The X-Files is one of those TV shows that lends itself very well to the DVD format. Its insanely complicated mythos and attendant continuity makes it a show where extras actually make sense. (Does anyone REALLY need Ally McBeal commentary?)
The fifth season is the one that led up to the release of the feature film, so it functions something like an extended prologue. Among the notable stand-alone stories, however, is “Kill Switch,” scripted by William Gibson. This season also saw the Lone …unman required to carry a show for the first time.
The sound is in 2.0 surround, and the primary beneficiary is the music. The score is, in fact, so omnipresent, that it is difficult for any sound effects to make themselves heard. Those that are audible have a fair solid rear-speaker presence, though sometimes this presence is unwarranted: some of the effects strike me as being misplaced (coming from the rear when they should be from the front, and so on). The dialogue sounds fine, though Mulder’s invariably purple voice-over is sometimes a bit distorted.
Mysteriously, you can now watch the TV series in 1.78 anamorphic widescreen. Go figure. This certainly adds to the epic feel of the series. The colours are good, as are the blacks. The transfer is as good as one might hope. Certainly the gloom of the series is expertly preserved.
The discs load up with a fully animated and scored introduction, but thereafter all the images are still, and only the main page of the menu is scored. The extras on discs 1-5 are credits and international clips for each episode. The other extras are all on disc 6. Here is a 20-minute documentary – “The Truth About Season 5” – that has many of the creators and performers looking back on notable moments from the season; a promo “Season 5 Featurette”; “Inside The X-Files,” a 45-minute introduction to the entire series, its characters, and its mythos; 11 micro-featurettes called “FX: Behind the Truth” (basically commercials); a look at eight notable special effects moments with commentary by Paul Rabwin; six deleted scenes with optional commentary by Chris Carter; promo spots; and DVD-ROM features.
Most of the extras in this set are promotional in nature, and are preaching to the converted if you’re enough of a fan to shell out the bucks for the boxed set. The big documentary too is pretty redundant, and primarily useful if you’re suddenly starting to watch the show in Season 5. Really, the primary value of the set is to gather together a nicely packaged complete season for the completists.
Special Features List
- All New Documentary: “The Truth About Season Five”
- 46 Minute FX Special: “Inside The X-files”
- Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary By Chris Carter
- 11 “Behind The Truth” FX Spots
- 40 Promotional TV Spots
- DVD ROM: Game “Earthbound”