Reviews selected from TV Zone #128

Reviews online this month (ratings given are out of 10)
• Another X-Files mystery explained?
The Avengers – a rare documentary emerges on video
• an uncertain end to a Doctor Who books story arc
• and we dust offt the revised Encyclopedia of TV Science-Fiction

CLOSURE Rating: 6 or 0
Episode: G11 First aired: 13 February 2000 (Fox, US)
• May 28 (Sky One, UK)
Reviewed by
Gareth Wigmore
Finally learn the truth (shyeah, right)

One of the great running mysteries of The X-Files was the fate of Samantha Mulder.

ClosureHer brother had always claimed that she was abducted by aliens, and, in last season’s Two Fathers and One Son, the Cigarette-Smoking Man explained that she had been given to aliens by Mulder’s father as a gesture of goodwill, along with other members of families involved in that conspiracy, such as Cassandra Spender.

So, here we are again for another instalment in the amazing world of The X-Files, where truth is out there and a totally fluid concept. You see, Sein und Zeit (the preceding episode, also reviewed in print in this issue) and Closure are billed as finally revealing the truth behind Samantha’s disappearance. Has Chris Carter just forgotten that he actually finished off that storyline last year? Did no one remind him?

It is more likely that we are simply expected not to remember, and the contempt for the audience implicit in that is staggering. Last year’s events aren’t even quickly dismissed along the lines of, “We never could trust the Cigarette-Smoking Man, and what he said about my sister was a damn fool pack of lies!”

From this point on, The X-Files cannot claim to have any continuing story. We must reassess the entire series as revisionist historians, now we have proof of what we’ve suspected for some time: that it is set in a universe where truth does not exist. As a stand-alone hour of tv, the quasi-religious Closure’s not so bad. When my blood wasn’t boiling with rage, I quite enjoyed it.

Contender Video / Kult TV, KLT20030, Cert E

Order it now from Black Star • Released 5 June

Reviewed by
Michael Fillis
We're needed

Avenging the Avengers VHS - order it from BlackStarIt’s quite laudable that video label Kult TV should choose to release The Avengers documentary which was shown as part of Channel 4’s Without Walls arts series in the early ’90s. That they should claim to have dramatically expanded the programme with 15 minutes of unseen interviews is slightly misleading.

Widely considered to be the best (albeit brief) tribute to one of the world’s most loved television series and featuring talking head interviews with all The Avengers luminaries – both before and behind the cameras – the 25 minute documentary is presented here in its original form.

Sans armadillo-starring title sequence and with no substitute caption card, the documentary begins, to put it mildly, quite abruptly. Fascinating for anyone with a passing interest in the pioneering days of television, Avenging the Avengers conveys the sheer terror and adrenalin rush of performing virtually live to millions of viewers, and reveals the truth behind the changes in both format and fortunes of the show.

The 10 minutes of extra material, tacked on to the end, touches, occasionally on ground already covered in the body of the programme but is most revealing when featuring the recollections of Linda Thorsen, often seen as the black sheep of The Avengers family. Even the die-hard Emma Peel fans should reconsider Thorson’s portrayal of Tara King. Certainly worth having if you missed the original broadcast..

selected from TV Zone #128
© Visual Imagination Ltd 2000. Not for reproduction
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