The Truth Is Still Out There: Thirty Years of The X-Files

Fayetteville Mafia. Sept. 2023. 250p. ISBN 9781949024500. pap. $24.99. TV
Fan culture writer Jones explores a host of reasons why The X-Files, a science fiction series that follows two FBI agents and their search for the truth, remains relevant after 30 years in a post-truth era. Although the main characters, Mulder and Scully, were pitted against monsters of the week and were pawns in a convoluted global conspiracy, the show reflected real-world concerns. Watergate, the Waco siege, and 9/11 influenced storylines and viewers’ perceptions. The X-Files (which ran from 1993 to 2002 and was revived from 2016 to 2018) also centered on government employees while evincing mistrust in said government, with the recent revival addressing the role of the FBI under the Trump administration. Jones is a fan of the show, an X-Phile, and she gives voice to the fan community, not only amplifying what audiences love but also pointing out problematic representations of gender and sexuality. The book also explores the wider reach of the show as it spread to comic books and video games.
VERDICT Best for die-hard fans of the show who are already familiar with the cult classic’s storylines and characters and are seeking a deeper dive.
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