The X Files: Abduction

Blatant cash grab? If you are a diehard X-Files fan, you'll probably already own parts of the series in two formats: select episodes on VHS (from when Fox first released the show to home video, not in complete seasons but the "best" episodes from each) and DVD. Unlike their VHS predecessors, the "seasons" DVDs included every episode that ever aired and were complete but expensive (retailing for well over $100 per box). Now with no more seasons to package up, Fox is again creating sets of selected episodes and asking fans to dip into their wallets a third time. So what's so special about The X Files: Abduction? This first four-disc box (and you know there's going to be at least one or two more to come) contains only the mythology episodes; it starts with the pilot, covers the Deep Throat arc of the first season, follows the abduction of Agent Scully in the second and wraps up at the top of the third. There are 15 alien conspiracy episodes in all and no monsters of the week. The good news is that if you've been wondering why there were no episode commentaries on the first two season box sets, the truth is in here. Five episodes — "Deep Throat," "The Erlenmeyer Flask," "Duane Barry," "End Game" and "Anasazi" — have either series creator Chris Carter, R.W. Goodwin or Frank Spotnitz discussing the show. The quality of the commentaries varies substantially between the three. Also included is the new Threads of Mythology documentary containing interviews with cast and crew interspersed liberally with clips from the show. Focusing primarily on the different aspects of the series' myth arc and how it was developed, it features some interesting observations but once again diehard fans are likely to already have read much of this in one of the many X-Files compendium books or in other interviews. Lastly, this slim box contains a pull-out collectible mythology timeline. Should you buy Abduction? It all depends on how much five commentaries and a doc are worth to you, because chances are, if you love the X-Files enough to be reading this review (now several years after the end of the series) you've probably already bought the episodes included here at least once. (Fox)