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X Files, The: Truth (UK) (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000044621
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 10/2/2003 18:20
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    Review of X Files, The: Truth

    9 / 10


    All good things come to an end, and this disc represents the end of a cult phenomenon. This is without doubt the final ever episode of the X Files tantalisingly called The Truth, something that has been altogether elusive over the show`s nine year run. Nine years is an amazing length of time for a television show to run, let alone a sci-fi show. To put it in perspective, when The X Files first aired, Star Trek The Next Generation was on TV, when the credits rolled for the last time, Enterprise had started its debut season. 4 incarnations of Trek have come and gone while FBI agents Mulder and Scully have been investigating the paranormal. Over 200 episodes have explored various aspects of the mysterious, from aliens to genetic mutants, from fat sucking vampires to mummies` curses with all of it wrapped up in an intricate and convoluted Government conspiracy. All of this seen from the perspective of one man Fox Mulder, searching for the truth about his sister`s abduction, and when he could carry on no longer, his partner Dana Scully took up the quest. The last two years of the X Files have seen two new characters brought into the fold, as John Doggett and Monica Reyes also get drawn deeper into the conspiracy. But while the search for truth is eternal, the strength of those searching begins to wane, and the last X File sees the return of Mulder in explosive form. Finally the truth is revealed…

    The FBI learns that Mulder has been apprehended while breaking into a top-secret military facility. He`s been charged with murder and awaits trial by military tribunal. His treasonous acts warrant the death penalty, but the military wishing to remain above board allow the trial to be conducted by FBI personnel. Assistant Director Skinner defends Mulder as his colleagues rally round, but the trial seems to be a foregone conclusion when the only thing that will vindicate Mulder is to expose the alien conspiracy once and for all.


    The Truth, like all the post Season 5 episodes was filmed in 1.78:1 anamorphic ratio, and that is how it is presented on the disc. It`s a fine clear transfer of an American television programme, with no apparent flaws or artefacts. Once again the high standard set by the X Files of atmospheric and cinematic television is upheld here, with moody distinctive sets and with expansive and dynamic camerawork when the scene requires it. On a trivia note, this episode has no pre credit sequence and the end credits are scrolled rather than flashed one page at a time.


    Sound comes in impeccable DD 5.1 Soundtracks. You have a choice of English, German, Italian and French with all the requisite subtitle tracks. Despite the high quality of the sound specifications, this doesn`t have the resonant power that you would expect from a movie, rather the surround is used to good effect establishing the atmosphere of the episode. It`s still basically a television show. It`s the last time that you will here Mark Snow`s X Files music on television so make the most of it. You get the extended version of the theme tune over the end credits.


    "William" Yes, a whole episode is provided as an extra, this was shown prior to the series finale. Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic and with DD 2.0 soundtracks in English, French, German and Italian, this maintains the high quality of the main feature. Co-written by and directed by David Duchovny, William begins when Doggett apprehends an intruder in the FBI. A heavily burnt and disfigured man is searching for specific X Files to gain a degree of vengeance against those who maimed him. When cornered he asks for the help of Dana Scully, but the enigmatic stranger is curiously familiar, and has personal knowledge regarding Mulder.

    There is also a 14- minute featurette called Reflections On The Truth. Presented in 4:3, this is the cast and crew talking about the series as a whole and saying poignant goodbye to the series.

    All the extras are subtitled.


    The X Files for much of its nine year run was classic entertainment. I don`t have space to speculate on why it was so popular, but much of it was down to the inspired characters of Mulder and Scully. After its debut season, it built on its success and created a convoluted and intricate story that was captivating. I must admit that I was hooked after the first episode and I have watched it diligently ever since. In my opinion the show peaked in Season 5, and with an explosive movie truly entered popular culture. Anything slightly strange would be referred to as an X File, and Scully and Mulder were deities to be invoked whenever a problem needed solution. For a show to maintain such a high quality for two hundred episodes though without radically altering the format is difficult to say the least. While Seasons Six and Seven were just as enjoyable as before, a certain familiarity had set in. We began to expect certain episodes. There would be a monster episode, usually a genetic mutant on the loose, then there would be a mythology episode in which the conspiracy would become even more convoluted and outlandish, and these would be interspersed with an increasing number of comedy episodes.

    The format was beginning to look a little stale, when David Duchovny announced that he would no longer be a permanent cast member. This had the effect of changing the format of the show and livening up the storyline immeasurably, for a while. It was a natural progression to have Mulder abducted, and previous sceptic Scully was recast in the role of fervent believer as she searched for Mulder. Helping her was the even more sceptical John Doggett and the dramatic tension for the season was quite high. However, Scully`s pregnancy and the storylines that subsequently developed were less than promising, and after Mulder`s brief return, the final Season has been something of a loose end. It was obvious that the characters of Doggett and Reyes were being groomed to be replacements for the original duo, but the audience never really seemed to click with these two.

    With a show that has been running as long as this one, it`s difficult to come up with a fitting swansong, to give the audience a much needed emotional satisfaction without lapsing into melancholy. However the final episode of The X Files delivers the much needed explosive culmination to 9 years of story, whilst entertaining the audience and keeping it on its toes. For the finale, it made sense for the show to come full circle, to give Mulder`s quest some sort of resolution, and the writers chose to do this in the best way possible. By putting Mulder on trial for his life, the emotional tension and drama remains high throughout. The tribunal also allows for the writers to neatly summarise what the whole series has been about without resorting to tedious exposition. As various characters give evidence, we quickly recap over the momentous events of the series and Chris Carter helpfully lays many of the previously unanswered questions to rest. In no small way, this episode is a thank you to fans for sticking with the show for so long and it accomplishes this magnificently. But while many of the rumours and questions are finally resolved in this episode, the story raises some new questions and leaves some plot threads tantalisingly dangling as a final teaser to the audience.

    The Truth, the subject of Mulder`s quest for nine years, is the perfect conclusion to the series. Taken in the context of the 9 years as a whole, I wouldn`t hesitate to give it full marks. For those who are unfamiliar with the mythology of the X Files, I`d mark it a little lower, but even still, it`s thought provoking enough to make you wonder how the characters evolved this far and may even get first time viewers interested in the series. As for the X Files franchise it`s a little early to write it off, I`d be guessing that around ten years worth of big screen movies await us.

    A final note for those watching this disc, make sure that you watch "William" before the main feature. It makes more sense and is more rewarding that way.

    The X Files: The Truth is some excellent television and as presented on this disc is a treat to fans. You get an extra episode in the extras as well as a featurette, and some retail outlets are even bundling this disc with another mythology double episode, Deadalive. I`ve seen prices as low as 12 pounds and for what are essentially 5 episodes, that is even better value than the series boxsets.

    Your Opinions and Comments

    10 years since the end of the X-Files! Wow!

    So much for ten years of big screen adventures though. Just one lacklustre feature to remember the franchise by...
    posted by Jitendar Canth on 11/2/2013 12:48