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X-Files: Season One (Discs 1 & 7)
Most everyone is familiar with the X-Files; debuting back in 1993, it stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as two FBI agents (Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, respectively) assigned to the X-Files. The X-Files are cases involving the paranormal, extraterrestrial, occult, etc. Throughout the X-Files, the main themes include cover-ups, conspiracies, aliens, abductions, and more – many plot details from season one are built upon for future seasons, including the current one (season seven).
As a fan, it's nice to see the X-Files preserved on the DVD format. Many of the episodes in the box set have never been available outside the original airings and re-runs, as only a few were released on VHS. Contained on Disc 1 are: the Pilot, Deep Throat, Squeeze, and Conduit – all classic X-File episodes.
The X-Files never looked this good on TV. The picture is sometimes soft, and it does exhibit some grain and slight edge enhancement, but you'll still notice a definite improvement over the broadcast showings. Of course, being a television show, the X-Files episodes are presented in full frame. The extras on Disc 7 are presented in full frame as well, and the picture is generally good throughout. However, for the FX spots, there was a lot of shimmer in the picture.
The X-Files episodes are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo surround in either English or French. The dialogue throughout the shows is crisp and clean, and surprisingly, even some bass is present. Again, the X-Files never sounded this good before either.
On Disc 1, the pilot and first three episodes are separated, and for each, you're given eleven or twelve chapter stops. Also, you can select what language (French or English) and any subtitles (English or Spanish). You also have the choice to watch various clips from the Pilot dubbed in foreign languages (Japanese, German, Spanish, Italian). For the Pilot, you can select from two deleted scenes (both involving Scully's boyfriend; each lasts about a minute and a half), and for Fallen Angel, you can view a special effects outtake.
However, if its extras you want, they're included on the final disc, Disc 7. Both the two deleted scenes from the Pilot and the special effects outtake from Fallen Angel are here, along with a slew of other goodies. Fans will be delighted to see the 10 second and 20 second TV spots for each episode, along with the 60 second spot for the Pilot. Also included are all 12 Behind the Scenes segments which aired originally on the FX network. These are pretty interesting, as they mention things not covered elsewhere – the theme song and the prop truck are but two of the topics mentioned. There are also twelve interview segments with Chris Carter that were originally on the VHS tapes. Carter talks about the featured episode, and gives anecdotes and some behind the scenes information. These are quite interesting, and generally last between three and five minutes. There is also a brand new, eleven minute documentary titled "The Truth about Season One." It features interviews and clips from the series. I found a lot of it repeated from the VHS segments, but it did include some new information.
If you have a DVD-Rom drive, then you also get more extras, which include weblinks and a very cool trivia game, "Roots of Conspiracy."
Although the Season One Gift Pack may cost an arm and a leg, it's worth it for the X-File fans. The picture and sound, although somewhat lacking, is better than anything you've seen on TV; the added value of the extras-only seventh disc is enough to have any fan salivating. Those that missed out on the first season, and became "converted" later on owe it to themselves to check out the series' roots; this is where it all begins. And for the few who have never seen X-Files, borrow or rent the Box Set, and see what all the fuss is about. I doubt you'll be disappointed.