x-files-essentials copy

Are you looking forward to the new X-Files film? Are you an old fan of the series who hasn’t seen the iconic show since it was first aired? How about a first-timer who thinks that the trailer for the movie – The X-Files: I Want To Believe looks interesting? What about an obsessive fan that can’t get enough of Mulder and Scully?

If you are any of the above, then The X-Files – Essentials/ Revelations is for you.

First up, let me help you out over the confusing title. In the UK (where I am now writing this) the two disc overview of The X-Files is called The X-Files – Essentials, while in the US the disc is titled The X-Files – Revelations.

Yes, but the disc is also worth your time and hard earned cash.

Now, first up – here’s some full disclosure: this two disc set is not a complete and essential package for the show. It is however a good taste of standalone episodes that give the viewer a feel for the The X-Files.

These eight episodes cover the first six years of the show (why not the rest? – I have no idea) and they show a wide variety of what the show had to offer; comedy, drama, horror, science-fiction and even a bit of romance thrown in for good measure.

In my eyes, The X-Files was a wonderful television show (one of the best that the medium has to offer) and it delivered in spades over the years. I was an avid fan, and only lost touch with the show in the last few seasons following the one-two punch combination of my going off to University and the BBC moving the series all over the schedule here in the UK (shame on you).

These episodes show all that is good about the show, in particular “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”; which stars the magnificent Peter Boyle. This tragic and yet humorous episode is one of the best in the shows epic run, and it has stayed with me since it first aired. I recommend this two disc set for this episode alone.

Another stand out episode is “Bad Blood”, another comedic episode co-starring Luke Wilson, which is told from the differing perspectives of Mulder and Scully.

Another excellent episode is “Post-Modern Prometheus”, a black and white episode inspired by Frankenstein (hence the title) as well as the Peter Bogdonovich directed Cher starrer The Mask (seriously). It’s a sight to behold.

Episodes “Memento Mori”, “Beyond the Sea” and “Milagro” offer plenty of character development for our two lead characters, whilst “The Host” is a cool monster of the week episode that offers chills. All of these episodes help to shape the character arcs of Mulder and Scully, whilst giving David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson some solid scenes.

Of course, one has to mention the pilot episode, the one that started it all and changed the face of television forever. That’s right folks, without The X-Files we wouldn’t have CSI or 24. In fact hot on the heels of the show came numerous Sci-Fi based shows like Dark Skies which tried to mimic the success of the show.

There are some pretty decent extras on these two discs. Each episode comes with a newly recorded introduction, explaining some background information its reason for inclusion in the package. Also included is a strangely edited Wondercon panel session with the leads and of course the trailer for The X-Files: I Want To Believe.

Overall this is a fantastic package for lovers of the show and first timers. There’s a great selection of episodes that highlight what the show had to offer. If you love these then you might as well go out and buy the 9 series box set. That’s what I intend to do!

This review was originally published on Screen Rant in 2008.