From TV Show to Movie - TopTenMM Alien Movies

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

Nominee #8 - The X-Files (1998)



Alien colonisation of Earth? Mulder and Scully must dig deep to find the truth and the government stands in their way.




Director: Rob Bowman

Writers: Chris Carter (story), Frank Spotnitz (story)

Stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, John Neville


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Directed by Rob Bowman, The X-Files (1998) was the first feature film based on the award-winning and path breaking TV series of the same name that had completed five successful seasons before this theatrical release.


David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their TV roles as FBI agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully dealing with unsolved cases involving the paranormal.

The film also starred Martin Landau, Blythe Danner, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Mitch Pileggi, John Neville and William B. Davis.


In this big screen version, with the story by Chris Carter (the creator of the series) and Frank Spotnitz, Mulder and Scully are up against an alien virus and multiple attempts to cover up the very existence of aliens. Alongside the mystery and intrigue in the plot is the unexpressed love that Mulder and Scully feel for each other.


Mixing dark humour, subversive themes, conspiracy theories and romance, the movie serves up a stylish and enigmatic serving of alien colonisation of earth.

As the plot unfolds, Mulder loses his partner Scully in different ways. First, she is transferred after a bombing in a building that Mulder and Scully were investigating. Then she is stung by a bee that incapacitates her. Finally, she is abducted, but Mulder manages to get to her only for both of them to then contend with a facility full of cocooned aliens that are escaping.


The movie took on a formidable challenge: to meet the sky-high expectations of the TV show’s die-hard fans and at the same time to introduce the main characters and the world of the X-Files to a much wider audience of the uninitiated. That it manages to do both is some sort of miracle. Mixing dark humour, subversive themes, conspiracy theories and romance, the movie serves up a stylish and enigmatic serving of alien colonisation of earth. Duchovny – as the mercurial investigator who believes in the existence of aliens and Anderson – as the more detached and objective partner are both characters you can believe and relate to. They resonate well with both the series fans and newcomers.


Is this a movie with adrenaline-pumping action? Certainly not. Is it special because of jaw-dropping special effects? Not even close. But is this one of the better transitions from TV to big screen that amplifies the scope of the TV series without losing its smarts? Yes, yes, yes!

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