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X-Files: Season Two (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 in season two are continued from season one, and continue to build for future seasons, including the current one (season eight).
As a fan, it's nice to see Fox continue to preserve the X-Files seasons on the DVD format. Much like season one, many of the episodes from season two have never been available outside the original airings and re-runs, as only a few were ever released on VHS. It's a real treat to be able to see them again in their original order, especially since the mythology of the X-Files in season two introduces quite a few new elements and the character known as X.
Episodes on the first and last discs that are reviewed here include: Little Green Men, The Host, Blood, Sleepless, and Anasazi, though all 25 episodes are presented in the full box set.
X-Files is, of course, presented in 4:3 full frame, as it originally appeared on TV. Overall, Fox has again done a great job on this set, but there are some problems. The picture is sometimes soft, and it does exhibit some grain and slight edge enhancement. The flesh tones do not always appear to be accurate either. Despite these flaws and for the most part, you'll still notice a definite improvement over the broadcast showings. The extras on Disc 7 are presented in full frame as well, and the picture is generally good throughout.
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. The episodes sound much better than when they originally aired on TV, as expected.
On Disc 1, the episodes are separated, and for each, you're given fifteen chapter stops. Also, you can select what language (French or English) and any subtitles (English or Spanish).
However, if its extras you want, they're included on the final disc, Disc 7. First up is the The Truth About Season Two, a continuation of the previous featurette included in the Season One box set. Its relatively short, running about 12 minutes, but is fairly informative and features interviews with Chris Carter, Mark Snow, Daniel Sackheim, Paul Rabwin Howard Gordon, Matt Beck, Rob Bowman, Mitch Pileggi, Dean Haglund, Darren Morgan, and Steve Railsback. Fans will again be delighted to see the 10 second and 20 second TV spots for each episode, except for Anasazi, which only has a 20 second spot. Next up are 12 Interviews with Chris Carter that originally appeared on the videocassette releases. Carter talks for a few minutes about each of the twelve episodes of season two that were on VHS, and these are fairly interesting and worth a look for the fans that have yet to see them. Also included are 9 short Behind the Truth segments that aired originally on the FX network. These are pretty interesting, as they mention things not covered elsewhere. Next are three behind The scenes segments from the episodes End Game, Anasazi, and Humbug which are rather short and focus on a single topic. There are also four deleted scenes for the episodes Sleepless, 3, Humbug, and Anasazi, which are neat to see. And if you have a DVD-Rom drive, then you also get more extras, which include weblinks and a trivia game.
Although the Season Two 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 on the seventh disc is enough to have any fan salivating. Those that missed out on this season before, and became "converted" later on owe it to themselves to check out season two. Newcomers will want to check out the season one box set first, and if you like that, definitely give this set a try…I doubt you'll be disappointed.