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Massive X-Files Fandom Poll!

So, for the past two years or so, I’ve been delving into the cultural history of The X-Files, doing long-form reviews of everything from the show itself to spin-offs to comic books to crossovers to pop singles. It’s been great fun, and a pleasure from beginning to end. However, that end is fast approaching, and I was thinking of a nice way to mark the occasion. So I thought it might be fun to do a poll of the show’s run, and just get a sense of the broad consensus of fandom’s opinion on the best of the show’s nine-plus year run.

So, that’s what I’m doing.


The poll is open to anybody who wants to vote. It will be open until Babylon airs on the 15th February 2016. I’ll then take a little while to tabulate results, and offer a glimpse of fandom’s favourite episode before My Struggle II airs 22nd February 2016. Submission is simple; just compile a list of up to thirty of your favourite episodes (in order) and mail them directly to email address xfilespoll@gmail.com. (Or, if you don’t want to share your email with a stranger, fill out the form here.) Please include the word “Poll” in your subject to weed out the spam, but I’ll be checking the address fairly regularly.

I’ll go through the “rules” below, but it is worth mentioning why I thought this was a good idea. The most obvious is that I’ve spent more than two years talking about The X-Files. It might be worth hearing somebody else’s opinion.  More than that, it is a nice way to acknowledge all the readers of my reviews, and to involve you guys in some way in this project. It’s been great fun for me, and I’ve greatly enjoyed engaging with fans on twitter and in the comments, so I thought this might be a great way to involve everybody.


As an aside, I am surprised at the lack of fandom polls for The X-Files compared to other popular franchises like Doctor Who or Star Trek. Fandom polls are a great way to measure popular opinion over long periods, to see how consensus has changed or solidified over long periods of time. With the revival, now seems a good moment to take  a measure. It has been over a decade since the show went off the air, but it’s very much at peak popularity. It feels like this might be useful for the next rewatch or go-round.

As an aside, please feel free to spread word of this poll. Basically, the more people take part, the more interesting the results will be and the more accurately that the results will reflect X-Files fandom at this particular moment. So share it, tweet it, facebook it. Get the word out, even if you just send out the email address and an instruction to send up to thirty ranked choices for the best X-Files episodes ever. I hope this can become something special and cool, a snapshot of where the popular opinion is on The X-Files at this moment in time.


Now for the boring stuff. Organising a poll means having rules, so the results are somewhat transparent. They should be straight-forward enough, but any questions, please sound off in the comments:

Thanks for reading! Have fun! Any questions or comments, sound off below!

Note: Per feedback, people might be understandably uncomfortable emailing a random address. So I’ve put up a form you can fill out using just your alias and providing your list. The form is accessible here.

5 Responses

  1. This site was the only one that I knew of that was heavily used. Sidenote, on this site, you can find some very early reviews by Sarah Stegall, Todd VanderWerff and myself, although I was 14-15 at the time.

  2. Just realized it might be hard to follow that link. Here is a snapshot of the rankings soon after the airing of The Truth.

    • I was going to comment that I was having difficulty finding anything X-Files related on there. (It seemed to be a couple’s wedding page!)

      Thanks for the link. I’m very interested in this sort of stuff.

      • To my knowledge, that was one of the only sites that computed “ratings” and “rankings” contemporaneously with the show’s original airing, starting (I think) sometime mid to late season 2. One general observation/flaw from an historical perspective is that episodes tended to be rated higher right after airing and rated more critically years later. This places season 6 on significantly stronger footing than seasons 1 and 2. Seasons 8 and 9 obviously suffered because of the lack of Mulder. Season 7’s ratings, however, just goes to show what a mess that season was.
        This probably also applies to the mythology being viewed more critically in retrospect than the standalones.
        Like you, I think there will be more consensus on the top 10-20. (That site also had a “sort by standard deviation” feature that you might find interesting).

      • This ranking will surely have different results from that one, the fact that 2 or 3 parters are counted as only one entry it’s a game changer. For example I didn’t even included Redux on my list, because I felt Redux 1 was very lame and boring, despite Redux 2 being one of the stronger season opener episode in my opinion, but as a whole the two parter isn’t one of my favorites. However there’s a chance many standalone episodes will be ranked similarly, anywhere there’s a top 10 or top 20 it’s almost always the same choices.

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