But it's also a show noticeably surer of itself than Season One, with its stars reading from the same page in terms of their characters' relationship and attitudes to the wondrous. Scully's no-longer-workable scepticism finally starts to erode in the face of Mulder's increasingly cracked belief. There are fewer marking-time leftover-monster-of-the-week shows--although we do get a human fluke ("The Host"), vampires ("3"), an invisible rapist ("Excelsius Dei") voodoo ("Fresh Bones")--and the flying-saucer stories at last seem to be going somewhere. The powerful two-episode run ("Duane Barry", "Ascension") features Steve Railsback as Mulder's possible future, an FBI agent burned out after a UFO abduction who has become a hostage-taking terrorist, which climaxes with Scully's disappearance into the light. The standout episode is also a stand-alone--"Humbug"--the first and still most successful of the show's self-parodies (written by Darin Morgan, who had played the Flukeman in "The Host"), in which the agents investigate a murder in a circus freakshow, allowing the actors to make fun of the mannerisms they have earnestly built up in a run of solemn, even somnolent, explorations of the murk. Other worthy efforts: "Aubrey", about genetic memory; "Irresistible", a rare (and creepy) straight psycho-chiller with little paranormal content; and "The Calusari", a good ghost/mystery. Rising deputy characters include Nicholas Lea as the perfidious Krycek and Brian Thompson as the shapeshifting alien bounty hunters. Notable guest stars: Charles Martin Smith, C.C.H. Pounder, Leland Orser, Terry O'Quinn, Bruce Weitz, Daniel Benzali, John Savage, Vincent Schiavelli, Tony Shalhoub. --Kim Newman
On the DVD: The individual episode discs have a small selection of deleted scenes, foreign language clips and behind-the-scenes footage, but the bulk of the extra material is on the final disc. There's not a lot to get to grips with, but what there is consists of a 14-minute documentary about the making of Season Two, with contributions from Chris Carter, various directors, writers and actors (but not the two principals); Carter talking briefly about each episode in turn; a series of short TV spots and pieces about the show's FX and secondary characters; and three very short behind-the-scenes glimpses, one of which has the self-explanatory title "Gillian eats a cricket". There's also a DVD-ROM utility with Web links and a game. --Mark Walker
The truth behind Season Two - featurette
Chris Carter interviews about 12 episodes from season 2
9 "Behind-the-truth" spots from F/X
Additional Language Sections
DVD Rom Features
Website and links
Unholy Alliances' Game
24 page booklet that contains all episode listings up to season seven
Despite now being 8 years old these episodes are as impressive now as they were watching them on tv, first time round. Every episode is clever, slick, imagenative and slightly creepy (or very creepy in the cases of: 'Die Hand Die Verletz' and 'The Calusari').
Highlights from season 2 include:
Duane Barry (for which Chris Carter was emmy nominated for outstanding writing)
One Breath (which sees Scully's return after her abduction)
Humbug (in my opinion 1 of the few comedic episodes that actually works),
F. Emasculata (gross but brilliant),
Our Town (it'll put you off chicken for sure),
& the best season finalé of the entire 9 seasons - Anasazi.
It does take nearly 19 hours to watch all 25 episodes on these 7 discs in one sitting and so I guess it will only be true X-philes who will have the staying power to watch in this way. I recommend watching one or two episodes at once and take time to view the special features and play the DVD-ROM game on disc 7.
I look forward to the release of season 3 which is equally as good in the near future.
The better sets and quality reflects on the speciality of the episodes and obviously made it easier for the actors to get into their roles.
Duchovny and Anderson get into their roles much better than the prior seasons.
It's better than the earlier ones simply visual.
And better than the latter because most the writing and ideas were a lot more original.
The myth apisodes are in one word grand and not boring even though the later ones would definatily become just that.
Questions are raised but not forgotten. A definate must for every lover of good t.v.
The package is beautifuland even though the price would seem high to some people the 1080 minutes of spedtacluar tv are definatly worth it!
The first highlight is that of the two part episode - 'Duane Barry' and 'Ascension' which use the traditional UFO abduction formula but throws Scully into the action (the start of major plot advancements in later seasons).
Gillian Anderson's pregnancy in real life resulted in her presence being restricted in some episodes but this does not detract from the overall flow of the season.
Another stand out is that of 'Humbug' involving a circus mutant which uses scare tactics and humour for one of the first times in the X-Files, indicating a new direction for later seasons where irony and sarcasm are played upon to less success.
The DVD format of course provides instant access to each episode but it is the picture quality which is particularly impressive. Although the sound is only in stereo this does not detract from the tense atmosphere created by the stunning and eerie locales. When I bought this package I knew it was expensive but it is a long term investment to savour and enjoy and well worth the expense.
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