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The X-Files: Season 9 (15)



Review: Jack Foley

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc One: 1 deleted scene from Nothing Important Happened Today that can be branched into the episode. 1 deleted scene from Nothing Important Happened Today II. 2 deleted scenes from 4-D. 3 international clips from Nothing Important Happened Today II (German, Japanese and Italian).
Disc Two: 1 deleted scene from Lord Of The Flies. 3 international clips from Trust No 1 (German, Japanese and Italian).
Disc Three: 1 deleted scene from Provenance Part 1. 3 international clips from Provenance Part 1 (German, Japanese and Italian).
Disc Four: Audio commentary for Improbable by Chris Carter. Audio commentary for Jump The Shark by Vince Gilligan, John Shiban and Frank Spotnitz. 1 deleted scene from Jump The Shark. 3 international clips from William (German, Japanese and Italian).
Disc Five: Audio commentary for The Truth by Kim Manners. 3 deleted scenes from The Truth. 3 international clips from The Truth (German, Japanese and Italian).
Disc Six: 'The Truth About Season 9' documentary (30 minutes). X-Files profiles on Monica Reyes and Brad Follimer. 30 promo spots. 10 deleted scenes – extended versions of clips branched into the individual episodes with optional commentary by Frank Spotnitz. 9 special effects clips with narration by Paul Rabwin and Mat Beck.
Disc Seven: Trailers Inside Look: I Robot Sizzle. Inside Look: Alien vs. Predator behind-the scenes segment. 'Secrets Of The X-Files' documentary (45 minutes). 'More Secrets Of The X-Files' documentary (45 minutes). 'Reflections On The X-Files' documentary (20 minutes).

Episode titles: Episode titles: Nothing Important Happened Today, Nothing Important, Happened Today II, Dæmonicus, 4-D, Lord of the Flies, Trust No 1, John Doe, Hellbound, Provenance, Providence, Audrey Pauley, Underneath, Improbable, Scary Monsters, Jump the Shark, William, Release, Sunshine Days, The Truth.

 

HAVING successfully rung the changes in its previous season, with the arrival of Robert Patrick’s intriguing Agent Doggett, and the diminishing impact of David Duchovny’s Agent Mulder, The X-Files appeared to be in a healthy condition for a few seasons yet.

So it came as a bit of a disappointment to find that Season 9 marked the conclusion of the series, and something of a missed opportunity for seeing how the relationship between Doggett and Scully (Gillian Anderson) developed.

Being the final instalments, the series also came over-burdened with the prospect of having to reveal its secrets, of uncovering the so-called ‘truth’ that its protagonists had spent the past decade uncovering.

And, needless to say, many of the answers failed to materialise, given the sneaking suspicion that things were being left open for a further, revelatory movie, and the prospect that some of its stars may want (or need) to return to the franchise in the future.

As a result, fans could have been forgiven for feeling a little short-changed by Chris Carter and co, even though, for the most part, the series continued to demonstrate the values which had helped to turn it into the massive success it became in the first place.

Doggett continued to provide compelling evidence of why he was more than a worthy replacement in the lead for Duchovny, and several of his stand-alone episodes (early on), harked back to the classic status of early episodes, while the emotional connection between Scully and those around her, continued to grow, yielding some truly poignant moments (particularly in regard to her baby).

But as the season draws closer to its finale, and Mulder returns to the scene, the need to try to explain things a bit better, took precedence, fuelling suspicions that writer, Carter, never really knew where he was going with it in the first place.

Answers, as usual, were replaced by questions, leaving the conspiracy theorists discussing the implications long after the final credits had rolled.

Not that the conclusion is necessarily badly-handled, rather it struggles to realise the potential offered by some of its early conspiracy-builders, or even the first movie.

The production values remain high (each episode operates on the same sort of scale as a movie in itself), while the acting is first-rate, and there are plenty of surprises along the way, including grim resolutions for several of the leading support players.

The new characters introduced in series eight, also continue to develop, which provides evidence of the tight writing that became renowned with the series.

Perhaps it’s the sense of disappointment that one of the great series of recent years had finally come to a close, or the realisation that we’re still no nearer to making sense of it, which hinders the overall enjoyment, but Season 9 - as good as it is - falls short of the status it probably feels it warrants.

It remains a must-have for die-hard fans, however, and comes packed with extras (though nothing overly ground-breaking or inspiring), but fans can only hope that Duchovny’s recent assurances that a new film is on the way prove to be truthful.

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