The X-Files

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Sep 10, 1993 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (74)

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out of 10
787 votes
  • Re-watching the entire series from start to finish

    I agree with many of the previous reviews: a solid opening episode that effectively sets the tone and mystique of what would turn out to be one of the best (if not the best) sci-fi shows of all time. The fact that I'm re-watching this series from start to finish (after it being off the air for 13 years) says something. And I'm sure I'm not the only one.
  • one of the best

    One of the best pilots ever. We get itroduced to the amazxing casts to one of the best tv shows ever.
  • Best Pilot Ever?

    Pilot episodes are quite often pretty average when held up against everything that followed them, but the X Files pilot episode fits very comfortably into the first season, as well as its setting and characters being revisited more than once in future seasons, only highlighting just how strong a first episode it is.

    The relationship between Mulder and Scully is also very well set up in this first meeting, Scully's scepticism, but willingness to believe in anything she can prove, as well as Mulder's almost childish enthusiasm, yet brilliant instincts come together.

    All in all, this sets up the series very well, even if like most pilots, it feels like a lot has been squashed into a short space of time, but it stands up very well on its own, even on repeated viewings.
  • A Fine Beginning

    Rather well done for a pilot episode, and it does a fine job of introducing us to Mulder, Scully, and the outlandish world they live in. This opening episode sets tje pattern for many upcoming episodes: strange events that Mulder already has the answers for, the investigation that immediately produces evidence, and the destruction of the evidence and cover-up by someone above the FBI. Scully's skepticism is understandable in the first installment and, after all, she has to write a report that doesn't come off sounding like the plot to a wacky TV it's a bit ironic that she has to decide how much to write about this aliens-sticking-things-in-peoples-noses-abduction-and-control situation. Her higher-ups won't believe the outlandish story, but we're supposed to.

    Why did the scars disappear off the young man after the aliens left? If that's possible, why did the aliens leave the scars there to begin with? And why are they leaving all of those nose-thingys behind anyway?

    THIS EPISODE WANTS US TO BELIEVE IN: Alien abduction and remote control of humans.


    It's not so much that the common alien abduction theme itself is unbelievable, but everything else that goes with it in this episode makes the whole thing a bit silly. Still, this is one of the best of the early episodes.
  • You can watch the pilot

    Great episode, when the show was still young and fresh.

    You can watch it here, just put a dot after and paste the link in the address bar:

    adf ly/4088338/x-files-s01e01-pilot

  • Pilot

    The first episode of X-Files shows that the show will go on to be a success Mulder who is an FBI agent in search for his sister who he believes was abducted by aliens and then there is Scully who is always holding Mulder back and doesn't believe in extra terrestrial life like Mulder The truth is out there.
  • Pilot

    The pilot of X-Files is a really good start to the show when Scully is assigned to Work with Mulder on the X Files and the first case is some unsolved murders which has some twists and turns which make it a really good episode.Its also good to see Mulder and Scully working together and Mulder tells Scully about how he thinks his sister was abducted by aliens and its a good episode to get to learn about the X files.It looks like its going to be as good show.
  • The X-Files Pilot

    The X-Files Pilot was perfect and very entertaining. I really enjoyed watching because the story was very well written with character depth and plot development, action, suspense and mystery. I loved how well the episode establishes the characters and their place in the story. The candle light scene between Mulder and Scully was hot! The acting was superb and the over all production was just outstanding. They don't make tv shows this good any more! I am hooked with the right mix of procedure and paranormal along with a little drama and intrigue. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • The Classic Sci-fi show

    So I have started my yourney called the X-Files and I am intrigued. As inspriration for one of my favorite shows, Fringe, I was bound to end up watching it. And the pilot left me somewhat dissapointed.

    My experience with pilots are that they're either great and display exactly what a show stands for and delivers a heck of a punch. Or they're underwelming but display certain potential. As obvious by my score this pilot falls into the second category.

    The pilot sets a very distincive atmosphere and has a very mysterious vibe all throughout the episode. The special effect are surprisingly convincing and it has a very pleasant pace compared to many other pilots.

    On the flipside the acting was horrendous at times. Many of the sidecharacters but especially Gillian Anderson was awfull to watch. This was even more evident since the smart-ass, though charming role of Mulder comes so easily to David Duchovny. I know this is a common case in pilots, actors need to grow in their role, but it gravely affected my viewing experience.

    Nonetheless this episode is a great setup for what could be an interresting season filled with mystery and conspiracy. Since the X-Files comes highly recommended by just about everyone I have high expectations and I sincerly hope I won't be dissapointed further.
  • Pilot!!!

    The''pilot'' of the X-Files is a great episode, the X-Files fantastic start, and successfully introduce the main characters Fox Mulder and Dana Scully was how it started, and from the beginning the issues and space invader conspiracies were excellent in the series, the theme was great abduction by space invader, loss of time, and the chip space invader in the heads of youngsters who gave orders and the final scene was very good with keeping the CSM chip space invader Scully drew a bulldozer Naval of the victims, the fantastic beginning of the strange cases investigated by double Mulder and Scully.
  • A series about aliens, government conspiracies, mutant serial killers, scary as hell monsters, bizarre crimes and gruesome murders only explained within the realm of extreme possibility... and it all started here.

    Well, it is a bit late to start to review the episodes of an old TV show. But when I started re-watching it again a few weeks ago, I just thought it would be a good idea to contribute and add my own "fan-reviews" to the show, mainly just for fun. And my reviews begin with ("why not?") the series' pilot. No one on the production of this episode thought that the series would have a lot of success, especially between fans, and would ultimately last for nine seasons, with a total of 201 episodes and 2 movies (I mean, whuuut?). And all that happened because the pilot doesn't suck. Actually is one of the best season 1 episodes. We see Mulder and Scully meeting for the first time, and we learn that Mulder actually has problems with his authorities inside the FBI. Both agents go investigate a case in which several teenagers of the same class apparently have been abducted by aliens, and Scully, the skeptic, doesn't believe that. She even thinks Mulder is kinda crazy (oh, but was she wrong...)

    The episode is good because we actually don't have any idea of what is going on. And the mystery starts to thicken when the body of another student is exhumed: the corpse wasn't human, and this is when we learn about the series' gross nature. Okay, so, to get things straight, at the end, we don't know what the hell happened. We have many ideas, but the case isn't actually resolved. We just have to move on with what little information we have. And that's were the magic of the X-Files is: a weird crime happens; conventional science doesn't give a satisfactory explanation. But Scully's reports of what she just witnessed still have a scientific basis, because they are entirely objective: "a weird crime happened, and the theories we have cannot be substantiated, but those were the best explanation we could get". In conclusion, the pilot has a lot of mystery, clever dialogues, lovable main characters, and a little bit of Mulder's paranoia. But maybe he was right after all; maybe the crimes committed in this episode (students appearing dead in the woods, with strange marks in the low back) were made by aliens after all. But we don't get to see them… something which add the suspense to the story. And this was just a taste of what will come later...
  • The beginning of something very special.

    First we are presented a very young and smart looking agent that we find out in the first 15 seconds of the episode, is called Dana Scully. Later on, we meet with this very intriguing guy that tells us he is one of the most unwanted at the FBI, his name is Fox Mulder.
    It was an amazing start for a show that would become a decade's icon.
    The chemistry between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson is something we rarely see on television and the writers knew how to make that even better.
    We have a very strange case with young people disappering into the woods and then showing up with these strange marks. Scully is the reason and Mulder is the faith in extreme possibilities. The aspect that I think was so great in this episode and that become a mark of the show, is the cloak and dagger routine through out the entire episode.
    Great dialogs and a very promising season opener. The only very tiny negative that I'll point out is the acting on both parts. David and Gillian are both so incredibly young and unexperienced, specially Gillian. It was like watching a baby learning how to walk: it had a few stumbles but its aiming to something great in the not so far future. Nevertheless, they still managed to sweep us out of our feet.
  • Scully's So Different!

    If I would have watched this episode before the later ones in the season, like I did, I probally would've enjoyed it much more. It was a very good episode, but after watching others it seems very out of character. Scully was practically abducted, yet, but later in the season she refuses to believe any of this stuff. She also strips in front of Mulder something she wouldn't do later on in the first season, and I suppose, other later seasons as well. Her hair was also longer, which isn't a big problem, but she seemed to carry herself diffrently.
  • The perfect start for what it would become a phenomenal show

    March 1992: Special Agent Dana Scully, a medical doctor with background in hard science, is partnered with Special Agent Fox Mulder, an Oxford educated psychologist and top profiler, on a special project called The X-Files. This is how the greatest partnership of all time started. This episode marks the beginning of one of the best – if not THE best – series ever and it's the perfect introduction to the series and especially to the main story arc. The UFOs, the alien abductions, the tests, the conspiracy, Mulder's paranoid theories, Scully's rational explanations, the unresolved sexual tension – all these subjects that play an essential role in the show are all present in the first episode.
    David Duchovny's and Gillian Anderson's chemistry is obvious from their first scene together and Chris Carter does an excellent job in not giving us all the answers in the end. After all The X-Files is a show that raises questions and unleashes our imagination.
  • One of the most memorable series on TV ever also has one of the most memorable pilots.

    I just got the full collection of The X Files on DVD so I figured I should review the episodes. The pilot episode is a great introduction to the series. Agent Scully is assigned to work with Agent Mulder, a man determined to prove the existence of aliens. This episode, the two investigate odd disappearences and deaths of girls in a remote town. To think that this is the pilot of a show is incredible. This is the reason why this is one of my favorite shows. Even from the first few episodes, it is extremely intriguing. The wild ride through the series starts here and I'm ready to believe with the rest of the episodes.
  • Succeeds were many pilot episodes fail.

    When you have watched the entire nine seasons of this show it can be kinda nice to go back to its roots, the place where it all began. It kinda surprised me that, even after a decade, this pilot episode still got me on the edge of my seat.

    The pilot episode of "The X-Files" does an excellent job of introducing you to the main characters and more importantly their different takes on reality. Especially in the earlier seasons of the show, these differences between 'the believer' and 'the scientist' are extremely important and this episode proofs to be a nice base to explore these different opinions on a week-to-week basis.

    However, beside the obvious exposition about the main characters and the realm in which this (and future) episode will take place, this pilot episode still accomplishes to tell a rather interesting story.

    9/10 aliens.
  • Not my favorite

    The pilot just does not work for me. I don\'t find it to be that intriguing nor interesting. I am not into the alien episodes at all and just don\'t find them to be very appealing for me. They don\'t get my attention, I am very picky about what episodes I like. I do like Mulder and Scully\'s chemistry together and I think that\'s what saves the pilot from being a total disgrace in my opinion. I don\'t have anything agaisnt aliens, but I am just not entertained my them. I know the majority of the show is about aliens, but I think there are other episodes that are much more enjoyable.
  • Surprisingly good even by todays standards.

    a 15 year old pilot. There's nothing wrong with "oldschool" tv but when it comes to lookin at it from a critical POV, it's always incredibly always to pick up the problems.

    TV was nowhere near as sophisticated as today. Budget was much lower, acting was much worse... and the plot.... there's a chance we've all seen it before.

    However, this pilot stood the probe of time very well.

    But... it was near from perfect. Mainly because for a show that revolves around such interesting plot, you except to have a more creepy kickoff case.

    It wasn't bad and certain things definitely did surprise me(the sudden time jump), but for the most, it was somewhat dull.

    On the other hand, the dynamics between Mulder and Scully are incredibly fun to watch, as the dialouge was outstanding.

    The acting was somewhat wooden here and there, Duchovny clearly gave the best performance. Overall, this pilot was good, especially considering it's age, but could've been a lot better with a more interesting episodic case/mystery.
  • The legendary series begins....

    Great start to a great show. The pilot does a great job of introducing us to the lead characters, and sets up the mythology arc that will run throughout the series. The story itself is a little mundane (by the shows later standards), in fact, the next episode, Deep Throat, feels more like when the series really begins, with the Pilot feeling a little stand-alone. But there are some striking moments, and the final shot of the episode (with CSM in the Pentagon) is fantastic. The two leads are great, although Scully for me is actually less sceptic in this episode then in later ones (rather than being stubborn, she seems quite easily swayed until Mulder reminds her she will have to put it in her report). And Mulder is a little too calm and cool in the face of some of the strange things happening. But all in all, a solid start.
  • And the investigation begins...

    What a beginning for such an amazing series this pilot is. Mulder is an interesting and solitary subject with an inmense desire of finding the truth. This involves going against the status quo and the people above him in the FBI (well and sometimes against agent Scully). Scully is the opposite of Mulder, she has to verify everythig and have evidence or else she won't believe in anyhting. What a great couple? I love it, they are the perfect combination. The ending scene in this episode is just incredible. One can only wonder what things lie in all those boxes at the pentagon.
  • Irresistible protagonists, cult trademarks, well-written dialogs, banal story but puzzling investigation and overall fascinating universe

    I was just a teenager when it first aired and as many other viewers I was mesmerized by its so many brilliant ideas and fascinating elements. Fifteen years have passed since I first saw it and all I can say is that it hasn't aged. But now it's even more interesting because you can relate it to the great productions that haven't been released in the past few years. For example I only discovered Twin Peaks later so watching it I was able to compare their music and visuals for example. The efforts done to make The X-Files fictional world believable is really impressive. But of course all the work would be wasted without the most important and appreciated element in the series, its characters. Dana Scully and Fox Mulder are as charismatic and likable as they used to be. From their very first scenes you can already feel the chemistry between Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. Moreover the time has passed but our memories haven't faded as seeing the "I Want To Believe" poster, the X mark and other fan goodies is as delightful as it used to be. The dialogs are also pure candies for viewers interested in decrypting everything single words as they contribute to clearly identify the characters. Scully is the skeptical and rational scientist and Mulder is the freaky but brilliant FBI agent opened to most paranormal and conspiracy theories. In fact they reminded me of the duality between Jack Sheppard and John Locke from Lost, science versus faith. It's quite fascinating as it demonstrates how much influence the series had on a generation of artists, writers and directors for example, eager to develop their creativity and open their mind to new realms of wonders. The contrast between Scully and Mulder is also further developed thanks to the recurring jokes the second always say in the less expected scenes. I also greatly appreciated their investigation as the puzzle to solve didn't seem like it could be. Scully always had a rational theory and was looking for evidences when Mulder kept fast forwarding. However they both walked in the fog and events were so broken that you never knew what would happened next. So even if the story wasn't that original, even back in 1993, I think all these elements greatly contributed to make this pilot a model of its kind. Last but not least you couldn't write such a review without mentionning the Cigarette Smoking Man. From the very first minutes you could feel his dark and enigmatic presence at every corner. Moreover the last scene he's featured in was really a smart move as it opened a book full of myths, driving the experience even further and convincing the few skeptical viewers to stick around a little more.
  • The begining of something beautiful.

    In the pilot you are introduced to special agents mulder and scully. Mulder has a very open mind. He works on the xfiles. the xfiles are cases that havn't been solved because they are linked to the paranormal. Agent scully is sent to validate his work, and eventually comes to be agent mulders friend. The two agents are sent to oregon where teens are disapearing and being killed. They arrange to exhume one of the bodies but find the remains...altered. the body looks like that of a monkey, but mulder thinks it is a extraterestrial. Scully preforms an autopsy and finds a metal implant in the nasal cavity. before they can find out more the body is stolen and all their notes are destroyed. The investigation leads them to a boy whose been in a coma (Billy Miles)
  • Great Opener!

    This was a great pilot episode. The way the concepts of extra-terrestrials were introduced and it also gives quite a bit of information about both characters. At the start, it establishes Scully as the skeptic and Mulder as the believer. Its wonderful how their relationship as partners started. Mulder's unique sense of humour was very funny especially the part where he said, "nobody down here but the FBI's most unwanted," or something to that effect. The concept of this episode was genius and to establish the search for ET life as Mulder's main purpose for doing the x-files and the reason behind it was good writing, there was an essential amount of character development in the episode which is intrinsic to a pilot episode, imo.This truly was an amazing pilot episode.
  • Great pilot episode! Cant wait to see more.

    I have grown up with my parents watching The X-Files and i have seen the occasional episode, but having now bought the entire collection on DVD i have decided to watch this show from the very beginning through to the end. This is a great pilot episode, even though it has been over a decade since this pilot was aired i believe that it could easily beat any recent pilots. There was strong character development allowing us to understand Mulder and Scully's persona's. The highlight of this episode for me was the ending sequence of events where we get a small insight on an enormous cover-up.
  • This is what X-Files was all about.

    The essence of the series, right off the bat. The dialogue sparkles, rife with both Mulderisms and Scully's excellent arguments. There are equal parts of horror, mystery and humour, and the actors seem to slide into their roles without any problems. I was surprised to hear later that Gillian Anderson was extremely self-conscious in the beginning! Great start for the UFO mythology arc, too - I wish it would've been handled with such subtlety for the rest of the series, too.

    Serves as a great test to late converts. If you find nothing interesting in this episode, don't bother with the series - this is X-Files at heart.
  • How it all started. Wasn't it cool?

    This is a very clever episode to set it all up. We know Mulder is right, we've seen that from the teaser. But it's far easier to go along with rational, long-suffering Scully. It's lucky the scenes with Scully's boyfriend were cut because they add a different dimension. When Ethan mentions Mulder has been funded by important figures and Mulder later mentions that, it become too much of a key point. Mulder suddenly becomes too powerful instead of just stabbing semi-blindly into the dark. When one man's quest becomes something more substantial it loses dramatic impact. Gillian Anderson's performance is wonderful as she goes from bemused to amused to temporary believer. It's touching to see how far she will already go to back up Mulder, even though she completely disagrees with him. David in part comes across as thoroughly unlikable, not trusting Scully, tricking her, withholding information. But there is also that indulgent spark when Scully tells Mulder they will have to investigate. Despite himself, Mulder is starting to like Scully.

    The plot itself seems to take logical leaps at times, as the audience and Scully are left three paces behind Mulder. It's surprisingly well resolved for an X Files episode, though there are still questions. What did happen in those 9 minutes? Were they really expecting Scully to totally debunk the X Files based on one case?

    The music seems rather dated and heavy handed nowadays, but it was 15 years back. Just look at their suits! The vortex of leaves still stands up (as it were) and considering the budget and time constraints there's very little you can poke holes in. A great introduction and, surprisingly, already a lot of plot threads introduced.
  • The beginning of the cult

    This will always be one of my favorite episodes. This is where it all began, where the mithology began, when we were introduced to two people who where completely different and who evolved before our eyes.
    Agent Scully, medical doctor, is called to work with Agent Mulder, a remarkable but obsessed agent whose bosses don't really know what to do with him. Their first case involves alleged alien abductees and their trust and strength is put to the test. The first time I watched this episode I thought it was a movie. But when I watched it a few months later and began following the series I couldn't let go, I couldn't stop watching. I became a fan immediately. It became my escape of everything. The series had a topic that I've always liked and it came at the right time when the paranormal and UFOs were the talk of the day and it was fascinating.
    But I also couldn't stop watching for something else. M&S relationship. They start off as colleagues who probably didn't think their working relationship would last because they were so different. But Mulder confides in Scully his big secret but is careful. On the other hand, Scully wants to trust and understand Mulder, but has her back against the wall because she has to report everything to her bosses. And that's part of what makes this show very successful.
    I'm proud of being a fan of this incredible series.
  • A good pilot!!

    Mulder and Scully are special agents looking into a very mysterious case. Students from a graduating class are dying all over America. They each share a common mark and Mulder believes it's supernatural. Scully is skeptical about that theory. They meet three other students from the same graduating class and they all have the mark. Apparently, something draws them to the woods where the deaths take place. Mulder and Scully witness a bright light, a time jump, and some creepy characters. One woman dies from running in front of a car, but she was in a wheelchair for a while. Also, a daughter of a detective who has the mark is found in the woods with a boy who was supposed to be in a partial coma. Mulder thinks it's aliens doing an experiment and he may be right. The only evidence is a small device that Scully finds in a corpse's body. The government apparently knows about it, because they put it into the Pentagon.

    This episode was very strange, but I liked it! The premise is eery and the case was pretty suspenseful! I really wanted to know what the heck was going on! I like Mulder and Scully (but their names are weird to me). I think this series is one I will enjoy! I give this episode an 8.5 out of 10!
  • A classic episode any true x-phile loves

    This episode started it all. The X files was the defining television show of the nineties. The way it deals with the occult, the paranormal and aliens had never been seen before, thats what made it so original and thrilling to watch. In this pilot you can already sense the great chemistry Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny share, it is awe inspiring. This FBI agents have hell of allot more of weirdness coming their way. As long as the truth is out there...

    Trust no one, deny everything, and always believe.

    Scully: The answers are there, you just have to know where to look.
  • How do you judge the pilot of the X-Files as an episode? Because besides being 45 minutes of television it was also the beginning of greatness . . .

    I watched this episode first, though I watched over a decade after its initial air-date, and I was so in love at the end of it that I know, had I been born earlier, I would've been an X-Phile back in the heyday of the X-Philes. This episode is the perfect introduction to the mytharc, because it approaches the issues that the series will grapple with from this most basic angle; we slip into the complexities of the truth along with Mulder and Scully, and in this episode we encounter abduction as laymen, which is the most convincing angle with which the show could begin, and the most satisfying. It's also simply very tightly plotted and mixes the elements of the X-Files that make it great in perfect proportion. Mulder is funny, Scully is filled with knowledge, they have immediate chemistry, the unexplained events beg to be understood, and the weirdness, the slightly marginal and un-mainstream beliefs and behaviors, ensures that the episode appeals to those who will love the 201 episodes that follow.
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