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November 28 2005

Millennium: Season Three review. "The odd decent episode comes through, including a couple starring Buffy actors: Collateral Damage starring James "Spike" Masters and Forcing the End, a nicely old-fashioned Millennium episode starring Juliet "Drusilla" Landau..."

Millennium. I *loved* this show. And then Season 2 happened. Has anybody seen the final episode of season 2? It's surreal, and in my opinion awful.

Then season 3 happened. They tried to put it back on track (Chris Carter had just returned from The X-Files movie), but failed.

It really saddened me. They had a great cast (Terry O'Quinn!), some nice plotting going on, and it just got pissed down the toliet.
Terry O'Quinn? Now, I love my some Locke. Was Terry in season three? That might send me over to investing in it with James and Juliet.. hmmm....
Terry was in nearly all the episodes of Millenium, so around about 36 episodes. He also has (what I consider to be) a great part.

It's a weird show. It started off very dark, and then in season two (when the creator went off to do the X-Files movie) they hired two show runners who wrote a great many of the episodes and shaped it into their vision of the series. Which was quite a bit different from the original tone of the series.

They were actually doing a very good job at first, and you have some really twisty arcs going on. However, it started to go off the rails, and by the end of the 2nd season it's got surreal, and occasionally campy, and that's not the original series idea.

By season 3, they tried to darken it back down and get it back on track, but they were too late - the shows ratings had disappeared, and it got canceled. Really, if you were going to go for this, I'd recommend the complete series DVD boxset, or just the 1st series.

It's a great showcase of writers - you'll see several episodes written and directed by Buffy/Angel/Firefly people in this - and talented actors, but it just went off the rails. Plus, I doubt airing on Fox helped things.
James' portrayal of Eric Swan scared the heck out of me in his episode ( Collateral Damage) and the DVD extras have some very nice things to say about him . I must watch Juliet's episode later today.
You know, they also say James is in the Blooper Reel on NORTHERN EXPOSURE and it's said he and Rob are priceless. I loved that show, too.
Season two of Millennium up there with my favorite seasons of any show, Lance was awesome as Black.

Still alot better then anything on tv these days. Season three gets alot of flack, but compare it still to other shows, it's worth a good watch.

I remember asking Juliet about her episode in season three of Millennium, I have yet to see it, so looking forward to it.

[ edited by SeanValen on 2005-11-28 19:35 ]

[ edited by SeanValen on 2005-11-28 19:37 ]
Millennium, a show that very few people followed, but which I quite enjoyed. I used to be a gigantic fan of The X-Files back in the first... I don't know 7 seasons or so. I remember quite enjoying Millennium's first season, which was a lot like an episodic Seven, with different killers every week and the occasional forray into the supernatural. Season 1 was kind of repetitive, but stylishly directed, well-written and superbly acted by Lance Henrikson (you can argue that he doesn't have range... but man does he ever have presence.

Season 2 went to a darker more supernatural place, and I for one enjoyed it. I loved the strange dark spiritual energy of Glenn Morgan and James Wong's episodes (who were also terrific writers on seasons 1-2 and 4 of the X-files.) The big finale should have ended the show imo.

Then Chris Carter came back, unhappy with the direction the (imo excellent) second year went, and the show became a lot like a slightly more realistic The X-Files. However, the new dynamic never worked, a whole lot of the episodes were awful and the show had no flow or direction. It then died out with a semi-decent finale. Carter tried to end the show with a seventh season X-Files episode called "Millennium" in which the big apocalypse happened, except it just came off as a badly conceived zomibe episode.

Still, it was fun having Frank Black and Mulder team up... regardless of the quality of the episode.

[ edited by rabid on 2005-11-28 20:33 ]
I drifted away from this show during S1. But this is well worth getting just to see JM's episode. This is without doubt imo his best performance, other than Spike, that I've seen. He's scarier and more intensely unhinged than I've ever seen him. Truly a wonderful and disturbing performance.

spikey I've seen that NE blooper of JM and RM. Whoa boy! Funniest, cutest little Jimmy ever. And so camp. lol.
I had a friend on my LJ just tell me that she said that James' performance in Millenium would equal him playing Spike, as far as how good he is in this.

Now, I REALLY want to see this.

ETA: I can't believe that NE blooper hasn't shown up on the internet.

[ edited by spikeylover on 2005-11-28 22:05 ]
Any show centred on the exploits of the man who wrote 'Bone Machine' and 'Monkey Gone To Haven' is okay by... oh wait, that's not right, is it?

I saw some of the first season of the show, which I enjoyed, but then we decided to stop having cable so that was that. I haven't thought about the show in a long time, but reading these messages makes me want to see it again. I'm especially intrigued by Gossi's description of the second season.
I've recently been borrowing the videos and dvds of this - I hadn't really followed it religiously when it was on TV, but liked what I'd seen. I'm on the 4th episode of the second series, and now really looking forward to the third - I had no idea James Marsters ansd Juliet Landau were in it.

Very much liked the first series, and I've go tthe X-files crossover, but on video and my video has broken.
This is a tiny bit spoilerish (nothing big at all), but in the 2nd season they have an episode where there's actual demons (in full plastic red suit things) in a cafe bar talking about their life. It has nothing to do with Frank Black (the main person) or much of anything. It's completely random, pretty camp, a little funny.. but this is an example of the shift in focus of the 2nd season.

That said, like I say the show runners did some absolutely fantastic episodes early on in season two. There's one which sticks out in my mind where they find a piece of the cross Jesus was (supposedly) nailed to. That episode sticks out to me as darkly stylish and just.. cool.

I think the problem I had with the 2nd season showed up mostly in the final episode of that season - it includes a 5 or so minute random drug trip, with hippy music and mad visuals. That part aside - it is an exceptionally powerful episode of TV. If the series had never been renewed, there would probably still be incredibly high profile campaigns to get the series renewed - it blew the lid off anything I'd seen on TV before.

The lead in this program, Lance, is probably the 'biggest' screen presence I've ever seen. He's not sexy eye candy - but he OWNS the screen. I've never quite known why. He just owns it completely.
I love LH and TOQ too, but for some reason I just couldn't get into the show. I think I had my hands full with The X-Files.
I loved the first season of Millennium. At the time, one of the best shows I've ever seen. I drifted away in the middle of season two, as did many fans, I gather, but I do remember seeing the occasional episode, including the above-mentioned demons episode (called "Somehow Satan Got Behind Me", I think), which I thought was funny and really good, and was not at all what you'd expect from it. I also saw James Marsters' episode, and yes, he was awesome!

Despite the mid-run loss of direction, it's an excellent series. If you like "dark", creepy and thought-provoking tv, you should check it out.
yah that demon episode "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me" is actually one of my favorite episodes of the series. It was written by Daren Morgan, he was involved with a bunch of fan favorite X-Files episodes, including "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" which has got to be one of the weirdest X-Files episodes ever filmed.

IMO one of the best parts of the X-Files, especially in it's mid-range years, was it's ability to jump back and forth from different kind of stories. It can do stories about mystical serial killers, jump back to a mythology show, tell a sad love story involving past lives and then tell something silly like... Jose Chung. I really appreciated Morgan and Wong trying to bring that kind of variety to Millennium, which had an excellent first year, but a mostly one-note season.
If I didn't like the (irritatingly static and repetitive) X-Files...should I give Millennium a chance?
"Millennium, a show that very few people followed, but which I quite enjoyed."

It figures, Rabid, that so many Whedonists were caught up in Millenium. I never heard of it before it was released on video because I was living overseas but it looked cool. I marathoned seasons one and two as soon as they were released because the first few episodes hooked me right away. I consumed Millenium like a crack fiend. No, it wasn't a perfect series but Lance was excellent and it was far better than any other tv I saw for that two year period. The only other series I marathon-viewed during the same time span was The X-Files, but I was more invested in Millenium.

I always figured it was better to cancel at the time because hey, the real-life millenium came and went and it seemed like a really good time to end it. I never followed reviews or ratings then but I did notice the writing shifts. Cancellation was no surprise.

What a jolt to my system today to learn I was attracted to Whedon project writers (and actors! -- Millenium often had an overall very good cast)-- long before now.
Huge LH and TOQ fan here as well -- and giganto-mondo-major Millennium fan in the beginning. I thought that the dynamic between LH and his wife was spectacular and I checked out when, well, those who've seen it can probably guess.

When I checked back in, it was Season 3 and he had some new young side-kick. It wasn't even the same show. Now, I guess, I know why. I will, however, check with the local library to see if *they* have it. Wouldn't mind checking it out. Would mind buying it.
Chris Carter murdered Millennium.

Season 2 was awesome and had bollocks. A continous story arc and really dense plotting.

Carter returned in year 3 and went off the rails, gave Frank a crappy costar, didn't touch on what had happened in the season 2 finale except his wife's death and gave us a really low beat finale.

The final kick in the teeth was a lowkey X-Files episode to finish the story which was a major let down.
Where did this guy get the idea that season 2 was a ¨narrative disaster¨? Isnt it generally well regarded as the best season? Season 2 of Millennium was genius, brilliantly constructed and brilliantly written. Season 3 was more of a mismash without a clear direction. Very much of a letdown.
Ah yes Millennium was troubled wasn't it? I enjoyed it and stuck around through most of the three seasons. But like most of you, what bothered me was the constant change in direction. S1 was good but it's true the 'killer of the week' thing gives a bit of a repititious structure to the episodes. S2....I didn't mind the supernatural direction (although it was a bit of a jump suddenly) but I just wish it hadn't been mainly the cliched catholic symbolism that I got clubbed over the head with. American tv or movies, when they go spiritual, almost always goes christian, and almost always the same catholic imagery that by now I'm just kinda bored to death with. There was still some great stuff though. But like the X-files, a lot of stuff was clearly made up on the spot, made intriguing and then never followed up again.

Then S3, which gave another change of direction and at that point the show as a whole had begun to sound a bit shaky. Atmosphere, general writing, camera work, lighting, etc. all remained strong though. And I do think Lance is great in this. He just exuded this calm, yet also was completely believable as this man that had seen the worst evil of the world and managed to not flinch.

The ep in the X-Files....I quite enjoy it, really, it's a decent ep, and it's great to see Frank Black and Mulder together, but as a capper to the entire show of Millennium, yeah that was kind of unworthy. They could've done a double episode at least. If that annoying story with Scully's kid could be 2 eps, so could the end of Frank Black's tale, aright?? Grrr....
Where did this guy get the idea that season 2 was a ¨narrative disaster¨? Isnt it generally well regarded as the best season?

Not as far as I've seen. Opinion is all over the place. Like I've said, as far as I'm concerned the first half of season 2 is excellent, but then it starts to go all over the shop for me.
I always thought Millennium operated on the same quality-arc as the X-Files, only really really accelerated:

Season 1: pretty good
Season 2: absolutely amazing
Season 3: godawful

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