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Title: X-files: The Event Series

Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :3.5stars:

HTS Overall Score:81

For this “X-files” fanatic, the anticipation was almost more intense than the actual experience. I watched every episode of the series growing up, and not only purchased the DVDs back in the day for nearly $100 a season, but also repurchased them again once they hit the slim packaging because they saved so much room. I even went so far as to pick up the underappreciated spin-off series “The Lone Gunmen”. I will admit, though, that as the series went on the quality definitely dipped a little bit. Once David Duchovny left the seen as the “believer” and left Dana in that role with Robert Patrick coming on board the series seemed to just glide along until the rather unsatisfying conclusion that left fans screaming in impotent rage and disappointment over the finishing touches. Sure we had the upcoming sequel movie, but that was a rather disappointing event, and really only served as an extended episode to satiate fans. So color me SERIOUSLY surprised when this whole “Event Series” fad catches on. First “Heroes” gets a follow up season, and then the “X-files”. Unfortunately, as much fun as it is to see Dana and Scully back together once more, it feels very much like the groove is ever so slightly off. Almost as if the magic of the past is not captured in the same way. Maybe that’s the producers fault, or maybe it’s just this fan has changed enough that repetition of the same formula 14 years later is harder to swallow.

As in real time, it has been 14 years since the X-files program was shut down and Agents Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson) were put out to pasture. Dana has gone back to her work as a medical doctor, and Mulder. Well, only Mulder knows what Mulder does, although much of it includes his obsession into the mystical and alien worlds. This time something has come up that has peaked not only his interest, but the interests of the FBI. Put back on the X-files cases by director Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) the two are back in the saddle and back on cases. While the FBI is concerned about unsolved crimes, Mulder and Scully are back to exploring the unexplained, but this time Mulder believes that he has been deceived all of these years. All of this shadow plot involving an Alien race trying to attack the Earth, that is bogus and he’s been bitten by that theory before. Now the disenchanted FBI agent believes that it is a HUMAN conspiracy using Alien technology to try and take over the world. However his faith is shaken once more and again, he just WANTS to believe, no matter how skeptical he’s becomes.

Much of the show, despite only being 6 episodes, revolves around the same standard tropes that made the series so much fun to watch 14 years ago. I originally thought that being only 6 episodes we would get a much more streamlined story, with all of the filler episodes cut out and replaced with ones that would drive the underlying main plot along. Interestingly enough, the show actually has some of that, but also more than its share of episodic “monster of the week” bits too. We have our glimpse of the cigarette smoking man and his cronies, as well as hovering alien space craft and vast conspiracies that Mulder is desperately looking to uncover. But we also get to see a humorous episode about a lizard that turns into a human. A sort of wherelizard you might say, as well as episodes about clay art coming to life and murdering people, or telekenitic children.

This adherence to the shows old format of “monster of the week” intertwined with an overarching story is both and a blessing and a curse for the series. It’s a blessing because I am one of the people that believed the best parts of the original show were those “monster of the week” episodes. The underlying plot with the cigarette smoking man and the conspiracy with the aliens is all well and fun, but I always enjoyed the twisted one off tales like the red neck inbred family, or the episodes where The Lone Gunmen came to “help” out Dana and Scully. Those same episodes are just as fun here as well, with plenty of Mulder going off halfcocked like usual, and Scully cleaning up the mess. The curse side of the equation has to do with the fact that the show is only 6 episodes long. With that short of a time frame there is not a whole lot of time to enjoy filler episodes without realizing that you’re giving up a lot of the “main” storyline that flows through the “X-files” mythology. Not to mention the fact that the show ends on a cliffhanger just as big as previous seasons. I guess that leaves it open for more 6 episode even series to come into play, but who knows how long between each event series and if that can peak audiences attentions for that long.

Acting wise it’s a blast to watch Duchovny and Anderson back in the saddle, and the pair’s chemistry hasn’t faded over the 14 year break. It’s almost as if they were born for these roles and you can tell that the pair really love working together as Mulder and Scully. Strangely enough, that same magic has a hard time of being replicated, and even though there are some great episodes and the main characters are gold, there’s just something “off” about the event series. Maybe it’s the short season, maybe it’s the long 14 year old break, but even though I had a good time with the shortened season, it felt a little more hollow than I would have wanted.


Rated TV-MA

Video :4.5stars:
“X-files: The Event Series” is presented in a standard 1.78:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray, typical of most TV shows, but definitely not typical in quality. Most TV shows are good, but not great, but with only a few episodes per disc, the show shines on Blu-ray with a spectacular looking image. I can’t tell whether it’s digital material that is manipulated to look like film, or whether it actually is using film stock (and I couldn’t find any definite sources to confirm one way or the other), but it matches precisely the filmic feel and texture of the previous 9 seasons. Fine detailing is exquisite, and sometimes a bit TOO good as you can see some of the cracks in the CGI and typical makeup that is used for the series. Black levels are inky black and only once or twice did I notice banding (and that was usually surrounding the glow of a flashlight beam.

Audio :4stars:
“The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is just what you’d expect from the series. Vibrant and powerful in the LFE department, but also rather subtle (sometimes TOO subtle really) and laid back at times. The show can make good use of the surrounds when it wants to. Such as in the middle of a forest where leaves crunch behind the viewer, or a dripping water plinks in a steady staccato pattern off to the side from a leaky faucet. Other times it can be extraordinarily front heavy, and can rely on the dialog quite a bit to accomplish a sonic experience. LFE is as mentioned, very powerful, and certainly intense. The classic X-files theme song weaves itself in and out of the track, coming through loud and clear and with the same giddy glee that made viewers a fan of the hypnotic and enigmatic tones.

Extras :3.5stars:

• Deleted & Extended Scenes
• Gag Reel
• The Makings of a Struggle
• Season X: An In-Depth Behind-the-Scenes Look at “The Event Series”
• Monsters of the Week: A Recap from the Wildest and Scariest from the Original Series
• “The X-Files” – Green Production PSA
• Short Film – Grace by Karen Nielsen
• Commentary on “Founder’s Mutation” with Chris Carter and James Wong
• Commentary on “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” with David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Kumail Nanjiani and Darin Morgan
• Commentary on “My Struggle II” with Chris Carter and Gabe Rotter

Overall: :4stars:

“X-files: The Event Series” is one of the most highly anticipated seasons of 2016, and for good reason. Up until “Stargate SG-1” had its 10nth season, “The X-files” was the longest running U.S. Science Fiction series to date, and easily the most popular. 14 years later my expectations have been a bit tempered, despite enjoying the series. I’m not sure whether fans will really put up with long year or so breaks between each “event series” as you can tell from the structure that the creators obviously have more in mind for us. Fans usually have short attention spans and get frustrated with mid-season breaks, let alone extended year drops before seeing more episodes. But who knows, it was fantastic to see our old childhood supernatural detectives back on the case, and they obviously love the roles, so only the future can tell. Audio and video were fantastic, and there was a rather hefty dose of extras for this release, giving me the distinct pleasure of giving this a solid thumbs up for most people, and a definite thumbs up for X-files fans.

Additional Information:

Starring: David Duchovony, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi
Creator: Chris Carter
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, German, Spanish, Italian DTS 5.1, Portuguese, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Fox
Rated: TV-MA
Runtime: 270 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: June 14th, 2016

Buy X-files: The Event Series on Blu-ray at Amazon

Recommendation: Recommended

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