Blu-ray Review Drama

'The X-Files: The Event Series' Blu-ray Review: The truth, and nothing but the truth

July 4, 2016Ben MK

For die-hard "X-Philes," The X-Files: The Event Series has been a long time coming. Now, 13 years after the series originally came to a close, Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are back for six brand-new episodes. The question is: Is the truth still out there — and was it worth the wait?

Picking up 8 years after 2008's The X-Files: I Want to Believe, The X-Files: The Event Series finds Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) in a very different place than where we last left them at the end of the second feature film. Separated and still haunted by the loss of their son William, Mulder and Scully are brought together again by the rabble-rousings of an internet conspiracy theorist, and, soon, the pair are back doing what they do best, investigating everything from a red-eyed lizard man to the aftermath of a homegrown terrorist attack.

There's a lot to like about this new X-Files incarnation, not the least of which is how it recaptures the tone of the show from years past. Suffice to say, if it's a mix of mythology episodes and monster-of-the-week stories you're after, this revival lives up to expectations, delivering a fair bit of variety in its short, six-episode run. However, if it's closure you seek, you may be left with mixed feelings, as the series ends on yet another cliffhanger note.

Whether or not The X-Files returns for another limited series remains to be seen. However, given how The Event Series wraps up, it would be a shame if it didn't. In the meantime, here's a complete rundown of the episodes included in Fox's Blu-ray release:

  • My Struggle - Reunited thanks to "Truth Squad" host Tad O'Malley (Joel McHale), Mulder and Scully meet with a woman who claims to have been the subject of multiple alien experiments, leading them to evidence of a sinister government conspiracy to use alien technology against the population, and leading Scully to the discovery that she possesses alien DNA.
  • Founder's Mutation - A murder investigation leads Mulder and Scully to a scientist who's been using alien DNA to experiment on children, and to a boy with unique, sonic abilities.
  • Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster - In the wake of a series of vicious killings, Mulder and Scully find themselves in pursuit of a man-sized lizard (Rhys Darby), who may or may not be the culprit.
  • Home Again - Life imitates art, when the towering creation of a street artist calling himself the Trashman (Rancid lead singer Tim Armstrong) becomes the defender of Philadelphia's homeless, committing grisly acts of violence against those who would relocate the street population in the name of gentrification.
  • Babylon - Mulder and Scully meet their younger counterparts, Agents Miller and Einstein (Robbie Amell and Lauren Ambrose), as they investigate an act of homegrown terror that strikes at America's heartland.
  • My Struggle II - Tad O'Malley returns, as his predictions of a terrifying government conspiracy come to fruition. Meanwhile, Mulder comes face-to-face with a familiar figure from the past, while Scully comes to terms with the true nature of her alien DNA diagnosis.

The X-Files: The Event Series offers up a solid argument for releasing TV shows on Blu-ray; for whether this is your first, second or third time watching these episodes, there's no doubt that their technical presentation bests their broadcast counterparts. Despite being shot digitally, the 1080p image is thoroughly film-like and inviting, providing a wealth of textural detail, robust color saturation, and deep, dark black levels that suit the show's mysterious tone to a T. Meanwhile, the primary DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix hits all the right notes, serving up the dialogue and the show's now-classic theme music with crystal-clear fidelity, not to mention such mood-setting sound effects as the sound of a spacecraft crashing to earth, or the low hum of an alien replica vehicle's gravity warp drive.

Fox's two-disc Blu-ray release includes the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Commentary on Founder's Mutation - Producer Chris Carter and writer/director James Wong talk about the idea behind the episode, the cinematography, the special effects, the script, the throwbacks to the original series, and more.
  • Commentary on Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster - Writer Darin Morgan and actor/comedian Kumail Nanjiani join stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson to talk about the performances, the dialogue, their experiences filming the episode, and more.
  • Commentary on My Struggle II - Writer/Director Chris Carter and co-producer Gabe Rotter talk about how the narrative similarities between the closing episode and the opening episode, the use of the show's original main titles, the characters and the actors' performances, the episode's ties with the second X-Files movie, and more.
  • Deleted Scenes (5:21) - Two scenes ("Mulder Meets Raincoat Woman - From 'My Struggle'" and "Extended Mulder Dance Scene - From 'Babylon'").
  • 43:45 - The Making of a Struggle (53:35) - A five-part look at the process of bringing The X-Files back to television screens, beginning with the reunion of some of the original cast and crew, and ending with the premiere of episode one at New York Comic Con in 2015. ("Introduction and Act I: In the House of Fox Mulder," "Act II: The Invasion of America," "Act III: A Conspiracy of Men," "Act IV: Show Me" and "Act V: Out Into the World").
  • Season X (1:23:16) - A thirteen-part making-of documentary that covers everything from the fan community's demand for the show's return, to the visual effects and the stunt work, with a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of each episode along the way ("A 13-Year Commercial Break," "Getting the Band Back Together," "Platonic Activity," "Art Comes to Life," "The Little Über-Scullys," "Man Bites Lizard," "The Meta-Files," "Homegrown Terror," "Mulder's Wild Ride," "Signal to Noise," "The Last Temptation of Mulder and Scully," "Scully Likes Science" and "This is the End").
  • Gag Reel (9:38) - Flubs and goofing around from the set.
  • Monster of the Week: A Recap of the Wildest and Scariest from the Original Series (10:54) - Stand-Up Comedian Kumail Nanjiani walks viewers through nine of the show's most memorable monsters, from Eugene Victor Tooms in season one to Oliver Martin in season nine.
  • The X-Files: Green Production (2:44) - A look at how the production of The X-Files: The Event Series minimized its effect on the environment.
  • Short Film - Grace by Karen Nielsen (9:36) - A short film directed by the script coordinator for The X-Files: The Event Series.

The X-Files: The Event Series is available from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment as of June 14th, 2016. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and French DTS 5.1 tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles. The total runtime is 4 Hrs. 23 Mins.

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