Frank Black -
Catherine Black -
Peter Watts -
OTHER MILLENNIUM SEASONS
Frank Black moves back to Seattle after quitting his job as a cop when his family is threatened and his confidence is shot to hell. Immediately, he picks up on a local case where a stripper goes missing and turns up dead, all bled out. Following traditional policing methods along with his ability to see into the mind of the killer, Frank sets about finding him, aided by colleagues in he shadowy Millennium group.
Holy heck on a broomstick!! MILLENNIUM sets out its stall from the start with the first scene played out in a sleazy peephole strip joint and packed with graphic and unsettling imagery. It then proceeds to let up not one little bit. This is a show that is going to go to some very dark places indeed and that means it won't be for everyone.
Lance Henriksen is brilliant as Frank, a man that life and his strange talent crushed emotionally, but who is now fighting back. There is no time for the rest of the characters to make an impression, but the atmosphere is oppressive and so is the plot.
This opening episode of MILLENNIUM will stay with you long after you switch the TV off.Top
A death cult steals money through a phone scam and uses it to buy weapons of every kind, including chemical. The leader of this cult has a penchant for burning people up in an industrial microwave. Using the parts left from a couple of these murders, Frank has to try and figure out what is going on.
After last week's episode, this is a step down in almost every way. The graphic nature of the crimes is not as bad, and the thoughtfulness of the plot does not contain the menace of the opening episode. It's still compelling, however, still dark as pitch and still unsettling.Top
Frank is sent to work on the case of a serial killer who is preying on women who treat him as a number. Helping him is James, a man that the Millennium Group has their eye on recruiting. James, though, can't deal with the darker side of the job without getting personally involved and that road leads to madness, as Frank can tell him.
Without telling the story of how Frank lost his mind, this tells the story of how Frank lost his mind by showing us Jim, Frank before his breakdown. The main story is more of the same and bears more of a passing resemblance to the killer from SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, but if your taste runs to the dark side, this is still the only place in town to be.Top
Killers fresh out of prison are being recruited by an evil mastermind to dole out a particularly deadly form of 'justice'. Frank is faced with not only the task of tracking down the man doing the killing, but also the man who is responsible, but who has harmed nobody.
Is the man who gives the order as responsible as the man who pulls the trigger? That's an interesting question and one that is played with here in a slightly disappointing episode that lacks any real punch in the climax after being intriguing all the way through. The judge doesn't escape retribution, but gets it from his own kind and not whilst Frank, or we, are involved.Top
A bomber is getting his jollies by blowing stuff up and then entering into the aftermath to play the hero. Only that role isn't filling his kleenex like it used to and so a cat an mouse game between hunted and hunter begins.
Disturbing imagery and a fine performance (as ever) from Lance Henriksen raises this hackneyed plot above its level. The killer making calls to the cop chasing him? If there is a cliche more well known than that then we'd like to see it. On second thoughts, no we wouldn't. It doesn't matter, though, because this series is able to play with the basics and still come up with a compelling and repellant story.Top
Someone is killing priests in the manner of heretics in the Middle Ages, by burning or drowning or Inquisition style torture. Frank is called in on the case to figure out what the killer is after.
This is really just a straightforward police procedural story. Frank Black barely uses his flashback ability to help him out. The case is solved by good old-fashioned policework. It's also a pretty straightforward case as well. The killer lost his family in a fire and is killing the priest that meant something in his life (wedding, christening etc) because he can't kill God and can't kill his own faith. Even the moment when Frank steps voluntarily in front of the killer's gun raises much less tension than it ought to.Top
A young man is attending funerals of people that he doesn't know, getting friendly with the bereaved and then killing them. Frank Black's on the case and the identity of the boy is soon known, but there is more to the case than he first thought.
The disturbing nature of MILLENNIUM has subsided somewhat. Admittedly, the killer here carves a message into the bodies of his victims, but that aside, this is the kind of story that you could find in any stateside police series, with a few added flashbacks for good measure that don't actually affect the case. Oh, and you'll guess the identity of the killer almost straight away.Top
The Well Worn Lock
Frank's wife Catherine is handed a case of child molestation that has been going on for over 20 years and may be about to enter a new stage.
There is no dead body in this week's MILLENNIUM, but it goes to some very dark places indeed. In fact, because there is no mad serial killer with new and inventive modus operandum it is possibly more convincing and more terrifying. The monster here is a man who would torture his own children for decades and then try to destroy them to save himself.
The plot is compelling enough that it deals with all the angles of this issue (where was the mother and why did she not act, why did the victim not escape etc) without ever entering a preachy mode. This is a crime that actually takes place and that makes it all the more horrible.Top
A family is brutally murdered, but the little girl is left as a witness. The killer uses open viewings of houses for sale to find ways around the security systems and kills to give harsh lessons about the illusion of security. Frank's aim is to bring the killer down without having to make the little girl suffer a police interrogation.
Children really aren't doing too well in MILLENNIUM. Although she lives, the little girl is left with mental scars to last a lifetime and the killer attempts to make the police deepen those wounds by making her relive the experience.
The rest is police procedural as the clues are found, followed and finally the case brought to a conclusion.Top
The Wild and the Innocent
When a serial killer who got away from him once apparently kills a police officer, Frank takes up the case to ensure that he doesn't get away again. When the killer shows up in the boot of a car, beaten and nearly drowned, Frank discovers that there is a lot more to the case than previously thought and it all centres on a mysterious individual known as Angel.
Although the plot is not unlike some of the others in the show to date, this episode differs in that it is narrated by one of the participants, a woman called Maddie who has been abused by every man she ever knew, but whose greatest pain is one of loss. The truth about Angel is given away in a flashback quite early on, which reduces the effect of the team slowly working it out. It might have been better had we been left to discover the truth at the same pace as Frank.
There's not a lot of joy goes on in MILLENNIUM, but at least the crimes this time around are all carried out in the name of love. I suppose that's something.Top
Someone is kidnapping and killing the children of residents in an upmarket housing development. Frank is drafted in to find out who and why.
This week's episode is just a police show. The detectives detect as time runs out for the missing kids. It could be any cop show in the world, and not a good one at that.Top
Loin Like a Hunting Flame
An ordinary seeming man is drugging young couples and getting them to enact his fantasies before killing them. Cue Frank Black.
MILLENNIUM started off as a dark, supernaturally-tinged show with some seriously disturbing imagery and a dark heart. It has now become a cop show that is professional, but getting quite repetitive and even a little dull. It needs a shot in the arm or a kick in the pants and soon.Top
Two girls commit suicide in different places, but there are disturbing similarities about them. They are adopted, have no genetic history and have super-fertile reproductive systems. A strange obsessive explains to Frank that the world is going to end in the near future due to an alignment of the planets and that the suicides are part of that process somehow. There are other girls and they could die soon as well.
This is much more like it. Dumping the serial killer of the week format, the show takes on a much wider-ranging plot with some interesting ideas in it. Along with the end of the world scenario (sadly now past its sell by date since we're all still here) the ethics of cloning and genetic engineering come to the fore. There are also nods to THE VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED in the appearance of the girls. Brad Dourif's appearance as a man who believes in the end of the world, but doesn't know what to do about it is interesting, but the kind of thing that he can do in his sleep.Top
The Thin White Line
A murdered woman sports an injury to her hand that Frank Black is familiar with. He has the same injury, inflicted by another killer at another time. The trouble is that particular killer is securely locked away, so who knows his methods and how closely will they stick to the pattern?
It's another serial killer of the week, but this episode has a little added depth because of the moral questions that Frank is forced to ask himself. He spared the killer's life, but now four people are dead because of the killer's influence over the copycat. Is he, Frank Black, not also responsible for those deaths? Had he pulled the trigger and killed an unarmed man, those people would still have been alive. Would that not have been the better, more just course of action? Apart from this moral debate, it's pretty much the same police procedural with more than a hint of ripping off the Hannibal Lecter stories, with Frank going to face his previous torturer.Top
Frank's sister in law is kidnapped moments after her son is baptised. Frank comes to suspect a sex offender recently released from an asylum, but he has been under constant supervision by the police and there is evidence that things have been happening that he couldn't have done. Who else could be responsible and how can Frank best prepare his brother for the likely outcome?
The hunt for this week's serial killer strikes close to home for Frank, but you would barely know it from his actions. Lance Henriksen would have made a brilliant Terminator (a role he was up for) as he is easily capable of showing little or no emotion on the evidence of this series. He is so driven in every episode that there is nothing new to see here. The investigation and mystery goes through the usual motions that are becoming repetitive and boring and the show needs to come up with something new.
The only bright point in amongst all of this are the hints that Frank's daughter may have something of his talent, seeing as she does something of her aunt's pain, which makes her ill. This may be the basis for future plot points, because god knows the show needs somewhere to go.Top
A man convicted of the murder of his entire family is facing the death penalty and Frank is called in to make the psychological profile that the prosecution hope will bring that execution. Frank, however, doesn't believe the man and works the evidence and interviews the man who insists on is guilt even to the satisfaction of the polygraph machine. What could possibly have happened to make the man want to die so badly?
Just when you think that the show is becoming a one-trick pony, MILLENNIUM pulls out a corker of an episode that is sufficiently different to make you sit up and take notice and realise just how good it can be when it tries to move beyond the killer of the week scenario. It even has the nerve to leave an open ending beyond the point that the truth is known. That truth isn't exactly earth-shattering in its surprise value, but the nature of the crime and the victims give it more impact and make the whole situation more terrible.Top
Frank is found, bloodied and bruised in an alley with no memory of what happened to him. From his e-mails he locates a doctor who sets up volunteers with drug trials that might help them. The drug trial that Frank was, unwittingly, involved in turned everyone insane temporarily and it seems that the perpetrator is looking to loose his product on the world in a bigger way.
Amnesia's a lovely thing for scriptwriters, allowing them to put their heroes in places of potential guilt and vulnerability, making their loved ones doubt them and adding tension to an otherwise pedestrian plot. The plot here is better than pedestrian, given more bite because it's not simply a serial killer of the week. The whole subculture of professional drug trial volunteers is fascinating and convincing. It's an underside of society that will be new to most people. That gives the story more bite and more interest and makes the perpetrator of the crime all the more interesting. It's a shame we don't get to hear more about him.
Frank also admits that he fears his daughter has his gift. That's a plot strand that's going to run.Top
A murderous doctor donates his kidney to his sister as an act of contrition, but it turns out to be a cover for an escape. The FBI swing into action to find him, drafting in Frank who helped catch him the first time. When the doctor shows up with his second kidney removed without anaesthetic, it becomes clear that someone new is at work, someone who knows where Frank lives.
There's more than a touch of the Hannibal Lecters about this episode. There's the murderous doctor who's a veritable paragon of evil, there's body parts showing up in the fridge, there's the duel being played out with Frank, the man who caught him. There's a severe case of deja vu throughout. However, there is also a real sense of fear and threat and danger. Frank's family is in severe trouble and the sequence where the killer appears in the house whilst Frank is away is a masterclass in on screen tension. 'Edge of the seat' doesn't cover it.
Frank loses this one as well, something that is unusual. Only at the end, when nothing is explained, does it seem that this is the first episode in a potential ongoing story. We might have guessed considering that it's written by series creator Chris Carter. It leaves a semi-regular character on the slab and Frank's family in shock. Where do we go from here? We actually want to find out.Top
Powers,Principalities,Thrones and Dominions
It is too soon for Frank to go back to work following the events of last week's episode, but someone is killing people at random in a similar fashion to that of his friend. When he finally investigates, he is approached by a lawyer with a shady job (shadier than the one he already has). The lawyer seems to know more about Frank and his future than is good and the body count continues to rise.
This is a set up episode with the seeds being laid for future plot lines it would seem. The story seems to be an excuse to let Frank know that he is at the centre of several people's interest and that his life is going to be all the worse for it. As a result, the episode is unsatisfactory on its own. Maybe its true worth will be shown in time.Top
Animals are being tortured and slaughtered by an individual who may well be a serial killer in the making. Frank investigates in an attempt to prevent the killer's interests turning to people.
The victims are horses, not people and their purpose in the human world is almost as inhuman as what happens at the hands of killer, but that aside this is an average episode that is averagely interesting and has a mild amount of tension towards the climax, but is otherwise nothing out of the ordinary.Top
The Russian undersociety of New York is being terrorised by a series of brutal murders that may be being carried out by the antichrist on Earth, someone who wants the superstitious russians to believe he is the antichrist or someone who is chasing the antichrist. Of course, he might just be a nutter, but a very clever and dangerous one with diplomatic immunity.
The milieu may have changed to little Russia, but everything else is pretty much as normal. The potential antichrist strand gives it a bit of interest and the matter isn't resolved to any great degree which is nice, but otherwise it's just another search for another killer.Top
Frank's on a visit to his in-laws, so he is pretty relieved when father in law asks him to look into an old case that might well feed into the search for a missing woman.
This whole episode is nothing but a set up for the climactic moment when Frank's wife goes missing at the airport. The search for the killer takes up less time than observation of the killer talking to his victim's corpse in the woods and the supposed climax of the capture is totally flat, merely filling in time as it is for the big finale.
Who is the shadowy figure who has been controlling the killer to the point in the airport and what does he want? If you're interested enough, season two will have the answers.Top
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