Mystery surrounds Frank Black’s new neighbors, a couple and their
preteen son whose arrival coincides with erratic, often violent
behavior from Jordan.
Season Three on DVD
Frank supervises his daughter as she rides her new bicycle
on the driveway. He steps away briefly to answer the
telephone. During his absence, an SUV stuffed with suitcases
passes by the house. Inside the vehicle are a father,
mother, and their angelic boy, Lucas, whose form is haloed
from behind. Fascinated, Jordan leaves the property to
investigate. From her point of view, Jordan comes upon a
vacant lot, containing only a few skeletal remains of a
house destroyed by fire. Suddenly, flames and matter regroup
to form a normal-looking house. Jordan’s attention is then
drawn to a small whirlwind of leaves, circling a few feet
away from her. She then addresses someone, a person who is
apparently invisible. Frank finds his daughter and escorts
The next day, Frank allows Jordan to
ride her bicycle to school, with the proviso that she page him once she
reaches her destination. When Jordan enters the school, she sees Lucas
shaking hands with a teacher. Nearby is Lucas’ father, whose face, from
Jordan’s point of view, contorts into an evil mask. A short time later,
Jordan pages her father using their everything-is-okay code, "007." As
Jordan walks down a school hallway, another student bumps into her, sending
her careening into Lucas. He grabs hold of his neck and accuses Jordan
of biting him. Teeth marks are clearly visible on the boy’s neck. Principal
Hawes notifies Frank about the incident. Jordan tells her father that she
never bit anyone. She then sees Lucas standing in a school corridor. In
a loud voice, she tells him that the man she saw him with earlier is not
Frank receives a visit from Lucas’
parents, Will and Jean Sanderson. Frank apologizes for his daughter’s behavior.
Jean points out that what Jordan said about Will in the school corridor
is true: he is not Lucas’ natural father. The boy, it turns out, is adopted.
When Frank sees Jordan standing on the top of the stairs, he calls to her.
Jordan descends the stairs, but as she does so, from her point of view,
Will’s face turns scary and mean. She suddenly lunges at Will, and in the
process, cuts her knee. Jordan asks her invisible friend, Simon, for help.
Frank takes his daughter to a hospital
for treatment. A doctor examines her eyes, but as he does so, Jordan experiences
another vision: his face transforms into that of the evil Will. The doctor
then gives Jordan a clean bill of health. As Frank drives his daughter
home, they pass the Sanderson house. Jordan watches as a Welcome Lady and
her three-year-old son, Calvin, pay Will a visit. Jordan tells her father
that Lucas’ father is evil.
Meanwhile, as Calvin meanders through
the Sanderson home, he happens upon an old wooden display case containing
a collection of glass eyes. Will grabs Calvin and pulls him away from the
display. A short time later, Emma approaches Jordan in hopes of learning
more about her imaginary friend and her visions. Jordan explains how Simon
moved to the area from Phoenix. Emma relays the information to Frank. But
as it turns out, Frank has already deduced some of the information based
upon one of his case files. It turns out that one of the cases Frank is
working on pertains to the unsolved murder of a pregnant woman, Mrs. Simon,
who lived in Phoenix.
As the Welcome Lady drives away from
the Sanderson home, she discovers Calvin playing with one of the glass
eyeballs. Calvin begins screaming, as if the eye is hurting him. The Welcome
Lady becomes distracted and loses control of her car. She collides with
a telephone pole and is killed. Emma tells Frank that the Welcome Lady
died as the result of being impaled by several "For Sale" signs. Calvin,
however, survived the accident with minor injuries. Jordan tells Frank
that the Welcome Lady’s death was no accident. Frank notes similarities
between her death and that of Mrs. Simon.
Jordan sneaks inside the Sanderson
house. Her imaginary friend steers her towards the basement. As she descends
the stairs, she comes upon an old fashioned furnace. She unlatches the
furnace door and peers inside. From her point of view, she sees a throbbing
mass of plasma. An eye on the larvae opens, and a small hand rises out
of the muck. Mr. Sanderson catches Jordan in the basement. Suddenly, a
small hand plunges a pair of shears into his thigh.
Will accuses Jordan of attacking him.
Later, a sheriff’s deputy releases Jordan into Frank’s custody. Emma screen
the shears for fingerprints. She determines that the fingerprints of another
child are on the tool. When Frank next sees Lucas, he experiences a vision
of a screaming pregnant woman. He enters the Sanderson home to investigate.
Shortly thereafter, someone knocks him unconscious. When Frank comes to,
Lucas encourages him to run. Frank attempts to follow the boy through the
basement, but he is attacked by the mass of protoplasm, which rips at his
flesh. In reality, however, Frank is bound to a chair in the Sanderson
basement, which is enveloped in flames. Frank hears Jordan’s voice calling
to him. He makes his way up the stairs, where he encounters Will, who has
also been attacked. When Will regains his senses, he hears his son calling
to him. He makes his way though the flames and finds his son. But the kitchen
is soon engulfed by flame. Firemen pull Frank from the burning structure.
Both he and Jordan watch as Lucas appears in a window and transforms into
Lucy Butler. Later, Emma discovers that the fingerprint on the shears belong
to the dead baby from Phoenix.
- Jordan glimpses a future catastrophe
- Frank talks with Jordan at home
- Calvin examines one of the glass eyes
- Emma reaches out to Jordan
- The bizarre collection of glass eyes
- Jordan stands in a nightmarish vision
- Lucas stands within the burning house
One of the third season's most
perplexing and disturbing episodes, "Saturn Dreaming of Mercury" is
perhaps the most significant episode of Millennium for the
character of Jordan Black. Naturally, the episode is a favorite of
actress Brittany Tiplady, whose performances throughout the third
season as Frank Black's gifted daughter earned her a third consecutive Young
Artist Award nomination. "It was so
much fun to film!" Tiplady says of the episode, her opportunity to
claim the spotlight. "Jordan is the one with the visions, she is the
one trying to protect people instead of Frank."
Susan Tiplady, Brittany's mother, notes
that because of Jordan's prominent role this episode was one of the
first Millennium episodes that her daughter was able to
experience in its entirety. "Usually she just reads the pages of the
scripts that pertain to her," Susan once commented, explaining a
policy that also applied to the young actress' viewing habits
concerning the mature television series. "In 'Saturn
Dreaming of Mercury' she is in the whole episode; therefore, she read
the whole script." The Tiplady family sat with Brittany to
watch the full episode when it first aired on April 9, 1999.
The image of Frank Black's arch nemesis,
Lucy Butler, appears briefly during the episode's startling climax.
Sarah-Jane Redmond's menacing character had appeared in a similar
blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment during the first season episode
"Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions."
Millennium fans may recognize guest
Gabrielle Rose, who appears in this episode as the Welcome Lady. The
actress had portrayed the Aging Stripper in the memorable "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me"
a year previously. Rose has also been seen guest
starring on such shows as Sliders, Poltergeist: The Legacy,
Dark Angel, and The X-Files.
Your guess is as good as
Young Artist Award - Brittany
Tiplady, Best Performance in a Television Drama Series: Young Actress (Nominee)
Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
Brittany Tiplady as Jordan Black
Klea Scott as Emma Hollis
Michael Bofshever as Will Sanderson
Dillon Moen as Lucas Sheldon
Connor Widdows as Calvin Scranton
Colleen Winton as Jean Sheldon
Gabrielle Rose as the Welcome Lady
Jane Perry as Principal Esther Hawes
Sarah-Jane Redmond as Lucy Butler
Neil Mark as the Police Officer
Ian Robison as ER Doctor
Helen Taylor as ER Nurse
Music by Mark Snow
Production Designer Mark Freeborn
Director of Photography Robert McLachlan
Associate Producer Jon-Michael Preece
Co-Producer Robert Moresco
Co-Producer Paul Rabwin
Producer Thomas J. Wright
Co-Executive Producer Ken Horton
Co-Executive Producer John Peter Kousakis
Executive Producer Chip Johannessen
Executive Producer Chris Carter