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Guest ZeusFaber

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It would be a pleasure to note my musings over V5, I really should have begun with the first episode but 'Flew' was the one I re-read last night and it is one of my favourites so pardon my somewhat betwixt review.

To those of you who have not read V5 can I implore you to? Find a night when you are to be reverently undisturbed, stick the Beer in the fridge, assemble the nibbles, thump Mark Snow's soundtrack out on the old gramophone and immerse yourself in it. It is as close as you can get to a new offering and deserves to be experienced by everyone.

Birds are used to wonderful effect here most notably in the opening sequence which is evocative, disturbing and delivers a truly epic feel to the stories opening. My imaginative rendering of this opening was an epic, film-noir-scape of coddled feathers, blood drenched sand and and a falling rain of moribund birds and in any virtual season the necessity of inspiring the 'inner movie' is important and here it is delivered in spades. It's also nice to discover, during this apocalyptic dreamtime, that Jordan's ability presents itself with narrative and form quite unlike the subjective experiences of Frank and Lara.

I loved the recipe of mixing human fears with regards to A(H5N1) with a factory space strewn with the cadaverous results of man's casual extermination of birds, how little regard is given to our emotionless ravaging of the animal kingdom whilst frantically pondering how to save our skin from nature's unintentional revenge. Thousands of disease slain birds against a scene of thousands of industry slain birds allowed the mind to move from one horror to another with none of the analogous meaning lost.

Much kudos must be given for the constant humanistic touches in the script. Frank's bemused expression whilst Locke gorges on salad, Jordan's knowing aside at Frank's innocent mention of Miranda and so on and so forth raise this script above the traditional ponderous and often moribund offerings served with such aplomb by many a fanfiction writer, too often the desire to impress with verbiage, technobabble and arcane english mean scripts lack the ability to depict beings we recognise as human and this script achieves this wonderfully.

My concerns though do involve the characterisation of Frank to some degree, his decision to allow Watts to spend time with Jordan in her bedroom seems incongruous as does his apparent confusion when the possibility is raised that Jordan may have drawn something pre-cognitively, something he has experienced on numerous occasions but here he regards this with suspicion and disbelief. I was also nonplussed by the nature of his abilities somewhat. In all its myriad stages of development and numerous artistic interpretations, Frank's 'ability' has always allowed him insight, furthered his understand of the nature of the situation or allowed him to make gargantuan leaps in logic that have moved the plot along in the absence of evidence. In Flew not only does his gift seem to serve no apparent purpose but the nature of his visions are in direct contrast to what has actually happened, in someway his gift here seems to deliberately misinform and misstate him. The visions themselves though are startlingly well written and again the imagery presented is delicious but his gift must not be used to simply present a moment of artistry instead it must always stay true to its intention.

It is wonderful to read an interpretation of Watts that sits with my understanding of him. It is my firm belief that Watts was at his most enigmatic when he was ambiguous, duplicitous but with constant promise of redemption. I loathe to know which side he is working on and revel when he is working for all, some or maybe none at all. To have him help, hinder, baffle and clarify in the space of one episode had me on the backfoot, loathing and loving him all at the same time and this is a fine depiction of Peter Watts and long may it continue. It was also a treasure to read the Calm Man's malediction of the events in this episode, to give the group back some of the moral conscience it lacked in some seasons is most welcome but then V5 succeeds throughout in presenting a multi faceted group, stratified, contrariant and in instances disarranged. The Group was and should be an uneasy alliance of science, theology, purpose, intention and self interest and this episode truly succeeds in a presenting a group that is not a unitary consciousness or hive-like organisation but an inharmonious collection of people with antithetical views. It was a real pleasure to see the group stripped of factions and reduced to real people struggling with the implications of their actions. Herein the Calm Man felt like Frank in his neophytic days fueled by conscience yet wading through the mire in search of gnosis. I enjoyed his character very much.

I have to confess that I am still a little confused as to the relevance of the scrap of paper noting Jordan Black's name, whilst it served to draw Frank into the investigation no reason for its presence was truly given, it did not appear from the proceedings that Megan and Jordan had any significant connection that would lead Megan to leave the name at the scene of her abduction, to the contrary Jordan is barely able to recall who she is, my deduction is that this was a ploy by Watts to involve Frank in the case which would certainly indicate that he deliberately gave Frank a chance to uncover the Groups work with A(H5N1) which he himself is complicit with. I note that none of this is criticism, far from it, Millennium excels to my mind when at its most ambiguous, when it seems to undermine itself and expose its secrets allowing this disinformation to shield the treachery at its core. Of course the Marburg Virus is never far from one's mind whilst reading this episode especially in its shared use of infected birds as motifs of the pandemics yet here we are given something truly coherent, believable and chillingly well researched. At the heart of this is the perverted application of the nocebo effect utilised to create the necessary hysteria with none of the risk, unpredictability and rank stupidity of the Marburg pandemic. To consider that a fan writer has created a dénouement more cogent than that depicted in the actual series is simply commendable.

My only true criticism which ranks as pedantic is the use of medical terminology is somewhat flawed. I appreciate it is not always possible to have someone of medical training proof read such things but some of the errors are easily googled and take a little away from the sheer realness felt throughout the rest of the episode.

Once again, thank you for a truly thrilling Friday night spent reading this and a few Thursdays and Mondays and others since.

I would be a content man if such a creation had come from my keyboard.

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Guest ZeusFaber

What a wonderful, thoughtful analysis of the episode. I'll leave Angelo to comment on any of the specific issues should he feel the need to, but let me just say on behalf of the entire team how grateful we are to hear your thoughts in such outstanding detail. Rest assured, we get just as much pleasure from this kind of feedback as you do from reading the episode.

Thank you once again, not only for reading but for letting us know what you think. We'd be delighted to hear more on other aspects of the season should you ever feel like it or have the time to, not that you're under any obligation to, by any means.

It was a pleasure to read your post.

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Oh no, please don't thank me. I had such a wonderful evening of 'Roosters', 'Bardo Thodol' and 'Flew' and V5 truly feels like a legitimate and overlooked element of the Millennium legacy. I accept that after copious musings, repeated topics and so on so forth our universe can seem well trod and devoid of deeper analysis and I cannot for the life of me understand why the board has not taken to picking apart this season with same relish, vigor and aplomb it has done the others. V5 needs to be shared, members need to come here and do the Millennium 'thing' and give it the heedfulness they have given the televised seasons. Locke is a truly wonderful character, the characterization of Watts is ambrosial and V5 stands head and shoulders above much of the dog-tired, sixth-form pablum nonsense that is offered in the form of Virtual Seasons. I have a certain penchant for arcane language and as I mentioned before I dabble lovingly in Millennium fanfiction but I am truly entranced by the title 'Ondraedan Ende', such a wonderful use of Olde English befitting some of the most arousing titles created by the 1013 crew. Whilst it may seem I am an impassioned lunatic please give this series its due. I am an ardent supporter of series two and a reluctant supporter of its detractors but there is a silent perfection on offer here, a new vision and one worth indulging in. I never give credit where credit is not due but the whole board should crack open its beers and enjoy Millenium Season Five. If I could bother Angelo could I ask where the title 'Flew' came from? My own perception was that it was as it used as an intransitive verb of 'fly' marrying it well with the allusion to the black plague at the hands of the flea? Maybe I'm wrong but I enjoyed this possibility all the same and please forgive me for not mentioning the use of Bobby Darin in this script. 'Don't Rain on My Parade' is my favorite song of all time and is forever now married to 'Flew'.

On a negative note, and gosh do I hate to even mention one, could you please beg your artistic director, who's work I have no right to criticize, to change the image for 'Flew' on the Milennium website? This episode has such evocative imagery that it deserves a treatment richer than the V of birds image? Give it its due and have someone create something truly befitting the apocalyptic vision Jordan receives. That said, many, many thanks!

Salutations and pardon my wild speculation.

Edited by ethsnafu

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Guest ZeusFaber
Oh no, please don't thank me.

Oh, but I must. It's hearing from readers that makes the whole endeavor worth while. There have been three or four members who have been kind enough to provide their comments, for which we're extremely grateful, but I think you're the first at TIWWA to provide such an in-depth deconstruction/review.

If I could bother Angelo could I ask where the title 'Flew' came from? My own perception was that it was as it used as an intransitive verb of 'fly' marrying it well with the allusion to the black plague at the hands of the flea?

I can field that question. I believe, if memory serves, that this title originally came from Jeremy Daniels who was originally slated to write us an episode based on bird flu and Jordan. He left us after "Sleep of Reason", and so the episode got re-assigned to Angelo. As for the meaning of the title, you've pretty much nailed it as a general pun on "flew" (as in, "the birds flew overhead") and "flu" (as in, "we've all caught the flu").

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Guest AngeloShrine

Ethsnafu, I must admit that I am right now absolutely giddy in my computer chair. This post alone has made it all worth it -- the late-night anguish over how to handle the Millennium Group in this episode, the constant checking and re-checking of Wikipedia and other sites to make sure that I sounded somewhat educated when I spoke of the avian flu, even the trepidation I had over my own feelings of disappointment when I finally sent in the final draft of "Flew" to be aired.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read the script, and to write out this phenomenal thesis on its content. Your words made me harken back to the days of the old Fox Millennium forum, where I'd frequently lurk around and come to the realization that this little show "Millennium" was so much more than a standard crime procedural.

Again, there's not much more I can say here, as I'm pretty much in a state of mild shock. To top it off, I just read on tvguide.com that David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, and Chris Carter are all penciled in to start filming the new X-Files film this December. Can this day get any better? :rofl:

Angelo Shrine

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Angelo,

Many thanks for taking the time to read the review and do not doubt your scientific interpretation of what you have read, it is impeccable, as a clinician I am well versed in the topics you chose to explore and commend you for taking a subject that is clearly not your forte and making such a professional and immaculate rendering of it. My hope is that there will be a Virtual Season Six for in 'Flew' it seems to me that have the ultimate resolution for the Marburg fiasco that so circumcised the the end of Season Two and beginning of Season Three. The whyfor of Marburg was rubbish and its nonsensical resolution was worse but to argue that Millennium began to explore the Nocebo effect makes their apparent foolhardiness understandable and proffers tantalizing possibilities with regards to Catherine. Their obsession with control was laid waste with the possibility that they would unleash such an uncontrollable pathogen simply to neuter a gaggle of psychics that they later realised it was easier to shoot and yet for an age it has bothered me why Marburg was not given a coherent explanation. To realise that they may have simply intended to gain the upper hand through the manipulation of a subject-centered response to a perceived illness truly makes it all make sense. The zenith of the script for me was the assertion that the brain cannot be turned off, in numerous clinical papers scientists have accepted that the belief that one is ill is more potent than the assertion than one is not. To witness Perran's demise despite a true pathogenesis gave this a realism that deserves commending. When I commented in my review that your medical information was incorrect I was unduly unfair and I apologise, it was one simple speech in which the doctor refers to the patient having a temperature that caught my eye. We all have a temperature but what clinicians describe is whether or not this temperature is within normal parameters, in laymans terms a fever or in medical speak pyrexia, such pedantic picking is unnecessary I know.

I know that V6 has been ruled out and accept that that there must have been musings behind the scenes with regards to this but on a purely personal and utterly selfish level I beg you and Zeus and the others involved to reconsider. Whilst I may have taken a sabbatical I never missed the new instalments of Millennium and during this drought of Millennium and the Lost hiatus I am somewhat barren and it is to be hoped that someone will end the chill and warm us with a new season.

Please?

Edited by ethsnafu

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Guest ZeusFaber
I know that V6 has been ruled out and accept that that there must have been musings behind the scenes with regards to this but on a purely personal and utterly selfish level I beg you and Zeus and the others involved to reconsider.

It's wonderful to be asked, but we did set out to make this the last season of Millennium, tying up the characters of Emma (in "Forty Days and Forty Nights") and Lucy Butler (in "One and Many"). I also feel that we brought closure to the series and the characters and themes that have featured in it over the years in our final two-parter.

Having said that, there is always the possibility that another group of fans somewhere out there, someday, will try their hand at cooking up a sixth season. After all, that's what we did despite the fact that our predecessors on VS4 decided to make their finale the series finale, just as the S3 production team did despite Morgan & Wong pretty much doing the same with the S2 finale. Art imitating life imitating art.

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I thoroughly understand.

I agree that you have given the necessary closure to our characters' stories and it is only natural to decide to let a befitting conclusion remain just that. I had hoped that subtle groveling may have made you consider otherwise but in retrospect I consider this was probably unfair.

I concur that should anyone take up the enormous mantle of creating a virtual season they probably should leave Frank's story as it now stands, one can over egg the pudding and I personally would fear it difficult to continue to maintain the required degree of creativity with regards to his story. My personal hope is that someone, somewhere will one day turn their attention to the Millennium Group and give a gratifying resolution to the numerous contradictions and varying artistic interpretations that have scattered the series.

I shall now cease my fruitless arm twisting lol.

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

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Guest ZeusFaber

Not at all. It's nice to have that kind of arm-twisting. Hope to hear more of your thoughts on the season in the future. Thanks again.

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It is to be hoped that I can be forgiven for discussing these episodes out of synch. I read them depending on mood in much the same as I view Millennium episodes so I hope you will forgive me for doing everything out of order?

Ondrædan Ende

I absolutely disagree with Wavecrest on this one and found Ondrædan Ende to be an absolute pleasure. It has such evocative echoes of the grotesque sexploitation flicks of the disco seventies with their gnarled crones and incestuous relationships that I was hooked from the onset. Merge 'Witness' with 'Dværgen' and the X-Files' 'Home' and Ondrædan Ende supplies visions of foul harpies in heavily daubed make-up and lacquered wigs who expose copious amounts of adipose laden cleavage.

I have to commend the writer on exploring such a difficult topic and rendering it acceptable, the sexual scenes are traumatic yet not indulgent and the true horror is not in them but in the salacious awareness of the Mother and her partner.

This script allows the reader to explore the inner imagery wonderfully, an essential component of any writing, and it evoked for me scenes of amber lighting, flaked paint, lavender perfume and the iron scent of blood, a truly macabre vision of mutilated motherly love.

The central draw for me was the contumacious relationship between the bloated grotesque and her subjugated lover. Mellie is such a powerful character that she steals the entire show.

I was somewhat dismayed with the characterization of Locke in this episode. It is essentially his show and yet he loses all the idiosyncrasies that make Locke a pleasure to read, too much of his prose is standard official rhetoric without the colorful embellishments that make him endearing. Much is alluded to that this case is a personal crusade yet little of the truth of the character is granted us, I wanted to see him gorge on doughnuts, play his favorite music or know what after shave he wears. These subtle nods have given Angelo's scripts that touch of brilliance.

I am at odds to explain why Darien perceives his victims as such monstrous deformities, there are echoes, certainly, of him imbuing them with his Mother's traits yet the teaser seems devised purely to be like a 'Millennium' teaser with little consideration given as to why such horrific images are depicted. A similar annoyance occurs during Frank's visions in which the victims are perceived bearing a halo and despite my frantic, desperate belief that this may refer to the image of the pregnant Madonna, no forthcoming reason is proffered as to why these seemingly ordinary women are viewed as saintly.

One commendable scene occurs when Frank invades the potential crime scene. Where he expects to find the rust, filth and blood-strewn-mutilation he happens upon a kitsch medley of cotton snow and crystal garland. The symbolism of this is truly delicious and the greatest of horror flicks have always utilized this tool to signify utter defeat.

There is a truly fantastic exchange between Mellie and Darien at the graveside when her manipulation is made apparent through the reading of the words on the tomb. Dark, manipulative and torturous it is a scene that makes you miss a heartbeat.

One thing that caught my attention was Locke's belief in his own intuition. So reminiscent of Emma's evolution it presented a character at the verge of allowing his inner vision to inform his logical mind. Locke has been a constant revelation to me in this series, a character truly deserving of the moniker of Millennium. This episode felt like he was finally coming home.

I urge you to try this episode and languish in its grotesque beauty, in certain scenes it does not go far enough for me but overall it is a stunning piece of work with some of the most well realised characters in fan-fiction.

The end with Samantha is somewhat twee, in honor of such vile luminaries I was hoping for turkey basters and Mellie's impregnation but I guess that's a gore movie too far.

My only lament is that Angelo has chosen to write no more. A season with this degree of creativity would surely be welcomed.

He is a loss to the creative Millennium community without doubt.

EDIT

I just wanted to add a little point of trivia. I am sure that when anyone reads a work such as this the pleasure and power is in the internal movie as it plays out. A truly successful script should create an almost virtual landscape where smells, colours, textures etc. present themselves by sheer evocation. Often when I read a truly good work of literature I am able to hear music or tracks that extraneously suggest themselves as fitting mental embellishments to the narrative. Whilst no score is suggested in this script I could almost hear an old turntable playing a scratched record of Marlene Dietrich's 'Falling In Love Again' skipping and jumping through the odd word as Darien committed his grotesque crimes and whilst it may be at odds with the writers intention for the mood of the piece a script that can achieve this level of mental interplay is a damn fine one by anyone's standards.

Edited by ethsnafu

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