Believe it: “The X-Files” are at the Smithsonian

I started watching The X-Files circa 1997. I was in middle school, finally old enough to stay up until ten on a school night, and oh buddy, did I get hooked. The bizarre tales of paranormal activity instantly made for fascinating viewing, but the show’s tone—which ranged from the frightening to the comic—and the fundamental conflicts between the central figures—Fox Mulder, the believer, pitted against Dana Scully, the skeptic—endowed the show with a tremendous amount of character, a quality sorely missed in today’s age of reality TV. Being without cable (there’s something about paying for airwaves that never made sense to me) I haven’t seen the show since it’s finale in 2002. Nevertheless, my "innie" geek went "outie" as I was able to attend the ceremony commemorating the donation of X-Files memorabilia to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. I was able to take an up-close gawk at Mulder and Scully’s FBI ID badges—you know, the ones they flipped out in, like, every episode with those "yeah, we know we’re badass" expressions on their faces— alongside a coffee-stained script, storyboards, maquettes and the iconic "I Want to Believe" poster. But, hands down, the icing on the cake was my brief interview with series creator Chris Carter. Unfortunately the donated items will not be on view until the museum’s renovation is completed, but in the meantime, X-Philes can get their Mulder and Scully fix with the new X-Files movie, due out July 25. What are your feelings about a second big screen adaptation of one of the most popular television series of all time? Sound off in the comments section below!

About Jesse Rhodes

Jesse Rhodes is an editorial assistant for Smithsonian magazine. Before he became an editorial assistant, Jesse worked at the Library of Congress Publishing Office, where he was a contributor to the Library of Congress World War II Companion.

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