Today is the 20th Anniversary of one of the greatest science fiction shows on television. ‘The X-Files’ premiered on September 10, 1993, and for the next 9 seasons and 202 episodes, the show helped shape the science fiction genre. At the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con in July, the cast and creator Chris Carter sat down for a 20th Anniversary ‘X-Files’ panel.

All of the cast members seemed up for the idea of a third ‘X-Files’ film, but Carter continued to dodge questions on the subject and he didn’t seem too excited about it. Even though the return of ‘X-Files’ is up in the air, there are a number of shows either currently on the air today or that have recently concluded that are heavily influenced by ‘The X-Files’.

So, to fill that gaping hole in your heart left by the mysterious relationship of Mulder and Scully, here are 5 great shows any ‘X-Files’ fan will love.

‘Fringe’ (2008-2013)

This American science fiction show premiered to a lot of buzz, but at first it seemed like an exact rip off of ‘The X-Files’. This drama centered on a female FBI agent who is forced to work with an institutionalized scientist in order to rationalize a brewing storm of unexplained phenomena. The show slowly began to separate itself from its obvious inspiration as ‘Fringe’ increasingly explored new science fiction elements, including parallel universes, but kept elements from ‘The X-Files’ such as world-wide events that are connected and part of a bigger plot. The show concluded on January 28, 2013 after the finale of the fifth season.

‘Torchwood’ (2006-2011)

A spin off of the popular British science fiction show ‘Doctor Who’, this series created by Russell T. Davies follows former ‘Doctor Who’ companion Captain Jack Harkness as he works to head up the Torchwood Institute. The Torchwood Institute investigates odd phenomena that usually involve extraterrestrials. The show emulates all the things we loved about ‘The X-Files’: aliens, conspiracy, and a strong female skeptic, Gwen Cooper. Unlike ‘Doctor Who’ which had an audience of children and adults, ‘Torchwood’ was directed to an older audience exploring much more mature themes, including human corruptibility, existentialism and gay and bisexual relationships.

The show was never officially cancelled, although Davies says the show is in “limbo” and could come back in ten to twenty years! So even though that is not promising, the first four seasons of the show are fantastic.

‘Warehouse 13’ (2009-present)

Arguably Syfy’s biggest hit, ‘Warehouse 13’ follows two secret service agents after they save the President’s life and are whisked away to a covert location in South Dakota. The pair work together, a lot like Mulder and Scully, to begin to track down enchanted and supernatural objects that reference history in many ways and investigate any signs of new or lost objects. The show was Syfy’s highest rated series of all time, though it’s sadly entering its fifth and final season sometime in 2014.

Grimm (2011-present)

Grimm’ is essentially ‘The X-Files’ with fairytales. Even though the idea of this show seemed campy at first, the show has really hit its stride. ‘Grimm’ follows the tried and true formula of ‘The X-Files’, but with a twist, centering around homicide detective Nick Burkhardt, who discovers he is a descendant of hunters who fight supernatural forces. Throughout the series, he must battle against an assortment of dangerous creatures, with help from his friend Monroe (who is a reformed Wesen), and his partner Detective Hank Griffin. The show was renewed for a third season which will premiere on October 25, 2013.

Supernatural (2005-present)

Getting away from science fiction a little and bordering on fantasy, CW’s long running hit ‘Supernatural’ follows two brothers, Sam and Dean, who follow in their father’s footsteps and become hunters of monsters, demons, and gods that terrorize the Earth. Although the show is not exactly science fiction, the formula of two opposite personalities working together episode after episode never gets old, and it reflects the inspiration from ‘The X-Files’. After eight successful seasons, the CW renewed the show for a ninth season and announced that a spin-off is in the works. The ninth season premieres October 8th, 2013.


Blake Meredith is a television and film blogger where she covers popular television and new releases. Blake has been a long time science fiction fan and her favorites include classic and new ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Star Wars’, and ‘Ender’s Game’. When not catching up on her favorite shows or books, Blake enjoys longboarding in Chicago, IL where she currently lives.