The X Files-Season 1 Box Set (1993)

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Released 22-Nov-2000

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio
Featurette-International Clips
Deleted Scenes-2 (Pilot)
Featurette-Special Effects Clip
Featurette-The Truth About Season One
Featurette-Chris Carter Talks About Season One Episodes
Featurette-Behind The Truth 912)
TV Spots-47
DVD-ROM Extras-Game-Roots of Conspiracy
Booklet
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 1045:46
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (7)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Chris Carter
Studio
Distributor
Ten Thirteen Prods
Twentieth Century Fox
Starring David Duchovny
Gillian Anderson
Case Gatefold
RPI $189.95 Music Mark Snow


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

Skip Directly to Overall Transfer Assessment

Disc 1

Episode #1x79 - The Pilot (46:16 minutes)

    FBI agent Fox Mulder - nickname Spooky (David Duchovny) - has taken a personal interest in unsolved cases which deal with the paranormal, codenamed The X-Files. The powers-that-be want to monitor Mulder's activities in this area. Enter Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), a medical doctor also with the FBI. She is teamed up with Mulder as his new partner, so she can make reports about his work and verify his findings. After a brief introduction in Mulder's office it is off to Bellefleur, Oregon, to investigate the mysterious death of Karen Swenson, who was found dead in the forest with no apparent cause of death. Mulder believes that Karen was an alien abductee.

Episode #1x01 - Deep Throat (43:56 minutes)

    Mulder and Scully investigate the disappearance of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Budahas, who was a military test pilot. Mulder suspects that Budahas has been flying experimental aircraft that are built utilizing alien technology. Mulder is warned off by a mysterious man (Deep Throat).

Episode #1x02 - Squeeze (41:05 minutes)

    FBI investigator Tom Colton is baffled by a series of mysterious murders. All of the victims had their livers ripped out of their bodies while they were in locked or secured rooms. No entry point could be found in any case. Tom Colton approaches Scully and asks for help, but is reluctant to have Mulder involved because of his reputation for strange and implausible theories.

Episode #1x03 - Conduit (42:27 minutes)

    Mulder and Scully investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl from a campsite in Iowa. Mulder believes Ruby has been abducted by aliens, just like his sister was. Scully believes that Ruby has more than likely been murdered and initially dismisses Mulder's theory of alien abduction. Kevin - Ruby's little brother has been acting strangely since Ruby's disappearance, writing pages of what appear to be random 1s and 0s.

Disc 2

Episode #1x04 - The Jersey Devil (42:41 minutes)

    Mulder and Scully investigate the gruesome murder of a homeless man. Mulder believes that a legendary half-human creature called the Jersey Devil is responsible for the attack.

Episode #1x05 - Shadows (43:53 minutes)

    Mulder and Scully are shown two male corpses that appear to have had their throats crushed from the inside. When the mysterious government officials refuse to elaborate further, Mulder says he has not seen anything like this before and they leave. Realizing that Mulder lied, Scully asks Mulder to tell her what he knows. Mulder tells her that there are dozens of X-File cases dealing with psychokinesis, which is the ability of a psychic to manipulate or move matter, and he believes that is what killed the men. With the few clues they were given, they work out when and where the men were killed, which in turn leads them to Lauren Kyte. Mulder takes a photo of Lauren, but when it is processed there is a white image standing near her. With the help of computer enhancement, the image turns out to be the form of Lauren's dead boss, Howard Graves.

Episode #1x06 - Ghost In The Machine (43:30 minutes)

    Special Agent Jerry Lamana asks Mulder and Scully to help him investigate the murder of Benjamin Drake, who was the CEO of a large computer company. The way Benjamin Drake was murdered indicates that only someone with a very good knowledge of the building's computer system and a very high level clearance could have committed the murder. Mulder asks the building's system engineer for a list of names that fit that profile. The list comes back with only one name on it, Brad Wilczek. Brad was the founder of the company, and had been working on a home and office automation system that possessed Artificial Intelligence, but after Drake terminated his project, Brad resigned and left the company.

Episode #1x07 - Ice (43:59 minutes)

    Mulder and Scully and three other people are sent to Antarctica to investigate what happened to a group of geophysicists who were drilling and collecting ice core samples that dated back to the Dawn of Man. It is soon discovered that the team had become infected by a worm-like organism that had been in one of the ice samples. This caused the infected team members to become agitated and aggressive and in turn led them to kill each other. When one of the investigating team is murdered, Mulder and Scully realize that someone among them has become infected. Now they have to find out who it is and stop them before they kill anyone else.

Disc 3

Episode #1x08 - Space (44:42 minutes)

    Someone or something is sabotaging the NASA space program and Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate.

Episode #1x09 - Fallen Angel (44:02 minutes)

    A UFO… oh, sorry a METEOR has crashed in Townsend, Wisconsin and a military unit has been sent in to cover it up and capture any survivors. Mulder learns of the crash from Deep Throat and he tries to sneak in to take photographs, but he is spotted and arrested. While being held prisoner, Mulder meets Max Fenig, who is a member of NICAP. NICAP is an organization that tracks and investigates UFO sightings.

Episode #1x10 - Eve (43:59 minutes)

    Two men are murdered at the same time, in almost exactly the same manner, two thousand miles apart. When Scully and Mulder investigate they find that both families have 8 year old daughters who look identical. Through Deep Throat, Mulder finds out that the girls are connected to the Litchfield Experiment, a top-secret project where a group of genetically-altered children were produced.

Episode #1x11 - Fire (43:19 minutes)

    Mulder and Scully are asked to help protect Sir Marsden, who has temporarily relocated his family from England to Cape Cod after he narrowly escaped being burnt alive. Mulder and Scully are informed about the mysterious deaths of other affluent men by fire. Mulder suggests that the killer may posses the ability to conduct and control fire.

Disc 4

Episode #1x12 - Beyond The Sea (44:07 minutes)

    Scully wakes to see her father sitting in a chair. The phone rings, she looks away for a second and then back, but her father is gone. Scully answers the phone and her mother tells her that her father passed away about an hour ago, from a heart attack. Two teenagers are kidnapped. Luther Lee Boggs (a prisoner on death row) says he knows who kidnapped the kids and he will lead Mulder and Scully to him if they will get him a permanent stay of execution. Boggs claims that his knowledge is obtained from psychic transmissions, but Mulder does not believe him and suspects that this is just a ruse so Boggs can avoid being executed in a week's time.

Episode #1x13 - Gender Bender  (43:03 minutes)

    A woman seduces a man in a nightclub, and they go to a motel and have sex. Shortly afterwards, the man starts convulsing and dies. The woman then metamorphoses into a man. Look out for a familiar face in this episode! Would you like a hint? He's now got a prosthetic arm. For those who are curious and don't want to watch the whole episode, check out 33:07 to find out the identity of our mystery person.

Episode #1x14 - Lazarus (44:04 minutes)

    FBI agent Jack Willis has been after Warren Dupre and his partner Lula Phillips for over a year when he gets a anonymous tip as to when and where their next bank robbery will be. He and Scully stake out the bank. In the ensuing gunfight, both Dupre and Willis are shot. Both Willis and Dupre are rushed to hospital, where Dupre and Willis simultaneously go into arrest. The doctors are able to resuscitate Willis, but Dupre dies. Unbeknownst to everyone, Dupre's consciousness has taken possession of Willis' body.

Episode #1x15 - Young At Heart (44:04 minutes)

    Mulder and Scully are asked to help investigate the robbery of a jewellery store. When Mulder reads the note found at the crime scene, viz "Fox can't guard the chicken coop", he remembers his first case where a robber named John Barnett would leave notes to taunt him. Barnett was eventually captured and sentenced to life in prison, where he had supposedly died four years ago. Mulder has the handwriting analysed and it confirms Mulder suspicion that the robbery was committed by John Barnett.

Disc 5

Episode #1x16 - E.B.E (43:06 minutes)

    After investigating several UFO sightings Mulder and Scully suspect that a truck supposedly carrying spare parts is actually carrying an alien spaceship and possibly an Extraterrestrial Biological Entity (E.B.E).

Episode #1x17 - Miracle Man (43:58 minutes)

    Samuel Hartley can cure the sick by laying his hands on them, but recently he has been killing those he attempts to cure. Mulder and Scully go to investigate.

Episode #1x18 - Shapes  (43:33 minutes)

    At a cattle ranch in the Montana countryside, Jim Parker and his son Lyle are attacked by a ferocious wolf-like beast. Jim shoots the beast, but when he looks at the body it is a Native American man, named Joseph Goodensnake. Mulder believes that Joseph shape-shifted from being a man during the day into a wolf-like beast at night.

Episode #1x19 - Darkness Falls (42:05 minutes)

    A crew of loggers disappears from a remote forest in Washington State. Mulder, Scully, a member of the Federal Forest Service, and Steve Humphreys, an employee of the lumber company, are sent in to find out what has happened to them. They discover that the logger's encampment is deserted. In the nearby woods they find a cocoon with a dead man inside it. Doug Spinney, an eco-terrorist, arrives in the encampment and warns them that strange, insect-like creatures descend from the sky when darkness falls. Their only hope of survival is to stay in the light, as it stops the insect-like creatures from attacking.

Disc 6

Episode #1x20 - Tooms (43:36 minutes)

    Eugene Tooms is released from a sanatorium. Mulder and Scully have to find fresh evidence that proves that Eugene Tooms is over 100 years old and was responsible for the recent deaths of four people, so they can have him locked up so he won't be able to kill again.

Episode #1x21 - Born Again (42:51 minutes)

    Detective Sharon Lazard finds a lost eight year old girl. Lazard takes the girl back to the precinct where she is questioned by Detective Barbala. During the questioning, Barbala is suddenly hurled out of a window and falls six stories to his death. Due to the strange nature of the death, Mulder and Scully are called to the scene to investigate.

Episode #1x22 - Roland (43:30 minutes)

    Mulder and Scully investigate the death of an aeronautical scientist, Dr. Ronald Surnow, who had been working on a new jet engine that could double supersonic speeds whilst only using half the fuel. The only other person working in the building
the night that Dr. Ronald Surnow died was a mentally-handicapped janitor named Roland. Listen out for Scully's classic line at 29:47.

Episode #1x23 - The Erlenmeyer Flask (44:00 minutes)

    Through Deep Throat, Mulder and Scully learn of secret experiments to combine alien DNA with human DNA, in an attempt to make an alien/human hybrid.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Overall the video quality is quite good, with mostly the original source material limiting its quality. Transfer-induced faults are rare and usually minor.

    All episodes are presented in their original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (4x3).

    Picture foreground sharpness and detail is very good for all episodes. The background detail is definitely on the soft side, but it does get a little better on the later discs.

    An unusual artefact, which I will describe as vertical banding is a severe problem for episodes 0, 1 and 2 when being watched on a projector. This artefact reduces the picture quality of these episodes to the point of only just being acceptable, however, on my 68cm composite input TV this artefact was basically totally invisible. From episodes 3 onwards it basically disappears, with only the odd infrequent reappearance. The exception to this is during the opening credits of all the episodes, where this artefact continues to appear, but only because the footage has been taken from the first three episodes. An example of this artefact is shown below.
 

Screen shot from Pilot Episode (8:30)
Close-up

    A couple of the episodes have some minor edge enhancement, but generally it is so minor that it doesn't disrupt the picture. One exception to this is the footage of the Space Shuttle in Episode 8.

    The colour is very well saturated and natural looking throughout and the shadow detail is good. Some episodes are intentionally dark, so to get the most out of the picture I would recommend you watch it in a room where you can control the ambient lighting.

    A couple of episodes have some grain, but it is rare and usually minor.

    MPEG, aliasing and moiré artefacts are very rare and in most cases very minor. Episode 19 has the most disruptive MPEG artefact of all of the episodes at 7:23 - 7:28, where the tops of the trees become blocky, but it is not too serious, so there is little to complain about in this department.

    There are many interlacing artefacts, which have either come from the source material (most likely) or have been introduced during the transfer. These interlacing artefacts are more noticeable during long panning shots or on fast moving objects. Thankfully there are very few instances where they become distracting, but if you pause the picture you many be horrified to see just how far out some scenes get.

    Each episode has a light sprinkling of small film artefacts, which are in the form of roundish white marks or scratches. Most are small, but since they are at peak white level (maximum brightness), they tend to catch your eye.

    Discs 1-6 are Dual Layer discs, with the layer change placed between Episodes 2 and 3, so the layer change is never seen.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio track on each disc, which is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192Kb/s. I watched this disc with my audio decoder set to surround mode. There is some very good surround channel use, so I would strongly recommend that you listen to all episodes on this disc in surround mode.

    Dialogue is clear and extremely easy to understand throughout all episodes.

    The music scores for Episodes 0 - 12 are by Mark Snow, but there is no mention of who the music is by for episodes 13 - 23. I assume they are also by Mark Snow.

    The sound is predominantly front-orientated, but the surround channels do get a very good work-out during the more dramatic or action-oriented sequences, where they totally envelop you. The best episodes for surround use are Episodes 9, 13 and 15.

    The subwoofer generally gets a light work-out, with some good use during the more dramatic sequences. The best episode for subwoofer use is Episode 5.

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

Extras

    Overall there is a pretty good selection of extras present.

Menu

    All the disc menus are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with the Episode discs having a lead-in video clip with audio (192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0), plus further animation before each episode starts. There is some initial music on the Episode discs' main menus, but it stops after it has played once. On the Episode discs the Main Menu selections are the names of the four episodes on that disc.

    Each of the episode menus have the following selections; Play Episode, Chapter Selection, Language Selection and Special Features. The International Clips are common to all episodes.

    The three major extras are to be found on the seventh disc in the package.

Featurette - Documentary: The Truth About Season One (11:07 minutes)

    The overall picture quality is very good. Audio is 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0. There are some minor artefacts during the interview close-ups, but nothing serious. On the longer shots however, there are serious artefacts and lip-sync issues. Thankfully, there aren't many of these and they only last for one or two seconds before the picture cuts to a close-up. Content-wise this documentary is interesting and is a worthwhile addition.

Featurette - Chris Carter Talks About Season One Episodes (34:01 minutes)

    The overall picture quality is good. Audio is 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0. The Chris Carter interviews suffer from strong grain and some vertical banding is also present. One severe MPEG/aliasing artefact was noticed at 1:01 during Deep Throat. This section is broken up into twelve parts; Pilot (4:55), Deep Throat (1:31), Squeeze (3:33), Conduit (2:38), Ice (2:07), Fallen Angel (4:21), Eve (1:54), Beyond the Sea (3:18), E.B.E (2:24), Darkness Falls (2:49), Tooms (2:01) and The Erlenmeyer Flask (2:30). Content-wise this featurette is interesting and is a worthwhile addition.

Featurette - "Behind the Truth" (12:42 minutes)

    The overall picture quality is reasonable. Audio is 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0. This section is made up of the following sections; Fox Mulder (1:03), Deep Throat (1:04), Squeeze and Tooms (1:04), Theme (1:03), Toby Lindale (1:04), Lone Gunman (1:04), Ice (1:03), Beyond the Sea (1:03), Prop Truck (1:04), Dana Scully (1:03), Mulder's Office (1:04) and The Erlenmeyer Flask (1:03). The Theme, Toby Lindale, Lone Gunmen, Dana Scully and Mulder's Office interviews are plagued with a severe video artefact that really disrupts the picture. Content-wise this featurette is also interesting and is another worthwhile addition.

Deleted Scenes from Disc 1: The Pilot Episode (2)

    The two deleted scenes are accessed by pressing Enter when a white X appears at the bottom of the scene whilst the Episode is playing, like the Follow The White Rabbit feature on the Matrix DVD. The first deleted scene occurs at the 8:00 minute mark, during Chapter 2. The second deleted scene occurs at the 43:55 minute mark, during Chapter 11. Note that you have to turn ON the deleted scene option from the Pilot Special Features menu before the icon appears. These scenes are basically scenes of Scully and her boyfriend, and are of equal quality to the rest of the episode. During the first deleted scene there is some moiré on a monitor, but it is nothing to worry about. These scenes can also be found in standalone form on Disc 7.

Special Effects Clip from Disc 3: Fallen Angel Episode (1)

    The Special Effects Clip is accessed in the same way as the Deleted Scenes on Disc 1. It occurs at 14:04. Once again, this scene can also be found on Disc 7.

International Clips (29)

    These are various scenes from various episodes presented in other languages with a Dolby Digital 2.0 192Kb/s soundtrack. The picture quality is equal to the footage of the episode they are taken from. These can be accessed from the Special Features menu on each disc.

    Disc 1:  The Pilot (4) - Japanese (1:03), German (1:12), Spanish (1:05) and Italian (0:54).
    Disc 2:  The Jersey Devil (3) - Japanese (1:15), German (1:02), Spanish (1:03)
    Disc 2:  Ice (3) - Japanese (1:04), Spanish (1:02) and Italian (1:08).
    Disc 3:  Space (2) - Japanese (0:58), German (1:12).
    Disc 3:  Fire (3) - Japanese (0:59), Spanish (0:53) and Italian (1:04).
    Disc 4:  Beyond the Sea (4) - Japanese (1:24), German (1:09), Spanish (1:00) and Italian (1:04).
    Disc 5:  E.B.E. (4) - Japanese (1:07), German (1:06), Spanish (1:22) and Italian (1:03).
    Disc 6:  Tooms (4) - Japanese (1:04), German (0:48), Spanish (1:17) and Italian (1:07).
    Disc 6:  Erlenmeyer Flask (2) - Japanese (0:56), German (0:57).

    Personally I feel these are a total waste of space, as there are no alternate language soundtracks on these DVDs, so they don't actually benefit anyone, other than to give us an idea of how odd the dubbed voices sound.

Television Spots (47 - 12:30 minutes)

    The picture quality is equal to the footage of the episode they are taken from. There are basically two TV spots for each episode - a 10 second one and a 20 second one. The only exception to this is the Pilot episode, which only has one 60 second TV spot. These are the American TV Spots. I was disappointed that there were no Australian TV Spots.

DVD ROM Game

    Basically you have to retrace Mulder's and Scully's adventures to find out more information.

Booklet

    The booklet's 24 pages are beautifully presented. It contains a chapter list for each episode in this box set, and a list of all the episodes in the X-Files series up to the end of season 6.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     On the surface this seems like a easy call, R4 because of the additional horizontal lines, but there is the possibility that the interlacing artefacts were caused by the transfer from the original source material to PAL, thus they may not be present on the NTSC version. Even if this is the case, I think I would still go with the R4 version.

Summary

    This box set of Season 1 episodes is basically an X-Files fan's dream come true. The picture does have its problems, but I doubt you will have ever seen the X-Files episodes looking so good.

    Apart from Disc 1 the video quality is good, with generally only minor problems.

    The audio quality is very good and I recommend you listen to the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack in surround mode, as there is some excellent surround channel use.

    Overall there is a pretty good selection of extras present.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Saturday, November 25, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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Comments (Add)
New X-Files 61 disc box set is a scratch magnet! -
New X-Files 61 disc box set is a scratch magnet! - Le Messor (bio logy class)
Scratch Magnet Solution. Ish. - Le Messor (bio logy class)
re Scratch Magnet Solution(ish) - Bran (my bio, or something very like it)
Scratch Magnet Solution. Ish. - Le Messor (bio logy class)