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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Thriller > Spin-Off > The Lone Gunman - The Complete Series

The Lone Gunman – The Complete Series


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B-     Episodes: B-



A huge hit like The X-Files was bound to produce a few spin-offs, and it also produced a bad feature film.  Millennium (reviewed elsewhere on this site) started out great, then ran into problems later, while The Lone Gunman was launched in a too much, too little, too late situation.  The mother series saw its elaborate conspiracy scrapped in one of the biggest betrayals of an audience in TV history, while the latter lost its way for commercial reasons that did not make sense.  This show, unlike that one, was meant to be funny.


Fox has issued the entire 13 episodes on a double-sided, double disc set that includes more extras than you might expect and does a nice presentation job on them to boot.  The episodes, with audio commentary denoted by an *, are:


1)     Pilot *

2)     Bond, Jimmy Bond *

3)     Eine Klien Frohike

4)     Like Water For Octane

5)     Three Men & A Smoking Diaper

6)     Madam, I’m Adam

7)     Planet of The Frohikes

8)     Maximum Byers

9)     Diagnosis: Jimmy

10)  Tango De Los Pistoleros *

11)  The Lying Game

12)  The “Cap’N Toby” Show

13)  All About Yves *



The titles are funny, but point to a problem with the show, its inability to break from pop culture pastiche and reference that limited its audience outside of its hipness and fans form the previous shows.  That is a shame, because the characters had even more potential to make for an interesting series than this offers, but then the later Millennium shows and failure of later X-Files inadvertently beat them to the punch.  The idea was dead on arrival, with actors Bruce (Byers) Harwood, Tom (Frohike) Braidwood and Dean (Langley) Haglund wrapping-up the series on an X-Files episode coyly entitled Jump The Shark, which is included here after the show runs out of shows.


Of course, the title refers to a show that has so run out of ideas; it has become desperate and should have quit while it was ahead.  This steams from the infamous Happy Days episode where the Fonzie character does just that, but many shows before any of these are guilty of not quitting while ahead, including Lone Gunman forerunner Mission: Impossible after Martin Landau & Barbara Bain left due to bad teleplays.  For what is here for this series, it is smarter and better than many may have given it credit for at the time and works as a sort of mini-series in the face of its commercial failure.  Too bad this one was not taken more seriously, but for all the Chris Carter creations, it was simply too late.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image looks good and is an eye-opener as compared to the way it was broadcast on analog TV.  Though in the style of its sister shows, it is not as dark overall, even through various cinematographers, and the copies are in fine shape.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has just enough Pro Logic surround information to enjoy, though the theme song is lame.  Extras include commentary tracks on the four episodes noted above, plus on the bonus X-Files episode noted above.  There are also 4 TV spots for the show, and a making of featurette.  If you missed The Lone Gunman the first time around, you might want to catch it in its entirety in this set done right.  The show often was for what it was.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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