Show: 4 stars

Sound and Picture Quality: 4 Stars

Special Features: 4 Stars

“In season seven we really wanted to get back to business, to the mythology and to telling good scary stories again,” states Chris Carter, series creator of “The X-Files.” The show, which ran for nine years, has just released its seventh season in a six disc DVD set.

Each season of “The X-Files” has its own personality resulting from the circumstances and goals surrounding the series at the time of production. In the 1999 and 2000 season, the show’s future was uncertain with questions about season eight and the definite possibility that one of the two main characters, Mulder (David Duchovny) would not be returning. This uncertainty created a desire to wrap up some of the open-ended plot questions, as well as to provide a way for Duchovny to leave the show.

“The X-Files,” primarily about two FBI agents’ search for the truth and the events that arise from this search, takes a few unexpected plot twists in this season. Mulder has a mysterious illness which plays into a new conspiracy created in season six, eventually allowing him to leave the show via aliens at the end. We also, finally, learn the truth about his sister’s abduction.

Moreover, it seems that the relationship between Mulder and Scully (Gillian Anderson) changes as a barren Scully is pregnant and the two agents actually cuddle. Their relationship is expanded slightly in the end; taunting an eager audience and creating more of the sexual tension that “The X-Files” is known for.

The acting of all the important characters is also remarkable in this season. These qualities set up a very good base for the seventh season. The writing, while probably not the series’ most innovative, is commendable. There are more than a few good episodes, and most are at the very least entertaining.

Season seven produced some memorable episodes, with Duchovny and Anderson both writing and directing interesting episodes this season. William B. Davis, who plays the Cigarette Smoking Man, also wrote an intriguing, though ultimately befuddling episode in regards to long-term plot significance.

The cover and menu art are wonderful on this DVD set with easy to use menus. There are many features that the avid or causal fan will enjoy. A short documentary on the season, which includes interviews with Chris Carter and Gillian Anderson, is very interesting. In addition, the set incorporates deleted scenes from ten episodes, international clips, and French and Spanish language tracks. Unconventionally, FOX also includes original commercials from the season. With insightful special effects commentary as well, the set displays a well-rounded set of extras.

However, the DVD-ROM and Play Station game preview are both disappointing. The lack of instructions, explanations, and background information makes for difficult play.

What the show lacks in some episodic seriousness and DVD-ROM extras, it makes up for in sold acting and directing. The cast and crew wanted to accomplish something in a season that they thought could be their last, which comes across in the quality of this disc set.

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