To further stoke fan speculation about what’s going to happen in The X-Files: I Want to Believe, which opens July 25 — and to reintroduce the series to those who may not have been X-philes when it was on the air — a "new" X-Files DVD is being released today. The compilation of eight episodes is called "Revelations," and as the cover itself proclaims, this is the "Essential Guide to the X-Files movie," with "8 critical episodes handpicked by the series creator."
Does it deliver? Yes and no.
The DVD’s eight episodes span the first six seasons of the television series, skipping (wisely) the last three seasons entirely. At first this seemed a little odd, because if this DVD is supposed to be the essential guide to the movie, and the movie takes place after Season 9, don’t we need to know what happens in those last three seasons? A short "series trailer" included on the first disc does give a rundown of the entire nine seasons, but I’m going to guess that what happened in the last three seasons just isn’t that important. (Sorry, Annabeth Gish fans, but I never could get into the character of Agent Reyes.)
Each episode is certainly a classic — "Pilot," "Beyond the Sea," "The Host," "Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose," "Memento Mori," "Post-Modern Prometheus," "Bad Blood" and "Milagro" — and each one is introduced by series creator Chris Carter and executive producer Frank Spotnitz. Their commentary, though, is limited to a couple of minutes each time, so they don’t provide a lot of new information.
It is amusing to see Gillian Anderson stick her head over Chris Carter’s shoulder in the commentary before "Milagro," and she is wearing the tan trench coat you’ve seen in preview photos for the X-Files movie, but very little is revealed about what’s going to happen in the film. It does seem that Carter is shooting these intros on the set of the movie, though, because at one point a man in full surgical scrubs (an actor, I’m guessing) walks right behind him. I can’t believe that wasn’t entirely orchestrated, so, uh, spoiler alert? Man in scrubs will be in movie!
The DVDs also include the movie trailer, which is pretty useless because you can watch it everywhere online, and a recording of a Wondercon panel featuring Carter, Spotnitz, Anderson and David Duchovny. The panel is fun, and the actors and producers all say they’d love to do more X-Files movies in the future — if this one does well.
Which is why, I imagine, the DVD includes a coupon for $8.50 off a ticket to see the new movie in theaters through Aug. 31. That is certainly a nice bonus, and the episodes in the DVD set are definitely a well-rounded introduction to the series.
Most importantly (in my opinion), the DVD provides an amusing visual history of the development of Agent Scully’s hair (not to mention her suits!).
Season 1: "Pilot" — So young, so skeptical! And such bad suits.
Season 2: "The Host" — Pregnant Gillian Anderson has no time to do her hair.
Season 3: "Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose" — Don’t mess with this girl’s curls.
Season 4: "Memento Mori" — Even when diagnosed with cancer, not a hair is out of place.
Season 5: "Bad Blood" — Straighter (not necessarily that way), harder, hotter.
Season 6: "Milagro" — The bob, perfected.
My conclusion? Even though "Revelations" doesn’t reveal much about the movie, it was a fun trip down memory lane. So what season of Scully hair did you love the most?