Having never watched an episode of The X-Files, I went into my screening of Millennium - The Complete Third Season not knowing what to expect. As I am fan of films about FBI profilers (my favorite being the Will Graham character in Michael Mann’s Manhunter), I knew that I was going to enjoy seeing Lance Henriksen in a similar role. While at times I found Millennium - The Complete Third Season, to be a little too slick for me (more in a post production way, than in performance or content subject matter), it is just plain cool watching Lance Henriksen “chew the scenery” in this very meaty role. He is an actor with such an expressive face, that he could do nothing but just stare into the lens of the camera and you would see 100 different things happening.
As Frank Black, Henriksen plays a man who has lost his wife and is trying to protect his daughter, all while trying to expose the dangerous Millennium Taking the profiler model one step further, Black can enter a room and literally see what happened there. It is his ability “to see into the minds of killers,” that makes Black both an asset and a liability depending on which side you are on. I really love that Henriksen didn’t play this like a man with a wound on his sleeve. Smart, yet not unemotional, he was able to straddle both worlds so that his character obtained a depth and humanity that we don’t typically see in these kinds of roles.
”The X-Files” Season Seven Episode: “Millennium” and Audio Commentary on Selected Episodes
Truthfully, this X-Files episode bored me to tears. I am sorry, maybe the whole thing is over my head? Maybe I just came in a little bit late on all this stuff, but man oh man, I gotta tell you, I don’t remember the last time I was this tired when a show ended. These commentary tracks are on the episodes “The Innocents” (by Lance Henriksen and Klea Scott) and “Collateral Damage” (by Director Thomas J. Wright). Very interesting stuff here. I love hearing what the actors brought to the table to enhance their roles, and I think that Thomas J. Wright has some interesting takes on the show he helmed. Nothing too special here, but for the fans and the people who like to go a tad deeper, this stuff will really satisfy you.
”End Game: Making Millennium Season Three” and “Between the Lines” documentary
An interesting “Making Of” simply because most of the writers thought the show was done after the second season. Then it does return and they’ve got to get back into the head of Frank Black all over again. How they come up with these ideas and how they are able to do a show like this week in and week out, is really something that’s amazing. Granted, it’s not like they are moving refrigerators up and down 20 flights of stairs all day, but it’s still tough work. The “Between the Lines” documentary takes us inside the Academy Group. This was the most interesting featurette to me, simply because we get to hear firsthand accounts of people who really do the type of work that Frank Black does.
Anamorphic Widescreen. 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. As this show was the forerunner for a lot of other shows, I am sure that the look of this show took many of the viewers (and the network) by surprise. There is a crispness to these episodes that almost makes them too perfect. There is a lot of work done with light and images to add to this shows look and feel, and truthfully, while I admit it does create a sense of moodiness, I am not sure how needed it was. Just sticking Lance Henriksen in a room and watching him work is certainly enough to create certain emotions, but I am sure that the “creative” people behind the show probably wanted something more. A way to drive home points and ideas that were there in the subtext, and they felt would be better served on the surface.
Dolby Digital. English, French and Spanish Dolby surround. These disks are also captioned as well as subtitled in English and Spanish. My only real bone of contention is that the sound design for this show wore me out a little bit. I keep harping on it, but there is a slickness to the way that the lines were delivered that I really don’t like. It makes everything seem staged and not real. I know this isn’t real, I know I am watching TV and as such they can’t get too crazy with what they do with the sound, but I don’t want that either. I just want it to seem like the actors are acting without putting an almost Shakespearian amount of weight on every word. I do love the music used in this show, especially during the quick scenes when they show us a gun or some other information that relates to that particular episode.
This 6 disc set is housed in 6 slim cases that are all kept together by a vinyl, cardboard cover. I feel like I am holding a novel in my hand. While it is a little bit too big for my tastes, I think that for the subject matter that accompanies these DVDs this “bigness” is more than perfect. The cover is mixture of dark blue and black, with various artifacts that are germane to the show. The back cover features a great side photo of Lance Henriksen, a very well written description of the show, an extras listing and technical specs. There are various renderings on the cases of the 6 discs, all of which have been Photoshopped for maximum effect. The back of these covers feature episode titles, descriptions and technical specs. This is the kind of box set that stands out in your collection whether you want it to or not.
If you like shows that look into the minds of killers then Millennium - The Complete Third Season is for you. This show is dark so it’s not surprising that it’s run wasn’t as strong as it’s predecessor, The X-Files. I am sure that that show was dark too, but this show was something else. It really dealt with the cream of the crap in that department, and it’s funny, because you can see a lot about this show that has made it’s mark on a lot of the current shows on TV today. The way the shows today are shot, lit and especially the way the characters act. There is a stilted quality that while not something I am a fan of, it’s nice to see where it started.
Millennium - The Complete Third Season is 946 minutes of very intelligent TV done by one of the most intelligent creative teams in the history of the medium.