Kyle XY Season One
Studio: Touchstone Television
Film Length: 437 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English & Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: Optional English, Spanish & French subtitles
US Release Date: May 22, 2007
A young boy wakes up naked in the middle of the forest. As he stumbles into town, he is picked up by the police and hauled off to a juvenile detention center where he is assigned to a psychologist, Nicole Trager. Recognizing something extra-ordinary about this young boy with no memory of who he is or where he came from, she takes him into her home with her husband, son and daughter. In the safety of living with this family, Kyle explores the wonders of all things as he experiences them for the first time. From speaking his first words to the awe felt staring up at the star-filled night sky and the elegant poetry of piano music, Kyle represents that sense of curiosity and sensitivity held captive inside all of us.
The opening moment of “Kyle XY” looked and sounded like the “X-Files”, from its subtle piano score reminiscent of Mark Snows soundtrack to slow a spiral aerial shot of the lush green Vancouver forest with the naked Kyle laying in a fetal position on the forest floor. And that works as an intriguing hook to what is ultimately a show about the average American family and the growing pains of American teens with a dark cloud of mystery hanging just above.
Besides a similar initial premise and recognizable faces from the conspiracy laden “X-Files”, “Kyle XY” veers off from that format comfortably and quickly finds its own identity.
The Trager’s are your typical family, a little too typical in some ways with the over-protective mother, Nicole (Marguerite MacIntyre), the chisel-jawed father, Stephen (Bruce Thomas), Lori (April Matson), the sexually promiscuous teenage girl fighting boy troubles, and Josh (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) the overly life-aware, X-Box addicted boy. But, flaws aside, they work well together onscreen and when they fight and rally, there is a likeable familial bonding occurring that helps the show work as a family drama.
This is a show filled with a real sense of wonder and hope, contained in the guise of a sci-fi tainted family drama. And while the episodes are occasionally laced with the tiresome flaw of melodrama and it stumbles from time to time with clumsy editing and a slight listlessness that hurts the pacing a little, this show has real promise.
The revelation of Kyle’s special abilities is slowly paced through this 10 episode first season, a pace that suits the light mystery of the show and never tips the balance of mystery and family to much into X-Files territory.
Interestingly, several “X-Files”/”Millennium” alumni pop-up through this first season, including Robert Wisden (Robert Modell aka Pusher from the X-File episodes ‘Pusher’ & ‘Kitsunegari’,) Sarah-Jane Redmond (Lucy Butler from Millennium) and, as a prominent guest star, Nicholas Lea, the infamous Alex Krycek, long-time nemesis to Agent Mulder, again here playing a mysterious man connected to the conspiracy in shadowy and surprising ways.
Disc One -
2: Sleepless In Seattle
3: The Lies That Bind
4: Diving In
5: This Is Not A Test
6: Blame It On The Rain
7: Kyle Got Game
8: Memory Serves
Alternate Premiere – This alternate premiere episode, a discarded original version deemed too “poetic and slow” to engage audiences in a new series, does feel a little cumbersome when compared to the extended version. In this version, the narration is not performed by the actor playing Kyle and, since it was filmed a full year before the re-shoots of the extended pilot and rest of the first season, young Josh’s voice is a full octave higher. This version spends more time with Nicole Trager and her work with troubled youth.
Extended Season Finale – Adding approximately three extra minutes, this extended version of the season finale ‘Endgame’, adds a little more context to some scenes, but nothing that stands out as remarkable.
Note: This extended version of the season finale comes with a DD 2.0 track only.
Kyle XY Declassified – A generic 14 minute season recap, a sort of summary of the first season that segues into a 4 minute behind the scenes sneak peak into the second season. Presented in Anamorphic widescreen, this glimpse into the upcoming season does a good job in making a lot of promises as to the plot developments, questions being answered and the anticipation to where this intriguing little series can go.
Audio Commentaries with Matt Dallas, April Matson, Julie Plec for episodes ‘Pilot’ and ‘Diving In’ – These are reasonably interesting commentary tracks that suffer a little from the participants covering the same ground a little too often. But in general, there is enough good conversation and insight, especially from the young actor playing Kyle, to make it worth your time.
While it showed some growing pains and was loose around the edges, “Kyle XY” is a solid first season and good enough to have me eager to see how this family and this young boy without a past will grow.