The X-Files: The Truth Was Out There

The classic show The X-Files celebrated and satirized America’s love of conspiracy theories before they became an all-consuming obsession. When the show returned to the air after a long gap, it had to confront a culture of paranoia that made Fox Mulder’s imagination look tame.

Still from the “Conduit” episode of The X-Files, which originally aired on October 1, 1993. (FOX Image Collection via Getty Images)

The 1990s were supposed to be a decade when Americans could sit back, relax, and enjoy the end of history. With ideological contestation and superpower rivalry now finally over, it was time for some lighthearted diversion. Some of the biggest TV programs of the era, from Friends to Frasier, were basically “shows about nothing,” as […]

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