the UK this collection of previously released
X-Files TV episodes is being sold as The X-Files - Essentials,
which is a much more accurate description of its contents.
Basically a sampler of
eight episodes spread over two discs handpicked by that show's creator,
Chris Carter, it is aimed at the curious (what do you mean you haven't seen
episodes of it yet?!) and more casual fans. True X-Philes will probably
already own all these episodes as they are contained on the various complete
season box sets.
The setup is well-known by
now: special agents Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Mulder (David Duchovny)
investigate the so-called x-files - all the FBI's unsolved cases usually
involving some element of the unexplained (UFOs, the supernatural, etc.).
Picking eight episodes from
over 200 episodes is quite a task, and the chances are that some if not all
of your own personal favorites won't be included on this collection. As it
is, we get the pilot episode (to get newbies into the picture), several of
the show's humorous episodes, one so-called mythology episode and one or
two scary ones. Our personal faves on this collection are the funny
episodes: Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose, Post-Modern Prometheus and Bad
Interestingly enough all
but one of these episodes are from the show's first five seasons when the
show was still being filmed in Canada. Only one episode (Milagro) is from
season 6 onwards when the show was being filmed in Los Angeles. All of this
proves our contention that the series took a nosedive quality-wise with the
move as it had by then used up its best ideas and lost some stunningly
atmospheric Canadian locales. No matter how hard they tried, but they could
never recreate those spooky Vancouver woods in California!
we would have liked to have the very last episode included on this disc as
well because - yes, we haven't seen it. Like many other X-Files fans we gave
up on the show when the humorless Robert Patrick (Terminator
2) replaced Duchovney and the so-called mythology storyline became way
too convoluted for its own good. (Incidentally, there is a separate box set
available containing all the show's mythology episodes dealing with human
quislings conspiring to prepare the way for an alien invasion.)
In another article we wrote
that the upcoming X-Files movie
will be a bit like getting it on again with an ex (no pun intended), but
this collection serves as a reminder of what was so great about the ex in
the first place. Although the quality may vary from episode to episode, the
writing and acting in the eight episodes collected here is quite good and is
highly recommended to the curious and the nostalgic (is the show really
fifteen years old already!?).
THE DISCS: The image
quality on these discs are quite sharp and seem much less grainy than
previous (especially budget) versions. Special features include short
introductions to each of the episodes by series creator Chris Carter and
executive producer Frank Spotnitz. It is best that check out these intros
after having viewed the episodes in question.
There is a 20 minutes or so
segment on the appearance of the two as well as the show's stars at the
recent Wondercon in San Diego. Of course they don't give anything away about
the upcoming big screen X-Files movie. Coolest of all though is the
teaser trailer for the movie and after watching the eight episodes on this
disc and this teaser there must be something seriously wrong with you if you
don't want to check out the movie when it opens on 25 July. For just that
purpose there is an $8.50 discount coupon included with Revelations.
WORTH IT? Yes. If
you don't already own any of these episodes already, that is.
it if you're an X-Files newbie or if you fell
out of love with this series. Even with the weaker episodes you can always
just stare mindlessly at the lovely Gillian Anderson . . .
"Pilot" (from Season 1)
"Beyond the Sea" (from Season 1)
"The Host" (from Season 2)
"Clyde Bruckmans Final Repose" (from Season 3)
"Memento Mori" (from Season 4)
"Post-Modern Prometheus" (from Season 5)
"Milagro" (from Season 6)
Bonus features: 2008 theatrical trailer; Wondercon talent panel session