"Tempus Fugit" is the seventeenth episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files. It premiered on the Fox network on March 16, 1997. It was directed by Rob Bowman, and written by Frank Spotnitz and series creator Chris Carter. "Tempus Fugit" featured guest appearances by Joe Spano, Tom O'Brien and Brendan Beiser, and saw the return of Scott Bellis as alien abductee Max Fenig. The episode helped to explore the overarching mythology, or fictional history of The X-Files. "Tempus Fugit" earned a Nielsen household rating of 11.9, being watched by 18.85 million people in its initial broadcast. The title translates from Latin as "time flies."
The show centers on FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) who work on cases linked to the paranormal, called X-Files. In the episode, Max Fenig—an old acquaintance of Mulder—is found dead following an airplane crash, which Mulder believes to have been caused by a UFO attempting to abduct Fenig. "Tempus Fugit" is a two-part episode, with the plot continuing in the next episode, "Max".
"Tempus Fugit" was conceived when the series' special effects supervisor Dave Gauthier constructed an elaborate rig capable of simulating a crashing airplane. Carter and Spotnitz expanded upon the idea of a crash to bring back the character of Fenig, who had last been seen in season one's "Fallen Angel". "Tempus Fugit" received mixed to positive critical reception, and earned the production crew two Emmy Award nominations, including a win for Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series....LESS