Millennium ran from 1996 to 1999 on Fox and it had a big impact on me and where I am today. The series was created by Chris Carter who of course also created The X-Files, it starred Lance Henriksen as Frank Black, a retired FBI profiler who now worked for a shadowy consulting firm call the Millennium group. The show dealt with the darkest of subject matter, rape, serial murder, cults, etc. The look of Millennium was even darker. It was always raining, dark, and almost devoid of any color. However the shining yellow bright beacon of the series was the “Yellow House” where Frank lived with his Wife and little girl, Jordan.
The show went through very radical changes from year to year due to Chris Carter being too busy with the X-Files movie and series to keep a watchful eye on what MillenniuM was doing. Year 2 saw lots of Religious end of the world type storylines and the Millennium Group turn into the bad guy of the series. By season 3 Frank was a conspiracy babbling loon not dissimilar to Fox Mulder. However even with its uneven myth arcs the series always took a no compromises take on their dark story lines. Unlike today’s modern crime shows, there was little humor to be found on Millennium. Frank didn’t crack wise or make jokes about the murders. There was never a flashy crime scene investigation, and the killers were rarely anything but the dark, ugly twisted people you’d expect them to be. No charismatic pretty boys in this bunch.
In many ways MillenniuM was ahead of its time. It shocked people with its graphic display of violence and was relentless with its bleak look and stories. Today shows like Supernatural and many crime dramas draw heavily on MillenniuM for their look and production value. The show was a mini horror movie every week.
So why am I so interested in this MillenniuM, A show that’s been off the air now for 10 years? I graduated High School in ’96 and that summer I started seeing these quick flashy promos for Millennium on Fox. From the moment I saw the quick cuts, the dark look, and that oh soo creepy tag line “Wait, Worry, You can’t stop it.” I was hooked. The first year of the series had a marketing campaign that really grabbed me. For some reason Millennium re-awakened something creative inside me and it set me firmly on the path to where I am today. Because of MillenniuM I started to revisit my dark artistic passions in new ways and changed my major in College. I started making my own “Fan art” and delved into Digital art which was still pretty much in its infancy in 1996. I credit MillennuM for starting me on my way.
It’s really hard to pinpoint what it was exactly that so captured my imagination. Millennium was unlike anything else on TV and its marketing materials spoke to me like nothing before or since. I still to this day have a Pilot Episode Poster hanging on the wall of my office. If you’ve never seen the series I recommend finding it on DVD or watching it on Chiller TV. The first season in particular is very much worth seeking out.