The X-Files (1993–2018)
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Piper Maru 

The agents investigate the mystery surrounding a sunken World War II aircraft.


Rob Bowman


Chris Carter (created by), Frank Spotnitz | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Duchovny ... Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson ... Dana Scully
Mitch Pileggi ... Walter Skinner
Robert Clothier ... Commander Christopher Johansen
Jo Bates ... Jeraldine Kallenchuk
Nicholas Lea ... Alex Krycek
Morris Panych ... Gray Haired Man
Stephen E. Miller ... Wayne Morgan
Ari Solomon ... Gauthier
Paul Batten Paul Batten ... Dr. Seizer
Russell Ferrier Russell Ferrier ... Medic
Lenno Britos ... Hispanic Man
Kimberly Unger Kimberly Unger ... Joan Gauthier
Rochelle Greenwood ... Waitress
Joel Silverstone Joel Silverstone ... Engineer #1


Scully and Mulder investigate the case of the crew of a French salvage ship who are all, with one exception, suffering from severe radiation burns. Mulder is particularly interested in the case as the ship was working at the coordinates he believes is the site of a UFO crash. Evidence at the home of the one salvager who escaped the radiation burns leads Mulder to Hong Kong where he meets Krycek, who he believes killed his father. It's also obvious that the entity, black oil, is transferring itself from one person to another. Meanwhile, Scully is upset to learn that the police will shut down the investigation into the murder of her sister Melissa. Assistant Director Skinner assures her he will pursue the matter but he is warned off by representatives of the intelligence community. Written by garykmcd

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English | French

Release Date:

9 February 1996 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


"Piper Maru" is named for Gillian Anderson's daughter Piper Anderson, also Chris Carter's goddaughter. See more »


Scully goes onto Miramar NAS to visit/question a Naval CMDR about the P-51. She tells him she used to live next door. She states he was a pilot in WWII and he would therefore be well past retirement age. Military retirees are not provided base housing. The CMDR would not have been allowed to remain in his active duty housing after retirement. See more »


Scully: I'm just constantly amazed by you. You're working down here in the basement, sifting through files and transmissions that any other agent would just throw away in the garbage.
Mulder: Well, that's why I'm in the basement, Scully.
Scully: You're in the basement because they're afraid of you, of your relentlessness, and because they know that they could drop you in the middle of the desert and tell you the truth is out there, and you'd ask them for a shovel.
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Referenced in Alien vs. Predator (2004) See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
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User Reviews

Black Gold Or Texas Tea?
5 July 2006 | by MuldernscullySee all my reviews

Piper Maru introduces us to the Black Oil, the alien substance that will play a major part throughout the rest of the mythology episodes. Scully's speech about interest in the opening teaser sets the tone for the rest of the episode. Great dramatic acting by Gillian Anderson. The black oil in the eyes of an infected person is such an iconic shot of the x-files. I think why I like this episode so much is the new direction that the series takes with the introduction of the Black Oil. It adds a new and sometimes confusing dimension to the already established conspiracy involving alien colonization and alien/human hybrids. When Mulder first meets Krycek toward the end of the episode, Krycek appears sweaty and very nervous, and I'm not exactly sure why. It's not explained at all. The model sub used to begin the flashback is probably one of the worst special effects I've ever seen on the show. It looks like something out of Godzilla. It's just a very minor flaw in an otherwise spectacular episode. And Piper Maru's final shot works very well for a cliffhanger; a very cool shot.

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