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X-Files "MillenniuM"

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Guest Zalian

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Welcome to the board, Joseph.

I see that I had replied in this topic a long time ago. I've again gone through the interviews and articles I collected over the years to see if I could find where Frank Spotnitz talked about the problems they had with the XF "Millennium" episode, but I can't find anything relevant. But, from memory, it was a case of the writers/producers wanting to wrap up the MM story, getting the principal actors (Lance and Brittany) signed up, and then - ooops, how do they write a story that would make sense to XF fans as well as MM fans. And that's when it all fell apart, and unfortunately it ended up with an episode that neither set of fans were happy about, and neither was Lance.

But the one good thing I've always taken from the episode was the interaction between Mulder'n'Scully and Frank, in particular Mulder's respect for Frank. That was some good acting on the part of David Duchovny, because it was not only about Mulder interacting with Frank, but also Duchovny interacting with Lance.

I think one of the problems with XF S7, was that writers/producers were thinking that it might have been the final season. So it might have been a kind of "swan song" season for them. So there were episodes that were either rewards for people who worked on the show, or were showcasing the talents of people who worked on the show: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, William B Davis. And then there was "X-Cops", which Vince Gilligan had apparently been pitching for years and eventually CC relented, because - well, why not, if that was to be the last season?

I'd never got into the whole lit-crit aspect of English Literature/Poetry, but it was actually through the medium of XF that I got to realise that in a sense there's two different stories going on - the one that's presented to the audience, and the behind-the-scenes stuff that influences what gets presented to the audience.

I agree that season 7 of XF is most disjointed and, for me, the most uninteresting. But I love X-Cops. smile.gif

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Guest Ghostmojo

I really love both shows. On balance I am a slightly bigger X-Files fan - a true X-phile (if that term still applies?) than a Millennium fan - but there is a good reason for that. I can easily watch several dozen XF shows back to back and feel completely satisfied. They never did a bad show at all. OK some were better than others and with Mulder gone AWOL it did lose some of its sense of mission etc. - but we all know the story ...

But I cannot do that with MM. I have to come up for air, and a bit of sunshine after about 4 episodes. That is about my limit without a break in between. MM is so dark and so intensely and morbidly draining at times, that the human spirit needs it batteries recharging before continuing. I know that the cast, crew and studios all felt that way - so it is not a criticism - it is an observation.

The strength of XF was its ingenuity and creativity. It was not afraid to take risks, to poke fun even at itself. It exhausted the myriad realms of the paranormal in 200+ stories and still found new things to say. It also worked on many levels and kept you involved because so many issues needed resolving: the Mulder & Scully 'romance'; Mulder's sister; the alien myth-arc etc. etc. It also had a wealth of great characters besides the two leads that even led to feature episodes for them to be explored.

Ultimately, the two shows were quite similar in a number of ways, and although there was an expressed desire not to do crossovers between XF and MM - some links were bound to occur. The whole FBI aspect of it for one. The fact that the same array of supporting actors occurred and recurred throughout both shows; the fact that they were made by the same teams; had similar (and occasionally the same) incidental music; identical filming styles, cinematography and even locations and so on ...

It made some kind of sense to me to find a connection. I believe many X-Files fans are also Millennium fans. I started watching one because of the other. When an announcement that a new Chris Carter show was appearing, I knew I had to check it out since I was an XF nut and wanted something similar. And it is similar - to a point. The main difference I suppose is that it is unremittingly dark and disturbing, whereas XF does know how to strike a balance.

I think that there should be a proper expose of the XF episode "Millennium" somewhere on the very detailed seasons section of this website (outside of the forum). It is an obvious omission in my opinion. Yes it is an XF episode - but its reason for existence is 'what happened to Frank Black?' It might not have been the greatest of stories but it did tell us that: FB was alive and well; that he still had value and could rise to the occasion; that his story was continuing etc. Perhaps it would have been better if it had been a two-parter? It would have been more revealing and interesting to see a longer dialogue between Mulder and Black. They are kindred spirits in so many ways.

And it seems to me that they had an influence on each other. It was perhaps easy for XF to do fantasy shows than MM but they both attempted it. The episode Omerta, for example, strikes me a classic XF material rather than MM. Replace FB & EH with FM & DS and the story still works. In fact even the pairing of FB with EH was wandering dangerously close to XF territory, especially with FB now back at the FBI in Virginia. The three seasons of MM are very disjointed. Season 1 is dark and builds up tension as we explore FB's new role; the Millennium Group; FB's family etc. It works well as a complete progression. Season 2 loses it a little at times. Yes it does lighten up a bit - but the diminishing role for his wife changes the whole vibe and balance for me, and her loss was not a good decision story-wise. The introduction of Lara Means was a plus, however. Season 3 seems all over the place and in an effort to ground it we find ourselves moving into more stereotypical territory with the younger apprentice thing going on. What we really want to see is how things will further develop between FB and Peter Watts - not FB and the often dull Emma Hollis.

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