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Cult Spy Icon: Walter Skinner ('X-Files')

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Cult Spy Icon: Walter Skinner ('X-Files')
Appearances can be deceiving - especially in a world where you are urged to 'trust no one'. Resembling a corporate middle man Penfold, Walter Skinner presided over the X-files as Assistant Director of the FBI - and initially frustrated Fox Mulder's attempts to delve deeper into the murky world of paranormal and extraterrestrial phenomena. Yet as the series wore on, so did our affection for the great man...

It emerged that he was a mentally scarred Vietnam vet, haunted by memories and visions of his experiences. More importantly, he was on the side of truth and justice - and not afraid to take on his superiors in the sinister form of The Cigarette Smoking Man. In the early days, Skinner was put in a precarious position. On the one hand he was regularly having to formally rebuke Mulder despite wishing for him to succeed, while also trying to stay in a job by ensuring that Mulder didn't tread on too many cigarette butts.

Skinner's defining moment came when he broke free from the shackles and blackmailed his boss with a digital tape in order to reinstate the X-files after it was shut down. "There's only one thing I can do, Agent Mulder. As of right now, I'm reopening the X-files. That's what they fear the most". Whatta guy!

On a physical level, Skinner proved the bald blokes can be extremely potent and virile. Masking a rippled torso under his suit and specs, he wasn't afraid to throw a few punches and bed a few prostitutes behind his wife Sharon's back. Let's gloss over the fact that one of them turned up dead in his bed after a wild romp with him.

> Click here for our review of the new X-Files movie

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