Millennium (1996 series)

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Summary

"Wait. Worry. Who cares? The time is near. This is who we are. He sees what the killer sees; his curse is your salvation." A former FBI profiler with the ability to look inside the mind of a killer begins working for the mysterious Millennium Group.

Details

Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: TV-MA (Violence, Profanity, Adult Content)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

This series never makes any explicit connections to Lovecraft's fiction, though the apocalyptic themes (compare series slogan "the time is near" to "the stars are right"), the various doomsday cultists and killers, the secret society of supernatural investigators, and supernatural elements seem to be a natural fit for a modern take on Lovecraft (e.g., Delta Green).

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • (review needed)


Synopses of Suggested Episodes

Former FBI agent Frank Black tries to stem the tide of violent crime through psychological means. Even though he blames the mysterious Millennium Group, an organization of former law-enforcement officers dedicated to battling crime as the millennium approaches, for the death of his wife, he joins the group in their fight against a conspiracy of seemingly supernatural forces of evil.

  • TO DO


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • As a result of the regularly shifting executive producers who supervised its creative process and to keep the show interesting to viewers in the hopes of boosting ratings, each season of the series carries its own distinct style and unique elements. Creator Chris Carter oversaw production of the first season, which mainly focused on the more human side of violent crime with some strongly hinted supernatural elements. Writers/producers Glen Morgan and James Wong supervised the second season and proceeded to revamp the show considerably, emphasizing religious symbolism and expanding on the nature of the Millennium group while greatly enhancing the anxiety and fear of the coming Millennium. In the third and final season, they were replaced by writer Chip Johannessen; his season dropped the religious symbolism of season two and focused more on crime stories with an occasional science fiction angle and some episodes featuring the supernatural here and there.
  • Millennium was cancelled before the new millennium began, but Frank Black got to appear as a character in a 7th-season cross-over episode of The X-files (1993 series) to help tie up some loose ends from Millennium. The following X-Files episodes either cross over with Millennium or share similar themes:
    • Episode 2x13 "Irresistable" - Someone is excavating graves in Minneapolis, removing body parts from the corpses. Mulder and Scully are contacted because the agent on the case believes it is the work of aliens; however Mulder quickly dismisses the idea, profiling the perpetrator as a "death fetishist" (a term network standards & practices preferred to "necrophiliac"). Later key evidence shows up and Scully realises the case is more personal than she thought.
    • Episode 2x24 "Our Town" - Dudley, Arkansas, is the site of the latest investigation for Mulder and Scully, who are sent to find a missing poultry inspector. The case takes a twist when another poultry worker is shot after she goes insane, giving Mulder a hunch that the townsfolk really are what they eat.
    • Episode 3x11 "Revelations" - Mulder tracks a series of religiously motivated murders. Each of the eleven victims claims to have been stigmatic but all turned out to be frauds. When Mulder and Scully discover a little boy displaying inexplicable wounds of religious significance, they try to protect him from the killer they know will be coming.
    • Episode 3x14 "Grotesque" - Agents Mulder and Scully join Mulder's former mentor, the FBI's chief profiler, on a case involving a serial killer who claims to be possessed by a demonic force. The case gets even more mysterious when the suspect is apprehended and the murders continue. Mulder gets involved more deeply than expected and Scully as well as Skinner are deeply concerned.
    • Episode 3x20 "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" - When a couple claims to have been abducted by aliens, Agents Mulder and Scully try to get at the truth but everyone has a different version of the story, including the "aliens" themselves. (This is the same character that appears in the Season 2 Millennium episode "Jose Chung's Doomsday Device" - An apostate member of a pop religion is murdered, leading Frank to co-investigate with a flamboyant writer.)
    • Episode 4x04 "Unruhe" - Agents Mulder and Scully investigate a group of bizarre kidnappings in which the only clues are inexplicable photographs. But when Scully is the next intended victim, Mulder must get into the killer's head.
    • Episode 7x04 "Millennium" - An associate of the Millennium Group, which believes the apocalypse will happen on the new year of 2000, resurrects the dead for use in actively bringing about of a zombie apocalypse as a precursor to the End of Times, and Mulder and Scully have to ask the help of criminal profiler Frank Black, a man who has former experience with the shadowy group.


Associated Mythos Elements

  • TO DO
  • setting: Cthulhupunk
  • setting: Delta Green
  • setting: Pulp Cthulhu (see the optional rules on psychic abilities)
  • organization: Millennium Group, a secret society's front organization, which works as a think-tank or consulting group, lending expertise and advice to police departments, and recruiting members who have the potential for developing talents (such as "psychic" abilities) useful to the Group's cause
    • faction: Roosters, who believe that Armageddon and the strange events of the series are caused by supernatural beings and forces; this faction consists notably of prophets and doomsayers who wish to warn the public (or at least their leaders) of the impending Armageddon, to "wake up" the people to the wonders, dangers, and difficult work of a new "day", when the world's Master at last returns
    • faction: Owls who believe that Armageddon and the strange events of the series are caused by scientific, natural forces; this faction believes that it is still "night", and that the light and noise of science, knowledge, information, and the Roosters' message are dangerous and risk attracting the attention of dangers lurking in the darkness
    • "... Throughout history, the Millennium Group has had access to scientific breakthroughs that were banned, or withheld, by those in power at the time..... This enabled the Group to leap generations ahead of mainstream research. The Owls' claim is that six billion years ago, before the formation of the Earth, two neutron stars collided six billion light years away. This collision released cosmic rays, particles of such extreme energy, that the collision of these particles could transform the vacuum of space and cause a tear in the fabric of our universe. The Owls claims to have proof that this tear, this expanding cosmic bubble, will reach our solar system within the next sixty years, and a new universe, its properties calculated anywhere between apocalyptic and inconsequential, will be created...." - Lara Means, episode "Roosters"
  • character: "Lucy Butler" (a demonic shape-shifter)
  • race: Human Cultists, solitary killers, and occasionally "angelic" messengers and guardians; in the series, many of these characters seem to take the form of "walk-ins": people who have reached the extremity of despair to the point of dying spiritually, to be replaced by "walk-in" spirits from the Astral Plane who have ascended to levels of great mystical knowledge, power, and often inhuman corruption before entering human flesh
  • race: Serpent Men (episode 3x08 "Human Essence" - a tainted form of heroine causes its users to transform/devolve into an atavistic reptile form)


Keeper Notes

  • Millennium's original concept, a mysterious consulting group with some dark secrets assisting the police in violent and cult-related crimes with supernatural overtones, is a natural hook for many types of investigators to get involved in modern Call of Cthulhu RPG scenarios, and should also work well with Delta Green scenarios.
  • Note that Lovecraft did write several possession stories comparable to the stories in Millennium, involving possessions from the spirits of human wizards and witches and from alien beings. Though the show's stories seem on the surface to be of a traditionally (and non-Lovecraftian) good-vs.-evil nature, with human beings caught between a behind-the-scenes struggle between demons and angels, this need not be taken as anything other than the subjective beliefs of unreliable narrators for a Call of Cthulhu adaptation: both the "demonic" and "angelic" forces interfering in human lives can be regarded as completely amoral Lovecraftian aliens in conflict with each other and with humanity over "human resources" without changing the stories in any significant way.