The X Files-The Truth (2002)

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Released 11-Feb-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Featurette-Reflections On The Truth
Featurette-William
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 84:27
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Kim Manners
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring David Duchovny
Gillian Anderson
Mitch Pileggi
Robert Patrick
Annabeth Gish
Case ?
RPI $31.95 Music Mark Snow


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Dutch
English
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German for the Hearing Impaired
Italian
French Titling
German Titling
Italian Titling
Smoking Yes, "Cigarette-Smoking Man" loves them
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Well folks, the truth is still out there. In true Chris Carter fashion, this episode seems to raise more questions than it answers and I personally felt the answers that are covered here were a bit lame. Maybe Chris was just too worn out from the past 9 years, but he could have stretched our finale a little more.

    Mulder (David Duchovney) is caught breaking into a military compound in order to try and seek the answer to the question he has been hunting for so long. Unfortunately, he doesn't even get close when he is confronted by the super soldier from the past, Knowle Rohrer. This is the same guy that used to serve with Doggett (Robert Patrick) in the Marine Bravo company and was the person whose faked death helped to frame Mulder. In a bitter struggle, Mulder ends up pushing Rohrer onto some power lines, killing him (well maybe he hasn't died in the numerous attempts before). Mulder now finds himself facing a court headed by a group of men from the FBI, and held in custody by the military.

    Needless to say, the FBI top brass now have Mulder exactly where they want him and are excited to have the opportunity to be able to make an example of him. This provides a perfect reason to recap over past stories and to bring in the necessary characters from the past to help answer the questions we all have.

    This was a neat way to bring the story together and provided quite an interesting plot. It was also good to see some of the past characters getting a final line or two. You will be surprised by the reappearance of at least two past characters, but I guess you will have to watch to know who they are...

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video transfer of this telemovie was of good quality and was directly comparable to the Nothing Important Happened Today episodes as well as the Provenance/Providence double feature that I have reviewed in the past.

    This particular episode, along with the rest of Season 9, is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    As I just mentioned, this season has rather good production values overall with quite a sharp image being one of the benefits. This episode is no exception with nice clean edges on objects and clear foreground and background visuals. Unlike Provenance/Providence, however, the shadow detail is quite poor and I found myself straining to make out some of the background, particularly with the jail scenes. This is so frequent that it may well be an intentional attempt to maintain the viewer's focus close to the foreground where the actors' details can be clearly seen. Desert scenes were full of bright light making every speck on the ground visible, which also leads me to assume the poor shadow detail is in fact an intentional trait rather than a transfer problem. There is no mention of this in the extras so I will just have to ask Chris next time we chat (!). There is no low level noise

    The agents in the X-Files always wear dull and unassuming clothing, no doubt an FBI requirement. The skin tones and scenes always looked realistic and true to life with nothing leading the eye to think there was too much colour or a washed out appearance. Expect exactly the same level of colour as the rest of the Season 9.

    There were no MPEG artefacts to be seen. Aliasing is very rare but it has not disappeared altogether, and only appears mildly in a few scenes. Film artefacts are extremely rare and are even non existent during large sections of the show. The hair on the camera in the last double length episode has been wiped off which is nice.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change being completely seamless. I checked with both a Denon DVD-1600 and a Pioneer 533K and still could not find the transition. As the show was made for television, there are numerous spots between chapters which have a brief black fadeout and ideally you would place the layer change in one of these spots. I can only assume that the feature fits on one layer with the "William" extra being placed onto the other layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Now I know that I have said in past reviews that The X-Files would not really benefit from a full Dolby Digital 5.1 transfer, but I'll admit that I was wrong. The extra dimension that is now available on these two episode releases does make for a more enjoyable episode acoustically. While Pro Logic II did a good job of splitting the mono rear channels of the season releases, there is definitely more precision available with this particular soundtrack and a .1 track dedicated to the subwoofer.

    There are four audio tracks on this DVD. The default is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There are also French Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1 and Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. I listened to the English soundtrack for this review.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times, but Robert Patrick does mumble on occasions. Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.

    As always, the music from the X-Files episodes sets the mood for the show and provides a magnificent backdrop to the action. As I just mentioned, the peaks and troughs of sound together with the way they have been mixed across the 5.1 channels suited the scenes well. The volume levels did not drown out the dialogue at any point during the movie.

    The surrounds are also well used and luckily for viewers, the story calls for their use often during the action sequences. At 1:10 you can hear possibly the best example as a helicopter moves into view and the sound travels from the front around to the rears in sync with the on-screen action.

    The subwoofer gets a mild workout, always within the realms of realism, to provide a natural edge to the on-screen action.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu design is themed around the movie. The main menu features a still graphic with no audio which is a downgrade from previous efforts.

Featurette - "reflections on the truth" (13:14)

    This brief featurette shows clips from the past shows intermixed with comments from the major players both in front and behind the camera. Think of it more as a trip down memory lane with everyone having their 5 second say. Some of the key people that are interviewed here are; Chris Carter (Creator / Executive Producer), Kim Manners (Co-Executive Producer), Vince Gilligan (Executive Producer), Michelle MacLaren (Co-Executive Producer), Paul Rabwin (Supervising Producer) as well as Robert Patrick, Annabeth Gish, David Duchovney and last but not least Gillian Anderson.

Bonus Episode "William" (42:19)

    I have been reading with interest some of the confusion surrounding this particular episode, so here is the truth (pun intended); This extra is actually Episode #17 from the 9th Season. It was then followed by "Release", "Sunshine Days" and finally we get to the double episode (#19 and #20) called "The Truth".

    While this feature comes complete with its own sub-menu and language/scene selections, the Extras menu takes you to the same section that you were just viewing. I initially thought there may have been an extra hidden down there but alas it was not to be. Personally, I would have removed this redundant menu option.

    This episode does offer a better level of shadow detail, but otherwise is essentially of the same quality as the main feature.

    The audio, however, is only available as a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded track. With Dolby Digital Pro-Logic II decoding it does provide an effective soundtrack nonetheless.

    Fans may be interested to know that this episode was written by David Duchovney (and Frank Spotnitz + Chris Carter) as well as being directed by David.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    So far I have been unable to find a Region 1 specific review of this title. This feature is identical to the Region 2 version. There is also a "Special Edition" of The Truth available in Region 2. It includes an extra DVD from The X-Files Mythology range as well as a collector's card.

Summary

    This was an enjoyable feature but one that did not answer the pieces of the puzzle that I had hoped for. Maybe I was just expecting too much from the time allowed.

    The video quality is comparable to that of previous episodes.

    The audio quality is also high and is one of the better made-for-TV tracks that you will find.

    The extras are satisfactory, especially with the addition of the previous episode. It is included here because the main character plays a pivotal role in the final episode. Ideally, you should watch it first to maintain the correct timeline.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Saturday, February 22, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Audiolabs Magnum M30 (Mains); M05 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

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