The X-Files: Season 1
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Get reacquainted with Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), and all the clever plots dealing with the occult, monsters, urban legends, conspiracy theories, and the rest that made this show an uncanny hit.
In the first season of The X-Files, creator Chris Carter was uncertain of the series' future, so each of the episodes is a self-contained suspense story; they do not delve deep into the ongoing X-Files mythology or turn to self-parody and humor as do episodes in later seasons. Yet, these episodes display the elements for which the show would become famous: the cinematic production values and top-notch special effects, the stark lighting of the Vancouver sets, the atmospheric halo of Mark Snow's score, and the clever plots dealing with subjects ranging from the occult, religion, and monsters to urban legends, conspiracy theories, and science fiction. Most importantly, season 1 introduces FBI agents Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox "Spooky" Mulder (David Duchovny), two of the most attractive government officials around. Scully is the serious-minded medical scientist assigned to join Mulder on the X-Files, a division of the FBI dealing with the paranormal. Mulder is the intuitive thinker with a dry wit, a passionate believer in the existence of paranormal phenomena and one of the few characters on television smart enough to figure out who the bad guy is before the audience does. Their muddled relationship, a deep friendship laced with sexual tension, provides the human heart in a world where the bizarre and horrible lurk in everyday society.
Those unfamiliar with The X-Files often view all the fuss with the same skepticism with which Scully first regards her new partner's ideas. But just as she comes to realize the uncanny accuracy of Mulder's outlandish theories, newcomers to The X-Files who sample a few episodes in this boxed set will likely find themselves riveted to their television late into the night. And undoubtedly, the shadows and creaking noises in the house that evening will seem more menacing than usual. --Eugene Wei
- 6 Disks in new thinpack packaging
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Now I'm really happy I bought the set. In fact, I was so pleased with the release that I have subsequently ordered additional seasons.
I didn't think the 16:9 reframing detracted from the presentation of each episode, in fact the opposite, in many cases the presentation looked tighter and increased the drama. Regarding an up conversion of some scenes - yes, I can notice if I'm really looking for it, but it didn't disappoint my enjoyment of the episode. They are too few of them to worry about it. I was not effected by the font change as some viewers expressed. In fact it didn't bother me at all. I really enjoyed the improvement in the sound compared to the previous DVD box set. Not much more I can say about that. For reference, my viewing environment is a dedicated room with projector and calibrated audio system.
As mentioned earlier, I wasn't expected absolute perfection for the price, however, I got more value from the release than I was expecting.
I will collect the rest of the seasons over time (and hopefully by the time I get to Season 8, the discs will be the corrected pressing!)
The first season of "The X-Files" borrowed from a variety of great sources--the first season of "Twin Peaks", the movie "The Silence Of The Lambs" even some of the moody TV series being shot in the UK. What made the series unique was how well it mixed and matched these elements but, more importantly, the chemistry between the leads in the series.
The transfer is nearly flawless with a nice, detailed, film-like quality to the transfer with very few detectable visual flaws. These have been painstakingly re-scanned in 2K from the original negatives (why not 4K? Fox was trying to save money I suppose) with the exception of the stock footage and visual effects created in SD on videotape were upscaled from SD as there are no camera negatives to work with and due to cost.
The downside for many fans will be that the first four seasons have had the image changed from full screen to widescreen in HD. How was this done? There's a portion of the frame referred to as the "safety area"--this are at the side edges of the image that weren't intended to be seen. Usually that's because you can see lighting rigs, the edge to the sets, etc. Luckily for "The X-Files" (unlike "Star Trek: The Next Generation" by comparison) that wasn't the case and it allows for expansion of the image . I will say that the head room IS a bit tight compared to before (they have to crop a bit from the top and bottom to expand it to fill the screen) at times but, over all, its a pretty good job of re-framing the original image. It would have been nice if they had taken the time to include those as an option as well for fans but the new scans are such a remarkable upgrade, I can forgive them for not including that as an option.
The moody photography finally gets its due on home video. Detail is remarkable and this is very much comparable to the "Twin Peaks" blu-ray release the difference, though, is that "Twin Peaks" features brighter colors simply by virtue of the fact that was how Lynch wanted it vs. Chris Carter who wanted a more muted tone to the show. The colors look terrific.
The series began to hit its stride with season two but season one had some terrific episodes mixed in with some duds. The growing pains of a freshman series isnt unusual the first season of "The X-Files" holds up well 22 years from its debut in 1993.
The 5.1 remix sounds very nice and, even when listened in stereo, the dialog is largely clean and clear without the muddled quality of many shows from the same time frame.
The audio 2.0 tracks are available in English, German, French and Spanish as are the subtitles.
All of the special features from the DVDs (except the games that were introduced) have been carried over to this set including the documentary produced for the repackaged themed sets focusing on the mythology of the series. We also get the commentary tracks that came with the original sets as well (although it would have been nice to get more) which is a nice touch.
If you haven't seen the pilot in a while, you get a sense from the writing of Chris Carter that he had some idea where he wanted to go with the series. Now he may have made up many of the details as he went along but, like "Twin Peaks", the series had a solid story arc established immediately in the pilot that was sustained during the first season (for one subplot) and through most of the series (for another involving Mulder's sister).
There's no booklet but Fox has provided us with an episode guide printed on the flip side of the cover art (which, while interesting, looks a little too photoshopped for my taste but it's not a make or break deal any more than the menu for the series being pretty straight forward. A couple of reviews have noted the lack of imagination but, honestly, I could care less about what the menu looks like particularly if it consumes bit space at the expense of the visuals.
As of this writing, the individual sets are cheaper than the boxed set and, beyond the fact that there is a slot for the 2016 mini-series, there's really no reason to pick up the boxed set unless you want something big to store them in as there's nothing special IN the set by itself.
Should you pick this up if you are a fan? Absolutely. Is it worth it? Positively.
Most recent customer reviews
This first season has a lot of great episodes that helped put this show...Read more