The X-Files (1993–2018)
11 user 6 critic


An anonymous tip finally brings Mulder and Scully to the mecca of all UFO lore, Area 51. But when the agents witness the flight of a mysterious craft there, Mulder and one of the Men in Black, Fletcher, somehow switch bodies - and lives.


Rob Bowman


Chris Carter (created by), Vince Gilligan | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Duchovny ... Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson ... Dana Scully
Michael McKean ... Morris Fletcher
John Mahon ... General Wegman
Michael B. Silver ... Howard Grodin (as Michael Buchman Silver)
James Pickens Jr. ... Alvin Kersh
Scott Allan Campbell Scott Allan Campbell ... Jeff Smoodge
Julia Vera ... Lana Chee
Nora Dunn ... JoAnne Fletcher
Tyler Binkley Tyler Binkley ... Terry Fletcher
Dara Hollingsworth Dara Hollingsworth ... Christine Fletcher
Ted White ... Attendant
Laura Leigh Hughes ... Kersh's Assistant
Eddie Jackson Eddie Jackson ... Co-Pilot / Rock Man
Christopher Stapleton ... Pilot


Mulder and Scully travel to the secretive Area 51 to meet a contact who has inside information on UFOs. Before they arrive, they get stopped by military personnel who tell them to turn back. A weird event occurs that results in Mulder switching bodies with Morris Fletcher, a "man in black" from Area 51, without anyone else knowing. Mulder takes advantage of this perfect disguise to infiltrate Area 51, while Fletcher uses the opportunity to escape the life he hates. Written by Muldernscully

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »





English | Hopi

Release Date:

29 November 1998 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Lancaster, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Michael McKean was delighted when the show approached him about being a guest star as he was a big fan, having watched most episodes in his dressing room during rehearsals for Saturday Night Live (1975) (The X-Files (1993) was broadcast on a Friday night.) See more »


(at around 1 min) Fox is dancing in front of the mirror which shows the reflection of the actual body he is inhabiting. When the wife enters the room, we see that the reflection in the mirror is the real Fox instead of the inhabited body. See more »


Scully: What is going on with you?
Morris Fletcher: [as Mulder] Will you please stop trying to pick a fight with me?
Scully: Mulder, you are acting bizarre.
[they turn to Kersh's assistant]
Morris Fletcher: [snickers] Jealous?
[slaps Scully's ass and walks away. Scully turns around in shock]
See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 X-Files Episodes (2016) See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
See more »

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User Reviews

Area 51, at last!
24 January 2007 | by MuldernscullySee all my reviews

One good thing about the move from Vancouver to L.A. was that they were able to explore a few more locations for episodes, namely, the American southwest, e.g. California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah, where the terrain is more desert-like. 'The Beginning' took us to Arizona, Drive from Utah through California, and now Dreamland in southern Nevada, namely Area 51. Area 51 is the motherland of UFOs. It's where some of the U.S. public believes that the cover-up of UFOs and aliens began back in the later 1940's. So, it's cool that the x-files is finally able to visit the home of UFO lore. I find it interesting that when the time warp is passing over them that only Morris and Mulder are switched and not anyone else. It's almost as if the UFO chose Mulder. Unrestricted access to Area 51 was the perfect opportunity for Mulder to find out about UFOs. I have commented on David Duchovny's comic ability before, but it needs reemphasizing here. He is a natural at it and it helps the episode so much. Dreamland features two great guest stars, Michael McKean as Morris Fletcher and Nora Dunn as JoAnne Fletcher, his wife. The two are comic gold, McKean as the sleaze-bag and Dunn as the nagging wife. Even though this episode has a lot of humor in it, it does deal with a serious x-file of UFOs and body-switching. And it surprisingly ends with a cliff-hanger leaving you with doubt as to Mulder's future. Dreamland mixes a traditional x- file with a good dose of humor to make for a very excellent episode.

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