Season Three

Starring: Lance Henriksen
20th Century Fox
RRP 39.99
Certificate: 18
25 October 2004

Retired serial-profiler Frank Black has an uncanny and often unsettling ability to see into the twisted minds of serial killers. Black knows his "gift" can still be used to help protect and save others. For that reason he joined the mysterious Millennium Group, a team of underground ex-law enforcement experts dedicated to fighting against the ever-growing forces of evil and darkness in the world. However, he has managed to track the death of his wife back to the group, whom seem to be acting against humanities interests. Frank pulls away from the group, but can anyone ever really leave them?...

Chris Carter takes hold of the reigns once again (after leaving them in other hands for season two) for the third season of Millennium. Oddly enough, this season starts to worm it's way back to the X-Files style format. There is a heavier emphasis on paranormal episodes (most notably the episodes Omerta and Saturn Dreaming of Mercury) and the Millennium Group starts to take more of a back seat. While the Group's activities are occasionally mentioned, there seem to be fewer episodes that fully connected with them (Skull and Bones being the most obvious one).

As season three begins, Frank is putting his life back together after the Marburg virus has done its worse. He eases himself back into work and finds himself with a partner, Special Agent Emma Hollis (played wonderfully by the very beautiful Klea Scott).

My personal favourite episodes in this series are ...Thirteen Years Later and Saturn Dreaming of Mercury.

...Thirteen Years Later is a very clever take on the old horror B-movies. Frank is called in to investigate a murder on a film set of a movie that is being made based on a case he investigate 15 years previously. There are some great tongue-in-cheek moments including Frank sitting through numerous horror movies and working out how it all ends in a few seconds. This episode also features glam rock band Kiss - all of whom also appear throughout the episode as other characters.

Saturn Dreaming of Mercury has Frank's daughter, Jordan, acquire a new imaginary friend. As harmless as Frank at first thinks this is, he is soon called into the school when Jordan bites a new boy in her class. This episode is the only episode that has been carried by Jordan (Brittany Tiplady). If her acting was not up to the challenge, this whole episode would not have worked. However, Tiplady is a fantastic child actress and her scenes are incredibly convincing. This was also the only episode that made me jump - there is a particularly nasty graphic sequence where a monster appears and rips someone's (I won't spoil it for you) face off. The end of this episode also ties in with events at it's opening, which is really satisfying.

Other enjoyable episodes include:

Skull and Bones, the Millennium Group are hiding a pretty worrying secret.

Through a Glass, Darkly an episode about a convicted Pedophile. I doubt I'm spoiling anything here, but you know when the story shows a Pedophile in a good light from the start, that he's probably innocent.

Omerta, this seasons Christmas episode. When a gangster is shot in the woods, he is soon brought back to life by two women who live there. This certainly feels more like an X-Files episode than a Millennium one, but it works really well.

The Sound of Snow, which has white noise, included on cassette recordings, giving those listening to them hallucinations which force them to kill themselves. This episode has a moving conclusion as Frank appears to be able to get in touch with his wife. This episode also has a really nerve shattering scene where a truck hits a car.

Lucy Butler makes another return in Antipas. Although to be frank (no pun intended) I think she outstayed her welcome last season.

Sadly this season doesn't get to tie up any of the loose ends due to the fact that no one knew whether another series was in the offing when production closed on season three.

Notable guest stars this season include Stargate SG-1's Captain Carter (Amanda Tapping) in Borrowed Time and Colonel Maybourne (Tom McBeath) in Omerta; Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Spike (James Marsters) in Collateral Damage and Drusilla (Juliet Landau) in Forcing the End; and Roswell's Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr) appears again as a victim who is killed off in the first five minutes.

Extras include The X-Files's Millennium episode from season seven, Endgame: The Making of Millennium season three, and Between the Lines (another short featurette looking at the real life inspiration for Millennium, the Academy Group.

The X-Files episode is interesting, although it doesn't really add anything to the Frank Black story, and it certainly doesn't give closure to Millennium - well, apart from the fact that the world doesn't end on New Year's Eve 1999.

The Making of featurette is interesting. Chris Carter didn't sound as though he was impressed by the direction that the show had taken in the second season and he talked as though he had come back to help steer it back on course. Lance Henrikson makes a number of interesting observations on the decision to make the Millennium Group the bad guys in this season. A move he states is silly and changed this season for the worse.

If you already own seasons one and two then you'll already be thinking of buying this. It's a good, solid season but it really is a shame that Frank had to bow out just when everything was starting to build.

Ray Thomspson

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