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"Deep Throat"
The X-Files episode
Fox Mulder under a UFO
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 2
Written by Chris Carter
Directed by Daniel Sackheim
Production no. 1X01
Original airdate September 17, 1993
Guest stars
  • Jerry Hardin as Deep Throat
  • Andrew Johnston as Colonel Budahas
  • Gabrielle Rose as Anita Budahas
  • Michael Bryan French as Paul Mossinger
  • Seth Green as Emil
  • Lalainia Lindejerg as Zoe
  • Vince Metcalfe as Colonel Kissell
  • Monica Parker as Ladonna
  • Sheila Moore as Verla McLennen
  • Doc Harris as Mr. McLennen
  • John Cuthbert as Commanding Officer
  • Brian Furlong as Lead Officer
  • Michael Puttonen as Motel Manager
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Pilot" "Squeeze"
List of season 1 episodes
List of The X-Files episodes

Deep Throat is the second episode of the first season and the series of the American science fiction television series The X-Files premiered on the FOX network on September 17, 1993. It was written by series creator Chris Carter, and directed by Daniel Sackheim. The episode received a strong Nielsen household rating compared to other season one episodes. It also got strong reviews from major media publishers worldwide.

When Fox Mulder and Dana Scully decide to investigate a possible conspiracy in the U.S. Air Force, Mulder meets a mysterious informant who warns him to stay away from the case. Undeterred, Mulder continues in his investigation and comes closer to the truth than ever before, only to have it snatched away from him again.



Near Ellens Air Force Base in Idaho, Colonel Robert Budahas barricades himself within his home, and is found severely injured and trembling in his bathroom when soldiers burst into his house. Meeting at a bar months later, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) tells partner Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) of the case, which Colonel Budahas's wife has reported as a kidnapping. Before leaving, Mulder meets a mysterious man in the bathroom, Deep Throat, who warns him to stay away from the case. Mulder discovers that his phone is tapped and that he is being watched.

Upon arriving in Idaho, Mulder and Scully meet with Mrs. Budahas. She takes them to talk to a neighbor, whose husband exhibited similar behavior. Scully obtains an appointment with the base director Colonel Kissell, but he refuses to meet with them when they stop by his home immediately afterwards. The agents subsequently meet local reporter Paul Mossinger, who refers them to the Flying Saucer Restaurant. While discussing the existence of U.F.Os with the bartender, Mulder obtains directions to Ellens Air Force Base.

Mulder and Scully drive to the base, where they stay until late at night. Scully, who has been sleeping in the car while Mulder keeps watch on a nearby hill, is awakened when the rear windshield of the car shatters. Mulder races down the hill to show her a mysterious light in the sky, which appears to be an aircraft but makes technologically impossible maneuvers while airborne.

A helicopter approaches soon afterwards, and while leaving, Mulder and Scully come across Emil and Zoe, a pair of teens who often sneak into the field next to the air force base to watch the U.F.Os. While Mulder treats the pair to a meal at a local diner, they tell him and Scully about the frequent appearances of the lights Mulder saw, and of the nearby base from which they believe the U.F.Os are launched. Meanwhile, Budahas is returned to his home, but his memory has been erased. After leaving the diner, Mulder and Scully are confronted by a group of black suited agents, who destroy the photographs they have taken and order them to leave the town.

An indignant Mulder sneaks into Ellens Air Force Base with help from Emil and Zoe. When he arrives there, he sees a triangular shaped craft fly overhead, but he is soon captured by soldiers and has his memory tampered with. Meanwhile, a panicking Scully reencounters Mossinger, who she discovers is actually a security operative for the base. Holding him at gunpoint she, forces him to guide her to the base where she exchanges him for Mulder. Mulder and Scully, defeated, return to Washington. Days later, Mulder encounters Deep Throat again while jogging at a local track. Mulder asks Deep Throat if "they" really are present on Earth. Deep Throat responds "Mr. Mulder, they have been here for a long, long time."[1][2]




This episode marked the first appearance of the character Deep Throat, who was named after the Watergate informant.[3][4] According to series creator Chris Carter you could see that The X-Files was a "series in making" during this episode. The episode was inspired by basic UFO literature. Believers in aliens have for long thought that Area 51 and Nellis Air Force Base have alien technology captured during the Roswell incident. The name Ellens Air Force Base was derived from the name of Carter's old college girlfriend, whose last name was Ellens. The story's military project was inspired by a rumor that the United States Air Force had started a project named the Aurora Project. Carter said he remembered people talking about this rumor and that its inclusion in the story was a "nod" to that rumor.[5]


The scene with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in the "Flying Saucer" bar was shot at a Vancouver restaurant called The Meat Market, which according to Carter was a much "divier location than the production designers would have you believe." The surname for the two guest characters, Budahas, came from an old high school friend Carter knew whose actual name was Bob Budahas. The name became a running joke for The X-Files crew under the course of the show. Duchovny and Anderson had never used a gun or held one before joining The X-Files, so they were trained before filming on how to hold them properly so they could appear to be "real FBI agents".[5]

Carter created the character Deep Throat because he was interested in providing an inside contact for Mulder. Deep Throat was originally inspired by Carter's favorite film, All the President's Men, and Carter further stated in the audio commentary that picking Jerry Hardin for the role was an "easy choice". Hardin was an American actor living in the United States, so he flew up to Vancouver every few weeks to film short scenes with him interacting with the different characters. Carter called Hardin's portrayal "very, very good".[5]

Special Effects

The scenes with the flashing lights are according to Chris Carter the "worst effects we've ever done" on the show. He explained that the main reasons for the effects being poor were money and time; he also commented that special effects were still in their infancy. Mat Beck was the special effects producer and supervisor during the first season of the show; he and Carter tried to make the special effects look three dimensional and "better", but were unable to do it. According to Carter, the result looked like a "kind of hi-tech pong game."[5]

The scenes in which Fox Mulder infiltrates the air base were shot at a real United States airbase. With a small budget and a television schedule to think of, Carter said the effects came out "good, given the restrictions" they had. The UFO was digitally made, and was created by a "sort of disco light rig" that was rented from a "party supplier". Carter commented on Daniel Sackheim's shooting, saying it was "shot well". The sun was just rising up at the end of the scene, so a mismatch in the sky can be seen. Crew member John Bartley attempted to rig the angles and keep the scene as dark as possible.[5]


This episode marks Mark Snow's debut as a solo composer for the series. Carter stated he and the production crew were "fearful" of using too much music in the episode, and overall the first season. Anderson's voice over narration towards the end of the episode was inserted after complaints from Fox, who desired more closure to the events of this episode. Fox's complaints were that viewers weren't supposed to be "confused" after watching an episode of the series, but must have the slightest idea of what was going on. As a result of this, the crew added Anderson's voice as an experiment. The voiceovers became a common X-Files technique for the remainder of the series.[5]


This episode earned a Nielsen household rating of 7.3/14. It was viewed by 6.9 million households.[6]


  1. ^ Lowry,Brian (1995). The Truth is Out There: The Official Guide to the X-Files. Harper Prism. pp. 102–103. 
  2. ^ Lovece, Frank (1996). The X-Files Declassified. Citadel Press. pp. 47–48. 
  3. ^ Lowry,Brian (1995). The Truth is Out There: The Official Guide to the X-Files. Harper Prism. p. 103. 
  4. ^ Edwards, Ted (1996). X-Files Confidential. Little, Brown and Company. p. 37. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Carter, Chris. (2005). Audio Commentary for "Deep Throat". [DVD]. FOX Home Entertainment. 
  6. ^ Lowry,Brian (1995). The Truth is Out There: The Official Guide to the X-Files. Harper Prism. p. 248. 

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