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The X-Files: Season Six

Following the summer 1998 theatrical release of Fight the Future, The X-Files: Season Six picks up where the film left off, continuing the alien conspiracy investigation while interweaving stand-alone episodes that highlight some great writing. Unfortunately, Season Six is also the year that The X-Files television program jumped the shark (the following seasons brought a swift decline in viewership, mostly because the shows became mired in obscure storylines, but also because the media hype about Duchovny's dissatisfaction with the show appeared to take a toll on the program.) The season begins with Mulder attempting to recreate the X-Files documents (which had been burned) and working to get Scully and himself reassigned to the X-Files division with the FBI. Mulder is sure he has proof of an alien virus used to grow aliens within human hosts. The episodes dealing with the conspiracy lead Mulder and Scully on a search for DNA samples, dodging accusations from Agents Spender and Fowley (who now have charge of the X-Files), and reunite them briefly with the mind-reading boy. Notable episodes include "Triangle," in which Mulder investigates a disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle and ends up on a 1939 cruise liner full of Nazi invaders. Many of the ship's passengers look like people in Mulder's modern-day life — meanwhile, those same present-day people are trying to locate Mulder (this also is the episode with the famous Mulder-Scully kiss). One of the best episodes in years, the two-part "Dreamland," begins with Mulder and Scully driving in the Nevada desert on their way to meet a contact near Area 51. While being detained by a military patrol, headed by chief-agent Fletcher (Michael McKean), a UFO flies overhead, causing the exchange of the minds and lives of Fletcher and Mulder. Outwardly, this switch is not noticeable to anyone but Mulder and Fletcher, but Mulder is suddenly thrown into the midst of Fletcher's miserable life with a nagging wife (wonderfully played by Nora Dunn) and two angry teenagers. A Marx Brothers spoof is the highlight of this clever show. Other episodes include "Terms of Endearment," involving the wives and lives of a demon trying to have a normal child; "How the Ghost Stole Christmas," with Lily Tomlin and Ed Asner as haunted-house inhabitants who get their kicks trying to get couples to kill each other; and "The Unnatural," in which Mulder investigates a baseball player who disappeared 50 years ago and actually is an alien with shape-shifting powers. The season finale, "Biogenesis," finds Scully in Africa searching for metal artifacts that may prove to be alien evidence. What she discovers, in a Planet of the Apes-like scene, is a spacecraft covered with strange writings. Fox's six-disc release of The X-Files: The Complete Sixth Season is a good purchase for serious fans of the show. The widescreen transfers (1.78:1) make the material look good, although it still looks like television, and audio is presented in the original Dolby 2.0 Surround. Extras include two audio commentaries on specific shows, one with Chris Carter and one with Kim Manners. A featurette, "The Truth About Season Six," interviews most of the cast, but without much insight about anything. A special-effects vignette is mildly interesting. There are also 12 deleted scenes and some TV promo spots. In addition, as in past season DVDs, there is a DVD-ROM feature for your PC with an interactive game. Six-disc folding DVD digipak with paperboard slip-case.
—Kerry Fall



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