THE X-FILES The Col­lec­tor’s Set

Mul­der and Scully go high-def

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 1993-2002 | 18 | Blu-ray Cre­ator Chris Carter Cast Gil­lian an­der­son, david du­chovny, Mitch Pi­leggi, Wil­liam B davis, anna­beth Gish, robert Pa­trick

The thought that there could be peo­ple read­ing this re­view who weren’t even born when The X-Files’ first episode aired on 10 Septem­ber 1993 in­spires hor­ror. Be­cause the idea of any­body not hav­ing seen the se­ries, and not un­der­stand­ing just how god­damn im­por­tant it was in terms of sci-fi history – hell, tele­vi­sion history – is too hideous to con­tem­plate.

The X-Files was like noth­ing that had been seen on prime time US TV be­fore. Sure, there’d been a few shows to in­spire it – Kolchak, The Twi­light Zone, Twin Peaks – but there was some­thing about the way cre­ator Chris Carter took a po­lice-pro­ce­dural for­mat and in­jected fan­tasy into it that made ev­ery­thing look dif­fer­ent. The X-Files wasn’t a cop show; it wasn’t a su­per­nat­u­ral show. It was an amal­gam of both gen­res. To­day, we see this kind of se­ries on the box all the time, but back then it was ex­tra­or­di­nary.

Then there were the char­ac­ters: Gil­lian An­der­son’s scep­ti­cal Scully, ready to pooh-pooh any UFO sight­ing or were­wolf kill, and David Du­chovny’s la­conic, driven Mul­der, king of the one-lin­ers, who lost his sis­ter to aliens as a kid. The show lost a lot of oomph when both ac­tors scaled down their roles in later sea­sons, re­placed by Robert Pa­trick and Anna­beth Gish, but the qual­ity of the scripts never waned de­spite the loss of their charms.

Then there were the mon­sters: hun­dreds of the bug­gers, all weirder than the last, suck­ing brains or in­fect­ing in­no­cents with hideous diseases, gross­ing out au­di­ences who had yet to see a corpse on CSI. The X-Files was a blast. It was funny, gory, thought­ful, com­pli­cated, silly, scary and even sexy, and changed tele­vi­sion for­ever. If you haven’t seen it you really should.

If you have, whether or not you want to buy this box set may de­pend on how much of a purist you are. In some in­stances it’s

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