Millennium (season 3)

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Millennium (season 3)
Millennium DVD season3.jpg
Region 1 DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Broadcast
Original channel Fox
Original run October 2, 1998 – May 21, 1999
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 September 6, 2005
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2
Next →
List of Millennium episodes

The third season of the serial crime-thriller television series Millennium commenced airing in the United States on October 2, 1998, and concluded on May 21, 1999 after airing twenty-two episodes. It tells the story of retired FBI Agent Frank Black (Lance Henriksen). Black had previously worked for a private investigative organization, the Millennium Group, but left after the Group unleashed a virus that resulted in the death of Black's wife. Now working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation with agent Emma Hollis (Klea Scott), Black seeks to discredit and expose the Group for their sinister motives.

The season saw the introduction of a new lead character in Hollis. Scott faced difficulty in securing the role, as Fox executives had desired a white actress for the part instead; Scott's agent fought for her to be given an audition, which proved successful. The season also brought in two new executive producers—Michael Duggan and Chip Johannessen, who had previously written episodes in earlier seasons.

Episodes from the third season have seen generally positive reviews from critics, as has the season as a whole. Stars Henriksen and Brittany Tiplady were nominated for several acting awards for their work on the season—a Golden Globe Award nod for Henriksen and two Young Artist Award nominations for Tiplady. In addition, series cinematographer Robert McLachlan was nominated for two American Society of Cinematographers awards during the season. Ultimately none of these nominations proved successful.

Production[edit]

"We wanted to reduce it down to two people: Watts represents the Group, and Frank represents us ... Their struggle is of two friends who both believe what they believe, and each believes he is absolutely right and would love to convert the other to his way of thinking".

–Writer Ken Horton on the season's closing story arc[1]

When ending the second season, the producers and crew thought it would be the last; Fox executives admitted that the decision to renew the series was "down to the wire".[2] However, to their surprise Millennium was renewed for a third season. Many of the cliffhanger plot threads from the season finale were written off as the hallucinations of Frank Black. When creating the third season, the writers wanted to go back to the standalone storytelling format used in the first season; to do so they had Frank join the FBI and receive a new "skeptical" partner with whom he could work.[3]

This led to the introduction of Klea Scott as Emma Hollis. Originally, the producers were looking for a white actress to play the part. Scott's agent campaigned for her and guaranteed the series' producers that if she was not considered for the role, he would never send another actor to the casting director of the show. Scott won the role, but producer Chip Johannessen recalled that "she wasn't what the network were looking, they wanted Heather Locklear or something to come. That was kind of how that went down".[3] Fox backed down, and Scott got the role.[3]

The season saw the introduction of Johannessen and Michael Duggan as executive producers;[4] both had previously worked as writers on earlier seasons of the series.[5][6] The pair worked with series creator Chris Carter, who acknowledged that they had taken heed of past criticism of the series when writing new episodes, wanting to avoid the previous "serial-killer-of-the-week" moniker the show had earned.[2] To this end, the season ended with a seven-episode story arc intended to reduce the series' conflicts down to struggle between two men, rather than larger factions or groups—Black representing the viewer's point of view and Peter Watts (Terry O'Quinn) representing the ideals of the Millennium Group, with both convinced their beliefs are the correct ones and wanting to bring the other to their side.[1] Ultimately, the season did not attract enough viewers, and the series was cancelled by the network.[7][8]

Cast[edit]

A man with white hair, wearing glasses
Series star Lance Henriksen

Starring[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Also starring[edit]

Guest starring[edit]

Reception[edit]

Accolades[edit]

The third season earned several awards and nominations for those associated with the series. Henriksen was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Drama, losing out to Dylan McDermott's portrayal of Bobby Donnell in The Practice.[9] Tiplady was nominated twice for the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Comedy/Drama – Supporting Young Actress Age Ten or Under; she was beaten out by Scarlett Pomers for Star Trek: Voyager in 1999,[10] and Mae Middleton for Any Day Now in 2000.[11] Cinematographer Robert McLachlan was twice nominated for the American Society of Cinematographers award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in a Regular Series, in 1999 for "Skull and Bones", and in 2000 for "Matryoshka". Both times McLachlan lost the award to Bill Roe, for The X-Files' "Drive" in 1999, and "Agua Mala" in 2000.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Writing for Slant magazine, Keith Uhlich gave the season an overall rating of four stars out of five. Uhlich described the season as "a divisive run of episodes that, for many viewers, blasphemously rewrites what came before",[13] but favourably compared it to the fiction works of Jorge Luis Borges. Uhlich felt that the episodes in the season were "challenging" and celebrated the abilities of the individual to forge a life for themselves.[13] DVD Talk's Randy Miller also awarded the season an overall four out of five stars, finding that although its concern about the then-coming millennium made it very much a product of its time, it did not seem to have suffered from this and held up well in retrospect. Miller considered Henriksen's portrayal of Frank Black to have been "masterful"; however, he felt that the retcon of its second season finale alienated viewers and led to its dwindling popularity.[14]

Robert Shearman and Lars Pearson, in their book Wanting to Believe: A Critical Guide to The X-Files, Millennium & The Lone Gunmen, rated several episodes across the season highly, awarding five stars out of five to "Borrowed Time", "Collateral Damage", "Darwin's Eye" and the series finale "Goodbye to All That". However, several episodes also fared poorly in their opinion, including "Closure", "...Thirteen Years Later" and "Forcing the End", all of which the pair rated only one star out of five.[15] Writing for The A.V. Club, Zack Handlen described the season as suffering from several problems, specifically mentioning "its lack of a center, its hamfisted morbidity, the ongoing blahtastrophe that is [Emma Hollis]".[16]

Episodes[edit]

Millennium season 3 episodes
No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
46 1 "The Innocents" Thomas J. Wright Michael Duggan October 2, 1998 (1998-10-02) 5.17[17][nb 1]
Frank Black teams up with an intuitive FBI agent named Emma Hollis to probe a plane crash linked to the spread of a deadly plague. 
47 2 "Exegesis" Ralph Hemecker Chip Johannessen October 9, 1998 (1998-10-09) 4.47[18]
The probe of an aircraft disaster leads Frank and partner Emma Hollis to an extraordinarily gifted psychic who is on the run from the menacing Millennium Group 
48 3 "TEOTWAWKI" Thomas J. Wright Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz October 16, 1998 (1998-10-16) 4.77[19]
An investigation of a deadly shooting spree at a high school is mysteriously tied to a powerful group of citizens setting its own agenda for the year 2000. 
49 4 "Closure" Daniel Sackheim Larry Andries October 23, 1998 (1998-10-23) 5.07[19]
The pursuit of a remorseless killer gets to Emma Hollis, whose fierce resolve to nail the slayer is tied to a violent incident that scarred her emotionally as a child. 
50 5 "...Thirteen Years Later" Thomas J. Wright Michael R. Perry October 30, 1998 (1998-10-30) 5.37[20]
Murders begin to occur on the set of a film loosely based on a grisly case from Frank's past. Rock band KISSGene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley—appear as themselves and in small roles. 
51 6 "Skull and Bones" Paul Shapiro Chip Johannessen & Ken Horton November 6, 1998 (1998-11-06) 5.07[21]
The discovery of secretly buried bodies at a construction site reveals an odious connection to the Millennium Group. 
52 7 "Through a Glass Darkly" Thomas J. Wright Patrick Harbinson November 13, 1998 (1998-11-13) 5.07[20]
A missing 10-year-old girl in rural Oregon entangles Frank and Emma in an unsettling case that involves a convicted child molester, now out on parole. 
53 8 "Human Essence" Thomas J. Wright Michael Duggan December 11, 1998 (1998-12-11) 4.37[20]
In Vancouver, B.C., Emma takes on a drug case involving her half-sister, an addict who claims that new heroin on the street is turning users into monsters. 
54 9 "Omertà" Paul Shapiro Michael R. Perry December 18, 1998 (1998-12-18) 4.77[22]
On a Christmas holiday in Vermont with his daughter, Black is drawn into a case involving a mobster and two ethereal women with miraculous healing powers. 
55 10 "Borrowed Time" Dwight Little Chip Johannessen January 15, 1999 (1999-01-15) 5.27[22]
Strange fevers endanger Frank's young daughter, whom he believes is being stalked by a sinister man fascinated with near-death experiences. 
56 11 "Collateral Damage" Thomas J. Wright Michael R. Perry January 22, 1999 (1999-01-22) 5.77[22]
Tensions resurface between Frank Black and former ally Peter Watts in a search for the latter's daughter, abducted by an Army vet with a grudge against the Millennium Group. 
57 12 "The Sound of Snow" Paul Shapiro Patrick Harbinson February 5, 1999 (1999-02-05) 4.67[22]
Mysterious audio tapes trigger deadly hallucinations in the Seattle area, where Frank's investigation induces visions of his deceased wife, Catherine. 
58 13 "Antipas" Thomas J. Wright Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz February 12, 1999 (1999-02-12) 4.57[23]
Frank Black's arch-nemesis Lucy Butler resurfaces as the prime suspect in a murder case that involves the supernatural and the demonic possession of a young girl. 
59 14 "Matryoshka" Arthur Forney Erin Maher & Kay Reindl February 19, 1999 (1999-02-19) 4.57[23]
The suicide of an elderly ex-FBI agent leads Frank into a case that uncovers dark secrets and Bureau intrigue at the dawn of the atomic age. 
60 15 "Forcing the End" Thomas J. Wright Marjorie David March 19, 1999 (1999-03-19) 4.08[23]
Leads in the abduction of a young pregnant woman from Brooklyn steer Frank and Emma to a mysterious plot hatched by a fanatical cult that is driven by Biblical prophecy. 
61 16 "Saturn Dreaming of Mercury" Paul Shapiro Chip Johannessen & Jordan Hawley April 9, 1999 (1999-04-09) 4.17[23]
Mystery surrounds Frank's new neighbors, a couple and their preteen son whose arrival coincides with erratic, often violent behavior by Frank's daughter Jordan. 
62 17 "Darwin's Eye" Ken Fink Patrick Harbinson April 16, 1999 (1999-04-16) 3.68[24]
An escaped mental patient with a violent past has taken an apparently compliant hostage, and their elusiveness on the run stymies Frank and Emma. 
63 18 "Bardo Thodol" Thomas J. Wright Chip Johannessen & Virginia Stock April 23, 1999 (1999-04-23) 3.78[24]
Eerie discoveries haunt Frank and Emma on a case involving Asian mysticism, Millennium Group machinations and incredible biotechnological advances. 
64 19 "Seven and One" Peter Markle Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz April 30, 1999 (1999-04-30) 3.68[24]
Intimidations linked to a childhood trauma prey upon Frank Black, who is also beset by an ominous stalker—and by a hardened FBI agent who thinks he's gone over the edge. 
65 20 "Nostalgia" Thomas J. Wright Michael R. Perry May 7, 1999 (1999-05-07) 4.47[24]
A journey back to the town where she grew up is anything but a sentimental one for Emma Hollis, who is investigating a grisly serial-murder case with Frank and a sheriff she knew as a child. 
66 21 "Via Dolorosa" Paul Shapiro Marjorie David & Patrick Harbinson May 14, 1999 (1999-05-14) 4.97[25]
On the trail of a copycat killer, Frank Black is haunted by memories of the original fiend, while Emma is distracted by the deterioration of her father, an Alzheimer's patient. 
67 22 "Goodbye to All That" Thomas J. Wright Ken Horton & Chip Johannessen May 21, 1999 (1999-05-21) 4.47[25]
An ongoing search for a serial killer is marked by bizarre occurrences—and the disclosure of Millennium Group experimentation with radical brain surgery. Frank and Jordan decide to go into hiding, while Watts suffers a gunshot wound to the head that happens offscreen. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Each ratings point represented 994,000 viewers households during the 1998–1999 television season.[17]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Owen, Rob (April 16, 1999). "Will 'Millennium' make it to 2000?". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (September 11, 1998). "Fall TV Preview: Black Is Back". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Chris Carter, Michael Perry, Robert McLachlan, Chip Johannessen, Ken Horton, Lance Henriksen and Klea Scott (narrators) (2004). End Game: Making Millennium Season Three (DVD). Millennium: The Complete Third Season: Fox Home Entertainment. 
  4. ^ Tucker, Ken (November 13, 1998). "Super Freaks". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  5. ^ Millennium: The Complete First Season (booklet). David Nutter, et al. Fox. 
  6. ^ Millennium: The Complete Second Season (booklet). Thomas J. Wright, et al. Fox. 
  7. ^ "Hungarian Court Bans 'X-Files' From Prime-Time TV". The Buffalo News. June 16, 1999. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  8. ^ O'Neal, Sean (May 14, 2012). "Lance Henriksen is pretty sure they're making a Millennium movie". The A.V Club. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 
  9. ^ "HFPA – Awards Search – Millennium". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  10. ^ "20th Annual Awards". Young Artist Foundation. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  11. ^ "21st Annual Awards". Young Artist Foundation. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  12. ^ "The ASC – Past ASC Awards". American Society of Cinematographers. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Uhlich, Keith (September 9, 2005). "Millennium: The Complete Third Season". Slant. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  14. ^ Miller, Randy (October 1, 2005). "Millennium: The Complete Third Season: DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". DVD Talk. Internet Brands. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  15. ^ Shearman & Pearson 2009, pp. 188–205.
  16. ^ Handlen, Zack (August 25, 2012). "'One Son'/'The Sound of Snow' | The X-Files/Millennium | TV Club | TV". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b "Two weeks, two victories for CBS". The San Francisco Chronicle. October 7, 1998. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Baseball battle is great new for NBC". The San Francisco Chronicle. October 14, 1998. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b McLean et al. 2012, p. 489.
  20. ^ a b c McLean et al. 2012, p. 490.
  21. ^ "Ratings: NBC squeaks ahead of CBS". The San Francisco Chronicle. November 11, 1998. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  22. ^ a b c d McLean et al. 2012, p. 491.
  23. ^ a b c d McLean et al. 2012, p. 492.
  24. ^ a b c d McLean et al. 2012, p. 493.
  25. ^ a b McLean et al. 2012, p. 494.

References[edit]

  • Shearman, Robert; Pearson, Lars (2009). Wanting to Believe: A Critical Guide to The X-Files, Millennium & The Lone Gunmen. Mad Norwegian Press. ISBN 097594469X. 
  • McLean, James; Henriksen, Lance; Spotnitz, Frank; Carter, Chris (2012). Chamberlain, Adam; Dixon, Brian A., eds. Back to Frank Black. Fourth Horseman Press. ISBN 0988392291. 

External links[edit]