Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When the X-Files premiered in 1993 I was 12. When the first movie came out in 1998 I was 17. Now 10 years after that last movie and 6 years ofter the last episode the X-Files returns tomorrow for a second film. X-Files: I Want to Believe is said to be a "Monster of the week" type film, which will hopefully be an improvement over the last film.

When the X-Files premiered 15 years ago my dad and I watched very faithfully, every Friday night until part way through the 4th season when the show switched to Sunday nights. I still occasionally watched but as the show moved timeslots it also became more and more about the conspiracy and less of the monster of the week format. My dad and I didn't watch much after that, but we did go see the first movie, and neither of us were real impressed. And that was the last time I watched the X-Files.

Now a decade later I was lucky enough to get a copy of The X-Files: Revelations. The 2-Disc set is a primer for the new movie with 8 episodes from the series hand picked by creator Chris Carter and Executive Producer Frank Spotnitz and each episode is introduced by the pair.

The first episode in the set is the Pilot. After years away from the series and an even longer time since seeing the pilot I was amazed to see that not only was the Tobacco Man/Cigarette Smoking Man in the episode (although he doesn't say a word), but that the conspiracy that became the crux of the series started there as well. Maybe even more surprising was how much the first episode makes the show more about Scully's journey than Mulder's. Something that the episodes that follow on the set seem to follow.

The pilot is a perfect blend of sci-fi, skepticism, mystery, and a few frights. And the series holds up surprisingly well, except possibly the inclusion of the dates and Mulder's giant cellphone.

The rest of the episodes in the set includes Season 1 episode, Beyond the Sea, which sees Scully catching a glimpse of the paranormal when her father's death is connected to the kidnapping of a couple of kids and a supposedly psychic killer about to be put to death.  Season 2's second episode, The Host with the notorious Flukeman is also included, one of my favorites when it first aired.  Fan Favorite, Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose, a darkly comic episode is also included.  Rounding out the set are Season 4's Memento Man, Season 5 episodes Post-Modern Prometheus and Bad Blood, and Season 6's Milagro.

All in all the set features some great episodes, several of which I had never seen before.  The set also includes movie money to see X-Files: I Want To Believe for free.  For die hard fans the set is probably a bit redundant as you probably own the entire series as is.  But this set is perfect for people looking to see the movie with some background on the series, but without trying to watch all 9 seasons before hand.

The X-Files: Revelations is in stores now and X-Files: I Want to Believe opens in theaters tomorrow.


John said...

This Slate article argues that the "monster of the week" episodes were actually better than the ones that focused on the big alien conspiracy:

The Future said...

I watched the Pilot with adam a couple of years back, and couldn't believe that either. I didn't think they started with the smoking man until at least season 3...

I also like the random episodes more. You never know what you'll get. Bad Blood is still my favorite episode, and I would imagine it is yours too. If not then go watch it and it will be.

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