X-Files: Revelations & r & & r & by KEVIN TAYLOR & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & f you can sort your First Elder from your Fourth Elder and know whether or not to quaff the contents of your Erlenmeyer Flask ... you don't need this DVD collection of eight episodes from the heart of The X-Files television series.
Released earlier this month in advance of the new movie (The X-Files: I Want to Believe, reviewed on page 63), X-Files: Revelations is intended as an overview and refresher for fans, since the show's been off the air six years.
I'd only seen three of these episodes before, so for casual viewers like me, the collection gave me a sense of the series more coherently than watching random re-runs.
It includes the pilot and "Beyond the Sea" from Season One, "The Host" from Season Two, "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" from Season Three, "Memento Mori" from Season Four, "Post-Modern Prometheus" and "Bad Blood" from Season Five and "Milagro" from Season Six.
These are all terrific episodes from the prime years of the series. Only the pilot and "Memento Mori" touch upon the alien colonization/abduction theme where a viewer needs a flow chart to keep track of all the Well-Manicured Mans and Gray-Haired Mans.
"The Host" is a creepy monster-of-the-week episode in which an unfortunate Russian sailor is pulled into a vat of steaming crap by Fluke Man. You'll view your toilet in a new light.
The two-disc set also reveals how funny the show could be. "Bad Blood" (starring Luke Wilson as a buck-toothed Texas sheriff!) is an unlikely pairing of vampirism and slapstick.
The DVD extras are spare but helpful. The best, for me, are the introductions by creator Chris Carter and producer Frank Spotnitz. Each has something to say that's often amusing -- such as the quest to get Cher to appear as herself in the Frankenstein's monster episode ("Prometheus") and the singer's response when she saw it aired.
There's also a trailer for the film (a little late for that now, eh?) and an appearance by Carter, Spotnitz and stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny at WonderCon -- a fanboy gathering of nerds and geeks, which I found to be really funny.