Millennium (season 3)
|Millennium (season 3)|
Region 1 DVD cover
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Original release||October 2, 1998 – May 21, 1999|
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.
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". 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.
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." Fox backed down, and Scott got the role.
The season saw the introduction of Johannessen and Michael Duggan as executive producers; both had previously worked as writers on earlier seasons of the series. 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. 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. Ultimately, the season did not attract enough viewers, and the series was cancelled by the network.
- Brittany Tiplady as Jordan Black
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. 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, and Mae Middleton for Any Day Now in 2000. 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.
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", 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. 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.
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. 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]".
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|46||1||"The Innocents"||Thomas J. Wright||Michael Duggan||October 2, 1998||5.17[nb 1]|
|47||2||"Exegesis"||Ralph Hemecker||Chip Johannessen||October 9, 1998||4.47|
|48||3||"TEOTWAWKI"||Thomas J. Wright||Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz||October 16, 1998||4.77|
|49||4||"Closure"||Daniel Sackheim||Larry Andries||October 23, 1998||5.07|
|50||5||"...Thirteen Years Later"||Thomas J. Wright||Michael R. Perry||October 30, 1998||5.37|
|51||6||"Skull and Bones"||Paul Shapiro||Chip Johannessen & Ken Horton||November 6, 1998||5.07|
|52||7||"Through a Glass Darkly"||Thomas J. Wright||Patrick Harbinson||November 13, 1998||5.07|
|53||8||"Human Essence"||Thomas J. Wright||Michael Duggan||December 11, 1998||4.37|
|54||9||"Omertà"||Paul Shapiro||Michael R. Perry||December 18, 1998||4.77|
|55||10||"Borrowed Time"||Dwight Little||Chip Johannessen||January 15, 1999||5.27|
|56||11||"Collateral Damage"||Thomas J. Wright||Michael R. Perry||January 22, 1999||5.77|
|57||12||"The Sound of Snow"||Paul Shapiro||Patrick Harbinson||February 5, 1999||4.67|
|58||13||"Antipas"||Thomas J. Wright||Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz||February 12, 1999||4.57|
|59||14||"Matryoshka"||Arthur Forney||Erin Maher & Kay Reindl||February 19, 1999||4.57|
|60||15||"Forcing the End"||Thomas J. Wright||Marjorie David||March 19, 1999||4.08|
|61||16||"Saturn Dreaming of Mercury"||Paul Shapiro||Chip Johannessen & Jordan Hawley||April 9, 1999||4.17|
|62||17||"Darwin's Eye"||Ken Fink||Patrick Harbinson||April 16, 1999||3.68|
|63||18||"Bardo Thodol"||Thomas J. Wright||Chip Johannessen & Virginia Stock||April 23, 1999||3.78|
|64||19||"Seven and One"||Peter Markle||Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz||April 30, 1999||3.68|
|65||20||"Nostalgia"||Thomas J. Wright||Michael R. Perry||May 7, 1999||4.47|
|66||21||"Via Dolorosa"||Paul Shapiro||Marjorie David & Patrick Harbinson||May 14, 1999||4.97|
|67||22||"Goodbye to All That"||Thomas J. Wright||Ken Horton & Chip Johannessen||May 21, 1999||4.47|
- Each ratings point represented 994,000 households during the 1998–1999 television season.
- Owen, Rob (April 16, 1999). "Will 'Millennium' make it to 2000?". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- Tucker, Ken (September 11, 1998). "Fall TV Preview: Black Is Back". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- 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.
- Tucker, Ken (November 13, 1998). "Super Freaks". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- Millennium: The Complete First Season (booklet). David Nutter, et al. Fox.
- Millennium: The Complete Second Season (booklet). Thomas J. Wright, et al. Fox.
- "Hungarian Court Bans 'X-Files' From Prime-Time TV". The Buffalo News. June 16, 1999. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- 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.
- "HFPA – Awards Search – Millennium". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- "20th Annual Awards". Young Artist Foundation. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- "21st Annual Awards". Young Artist Foundation. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- "The ASC – Past ASC Awards". American Society of Cinematographers. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- Uhlich, Keith (September 9, 2005). "Millennium: The Complete Third Season". Slant. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- 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.
- Shearman & Pearson 2009, pp. 188–205.
- 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.
- "Two weeks, two victories for CBS". San Francisco Chronicle. October 7, 1998. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
- "Baseball battle is great new for NBC". San Francisco Chronicle. October 14, 1998. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
- McLean et al. 2012, p. 489.
- McLean et al. 2012, p. 490.
- "Ratings: NBC squeaks ahead of CBS". San Francisco Chronicle. November 11, 1998. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
- McLean et al. 2012, p. 491.
- McLean et al. 2012, p. 492.
- McLean et al. 2012, p. 493.
- McLean et al. 2012, p. 494.
- 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.
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