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Overview

1996-1999

Millennium

For three years, the Fox network featured the struggles of a unique and remarkable hero in Chris Carter's Millennium

 

Living in a dark world of deplorable crime and unspeakable horrors, Frank Black found himself regularly facing the evils of both human nature and the occult. A legendary forensic profiler gifted with the ability to see into the minds of killers, Frank Black allied himself with both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the enigmatic Millennium Group, working with virtuous men and women driven to face this world's evils defiantly. Frank found trusted partners in the likes of Peter Watts, Lara Means, and Emma Hollis, talented professional investigators dedicated to protecting innocent lives. 

 

Frank's only solace from the undeniable pain of his work came from the family he desperately tried to keep dissociated from it. Catherine and Jordan, his wife and young daughter, proved to be the continuing source of his hope. 

 

Frank stood determined against the building force of evil that accompanied the countdown to the new millennium, a bright hero against the darkest of backdrops, a strong and solemn man who knew all too well that the end is always near and the only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

 


Millennium, unquestionably the darkest network television drama of the twentieth century, had no rivals when it came to dramatic storytelling. Both the consistently high production values of the show and its philosophical subject matter made this series unique in the annals of television history. Frank Black's battle against darkness, week after week, stunned viewers on intellectual and emotional levels. The series had no peers. Never before have episodic stories been so imbued with honesty, emotion, exploration, and experimentation. Millennium was successful on nearly every level of production.


Season One

Chris Carter, asked by the Fox network to create a companion piece to his popular hit series The X-Files, pitched his pilot for Millennium early in 1996. Carter was eager to explore the other side of the horror genre. Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully had spent years fighting extraterrestrials and monsters, exploring a world of supernatural horrors. Thus, Carter created Frank Black, a behavioral profiler who hunted more terrifying monsters, human monsters. Promoted to the extreme for months in advance, Millennium premiered on Fox with the highest ratings of any premiere the network had shown in its history. 

Unfortunately, Millennium proved too dark for the average American television viewer. The first season spent twenty-two episodes exploring the darkest depths of the human soul, examining our society's violent crime with storytelling that was both honest and terrifying.

Each week Frank Black joined Peter Watts and the Millennium Group, an organization of crime consultants, in assisting Lieutenant Robert Bletcher of the Seattle Police Department in an effort to put an end to the latest killing spree. The body count was high and the series spared no detail. Viewers were able to watch the complex investigative process with stunning realism and an attention to details both practical and poignant.

At home, Frank lived in a symbolic yellow house with his beautiful wife, Catherine, and his innocent daughter, Jordan. Frank Black proved that he would go to any lengths to protect his family and home from the horrors of the outside world. As the season moved forward, however, it became horribly clear that evil is a powerful force that cannot simply be investigated, captured, and locked away.


Season Two

When writers Glen Morgan and James Wong jointly took over the Executive Producer role for Millennium's second season, quite a few changes were planned and subsequently enforced. Morgan and Wong quickly made efforts to deviate from stories considering serial killers, they complicated the yet unexplored history of the mysterious Millennium Group, they introduced a sense of humor to the series, and they brought mythology and spirituality more prominently into the scripts. 

As the second season progressed, viewers found themselves growing more attached to the revitalized Millennium while, at the same time, the diverse themes attracted new audience members. The show, week by week, became dramatically more complex and bravely more artistic. Millennium was continually reinventing itself. Glen Morgan and James Wong held nothing back as their scripts delved unabashedly into a world of demons, angels, dreams, visions, mythology, science, and the human spirit. Glen's brother, Darin Morgan, brought the show its first stand-out comedy episodes and it became clear that Millennium had more than one facet to its complex nature. 

Knowing the second season would be their, and possibly the show's, last, Morgan and Wong created a stunning two-part finale, a television epic that brought the show's world to a dramatic end.


Season Three

Morgan and Wong's destruction of the Millennium world at the close of the second season proved a difficult creative challenge for writer Chip Johannessen when he took over the executive producer role once the show was renewed for a third season. How could the creative staff continue a series in which most of the major characters and all of the show's plot threads had apparently been put to rest? The answer, of course, was to reinvent the series once again. 

Frank and Jordan Black packed their bags and left what had gone before behind them. The show followed Frank to Washington, D.C., as he re-enlisted with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Peter Watts and the Millennium Group became chilling and unpredictable enemies as a variety of young new characters were introduced as Frank's allies, including Agents Emma Hollis and Barry Baldwin. 

Millennium's third season would go on to provide some of the show's most intelligent, bizarre, artistic, and intriguing stories.  None of this, tragically, was enough to save the series from the demands of the network television industry. In May of 1999, just months before the dawn of the new millennium, the series was cancelled and aired its final episode. Frank Black's journey had seemingly come to an end.


 

Millennium developed over the course of three years and became one of the most powerful and unique drama series of all time. Frank Black's investigations were continually being shaped by a team of brilliant writers and producers, a talented crew, and an unforgettable cast of characters. The show has earned its spot in the annals of television history and will always remain prominent in the hearts and minds of its loyal fans.

 

 

THE MILLENNIAL ABYSS