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Callie K. (ballofglitter) from GRAND ISLAND, NE Reviewed on 9/25/2014...
I really don't want to give away anything but when I first found out about Mulder getting replaced I wasn't sure I would want to continue the X-Files but honestly I love Doggit just as much. He brings some new uniquness to the table.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Some of the best writing and acting of the series!
Just Bill | Grand Rapids, MI United States | 05/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Until just recently, all my wife and I had were The X-Files Seasons 1-7 on DVD. We watched 1-6 of these seasons with rapt fascination, enjoying each one it its turn. Then we watched Season 7 and thought, "Hmmm. Something is different. The episodes are lighter, somewhat goofier, more humorous...but, thankfully, Mulder and Scully seem to be getting closer emotionally."In other words, even though Season 7 contained a few good episodes, we thought it was the weakest season we had watched to date.Since I knew David Duchovny's character (Fox Mulder) essentially left the show at the end of Season 7, I didn't have high hopes for Season 8. I read a few Amazon reviews and was expecting Season 8's stories to be just as fluffy, uneven and unsatisfying as those of Season 7. So I held off buying Seasons 8 and 9 until just last week. (I'm a completist and I really *had* to have all 9 seasons, even if they weren't up to par with the first 1-6.)What a mistake! I shouldn't have waited! Season 8 is amazing!Season 8's episodes are darker, more intense, and better written than any I've seen in a long time. Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick), whom my wife and I were all set to dislike with a passion -- because he took the place of Fox Mulder, one of TV's most all-time enjoyable characters -- surprised the heck out of us.Robert Patrick is an excellent actor, and his character has shown a lot of depth, emotion and change over the course of the 15 episodes of Season 8 we've watched so far. We tend to measure a show's Creativity Quotient by how often our jaws drop and we say, "Wow." Season 8 of The X-Files caused us to do that a lot. So many times we wouldn't go to bed until 11:30 or later because we had to watch episode after episode to find out what happens next.We did that tonight, in fact. We just watched the episodes where Mulder comes back from the dead ("Deadalive") and the one following ("Three Words"). We were blown away -- totally swept away by the emotion Scully felt for Mulder, completely caught up in the unfolding story lines.That's how the entire Season 8 has been for us, actually. Each episode took us by surprise. We haven't been let down by a single episode in this season! Really. Of all the seasons of The X-Files we watched, Season 8 surprised us the most. It just flat-out surprised us.If Robert Patrick had not been such a great actor, and if the stories had not been so gripping, the loss of Fox Mulder would have sent The X-Files into a tailspin. But it's impossible not to like Agent Doggett. The character showed that he's a man of ethics, loyalty and determination. In his own way, Doggett is just as driven to find "the truth" as Mulder is.The bottom line? Season 8 didn't spiral downward. And it certainly isn't as weak as other reviewers have lead you to believe. Instead, the writers and directors and actors in Season 8 reached deep and made the show about STORY rather than CHARACTER. The solid stories have carried the day. And then some.If you haven't yet purchased Season 8 of The X-Files because you've read some negative reviews, please reconsider. If you don't think The X-Files could be any good without Mulder, please think again.I'd rate Season 8 of The X-Files right up there with my favorite seasons, which are probably Seasons 3-5. Season 8 offers incredible stories, powerful emotions, and a new character (John Doggett) that you'll respect and, eventually, grow to like (and admire) quite a bit.I highly recommend Season 8 of The X-Files."
Unusual season from the final years of THE X FILES
Ian K. Hughes | San Mateo, CA | 08/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Season 8 (21 episodes airing 2000-2001) was the most atypical of all nine years of THE X FILES for several reasons:
1. Much of the season makes due without the services of David Duchovny.
2. New characters, assuming key roles, are introduced.
3. An unprecedented percentage (nearly half) of the episodes are devoted to the mythology arc.
There is a noticeable, almost "symphonic", symmetry to the season (composer Mark Snow's haunting "Scully theme" functioning as "idee fixe") with the mythology arc divided into several well-defined sections: an opening 2-part prelude, massive 5-part mid season "adagio" and grand 2-part finale.
The loss of David Duchovny's full participation actually had the effect of re-focusing THE X FILES. Chris Carter and company were put to the test in coming up with an interesting and (somewhat) cohesive storyline that would work around the practical ( business related ) realities they faced behind the scenes. Though not without missteps, Season 8 succeeded both in revitalizing the dramatic intensity of the myth arc and maintaining the shows inexorable momentum toward a conclusion revealing much of Chris Carter's longstanding underground project.
In Season 8 Gillian Anderson became the lynchpin of THE X FILES, continuing to summon up her considerable skills in service to the show. The casting of Robert Patrick as Agent John Doggett was a stroke of genius; Doggett was written and acted in complete distinction to Mulder. This well-planned strategy allowed the imaginative landscape of THE X FILES to be viewed through the fresh eyes of a new character; in the process, some of the excitement of the show's early years was regained for longtime aficionados. Additionally, a measure of stability and strength is found in the season-long emphasis of producing truly serious scripts. The result is a consistently "dark" mood, similar to the melancholia found throughout Season 4. In fact, only in a short midseason slump did the show exhibit signs of true weakness.
The "stand alone" scripts, while certainly not the main emphasis of Season 8, were noticeable improvements over the previous season:
Vince Gilligan's ultra-violent "Roadrunners" (his only contribution in Season 8) is the single finest "stand alone" of the year, a savage parody of a religious sect ( barely disguised ) combined with an homage to the sci-fi classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". This is the first episode (aired early in the season) in which it is apparent that Gillian Anderson and Robert Patrick really "click" as a team; a most fortunate happenstance as the fate of the remaining two years depend in large part on their convincing onscreen chemistry. THE X FILES would never have maintained its integrity had the (platonic) Scully/Doggett partnership failed onscreen.
David Amann's moving "Invocation" is the first of several episodes over the course of the final 2 seasons that deal with the past event that most shaped Agent Doggett: the kidnapping and murder of his son ("Empedocles" was the other script so featured in Season 8).
Longtime staff writer Frank Spotnitz has a very prominent role in shaping Season 8; in addition to co-writing several episodes with Chris Carter, Spotnitz penned several solo scripts:
The excellent "Via Negativa", in addition to being superior on its own terms, has the additional virtue (shared with "Invocation") of allowing Robert Patrick to flesh out his character (David Lynch style cinematography adds a visually disturbing element to the storyline).
"The Gift" is one of the strangest X FILES episodes ever produced, a hallucinatory combination of "stand alone" and "mythology", all the more bizarre for the flashbacks which (purportedly) explain Mulder's pre-abduction illness.
"Alone" (aired late in the season) is essentially written for the elegiac touches of its final minutes, with Scully and Mulder humorously yet touchingly "passing the torch" on to a young and admiring FBI agent, the latter character symbolic of the legions of loyal (and often demanding) "X-Philes".
Regarding the failures in Season 8:
"Salvage", "Sure kill" and especially the execrable "Baddlea" should never have been aired. One of the most valuable aspects of this complete DVD set will be to allow the viewer to bypass inferior episodes and concentrate on the otherwise laudable unity demonstrated throughout Season 8.
Regarding the mythology arc:
The aforementioned symphonic structure of the season begins with Chris Carter's two-parter ("Within"/"Without"), which has the pregnant Scully searching for an abducted Mulder.
Carter and Spotnitz collaborate on the pivotal mid season block of mythology episodes dealing with the death and resurrection of Fox Mulder. One cannot help but notice the debt owed to the 2nd/3rd season trilogy ("Anasazi" / "The Blessing Way" / "Paper Clip" ).
Chris Carter wrote the season finale ("Essence"/"Existence"), which is the mirror image (in terms of title and plot) of the season opener. The series' philosophical (indeed, theological) underpinnings, while by no means hidden in previous seasons, are laid bare with allusions and typological references to the New Testament (as well as the metaphysics of Aquinas reflected in the episode titles).
While "Essence"/"Existence" was fashioned in such a way as to provide a satisfactory conclusion to both the 8th season and the series as a whole (should it have ended in 2001), it turned out that many of its themes would be carried over into what would in actuality become the final year. THE X FILES would eventually complete its long (9 year) run in artistic and spiritual unity; a testimony to the integrity of cast, writers, crew and (above all) creative vision of Chris Carter.
Here's the problem...
Just Bill | 12/03/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not nearly as prolific as some of the reviewers here, but I nonetheless had to add my two cents about this season. I've been an X Files fan since the very first episode aired back in '93. I know there are all sorts of wonderful things people can and have said about the mythology and the science vs. paranormal aspects of the show, but for me, the focus was always the relationship between Mulder and Scully. Now, when Season 8 came out and 1. Mulder was gone, 2. Scully was pregnant with whose baby? 3. They had essentially replaced Mulder with some street smart cop that was excellently portrayed by Robert Patrick but ultimately superfluous (in my opinion), 4. There was no real acknowledgement of a Mulder/Scully relationship prior to the pregnancy (beyond hints in "All Things", "Requiem", and maybe, if you're reaching, "The Goldberg Variation"), and 5., what had bothered me most about the majority of season 8, was that they KEPT INVESTIGATING REGULAR CASES when they should have been out searching for Mulder, I was more than a little wary. While plot-wise, I thought the standalone eps were pretty good, the context in which they were presented made them unnecessary and distracting. They would have been great if they had happened in the "regular" show, with Mulder and Scully investigating, but with all this other stuff going on, it just seemed like they kept getting sidetracked from the matter at hand: finding Mulder. Not to mention that pregnant Scully was more emotional than ever (and, while understandable given her relationship with Mulder, we've seen her hold it together better than that when her sister and father died, and on the numerous occasions when her mother's life was in jeopardy) and it started to get tedious seeing the amazing Gillian Anderson have to portray such a strong character with such weak characteristics. In addition, it really bothered me how they kept it a secret who Scully's baby's father was when it was so obvious, even without hints from Season 7. I mean, who else has she even DATED, let alone slept with, in the last 7 years? And she hasn't been recently abducted, so the birth couldn't have resulted from that. I mean, c'mon! To keep it a secret, hidden and obscure when it was so blatant was just foolish. It seemed at this point that Chris Carter was trying to keep hidden the fact that these characters were together because it would mean going against his previous adamant statements that that would never happen. So, what? They keep it a secret for at least several months(assuming things started with "All Things") and then Suprise! Not only have they been together all this time, but they have a baby now! I thought that was a betrayal to all the fans who wanted them together because it denied us the opportunity of seeing it, and now that they finally are and are in the open about it, Mulder's gone. So, anyway. I kind of went off on a mini-rampage, but basically I wanted to say that the lack of the Mulder-Scully dynamic really hurt this show, and while it was a decent television show, it stopped being The X Files as we knew it when Mulder left. Different isn't always better. So, I still haven't made up my mind as to whether or not to buy this set (I own all previous 7), but I wanted people to know that if you watched this show for this relationship, don't even bother. (On a side note, why do these sets continue to be so expensive when you can get the complete seasons of Alias, 24, and West Wing for less than half the price?)"
Get season eight - it's worth it!
Kim B. | Newton, NJ United States | 11/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lets be honest, we all tuned into The X-Files each and every Sunday night (originally Friday night) to watch the adventures of Mulder and Scully, but by season seven it was evident David Duchovny wanted out and his heart just wasn't into it anymore. I missed him, but it didn't take me long to embrace Robert Patrick as tough cop turned FBI Agent John Doggett. I'm not going to say I wasn't apprehensive about the introduction of the new characters, but I was pleasantly surprised. I think Robert Patrick did a fine job and the introduction of Annabeth Gish at the end of season eight was a nice way of introducing her before season nine, which I can't wait for either. My only complaint regarding season eight is I believe they were trying to juggle too many main characters. There was the introduction of John Doggett, Scully was still around, Mulder was making an appearance and there was the introduction of Monica Reyes. I believe many fans took this as an insult when in fact TPTB were only trying to make the transition to season nine easier. It's easy playing Monday morning quarterback when you don't have the executives from Twentieth Century Fox breathing down your neck.I would have like to have seen more extras on the DVD's. It's 2003 now and I don't understand why the studios skimp on this and yet they're raking in huge profits. Fans love to see outtakes and behind the scenes action and for the life of me I don't understand why execs haven't figured this out yet. We're not interested in seeing every single deleted scene or Chris Carter's narrative on location selection - WE WANT TO SEE OUTTAKES. This isn't specific to FOX, apparently all the studios have yet to figure this out.Season eight will never go down as being as strong as seasons three through five, but that doesn't mean it should be discounted either. It's a must have if you're an X-Files fan."
The 8th season starts with a bang
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 03/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick)carries on the hunt for Mulder who Scully and Skinner believe has been abducted by aliens. Doggett's a firm disbeliever until some bizarre things occur during the first two episodes of the season. Robert Patrick brought much needed focus and energy to the eighth season. While the eighth season didn't match the highs of the best seasons of the show it had some strong outstanding episodes and it appeared after a wildly uneven 7th season that the show might actually be on track again. Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish)was introduced as a semi-regular during this season as well working in conjunction with Doggett and Scully.
Among the outstanding episodes are one in which Doggett and Mulder check out a oil refingery rig that's pumping something other than oil, another stand out episode involves a tense one set in the deserted subway tunnels of Boston where something is literally dissolving passengers as they ride the rails. Doggett goes underground to investigate while Scully works against the clock to figure out if there's a biological contagion. The conclusion is disappointing but the episode itself is a tense 45 minutes.
The 8th season saw a return to the spookier, darker episodes that made "The X-Files" a close cousin to "The Night Stalker", "Trilogy of Terror" and "The Norliss Tapes" (three terrific made-for-TV movies). There are those that argued that Patrick's Doggett wasn't as compelling as Mulder's character and I'd have to disagree--over the short two seasons that Patrick played Doggett he created a character every bit as memorable as Duchovny's Mulder and just as different.
The 8th season reduced cost set has commentary tracks on "Alone" by Frank Spotnitz and by Kim Manners on "Existence". There are also a couple of episodes with deleted scenes that you can watch restored to the respective episodes via the main menu. We also have more of those goofy international clips but all the extras on the seventh disc aren't included. The 8th season compares favorably to the first two seasons of "The X-Files" but not as well as when the show was in full swing with seasons 3, 4 5 and 6. Nevertheless, there's still plenty of quality episodes here.