The pretentiously titled Existence
is another two-part X-Files
yarn glued together to make a feature-length episode. Here the story concerns the birth of Scully's perhaps-alien-tinged child and proves the old maxim that you should stop watching any series when the characters start having babies. By now, newbie Robert Patrick is settled into the role of Agent Doggett, Scully's new partner on the X-Files, but David Duchovny's contract negotiations have enabled Fox Mulder, no longer in the FBI, to come back and hang about the delivery, clashing and then bonding with his replacement. The action content comes from a mild-mannered alien abductee transformed into an unstoppable killing machine, ripping through everything as he tries to prevent the upcoming nativity for reasons that (as ever) don't quite become clear. Also in the support cast are semi-regular Nicholas Lea as lurking plot-explaining conspirator Alex Krycek, and the more welcome Annabeth Gish, whose interestingly spiritual Agent Monica Reyes is being worked up as a replacement for Scully when Gillian Anderson gets out of her contract. Weirdly, The X-Files
is in pretty good shape for a show that's been running this long--the performances and the direction are still strong, and outside the "continuing story" shows individual episodes hold up well. But this dreary muddle of running about (plus the odd decapitation) and agonised rumination (blathery philosophical musings about the miracle of life and childbirth) does not represent the series' strengths, suggesting that the best thing that could happen would be to get shot of the long-time stars and their played-out characters to make room for a revitalised show starring Patrick and Gish.
On the DVD: The full-screen print, with the extra detail of the DVD image and Dolby Digital, allow you to pick up a lot more than from the murky telecasts. "Alex Krycek Revealed" Parts 1 and 2, a couple of character profiles, turn out to be very snippet-like Fox TV promo pieces, with some interview footage and behind-the-scenes stuff amid the usual teaser clips.--Kim Newman
Feature-length sci-fi adventure put together from two Season Eight episodes ('Essence' and 'Existence') of the popular television show. Whilst Scully is preparing for the birth of her child, others are also making their own preparations behind the scenes, including Krycek and the nurse hired by Scully's mother. Meanwhile, Mulder has to contend with Billy Miles, who has been transformed into a new kind of alien and is probably after Scully's baby. When Scully and Agent Reyes (Annabeth Gish) disappear to a secret location, they are visited by aliens who claim that Scully's baby is rightfully theirs.