Posted July 3, 2008 in The Small Screen

Make no bones about it, The X-Files: Revelations is a shameless marketing tool. The new two-disc set contains eight episodes (spanning six seasons of the TV series) deemed “essential” by creator Chris Carter and long-time X-Files producer Frank Spotnitz and supposedly serves to prep the viewer for the upcoming theatrical release of The X-Files: I Want to Believe, due later this month. Although “X-Philes” might enjoy dissecting the meaning of why these particular episodes were chosen, the extras (introductions from Carter and Spotnitz, a Wondercon panel featuring those two plus Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, and a theatrical trailer for the film) don’t add a lot to what true fans already know. Instead the set seems geared toward the uninitiated. Nevertheless, rewatching this handful of shows serves as a welcome reminder of why the series—in its heyday—was great. The chosen episodes represent an impressive gamut of the series: from the very first episode (“Pilot”) which set up the oft-cited dynamic of skeptical scientist Scully versus true believer Mulder and their quest through the back alleys of the FBI’s unexplainable cases, to the horrific “Monster of the Week” outings (“The Host”) and others. What the set demonstrates (through the inclusion of gems like “Beyond the Sea” and “Memento Mori”) is that none of it would have worked without great writing and the superb acting of Anderson and Duchovny, who grounded the series in the humanity of its two main characters and their shifting relationship. (Red Vaughn)

20th Century Fox, 182 minutes

Release date: July 8


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