While often amazingly dark and depressing, Millenium was also a great show. It still looks incredible for a tv budget over ten years later. While forever known as 'The X-Files spin-off' it was never really anything of the sort. While set within the same 'universe' it dealt with more human issues, with some paranormal subjects and conspiracies occasionally included.
Lance Henriksen was awesome and amazingly suited for this show, probably my favourite of every role he's ever been in and that's saying a lot. The rest of the cast - Megan Gallagher, Terry O'Quinn, Brittany Tiplady, Bill Smitrovich, etc. were always on top form and were great in their roles.
The show could be horrific, gory, unsettling and had an amazing sense of dread, but also great stories. Looking back it's a bit hard to believe how much the impending Millenium was hyped up from Nostradamus's predicitions to the Millenium bug (look it up kids!).
Like the X-Files in the first few years the arcs hadn't yet become so convoluted that there was still room for plenty of great stand-alone stories, while the arc episodes still had real weight and consequence to them. There really has not been a show quite as dark as this on tv before or since (though Dexter comes close).
Started with serial killers and monsters of the human kind and slowly trickled in some supernatural and particularly demonic threats. While ghosts and demons don't automatically have to mean Christian sensibilities (Supernatural is another show doing this), that this show took that path was never a negative in my mind (I'm not religious).
As Frank becomes more involved with the Millenium Group he comes to realize the Group is not just an observer, elements within are trying to shape events. While this adds a more 'X-Files' like conspiracy, having more Terry O'Quinn screentime is never a bad thing. As things spiral out of control we get the most amazing season finale, which forever changes the shape of the series and the world it portrays.
Except not quite. Chris Carter decided to retcon one of the boldest episodes of TV ever (I'm not kidding) and pretty much turns the show into the X-Files part two. This feels like a big let down and diminished the series considerably. It remained well written and looked great, but began meandering once the driving tension of the impending Millenium and what the groups were trying to do was lost.
The X-Files episode: "Millenium" - while an episode of the X-Files, this tried to serve as a finale of sorts to Millenium. It didn't do justice to either show and was a fairly muddled, low-key episode, the actual season 3 finale was much better. Fairly 'skippable' I have to say. If they were ever to do a Millenium film, I kind of hope they'd pretend this didn't happen.
Despite my disappointment that they didn't take season 3 further into the Millenium melt-down, it remains an great series.