Millennium

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

6
Aired Friday 9:00 PM Oct 25, 1996 on FOX
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
97 votes
11

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Episode Summary

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Pilot
AIRED:
Frank Black a retired police consultant, who once worked for the FBI has just returned to his hometown with his wife and daughter. He decides to offer his support in a case and is given resources by a mysterious organization called the Millennium Group. Frank must catch the murderer with his ability to see out of the eyes of the killers. But this case draws him back into a world which he was trying to escape. But will Frank be able to save the latest victim in time before it is too late?moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The first of the Millennium series by the creater of The X Files this show had a great mistery about this guy obsessed with killing these strippers or something like that great actors and actresses were picked for this show.moreless

    10
    Millennium is a great dark series about a man Frank Black his wife Catherelene and his daughter Jordan Frank is a psychic he can see into the mind of the killers his daugher is also psychic i love shows that have people with powers the start of the show was great but season 3 kept geting poor still season 3 episodes were great this show is a great sci fi series that should always be remembered by people who loved it the show ended in 1999 with the season finale of season 3 this show should have lasted longer but every show has to end sometime.moreless
  • Frank Black a former FBI Agent and Seattle Homicide Detective returns to Seattle with his wife and daughter to retire. He is now working as a consultant for the Millennium Group which investigates incidents of serial killers and their practices.moreless

    9.0
    Frank has a special gift to see through the eyes of the killer. It is something that haunts and drives him at the same time. He has returned to Seattle with his wife and daughter to escape the life he led with the FBI task force. He is known as the man who brought down one of the most famous serial killers ever. Unfortunately either a copy-cat or the same man is haunting him with Polaroid pictures of his wife and child which was the MO of the famous killer.



    No sooner does his family get settled but he gets a case of a murdered dancer and his search is on for the killer. Working with his friend Jack who is the head of Seattle Homicide, Frank consults on the case. When the police tips and clues they put together point toward an African American suspect Frank gives them a Caucasian suspect in his early 30's. At one point Frank almost chases down the perpetrator.



    Basically this killer is bringing about the Apocalypse by following the signs of Revelations and different works of poets and Nostradamus. He is picking people based on certain criteria then doing blood tests to decide who will die. While waiting for the results he buries them alive until the time is right to kill them.



    Frank pieces all of this together and with the manpower of the Seattle Police Force they save at least one victim. In the end the killer is a Pathologist working down in the basement at the Medical Coroners office. Frank's friend Jack shoots him dead just as he is about to stab Frank. As the episode ends he receives an envelope without a return address at his new home in Seattle. In it are Polaroids of his wife and daughter taken in Seattle.



    Very good Pilot episode and an interesting twist of character from Chris Carter of X-Files fame.



    Thanks for reading...moreless
  • "I become capability. I become the horror - what we know we can become only in our heart of darkness. It's my gift. It's my curse. That's why I retired."

    10
    Chris Carter put together an exciting, well-written pilot episode for Millennium. The first scene we get with Frank is quite happy, and I immediately liked him. He is protective of his family, and loyal to the job, while keeping a clinical detachment from the cases. He refuses to see two of the bodies because he's already seen them in his visions -- but the unspoken reason behind it is he doesn't want to relive what he saw within the killer's head. If he is in pain, he doesn't show it. But I get the sense that while he has a strong will to do his work, Frank does not relish the visions he receives. They are a curse, as he states.



    There is so much good dialogue in this episode that I don't want to quote it all -- but the "make believe" scene with Katherine on the bed and the monologue in front of the Seattle PD are among the strongest in the series.



    A few interesting notes from interviews (I'm paraphrasing). On the DVD special features, Lance Henriksen talked about his speech during this episode in front of the Seattle Police Department, concerning his profile. At first, he did the monologue with a lot of emotion; but Chris Carter got him to act more matter-of-fact and deadpan. The result was really the birth of Frank Black's true character -- an experienced profiler who by necessity remains emotionally detached.



    If you're just starting to watch the show, congratulations -- nearly every episode in the first season is a real treat.moreless
  • Welcome to the End of the World...

    9.3
    Before recently buying the DVD, I knew nothing about Millennium. All I knew was that it was considered a more violent, darker and all-round nastier sister series to The X Files. Judging from this pilot, it could even be better...



    The pilot episode sees former FBI profiler Frank Black moving to Seattle with his wife and daughter. There he realizes that he can't escape his past. Getting back into investigative work, his latest case involving a psychotic man who has brutally murdered a peep show performer and is going on a murderous rampage, targeting strip clubs and gay hang-outs.



    Lance Henriksen is excellent as Frank Black. His deep voice and aged face show signs of a man with an intriguing past and he's essentially the best thing about Millennium. He fits the show perfectly and immediately intrigues the audience with his bizarre ability of knowing exactly what happened to murder victims and why killers target certain people. He certainly knows his stuff.



    Paul Dillon is remarkable as the killer-of-the-week, the sinister Frenchman. Despite being deeply psychotic (sewing together eyelids and mouths, burying people alive with bagged-up severed heads), his apocalyptic outbursts and creepy ties to the end of the world make his character extremely calculating and I hope he reprises his role at some other point down the line.



    I was initially worried about how Catherine and Jordan Black would fit into the series but the closing revelation that Catherine is still being stalked by a mysterious man who takes polaroids of his intended victims promises that she'll be a major player in Millennium.



    This is an excellent pilot episode which immediately draws you into the series. With an catchy soundtrack, striking visuals (the fire and blood behind the striptease in the teaser) and scene-stealing performances from Henriksen and Lost's Terry O'Quinn, this is an all-round awesome start to the series.



    Director: David Nutter

    Writer: Chris Carter

    Rating: Amoreless
  • The dark beginning of one of the best shows FOX has ever aired.

    10
    "Millennium" is quite possibly one of the darkest series to air on network television. It's a disturbing, humourless journey into the heart of darkness, and it's utterly fascinating, although definitely not for everyone. For me, "Millennium" is a stronger show than Chris Carter's most famous show, "The X-Files", and when comparing the two pilots "Millennium" has the better one by a landslide.



    The pilot episode introduces us to Frank Black (played by Lance Henrikson), who is moving his wife and daughter to Seattle - his hometown - to get away from life in Washington, where he worked as a criminal profiler. However, shortly after arriving in Seattle, the police ask Frank for help with a case, involving a serial killer who cruises strip clubs and gay hangouts, killing those he deems unclean in preparation for the pending Apocalypse.



    This pilot is one of the best-crafted pilots I've seen, at least pre-2004. Most pilots are so-so, but this pilot is one of the best episodes of the show. It features excellent writing and acting and editing and is completely engaging. This was an underappreciated show and deserved to run longer than its short three seasons, but on FOX Fridays, this show was very lucky. And it's worth checking out now that it's available on DVD.moreless
Paul Dillon

Paul Dillon

The Frenchman

Guest Star

Stephen E. Miller

Stephen E. Miller

Det. Roger Kamm

Guest Star

Kate Luyben

Kate Luyben

Tuesday

Guest Star

Terry O'Quinn

Terry O'Quinn

Peter Watts

Recurring Role

Stephen J. Lang

Stephen J. Lang

Det. Bob Geibelhouse

Recurring Role

Bill Smitrovich

Bill Smitrovich

Lt. Bob Bletcher

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Frank: The killer is confused about his sexuality. He feels guilt, quite possibly from his mother. So he goes to peep shows to try to feel something toward women but all he feels is anger - anger that fuels his psychosis, that distorts and twists his view of reality.
      Geibelhouse: Twists it to fit some screwy French poetry?
      Frank: The killer doesn't see the world like everyone else.
      Bletcher: How does he see it?
      Frank: Differently.
      Geibelhouse: Wait a second. You say this guy is angry at women, that he cruises boys but then he kills this John Doe we found burned in the forest. How does that work?
      Frank: He's very confused.
      Geibelhouse: Undoubtedly.
      Frank: His way of dealing with it is by fulfilling a prophecy.
      Geibelhouse: I don't buy it.
      Kamm: Uh, it's a good story but I've got to agree. Evidence just doesn't support it.

    • Frenchman: They don't ask who takes responsibility! This is prophecy! The final judgment and victory! This is the way it ends! But you know that. You can see it -- just like I do. You know the end is coming!... The thousand years is over!... But you think you're the one to stop it! You think it can be stopped!

    • Frank: I was approached by a group of men who helped me understand the nature of my facility... my gift.
      Bletcher: This Millennium Group. They really believe all that stuff? Nostradamus and Revelations? The destruction of the world?
      Frank: They believe we can't just sit back and hope for a happy ending.

    • Frank: I see what the killer sees.
      Bletcher: What, like a psychic?
      Frank: No. I put myself in his head. I become the thing we fear the most.
      Bletcher: How?
      Frank: I become capability. I become the horror-- what we know we can become only in our heart of darkness. It's my gift. It's my curse. That's why I retired.

    • Catherine: I can handle imposition, Frank. What I can't handle is secrecy.
      Frank: I don't keep secrets, Catherine. I'll tell you anything you want.
      Catherine: You think you're protecting me but you make it worse, Frank. You can't shut the world out for me. You can't ask me to pretend that I don't know what you do.
      Frank: Everyone pretends. We all make believe. These men I help catch... make us.
      Catherine: We're raising a daughter, Frank. The real world starts to seep in. You can't stop it.

    • Geibelhouse: You're the guy that caught the guy... the serial murderer who ate his victims. What's his name... Piggett?
      Frank: Leon Cole Piggett.
      Geibelhouse: I was always curious, how'd he prepare them?
      Frank: In a skillet... with potatoes and onions.

    • Calamity: Tell me what you want.
      Frenchman: I want to see you dance on the blood-dimmed tide.

  • NOTES (12)

    • Series creator Chris Carter first got the idea for this series when he was writing The X-Files season 2 episode "Irresistible."

    • The Fox Network first wanted to cast William Hurt in the role of Frank Black.

    • Frank Black takes his surname from series creator Chris Carter's own family history. At one point in history Carter's family changed their surname from Black to Carter.

    • Millennium won the People's Choice Award for Favorite New Television Drama Series in its inaugural season.

    • Pete Wunstorf was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in a Pilot by the American Society of Cinematographers.

    • The premiere of Millennium on Fox was a record breaking ratings success, garnering the highest ratings in the network's history for a drama series debut, thanks primarily to a relentless advertising campaign. Over 17 million viewers were watching on October 25, 1996 as the series aired for the first time.

    • The working title of "Millennium" was "2000".

    • The Black's Yellow House in this episode is different from the Yellow House in the rest of the series. The owners of the original house changed their minds about working with the producer between the time the pilot was shot and series filming began.

    • The actor playing Detective Pete Norton is uncredited.

    • Stephen E. Miller who plays Detective Roger Kamm in this episode would later appear in a recurring role in the third season as FBI Assistant Director Andrew McLaren.

    • In 1997, Elizabeth Hand wrote a novelization of this episode that was published under the title The Frenchman. This title serves as the "unofficial" title for the pilot in syndication.

    • This episode features the songs "Head Like a Hole" and "Piggy" by Nine Inch Nails, "More Human Than Human" by White Zombie, "Roads" by Portishead, and "In the Hands of Death" by Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper.

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • The Frenchman: ...The great plague in the maritime city...

      As Frank notes, the Frenchman is referring to the work of Nostradamus, a 16th-century poet and seer. The Frenchman quotes Centurie 2 Quatrain 53 (i.e, C2Q53): "The great plague of the maritime city will not cease until there be avenged the death of the just blood, condemned for a price without crime, of the great lady unwronged by pretense."

    • The Frenchman: This is the second death. The abominable and the fornicators. This is the second death. You'll have your part in the lake. The great plague in the maritime city. You'll have your part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.
      As Frank notes, the Frenchman refers to The Bible. Most likely Revelation 21:8, "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." The Frenchman might also be referring to Revelation 20:14-14, "The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death."

    • The Frenchman: I want to see you dance on the blood-dimmed tide. Where the ceremony of innocence is drowned.
      As Frank notes, the Frenchman quotes a William Butler Yeats poem called "The Second Coming": "...The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere/ The ceremony of innocence is drowned;/ The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity."

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