 a man dies and the last word he utters is Mulder. Mulder thinking that this has something to do with his father, investigates and learns that the man supposedly died in 1952. He then goes to speak to Arthur Dales a retired FBI agent who was supposedly investigating the man then. Initially he doesn't want to talk to Mulder but later changes his mind and proceeds to tell him about the man whom he arrested and who later died while in custody and then later saw alive. He would also tell him that he was contacted by a man named Bill Mulder who told him of a government conspiracy. Written by

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Release Date:

29 March 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The part of Agent Arthur Dales is played by Darren McGavin, who portrayed the title character Carl Kolchak in Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Chris Carter has stated that his love for Kolchak: The Night Stalker and other TV shows that dealt with the supernatural were the inspiration for The X-Files. Carl Kolchak was very similar to Fox Mulder, in that he regularly ventured into situations trying to expose the supernatural and beings that are characterized as monsters. See more »


The record player 'DUAL 1214' in the 1952 sequence was not produced before the late 1960s. See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
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User Reviews

a great origin episode
5 March 2017 | by (Diaxophas) – See all my reviews

This was a great episode that hooked my interest in spite its lack of usual X Files cast members. Unusual Suspects features the origin of the Lone Gunman and Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man feature the origins of CSM...but we are already interested in those characters. Face it, we are following the story of Arthur Dales, a guy we don't know and yet the episode is still completely enthralling. The cheeky reference to why X Files are not stored in the "U" files for "unsolved" was a nice touch, but certainly not the highlight. Both actors portraying Dales do a great job and all of the supporting actors fill out this episode quite well with that 50's pastiche. The crab/spider thing was pretty creepy and I was fascinated by Dales' slow spiral into the X Files and how young Bill Mulder played a part in keeping Skur alive...literally that "the truth is out there" to be discovered, ironically by his son. Fans of the aforementioned episodes will not be disappointed.

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