T

he eighth season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files commenced airing in the United States on November 5, 2000, concluded on May 20, 2001, and consisted of twenty-one episodes. Season eight takes place after Fox Mulder's alien abduction in the seventh season. The story arc for the search of Mulder continues until the second half of the season, when a new arc about Dana Scully's pregnancy is formed. This arc would continue, and end, with the next season. The season explores various themes such as life, death, and belief.

Season eight was received well by critics but got more mixed reviews by fans and viewers, since David Duchovny elected to return only as an intermittent main character, meaning that he appeared in only half of the episodes. Duchovny was initially replaced by Robert Patrick who played new central character John Doggett. Duchovny appeared for only twelve episodes in season eight, and reduced his time on The X-Files dramatically in season 9. "This Is Not Happening" marked the first appearance of Annabeth Gish as Monica Reyes, who would become a main character in season 9 as Doggett's new partner in the X-Files office.

Series creator Chris Carter believed that the series could continue for another ten years with new leads, and the opening credits were accordingly redesigned in both seasons eight and nine. During the airing of season eight, Carter and The X-Files production team created and aired a spinoff titled The Lone Gunmen.

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