Science Fiction Film & Television

Be fearful: The X-Files' post-9/11 legacy

Science Fiction Film & Television (2013), 6, (1), 71–85.


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With its exposé of government conspiracies and its claims for a more critical citizenship distrustful of political institutions, The X-Files tapped into the 1990s climate and captured more than any other contemporary television show the fears plaguing the end of the century. However, in the wake of the upheaval caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the show lost touch with its audience's concerns. This article analyses the post-9/11 irrelevance of The X-Files and reads Battlestar Galactica, a show that began its run in 2005, as The X-Files' heir. Battlestar Galactica, the article maintains, came to fill the void left by The X-Files with its commentary on George W. Bush's security and military operations against terrorism and its engagement with current anxieties.

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Author details

Picarelli, Enrica

Gomez-Galisteo, M.