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The X-Files Mythology, Vol. 2 - Black Oil (1993)

David Duchovny , Gillian Anderson  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, Robert Patrick, Tom Braidwood
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 2, 2005
  • Run Time: 44 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009NZ2RE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The X-Files Mythology, Vol. 2 - Black Oil" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 15 episodes from seasons 3-5: Nisei, 731, Piper Maru, Apocrypha, Talitha Cumi, Herrenvolk, Tunguska, Terma, Memento Mori, Tempus Fugit, Max, Zero-Sum, Gethsemane, Redux, Redux II
  • Commentary by director R.W. Goodwin on Talitha Cumi
  • Commentary by director Rob Bowman on Memento Mori
  • Commentary by director Kim Manners on Max
  • Chris Carter's all-new "Threads of Mythology" documentary
  • Mythology timeline

Editorial Reviews

Black Oil, the second volume in the X-Files Mythology series, covers one of The X-Files' weirder concepts: the alien being that travels from host to host, occasionally revealing itself as it travels across a person's eyeballs. But the volume actually begins with a two-parter from season 3, "Nisei" and "731," in which FBI agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) dig deeper into topics of post-World War II Japanese scientists conducting experiments on alien and human subjects, mass executions at a leprosy colony, Scully's own abduction experience and her sister's murder, and a possible alien-human hybrid being hidden aboard a railroad car.

That's our way of saying that Black Oil will make little sense to the X-Files novice. In fact, because those first two episodes (as well as other, later episodes in the set, "Memento Mori," "Tempus Fugit" and "Max") deal more with abduction than with the black oil, they would have fit more appropriately in the first volume, titled Abduction. It appears, then, that The X-Files Mythology is not intended as a themed collection of episodes, but rather an inexpensive and smartly packaged attempt to capture the complete X-Files conspiracy/alien arc while bypassing the stand-alone "creature feature" episodes. As that arc makes for riveting watching and did give The X-Files its water-cooler reputation, the Mythology series is a good buy for new viewers or just for casual fans who want to pick up a bunch of great episodes with some new commentary tracks. The four-disc Black Oil set encompasses 15 episodes (starting late in season 3 and ending early in season 5, the period often considered the peak of the series). Notable episodes such as "Talitha Cumi," "Herrenvolk," "Tenguska," "Gethsemane," and "Redux" offered more about the alien bounty hunters, Mulder's family, Scully's affliction, the mysterious informant named X, and turncoat agent Krycek. Still, devoted fans should stick to the complete-season sets for memorable episodes that are excluded from this set, such as "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," "War of the Coprophages," "Hell Money," "Jose Chung's From Outer Space," "Home," "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man," and "Paper Hearts," to name a few. That's not even mentioning "Leonard Betts," the plot of which was technically outside the normal arc but contained a key dramatic revelation.

New features are less generous than on volume 1, restricted to director commentaries on three episodes plus the next installment of creator Chris Carter's new "Threads of Mythology" documentary. --David Horiuchi

Product Description

The Mythology is Chris Carter's visionary story arc of "The X-Files" comprised of 60 episodes from all nine seasons of the show. Now you can follow every government conspiracy, alien abduction, and hidden truth right from the beginning. In Black Oil, even as Scully searches for the truth behind her abduction, an alien autopsy tape leads her and Mulder to a professed group of women abductees who all have chips identical to the one found in Scully's neck. Then, while investigating a series of deaths connected to a sunken World War II aircraft and a mysterious black oil, Mulder encounters Alex Krycek, who claims to have a digital tape documenting the existence of extraterrestrials. A second encounter with Krycek leads Mulder to Siberia, where an unidentified object crashed into Earth in 1908. Yet for all the seemingly undeniable proof, when agents are asked to verify the remains of a 200-year-old-alien, they finally discover just how far the government will go to make Mulder believe.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another volume for casual X-Files fans August 19, 2005
The second volume in the X-Files Mythology series focuses on the Black Oil aspect of the series. Compiling 15 episodes from seasons 3 to 5, this volume is mainly features episodes about the parasitic, black colored oil like alien substance that can infect humans. The episodes included here: Nisei, 731, Piper Maru, Apocrypha, Talitha Cumi, Herrenvolk, Tunguska, Terma, Memento Mori, Tempus Fugit, Max, Zero-Sum, Gethsemane, Redux, and Redux II, are all excellent and just about classic X-Files episodes that are compiled here for a cheap price, which is what makes the X-Files Mythology series worth owning for casual X-Files fans who don't want to shell out the money for complete season sets. If you are a die hard X-phille, you're better off with the season sets which include all the great stand alone episodes (where as the Mythology sets revolve around the series' single storyarc), but other than that, this is a solid deal for casual X-fans.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
As any devoted X-Phile will tell you, the idea of a collection devoted exclusively to the "mythology" episodes alone is a somewhat dodgy idea, with many attendant problems. First of all, much of the show's ineffable charm was found in the balance of standalone/comedic/MOTW ("monster-of-the-week") episodes vs. the heavier mythology episodes - watching all of these tangled, knotty mytharc episodes can be a suffocating experience. Secondly, the overarching character development of both Mulder and Scully (as well as the secondary characters) was rarely restricted to the mythology episodes; someone who only knows the X-Files through these four mythology-only boxed sets will miss the introduction of Skinner and Cigarette Smoking Man's first speaking role ("Tooms"), the introduction of Alex Krycek and Mr. X ("Sleepless"), and the revelation that Scully has cancer ("Leonard Betts"), among other things.

Finally, there is some dispute as to what constitutes a "mythology" episode in the first place. For example, Volume 1 ("Abduction") of this four volume set has drawn a lot of justifiable criticism for excluding a pivotal early first season episode called "Conduit," where the depths of Mulder's obsession about his abducted sister Samantha are first explored. (The fact that "Conduit" is arguably one of the ten finest episodes in the history of the series, both eerie and poignant, only makes its omission that much more painful.) "Musings Of A Cigarette Smoking Man," concerning the secret history of Mulder's nemesis, is also a mythology episode, as is the excellent late Season Four installment "Demons." Some of the decisions made in what to include or exclude seem arbitrary.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Way to Take in the "Conspiracy" eps August 15, 2005
Like many people, I found the "Mythology" eps hard to follow when they aired. I also came to see them as tedious, confusing and arbitrary as well. However, when I began to consume my X Files in ways other than a weekly one hour dose, they not only came to make more sense to me, they became my favorite XF eps, to the point that many of the MOTW and other stories took a backseat to the Myth arc. Carter and Co. may have given themelves a wide berth for plenty of improvisation, but the basic jist of the story is almost painfully simple when you watch the Myth arc in order. A close encounter of the fourth kind is followed by an insidious program of colonization- abduction, implantation, impregnation, genetic manipulation, and planned annhilation are what the greys have in store for us. The XF crew don't allow you much contact with the aliens themselves- that would allow you to familiarize them, perhaps even humanize them. As it is, the Conspirators are barely human.

This volume has the added bonus of containing the poignant Scully Cancer arc, a frightening second act to the Scully abduction story of the first volume. You'll get a heaping helping of Vancouver rain, mud and gloom as well- creating an ambience the series missed terribly when the production moved to sunny LA.

Perhaps Fox is milking the still healthy X-Phile Nation with these boxes, but for many fans who haven't yet taken the DVD plunge, this may be a good place to start. One of the greatest serial dramas in history at its peak.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Storyline of the Series August 18, 2005
The whole "black oil" storyline was one of the best storylines in the entire show of X-Files. I am happy that FOX Entertainment has brought all these episodes togther in one place because it compiles episodes from different seasons and the price is right too. It would cost a little less than $300 to buy three seasons of the X-Files, but this is only $32! I really like this storyline because I am a fan of strange things being able to inhabit people. Watch the X-Files!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeper into the abyss ***** March 25, 2006
The X-Files is my favorite all-time TV series (though, I must admit, it is tied with Seinfeld and the Simpsons). I would always look forward to seeing it, whether a rerun or a new show. Though I missed many, many, many episodes during its 9 year life (I was never really one to be glued to the TV for any show), I have been frustrated in my efforts to watch episodes I have missed, mostly due to the expense of the Complete Season DVD sets. It is once in a blue moon that I can afford to put down as much as $120 for a TV show, so I've done without for a long time, barring my ownership of Season 3. Also, I've found that the episodes I care the most about catching up on are the ones that push the main story line along-- the ones dealing with the government-conspiracy-alien-takeover story line; something I've since learned is referred to as "the Mythology arc." This will sound lame (even to this writer) but the Bare Naked Ladies song "One Week" summarized my hopes when sitting down to watch the X-Files. "I hope the Smoking Man is in this one." The smoking man's involvement in an episode usually indicated a furthering of the overall plot, the mythology arc. In short, these are the Smoking Man episodes.

Vol 2 of the most current repackaging (though I found "slimmer" versions of complete Seasons 1, 2, and 3 which are cheaper than the originals), takes us further down the rabbit hole, with the mythology episodes from Seasons 3 - 6. Early acting jitters from Gillian Anderson and David Duchovany (seen in seasons one an two) are all but gone. And with the monster of the week episodes gone, what remains is arguably the best material in the X-Files history, particularly in the first two discs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best part of the mythology
We love the whole series, but I really loved the mythology series more than the one-offs. As the series gained popularity, their budget increased, and they got more creative. Read more
Published 6 months ago by E. Lindahl
5.0 out of 5 stars Doc
I'm a big fan of the X-Files TV Series so I saw this and had to have it thanks for the great deal
Published 9 months ago by Doc
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Series Ever!
As far as I'm concerned, the X-Files Mythology episodes combine to form the absolute best television series of all time! Not to mention the best Sci-Fi series ever created. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Joshua Meadors
4.0 out of 5 stars Series high point
The X-Files, which set a new standard for science fiction during its nine year run, alternated between two types of scripts, stand-alone episodes and long story arcs. Read more
Published 18 months ago by G. Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's Mud in your Eye! - Well, not really.
We know Fox Mulder and the quest he is on. We also know his companions and the people who chase him mercilessly, and we know what would happen if he gave up. Read more
Published on March 4, 2011 by TorridlyBoredShopper
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Collection
This is a great continuation of the mythology/conspiracy stories that are at the forefront of the X-Files. Read more
Published on July 11, 2010 by A. White
4.0 out of 5 stars The Meat and Potatoes Of The Series
It's been interesting reading the reviews of the X-Files Mythology series. The die hard fans love it all. THe purists find fault in episodes not included. Read more
Published on July 15, 2009 by Miss Barbara
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing!
Very good!! Much more professionnal than volume 1 ! And we start to see the picture pretty clearly! Great info! :)
Published on February 22, 2008 by Karim Naufal
1.0 out of 5 stars ?
what an absurd title for this set. black oil. as opposed to what? white oil? pink oil? i certainly hope that they dont expect to sell this set to anyone other than established... Read more
Published on September 12, 2005 by xman
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