The X-Files (1993–2018)
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Mulder is on the manhunt for a Vietnam veteran who can project his consciousness into other people's minds to kill them. Mulder and Agent Krycek try to uncover the conspiracy behind the killer's powers.


Rob Bowman


Chris Carter (created by), Howard Gordon




Episode complete credited cast:
David Duchovny ... Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson ... Dana Scully
Mitch Pileggi ... Walter Skinner
Nicholas Lea ... Alex Krycek
Jon Gries ... Salvatore Matola (as Jonathan Gries)
Steven Williams ... Mr. X
Tony Todd ... Augustus Cole
Don Thompson ... Henry Willig
Dave Adams ... Dr. Francis Girardi (as David Adams)
Michael Puttonen ... Dr. Pilsson
Anna Hagan ... Dr. Charyn
William B. Davis ... Smoking Man
Mitchell Kosterman ... Det. Horton (as Mitch Kosterman)
Paul Bittante Paul Bittante ... Team Leader Lt. Reagan
Claude De Martino ... Dr. Saul Grissom


Mulder is partnered with a young FBI agent, Alex Krycek, in the investigation of mysterious deaths. An apartment dweller called emergency services to report a fire outside his door but firemen arrive to find no fire and the owner dead with a spent fire extinguisher nearby. Scully's autopsy finds that the dead man's internal physical condition resembles that of someone who has been in intense heat, even though there are no visible burn marks. A second death gives them a connection between both men as they had served together in the Marines in the early 1970s. They subsequently learn that a man by the name of Augustus Cole has somehow escaped from a high security facility and that, incredibly, hasn't slept for 24 years. Mulder concludes that Cole is seeking revenge. Written by garykmcd

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TV-14 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


As with Conduit and Beyond the Sea, we have an utterance towards of end of "I want to believe". See more »


There is a small mistake in the opening of this episode, while the TV shows the Dow stock market being "up", the anchor's voice in the background says the Dow ended the day down. See more »


Dana Scully: [perplexed] Somehow, this man suffered all the secondary, but none of the primary physiological responses to having been in a fire!
Fox Mulder: Any theories?
Dana Scully: I can't even begin to explain what could have caused something like this. I mean, it's almost as if...
Fox Mulder: What?
Dana Scully: ...As if his body believed that it was burning.
See more »


Referenced in The X-Files: Nothing Important Happened Today II (2001) See more »


The X-Files Theme
Written by Mark Snow
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User Reviews

Krycek's first appearance
7 October 2008 | by ametaphysicalsharkSee all my reviews

"Sleepless" is, arguably, a mythology episode. "The Host" was the first episode in which we heard Mr. X, but we get to see him in "Sleepless". I don't like Mr. X as much as Deep Throat but he's still a fun character. Why I would argue that this is a mythology episode is because it basically introduces Krycek and Mr. X and also because it does deal with government experiments and a sort of conspiracy, albeit not one related to aliens. The introduction of two characters who would mostly feature in the mythology episodes make this a key episode for the storyline and hence not really a 'standalone' episode. It's also got a scene with the syndicate and CSM that is unlike basically anything you would see in a normal standalone episode, and leads directly into the following episodes, "Duane Barry" and "Ascension".

The concept behind "Sleepless" is interesting enough, and fairly well-written overall. It accomplishes what it sets out to do, basically. This is Howard Gordon's (later to become the showrunner for "24") first episode without writing partner Alex Gansa and it is a clear improvement over the Gordon/Gansa episodes from season one, although not better than "Miracle Man" which Gordon co-wrote with Chris Carter. Howard Gordon did write a few good episodes ("D.P.O." and "Grotesque" in season three are really quite good), but is still one of my least favorite X-Files writers. His stuff is sort of humorless and drab, and the dialogue, often the strong suit of many (most?) X-Files episodes tends to be rather cheesy and poorly-written in his episodes. In short it reminds me of "24" and I am NOT a fan of that show. Most of all these episodes lack the intelligence and wit, satire and irony that was a key presence through most of "The X-Files" even at its darkest and most straightforward.

"Sleepless" suffers from these same problems, but it's got a good plot, good direction by Rob Bowman, and features some important additions to the show story-wise, so in spite of the half-baked and drab script it is somewhat enjoyable overall.


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7 October 1994 (USA) See more »

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