has vanished. Agents Scully, Doggett and Reyes are left to
uncover the truth about the military super-soldiers and Scully's
baby, William. Are the super-soldiers products of genetic
manipulation by the government or are they alien mutations?
Is William one of them, or is he a weapon that could be used
to fight them...?
was the season in which David Duchovny finally quit the series,
though he did return for the final feature-length story, The
Truth. Many commentators have argued that his absence
was the death of the show, but I doubt the truth is that simple.
Certainly he was missed by many fans, but the producers did
themselves no favours with the way they handled his absence.
As with Season Eight, the show spends far too much time reminding
the audience that Mulder is missing rather than encouraging
them to get over it.
of the "mythology" episodes, and others besides, touch upon
the character's absence. In the two-part Nothing Important
Happened Today and the single-part Trust No 1,
it is a pivotal plot point. The latter episode even goes to
the desperate lengths of having a double play Mulder in long
Monsters, a "monster of the week" episode (not surprisingly),
takes a more progressive approach. Here, Mulder is referred
to repeatedly, by the eager Agent Leila Harrison (Jolie Jenkins),
who previously appeared in last season's memorable Alone.
However, the moral of the story is that Doggett's (Robert
Patrick) angle on the case works better than Mulder's would
probably have done.
Furthermore, Many of the Doggett/Reyes episodes, including
Daemonicus, 4-D, the extremely gruesome Hellbound,
Underneath, Jump the Shark and Release
work very well.
fact, I would go so far as to say that the producers should
have taken the even bolder step of writing out Scully (Gillian
Anderson) altogether, or at least for the majority of the
season. As it is, she is reduced to consulting roles or bit
parts during several instalments, including all of those listed
in the paragraph above, which makes you wonder why they didn't
just go the whole hog.
tends to take a more significant role in the season's mythology
episodes, in particular the two-part Provenance/Providence.
She also comes to the fore during the amusing Lord of the
Flies, a partial homage to Jackass in which she
fends off the unwanted attentions of a romantic entomologist
(Michael Wiseman), as well as in Audrey Pauley and
the extremely bizarre Improbable, which guest-stars
Audrey Pauley and 4-D build up some sexual tension
between Doggett and Reyes (Annabeth Gish). This is not entirely
welcome, since the "will they, won't they" dynamic has already
been done to death with Mulder and Scully. Moreover, whenever
Doggett and Reyes express feelings for each other, something
dreadful tends to happen to them! In 4-D John is paralysed,
while in Audrey Pauley Monica ends up in a coma.
is one of the better episodes of the season, despite an ending
that could have been much less silly. Other highlights include
Lord of the Flies (which could perhaps have been entitled
The X-Flies!); William, easily the strongest
mythology episode of the year; and Release, which resolves
Doggett's personal demons regarding the death of his son.
worthy of note is Jump the Shark, the final Lone Gunmen
episode, which also sees the return of the amusing Michael
McKean as Morris Fletcher. This instalment owes its title
to a website devoted to examining when various TV shows began
to go downhill. The term refers to an episode of Happy
Days in which the Fonz jumped over a shark tank. Obviously
the producers of The X-Files wished it known that their
show didn't "jump the shark" until its final year!
weakest parts of the season are Trust No 1 and John
Doe - a tedious instalment that doesn't even feel like
an X-Files story until the final ten minutes. The opening
two-parter, the rather dull Nothing Important Happened
Today, doesn't get things off to a good start, but at
least it isn't as dreadful as the previous year's opening
not surprisingly, some questions are left unanswered by the
final episode, The Truth. It would appear that the
producers wish to leave some routes open for at least nine
years' worth of X-Files movies. The Truth isn't
nearly as great or as revelatory as its publicity (or its
director Kim Manners in the audio commentary) makes out, but
it does at least manage a semblance of closure and has a pretty
good stab at rationalising the various plot strands from the
last nine seasons.
discs are generally well presented, though the montage sequence
that opens each DVD is rather too revelatory for viewers who
might not have seen the final episode before. Another annoying
factor is that the theme tune is very poorly sound-edited
on each of these introductions.
addition to commentaries to the episodes The Truth,
Improbable (by creator/executive producer Chris Carter)
and Jump the Shark (by executive producers Vince Gilligan,
John Shiban and Frank Spotnitz), the box set contains two
discs that are entirely devoted to special features. However,
whether or not the use of two discs is entirely justified
is open to question.
6 includes the 21-minute documentary The Truth About Season
9, 36 promotional spots, nine special effects clips, and
deleted scenes from seven episodes with optional audio commentaries
by Frank Spotnitz. These deleted scenes are also present on
the relevant episodic discs and can be "branched" into each
show. There are also "making of" featurettes and character
profiles on Monica Reyes and Brad Follmer (Cary Elwes), which
originally appeared on the individual VHS and DVD releases
of Nothing Important Happened Today and Providence.
seventh and final DVD comprises three documentaries, Secrets
of the X-Files (42 minutes), More Secrets of the X-Files
(44 minutes) and Reflections on the X-Files (17 minutes).
Secrets is a collection of clips and interview segments
that highlights, among other things, how often characters,
especially Scully, have said "Oh my god!" in the series! This
documentary was originally produced as a scene-setter for
the start of the third season, so one wonders why it was not
instead included in the Season Three box set. Similarly, More
Secrets, produced a year later, would have been better
suited to the fourth season box set. The latter documentary
is also blighted by poor-quality encoding, with grainy images,
particularly on the clips, and jerky motion, which probably
indicates a substandard transfer from an American disc (with
a different frame rate).
Of all the documentaries on the final disc, only Reflections
on the X-Files truly merits a place here. This short but
sweet affair comprises recollections from celebrity fans,
including movie director Kevin Smith, and guest stars, many
of whom have gone on to greater roles, such as Buffy
and Austin Powers star Seth Green. However, I strongly
suspect that all of the special features would have fit on
one disc rather than two.
a great shame that Agents Doggett and Reyes could not have
continued with their own investigations for a few years longer,
so make the most of their final cases.
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