VHS is a videotape storage format. Until the advent of DVD, VHS was the main storage medium for home video. Every season of The X-Files has been released on VHS. There were also releases for Millennium. Due to the date of its release, The Lone Gunmen was only available commercially on DVD.

North America[edit | edit source]

The original VHS release of The X-Files in North America consisted of selected episodes from each of the first four seasons, which were released on a staggered basis beginning in 1996. Each "wave" was three VHS tapes, each containing two episodes, for a total of six episodes per wave and two waves per season (for example, the home video release of Wave 1 drew from the first half of the first season: "Pilot"/"Deep Throat", "Conduit"/"Ice" and "Fallen Angel"/"Eve"). Each wave was also available in a boxed set. Ultimately 12 episodes (approximately half the total number aired in the early seasons) were selected by Chris Carter to represent each season, including nearly all "mythology arc" episodes and selected standalone episodes with artistic importance or enduring popularity.

Carter would briefly introduce each episode on the tape with an explanation of why it was chosen and anecdotes from the set. These same clips were later included on The X-Files full season DVDs- the episodes featuring them are thus especially important ones in Carter's view, which were given VHS releases before the full season DVD sets. However, the necessity of including enough of the mythology episodes so a new viewer could follow the plot also made it difficult to find room for many of the most admired standalone episodes as the series progressed. Episodes were often excluded due to a simple lack of space in this release format, including episodes that had been previously named as favorites of Carter's, had achieved high ratings and popularity among fans, and had been nominated for and even won Emmys, such as season three's Grotesque and season four's Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man. Many episodes featuring notable guest actors were also unreleased, such as Soft Light, featuring Tony Shalhoub; D.P.O., featuring Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black; Hell Money, featuring B.D. Wong and Lucy Liu; El Mundo Gira, featuring Ruben Blades; and Never Again, featuring Jodie Foster.

The episodes released on VHS in North America were the following:

  • From season one, "Pilot," "Deep Throat," "Squeeze," "Conduit," "Ice," "Fallen Angel," "Eve," "Beyond the Sea," "E.B.E.," "Tooms," "Darkness Falls," "The Erlenmeyer Flask"
  • From season two, "Little Green Men," "The Host," "Sleepless," "Duane Barry," "Ascension," "One Breath," "Irresistible," "Die Hand Die Verletzt," "Colony," "End Game," "Humbug," "Anasazi"
  • From season three, "The Blessing Way," "Paper Clip," "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," "War of the Coprophages," "Nisei," "731," "Pusher," "Jose Chung's From Outer Space," "Piper Maru," "Apocrypha," "Wetwired," "Talitha Cumi"
  • From season four, "Herrenvolk," "Home," "Unruhe," "Paper Hearts," "Tunguska," "Terma," "Leonard Betts," "Memento Mori," "Tempus Fugit," "Max," "Small Potatoes," "Gethsemane"

Wave 8 covering the last part of the fourth season was the last to be released. VHS "wave" tapes were not released for the fifth and later seasons, so there are no Carter "interviews" for selected episodes included on those DVDs. After the fourth season's VHS release, with the rise of DVD in the late 1990s, these "waves" of VHS releases were discontinued in favor of a long-planned release of entire seasons. With the release of the complete first season of the series on DVD in May 2000, The X-Files became the first long running American TV series to issue entire seasons in that format, a form of release that eventually became the norm in the industry.

United Kingdom[edit | edit source]

The X-Files[edit | edit source]

Early Season 1 Releases[edit | edit source]

The earliest VHS releases of The X-Files in the United Kingdom were four volumes, each with two of the first eight episodes of Season 1; this method of releasing the first season was never completed.

The Files[edit | edit source]

Key two- or three-parters were edited into feature length editions and given their own individual release. The first release was "The Unopened File", as the resolution to "Anasazi" had yet to be broadcast in the UK.

Typically, these compilations would have their titles superimposed over the normal credit sequence of The X-Files. Also, earlier releases were packaged with trading cards, with artwork based on the tape's story. Some releases featured interviews with Chris Carter.


  • Piper Maru ("Piper Maru" and "Apocrypha"; this was given a special mail-order-only release)
  • Dreamland ("Dreamland" and "Dreamland II"; this was not given a "file number" like its fellow releases)
  • Forensic Evidence Box (A special container designed to hold the first four "files"; it comes with an additional Secrets of The X-Files tape)
  • Forensic Evidence Box Set 2 (A special container designed to hold a further four "files"; it comes with an additional More Secrets of The X-Files tape)
  • Millennium (features the episode of The X-Files titled "Millennium", plus the Millennium episodes "Via Dolorosa" and "Goodbye to All That")

Season Sets[edit | edit source]

Each season was also released individually as a box set. These sets generally contained five tapes, with each having up to five episodes per tape.

Movie[edit | edit source]

The X-Files Movie also received a VHS release.

Millennium[edit | edit source]

In 1998, the first season of Millennium was released on VHS in the UK, with each volume containing two episodes.

External links[edit | edit source]

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