I read many of the reviews (good and bad) and considered them carefully before I finally decided to order Season 1 as an upgrade to the original DVD box set. I was particularly concerned about some of the negative reviews, which did influence some hesitation. But then, I thought, given the price, can absolute perfection be expected?
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!)
If you are choosing to watch The X-files you definitely want to start with the first season. This sets you up for everything else that follows with regard to the re-occurring alien plot and all of its interesting characters.
The show's producer, Chris Carter, credits 'The Twilight Zone' as the reason for The X-Files even being able to get to television. Certainly the special effects are much better but the stories echo it's predecessor and then pushes the envelope further. There is no doubt that The X-Files stands tall upon the shoulders of 'The Twilight Zone'.
There is the main plot thread of alien abduction and alleged government complicity but knowing this would wear thin the writers would introduce other creepy, odd, supernatural, and sometime humorous episodes. Occasionally those episodes have an ending...and sometimes they do not. Some of the episodes are left open to conjecture.
One piece the producer did use with good effect, I think, was the voice over. This was pulled from 'The Twilight Zone' and used to introduce the episode, and at the end, ask more questions or to comment on the human condition. Or both. Sometimes it was used like Deus Ex Machina to create closure on a particular episode.
When this series was originally aired I chanced upon it and was immediately smitten with it's dark tone and near paranoiac approach. The Dana Scully character helps keep the plots grounded since she is a physician and supposed to be there to balance the protagonist, Fox Mulder, in his quest for the truth. This helps with the creative tension needed to keep propelling the alien abduction plot thread as well as the other unusual and eerie episodes. Of course the two start out in the first episode with different views on their reason for Scully's partnering with Mulder.
The sound track is done in Dolby Digital and the series done in Full Frame (1.33:1). The Dolby soundtrack has 5.1 channels of discrete audio and the Surround contains up to 4 channels of encoded audio. You are also able to playback from your 2-channel DVD outputs as this season is compatible with the stereo and Dolby Pro Logic reproduction as well. If you can envelop yourself in the soundtrack with surround things will get spookier.
If you are interested, the Special Features have deleted scenes from "Pilot" and some special effects clips from "Fallen Angel" episodes.
Do yourself a favor and pick this season up, or stream it using Amazon Prime. I gave it Five Stars for it's creative writing, direction, art direction, and creepy quotient. Have fun and remember The Truth Is Out There...somewhere...in the future.
Amazon really should give Prime members access to the pilot episode without making them pay an additional fee. If you are going to give something -- give it. Prime should give you something. The first episode is crucial to really understanding this series fully. No matter -- I got access somewhere else so I could view the pilot and know the full premise. Viewers have enjoyed this unique and imaginative show and it's easy to see why. There is a counterbalance between the two leads -- he's a believer, she's a skeptic. They have this electricity between them and it's wonderful to watch. They play off each other to perfection. In so many of the episodes there really is something unexplainable going on. The special effects and production values are excellent. In the first season there is a focus on UFO's, conspiracies and government cover-up. There are, of course, detours to other paranormal activity that are just as thrilling to watch.