X-Files Timeline has been on the web since 1997! We are
one of the few remaining "original" fan websites that were created
during the FOX network run of the series. In calendar year 2015, we
had over 58,800 unique daily visitors and over 113,000 pages downloaded, with an annual download bandwidth of 6.35 gigabytes of timeline pages. This is down from what it used to be (34 gigabytes in 2005) but still not bad.
This site has never been about making money, which is why we never bothered to secure a unique domain name. It began when all HTML was hand-coded and stands largely as a past body of work. This is why no effort had been made to update it to a modern content management system or other 21st century web management system. But of course we are updating with new episodes summaries as new episodes are broadcast.
But we also like to think that the current HTML-based pages give a feel for 1990s X-Files fandom and the web environment that was so important to the popularity of The X-Files.
ORIGINS & GROWTH
This site was
developed over countless hours and multiple viewings of X-Files episodes.
The first drafts were written around Christmas, 1996, at the request of a friend who needed
a basic timeline for an X-Files fan fiction project. It was later expanded
as part of my academic interest in creativity in television and the dynamics
of fandom (I hold a doctorate and teach college-level Mass Communication). For
several years during the FOX television run of the X-Files, starting around
1997, I had the opportunity to see a closed-circuit network satellite feed
of the Sunday evening episode on Sunday mornings. I would watch the
episode, write a story summary, and place it on this website by mid-morning,
thus offering "spoilers." During
this era, it was not unusual to get 10-15,000 homepage "hits" a month, mostly
has been available on the Internet since late June of 1997. On November 14,
1997, YAHOO added this Timeline to its featured sites on its X-Files page
and mentioned the site in Yahoo Internet Life publication, greatly increasing
traffic to the 200-600 per day range. Largely thanks to being listed by YAHOO,
this Timeline passed the 10,000 "hit" mark on
January 5, 1998.
On January 20,
1998, Suite 101, based in Vancouver BC (later absorbed by the now-defunct
fandom.com), named The X-Files Timeline as one of its top five X-Files sites
on the web, sharing that honor with then-well-known sites such as Tiny Dancer's
X-Files Episode Guide and the Gossamer Project fan fiction archives. Several
additional WWW awards were received in those early years -- to the point
that we no
longer had room to display them (and they mainly wanted to get traffic back
to their sites by generating click-throughs, anyway).
On April 30, 2001, after five years on the servers of The University
of South Dakota, this site moved to a private domain. As the result
of a job change, my affiliation with the university changed, making it seem
wise to move these files to a domain where we have full control.
Due to the demands
of my academic life, I rarely have much time to work on this site,
anthough it received a minor facelift during Spring Break 2007. I deliberately do not offer my email
address on this site because I usually don't have time to reply. If
you really NEED to find me, you probably can.
Assembling dates in the fashion needed for this Timeline was often
problematical. I have virtually every X-Files episode on old VHS tapes and often
freeze-framed to inspect documents that might contain dates or other
information. Closed captioning often provided spellings. The now-defunct Official
X-Files Site was used for spellings. All of the narrative
information on the episodes is my own, with the exception of a few
lines here and there suggested by readers.
I have attempted to differentiate confirmed dates and events with
those that are speculative. In most cases, I include notes indicating my
justification for giving the dates I do. Your mileage may certainly vary
on interpretations because the series is often ambiguous about whether
the scientific or the fantastic explanation is true. In addition, some
entire episodes may be untrue (within the context of the X-Files universe)
and not really part of the series continuity. For example, in Musings
of a Cigarette Smoking Man, are the events we see real? Are they the
biased memories of the Smoking Man? Or are they based on Frohike's
reading of a work of fiction?
VISITORS AND THE NUMBERS
to "hits" below
are based on the home page counter as opposed to actual server hits, unless
This site first
appeared on the World Wide Web in June of 1997. It began attracting attention
slowly, passing the 20,000 "hit" mark on March 17, 1998;
30,000 "hits" on May 21, 1998; and 35,000 "hits" on June 15, 1998. A burst
of hits connected to the release of the first X-Files theatrical film caused
the Timeline to receive 5,000 hits in 14 days and reach the 40,000 mark on
June 29th, the approximate one year anniversary of the premier of this
Timeline on the WWW. 50,000 hits was passed on September 18, 1998; and
55,000 hits on my birthday, October 27. We reached 60,000 hits on
November 15th, 1998; 70,000 hits on December 12; 80,000 on January 11; and
90,000 on February 5, 1999.
A major surge of interest surrounding the episodes Two Fathers and
One Son led to reaching 95,000 hits just 4 days after the 90,000 mark was hit,
on February 9, and 100,000 hits the following week, on February 14, 1999.
We passed 130,000 hits on April 18th; 140,000 on May 3; and 150,000 hits
on May 19, 1999. Things slowed down when The X-Files was in reruns. Over the
1999 summer months we had 20,000 hits, passing 170,000 on November 4, a
few days before the season premier. 190,000 hits was passed on November
28, the day before the broadcast of the final new episode of calendar year
We passed 200,000 hits on December 14, 1999, meaning we had 100,000
hits in ten months. 210,000 was passed on January 16, 2000; 220,000 on
February 11; 230,000 on February 27; 240,000 on March 19, 2000;
250,000 on April 09; 260,000 on May 2 and 270,000 on May 20, 2000. A
burst of interest surrounding the season finale added 10,000 in just
over a week, with the site passing 280,000 on May 28. 290,000
hits was passed on July 11, 2000. We passed the big 300,000 mark on
August 26; reached 310,000 on October 13; 320,000 on November 8; 330,000
on November 22; 340,000 on December 11; 350,000 on December 27; 360,000 on January
14; 370,000 on January 25; 380,000 on February 10; and 390,000 on February 22, 2001.
The big 400,000 hit mark was passed on March 5; 410,000 was
passed on April 1; 420,000 on April 12; 430,000 on April 22; and 440,000
on April 29; and 460,000 on May 13; 480,000 on May 23; and 490,000 on
June 6. We passed the big 500,000 mark on July 1, 2001; 510,000
on August 11; and 525,000 on October 18; 550,000 on November 19; and
560,000 on December 24, 2001. The site reached 570,000 on January 21;
580,000 on February 27; 590,000 on March 10; and 600,000 on March 24, 2002.
burst of over 40,000 hits on the day of the series finale (65,000 over two
days) pushed the Timeline past 650,000 on the evening of May 19, 2002 (shortly
after the east coast airing of the episode ended) and past 700,000 on May
21. We reached 750,000 on November 24, 2002; 800,000 on October 7, 2003;
825,000 on December 29, 2003; 850,000 on April 27, and 875,000 on August
30, 2004. The site passed 900,000 on December 9, 2004, 925,000 on
March 29, 2005; 950,000 0n June 10; 975,000 on August 17; 1 million on October
23; 1,020,000 on December 28; 1,050,000 on March 25, 2006; 1,100,000
on October 8, 2006; 1,150,000 on August 14, 2007; 1.2 million on June
4, 2008; 1.25 million on January 13, 2010; and 1.3 million on February 5, 2011. At the end of 2013 we were at 1.368 million hits, working slowly up to 1.385 million hits two days before the premier of the 2016 episodes.
Our server recorded
7,050 unique daily visitors on July 20, 2008, the Sunday before The X-Files:
I Want to Believe premiered, with heavy traffic over the remaining days until
the premierl. On July 20, 17,954 pages were downloaded with
almost a quarter million server hits. July 2008, overall, doubled the
average monthly unique users of recent months, and was by far the highest
traffic month since the series ended.
in this Timeline, including all related files on this web site, is copyright © 1996-2016
by Michael Marek, all rights reserved, and may not be reproduced without
permission. Excerpts were used with permission in the Blu-ray edition extras of the The X-Files:
I Want to Believe.
web site is not produced or endorsed by FOX TELEVISION or
1013 PRODUCTIONS or any subsidiaries or affiliates. It is my belief that
any copyrighted or trademarked material appearing on this site complies with
fair or acceptable use principles established in U.S. and international copyright
law for the purposes of review, study, criticism, or news reporting. All
graphics are original creations, exist in the public domain, or are used
with permission. All text was written by the author, submitted by
readers, or otherwise used with permission.
I consider the
episode summaries, specifically, to be within the provisions of fair use
for purposes of study and review.