We X-Files devotees are always on the lookout for something to fill the void left by the show. These ten suggestions just might do the trick!
The X-Files was a huge hit in the ’90s and is frequently cited as one of the best shows of all time. Chris Carter’s The X-Files redefined the genre despite its initial position as a complete underdog. The show’s influence can be seen in a slew of other media, including television shows, movies, and other works of fiction.
As X-Files devotees, we’re always on the lookout for something to fill the void left by the show. So, for those of you who have been missing The X-Files, we’ve put together a list of ten suggestions.
1. THE TWILIGHT ZONE
Rod Sterling’s 1959 anthology series The Twilight Zone was a major influence on The X-Files, and we would be remiss if we didn’t mention it to you. As a result, each episode serves as a stand-alone story about strange and unsettling events – an experience referred to as “entering the Twilight Zone,” a phrase commonly used today to describe surreal experiences.
Simon Kinberg, Jordan Peele, and Marco Ramirez have resurrected the show on CBS All Access recently. This is The Twilight Zone of the twenty-first century if you’re unwilling to give the old one a shot. To put it another way: If you liked The X-Files, you’ll like this one.
2. STRANGER THINGS
Stranger Things, one of Netflix’s biggest hits, premiered on July 15, 2016, to rave reviews. This critically acclaimed show, which was created by the Duffer brothers, has a devoted following. Season one is set in the 1980s in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, and centers on the search for a young boy who has gone missing amid paranormal activity in the area. The sudden appearance of a girl with psychokinetic abilities is just one example.
In the first season, the search for the missing boy and the investigation into the paranormal events are seen from various points of view, but the group of children is the focal point of the investigation. The Duffer brothers were able to craft an engaging story with fully-developed characters in a masterfully-created world that works as a loving homage to 1980s pop culture while balancing humor and nostalgia. Stranger Things has it all for an X-Files fan: monsters, conspiracies, and a memorable cast.
3. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon, is a classic of the 1990s television era. A Vampire Slayer named Buffy Summers fights against vampires, demons and other forces of darkness in the supernatural drama. Many people consider Buffy the Vampire Slayer one of the best television shows of all time because of Joss Whedon’s distinct wit and use of bathos, dry humor, and snappy dialogue.
Even though you’ll have to replace FBI agents for vampire-hunting high school students, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a lot in common with The X-Files in terms of suspense and humor. Both shows, on the other hand, are set in the 1990s, deal with the paranormal, and have strong female characters as their mainstays. In addition, Whedon referred to the show as “My So-Called Life with The X-Files” when discussing it. If you enjoy Buffy, you should also watch some of Joss Whedon’s other works, such as Firefly or Dollhouse.
4. PERSON OF INTEREST
Allow us to recommend Person of Interest to you if you’re interested in conspiracy theories and paranoia in the modern age. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Harold Finch, a self-made billionaire software genius, built a computer system for the government that monitors all electronic communications and surveillance video feeds in order to anticipate future criminal activities. Other heinous crimes are predicted by “The Machine,” but since they don’t pose a threat to national security, they are routinely removed from the database. Finch assembles a team and begins an investigation into these “persons of interest” in order to gain a better understanding of the case and put an end to it.
This show tackles today’s conspiracies and paranoia in the same way The X-Files did for alien conspiracy theories in the ’90s: mass surveillance, technological risks, super-intelligent robots, and so on.
5. WAREHOUSE 13
It is set in the top-secret storage facility Warehouse 13 where a pair of Secret Service agents have been assigned to look after historical artifacts imbued with some sort of energy, giving them strange abilities. The best way to describe Warehouse 13 is as an enchanted object version of The X-Files.
For the most part, episodes follow the team as they attempt to locate and retrieve a lost artifact that is wreaking havoc. However, each season has its own story arc and villain. In addition to historical and pop-culture references, the show features a lot of wonder and humor. Warehouse 13 is a must-see if you enjoyed the zanier episodes of The X-Files. You won’t be dissatisfied.
But even though Bones does not deal with the supernatural, those who have seen the show may have found several similarities to the original series of “The Experiments in Paranormal Investigation.” Following an unlikely crime-solving team of FBI agent Seely Booth and forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan, Bones is created by Hart Hanson and based on Kathy Reichs’ book series.
Unlike Mulder and Scully’s team of skeptics, Bones is a firm believer in facts and evidence while Booth is more willing to consider other possibilities. Eventually, their professional relationship turns into a love affair that could result in something more. Much like The X-Files, the show features bizarre cases, witty banter, eccentric characters, and amusing moments. As early as the pilot episode, Booth makes a nod to the science-fiction classic.
Similar to Bones, Castle teams up NYPD homicide detective Kate Beckett with best-selling mystery author Richard Castle to fight crime. Detectives Esposito and Ryan, as well as Beckett’s best friend and medical examiner Dr. Parish, work together to solve some of New York City’s most bizarre murder cases.
When it comes to the dynamic between the two main characters, Castle clearly drew inspiration from The X-Files. As Beckett’s Scully points out, Castle is Beckett’s Mulder. There are also many memorable episodes of the case-of-the-week genre on Castle, which has the same mix as the first season’s. Season three even featured an homage episode to The X-Files in which Castle whistled the theme from the show’s opening and referenced the Cigarette Smoking Man in his monologue. If you’re still not persuaded, the show’s central plot revolves around the investigation of Beckett’s mother’s murder, which reveals a larger conspiracy in the process.
8. TWIN PEAKS
The cult classic television series Twin Peaks served as a spiritual prequel and inspiration for a number of sci-fi shows, including The X-Files. Due to dwindling viewership, the show was canceled after just two seasons. Regardless, you won’t regret watching this suspenseful horror show on TV. The series, which was created by Mark Frost and David Lynch, follows FBI agent Dale Cooper as he investigates the murder of Twin Peaks’ homecoming queen Laura Palmer.
Twin Peaks has a unique blend of surrealism and offbeat humor thanks to its director, David Lynch. Even though it has an unusual tone and cast of campy, melodramatic characters, that’s part of what makes the show so enjoyable. Since Twin Peaks: The Return brought the series back to life in 2017, now is a great time to dive into it.
In the same universe as The X-Files, Millennium was created by The X-Files’ Chris Carter and ran for only three seasons, but it’s still one of the best sci-fi shows ever made. However, if you’re not convinced, we’ll tell you what this brief series was all about to persuade you.
Millennium starred Frank Black, a former FBI agent who is now a freelance forensic profiler for a mysterious organization called the Millennium Group and has the ability to see into the minds of serial killers and murderers.
There’s a twist in the story: it turns out they’re a secret society determined to bring about global calamity.
Millennium, a dark and tense thriller resembling a cross between The X-Files and Se7en, will have you hooked from the first episode.
Fringe is unquestionably the true spiritual successor to The X-Files. This five-season cult classic from J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci ran on FOX. The X-Files, Lost, and The Twilight Zone all served as inspiration for the show. In the beginning, Fringe is a procedural focused on monsters of the week, but it becomes increasingly serialized over time.
Most episodes of Fringe have a number of storylines running concurrently, such as a standalone plot, aka the weird-of-the-week, and one that delves into the show’s mythos. An excellent storyline, well-written and fully-developed characters and relationships, a lot of witty banter and an overall similar feel to Chris Carter’s scifi hit are all to be found in this new series for fans of The X-Files fans. If you’re a fan of The X-Files or the X-Files era, you should check out Fringe.
Irina Curovic is a free-lance writer who enjoys a wide range of media, including television, movies, anime, books, and music. She’s had the good fortune to land a job that allows her to spend her days doing what she enjoys most: thinking, talking, and writing about it. In her spare time, this nerdy alien can be found writing articles for CBR and Screen Rant, or curled up with a book and the latest episode of one of her favorite shows. She also enjoys re-watching old favorites and playing the guitar mediocrely.