Instant Guide to...

Millennium

selected from Cult Times #40
All you'll ever need to know!
It's a Gift
The Pilot
Love it or hate it, the first episode will determine it for you.

The Wild and the Innocent
A mini road-movie masterpiece.

Lamentation
A frightening, supernatural turning point for Millennium (followed by Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions).

José Chung’s ‘Doomsday Defense’
The droll Darin Morgan is as brilliant here as he was on The X-Files (also see Somehow Satan Got Behind Me.

Also recommended: 19:19, The Curse of Frank Black, The Mikado, The Pest House, The Fourth Horseman.
It's a Curse
Most of Season One should satisfy converts, except the likes of Broken World. Season Two has some stinkers including the two-parter Owls and Roosters. Season Three’s relaunch, The Innocents, was uninspired.

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The Premise: Former FBI profiler Frank Black has a special insight into evil deeds – usually presented as fleeting visions. He begins working with the Millennium Group, a mysterious organization of ex-law enforcement heavyweights who monitor appalling crimes (and which may be a harbinger of the Apocalypse). Frank Black from Millennium

Background: Chris Carter created Millennium as a scary but less ‘paranormal’ companion to The X-Files. Many, but not all, episodes have spotlighted serial killers.


First Run: Millennium first appeared on October 25, 1996.

Number of Episodes: 22 episodes in Season One, 23 in Season Two. Currently half-way through a revamped third season in the US.

The Good Guys: Frank Black (Lance Henriksen), his wife Catherine (Megan Gallagher), their young daughter Jordan (Brittany Tiplady) • Frank’s buddies in the Seattle Police, Bob Bletcher (Bill Smitrovich) and Detective Giebelhouse (Stephen James Lang) • Millennium Group members Peter Watts (Terry O’Quinn), Mike Atkins (Robin Gammell), Cheryl Andrews (CCH Pounder) and The Old Man (RG Armstrong), Group tech geek Brian Roedecker (Allan Zinyk), would-be member Lara Means (Kristen Cloke) and Frank’s Season Three work partner Emma Hollis (Klea Scott).


Like Mulder and Scully, it doesn’t pay to get close to Frank: Bletcher and Atkins don’t live past Season One, The Old Man dies mid Season Two, Lara goes insane, and Catherine buys the farm at the end of Season Two.

The Bad Guys: Peter Watts and Cheryl Andrews turn nasty during Season Two, and the Millennium Group’s leaders are also rather sinister. Clear-cut recurring baddies include the fiendish Lucy Butler and largely unseen ‘Polaroid Guy’.


And Isn’t That...
Brad Dourif (Star Trek: Voyager, Child’s Play) is seriously unhinged in Force Majeure, Darren McGavin (Kolchak and, lately, The X-Files) is Frank’s father in Midnight of the Century, Space: Above and Beyond regulars James Morrison and Tucker Smallwood star in Dead Letters and Goodbye Charlie respectively while rock band KISS cameo in Season Three’s ...13 Years Later.

Overdone Clichés: When you’ve seen one morgue scene you’ve usually seen them all. Ironic use of easy listening music - something virtually unique to Morgan and Wong but over-used nonetheless. Angelic visions - by Season Two they were everywhere!

Fashion Statements: Filmed in drizzly, chilly Vancouver, sensible and rugged outdoor clothing is the order of the day. By contrast, Somehow Satan Got Behind Me showed nude demons and featured a strip joint (as did the pilot)..
Ian Calcutt
Photo © Fox
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