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matta2k

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Everything posted by matta2k

  1. Self Promotion: You can hear me discussing "Beware of the Dog" at the end of this installment of Intro To X: http://www.introtox.com/episode-5x02-redux-part-2/ Cheers!
  2. It seems unlikely this hasn't been mentioned in the seventeen years since this episode aired, but I see no mention of this on http://millennium-thisiswhoweare.net's episode guide under "bloopers." Here we have the scene where Frank first encounters the dogs and uses a wooden pallet to escape. These two individuals are hiding in the background. I'm usually terrible at spotting mistakes like these, but as I watched this episode today it jumped out enough that I had to rewind.
  3. I received a request over Twitter to re-upload these pilots. New links: The Notorious 7: http://www.mirrorcreator.com/files/S5POV5VY/thenotoriouseven.avi_links The Wonder Cabinet: http://www.mirrorcreator.com/files/DS9QGJUO/wondercabinet.avi_links These links will give you the option to download from multiple file hosting sites.
  4. Of all the ouroboros pics, that one is my favorite design. I was thinking of taking it to a tattoo artist.
  5. There are plenty of ouroboroses... ourobori?... whatever out there, but I need a larger version of this particular design with the lines and the runes. Anyone? :)
  6. Now that I have a video capture card for my computer I can start backing up old VHS tapes. I came across two unsold pilots by Glen Morgan & James Wong. Of the two, The Notorious Seven is my favorite. It has a more interesting premise than The Wonder Cabinet, which is just an X-Files rip off. Although maybe over time TWC would have developed its own mythology to set it apart. Remember, these ARE captured from very old VHS tapes so don't expect great quality video. The Notorious Seven: http://www.multiupload.com/MEZHCTGJNR The City's underworld kingpin Dom Diablo (Ben Gazzara) assassinates his brother and frames his nephew, Eddie Alighieri (Justin Louis), for the crime. Incarcerated, Eddie plots with another prisoner (Roscoe Lee Browne) his escape and revenge against Dom Diablo and his uncle's henchmen, The Notorious Seven. Series is done in a flamboyant comic-book/noir style similar to Dick Tracy. The Wonder Cabinet: http://www.multiupload.com/CMH2QXCP6X Gordon Wayne (James Morrison) is a heart surgeon haunted by a past failure. Sarah Coleman (Poppy Montgomery) is a medical student who falls out of favor with her professors after challenging the medical establishment. Kevin Spitz (Currie Graham) is a neurosurgeon with shaky ethics. The three of them are hired by the mysterious Mr. Swissky (Kim Coates) to investigate biological anomalies and malformations for an institution called Der Wunderkammern, which believes that mankind's supposed improvements throughout this century have knocked nature out of balance...and that nature might start fighting back. -- IMDB
  7. News to me. ;) http://www.paperstreetprod.com/compendium/archives The search engine doesn't work, but the stories are still there.
  8. I would love to use the Millennium ouroboros as the background on my iPhone. Something hi res that looks sharp with the retina display. Anyone make one yet?
  9. I'm trying to buy a copy of season three, but in 2009 Fox repackaged the series in ultra-thin plastic cases and I can't find the original 2005 edition with the cardboard outer case. I don't want the repackaged version. I want the original that matches my seasons one and two. Could someone please tell me the UPC number of their set? It would help me on my quest. -- Matt
  10. I wrote this piece last summer (2008) as part of my plan to rewatch and review every episode. I only got as far as "Kingdom Come" before I was sidetracked by something, but this restrospective stands complete. I hope you enjoy. One of the most maligned series of the '90s (of all time?) was Fox's Millennium, the second series by The X-Files creator Chris Carter. It never gained more than a smallish cult following nor the respect of critics and awards committees like the Emmys. In fact, it was frequently trashed for being dark, dour, impenetrable, etc., and nobody was keen to accept star Lance Henriksen's weathered mug as a TV hero the way they did dapper David Duchovny. Meanwhile, behind the scenes machinations caused the series to undergo at least two major personality shifts, which network execs hoped would bring in new fans, but likely succeeded in only driving existing ones away. However, despite its problems, Millennium represents the very best of scripted television and it's surprising how ahead of the curve it was. Television programs like Criminal Minds and Supernatural, and films The Da Vinci Code, Zodiac, Untraceable, Urban Legend, and Into the Wild likely owe a debt to Millennium because Fox's dark horse treaded that ground first. And, in my opinion, best. Season One: In the pilot episode, a young man goes into a seedy strip joint and pays for a private viewing. As he watches the woman dance, he imagines her surrounded by flames, the walls dripping blood, and paraphrases Yeats: "I want to see you dance on the blood-dimmed tide." Later, a gay man is found buried alive in the woods with his mouth and eyes sewn shut and the stripper's head lying next to him a plastic bag. Yeah, it's that disturbing. A lot of Millennium's bad rep can be traced back to the pilot and the show's 'serial killer of the week' roots. No matter how far it strayed from these type of stories (and by the last episode, it was a good deal far) critics kept standalone outings like "Dead Letters," "Kingdom Come," "Wide Open," and "Weeds" (among others) at the forefront of their minds, not any of the supernatural or theological stuff that really drove the show. The premise of Millennium was that the uptick of crime could be traced to a kind of growing mania as we approached year two thousand. There was something in the water, and The Millennium Group, ex-FBI agents turned freelance consultants, are determined that this water doesn't reach its tipping point, i.e. some kind of apocalypse. Over the course of three seasons, the premise may have shifted, but the one constant remained our protagonist Frank Black, who loved his wife and loved his daughter, but had much difficulty keeping his demons at bay. Figurative ones and literal ones. Even as early as its second and fourth episodes, "Gehenna" and "The Judge," there were elements of the supernatural. In "The Judge," the titular character refers to himself as "Legion." One of many. The "character" returns in subsequent episodes in many guises, sometimes threatening Frank, sometimes tempting him. He/She/It promises Frank a peaceful life if he just sits this ballgame out. Sometimes it's tricky to separate the more grounded serial killer stories from the Legion appearances, because Millennium was very good at the subtle touch, but fans enjoyed pondering the question: Are the actions of so-and-so his own... or is he being pushed/manipulated by something external? Does Evil exist personified? Is it here? Can Frank Black stop it? The more grounded episodes aren't to be completely discounted. They provide psychological insights into sociopaths that recent crime dramas like to gloss over in favor of less interesting, though also less disturbing, avenues like forensics (CSI) and math (Numbers). "Blood Relatives" and "The Well-Worn Lock" are two examples that demonstrate the devastating repercussions of jealousy and control, murder and abuse. If only more television dared to be so real and discomforting and challenging. Season Two: Chris Carter checked out completely in year two and brought onboard X-Files writers Glen Morgan & James Wong. Morgan & Wong were responsible for a lot of The X-Files's most famous standalone episodes ("Squeeze," "Ice," and "Beyond the Sea" are three from the first season that immediately spring to mind). The duo brought a new perspective to the struggling series (struggling ratings-wise, not creatively) and elevated Millennium to its highest point, but also made some questionable/controversial decisions at the start. For example, sabotaging the relationship between Frank and his wife Catherine. Catherine's anger at Frank over the resolution of The Polaroid Stalker storyline felt misdirected, and their separation odd, considering just a few episodes prior she was encouraging Frank to go back to work and not deny his nature. Later, the decision to split the pair would lead to some intriguing confrontations and gave Catherine a bit of purpose (she was always a bit of a cipher in the first season) but Morgan & Wong's first big move was something of a slap in the face to viewers who saw Frank's marriage as the one beacon of hope in the whole of the series. Also out of nowhere, the sudden influx of "humor." Suits thought Millennium wasn't funny enough, but was it ever supposed to be? I'll grant that Darin Morgan's spoof of Scientology (called Selfosophy) "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense" was hysterical, and to a lesser degree, his later offering "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me" but "Beware of the Dog" was tragically unfunny and the new supporting character Brian Roedecker was basically Millennium's version of Jar Jar Binks. What the second season did right was ditch rain drenched Seattle and the often provocative, but sometimes tedious, criminal investigations for more exciting theology-based stories. The focus became The Millennium Group. It morphed from a loose organization of criminal profilers to a secret society of doomsday prognosticators. The mummified hand of Saint Sebastian became a holy relic coveted by The Group, as well as a piece of the crucifixion cross, each thought to provide some kind of advantage to whichever side held them during the end of days. The new season involved prophets ("19:19"), angels ("Midnight of the Century"), immaculate conception ("In Arcadia Ego") and other elements familiar to Christianity. Of course, Legion makes return appearances, first as an evil young girl ("Monster") then seductive temptress ("Siren") and naturally Lucy Butler, the favorite form of Frank's antagonist ("A Room With No View"). There were many highlights in the sophomore season and Morgan & Wong penned the majority, so they deserve the most credit for breathing new and interesting life into Millennium despite their shaky start. M&W's tenure ended with the two-parter "The Fourth Horseman"/"The Time Is Now" which involved The Marbug Virus, a nasty disease that caused infected to bleed through their skin. (In one charming scene, at a Mother's Day family dinner.) We learn that The Millennium Group knew about the virus and made enough vaccines for Group members, but not their families, and that means tragedy for Frank Black. Season Three: What do you do when your finale last season seemed to bring about the end of the world thanks to a virus of Stand-like proportions? Ignore it. Morgan & Wong departed. Chris Carter returned. Staff writer Chip Johannessen was promoted to executive producer, temporarily joined by newbie Michael Duggan. The three decided to move Frank from Seattle to Washington, D.C. and pretend that whole plague thing wasn't quite as bad as it seemed. Frank left The Millennium Group and rejoined the FBI. He was paired with a new partner, Emma Hollis, and butted heads with slimy agent Barry Baldwin and a dim bulbed bureau chief. Frank's purpose became set on exposing The Group as a dangerous cabal (a road that Morgan & Wong started the series down, it must be said) and saw conspiracies in every shadow. Detractors referred to this season as X-Files LITE, probably a bit unfairly. The Marbug Virus storyline resurfaced in "The Sound of Snow" and "Collateral Damage." "Skull and Bones" was an early episode involving an excavation of human remains that traced back to The Millennium Group's executions of dissident members. It tied nicely into the previous season's "The Hand of Saint Sebastian." Although The Group's latest incarnation (as antagonists) was judged unpopular, the producers often tied previous story elements to the show's new direction. Sometimes that didn't work. "Matryoshka" attempted to reconcile The Millennium Group's occult/religious history (dating at least as far back as 998 A.D.) with Hoover and the FBI (and the atomic experiments at Los Alamos) but the script underwent so many revisions as to render the episode mostly incomprehensible. "Bardo Thodol" tried to introduce Eastern philosophy (the title refers to the Tibetan Book of the Dead) and failed. Lucy Buttler returned yet again ("Antipas" and "Saturn Dreaming of Mercury") but subtly seemed to evaporate and Legion stories relied on silly horror clichés like gothic mansions, spooky dogs, and glass eyeballs that let sinister folk "remote view." Worse, a lot of the episodes simply stunk. They were not compelling either psychologically (season one) or philosophically (season two) but trite and ordinary. Probably the greatest sin of season three was ending the friendship/partnership between Frank and Peter Watts (the great Terry O'Quinn). Their relationship became irrevocably damaged by The Group's lies and half-truths, causing Frank turn self-destructively inward. Hard to watch, especially since his only ballast was Agent Hollis, a poor man's Dana Scully. Although there were still some standouts in season three, like the Emmy-worthy "Borrowed Time" that saw Frank pleading/screaming at God to save his daughter Jordan from an illness, much of the season was hit-and-miss. The series ended by returning to its origins with an unremarkable serial killer two-parter, but the very last scene is a touching moment between Frank and Jordan as they drove off into an uncertain, but hopeful future. Let's pray they found one.
  11. This is quite flattering. But I don't know how to add that scroll icon to my profile. -- Matt PS: I also wrote the FAQ. ;-)
  12. Talking Without Purpose left The Curse of Frank Black off their best Halloween eps list. Shameful! http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/telefile/2009/10/the-best-halloween-themed-tv-e.php
  13. I have both fan made soundtracks. Enjoy. Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions: A Tribute to Millennium by Monk and Void I. Pilot (The Frenchman) II. MillenniuM 3. Luminary Four. Paper Dove V. LEGION 6. Prophets (19:19) VII. Dancing Barefoot VIII. Through a Glass Darkly IX. Omerta ten. ZERO ZERO XI. Ascension Updated Download Link: m=1000 by Blithely Menace 01. Opening Theme 02. Midnight of the Century, Pt. 1 03. Frankly Speaking 04. One of Us 05. Dark Knights 06. Crusaders 07. Revelations 08. World Serpents 09. Jerusalem 10. Fire Brothers 11. Inside My Head 12. Midnight of the Century, Pt 2. 13. Closing Theme Updated Download Link:
  14. Morgan and Wong's SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND comes out on DVD Tuesday as a Best Buy exclusive. $20 off if you purchase FIREFLY, or any season of MILLENNIUM or THE X-FILES. Must be on the same receipt/order. You can purchase all items online at: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?ty...mcat69600050025
  15. Yeah, that artwork is pretty bad. I looked for some kind of feedback form or email address on the Fox Home Video website but couldn't find one. I found this one on the main Fox site. It's for feedback about their shows: askfox@foxinc.com This is what *I* wrote. (For those who care to know.) Dear Fox, please pass along this note to the proper dept.: Just saw the planned artwork for Millennium's third season: http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=3557 Jeez, that's TERRIBLE. Worse than the art for season two, which everyone agreed was very, very bad. (The masks from "A Single Blade Of Grass?"--an episode nobody liked, and was unrelated to the rest of the season.) C'mon, Fox: You ruined the box art for season two. You may as well take a short amount of time to come up with better art for season three. Do a poll on your website and let the fans vote for their favorite art (like Columbia TriStar did with their releases of Popular and Party Of Five). I guarantee: nobody will vote for the eyeball. My suggestion: Change the artwork from the eyeball to a skull, or mound of skulls (from the episode "Skull and Bones"), since that is a) better, spookier image and b) more appropriate to the season. It was at that point Frank and Emma understood the depths of the Millennium Group's corruption. (And use a gray color scheme, not that hideous blue.)
  16. Lafur was a member of the Millennium Group. He was killed by Helmut Gunsche at the beginning of "Owls." Gunsche killed The Old Man (R.G. Armstrong) in Frank's basement. At the end of "Roosters," The Elder (Philip Baker Hall) became The Old Man. The NEW Old Man, that is. The Inquisitor from "Luminary" was promoted to Elder by "Matryoshka." Pictures here: http://www.paperstreetprod.com/compendium/...ters/index.html
  17. The purpose of "Akuma Odori" was to establish Project Auonabara. This was our addition to the mythology, which concerned American and Japanese scientists who used stem cell research (see "Bardo Thodol") to create humans that could withstand nuclear radiation. I'll quote Eric Davis: "The Millennium Group had sought to create its own apocalypse in order to prove themselves correct. A nuclear holocaust seemed to be a highly-evident means of doing this. In order to affect the balance of such an end, the Group needed insurance against the outcome. Thus, they became involved in Auonabara. The noble forces of the Group sought this information strictly as a means to averting such a disaster, while the more nefarious faction of the Group (read: Mabius) sought to use it as a bargaining chip in the structuring of the apocalypse itself." And we said that Emma's father was part of Project Auonabara, which was why he was haunted by the images of palm trees. (Because the nuclear testing was done on an atoll somewhere in the pacific.) Maybe this isn't revealed until episode nineteen. It's been awhile since I've read any of the episodes. The Dark Suited Man? Again, I'll quote Eric: "He's simply a martyr of sorts. Shamed by the truth about his own involvement in Auonabara, he decided to infiltrate the compound being run by the present-day Millennium Group and their contacts the military and scientific communities." In other words, not Mabius. "Akuma Odori" and "In Adventu Dominae" were our attempt to tie together the mysteries in "Bardo Thodol," "Darwin's Eye" and the two-part season three finale. I think we did a good job creating the mythology, but our schedule didn't allow us much time to perfect the scripts so that the reader could understand what we were attempting to say. This is the summary of the virtual season finale: http://www.paperstreetprod.com/compendium/vs/bts/bts002.html Thanks for expressing an interest in our work! It's good to know that people still enjoy reading the scripts.
  18. Admits he's a fan of the series, but nonetheless terrific praise for season two. "Combined with Season 1, sitting through Millennium in this manner, straight through, is like watching the greatest, grandest 36-hour film ever conceived. Subplots and overriding philosophical underpinnings keep everything linked together, even if the connections seem suspect, at first. Very few series play better in retrospect. Their virtues as usually lauded the first time around, acknowledged when they first arrive. Millennium took the opposite approach. It wanted to make something timeless and complete. And they succeeded royally." http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=13926
  19. http://dvd.ign.com/articles/574/574206p1.html Last year, we had a little ballot box stuffing after a fan site for the show Millennium egged on its readers to vote in the Most Wanted category. The DVD boards were full of "What the hell…?" messages, asking how an obscure title like that could win. I could tell something was wrong because dozens of letters came in in just that category. When 100 letters come in only voting in one category, well duh, something is up. Let me make this clear: I don't care if hundreds of fans for a show or movie want to get out the vote for their favorite title, but vote in the other categories, too. If it happens again, lots of votes from a fan site in only one category, I will disqualify the votes.
  20. I was making screen caps of the Millennium DVD menus and I was shocked to see this. Disgusting. too. And right at his head too.
  21. I didn't realize that The Millennium Group was still active, or that they had gotten into the sports betting business, but I guess they had to *something* once they realized the world wasn't going to end...
  22. Interesting topic. Five years ago I had a marathon session with a friend from high school who had never seen the show. I screened him Lamentation, Powers, Midnight of the Century, Owls, Roosters, Anamnesis, The Fourth Horseman, and The Time Is Now. (And *maybe* Force Majeure and Jose Chung, but I can't quite remember. It was a long day at any rate.) His reaction was mixed. He could see the appeal, but I fear the subtlety of the Legion episodes was lost on him. He was confused on why I picked Midnight and Anamnesis. (In retrospect, I should have picked episodes that were immediately accessible, like The Mikado.) He liked the Marburg Virus stuff enough to watch the season three premiere privately. (I left my tapes with him. That's all the extra he watched.) In conclusion... conversion failed. I haven't spoken with him in years, but maybe he'll see Millennium on the shelf and consider buying it. Now, I'm going to try to convert my parents. My mother likes crime/forensic novels, CSI, Crossing Jordan, and surprisingly, The Dead Zone, so season one shouldn't be too tough a sell. My father will be less inclined to watch Millennium, particularly after viewing the pilot--he has a huge fear of being buried alive. I think I can convince him to stick with it, because he'd probably like season two. (He enjoyed The Da Vinci Code and now he's reading the copy of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, which I gave him.) They both know how important Millennium was to me, and it's not like there's anything else on TV in August that demands their attention. I've learned that the best way to get someone to invest time in something you like, is by offering them the same courtesy. In my dad's case, it's The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I'm going to begin reading it next week. ;D (Note: I might have them skip a few episodes. There's no reason why they need to watch Weeds or Loin Like a Hunting Flame, except to experience the lows of the show. Skip to the good stuff.)
  23. All the VS-related articles are archived here: http://www.paperstreetprod.com/compendium/vs/media/
  24. To prove that Millennium isn't as relentlessly harsh as critics (and narrow-minded DVD reviewers) would have you believe, cast your vote for the episode that makes you feel all warm and squishy inside--like there's hope admist all this frickin' chaos. 'Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense' doesn't count. That's funny, not uplifting. And while 'The Mikado' made me eternally grateful that I'd never have to see Brian Roedecker again, that still doesn't count. Your ten choices are: The Well Worn Lock (finally, the healing can begin!) The Wild and the Innocent (Maddie returns Angel to her foster parents and we all have a good cry) Midnight of the Century (happy family moments abound) Luminary (Frank + enlightenment = good episode) In Arcadia Ego (they had each other, and that was enough to withstand the toughest odds) Through a Glass, Darkly (and we all learned a valuable lesson about judging others) Omerta (are they nymphs? are they fairies? don't vote for this one) Borrowed Time (she's okay! Jordan's going to live!) The Sound of Snow (Frank gets closure re: Catherine, and we're all very grateful) Goodbye To All That (off into the sunset for a new beginning... awe)
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