Reviews & Columns
International DVDs
In Theaters
Reviews by Studio
Video Games

Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Anime Talk
DVD Savant
Horror DVDs
The M.O.D. Squad
Art House
HD Talk
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum

DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info


X-Files Mythology, Vol. 1 - Abduction, The

Fox // Unrated // June 7, 2005
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted May 29, 2005 | E-mail the Author
Mythology, Volume 1: Abduction

This review covers the DVD release of The X-Files Mythology, Volume 1: Abduction, which is a compilation of fifteen episodes from the first, second, and third seasons of The X-Files. This DVD set is the first in a series that features the show's most intriguing story. This story, which spanned the series' nine seasons, is dubbed as The X-Files Mythology, but I refer to it as the conspiracy story arc. These episode compilations are intended for viewers who enjoy the conspiracy story arc, but do not want to shell out the cash for the full season sets. Many people are not very interested in 'the monster of the week' episodes.

For those who are not familiar with the series, The X-Files stars two F.B.I. Special Agents, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). The two are distinct individuals. Mulder is fascinated by the paranormal and he is driven by the abduction of his younger sister in finding the truth about aliens and their relation to a government conspiracy. Scully is a medical doctor and a scientist who firmly believes everything has rational and scientific explanation. In the beginning of the first season, Mulder and Scully are partnered together. Mulder had been working on cases known as X-Files. X-Files are unsolvable cases with odd attributes that no one wants to deal with. Scully was put with Mulder in an attempt to debunk his work on the X-Files. Unfortunately for the higher powers that be, Mulder and Scully hit it off. The two characters are very different, yet they work great together in making up for each other's flaws. In a way, this compilation set is disappointing because it does not deliver the same relationship between Mulder and Scully as found with watching the entire seasons.

In the fifteen episodes that make up The X-Files Mythology, Volume 1: Abduction, the conspiracy story arc follows Mulder and Scully as they attempt to get closer to the truth. What exactly that truth is changes as the story develops. At first, Mulder is looking for proof about alien life and soon uncovers a bigger story. The story arc begins to focus on an elaborate conspiracy and incorporates a variety of great characters. However, the same problem with character development of the two main characters occurs. Only watching the episodes in this compilation misses some important aspects of recurring characters like Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis), Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea), or X (Steven Williams). Of course, you can get by without intimately knowing the characters, but those small details can make the story that much more exciting.

Besides my slight issues with character development, the episodes in this compilation flow well. While there are significant gaps between some of the episodes, the stories unfold and build from the important details of episodes included in this set. Although there are a few details missing, but there is nothing as big to ruin the story. For instance in "One Breath" using masking tape Mulder makes the shape of an 'X' on his window. It's an act that plays a role in the rest of the series and setup in the season two episode "Sleepless". But again, despite a few minor details the episodes flow from one to another without much pause. Overall, the conspiracy story arc comes off well and is entertaining.

The episodes included in this compilation mostly revolve around a large conspiracy, but also tie into alien abduction. In the "Pilot" episode, several young adults in a small Oregon town have died of mysterious causes, which Mulder believes to be the result of alien abduction. For a pilot episode it is very strong and sets the mood and tone for the series. In the next episode "Deep Throat", Mulder and Scully investigate an Air Force pilot who Mulder suspects was abducted. This episode continues to build the framework for the conspiracy story arc and also adds an important character to the show, Deep Throat. The episode "Fallen Angel" also continues to add to the larger story with another alien abduction. The episode "E.B.E" has the first appearance of the Lone Gunmen, a trio who helps Mulder and Scully out throughout the rest of the series. They were so popular they had their own spin-off series, which unfortunately did not do very well. In "The Erlenmeyer Flask", which is the season one finale, Mulder and Scully get their hands on some proof of extraterrestrials, but there are those who will stop at nothing to get it back.

In the first episode of the second season, "Little Green Men", Mulder gets proof of alien-life, but he learns his efforts are sometimes moot. In the two part episode "Duane Barry" and "Ascension", Mulder meets former F.B.I. Special Agent Daune Barry who believes he is an alien abductee. Wanting to prove he isn't crazy, he kidnaps Scully. This two-part episode is one of the more powerful episodes for the earlier seasons, because it destroys Mulder's urge to uncover the truth and shows how strong Mulder's relationship is with Scully. In the next episode "One Breath", the story is concluded.

The next episode in this compilation has two-parts, "Colony" and "End Game". In it, Mulder and Scully get a true taste of the larger picture. The contribution of this two-part episode is very big to the development of the conspiracy story arc. The last three episodes include the season two finale, "Anasazi", and the first two episodes from season three, "The Blessing Way" and "Paper Clip". They make up a three-part episode where Mulder and Scully begin to uncover the true details about the conspiracy, an alien invasion.

Overall I enjoyed watching The X-Files episodes that cover the conspiracy story arc one after the other without the 'monster of the week' episodes mixed in. While I felt there were some aspects about characters and minor story details missing, the transition from one episode to another flowed well. For those who are not interested in the monster of the week episodes, but the conspiracy episodes, The X-Files Mythology, Volume 1: Abduction is worth it. And even if you already own the season sets on DVD, the low price of this set is not a bad investment. There are several extras included that you won't find with any of the season sets. Refer to the extras section of this review for more details. The bottom line, I think whether you are casual The X-Files fan just interested in the conspiracy story arc or a fan who already owns all of the season sets, The X-Files Mythology, Volume 1: Abduction is more than worth the price.

Episode Guide
1. "The X-Files Pilot", Season 1 Episode 1
2. "Deep Throat", Season 1 Episode 2
3. "Fallen Angel", Season 1 Episode 10
4. "E.B.E.", Season 1 Episode 17
5. "The Erlenmeyer Flask", Season 1 Episode 24
6. "Little Green Men", Season 2 Episode 1
7. "Duane Barry", Season 2 Episode 5
8. "Ascension", Season 2 Episode 6
9. "One Breath", Season 2 Episode 8
10. "Red Museum", Season 2 Episode 10
11. "Colony", Season 2 Episode 16
12. "End Game", Season 2 Episode 17
13. "Anasazi", Season 2 Episode 25
14. "The Blessing Way", Season 3 Episode 1
15. "Paper Clip", Season 3 Episode 2


The video is given in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame color. The transfers used for this compilation set are the same found in the first three season releases. I was slightly disappointed with this because the quality is pretty average. It definitely could have used some touching up. Generally the picture is slightly rough and there is a fairly noticeable grain. The video also suffers from frequent compression artifacts. Overall while the picture does not look great, it is average and works fine.

The audio track included comes in two flavors and three languages. The first is Dolby digital stereo surround, which is offered in English and Spanish. Next there is a French Dolby digital stereo track. The sound quality is good. It is mostly dialogue driven, which is fairly flat. Sound effects and music have a fairly dynamic feeling and take advantage of channel separation. There are also subtitles in English and French.

The first three seasons of The X-Files were packed with extras. They included things like deleted scenes, international clips, TV spots, commentaries, featurettes, and more. And despite all the extras in the first three season sets, The X-Files Mythology, Volume 1: Abduction has several extras that were created just for this DVD release. (They could have recycled extras from the season sets, but they didn't.) First there is a documentary, Threads of the Mythology: Abduction (27:28). It features cast members David Duchovny, Sheila Larken, and Brian Thompson, and crew members Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz, Rob Bowman, Howard Gordon, Brett Dowler, Joseph Patrick Finn, John S. Bartley, Mark Snow, John Shiban, and Paul Rabwin. The discussion is mostly about the development of the mythology stories and characters and the episodes included in this box set. There are also five audio commentaries with Chris Carter, R. W. Goodwin, and Frank Spotnitz for episodes "Deep Throat", "The Erlenmeyer Flask", "Duane Barry", "End Game", and "Anasazi". As a fan of the series I enjoyed the extras, but I would have really liked to have seen participation from the actors David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis, and Nicholas Lea. Still from a production standpoint, the documentary and the audio commentaries have some interesting thoughts about The X-Files Mythology.

Note: The DVD cover also states there is an Exclusive Collectible Mythology Timeline included. My copy did not come with any such, so I cannot comment about it.

Final Thoughts:
I am a pretty big fan of The X-Files and I am also one of those folks who shelled out the cash when the season sets were selling at a MSRP of $149.99. And while I do really enjoy the show, whether related to the conspiracy story arc or not, I like the conspiracy story arc a lot more. When I first heard about the box sets being released with only episodes about the conspiracy story arc, I was really excited. Although I was slightly worried the flow from episode to episode might be a little hard, since there is a fair amount of content missed from the episodes not included. I was happy to find out there was very little problems with missing details related to characters and the story. Overall, the story flows well and watching the conspiracy episodes back to back is great experience. I think that whether you are a casual viewer or a fan who already owns the season sets, owning The X-Files Mythology, Volume 1: Abduction is a must.

Buy from






Highly Recommended

E - M A I L
this review to a friend
Popular Reviews
1. The Coca-Cola Kid

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links