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The X-Files: Seasons 1-3 (15)



Review: Jack Foley

SEASON 1 DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: 'The Truth Behind Season One' Featurette, Chris Carter Interviews About His 12 Favourite Episodes, 'Behind the Truth' Making Of The Featurette, Two Deleted Scenes From 'Pilot', Special Effects Clips From 'Fallen Angel', TV Trailers For Each Episode, DVD-ROM Features: 'Root of Conspiracy' Game, Episode Guide, Case Files From Jane Goodman's 'Book of the Unexplained, Volume 1'

Episode titles: 1. Pilot 2. Deep Throat 3. Squeeze 4. Conduit 5. The Jersey Devil 6. Shadows 7. Ghost in the Machine 8. Ice 9. Space 10. Fallen Angel 11. Eve 12. Fire 13. Beyond the Sea 14. Genderbender 15. Lazarus 16. Young at Heart 17. E.B.E. 18. Miracle Man 19. Shapes 20. Darkness Falls 21. Tooms 22. Born Again 23. Roland 24. The Erlenmeyer Flask

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SEASON 2 DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: 'The Truth Behind Season Two' featurette. Chris Carter interviews about 12 episodes from Season Two. Behind the scenes clips. 9 'Behind the Truth' spots from F/X. 49 promotional television spots. Deleted scenes. DVD-Rom content: 'Unholy Alliances' game.

Episode guide: Little Green Men;
The Host; Blood; Sleepless; Duane Barry; Ascension; 3; One Breath; Firewalker; Red Museum; Excelsis Dei; Aubrey; Irresistible; Die Hand Die Verletzt; Fresh Bones; Colony; End Game; Fearful Symmetry; Dod Kalm; Humbug; The Calusari; F. Emasculata; Soft Light; Our Town; Anasazi

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SEASON 3 DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Documentary 'The Truth About Season Three'. Chris Carter talks about 12 of his favourite episodes from Season Three. Seven special effects clips with commentary from Mat Beck. Five deleted scenes with optional commentary by Chris Carter. Episode commentary for 'Jose Chung's From Outer Space' by director Rob Bowman and writer Darin Morgan. Episode commentary for 'Apochrypha' by director Kim Manners and writer Chris Carter. 17 'Behind-the-Truth' spots from F/X. 46 promotional television spots. DVD-ROM game 'Mere Words'.

Episode guide: The Blessing Way;
Paper Clip; DPO; The Walk; 2 Shy; The List; Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose; Oubliette; Nisei; 731; Revelations; War of the Coprophages; Piper Maru; Apocrycha; Syzygy; Grotesque; Pusher; Teso Dos Bichoes; Hell Money; Jose Chung's "From Outer Space"; Avatar; Quagmire; Wetwired; Talitha Cumi

 

Season 1 review:

IT SEEMS like ages ago since Dana Scully first pitched up into the office of FBI Agent, Fox Mulder, with orders to debunk his work.

Yet, it was 1993 when Chris Carter's ground-breaking series first hit our TV screens, making household names of Mulder and Scully, and bringing the horrors of alien abduction and the paranormal into our living rooms for the first time.

Season one paved the way for the enduring success of the show and was a strong introduction to many of the characters we have come to know and love.

The pilot hooked us from its opening moments, delivering 45 minutes of spine-tingling brilliance, and the first tentative steps in the relationship of its two central protagonists.

As Scully, Gillian Anderson displayed just the right amount of interest/cynicism as she attempted to follow the orders of her superiors, while increasingly finding herself drawn into the whole conspiracy theory surrounding much of her work.

While David Duchovny was nothing short of brilliant as Mulder, an agent whose ceaseless quest for the truth was born out of the responsibility he felt for the disappearance of his sister years earlier.

The actor managed to convey the dogged determination of his character, with a nice line in black humour, frequently coming up with memorable quips to prevent things from becoming too heavy-handed or outlandish.

Season one highlights included the two-parter Squeeze and Tooms (which found Mulder pitted against a returning nemesis); Darkness Falls (which found the duo trapped in a forest); and the season finale, The Erlenmeyer Flask, which introduced the show's knack for delivering jaw-dropping, suspense-filled, cliffhanger finales - not to mention its propensity for killing off key characters.

Season two

Season two was when the series really began to find its stride.

As viewing figures increased, so did the production values, although Anderson's real-life pregnancy meant that Muder and Scully had to spend time apart.

Hence, the memorable story arc involving Scully's abduction - which was to run throughout the remainder of the series - was introduced for the first time, as Scully disappeared for a few episodes, presumably kidnapped by aliens.

That left Mulder running around frantically trying to find her, refusing to believe she was dead, and running into a few vampires along the way (for the episode, Three).

Season two really fired up the alien conspiracy part of the story, giving it added impetus at several points of the series, and finishing it off with another humdinger of a cliffhanger - this time involving Mulder and an old box car containing alien bodies.

But it also contained some of the creepiest stand-alone episodes in the show's history, including the prison break drama, F. Emasculata; the devil-worship frightener, Die Hand Die Verletzt, which featured ritual child sacrifices; the freak-show populated Humbug (about a killer Siamese twin); and The Host, about a sewer-dwelling creature.

Season 3 review

Needless to say, season three kicked off with a two-parter rounding up the events of season two's finale, during which Mulder was able to escape from his boxcar and those behind the conspiracy sought to silence the FBI partnership for good.

Yet, as the popularity surrounding the show intensified still further, it was also able to attract a growing number of familiar acting faces.

Giovanni Ribisi memorably contributed to an episode called DPO, about a boy who was able to control lightning strikes; while Peter Boyle cropped up in one of the season highlights, Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose, appearing as a man who can see his future as a killer starts killing fortune tellers.

It capably demonstrated the show's ability to marry plenty of dark, morbid humour around some fairly disturbing material, and rightly was rewarded with an Emmy for Boyle's performance.

The series also featured another memorable alien conspiracy theory two parter, in the form of Nisei and 731, which placed Mulder in yet more danger, aboard a train.

And it finished equally strongly, with the cliffhanger that was Talitha Cumi, which introduced X-Philes to the healing man, Jeremiah Smith, and featured many fun and games with the alien bounty hunter.

Increasingly, episodes took on the production values of a mini-movie, with the thrills and chills ever more deftly balanced.

Seasons one to three, though, probably still rate among the show's finest period.

 

 

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