The X-Files struck a unique balance between rationalism and mysticism, horror and wonder; its stories were told like police procedurals investigating the paranormal.
The series spawned the catch-phrases "Trust No One" and "The Truth Is Out There," and fosters a huge fan-based following to this day.
In 1998 the series produced a major motion picture, The X-Files: Fight The Future[?], which attained considerable critical and box office success. The movie itself was a complement to the central mythology of the show, yet at the same time appealed to many who were unfamiliar with The X-Files. As a result of the movie's success, the fan following of The X-Files significantly increased.
Fans commonly divide X-Files stories into "Mythology" episodes, which concern a coming alien invasion, and "Monster" episodes, which deal with unrelated strange creatures.
Over the course of the next few years, the show would undergo several changes by way of both character growth and plot direction. One of the central mythologies of the show, Mulder's search for his sister, would finally be resolved, as well as a few turns of events involving the ever-deepening bond between Mulder and Scully and the dynamic between the two characters. Whether they "should" or "shouldn't" consummate their relationship was the subject of great debate among the fan community for many years, and is still subject to scrutiny despite the now-apparent resolution of this question. Even now there remains a thriving online community devoted to debating The X-Files, its myths and monsters.
The show completed its ninth and final season with The Truth episode originally airing on May 19th, 2002. While David Duchovny did not wish to return (his involvement was limited in Season 8), Gillian Anderson maintained her starring role, interacting with supplementary characters John Doggett and Monica Reyes, played by Robert Patrick[?] and Annabeth Gish[?], respectively.
Although the television series itself has officially come to a close, it is very likely the involvement of the original stars is not yet over. Both Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny have expressed interest in doing additional movies, the next probably to premiere in the Fall of 2004.
"The Lone Gunmen," a trio of nerdish government watchdogs who occasionally assisted Mulder and Scully, had their own short-lived TV series.
The X-Files inspired numerous other TV series, including Strange World, Burning Zone, Special Unit 2, Mysterious Ways and Dark Skies, many of which did not enjoy the same popularity or following as The X-Files has achieved.