The X-Files (1993–2018)
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Patients undergoing cosmetic surgery die horrible deaths at the hands of doctors possessed by witchcraft.


Kim Manners


Chris Carter (created by), Valerie Mayhew | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
David Duchovny ... Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson ... Dana Scully
Richard Beymer ... Dr. Jack Franklin
O-Lan Jones ... Nurse Rebecca Waite
Arlene Mazerolle ... Dr. Shannon
Greg Thirloway ... Dr. Mitchell Kaplan (as Gregory Thirloway)
John Juliani ... Dr. Harrison Lloyd
Paul Raskin ... Dr. Eric Ilaqua
Andrew Airlie ... Attorney
Marie Stillin ... Dr. Sally Sanford
Norman Armour ... ER Doctor
Martin Evans ... Dr. Hartman


Scully and Mulder investigate a particularly gruesome murder at a hospital where a cosmetic surgery patient is butchered by the attending physician. The doctor who performed the operation has no idea why he did it and felt like he was possessed. While Scully looks for a scientific explanation Mulder feels witchcraft may have played a role. He finds five circles burned into the floor of the operating room which, when joined together, form a pentagram. As the uncontrolled killings continue, Mulder discovers a link between the victims' dates of birth and key dates on the witchcraft calendar. Written by garykmcd

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Did You Know?


Viewers ended up finding the nurse's name as an unintended reference to Rebecca Nurse, an innocent woman prosecuted during the Salem witch trials, and the Rider-Waite tarot deck, the most popular tarot deck utilized in the world. See more »


Mulder pronounces the the name of Gaelic holiday of Samhain as "sam-hayne," like it's spelled in the Roman alphabet. The correct pronunciation is "sah-win." See more »


Dana Scully: There's magic going on here, Mulder. Only it's being done with silicone, collagen, and a well-placed scalpel.
See more »


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

User Reviews

Everyone wants to be beautiful...
9 September 2010 | by DWilliams1089See all my reviews

"Sanguinarium" is an engrossing (emphasis on gross!) albeit less-than-awe-inspiring episode that unfortunately fails to deliver much of anything noteworthy besides gratuitous gore. Which is a shame, given the presence of Twin Peaks' Richard Beymer, who is all but wasted in his thankless role as the evil Dr. Franklyn.

The plot begins simply enough: doctors in a prestigious plastic surgery unit are being driven to murder their patients in grisly manners. Stranger yet are the residual pentagrams left behind at the crime scenes. When our two agents show up to investigate, Mulder inevitably suspects the involvement of witchcraft.

The script was the first and only written by Mayhew and Mayhew, yet the unevenness of the plot just screams committee writing. Supposedly a good number of Wiccans were put off by their misinformed representation in this episode. The black magic that Mulder touches upon isn't wholly explained, and the character of Nurse Waite (O-Lan Jones) is equally confusing. How does she aim to protect patients by scarring them with leeches? Why the elaborate bloodbath in Franklyn's home? If the goal was to make her the "good" witch I feel like the mark was missed. Also, how was Franklyn able to manipulate the other doctors through their medication?

I often lamented The X-Files for not coming up with more occult episodes. This one quenched my thirst but did not leave a lasting impression. A creepy premise and decent guest acting save this one from the x-file toilet, but the lack of substance in favor of cheap thrills do not render this one of the show's greater efforts. If you like gruesome deaths however, "Sanguinarium" is for you. For those faint of heart, look elsewhere.


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10 November 1996 (USA) See more »

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