On September 10, 1993, viewers who tuned into the series premiere of The X-Files learned that the truth was out there ... even if they never were able to come to a clear consensus on exactly what that “truth” may be. But like FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), fans of the soon-to-be-cult sci-fi series learned that differing opinions and approaches to the world could make for some seriously addictive television. To celebrate The X-Files’s 25th anniversary, BBC America will dedicate five days of airtime to rerunning the show’s first nine series, along with its two feature films, The X-Files: I Want to Believe and The X-Files: Fight the Future.
Though it’s easy to think of The X-Files as merely a television show, its impact on popular culture—and even on the scientific community—has been undeniable. In addition to offering a launching pad for some of today’s most successful actors, we have the series to thank for Bryan Cranston and Breaking Bad, as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Torchwood. There’s also recent research to suggest that Dana Scully’s badassery has been an inspiration for many women who have chosen to go into STEM careers. Earlier this year, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media released a report [PDF] that analyzed what came to be known as the “Scully Effect.”
“In the world of entertainment media, where scientists are often portrayed as white men wearing white coats and working alone in labs, Scully stood out in the 1990s as the only female STEM character in a prominent, prime-time television role,” the report stated.
Whether you’ve seen the series in its entirety multiple times or are a total newcomer, you’ll want to go ahead and request some time off during the BBC America marathon, which will kick off at 6 a.m. ET on Monday, September 10 and conclude on Friday, September 14. While you’re watching, you can chat about the show with fellow fans on Twitter using the hashtag #XFiles25.