2X01 Little Green Men
2X02 The Host
2X05 Duane Barry
2X08 One Breath
2X10 Red Museum
2X11 Excelsius Dei
2X14 Die Hand Die Verletzt
2X15 Fresh Bones
2X17 End Game
2X18 Fearful Symmetry
2X19 Dod Kalm
2X21 The Calusari
2X23 Soft Light
2X24 Our Town
Broadcast on Ground Zero, channel 10.
"This week in the GZ Screening Room we're having a look at The X-Files Boxset, series 2. It's one of the awesome new releases from 20th Century Fox.
I know the X-Files has changed a bit since it's hugely successful days of the mid-90's. Aliens have finally abducted Mulder, Scully is now pregnant and Terminator 2 is now part of the X-Files team. But regardless of all these changes you can't deny how awesome the series has been.
No matter what level of fan you are, you'll be able to get something out of this feature packed DVD. For level 1 fans, people who are into the show and watch it when they can. You'll be very happy with having all your favourite episodes on hand in an awesome picture and sound quality plus you will love the special effects documentary, it's pretty cool.
Level 2 fans, ones who know all the episodes and can recite along, you'll dig the interview with creator and director Chris Carter as he guides you through each individual episode. So you can know more about each episode and astound your friends with your x-file knowledge.
And for level 3 fans, ones who act scenes out from the X-Files and secretly pretend they are Mulder and Scully, they are gonna love the documentary, the Truth about Series 2. Conspiracy theory arama! You brain may explode with all the possibilities!
Either way this is a really cool way of being able to explore the X-file Series, which is a fantastic one. There is bound to be one of your favourite episodes in this series 2 boxset. My recommendation is get it and spend a Friday night in thoroughly checking it all out!
To get a copy for yourself, you local Target store is the place to go..."
X Files, The: Season 2 Boxset
X marks the spot
Type of disc: 7 x dual layer, single-sided
No of chapters: 369
Film format/length: 4:3 regular / 25 x 44 mins
Audio format: Dolby Surround
Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi
Year made: 1994-5
• Scene access
• ‘The Truth About Season Two’ documentary (15 mins)
• 12 Chris Carter interviews on his favourite episodes
• Special effects clips from ‘End Game’ and ‘Anasazi’
• Deleted scenes from ‘Sleepless’, ‘3’, ‘Humbug’ and ‘Anasazi’
• Clip of Gillian Anderson eating a cricket
• Nine ‘Behind The Truth’ featurettes
• 49 TV spots
• Foreign language clips from various episodes
• DVD-ROM Unholy Alliances game
Best of The X Files in a superb package.
Unlike movies, where in most cases sequels are inferior to the original, the second time around for a TV show is often its strongest. This is certainly true of The X Files; its second season produced some of its best-ever episodes.
This feat is all the more remarkable considering that one of the stars was pregnant for the first third of the season. As a result, the early episodes see Scully spending a lot of time wearing voluminous overcoats, sitting behind desks and being filmed from the shoulders up. However, Gillian Anderson was only absent from one episode, and even appeared on screen preggers to show that she’d been abducted and subjected to experiments!
Like the season one boxset, this package contains seven discs, with four episodes per disc – the last holds the cliffhanger ‘Anasazi’ as well as the extras. Again like the first boxset, the extras are interesting, if on the short side, and X-philes will already know the behind-the-scenes details. You do, however, get to see Anderson eat a live cricket.
Not every episode is a classic by any means; after you’ve seen the likes of ‘Firewalker’, ‘Aubrey’ or the invisible elephant antics of ‘Fearful Symmetry’ once it’s unlikely you’ll watch them again. On the other hand, ‘Die Hand Die Verletzt’ (Satanist schoolteachers), ‘Humbug’ (weirdness in a circus community – see boxout) and ‘Our Town’ (cannibal cultists) are among the best stand-alone episodes of the show. The second series also sees the ongoing conspiracy plot start to ramp up in the brace of two-parters, ‘Duane Barry’/‘Ascension’ and ‘Colony’/‘End Game’, coming to a head in ‘Anasazi’ as the Cigarette Smoking Man issues orders to incinerate Mulder in a buried container full of alien (?) corpses.
The stereo soundtrack is good if unremarkable, but the picture quality is uniformly superb, easily of broadcast quality. Even if, like most people, you think that The X Files has now passed its prime, this is your chance to enjoy that prime again.
Reviewed by AM
The X-Files-The complete second setTranscribed by Lucy.
The truth is in here.
By the time Season 2 commenced, Fox TV's The X-Files was already surfing a swell of popularity. Starting with the separation of Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and the closing of the FBI "X-Files" at the end of season One, Season Two finds our heroes at a low ebb: Scully is relegated to teaching while an unhappy, borderline depressed Mulder is assigned to mundane electronic surveillance jobs.
It's also here that Chris Carter and company began to introduce new characters that would become staples of seasons to come: Mulder gets a new partner, Alex "Ratboy" Krycek (Nicholas Lea), a turncoat who introduces Mulder to what appears to be his long-lost sister Samantha. The alien bounty hunter (Brian Thompson), an idea of lead actor David Duchovny's morphs his way through the inaugural episodes, "X" (Steven Williams), the inscrutable informant who takes the place of the fallen "Deep Throat" makes his debut and the backstage role of the Cigarette Smoking Man becomes more apparent.
Outside the office, Scully's dead father returns in a hallucination. Mrs Scully and her sister Melissa also make appearances on the show, filling in the familial background and deepening our interest in what is basically a workplace drama.
But the core dynamic between the sceptic and the believer is what drives the show and made it such a hit with a broad TV audience, and the interplay between the leads is the best in this period- no matter how derivative certain episodes appear (i.e. Dod Kalm) to be. The chemistry between Anderson and Duchovny would be sorely tested in later series with the increasingly unhappy Duchovny relying on an ironic deadpan style that ultimately rendered his character opaque. But here in Season Two, Anderson and Duchovny act (and react) more convincingly.
Gillian Anderson's real-life pregnancy also demanded some creative thinking from the team. Instead of taking the easy option and writing Scully out of the entire series, Carter and his writers engineered a complex abduction by alien-obsessed ex-Agent Duane Barry, a multi- episode plot that kept her offscreen for a month but in the forefront of everyone's mind.
Season Two also shows a creative approach to episode planning with multi-episodes ("Sleepless", "Duane Ascension" interspersed with stand-alone plots of varying complexity and tone. This series also features the first "comedy"- "Humbug" which co-starred the freaks from Jim Rose's infamous Circus Sideshow and saw Scully eating a live cockroach. From" Little Green Men" to the cliffhanger ending in "Anasazi," the second season is unlikely to be equalled in terms of sustained quality. Even obviously bonkers episodes like "Excelsius Dei" and "Dod Kalm" (the latter guest starring John Savage lately of "Dark Angel" fame deserve another look on this format: even when logic and inspiration fails, the show's atmosphere is left intact.
Following the precedent set by The Complete First Season, this set is housed on seven discs in all, with four episodes on each of the first 6 and the season-finale and extras housed on the seventh. The episodes are presented in their original broadcast order and like all the early seasons of The X-Files, Season 2 is presented in the standard NTSC aspect ratio of 4.3- it wasn't until Season Six that the series began to be shot in 16.9 for HDTV broadcasts.
The world of The X-Files is a very murky one, but it's hardly enhanced by this particular transfer. The colours (such as they are) are fairly vibrant and well-saturated, although the blacks are grey at best and background details (and sometimes people) tend to be represented as ghostly blobs. The overall image still looks a little "soft" in comparison to later HDTV episodes, although much of that is probably due to their preference for heavy filtering and photographic effects.
An impressive amount of effort is obvious in the sound design, with the individual elements of dialogue, effects, ambient creepiness and composer Mark Snow's score all very apparent. That said, The X-Files is only available in 2.0 Surround and with 5.1 virtually the industry minimum these days, even for series that were made years before this, it's unfortunate that a high-price package like this has been left out in the cold. If you've spent big on a new sound system, this is hardly the product to put it to the test. French 2.0 surround tracks are also provided for each episode, along with English and Spanish Subtitles. There are also brief "International Clips" of the final episode available in German, Spanish and Japanese. Quite why they're there is anyone's guess.
Most of these supplementary materials will probably be familiar to X-philes (and frankly who else is going to shell out this kind of money?) but for newcomers, they should prove illuminating. "The Truth About Season Two" is a short featurette (12 minutes) made up of interviews with creator Chris Carter, producers Daniel Sackheim, Paul Rabwin and Howard Gordon, director rob Bowman, special effects supervisor Matt Beck, composer Mark Snow and cast members (including Mitch Pileggi, Darin Morgan, "Lone Gunmen" Dean Haglund, and Steve Railsback). There are also 12 short interviews with Chris Carter (each runs roughly 3 to 4 minutes) about each episode. Two sets of TV spots and infomercials for the show that aired between commercial breaks complete the package.
And talking of packaging…the fold- out set looks highly desirable (although the accompanying booklet is hardly worth the paper it is printed on) but careless handing will leave it looking pretty shabby in no time. Finally, there's the DVD-ROM portion of the set, an interactive and attractive add-on that connects episodes with information and excerpts from Jane Goldman's "Book Of The Unexplained, and throws up links to the official web site.
By Jason Blake
1. Little Green Men
Mulder discovers than an abandoned radio telescope in Puerto Rico was the site of a UFO encounter. When Mulder doesn't show up for work, Scully searches through airline manifests and finds Mulder's pseudonym, "George E. Hale", bound for Puerto Rico. She follows. Meanwhile, at the telescope site, Mulder and a local man, Jorge, listen to tapes of the alien contact. Mulder follows him, but after a short search discovers his dead body. Moments later, Mulder watches as what appears to be an alien walks towards him.
2. The Host
The crew aboard a Russian freighter bound for New Jersey encounter a ferocious monster lurking in the bilge. Mulder is assigned to investigate a mysterious murder in New Jersey. A sanitation worker has been found dead in a sewer. Soon, another man is attacked. He survives, but when he returns home, a parasitic worm forces its way out of the body, killing him. Mulder locates and captures the creature, but it escapes. Can Mulder stop the creature reaching open water?
A senseless crime, and its similarity to several other violent incidents sees Mulder travel to the town of Franklyn, Pennsylvania. He discovers that the city of Franklyn sprays orchards with dangerous insecticides. Soon, he begins to see messages in subliminal displays, and realises that all of the killers suffered from phobias that could be exploited through subliminal means. Since the chemical agent used in the insecticide produces fear in cluster flies, Mulder concludes the same fear is being chemically induced in people.
Dr.Saul Grissom, a sleep therapist, dies a mysterious death. After an autopsy, Scully explains that Grissom seems to have been burned alive, yet his flesh is not charred. Later, another man is found dead with 43 internal haemorrhages- but no sign that he had been shot. Agents Mulder and Krycek determine that a former colleague of both victims, Augustus Cole, is the only surviving member of a special army squad who underwent secret sleep deprivation experiments in Vietnam. Cole has not slept in 24 years and now possesses the ability to project his consciousness into the minds of other people.
5. Duane Barry
A mental patient, Duane Barry has taken his psychologist and three others hostage. Barry demands safe passage for himself to an alien abduction site. Mulder negotiates and Barry concedes to Mulder's request to release the hostages, but the siege ends violently. Later, X-rays reveal strange pieces of metal inside Barry's nasal cavity, lending credence to his claim that he was once abducted by aliens. Barry escapes from his hospital room. Without warning, he bursts into Scully's apartment and attacks her…
Mulder rushes to Scully's bloodied apartment where a police investigation is under way. Mulder reviews tapes of his hostage negotiations and realises that Barry with his new hostage Scully, is headed for Skyland Mountain in Virginia. Accompanied by Agent Krycek, Mulder follows. When he locates Barry, Scully is nowhere to be found but shortly after, Krycek conducts his own interrogation during which Barry dies. Mulder believes that Krycek poisoned Barry, and that the military is aware of Scully's location.
Scully is still missing and Mulder begins work on the newly reopened X-Files. One such file involves an LA businessman, found dead in his jacuzzi, his body drained of blood. Mulder tracks the suspect to the Hollywood Blood Bank where he encounters a man who calls himself the Son. Mulder places the Son under arrest but as soon as he comes into contact with sunlight he bursts into flames. Tracking the Son's movements, Mulder eventually finds Kristen, a woman who had been involved inn sexual " blood sports" with the Son. She insists that now The Son is dead, she is no longer in danger, but as wildfires engulf the Malibu Hills, it seems the Son has returned.
8. One Breath
Dana Scully turns up at a local hospital in a critical condition. Tests show that Scully's DNA has been tampered with. She has just hours to live. Later, Mulder encounters a man stealing a vial of Scully's blood. Mulder gives chase, a fight ensues but the thief is shot by an unknown assailant. Mulder then approached Skinner and demands access to the Cigarette Smoking Man, whom he believes to be behind the cover-up.
Vulcanologists working at Mount Avalon issue a distress signal after their colleague, Daniel Trepkos, goes berserk. On arriving at the research facility, Mulder uncovers Trepkos' notes, which describe an unknown life form living inside the volcano. A guide escorts Mulder into the caves where Trepkos is hiding, but trepkos ambushed them and shoots the guide with a flaregun. After attempting to incinerate the body, Trepkos explains that everyone at the base-except himself- was infected with a deadly parasite. Back at the base, will Scully be the next victim?
10. Red Museum
A sixteen-year-old high school student goes missing. He is later found wandering aimlessly in the woods, clad only in his underwear with "He is one" written on his back in marker. Local speculation centres on the influence of a religious cult called the Church of the red Museum. Teenagers harass a young Red museum member and one of the girls who participated, Beth Kane is later found with the message "She is one" scrawled on her back. Scully's lab tests reveal a hallucinogen in the girl's blood.
11. Excelsis Dei
A nurse at the Excelsis Dei Convalescence Home is violently attacked by an invisible entity. The nurse insists that the spirit came from an elderly patient, Hal Arden. Mulder and Scully interrogate Hal, who swears he is innocent but shortly thereafter, Hal dies after secretly ingesting a pill. While searching the basement of the nursing home, Mulder uncovers a room containing hundreds of mushrooms beneath which lies the body of a missing orderly. Gung, an Asian orderly, is questioned about the room and admits that he has been feeding herbs to the residents that allow them to speak to the dead.
Aubrey, Missouri. Detective B.J. Morrow experiences a frightening vision. In her mind's eye, she sees a man bury a corpse in a shallow grave. Certain of the location, Morrow rushes to the field and exhumes the body. Mulder and Scully positively identify the remains as belonging to an FBI agent who disappeared in the 1940's while investigating a serial murder case. Further research reveals that the serial killer would rape and murder female victims, carving the word "sister" on their chests. Mulder suspects that the agent was a victim of the killer he was trying to catch. Morrow is convinced the same serial killer who stalked Aubrey has returned…
Donnie Pfaster loses his job at a funeral home after his boss discovered him cutting hair from the corpse of a pretty girl. Soon after Donnie's dismissal, corpses in a Minneapolis graveyard are found mutilated. Despite her years of work performing autopsies, Scully is severely disturbed by the way in which the bodies are mutilated, and has nightmares of a demon. In the drams, she becomes one of the killer's victims.
14. Die Hand Die Verletzt
In a remote wooded area of New Hampshire, a group of teenagers accidentally summon up a powerful force. They flee, but one of the group is caught. A hunter discovers his body the next day. Mulder and Scully examine the corpse from which the eyes and heart have been remove. A visit to Crowley High School uncovers signs that the entire student population suffers from repressed memory syndrome. Is it mass hysteria or is there a powerful force at work?
15. Fresh Bones
Two Marines stationed at a government processing centre for Haitian refugees die in mysterious accidents. Mulder and Scully visit the encampment to question camp commandant, Colonel Jacob Wharton, who blames the trouble on Pierre Bauvais, a revolutionary held in an isolation cell.Bauvais on the other hand cryptically blames the deaths on "loco-miroir", the voodoo crossroads between two worlds. Later as Scully drives Mulder through the rain, a bedraggled man hobbles in front of the car. Scully slams on the brakes. The agents are shocked to see one of the dead marines.
During the Cold war, Soviet scientists discovered how to clone DNA. They planted clones in strategic positions within America's medical establishment. Now, a bounty hunter, capable of morphing into any identity, has been sent to eliminate the clones. By contacting Mulder and Scully, the clones hope to expose the plot. Mulder is summoned home and is shocked to discover his sister Samantha (who had disappeared as a child). Meanwhile, Scully discovers more of the clones and has them placed in maximum protective custody. When Scully and Mulder are reunited, Scully realises the man standing in her room is not the real Mulder.
17. End Game
Meanwhile, deep beneath the Arctic Circle, a submarine receives orders to destroy a mysterious vessel. A bewildered Scully receives a telephone call from Mulder as, simultaneously, a man who appears to be Mulder (the Alien Bounty Hunter from the previous episode) shows up at her motel room. The real Mulder and his sister Samantha, arrive at the motel later. Scully is gone, but there are signs of a struggle. Samantha tells Mulder that the bounty hunter is interested in her, not Scully. She explains that aliens have been attempting to establish a colony on Earth since the late 1940's. Their experiments with cloning were not sanctioned, and others of their race considered it a dilution of the species. The bounty hunter was in fact dispatched to terminate the colony.
18. Fearful Symmetry
Something unseen shakes the deserted streets of Fairfield, Idaho and an Indian elephant materialises out of thin air. Mulder believes the invisible force and the elephant are connected. Believing that members of a local animal lib group are responsible, a young boy sneaks into the zoo with a night-vision camera. As the boy watched, horrified, a tiger dematerialises inside its cage. An invisible force rips the boy to pieces. Mulder is convinced that some invisible force- not an escaped tiger- is responsible for the boy's death.
19. Dod Kalm
A Navy destroyer, USS Ardent, vanished in the north Atlantic. Eighteen men are rescued by a trawler, but one, Lieutenant Richard Harper, survives. Scully is surprised to discover that Harper- who is 28 years old- looks like an elderly man. Mulder is unsurprised when he hears the news. He tells Scully about the Philadelphia Experiment, a top secret World War 11 project in which the United States government attempted to render battleships invisible to radar.
Mulder tells Sully about a series of identical attacks that occurred over a period of 28 years in almost every state in America. One of the most recent involved Jerald Glazebrook, who performed as the Alligator man in carnival sideshows. At Glazebrook's funeral, they soon realise that most of the townsfolk suffer deformities, and that most work the sideshow circuit. The subsequent murder of a sideshow designer, Hepcat Helm only adds to the deepening mystery…
21. The Calusari
Mulder and Scully investigate the death of Teddy Holvey, a two-year-old child who was run over by a miniature train as he chased a floating helium balloon through a park. Photographs of the incident reveal a strange amorphous form that appears to be pulling the balloon in the direction of the train. Was the killer a poltergeist? As the agents question the Holveys, an elderly Romanian woman, Golda, arrives with their eight-year-old son Charlie. Goldie intones that Charlie is possessed and was responsible for Teddy's death.
22. F. Emasculata
The FBI assigns Mulder and Scully to help capture prison escapees. But why is the Bureau interested in such a routine case? The involvement of the Centre for Disease Control arouses their suspicion. They learn that a mysterious flu-like illness has taken the lives of 10 prisoners, and that the escaped convicts may be human guinea pigs in a ghastly experiment.
23. Soft Light
A man has vanished from his hotel room and the only clue to his whereabouts is a mysterious scorched pattern burned into the carpet. When the pattern repeats and the agents realise that all the victims travelled through the same train station before they died, policemen are dispatched to stake out the platforms. They attempt to stop a man, Chester Ray Banton for questioning, but when the officers step on his shadow, they vaporise in a fiery burst of light.
24. Our Town
In the small town of Dudley, Arkansas, George Kearns, a poultry inspector, mysteriously disappears. Mulder orders that the heavily polluted local lake be dredged in hopes of finding the body. What they find, however, are masses of human bones. Mulder runs a missing persons check: 87 people within a 200 mile radius have been reported missing in the last 50 years. He begins to suspect that a cult of cannibals is systematically killing people and eating their flesh to prolong youth.
A computer hacker nicknamed The Thinker gains access to top secret Defense Department files on extraterrestrial life. He gives Mulder the files (encoded in Navajo) and Scully searches for a translator. Meanwhile the Cigarette Smoking Man pays Mulder's father a visit.He informs him about the top-secret information falling into his son's hands and old man Mulder realises his name is on those files. Before he can explain the truth to his son, he is killed. An Indian man named Albert Hosteen begins translating the Defense Department files. He explains that a tribe of New Mexico Indians once disappeared without trace. Albert believes they were abducted by visitors from another planet. Albert's nephew leads Mulder out into the desert and shows him a railroad boxcar buried in a rock quarry. Inside the car are corpses of what appear to be aliens…