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THE LEGACY OF FRANK BLACK?

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Chris Carters X-Files is often cited as a major influence in shows that came afterwards, at least stylistically if not in content. Babylon 5 and Buffy can also be added to that list, and I'm sure Lost will be equally seen as a milestone in TV. But recently I've come to realise just how much Frank Black and Millennium is also the father of many police procedural/profile/psychic detective shows: DEAD ZONE, MEDIUM, NUMB3RS, PROFILER, CRIMINAL MINDS, CSI, the new show RAINES with Jeff Goldblum who interacts with hallucinations of the dead victims to solve crimes. True, the psychic detective is an archetype, but it makes me wonder why these succeed and still are being created while Frank Black remains off our screens.

My thought is this: one of the things which makes MILLENNIUM stand out besides the great writing and acting, is the end of days element, the sense of impending millennial doom. With the turn of the century past, could Frank Black emerge from the wilderness in 2006/2007 and retain that sense of originality and urgency without just appearing to be another "psychic" detective?

If the film ever gets made, Carter will have to address this; while to me Frank Black was never a psychic but rather a highly intuitive profiler, and his main motivation was to protect his family, could a new film/series move beyond the serial killer of the week trap, beyond the Group being evil, and still maintain that Millenniumistic quality?

Baz

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Guest SouthernCelt
Chris Carters X-Files is often cited as a major influence in shows that came afterwards, at least stylistically if not in content. Babylon 5 and Buffy can also be added to that list, and I'm sure Lost will be equally seen as a milestone in TV. But recently I've come to realise just how much Frank Black and Millennium is also the father of many police procedural/profile/psychic detective shows: DEAD ZONE, MEDIUM, NUMB3RS, PROFILER, CRIMINAL MINDS, CSI, the new show RAINES with Jeff Goldblum who interacts with hallucinations of the dead victims to solve crimes. True, the psychic detective is an archetype, but it makes me wonder why these succeed and still are being created while Frank Black remains off our screens.

My thought is this: one of the things which makes MILLENNIUM stand out besides the great writing and acting, is the end of days element, the sense of impending millennial doom. With the turn of the century past, could Frank Black emerge from the wilderness in 2006/2007 and retain that sense of originality and urgency without just appearing to be another "psychic" detective?

If the film ever gets made, Carter will have to address this; while to me Frank Black was never a psychic but rather a highly intuitive profiler, and his main motivation was to protect his family, could a new film/series move beyond the serial killer of the week trap, beyond the Group being evil, and still maintain that Millenniumistic quality?

Baz

If a revival of the show, whether movie or series, were to come along (we can only pray for that one day!), I think how Frank's gift would be perceived without the end-of-days and MM group aspects would be in the eye of the beholder. Fans of the original series would likely see him in much the same light as they originally did (in Season 1 primarily) and newbies would likely see him as a profiler with a high sensitivity.

I have to believe, though, that Frank was more than just a 'psychic detective' in the original MM because of the episodes involving Legion and the dark forces of evil that were constantly bedeviling (pardon the pun) him. If that aspect of his 'gift' was a basis for a revival production, it would go a long way toward preventing him being seen as just another 'psychic' seeing ghosts of the recently deceased and other lingering spirt forms.

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If a revival of the show, whether movie or series, were to come along (we can only pray for that one day!), I think how Frank's gift would be perceived without the end-of-days and MM group aspects would be in the eye of the beholder. Fans of the original series would likely see him in much the same light as they originally did (in Season 1 primarily) and newbies would likely see him as a profiler with a high sensitivity.

I have to believe, though, that Frank was more than just a 'psychic detective' in the original MM because of the episodes involving Legion and the dark forces of evil that were constantly bedeviling (pardon the pun) him. If that aspect of his 'gift' was a basis for a revival production, it would go a long way toward preventing him being seen as just another 'psychic' seeing ghosts of the recently deceased and other lingering spirt forms.

Good point SC - the only problem with a revival (dont hold your breath) is that origionally MillenniuM was made at a very special time in our history. The unpredictability of the new millennium, the Y2K issues, etc, put a large number of people on edge. The show struck a chord with the dissonance that resonated from the fear, anxiety of the year 2000...what would it bring?, etc...

Today, talk about having to walk a fine line..the essence of the show is now 6 years behind us, so the focus would have to be, as you say, his struggle with evil and the abilities that his "gift" brings.

However, take a moment to consider the Pandora's box of issues you would have to address..

1. The Group - do you bring the conflicts back or just blow it off in lieu of focusing on Frank's gift.

2. What about the others who were heavily involved in the origional? Peter? Laura? and last but certainly not least, Jordan?

3. MOST IMPORTANT TO ME - if the revival focuses on Frank's struggle with evil, then obviously you MUST BRING LUCY BUTLER BACK!!!!!!.....

I think there are far too many issues that would have to be addressed in order for it to work for ALL MillenniuM fans...the exclusion of the group would not be welcomed by many, etc...

in closing, the choices are limited...fight a physical manifestation of evil, the serial killer, etc, week after week, or fight the concept of evil, Legion, Lucy Butler, whose meaning take on a far deeper meaning the the superficial skeleton of a spree, serial, or mass murderer....

i dont know if i have made myself very clear, i am beyond exhaustion, but Southern Celt keeps posting stuff i find interesting....STOP IT.... :kickin:

just my 2 cents...

4th Horseman...

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At this point in time I think if at all, a movie would be more likely (but as advised I won't be holding my breath :) )

I've thought about it a lot recently, and agree that Lucy Butler is Millennium's Khan to Captain Kirk, a character who is proven to be Franks equal and nemesis.

I don't think you could have a Millennium movie without the Group, though there are several inconsistancies in the series that would have to be sorted out (ie the dreadful X-Files crossover).

You would of course have to make it accessible to an audience, the vast majority of which will have never seen an episode of the series, and will want something different than your usual psychic detective fare.

Jordan, Peter Watts, Lucy Butler, and I'd say even Catherine (despite being dead) should all be involved.

So, heres some of my suggestions to a potential background:

Frank Black now lives in Quantico, Virginia, with his daughter Jordan, now 18, under the name, Frank Marx (after David Marx, the name of his childhood friend who died). Frank writes articles on old cases under a third pen-name, Richard Gilbert (after his dead FBI friend) and supplies teaching assistance in the Behavioural Analysis Unit at the FBI Academy, but doesn’t take part in active cases. His ‘visions’ have since subsided and he prefers them that way, for his own mental state and the safety of his daughter.

The Millennium Group has fragmented (ignoring the events of the X Files episode). The vast majority of the members who weren’t involved with civil war between the Owls and Roosters, have joined other consultancies and try to put the association behind them.

Peter Watts was presumed killed at the end of Season Three but actually went missing, the body found at his house was that of the hit-man who killed his wife and daughters.

Doug Scaife, an analyst for the FBI has moved up the ranks in recent years and once a trusted associate of Franks, becomes deputy director and meets with Frank to reenage him with new cases, to which he refuses. Scaife is the only one who knows Frank's location in Quantico.

Lara Means, last seen in a mental ward after being told revelations by the Group, has since recovered and been released, and apparently, with her gift if seeing angels removed. She comes to realise the group was corrupted by the same evil it hoped to defeat, and that it was its over interpretation of mystical signs and portents which led them to that corruption. She feels the need to somehow restore the Group's reputation and resources, as the destruction of the Group was exactly what the 'forces of evil' wanted. Through Scaife, she tracks Frank down.

Lucy Butler, also known as Legion, was considered Franks recurring nemesis and equal in the show and represents the ambiguity between the supernatural source of evil and the evil produced by a “cold heart and a weak mind”. Therefore it is only right that Frank be confronted by that evil once more. Whereas before, elements of a supernatural evil who know Franks gift have appeared to indirectly to try to influence Frank, to either misdirect or to recruit him, Lucy Butler would now try to get to him directly, through his daughter.

In terms of plot, it would be established that Frank was part of the Group that was corrupted by cultists, but the work he and others did was worthwhile, and needed again. While police and intelligence work in the 21st century focuses on terrorism, law enforcement find it difficult to allocate sufficent resources to serial crimes and consultancy groups are in increasing demand. If we are to assume that Lucy Butler is acting for the forces of evil, she will try to disrupt these consultants, and eventually find her way to the remnants of the Millennium Group. It would be easy to have a simple whodunnit plot with former agents getting killed off by Butler or her associates, but I think theres a more personal story to be told with Frank.

Lara could track Frank down shortly after he starts having visions again, and somehow shows him that his abstinance from actively engaging in solving crimes has tipped the scales in favour of the evil; that though he may be trying to spare his daughter from 'the bad men', he is putting her in more danger. A danger that could be proved when Jordan herself starts having visions and goes missing.

I think restoring the friendship between Peter Watts and Frank is also integral. The Group seemed to approach potential members in moments of great personal weakness. Peter, now free from the cult propaganda and having lost his family will be trying to put his life back together and would be trying to find Frank himself to explain what happened.

Rather than the focus on impending millennial doom, or on a simple supernatural/serial killer of the week plot device, I think a potential film would need to concentrate on the core idea of a man trying to protect his family from the evil he knows is waiting outside his door, and his friends who owe him a debt to help him.

Look forward to all your thoughts.

baz

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Peter Watts was presumed killed at the end of Season Three but actually went missing, the body found at his house was that of the hit-man who killed his wife and daughters.

EC - (hope you dont mind me calling you that) - WOW...what a post, you have really and truely given this a lot of thought. What a great group of ideas you have come up with...Glad to see we agree on the Lucy Butler issue, and more importantly the false premise that Peter was killed in GTAT...

We have been privy, over the course of a year or two with sporadic interviews done from both Carter and Henriksen. Both have expressed an interest in re-newing MillenniuM, whether it be in movie or series format. My question is, WHY HASNT IT HAPPENED YET? Are both, or one talking out of the sides of their mouths regarding their interest? With all of the pull that Carter/Henriksen have in the hallowed halls of Hollywood, it is only logical that they could have twisted a few arms by now, if not with the major labels, at least with a less, unknown, but willing to take the risk studio...Yet here we all sit, treading water until the next interview gives us renewed hope....

as Hannibal Lecter said at the end of "The Silence of The Lambs" - "I do wish we could chat longer, but I'm having an old friend for dinner"....it would be great to see a renewed revival of Lucy's attempts to get at Frank, and as you say, possibly involving Jordan would then fulfill her warning at the end of Antipas.."Your daughter, Jordan, you arent afraid, for her??"

So much to anticipate, yet, so long our wait, and i dont think that, in a realistic sense, that we will see any movement soon..if at all...

4th Horseman...

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Guest Frank L.

Frank Black wasn't a psychic, though. Maybe it can be best explained with his monologue from the Pilot. Take everything literally:

"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."

He has evil inside him and he knows how to adress it and that way he 'becomes capability'. He gets inside the mind of the killer and knows what they're thinking.

I think your ideas are really good. I agree, if there ever will be another movie, it shouldn't be just about either the MM Group or a serial killer. What was so good about the best episodes of MillenniuM? Ofcourse, the plot, direction, music, actors.., but most importantly, the characters. Frank Black is one of the best characters ever created. That's what needs to come forward in a new movie. He carries a huge burden, he's a scarred man.

When talking about a new movie, without the millenniumistic happenings, can we still say it's a "MillenniuM movie"?

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Frank Black wasn't a psychic, though. Maybe it can be best explained with his monologue from the Pilot. Take everything literally:

"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."

He has evil inside him and he knows how to adress it and that way he 'becomes capability'. He gets inside the mind of the killer and knows what they're thinking.

I think your ideas are really good. I agree, if there ever will be another movie, it shouldn't be just about either the MM Group or a serial killer. What was so good about the best episodes of MillenniuM? Ofcourse, the plot, direction, music, actors.., but most importantly, the characters. Frank Black is one of the best characters ever created. That's what needs to come forward in a new movie. He carries a huge burden, he's a scarred man.

When talking about a new movie, without the millenniumistic happenings, can we still say it's a "MillenniuM movie"?

Frank...i dont recall where either i nor Enginecomics claimed Frank was a "psychic"...MOST people who watch casually or have only heard of MillenniuM take that particular point of view, but once one understands the dynamics of what the show is about, it becomes more of a, like i said, "sensitivity" issue...Frank is privy to happenings, (Powers, Principalities, Thrones, and Dominions in particular) that the average everyday functionary is not aware of...

"You did'nt shoot Pepper, at least i didnt see it that way" - Frank

"You have a unique perspective" - Sammiel....

i would never say Frank was psychic, in fact, in the interviews it seems that it was a constant battle to establish the opposite....

4th Horseman...

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Frank Black wasn't a psychic, though. Maybe it can be best explained with his monologue from the Pilot. Take everything literally:

"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."

He has evil inside him and he knows how to adress it and that way he 'becomes capability'. He gets inside the mind of the killer and knows what they're thinking.

I think your ideas are really good. I agree, if there ever will be another movie, it shouldn't be just about either the MM Group or a serial killer. What was so good about the best episodes of MillenniuM? Ofcourse, the plot, direction, music, actors.., but most importantly, the characters. Frank Black is one of the best characters ever created. That's what needs to come forward in a new movie. He carries a huge burden, he's a scarred man.

When talking about a new movie, without the millenniumistic happenings, can we still say it's a "MillenniuM movie"?

Hi Frank and 4th Horseman,

Thnaks for the feedback and glad you liked the ideas.

There's a few things in my mind when I think about Frank Black in this post millennial context: the phrase "Evil flourishes while good men do nothing" is one at the heart of Frank, the idea of not sitting back and hoping for a happy ending. This idaelistic notion in fighting evil in the world, no matter how we might like to live by that maxim, is tempered by the fear of retaliation, of evil coming into your own home, just as it did first in Lamentation, as a stark warning to Frank.

In a potential film, this theme would carry through it, a theme that anyone living in a neighbourhood with a drug problem, or sees violence in the street, or anyone with a child, will immediately relate to.

To apply that to Frank, we simply have a father trying to protect his daughter, that will never change, but a daughter who from an early age has already exhibited an insight (a sensitivity, rather than psychic ability) similar to his own. He has seen and experienced first hand what that does to someone, but he can't protect her from it. Its completely plausable that other forces will want to exploit that gift. If they can't get to Frank, they can get to her: playing on her innocence, on her grief of losing her mother due to her fathers involvment with the Group, of her fear of losing her own mind. I imagine Lucy Butler would know all the right words to drive a wedge between father and daughter.

Although we no longer have the year 2000/2001 as a end date, we do have several other apocalyptic dates to choose from, such as 2012. There are countless cults in the world, political and religious groups, fundamentalists, interpretations of suspected doomsday codes in Bibles and the quantrains of Nostradamus to lend litigitmacy to their actions. The internet, more so now than ever before (if briefly touched upon in The Mikado) has the potential of spreading both unspeakable evil and limitless good.

If anything, theres TOO much to choose from in terms of a Millennialistic threat, its more a case of making it personal to Frank and different enough to whats already on TV. It could be said that as the world changed on 9/11, the old world ended, and a new one began, as it did at the beginning of WW1 and WW2. What that new world holds for Frank and his daughter is what we could explore in the movie.

If we go with the idea that Jordan may be turned against her father in some way (but not in a cliched, brainwashed cult way), then he will need the knowledge and experience, however reluctantly, of Watts and Means to save her. Franks reaction to their return would be enough to show his feelings than tons of back story or exposition.

4th Horseman, I honestly believe that both Lance and Chris have the desire to bring resolution to Frank Black, thats evident in the interview with him on the DVD's. For them its finding the right story first, then the long slog of finding funding etc. Unfortunately, I don't think they have that much pull in Hollywood, if any, regardless how respected they are by ourselves or by the industry. Even the big name stars have difficulty getting films made. Someone once described making a film in Hollywood as climbing the biggest pile of s*** in the world to smell a tiny rose at the top.

I don't know what Carter is up to these days, but in TV at least, its the likes of Aaron Sorkin, JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof who are the Golden Boys right now. Carter would possibly have to go into partnership with a well known and influential producer to get things going. I imagine if the X Files movie ever gets greenlit, and is a success, then that would make Frank Blacks appearence on the big screen more likely.

In the meantime, we can help thrash out ideas here and with the fanfilms, virtual seasons (and if anyone fancies it, a fan made graphic novel I've been wanting to paint for some time), we can keep the spirit and will alive.

Again, looking forward to your feedback.

cheers

-BAZ

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Excellent points.....all of you.

And, I have to say, I LOVE the outline of a movie you've laid out there! This is just the way I always thought a TRUE Millennium movie should go. To give closure to the caracters.....and to all of us.

Just to see what everyone's thoughts are.... I throw out this question.

There has long been the arument of if Frank was psychic or not. He stated clearly in the first episode that he was NOT. So, then, what of the visions, etc of seasons 2 and 3? Do we just throw that out? Is this some absurdity that M & W threw in? If Frank is not psychic. Then what IS he? Because he's obviously different from other profilers out there.

Thoughts, anyone?

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Heres my 2 cents on Frank Black:

I believe he is sensitive and intuitive. He sees things from the minds of the killer. Frank is a part of the darkness in which he is a nexus with. You can see this in Satan Got Behind Me.....Pilot.....PPTD in which Frank sees them for who they are or they are able to pick up on Franks gift. Its like this, evil is drawn to Frank and Frank draws them out. My thing about gift/curse is that, if its a gift its from GOD. If he feels he is cursed it has evil orgins. To me its a gift but a burden. Frank has a huge responsibility and then got burned out, which lead him back to Seattle. He knows this is something he cant tuck away. The MM group wanted him. Lucifer used his dominions to lure him. He knows there is a great price that comes long with this gift.

THis is how Frank Black became a troubled hero. This is why i think he was a great character in TV history

If theres ever a revival for Frank Black it will or might be based on him dealing with the present day revelations. His fight against evil

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