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The X-Files: The Complete Sixth Season

1/09/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy The X-Files: The Complete Sixth Season in the USA - or Buy The X-Files: The Complete Sixth Season in the UK

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region 2 DVD: pub: 20th Century Fox 23563MDVD. 947 minutes 22 episodes with extras 6 DVDs. Price: 15.99 (UK) if you know where to look)stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and Mitch Peleggi.

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'The X-Files' might be back and after the committee hearing at the end of the first film as a working unit but Mulder (actor David Duchovny) and Scully (actress Gillian Anderson) have been reeled in and are not allowed to work on it. Instead, that nice Jeffrey Spender (actor Chris Owens) is given overall charge, spending time shelving investigations than doing anything. So the first half of the season has Mulder getting involved in things when he shouldn't and dragging Scully in. This made it more of a challenge for the scriptwriters, more so that Mulder has got his faith back, in getting them involved. I loved the example of Mulder putting shredded reports back together to see what is being ignored in his old unit. Looking at this now, I wonder why Spender's boss, Walter Skinner (actor Mitch Peleggi) wasn't keeping such an eye on him as he did with Mulder and Scully.

There are some interesting stories in this mix, even if there is a somewhat lacking in cohesiveness across the stories, allowing for some experimentation. 'Triangle' allows for a travel back in time to World War Two, even if Mulder doesn't understand that Germans actually speak German not Nazi. Chris Carter's audio commentary on this tale explains a lot of the photo tricks they did in getting it done with some of the longest takes done and blending Scully and the Lone Gunmen team onto the same ship.

'Dreamland pts 1 and 2' finally does a body swap between Mulder and Morris Fletcher (actor Michael McKean) when an experimental aircraft (looking suspiciously like the craft from first season's 'Deep Throat') crashes outside Area 51 and the two characters see how the other half lives. At least Scully cottoned on faster than believe everything was OK but considering the number of times she's seen an alien assume Mulder's appearance, it could even have been faster. It's a shame that the reset button plays at the end of this story but it doesn't explain why Mulder keeps his water bed until it's used several episodes later in 'Monday' for when he gets into a time-loop repeating events.

Season Six also ties up the conspiracy and removes a large slice of storyline from 'The X-Files'. I was expecting Carter in the extras to have said he was considering this as to be the last season but maybe the move from Canada to America convinced him that they could keep going. It did result in the possible death of Spender Jr by his father and although the body wasn't found, the transition of Mulder and Scully back onto the X-Files seems more like a done deed and back to the caseload than any development there.

The material takes on a lighter comedic air this time. Apart from 'Dreamland', 'Arcadia' with the pair acting as a married couple takes over the story more than the menace. Scully's sarcasm is a joy to behold though. I'm less sure about 'The Unnatural', written and directed by Duchovny, with an alien in the 1940s getting hooked into baseball of all things. It's probably a British thing but rounders, the source game it derived from, is still regarded as pretty much a simple game most of us give up after we leave school. Why would an alien hunter kill rather than reel the hapless alien back in? It's inevitable with all American series that they will do a sports episode of sorts in its run and 'The X-Files' held off until now.

At this point in 'The X-Files' run with its high viewing figures they could afford to experiment and still make it interesting. Oddly, I'm not panning the season. There's a lot of good material here but I think some other thread should have been developed in the season after the conspiracy resolution than leave it until the last episode. If you have bought this season, pull Season Seven before watching cos there's two more parts to watch and you'll need to see what happens next.

GF Willmetts

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