To prep for this month's release of the big-screen "X-Files" sequel, delve deep into "The X-Files: Revelations," a two-disc set featuring eight "critical episodes" chosen by series creator Chris Carter. This octet is comprised from the show's first six seasons (ignoring the final three), and demonstrates an aspect of the cult hit often ignored: its versatility.

Here, you see that the series not only could do creepy horror ("The Host"), but also moving drama ("Memento Mori") and even sly comedy ("Post-Modern Prometheus"). Fan favorites "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," "Beyond the Sea" and the original pilot also appear. It's interesting to see how cheap the first-season episodes look, compared to the more polished product it became, as budget increased in conjunction with ratings.

Bonus features include enlightening intros from Carter and producer Frank Spotnitz and the obligatory trailer for the new film, subtitled "I Want to Believe." Fandom should be fervent for it, based upon the greeting given Carter and stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson for a half-hour panel at the recent San Diego's Comic-Con. And since you get a free ticket for the flick inside this package, mustering up enthusiasm yourself shouldn't be too taxing.

"?Rod Lott

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