The below clip is from a 40-minute behind-the-scenes documentary that will be exclusive to the Blu-ray of the not-half-bad 11th season of The X-Files. As someone who checked out the show over the summer of its first season, back when networks actually ran a healthy number of reruns during the so-called off-season, I became as much of a fan as anyone else. When Chris Carter’s X-Files debuted 25 years ago on a Friday night, it was the 9:00 p.m. showing airing after Fox’s great seasonal, hope, the Bruce Campbell-led Brisco County Jr. The comedic western was entertaining enough, but the ratings weren’t hot and it lasted a single season. The ratings weren’t great for The X-Files either, but the show had strong critical notices and a passionate cult fan base that made itself known on the new thing called “The internet.” For better or worse, the entirety of how we talk about pop culture TV today was predicated in how online fans discussed The X-Files on then-new chat boards and instant-messaging programs. Like The X-Files, C.S.I. entered its freshman season as an also-ran. X-Files’ mythology as we know it was an accident, something begun in season two in order to justify Scully missing a few episodes after Gillan Anderson unexpectedly became pregnant. Its success set the template that paved the way for everything from Lost to Game of Thrones to the MCU. Oh, and we should note that X-Files was huge at least partially because it was unlike anything else on TV. Because you always get richer with the “First X-Files” than you will with “The next X-Files.”

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