Customer Review

132 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling contender for best TV show ever, 5 Nov 2007
This review is from: The X Files - The Complete Collector's Edition [DVD] (DVD)
There are 201 episodes of the X Files , plus the movie .The show originally aired on September 10th 1993 and finished on May 19th 2002. Created by Chris Carter( He wrote the show after hearing 3.7 million Americans claimed to have been abducted by aliens), the show cleverly mixed genres dealing with science fiction - the existence or not of extra terrestrials is the shows defining theme, but it has elements of horror, spirituality , procedural cop thrillers and of course massive amounts of conspiratorial conjecture.
The plot for the pilot episode has FBI agent Dana Scully ( Gillian Anderson) assigned to be the partner of the agency's investigator of the paranormal Fox Mulder (David Duchovny). Shuffled out of the way in a basement office Mulder is a "Believer"-nicknamed "Spooky" by his colleagues- with a filing cabinet full of incidents of supernatural or alien activity -the so called X files. Scully is a sceptic , plus it transpires that she has been placed with Mulder so she can report back to her superiors so they can keep a cap on any of Mulder,s findings. One of the show's less than credible aspects was Scully's continuing cynicism in light of what she see's and experiences but she has a strong faith ( faith is a continuing sub plot of the show) and is also a doctor (medical) so also seeks scientific rational for what she encounters.
The series instigated the concept of a continuous mythology running throughout the narrative series to series.-namely that of alien interaction with humanity, government cover ups and abductions, with Mulders sister Samantha proving a progressive facet These are dubbed "Mytharc" episodes . The others are the "Stand Alone" or "Monster" episodes which can be viewed by casual viewers without reference to the continuing narrative. These provide some outstanding episodes with "Ice" , Beyond The Sea"( The first episode to concentrate on Scully) and "Excelsis Dei" up against light hearted fare like "Humbug".
The other on-going aspect to the show is the relationship between Mulder and Scully . The dichotomous nature of their affiliation drew almost anal scrutiny from the shows fans ( Or "X-Philes" as they became known). Despite their disagreements over the nature of their work a bond grows between the two and they constantly seem on the cusp of something more physical , thankfully something the shows writers resisted. .
The supporting characters - Fox and Mulders immediate superior Walter Skinner( Mitch Pileggi), The shadowy Cigarette Smoking Man(William B Davis), the duplicitous Agent Krycek (Nicholas Lea) the anti-government "Lone Gunmen" ( Who also got a spin off series that bombed) the enigmatic "Deep Throat" (Jerry Hardin)and the "Alien Bounty Hunter" ( Brian Thompson)to name a few of the many are all beautifully realised and often get episodes that provide more insight into their characters .
The last two seasons saw Mulder mysteriously disappear so Scully is allocated a new partner John Doggett(Robert Patrick) after he fails to find the missing Mulder in "Manhunt" and in neat role reversal he becomes the sceptic before Scully is fired from the FBI and replaced by Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish). This took a little of the momentum out of the narrative but Scully keeps a connection to the past and of course Mulder returns to ties things up at the conclusion of season nine.
The inclusion of the movie(Made in 1998) is a nice bonus. The film is like an extended episode with a bigger budget( No surprise there) and ties neatly into the "Mytharc" , even elucidating some aspects of that continuing plot-line. There are numerous commentaries and interviews to expand and inform on the X Files mythology which is a convoluted and absorbing one and a god-send for pedants .
The X Files is a hugely influential show. It led to a sort of spin off series "Millennium" (Excellent) and "The one Gunmen"(Less So) but its influence can be seen in numerous contemporary series like "Lost" , "Supernatural" and "Heroes" where continuous plot threads and multi-character story lines occur.At the time of its final episode The X-Files was the longest running sci-fi show ever on American TV, a title since lost to Stargate SG-1. The show was declared by TV Guide to be the second greatest cult television show (Star Trek being number one) .The second X Files film is in pre-production and it will be fascinating to see where the writers go with that. Until then this box- set provides an excellent value chance for those that haven't to completely acquaint yourselves with this superb TV series and for long standing fans who haven't already to own the X Files outright. Either way it,s essential viewing .
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Mar 2008 22:45:30 GMT
A. Holding says:
Excellent review. Thanks.

Posted on 17 May 2008 10:48:10 BDT
Guy Dalziel says:
I think you'll find that Scully hardly had any faith at all, her cross was given to her by her mother at the age of 15, and her mother would constantly encourage her to rekindle her catholic faith.

Posted on 25 Nov 2008 23:31:00 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 25 Nov 2008 23:32:16 GMT]

Posted on 29 Dec 2008 00:42:22 GMT
Wayne says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2008 10:32:46 GMT
Well then i suggest you read the short reviews and leave the longer reviews to people with a more developed attention span .
But since you want the edited version here it is .
The X Files is really good. I liked it a lot . Really GR8. Bit too long winded though...i mean 201 episodes.Could,nt they have made it in fewer? Are they trying to get jobs as film-makers?( ohh sorry they have) Mr W.P.Bond avoid.. it,s way too complicated for your tastes.
By the way did i get the job?

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Dec 2008 01:38:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Dec 2008 01:53:41 GMT
Wayne says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Dec 2008 18:58:36 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Dec 2008 19:22:05 GMT
Oh Dear ...seem to have touched a nerve with Mr Bond . Well .....better sarcasm than mindless abuse .Tell me Mr Bond how do you know everybody reading about this boxset will know what the X Files is about? And even if they do how can you be certain that my review won,t tell them something that they don,t already know about the series? Not everybody is as enlightened as you appear to be.
By the way if i were indeed re-telling the plot of the entire series i think my "geek" review would be considerably longer than it already is. I attempt to give some background info on the show but this has clearly passed you by ...a bit like any manners it would seem .
Listen Mr Bond ...if you dont like the review thats fine. Give it an unhelpful vote and then move on. But your disproportinate fulminating tells me all i need to know about you. I,ll be glad to see the back of you.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Apr 2009 13:01:34 BDT
D. Boyles says:
Hear Hear Mr Clarke. And just to add to the story - I've never seen the X Files at all but interested in getting the boxset based on your review and those of other's. So as far as I'm concerned - it all helps.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Apr 2009 06:54:42 BDT
Well thank you Daniel.
Mr Bond clearly believes that All Amazon reviews should be tailored to his particular taste which is breathtaking arrogance really. If he does,nt like my review and feels it is un-helpful that,s okay. But to write a comment lambasting me and demanding i change my writing style( he is not alone in doing this) shows a complete lack of understanding about what the reviews system is about. ....different styles and different opinions.
Anyway enough of Mr Bond and thank you for your comment again. Ohhh by the way i no longer believe the X-Files to be a contender for the best TV sereis ever. That honour goes to the brilliant "The Wire" ......in my opinion of course.

Posted on 19 Aug 2011 22:08:41 BDT
Thanks for your review. I wanted to understand what regular viewers saw in this series and you have explained this very well. Incidently 'Bewitched' remains the best TV show ever...
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