The X Files

The music of The X Files reflects almost precisely the action and feel of the show itself: It’s grandly cinematic in concept, yet slightly cheesy and B-movie spooky in effect. Mark Snow’s compositions do a lot of heavy lifting during longish, darkish scenes of dialogue-free investigation and otherworldly action, building tension even when we can probably guess what’s coming next. But the soundtrack is surprisingly versatile, working to tease Mulder and Scully’s will-they-won’t-they romance in one scene, then to underscore (or undercut) the comedy in the next. (See, for example, “Hollywood A.D.,” the excellent episode in which Garry Shandling, true to type, stars as Garry Shandling playing Fox Mulder in a film based on the FBI’s investigations of the paranormal, recalling in its metatextuality David Duchovny’s own turn on The Larry Sanders Show.)

After The X Files, Snow composed music for Smallville and One Tree Hill; his earlier projects included Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and the feature film Ernest Saves Christmas. As previously mentioned, the man has range.

“The X Files” theme written by Mark Snow.

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