134 of 146 people found the following review helpful
Compelling contender for best TV show ever,
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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In reply to an earlier post on 14 Apr 2012 09:33:28 BDT
Book Beaver says:
Excellent review. I've never watched 'The Wire' and 'Bewitched' was brilliant in its day but surely 'Fringe' and to a lesser extent 'Sanctuary' are the true successors of 'The X-Files' and the best current programmes.
Posted on 24 Jun 2013 20:13:45 BDT
D. Gallacher says:
I see in the product description that it says this contains the "theatrical movie", but there are two, there's "X files the movie" and "X files: I want to believe". Does this contain both? Or just the first?