FOR an entire generation the truth was definitely out there and the X-Files was the must-watch show of the '90s.
The adventures of FBI agents Fox 'Spooky' Mulder and Dana Scully enthralled audiences for nine seasons as they investigated the strange and unexplained. The show would go on to be a world-wide hit.
It went beyond being just a cult hit, securing multiple Emmy and SAG awards during its 201 episodes.
Mulder was the believer while Scully was the sceptic and the palpable tension between the two lead actors in David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson seeped through the screen.
Many fantastic writers got their major breakthrough on the show. Scribes such as Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa would end up on 24 and Homeland and Vince Gilligan, who would go on to create Breaking Bad, all honed their skills on the show.
It redefined the TV landscape and much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, another popular show from that era, interwove dense, mythic, story arcs along with its monster of the week episodes.
Memorable villains such as Eugene Victor Tooms (a genetic mutant serial killer), Virgil Incanto (who regurgitates a suffocating slime to digest his date's body fat) and the inbred, homicidal, mutant Peacock family all left an indelible mark on pop culture.
It's been 14 years since the X-Files aired its final episode in 2002 and the series has been revived for a six-episode stint.
Showrunner Chris Carter has returned to helm the miniseries and it will be interesting to see whether the X-Files can have the same cultural impact.
Here are five little-known facts about the X-Files:
- The opening theme song for the series was created largely by mistake, after composer Mark Snow rested his elbow on the keyboard with the echo function on, giving the tune its unique creepy vibe
- Creator Chris Carter came up with the idea for The X-Files after reading a 1991 report claiming 3.7 million Americans believed they had been abducted by aliens
- Before being cast as The Smoking Man, William B. Davis had not smoked a cigarette in 20 years. He smoked real cigarettes for the first two seasons before shifting to herbal
- Entertainment Weekly predicted that the first season of the original series would flop, saying "This show's a goner." The X-Files would go on to collect 16 Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards
- Gillian Anderson filmed most of the series on top of a box due to the fact that she was 25cm shorter than co-star David Duchovny
Here are six famous actors who guest starred on the X-Files:
- Ryan Reynolds: Reynolds played a supporting role as a high school jock, Jay "Boom" DeBoom. Ryan's character was killed off pretty quickly after two teenage girls lured him off the road for what appeared to be a pretty enticing night. He turned up dead after they used him as a virgin sacrifice to their satanic cult.
- Bryan Cranston: Cranston's Emmy-winning role as Walter White on Breaking Bad was based on his one-episode role in the 1998 X-Files episode Drive. Cranston played a racist suffering from mysterious headaches that were strangely only alleviated by Mulder driving him west at high speeds. A nasty human being, by the end of the episode audiences felt sorry for him and his plight.
- Jodie Foster: While viewers did not see her on-screen, Foster's disembodied voice featured prominently in Never Again, an episode in which a man believed his tattoo was telling him to commit murders.
- Felicity Huffman: In a guest role during the show's first season, the Desperate Housewives and Transamercia actress had the privilege of being infected with rage-inducing parasitic worms - twice.
- Lucy Lui: Before she was an angel kicking butt for Charlie or Sherlock Holmes' side kick in Elementary, Lucy Lui guest starred in the X-Files as a young woman stricken with leukaemia. Her father participated in an organ-donation lottery to win the money for her treatment.
- Luke Wilson: No X-Files cameo is more famous or funnier than Wilson's in the season five episode, Bad Blood, in which he played a local vampire sheriff with a terrible overbite. In Scully's memory of the events, he was suave and flirtatious. In Mulder's, however, he was a buck-toothed country bumpkin. Bad Blood is Gillian Anderson's favourite episode.