on 5 April 2006
There's something about season 1 of the X Files that I just love. It's a much simpler time for the series, without the presence of complicated mythology story arcs and in jokes. The X Files at this time, was a whole new concept. And we're given some of the darkest and strangest episodes of the entire 9 years that the show ran.
The X Files season 1 presents stand alone stories of top quality horror. The alien episodes themselves are fascinating, leaving the audience desperate for the truth that won't even be hinted at for another two years.
The stand alone eps are arguably better in this series than any other. My personal favourites include "Darkness Falls" and "Ice" in which Mulder and Scully are terrorised by agent bugs released from a cut down tree and trapped in an antarctic research lab where there's a parasite infecting the team...
Buy this series if you're just getting started, or if you want some horror/sci fi stories that can just be watched without worrying about the back story.
I was a big fan of the X-Files when they were shown on the BBC back in the mid 90's. Unlike most other primetime shows, these mini-movies were beautifully shot and lit, the use of realistic lighting in many scenes juxtaposing with the use of abstract lighting in others. Deep shadows were common place, again a relativly new style then, though its legacy can be seen in many of the shows that followed.
Revisiting the X-File after 10 years really brought back to me why I loved this show. The stories are well crafted, the acting is, on the most part excellent (I've decidided that David Duchovney is one of the only actors who can cry convincingly on screen!). It has humour, horror, action and conspiracy, what more could you want?
But where the X-Files really excels is in the fact that it treats its audience as if it is intelligent, there are few "dead scenes" filled with needless recaps or explanations. This allows each 43 minute episode to speed along at quite a pace, fitting into each a lot more story than you are likely to find in most 2 hour Hollywood thrillers today.
This is TV at its best, the BBC killed the X-Files off for me with its bizarre scheduling of the later series'. With this pretty cheap but excellent DVD release I can at last, discover the truth! When you consider a Star Trek boxset sells for 70 odd pounds, this is an amzing bargain. By the 1st series as a test. I should warn you though, you will be hooked and with 9 series to get through, you'll have plenty to sate your appetite.
on 4 June 2007
Season 1 of the x files is brilliant!. A must have for any TV fan! Don't be put off by the lower production budgets for this season, this was because the writers didnt know where the show was going, or that it would end up so successful! This season is brilliant regardless. Mulder & Scully are brilliant next to each other, with sexual tension that you could cut with a knife. epiosdes in season 1 are just self-contained drama's, rather than a connected season, but it gets you hooked on the show, which gets better, and better and better each season!
Buy it, its awesome.
on 3 April 2013
The X Files Season 1 is one of the greatest television series ever made.
If you are new to The X Files, this season introduced us to FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) as they begin their journey into paranormal investigations and all manner of unexplained phenomena.
Creator Chris Carter had to pitch the show twice to the network chiefs before they gave it the green light, apparently concerned that a show designed to be scary was so different and unknown to the mainstream audience that it would potentially disappear without a trace. It did the opposite, and for the best part of a decade, The X Files became a living breathing entity all of its own, garnering legions of fans and devotees that still hold firm to this day.
This Season planted the seed for success, as we see the simmering relationship form between Mulder and Scully, the DNA of the ongoing story of Mulder's Sister's disappearance and the machinations of clandestine groups and governments-within-governments all aiming to outdo each other with the illegal aid of E.T. experimentation.
The season is almost perfectly paced and includes a good range of episodes, including some for the `core' story, a generous helping of `stand-alone' X Files episodes, a staggered `two-parter' involving one of the greatest ever X File adversaries in Eugene Victor Tooms, and even a couple of `Wildcard' episodes in the form of `Ice' and `Darkness Falls' (many a fans' favourite, which sees the agents trapped in one location for the entire episode). It is arguably the most fertile inaugural series ever created.
If you are a long-term X-Phile you already know how important this series (sorry, `season') is. If you are an X Files newbie, you simply must watch this series. It is timeless, has aged brilliantly and is almost single-handedly responsible for sculpting most of the shows we watch today (Fringe, Bones etc).
Over the years there have been several issues of The X Files Season 1 on DVD. This review refers to the pictured `Blue' boxset (released 2004) and also the equivalent found within the second issue of the complete collection (the big black boxset released in 2007, listed on Amazon as `The X-Files - The Complete Collector's Edition'), I own both and the only difference between the two is the cover art inlay and the internal housing for the 7th `features' disc. The content is the same.
The `M-Lock' casing is very sturdy and there's no plastic-wallet nonsense here (apparently found in the new issues of 2012). The packaging is very durable and nicely designed, with the 6 main discs housed in traditional `clasp trays' and an additional housing enclosed for the special features (7th) disc. Which are, incidentally, well worth watching and there's a generous amount, including TV spots; a documentary; retrospective interviews regards different episodes with Chris Carter; a DVD-ROM game and more.
Just make sure you know which one you are buying as you may get one of the earlier or later issues (which supposedly have inferior packaging etc).
The X Files is magnificent and timeless. If you've seen it already, watch it again. If you haven't; what are you waiting for?
on 20 October 2004
I bought the first three seasons of the X-Files when they were released a week or so ago and I have to say how impressed I am with them. I have always been a fan of the series but due to the lack of consistent broadcasting of this show in the UK, I found that I missed more episodes than I saw. The release of these 7 disc season sets prove to be a wonderful way to enjoy this show in full and so I jumped at the opportunity to buy them.
Firstly, the packaging of this set is top notch! It has a really beautifully designed picture sleeve containing a more conventional DVD case, only much thicker. Inside this are the 7 DVD's containing all the season's episodes. A bonus disc with additional material is also included, which is more of a necessity these days than a luxury but is nice to find all the same. Luckily, you get a booklet with details on each episode and an index explaining exactly which epidode's are on which disc. Really handy when you have so many shows to go through! The whole setup is really well done with animated menu's and intro's for each of the discs and a fool-proof episode selector which also allows you to view international clips in Japanese, Italian, Spanish, German etc from various episodes! Just one of the nice little features which could easily have been left out. The picture and sound quality is absolutely AMAZING and I seriously wouldn't have thought I was watching something taped over 10 years ago. Everything is sharp and crisp and this is without doubt the perfect way to enjoy this wonderful series in it's entirety. I will definitely be buying the remaining season's once they are released and I would recommend this set to both existing fans of the series and newcomers alike. Definitely worthy of 5 out of 5 stars!
on 9 May 2007
Of late there has been a renaissance of middle to good sci-fi programming on television, both from the United States (Eureka, Heroes, The 4400, the short lived Invasion,Surface and Threshold as well) and the United Kingdom (Dr. Who, Torchwood, Primeval). However, none of these match the X-Files for sheer entertainment, consistent quality scriptwriting and the most appealing leads ever to grace the small screen, Mulder and Scully. Yes, by today's cgi standards some of the episodes seem ugly but by the second season, the show had larger budgets and better production values, quality that still holds up 14 years after the first episode and 5 years after the last. Yet, it was the sheer variety of stories - the stand alone episodes of horror, the paranormal and how warped nature can be as well as the alien invasion conspiracy arc - that were fascinating and compelling. In many of the episodes you could sense the paranoia, the creeping horror and you got the feeling that little in the world was under control. None of the other modern series even come close to this and tend to be more graphic and leave little to the imagination.
Season 1 had a far lower budget than the latter seasons and it sometimes shows, especially in episodes like "Ghost in the Machine" and "Space" which are now dated and seem out of place, but these were more than compensated for by episodes like "Squeeze" and "Tooms" and the best ones like "Darkness Falls", "Ice", have yet to be bettered. Of the alien conspiracy arc, "Fallen Angel", "E.B.E" and the "The Erlenmeyer Flask" set the stage for the following seasons and rank as some of the best despite the low production values. Once the show was a world-wide hit by the end of the season, the budgets got bigger and the stories less humble and yet remained compelling and gripping largely due to the scripts and great direction and, of course, the characters of Mulder and Scully whose relationship continued to evolve as the series progressed leading to the irony that the better each understood and appreciated the other, the farther they physically went apart culminating with the disappearance of Mulder in the seventh season. This however, only led to good things and new characters were introduced mirrored the Mulder-Scully relationship with Scully now taking the place of Mulder in the face of disbelief.
Unlike the minority of reviewers who seem to find fault with the 1st season, this was the start of the best series ever in the last thirty years in any genre and it only got better. It is far more intelligent than many of the shows I mention above and even after having viewed each season twice over the last three years on dvd and three times altogether including the initial televison broadcast, I would prefer to watch "The X-Files" again and again than the repeating the likes of "Invasion", "The 4400" "Primeval" and even "Torchwood". "The X-Files" raised the bar for quality programming and many of these shows above owe a great deal to it and yet have never bettered it.
Regardless of whether you believe or not, whether you accept the series as just great entertainment or a mirror of how politics, war and society are administered in the 21st Century, in Bush's America, the X-Files do not seem out of place and merely serve to remind us all how little we truly know of what really goes on.
Take my word for it. Buy all the seasons while they are on sale. You can buy the entire series for just under £115. Avoid the "Complete Collection" box as it is just a cheap carton housing the seasons 1 - 9 series and there have been many reports of cheap discs and cases that have been damaged. Instead buy the separate season sets housed in the "M-Lock" cases. They are the same as the initial digipack sets including all the special features and while they are not as pretty they are more durable.
on 5 August 2014
"Nobody down here but the FBI's most unwanted" quips Mulder as he meets Scully for the first time and so it begins...
The X-Files, there was no show like it before and although there have been imitators, no show quite like it since. What can one add here, to these many existing reviews that testify to it's brilliance ?
What is striking about the Season 1 episodes, is that already the show has a confidence and finds its footing early on. There are already 'classic' episodes, that would stand the test of time, being fondly remembered throughout the show's 9 year history.
The characters of Mulder and Scully already also feel established and developed when we meet them.
The production quality is also fantastic. Each individual show, sandwiched between that iconic theme tune, has a concise script and is well edited to produce thrillers cut with intelligent concepts. Already notable, is the sheer variety of subject matter; Alien abduction, Miracles, Psychics, Reincarnation, Ghosts and Apparitions, Cloning, back engineering of extra terrestrial technology, Artificial intelligence, etc etc...
Although the show is famous for Mulders' quest to uncover evidence of ET's, the show clearly demonstrates its about far more than that, with many 'monsters' and supernatural events being investigated.
As you would expect from a Sci-Fi/Horror show, there is the presence of special effects, which are well executed and still have an impact to this day. But such special effects are not over used, and much happens 'off camera' which excellently works to the show's benefit, since the imagination and what remains unseen can be far more unsettling...
The show is also remarkable for it's emphasis on characterisation. Many of the shows have fascinating supporting characters, either existing just for the one episode, or becoming part of the shows 'Mythology'. Occasionally, its the character's that make an episode really worth while, perhaps even more so than the events that are going in it, 'Shapes' being a case in point.
One assumes, that perhaps the preciseness and subtlety's of Season 1's script, special effects and characterisation are necessities of a show in it's infancy and with a relatively limited budget, but ironically, these already seem as part of its strengths rather than weaknesses.
A further point, there are NO bad episodes in season 1 !!! The X files is unique, because it can only really be judged by its own standards and each episode by the standard of other episodes. Of course, viewers will have their individual preferences based own their own tastes and experience. Episodes that seem weaker to this reviewer, will be personal highlights for others.
Personally, my favourites were 'Deep Throat', 'Shapes', 'Miracle Man' and 'Ice'. 'Deep Throat' because of its intrigue and because it gave me the first really eerie moment in the season, 'Shapes' because its very fun to see Mulder and Scully chasing after a Werewolf but what really makes it, is Mulders' classic dry sense of humour and his interactions with the American Indian culture. 'Miracle Man' has some brilliantly strange moments in the way that only the X files can be and is emotionally very moving and 'Ice' is a claustrophobic thriller set in a remote research base in Alaska and is more like a mini-movie !
Perhaps though, the real success of the X files, is because it speaks to a deep part of us, the part that we don't often disclose to others, that wants to believe the Universe is a more mysterious and fantastic place and because there is so much we can't explain. We have a desire for secret and hidden knowledge as also evidenced by the success of so many movies like Spielberg's 'Raiders of the lost Ark' or 'Close Encounters' or Dan Brown's 'Da Vinci Code'. The X files also helped highlight the unfortunate truth that many do not trust the powers that govern us and our acceptance of the notion of 'Conspiracy Theory'.
The X files spoke of these issues and ideas in its own unique and eloquent way. It assumed the intelligence of its audience and is perhaps best viewed with and an open mind and heart.
So, be warned, the X-Files is addictive. If you buy the first season you will buy the 2nd season and so on. You will want to know more, you too will want to believe...
When the X-Files hit screens in the 90's it became an instant cult phenomenon across the world due to its highly original plots and fantastic special effects. The X-Files follows the work of two of the FBI's best looking agents, Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson) as they investigate paranormal unsolved cases of murder, abduction and UFO sightings. Although it looks very dated now and the effects aren't quite as exciting, The X-Files remains a groundbreaking show.
What the X-Files does so well is having 24 different tales of the paranormal in a season, any of which could be a movie, whilst at the same time having an intriguing ongoing plot of government coverups and conspiracy throughout all nine seasons. A whole wealth of exciting characters come and go but then there are always the shadowy figures of the US government popping up here and there, keeping the viewer guessing as to the extent of the secrets all the time.
Duchovny is excellent as the open minded and brilliant agent who is haunted by his younger sisters abduction years before. His eagerness to believe in the supernatural is offset by the sceptical Scully who was assigned to the X-Files to babysit Mulder's investigations and report back on his work. The two form a friendship and together they meet alien abductees (Fallen Angel), murderous genetic mutants (Squeeze), psychic serial killers (Beyond the Sea) and a very nasty parasitic worm (Ice). There are some duff episodes, The Jersey Devil isn't up to the standard set by the pilot, nor is Ghost in the Machine or Miracle Man but they are far outweighed by the quality writing and direction of Eve, Lazarus and Tooms.
The X-Files would continue improving way into the fourth series and sadly decline after that but for any sci-fi fan this is essential viewing at a bargain price.
Like this? Try: The Outer Limits
on 28 October 2004
I was a dedicated x-filer - and shipper! The show is probably my all-time favourite, and now finally I can afford to own all series on dvd (previous packaging and prices were totally prohibitive!)
I came to the show late - I didn't twig it until season 3, and I had to rely on reruns to get a taste of series 1 and 2. Although I loved it to the end, watching the first series again reminds me of how good it was when it started. It's pacy, well-written and beautifully acted. Watching the budding 'relationship' between the sceptic Scully and believer Mulder is an eye-opener. Before the audience - and the series' writers - became obsessed with a potential romance between the two, Mulder and Scully's relationship was a very believable and touching friendship. I must admit that I lost interest once Chris Carter kept teasing us with hit-and-miss moments. Also, the storylines of the first series were crisper and simpler - the later complicated conspiracy theories and send-up comedic episodes rather weakened the impact.
Don't get me wrong - even when it had 'jumped the shark' (refer to [...] - a fantastic website, for explanation)the x files was still the best show on the box. But revisiting the early episodes is a great reminder of how wonderful it truly was.
on 9 August 2007
I originally developed my love for this show a mere 4 months ago, when Living TV were playing Season 2.I'm one of the next generaton of X-Philers, being a teenager - daughter of the one with the credit card. My brother, older and wiser, had often said I would really enjoy the show if I ever sat down to watch it, and when I did it was brilliant.
Series 1.The era of puffy hair and huge glasses.I loved it from Pilot with the Cancer Man smoking in the background and the very first thing Mulder said to Scully"Sorry,nobody in here but the F.B.Is most unwanted!":D.Theres a huge range of cases here(shattering my pre-conceived notions that they ran around after aliens all the time)men who can squeeze into the smallest space imaginable, telepathic physco-murderers,pyro-maniacs,scary protective dead guys,time-loss,alien abductions all sprinkled with a fine layer of goverment consperacies,paranioa and danger. And Mulder and Scully themselves are fantastic-the chemistry between the two leads is awesome, Mulders determined belief and dry wit, and Scully's determined scepitism and ability to come up with a logical explanation for just about anything make for brilliant TV.
I suppose you could argue it's outdated(Ghost In The Machine*cough*)but I can't see it.Sure the graphics and special effects are jaded but hey, who really cares?Me, I just loved seeing Scully emerge from the vent to save Mulder and destroy the physco super computer. Who cares when the cases are so original(and have been the basis of many horror movies since),the script so funny, and the FBIs most unwanted so freakin brilliant?(Although they seemed to have an odd way of NEVER speaking of previous cases in any great detail in this Season, or screaming, or freaking out- not Mulder and Scully!)
So if you like The X-Files at all you have to buy this. The most original and best TV show ever made.THE X-FILES ROCK!!!
Scully:"The truth IS out there Mulder. You just have to look for it."
Mulder:"That's why they put the I in FBI."*grins*