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The X-Files: The Complete Season 11 (Blu-ray Review)

The next chapter of The X-files is a thrilling 10-episode installment if the classic,mind-bending series. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, investigating unsolved cases rife with government conspiracies, unexplainable mysteries, and alien cover-ups. Mulder and Scully’s pursuit of the truth continues with a search for their long-lost son, William. But they aren’t the only ones looking fr him: dark forces gather, and the very fate of the world  could be at stake. One thing is certain: secrets will be revealed… and the truth may finally be within reach.

Season

In what looks to be its final season (for real, this time) our favorite paranormal FBI agents, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) have come back to grace us one more time in The X-Files: The Complete Season 11.

In this “final” season our agents have come back from the brink to save the world from the implied alien invasion of season 10. This season seems to have broken the alien mythology episodes up. My Struggle III, Ghouli, and My Struggle IV are essentially the only alien mythology episodes of the entire season. It’s fine and dandy, because they are spread out evenly, so as to not bog the rest of the season down.

In essence, the alien mythology episodes are the worst, and the non-mythology episodes are the best. The good news is that there are more non-mythology/stand-alone episodes that the alien mythology ones. It’s weird, because growing up, I loved the alien conspiracy stuff, but it seems like that arc ran out of steam many years ago and really never recovered especially with season 10’s developments.

My favorite episodes this season are: The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat (thank you, Darin Morgan, once again) and Rm9sbG93ZXJz. The latter episode focuses on the rise of artificial intelligence and its segue from social media. It’s a pseudo-futuristic look at what the world is like in a fully automated world. It also has the distinction of having almost no dialogue for 99% of the running. That was neat and the effects and structure of the episode, along with Forehead Sweat are up there as some of the best episodes of the season.

As I mentioned before, lots of folks gave up on the show years ago and some finally gave up after watching My Struggle III. I stuck through it and am glad I did because 70% of the season works for me. I don’t want to say “never say never” but if you’ve heard the chatter and read the latest interviews from some of the cast and crew, I would not hold your breath for a season 12. If you’re a fan of the show like me then you know you have to get this season for your Blu-ray collection. I’d rather have some mediocre-bad X-Files than none at all. As I said before, the alien mythology episodes are rubbish, but you get 7 solid episodes of non-convoluted mythos for your money.

Episodes

My Struggle III

This

Plus One

The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat

Ghouli

Kitten

Rm9sbG93ZXJz

Familiar

Nothing Lasts Forever

My Struggle IV

Video

Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: The video quality on the Blu-ray is pretty stellar. The image is crystal clear without obvious signs of intrusive DNR or contrast boosting. It’s quite lovely.

Depth: The show does have some serious polish and it comes through in vivid quality on the Blu-ray.

Black Levels: Black levels are natural and crush was not a problem.

Color Reproduction: The color palette was nice and stable – banding was not a problem, and those episodes that had a more vibrant color wheel benefited the most.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones looked natural, with exception to “Cancer Man,” since he’s pretty much a walking zombie, which is a testament to the Blu-ray transfer.

Noise/Artifacts: I did not detect any instances of noise, artifacts, dirt, or debris on this Blu-ray release and unless it’s called for, that’s the way I like it!

 

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English DTS 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: If only the early seasons of The X-Files sound this great – but that’s neither here or there. This eleventh season sounded fantastic in all of its lossless 5.1 glory. The action-packed episodes used the sound-field to its fullest capacity, especially the one episode (Ghouli) that focused on William’s powers to make people think he could turn into monsters – not only was it action packed, it was like a mini-horror film with loud cues.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE subwoofer channel rumbled when it needed to, which was often, and greatly enhanced those scenes that required some added low-end.

Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels did their job – there were plenty of episodes that had plenty of effects in the backstage area that were handled well.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels were spot on.

 

Extras

They really packed it with special features for a 3-disc set. Disc 1 has a production featurette and disc 2 has a standalone audio commentary for “Kitten.” The rest of the special features are spread out on Disc 3. The best one, in my opinion, is the “Implanted Memories” documentary covering 25 years of X-Files. It makes you feel old watching it.

 

  • Green Production (Disc 1)
  • Audio Commentary on “Kitten” (Disc 2)
  • Audio Commentary on “My Struggle IV”
  • Conversation on the Fox Lot
  • The Scully Effect
  • Solve For X: Constructing Season 11
  • Implanted Memories: 25 Years of The X-Files
  • Gag Reel

Summary 

As with the previous 10th season, the issue wasn’t with the show or quality of the production. It’s that the show had gone into beyond convoluted territory with the alien conspiracy stuff, that those episodes overshadowed the non-mythology ones. In fact, all of the non-mythology episodes are terrific. Season 11’s Blu-ray set has terrific video and audio specs and even better special features. The 45-minute documentary is worthy of purchase alone. Say what you will, but I enjoyed The X-Files: The Complete Season 11 on Blu-ray.

 

The X-Files: The Complete Season 11

is now available on DVD & Blu-ray!

ORDER NOW!

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

1 Response to “The X-Files: The Complete Season 11 (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    How long is this extra? Implanted Memories: 25 Years of The X-Files