The Lone Gunmen

The Lone Gunmen, the second and by far least successful of the two series spawned by the long-running X-Files franchise, finally makes its way to DVD four years after its initial airdates (March through June, 2001). The quirky show, which came and went in a mere 13 episodes, gets the box set treatment in a slim three doubled-sided disc collection. The Lone Gunmen (played by Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood and Dean Haglund) are three brainy but painfully goofy conspiracy theory obsessed wannabe investigative journalists who publish their findings in a low circulation underground newsletter of a similar name, The Lone Gunman. For their inaugural season they are joined by well-intentioned but bumbling pretty boy Jimmy Bond (Stephen Snedden) and the exotic but shady Yves Adele Harlow (Zuleikha Robinson). The episodes aren't as arc dependent as either The X-Files or Millennium, meaning the viewer can leave off or pick up anywhere. The show's typical format is as follows: the Lone Gunmen discover a conspiracy and begin to investigate it, then some embarrassing missteps take place, however, for the most part a satisfying conclusion is reached with a little help from their friends. It's a pretty standard style of TV writing, only it doesn't quite work for Gunmen, which might explain its short run despite the hearty injection of talented staff from its parent series The X-Files. Primarily a drama, The Lone Gunmen attempts to stir in a clever dose of comedy, which for the most part comes off as stiff and awkward, if not a bit forced. Strangely, unlike The X-Files and Millennium, Fox has decided to be a bit more generous with the extras. Four of the 13 episodes have commentary tracks and also included is The X-Files episode "Jump The Shark" (with commentary), which ties up of the fate of the trio after Gunmen's network cancellation, a "making of" retrospective and some TV spots. A must-have for diehards only, everyone else should consider it as a weekend rental. (Fox)