“Sorry, nobody down here but the FBI’s most unwanted . . .”

2013 marked the 20th Anniversary of sci-fi TV phenomenom, “The X Files” which hit our small screens in September 1993; the series went on for 9 seasons (eventually ending in 2002), spawned two movies and made household names of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

Creator Chris Carter joined Anderson and Duchovny at Comic Con in San Diego in July 2013; Carter hinted at a third movie while Duchovny and Anderson fuelled rumours of a real-life off-screen romance.

We look back at 9 years of extra-terrestrials, government conspiracies and the “will they, won’t they” chemistry of FBI partners, Mulder and Scully.

“Squeeze” (Season 1, Episode 3)

Special Agents Mulder and Scully are hot on the trail of a serial killer who removes the liver of his victims (apparently with his bare hands) leaving no trace of how he got in and out of secure buildings. We are warned to lock the windows and bolts the doors, but before Eugene Victor Tooms (played by Doug Hutchison), no-one warned us about the vents . . .

“Irresistible” ( Season 2, Episode 13)

An episode guaranteed to make your skin crawl . . . Mulder and Scully investigate “body-snatcher”, Donnie Pfaster, who gets his sick kicks removing hair and nails of dead bodies. Pfaster takes a special interest in Scully who, uncomfortable with the case, is kidnapped by him but later rescued by Mulder, resulting in one of the series most emotional scenes where the usually strong Scully breaks down in Mulder’s arms.

“Bad Blood” (Season 5, Episode 12)

The X Files did their own spin on the classic, “he said, she said” routine with this episode from Season 5. Mulder and Scully give very individual accounts of their experiences investigating an apparent “vampire” killer. The episode includes a guest-slot from comic actor, Luke Wilson as Sheriff Hartwell and Mulder’s spoken word remix of “Shaft” . . . Yes, really!

Paper Hearts (Season 4, Episode 10)

The episode centres around Mulder’s search for his younger sister, Samantha, who he believes was abducted by aliens when he was 12.  However, a strange dream which leads Mulder to a real-life corpse sees the re-opening of the case file of John Lee Roche, a serial killer who murdered a string of young girls between the 1970s and 80sMulder begins to believe that Samantha may have been murdered by Roche, not abducted. A gripping episode which sees a tormented Mulder relive the trauma of his sister’s disappearance and a tense concluding scene between Roche and Mulder, which, if you’re not glued to your screen, there’s something really wrong!

Existence (Season 8, Episode 21)

A favourite among X Files fans for the touching final scene between Mulder and Scully (this is the last time that David Duchovny would appear on-screen for almost a year). Agent Scully goes into hiding in order to give birth safely to baby William, accompanied by Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish), who strives to protect from the alien super soldiers who want Scully’s baby for their own purposes. Mulder is reunited with Scully and William in an emotional conclusion where the mystery of baby William’s father is finally revealed.

Pusher (Season 3, Episode 17)

Robert Patrick Modell, aka Pusher, has the power to control his victims, “pushing” them into harming themselves, or others. Cue a helpless Scully looking on as Modell urges a brain-washed Mulder to play a risky game of Russian roulette . . . Tense television at its very best.

One Breath (Season 2, Episode 8)

Mulder continues his search for Scully, who he believes was abducted in previous episode, “Duane Berry”, despite her mother, Margaret (Sheila Larkin) urging him to let go by showing him a tombstone she has purchased for her “dead” daughter. Scully mysteriously reappears in a local hospital, in a coma but alive. While family and colleagues are merely happy to have her back, an undeterred Mulder wants to know how and why she got there. A tense scene ensues between Mulder and arch-enemy, The Smoking Man (William B. Davis) as Mulder fights to save his partner . . .

Redux/Redux II (Season 5, Episodes 1 and 2)

Mulder and Scully’s quest to uncover the truth continues in spectacular style with the opening of Season 5; the “death” of Mulder, the mystery of who gave Scully cancer and the apparent assassination of The Smoking Man. Mulder fights tirelessly to name the person within the FBI walls that has been plotting against him and Scully since the beginning as a gravely-ill Scully hovers near death, resulting in a tense showdown between Mulder and his FBI superiors.

Per Manum (Season 8, Episode 13)

Scully and new FBI partner, Agent John Dogget (Robert Patrick) are investigating bizarre cases of women allegedly giving birth to alien babies. Pregnant herself, Scully begins to see parallels between the women involved and herself. This episode must be credited for its flashback sequences where it is revealed that Scully, learning from Mulder that her ova were harvested for experiments and are no longer viable, opts to try IVF. The flashback scenes were Scully asks Mulder to be her donor (he agrees) and when they learn that their attempt failed are more than poignant; if it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you’re dead inside.

The Truth (Season 9, Episodes 19 and 20)

The X Files draws to a dramatic close with the return of Mulder and the uncovering (at long last) of “the truth”. Accused of killing a military man (who is an alien super soldier and therfore cannot die), Mulder is on trial for his life and is relying on Scully, Assistant Director, Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) and a host of witnesses, including Gibson Praise (Jeff Gulka), Jeffrey Spender (Chris Owens) and Agent Monica Reyes. The reunion, however, of Mulder and Scully is what fans were waiting for and what makes this episode most memorable; having been apart for a year, the couple are finally reunited in their first real on-screen kiss, just yards away from Assistant Director Skinner. Awkward . . .