The fifth season of the science fiction television series The X-Files commenced airing on the Fox network in the United States on November 2, 1997, concluding on the same channel on May 17, 1998, and contained 20 episodes. The season was the last in Vancouver, Canada; subsequent episodes would be shot in Los Angeles, California. In addition, this was the first season of the show where the course of the story was planned in advance, due to the 1998 The X-Files feature film being filmed before it, but schedule to be released after it aired.
The fifth season of the series focused heavily on FBI federal agents Fox Mulder’s loss of faith in the existence of extraterrestrials and his partner, Dana Scully’s, resurgence of health following her bout with cancer. New characters were also introduced, including agents Jeffrey Spender and Diana Fowley and the psychic Gibson Praise. The finale, “The End”, led up to both the 1998 film and the sixth season premiere “The Beginning”.
Debuting with high viewing figures and ranking as the eleventh most watched television series during the 1997–98 television year in the United States, the season was a success, with figures averaging around 20 million viewers an episode. This made it the year’s highest-rated Fox program as well as the highest rated season of The X-Files to air. Critical reception from television critics was generally positive.