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X-Files Complete Seventh Season
X-Files - Season Seven was sort of the apex of the late, great, X-Files series. It was a fantastic season that introduced mystery, stirred controversy, and complimented the just-released X-Files movie. It was also the last full season that David Duchovny would headline the show. So if you're a fan of the show, and love Fox Mulder, than this is the season to get.
First off, let me just say that this is one of my favorite TV shows. I'm a Sci-Fi fanatic, so liking this show is a gimme. Whenever a network manages to pull off a prime time show that incorporates extraterrestrials, government conspiracies, genetic freaks, and good old fashion suspense, I immediately see a ratings hit. Does that make me weird? Yeah, probably so, but it also makes a large portion of our country weird too, because it was one of the most loved and watched shows on TV back in its prime.
Okay, enough about the show. If you're reading this review, then you already know what the show is about. So, what can you expect find on this collector's edition set? Lots. First off, we get all 22 episodes from season seven. That's a lot of episodes folks. And just to make things interesting, they're all presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Can you say sweet? I knew you could. We also get an all-new documentary titled, "The Truth About Season Seven," 10 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Chris Carter, three episode commentaries (one given by Gillian Anderson), 13 special effects sequences with optional commentary by Paul Rabwin, and 44 mind numbing television spots. Not a bad little collection of stuff. But I wouldn't expect anything less for a list price $149.98. Yikes! Can you say expensive? Unfortunately, I knew you could.
Okay, the set is great and the features are great. So are the episodes all that great? Thankfully, yes. Mulder and Scully are in up to their necks in glorious weirdness in this creepy, yet suspenseful season. A lot happens in this season, and a lot is set up for the next season.
Now I hadn't seen Season Seven until I watched this set, and I'm glad I didn't, because it was all the more interesting. So for all those people out there who are in the same position as I was, I won't give away any trade secrets here. Instead of giving a rundown of every episode, I'll just mention a few of the highlights.
X-Files - Season Seven kicks off with a two-parter, "The Sixth Extinction," and "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati." In these episodes, Scully is in Africa studying an alien ship wreckage trying to find a cure for Mulder's mysterious illness. In "Closure" Mulder finally learns the truth about his long lost sister. Fans of the show no doubt have been waiting for this episode since the series began. In "Requiem" things get a little crazy as Mulder ends up disappearing, and even more surprisingly, Scully gets pregnant via Immaculate Conception. Well, almost. But the most shocking episode (for longtime fans of the show) has to be "Millennium" because that's where the infamous kiss between Mulder and Scully occurs. Why they didn't lock lips sooner, I'll never know.
So after it's all said and done, the ultimate question arises: Is this set worth the 130 bones most retailers are asking for it? Well, that's really a question only you can answer. If you've seen all the episodes before, then I'd guess you'd have to be a dedicated X-Files collector to fork out the dough for this set, because the real treasures to this set are the episodes themselves, not the extra features. If you haven't seen this season yet, then it definitely warrants viewing whether you rent it or buy it. However if you rent it, you better have it for over a week, because it will take a while to get through all the episodes and extra features. But believe me, it's worth it.
The Sixth Extinction
The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati
The Goldberg Variation
The Amazing Maleeni
Signs & Wonders
Sein Und Zeit
First Person Shooter
As I mentioned earlier, X-Files - Season Seven is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. To be brief, the show looks great. Watching the show on my 120" HDTV screen was a real treat. Much better than I remember watching the show on my old 25" TV. The colors looked nicely represented, and blacks were as close to true black as any TV show could hope for. Sure there was a hint of edge enhancement visible, but it wasn't to the point I'd call it annoying. I'd prefer no edge enhancement at all, but until the studios start listening to lowly DVD reviewers like me, I guess I'll have to keep living with it. The video also had a tad touch of graininess present, but now I'm just being nitpicky. Overall it was a great looking DVD as it was leaps and bounds ahead of most television DVD releases.
The audio is brought to us via a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track. I must say for a 2.0 track, it sounded darn good. Dialogue was as clear as a bell, and when the music kicked in, it almost gave me a 5.1 surround sound experience. I was hoping for a 5.1 audio track, as a show like this could really exploit the surround speakers to get the goose bumps going, but alas, maybe Season Eight.
Besides the nicely done documentary titled, "The Truth About Season Seven" most of what you can expect from this set in the way of special features are from audio commentaries. Writer/Director Chris Carter gives an informative, if not strange commentary for every episode. A lot of what he has to say seems strange at times, but it is always entertaining and interesting.
There are 10 deleted scenes included on this set. Now we could have just been given the scenes to watch as any normal special feature, but this set has chosen to do something very different. Here each deleted scene is spliced together with the original footage to give you an accurate view of how it was supposed to be included. They pulled it off by having the original footage in black and white, and the deleted footage in full color. This was really neat, and I hope other studios are taking notes.
We get 13 special effects sequences with commentary by Paul Rabwin. These were interesting to watch, but I'm not real big into these kinds of effects sequences. They're usually good for a one-time view, but even that sometimes feels like it was a waste of time. But, it was nice to have them included on the set.
We get a couple audio commentaries on a couple episodes by people other than Chris Carter as well. In the episode "All Things" we get to hear a commentary by none other than Gillian Anderson. I liked listening to her take on what was going on, but most of all I just loved listening to her voice. She better get involved in voiceovers for video games and such, because she's got a seductive, yet intellectual voice coming out of that delicate throat of hers. Vince Gilliagan also gives a audio commentary in the episode "Je Souhaite." This was a nice commentary, and I was listening hard, but I was still thinking of Gillian. Sigh.
Rounding out the rest are 17 international language clips, 44, yes you heard correctly, 44 promotional TV spots, an all-new DVD-ROM called "Maitreya 2.0" and a Playstation2 game preview.
I love X-Files, and even though there have been a few season that I didn't like all that much, Season Seven wasn't one of them. Great things happen in this season, and a lot of important questions get answered. And best of all, Mulder and Scully kiss. What more can you ask for? If you love the series, and you can afford the crazy price tag, run out and pick this one up. Highly Recommended