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Guest MillenniumIsBliss
Well, I'm not a theatrical critic guru myself as it seems you are from the very articulate expose you put up. I always rely on my feelings in watching a movie. I want to feel the movie not dissect it, as I don't have to write the next day column in Spectator or Variety. If it is for that the whole show had it's share of blunders / errors. But I'm not going to hunt for them if I don't have to. This is utterly time wasting and disrupting.

Then again you're accusing Morgan & Wong for the termination of the show. It might be, it might be not. Millennium never had the numbers that X-Files had but this is in part, humble opinion, because people do not " connect " with the show, or do not understands. Instead it had a steady base. And this during the whole show and not only in the second season.

As a side note the film critics who supervised the issue of the dvd's here in Italy were utterly united. The second season is of a good quality.

I agree with what you say about dissecting a show, and I have tried not to do that myself. I find it very disappointing to discover flaws in favorite episodes, so I usually try not to overanalyze, although there are some things that are glaring. There are so many different people working on a show that mistakes are bound to happen, and someone who is a good writer is not necessarily a technical expert on some of the subject matter. For example, while The Mikado is an excellent episode, there have been some complaints about the Internet scenes being unrealistic. I do agree with this to some degree, but I don't allow it to take away from my enjoyment of the episode.

As for the question about Morgan and Wong being responsible or partially responsible for the early demise of the series, while I respect that opinion, I think it is absurd. When you look at this web page, which I consider to be made up of some hard core fans of the show, you find that season 2 is picked as the favorite the majority of the time. We have also seen polls that show season two being the overwhelming favorite. In my personal discussions, outside the board, I also find that almost all people I talk to either pick S1 or S2 as their favorite, and more often than not, it's season 2.

Morgan and Wong were given control of the show, so I don't see any reason not to take the show where they wanted it to go. If they are the showrunners, why make any attempt to do what they think Chris Carter would have wanted to do? I don't think they felt that they were doing anything except to make the show the best it could be and expand on season 1. Sometimes it almost seems like people believe that M & W were out to ruin the show. Based on the Millennial Abyss ratings, the show was as good as ever and packed with 4 and 5 star episodes. When you look at a poll right here on TIWWA we see 69 people selecting season 2 as the favorite, with only 25 votes for season 1, 4 for season 3, and 22 undecided. I think this says it all. All M & W can do is try to please the viewers overall, and I think the evidence shows that they did that better than anyone else.

As for the direction they took, I don't think they left season 3 without options. As mentioned before, I think that a great many things could have been done with season 3. They could have found Catherine and given her a cure and saved her from the disease. Other than that, they could have done just about anything they wanted, and how can the early shortcomings of season three be blamed on season two when they more or less ignored the way S2 ended.

For someone to say that they didn't like what Morgan and Wong is one thing, but it's unfair to portray them as some power hungry duo determined to take over the show and change everything about it, bulling over anyone who tried to stop them. I don't think there is any evidence to show that they ever did anything other than to pursue their vision and give the viewers the best product they possibly could. Some might not agree, but from what I have seen, the majority of the viewers think they did that the best in S2.

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Guest MillenniumIsBliss
I have watched all three seasons many times, and I think short of some kind of physical wounding to my brain, Season Two will remain a grave disapointment for me. It did indeed have its moments, but it was undone by a huge amount of mediocre episodes.

It is hardly surprising however, given the sheer volume of episodes they try to undertake. Placing that kind of pressure on yourself is not healthy for a series, as it leads to burnout, particularly if the series is not well received.

The season is too one track to be satisfying, even despite the variable quality. Episodes like 'Sense and Antisense' and 'The Mikado' change up the tone a bit, but they are in the minority. Michael Perry has stated that they did float a few ideas past M+W but were vetoed. There was no-one in place to stop M+W from doing what they wanted though, so we get poor episodes like '19:19' and the cartoonish Odessa stories spanning 'The Hand of Saint Sebastian' to 'Owls/Roosters'.

Their insistence on writing so many episodes is symptomatic of the fervour with which the different executive producers seemed to approach the show. Chris Carter may only have written 4 episodes in Season One, but by all accounts he was ever present in all areas of the show. And the show did suffer somewhat, as the other writers were going to him with a kind of 'Is this what you were getting at Chris?' attitude, because he was so guarded on what he wanted the show to be. (It evidently perplexed M+W as I say, because they left halfway through!)

Season Two sees M+W attack Millennium full bore, determined to turn it into quite different. But the quality sags because they don't delegate responsiblity to capable writers. Most of this seems to be because of an exodus of the writing staff, who it is reported has strong objections to their ideas. I just don't understand why they didn't hire some better writers to help them out. Saying you can handle it when you blatantly can't helps no-one.

Don't misunderstand - Morgan and Wong were fine writers, but far too many of their episodes fell short of the mark in Season Two. They knew themselves that writing about evil and a growing sickness in society was not for them - they said as much when they left the first time. But you can't just take something that is so important to the show and not write about it at all! They only really go near that subject in 'The Pest House'. And with Darin Morgan wrting his usual loopy episodes, and Maher and Renidl doing more emotional, melodramtic episodes, that's half your staff not connecting with the main thrust of the show Chris Carter created.

Lastly, I think M+W allowed themselves to become too attached to the romantic elements of the Group. In 'Beware of the Dog', The Old Man delivers what is really a very chilling statement of purpose. He tells Frank that the Group will seek equilibrium, and underscores this with the example of Michael Bieby. If there is too much good in any given place, the Group will ensure that good is excised. It is only through the understanding that his presence averted crisis that Frank stays after hearing this.

Episodes like '19:19', 'A Single Blade of Grass' and 'Owls/Roosters' are supposed to be commenting on the Group and their dubious actions through examination of like minded organisations or peoples. But they fail because the culprits are either pretty silly (like Odessa) or are treated with undue sympathy by the writers. Only Chip J's 'Sense and Antisense' delivers in this regard, exposing the monstrosity of organisations like the Group, but also the toll which it takes on their members.

At this point in the Season, M+W were talking of the 'Hero's Journey'. How Frank would spend the year learning and pondering if he could trust the Group. And in those first three episodes, I can't fault Season 2. But a slew of bad episodes, hugely melodramatic turns in 'Monster' and 'A single blade of grass' signal the start of the slump.

There are too many episodes that expose the inner workings of the Group and not enough that view it from the outside (i.e Frank's view). The group interview scene at the start of 'Luminary' should have been the way this was handled. M+W simply liked their ideas about the Group too much, and didn't really like Frank Black at all (but all of this has been covered before).

If you like Season Two, that's great. Myself, I dearly wanted to like it, but it's just not possible. So much potential wasted. Those first three episodes do such a great job of showing how the series could grow from the groundwork laid down in Season One, but it isn't until Season Three that that promise is finally realised. Episodes like 'Skull and Bones', 'Collateral Damage' and 'Bardo Thodol' show that of all the Season execs, Chip J was the best able to handle the pressure.

He wrote enough episodes without overdoing it, spread his episodes apart to give the other writers space to breath and work. He wrote both alone and with others, knowing when to step in to help and when to ask for help. In fact the only people that let down Season 3 are Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, who probably still exerted too much influence for anyone to come up to them and say 'Actually guys, this is rubbish. Take another swing and have it on my desk tomorrow...'

Well, don't get me wrong, I don't refute your opinions, as they are just that, opinions, and can't be determined by me to be right or wrong, but sense you have presented ideas for discussion, I will respond with the opposing view for the sake of debate.

My first disagreement is that you refer to S2 as largely "one track". I would say that, for better or for worse, (depending on your point of view) it has to at the very least be given credit for being the most diverse. Even if one despises episodes like "Hand of SS" "Jose Chung" "Somehow Satan..." and a long list of others, they frequently break away from any one theme or idea that the show revolved around.

My next issue is the veto thing. What is Morgan and Wongs job, if not to run the show and decide which ideas to use and not to use? That is the job of the show runners in a nut shell. As for an "insistence" on writing so may episodes, I don't think 12 episodes is that outrageous, and I don't think they did this in an attempt to nudge out other writers.

Also, I don't know how there could be a perceived "exodus" of writers in S2, when Chris Carter (who left for XF), Chip Johanneson (who was around for the whole series) and Morgan and Wong wrote the majority of the S1 episodes, and the rest is what I would consider normal turnover of writers who wrote an episode or two. I think that Erin Maher Darin Morgan were more than suitable replacements and carried a good bit of the load in S2. The only notable absence of season 1 is Ted Mann, so maybe he is one of the writers who left because of creative differences. Frank Spotnitz was busy with other projects, and I highly doubt that he was writing for Millennium and Morgan and Wong were rejecting his scripts in favor of their own.

I also question your statement of Morgan and Wong "Saying you can handle it when you blatantly can't helps no-one". First off, what I have seen as an overwhelming preference of the fans to season 2, is evidence enough that they could handle it, and I don't ever remember seeing that they were ever questioned as to whether or not they could. There are other people involved, and I think, had there been some kind of evidence that season 2 was going horribly awry, they could have been replaced, and would have been. For someone to say they don't care for season two is understandable, but to portray season two as a terrible failure due to incompetence of Morgan and Wong really goes against everything I have ever known about the show and fan approval overall.

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its nice to see on my B-Day how the last post on this thread was Sept of 06 and then it starts up again on June, 24 2007. Love reading everyones thoughts and reactions. Please feel free to find "What Epsiodes Made You Cry?" which was also started back in 2006

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Guest ModernDayMoriarty

Saying that Season Two is diverse is just plain wrong, or at least misguiuded. A high concept show like Millennium has to be structured with basic arguments in each season. Season Two is no different, with all the episodes revolving around discovering hidden motives and agendas, in others and yourself for example. By one track, I mean Morgan and Wong write in a familiar style. They do not write about evil or true suffering well at all, and their episodes have this kind of dreamlike quality that turns off casual viewers (because it doesn't seem real).

Their approach may be relied upon to win over fans of science fiction, gothic romance etc, and as their tenure on The X-Files showed, the mainstream like to tap into that now and again too. But they write like that all the time, and over a season it just gets too much (A Season 3 episode puts it best, when it asserts that Frank was smothered with angels and apocalypse - the same happened to viewers).

Morgan and Wong are high art writers. Shows like 'Beware of the Dog' and 'The Curse of Frank Black' may seem great, but they just bewilder regular viewers, especially as they were not used to having to try and decipher Millennium episodes every week. When called on for conspiracy, action, horror, they just fumble time and time again.

So it's painful to watch therefore, when they try and transfer their style into episodes that don't warrant it. Episodes like 'Monster' for example. It features the usual lengthy monologues and high concepts that M+W have to offer, but none of the terror that such ideas should have ellicited. The idea that children are being born as monsters, are monstrous even in the womb is or should be truly chilling. But it's lost in a sea of melodrama and doesn't hit with any power. It feels like everyone is walking around with kid gloves on. It lacks the raw intensity that the S1 episodes dealing with true evil did so well.

I accept that Season Two moves beyond the Serial Killers angle, but they replaced it with too much focus on the Group and its motives, either directly or through the lens of other agencies. They all but abandoned the millennial rage and angst, the rising darkness, the cruelty in society. That might have been okay if they did less episodes or had writers who would take different approaches (like Chip J in 'Luminary' and 'In Arcadia Ego', but they didn't).

Secondly, you call the inclusion of episodes like 'Jose Chung's' and 'Somehow Satan...' diverse, but I call it indulgence of a family member. Millennium was not the place for these wacky slices of Darin Morgan fantasy. 'Jose Chung's' at least has some merit to it, but the latter is pure indulgence and a big mistake.

12 episodes is, as I have said, too much to write, because it means the same style of writing and the same ideas will be used again and again. Seasons of television quickly establish who their best writers are. You then seed them throughout the season, to give milestones of quality. This gives the other writers a chance to shine inbetween, but shows that you are sensible to the notion that you need your big hitters every four or five episodes to help out if the season is flagging. M+W don't do this.

The first 8 episodes contain 6 written by M+W. That is not pacing yourself at all well, and means that when the other writers do get a look in, it is so obviously different. You say its their job to veto others - I'm not disagreeing, but filling the void with your own episodes is not the way to go. They should have sat people down and really explained to them what the season was all about and where they were going.

Mike Perry and Chip J have said over and over again that they had no clue what M+W were up to, and that they left them to their own devices. It's not healthy for a show. If it has got to the stage where your writers don't have an idea what you want from them, then something is wrong.

The 'exodus' of writers is well known. But before I get into it, it is time to address your claims that this website and general internet presence means S2 worked. Of the 3 Seasons of Millennium, S2 was rated the lowest in auidence stakes. The Internet forums are much more likely to be used by fans of science fiction et al than regular viewers. S2 is much more of a science fiction show than either seasons 1 or 3. It strays the most from reality, champions the underdogs (Lara, Roedecker etc), and deals in the kind of high art concepts that are unlikely to penetrate into the mainstream.

Millennium was a show like no other in Season One. A modern, realistic show that mutated in the most natural way to include devils and a sense of Armageddon. There was simply no precedent for this really - Carter himself has commented that whilst you may have thought Millennial angst would exist, it actually didn't, which made the show harder to do. Season Two is a more familiar beast, in that it is more recognisably science fiction.

Their changes (making Frank appear younger through costume and action for example) showed they were trying to appeal to a younger auidence. Their high art stories (which go down like a ton of bricks to the average viewer) showed they were making a clear aim to getting the Sci-Fi vote. The thinking presumably being that because Millennium had had to manufacture its fan base from nothing basically (i,e a false assumption about millennial angst), then it made sense to try and get a demographic that they a) knew existed and b) knew liked their work as the rabid fan support for their X-Files work and SAAB showed.

So years later, we see that all they basically did was trade off. As the writers (M+W included) have said, S2 suceeded in attracting that core, but at the expense of the S1 viewers. As Chip J said, they were dispecting what had come before, by suddenly switching what the show was, and what it was about. So just because you see the Sci-Fi core still adamantly defending them, you must realise that this is actually not anything like a representative sample of the people who watched Millennium over the three Seasons as a whole.

Ted Mann however, who was a prominent writer of S1 is indeed reported to have had vastly differing views with M+W on strategy and left (hence the disparity between 'Paper Dove' and 'The Beginning and the End'.) Chip J becomes a consulting producer, which is suggestive (and he has all but confirmed this) that he had little real say in S2's direction. Those two represent a significant force on S1 Millennium, and their absence/downgraded importance makes a big impact. Add this to Carter and Spotnitz leaving, and however you arrived there, you have a vaccum of writing talent.

M+W's only series they handled on their own to this point was a failure. There is no getting around that. S2 of Millennium was a critical and commercial failure also, which the S3 writers have all but disowned. There is also no way of getting around that. I realise that you like S2, but these are the facts. You must accept that changing a show as radically as they did, and then forcing the later writers to change it again because of the ratings and their own artistic differences, is a huge (I would say the single) factor in why Millennium failed to make its fourth season.

The Fourth Horseman/The Time is Now is a disgrace. What would you have them do? Actually have some kind of post apocalyptic zombie filled holocaust? The Season Three did a marvellous job of resurrecting the show, and yet they get villified for it.

Season Three takes an interesting tactic. Season One ended with Catherine's abduction, Season Three begins with Frank recovering from a breakdown after Catherine's death. The return to harsh, colourless film helps to sell a scenario whereby we don't how much to trust of Season Two, because we don't know whether or not it was just how Frank remembered it.

To explain better, Season 3 includes many similar elements to Season Two (A Siren like character in 'The Sound of Snow' for example), that show the writers aren't saying 'Oh Season Two never happened'. Instead they are saying that it did happen, just not the way we may have thought. The casting of Bob Wilde as Mabius is inspired, because as people quickly pointed out, he looks exactly like Frank.

Episodes like 'Skull and Bones' and 'The Sound of Snow' show this clearly. The Cheryl Andrews incident is derided by S2 fans who just don't get it. 'But that's not the way it happened' they howl. Isn't it? The Season rightly asks 'If they were so villainous, why did you stay with them? How can they possibly have done all this without your having an idea?' Barry Baldwin makes a point of saying Frank was Peter's partner in the Group - how could he have time to do all this without Frank knowing about it?

They cleverly take episodes like 'The Hand of Saint Sebastian' which... I'm sorry but were extremely silly, and suggest that Frank is simply remembering incorrectly, because of the terror of his time with the Group. The sight of Mabius/Frank next to Peter as Cheryl's fate is decided, is suggestive that Frank was involved somehow.

Take 'The Sound of Snow' which gives the clearest indication of what they are doing. Frank looks at his house and sees the bright yellow house of Season Two. Ergo Season Two was a kind of Dream World that Frank's mind was constructing and reinterpreting to make sense of the horrendous things he was discovering about the world and his friends.

'Seven and One' shows that Frank's mental health is not all it could be. It questions how much he can believe what he sees. 'Bardo Thodol' describes the purging of Mabius or more precisely the purging of the Frank that worked for the Group, who was a slave to interpreting the world through their lens.

It's so much more complex than people give it credit for, and if they would just stop criticising it for not following on exactly from Season Two, they'd appreciate how much love and effort the writers put in trying to save this show and make sense of a Season which had torn the show's crediblity in pieces.

People like Season Two, and I will stand with them and say that there is much good work there. But it degenerated into a mess, lost the focus on its hero, employed the wrong writers for the job. Darin Morgan, Maher and Reindl... these were the wrong choices. I just don't know how to say it any other way than that. I respect your opinion to like Season Two, I just don't respect the opinion to only like Season Two and call that season what Millennium was really all about.

It has not been my intention to offend anyone. We all have our opinions, and that's as it should be. I loved Season One, but I have said many times that something had to change if the show was to continue. But as great as their initial ideas were, M+W just couldn't sustain and properly develop the show's new direction. In they had limited themselves to less episodes and brought in at least one more heavyweight writer.

Episodes like 'A Single Blade of Grass', 'Goodbye Charlie' and 'Siren' should have been better. 'Monster' and 'The Pest House' should have had different writers who were closer to the material and could produce more raw horror. 'The Hand of Saint Sebastian', 'Owls/Roosters' 'Midnight of the Century' 'Anamesis' just should never have been made.

Anyway, that's how I feel, that's how I've always felt. It's only because I cared, and do care, so strongly about Millennium. When I look around and see shows like 'Lost' and 'CSI', when I look at polls of greatest television and see Millennium not mentioned, it just makes me so mad. It's the most significant show of a generation, that really speaks about the modern condition. It deserved better than this.

Oh, and hello there ZeusFaber. Nice to see you again!

Edited by ModernDayMoriarty
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No offense bub. Actually it would be ludicrous to get offended just because someone does not like a movie. Yet you are insisting, more or less veiled, in telling that basically the Season2 stinks. You are entitled to think that but is grossly unfair.

" Boys, boys, boys ! Lighten up, this is a homicide not a funeral ! " - Rocket McGrane

HOO-YA / SEMPER FI

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Guest ZeusFaber
Yet you are insisting, more or less veiled, in telling that basically the Season2 stinks. You are entitled to think that but is grossly unfair.

I think the only thing unfair here is to reduce MDM's detailed and thorough deconstruction of the flaws in the second season to just saying "Season 2 stinks". We all have our different opinions and critical standpoints, but MDM has clearly articulated and justified his (and mine).

I think if I ever felt a need to help someone understand my viewpoints regarding the divided fanbase vis-a-vis Seasons 2 and 3, MDM's above explication would be something to point to. Even though you don't agree with that position, I would think that cannot fail to help you understand why those like MDM, myself, and others feel that way.

And yes, hello again MDM. :oneeyedwinK

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Guest Moriarty

Hello MDM.

It is not because you also have "Moriarty" in your name but... thanks for that last post. Those are exactly my ideas on the various seasons. I absolutely enjoyed that entry.

I personally loved "The 4th hourseman/The Time is Now" but in a whole I completely agree with your analysis of the show, especially your complaint on M+W.

Cheers!

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I think the only thing unfair here is to reduce MDM's detailed and thorough deconstruction of the flaws in the second season to just saying "Season 2 stinks". We all have our different opinions and critical standpoints, but MDM has clearly articulated and justified his (and mine).

I think if I ever felt a need to help someone understand my viewpoints regarding the divided fanbase vis-a-vis Seasons 2 and 3, MDM's above explication would be something to point to. Even though you don't agree with that position, I would think that cannot fail to help you understand why those like MDM, myself, and others feel that way.

And yes, hello again MDM. :oneeyedwinK

And I'm insisting on telling that Moriarty's analysis is thorough and made by someone who is chewing on this stuff. Yet it doesn't move a thing. At least for me. If I have to watch a movie, show or play just to find bugs in it than is just as well worth not watching it. Although the second season is mostly on the sci-fi path it conveys a very strong message. That the humanity is corrupt, power earning and sinful. And " Satan somehow got behind me " is the " Finis coronat opus " of the second season in which the allusion becomes more of a statement

Edited by liberty

" Boys, boys, boys ! Lighten up, this is a homicide not a funeral ! " - Rocket McGrane

HOO-YA / SEMPER FI

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http://www.geocities.com/romanianspecialforces/marines.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/307th_Marine_Battalion

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Guest MillenniumIsBliss
Saying that Season Two is diverse is just plain wrong, or at least misguiuded. A high concept show like Millennium has to be structured with basic arguments in each season. Season Two is no different, with all the episodes revolving around discovering hidden motives and agendas, in others and yourself for example. By one track, I mean Morgan and Wong write in a familiar style. They do not write about evil or true suffering well at all, and their episodes have this kind of dreamlike quality that turns off casual viewers (because it doesn't seem real).

Their approach may be relied upon to win over fans of science fiction, gothic romance etc, and as their tenure on The X-Files showed, the mainstream like to tap into that now and again too. But they write like that all the time, and over a season it just gets too much (A Season 3 episode puts it best, when it asserts that Frank was smothered with angels and apocalypse - the same happened to viewers).

Morgan and Wong are high art writers. Shows like 'Beware of the Dog' and 'The Curse of Frank Black' may seem great, but they just bewilder regular viewers, especially as they were not used to having to try and decipher Millennium episodes every week. When called on for conspiracy, action, horror, they just fumble time and time again.

So it's painful to watch therefore, when they try and transfer their style into episodes that don't warrant it. Episodes like 'Monster' for example. It features the usual lengthy monologues and high concepts that M+W have to offer, but none of the terror that such ideas should have ellicited. The idea that children are being born as monsters, are monstrous even in the womb is or should be truly chilling. But it's lost in a sea of melodrama and doesn't hit with any power. It feels like everyone is walking around with kid gloves on. It lacks the raw intensity that the S1 episodes dealing with true evil did so well.

I accept that Season Two moves beyond the Serial Killers angle, but they replaced it with too much focus on the Group and its motives, either directly or through the lens of other agencies. They all but abandoned the millennial rage and angst, the rising darkness, the cruelty in society. That might have been okay if they did less episodes or had writers who would take different approaches (like Chip J in 'Luminary' and 'In Arcadia Ego', but they didn't).

Secondly, you call the inclusion of episodes like 'Jose Chung's' and 'Somehow Satan...' diverse, but I call it indulgence of a family member. Millennium was not the place for these wacky slices of Darin Morgan fantasy. 'Jose Chung's' at least has some merit to it, but the latter is pure indulgence and a big mistake.

12 episodes is, as I have said, too much to write, because it means the same style of writing and the same ideas will be used again and again. Seasons of television quickly establish who their best writers are. You then seed them throughout the season, to give milestones of quality. This gives the other writers a chance to shine inbetween, but shows that you are sensible to the notion that you need your big hitters every four or five episodes to help out if the season is flagging. M+W don't do this.

The first 8 episodes contain 6 written by M+W. That is not pacing yourself at all well, and means that when the other writers do get a look in, it is so obviously different. You say its their job to veto others - I'm not disagreeing, but filling the void with your own episodes is not the way to go. They should have sat people down and really explained to them what the season was all about and where they were going.

Mike Perry and Chip J have said over and over again that they had no clue what M+W were up to, and that they left them to their own devices. It's not healthy for a show. If it has got to the stage where your writers don't have an idea what you want from them, then something is wrong.

The 'exodus' of writers is well known. But before I get into it, it is time to address your claims that this website and general internet presence means S2 worked. Of the 3 Seasons of Millennium, S2 was rated the lowest in auidence stakes. The Internet forums are much more likely to be used by fans of science fiction et al than regular viewers. S2 is much more of a science fiction show than either seasons 1 or 3. It strays the most from reality, champions the underdogs (Lara, Roedecker etc), and deals in the kind of high art concepts that are unlikely to penetrate into the mainstream.

Millennium was a show like no other in Season One. A modern, realistic show that mutated in the most natural way to include devils and a sense of Armageddon. There was simply no precedent for this really - Carter himself has commented that whilst you may have thought Millennial angst would exist, it actually didn't, which made the show harder to do. Season Two is a more familiar beast, in that it is more recognisably science fiction.

Their changes (making Frank appear younger through costume and action for example) showed they were trying to appeal to a younger auidence. Their high art stories (which go down like a ton of bricks to the average viewer) showed they were making a clear aim to getting the Sci-Fi vote. The thinking presumably being that because Millennium had had to manufacture its fan base from nothing basically (i,e a false assumption about millennial angst), then it made sense to try and get a demographic that they a) knew existed and b) knew liked their work as the rabid fan support for their X-Files work and SAAB showed.

So years later, we see that all they basically did was trade off. As the writers (M+W included) have said, S2 suceeded in attracting that core, but at the expense of the S1 viewers. As Chip J said, they were dispecting what had come before, by suddenly switching what the show was, and what it was about. So just because you see the Sci-Fi core still adamantly defending them, you must realise that this is actually not anything like a representative sample of the people who watched Millennium over the three Seasons as a whole.

Ted Mann however, who was a prominent writer of S1 is indeed reported to have had vastly differing views with M+W on strategy and left (hence the disparity between 'Paper Dove' and 'The Beginning and the End'.) Chip J becomes a consulting producer, which is suggestive (and he has all but confirmed this) that he had little real say in S2's direction. Those two represent a significant force on S1 Millennium, and their absence/downgraded importance makes a big impact. Add this to Carter and Spotnitz leaving, and however you arrived there, you have a vaccum of writing talent.

M+W's only series they handled on their own to this point was a failure. There is no getting around that. S2 of Millennium was a critical and commercial failure also, which the S3 writers have all but disowned. There is also no way of getting around that. I realise that you like S2, but these are the facts. You must accept that changing a show as radically as they did, and then forcing the later writers to change it again because of the ratings and their own artistic differences, is a huge (I would say the single) factor in why Millennium failed to make its fourth season.

The Fourth Horseman/The Time is Now is a disgrace. What would you have them do? Actually have some kind of post apocalyptic zombie filled holocaust? The Season Three did a marvellous job of resurrecting the show, and yet they get villified for it.

Season Three takes an interesting tactic. Season One ended with Catherine's abduction, Season Three begins with Frank recovering from a breakdown after Catherine's death. The return to harsh, colourless film helps to sell a scenario whereby we don't how much to trust of Season Two, because we don't know whether or not it was just how Frank remembered it.

To explain better, Season 3 includes many similar elements to Season Two (A Siren like character in 'The Sound of Snow' for example), that show the writers aren't saying 'Oh Season Two never happened'. Instead they are saying that it did happen, just not the way we may have thought. The casting of Bob Wilde as Mabius is inspired, because as people quickly pointed out, he looks exactly like Frank.

Episodes like 'Skull and Bones' and 'The Sound of Snow' show this clearly. The Cheryl Andrews incident is derided by S2 fans who just don't get it. 'But that's not the way it happened' they howl. Isn't it? The Season rightly asks 'If they were so villainous, why did you stay with them? How can they possibly have done all this without your having an idea?' Barry Baldwin makes a point of saying Frank was Peter's partner in the Group - how could he have time to do all this without Frank knowing about it?

They cleverly take episodes like 'The Hand of Saint Sebastian' which... I'm sorry but were extremely silly, and suggest that Frank is simply remembering incorrectly, because of the terror of his time with the Group. The sight of Mabius/Frank next to Peter as Cheryl's fate is decided, is suggestive that Frank was involved somehow.

Take 'The Sound of Snow' which gives the clearest indication of what they are doing. Frank looks at his house and sees the bright yellow house of Season Two. Ergo Season Two was a kind of Dream World that Frank's mind was constructing and reinterpreting to make sense of the horrendous things he was discovering about the world and his friends.

'Seven and One' shows that Frank's mental health is not all it could be. It questions how much he can believe what he sees. 'Bardo Thodol' describes the purging of Mabius or more precisely the purging of the Frank that worked for the Group, who was a slave to interpreting the world through their lens.

It's so much more complex than people give it credit for, and if they would just stop criticising it for not following on exactly from Season Two, they'd appreciate how much love and effort the writers put in trying to save this show and make sense of a Season which had torn the show's crediblity in pieces.

People like Season Two, and I will stand with them and say that there is much good work there. But it degenerated into a mess, lost the focus on its hero, employed the wrong writers for the job. Darin Morgan, Maher and Reindl... these were the wrong choices. I just don't know how to say it any other way than that. I respect your opinion to like Season Two, I just don't respect the opinion to only like Season Two and call that season what Millennium was really all about.

It has not been my intention to offend anyone. We all have our opinions, and that's as it should be. I loved Season One, but I have said many times that something had to change if the show was to continue. But as great as their initial ideas were, M+W just couldn't sustain and properly develop the show's new direction. In they had limited themselves to less episodes and brought in at least one more heavyweight writer.

Episodes like 'A Single Blade of Grass', 'Goodbye Charlie' and 'Siren' should have been better. 'Monster' and 'The Pest House' should have had different writers who were closer to the material and could produce more raw horror. 'The Hand of Saint Sebastian', 'Owls/Roosters' 'Midnight of the Century' 'Anamesis' just should never have been made.

Anyway, that's how I feel, that's how I've always felt. It's only because I cared, and do care, so strongly about Millennium. When I look around and see shows like 'Lost' and 'CSI', when I look at polls of greatest television and see Millennium not mentioned, it just makes me so mad. It's the most significant show of a generation, that really speaks about the modern condition. It deserved better than this.

Oh, and hello there ZeusFaber. Nice to see you again!

Well, I guess we can agree to disagree. Going over every point would be a waste of time because, and I don't say this to be negative because you don't agree with me, but just being honest, I find myself categorically disagreeing with every point you make.

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Guest Moriarty
Well, I guess we can agree to disagree. Going over every point would be a waste of time because, and I don't say this to be negative because you don't agree with me, but just being honest, I find myself categorically disagreeing with every point you make.

Come on MIB... He really has some good points here. I mean, you actually DO disagree with every point he makes??? That's not fair I think because according to me MDM has had some serious thoughts about this. He makes, in my opinion, excellent points.

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