Thought-provoking and terrifying, but sensitive in its way, The X-Files definitely withstands repeat viewing (even after you've watched it all the way through once).
Inspired by shows such as Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery, as well as Twin Peaks by Mark Frost and David Lynch, The X-Files originally ran from 1993 to 2002, before being revived both in 2016 and in 2018.
Over the course of 11 seasons (and hopefully more yet to come), audiences have followed Special Agents of the FBI, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, played by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson (and others, of course), on assignments that have challenged them and brought them together. Not bad, given that Anderson's Scully was originally assigned to The X-Files to debunk Mulder's methods and conclusions!
However, it has not been an easy journey. Many have perished during the series and others (including Mulder and Scully, in fact) have suffered worse than that. From being trapped by merciless governments to being irrevocably altered for life (and not always for the best), many have been subjected to horrific treatment.
Here are 10 of the most memorable non-lethal fates to feature in The X-Files
10. Pursued By Psychotic AI
In keeping with the character of the HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, virtually all artificial intelligence (AI) portrayed in The X-Files is psychotic. A glowing example is Eurisko's COS system in the first season episode, Ghost in the Machine, which not only controlled the company's entire building and systems, but also used the Internet to manipulate outside events, often with fatal results.
More recently, however, in the 2018 episode, Rm9sbG93ZXJz (which translates as "Followers"), after trying to enjoy a meal in an automated sushi restaurant and failing to leave a tip, both Mulder and Scully are subjected to ongoing torment by a series of gadgets, including drones, automated taxis, and cleaning robots robots, all of which contribute to destroying Scully's house, sending Mulder and Scully on the run.
Ultimately, this is a learning experience for them, as they realize that AI will treat humans in the same manner as humans treat AI. When they finally leave a tip, the various threatening AI devices finally back down.
However, the devices will surely continue to watch them...