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The Turning of the Tide: Making Millennium Season Two

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The Turning of the Tide: Making Millennium Season Two

Transcribed by Libby

Chris Carter

Creator/Writer/Exec. Producer

I was really busy during Season 2, I didn't even know that Morgan and Wong were interested in doing Season 2 of the show. I got a call one day saying that a deal had been struck, so it actually came as a surprise. But they had done such great work on The X-Files it seemed like a no-brainer that these were the guys to step in and take the reins while the rest of us at Ten Thirteen worked on X-Files and on the X-Files movie which was at that point in post-production. Jim and Glen had certain ideas, obviously, about the show, and they wanted to express those ideas, and I think they did. I didn't see all the episodes in Season 2, I just didn't have the time. I would still like to go back and see them.

TURN OF THE TIDE:

MAKING MILLENNIUM

SEASON TWO

John Peter Kousakis

Co-Executive Producer

The seasons changed quite dramatically from season to season, year to year, in the three years that we produced the show. In the first season, Chris Carter was very much involved in the show and it was his vision of where we were going with it. It was more focused on the crimes and the solving of those crimes through the eyes of Frank Black and through his investigation and through his profiling methods. It was also trying to balance his family life, his life at home, with his re-entry into this crime world that he was trying to escape from.

Michael Perry

Writer/Co-Producer

Chris and Frank hired me, and soon thereafter Morgan and Wong were hired on to run the show, and they had a very distinct vision. There's was a different vision from Season 1. And I think I was hired because of my kinship with the style of Season 1, and not with the Morgan and Wong vision, which was a substantially different thing - the sort of far-reaching world conspiracies, if not a Masonic conspiracy, you know, something like that.

Episode 1 "The Beginning and the End"

Airdate: 09/19/97

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Thomas J. Wright

Lance Henriksen

"Frank Black"

1997 Interview

The season finale last year was my wife getting kidnapped. They say that when you're in transition is when you're most vulnerable.

And that's what happened. Right at the moment of transition, the worst happened. And this first show of the season will wrap up the issue of somebody that's been hounding me so long - that's the Polaroid Man.

Every action has a reaction. So no matter how pure of heart you might be about something, you're going to pay the consequences, or pay for it. The truth definitely shouts out. It's set me off on my own. I mean I not only lost my yellow house, I've lost the relationship with my wife. Now I've got to do everything I can to keep my daughter's relationship healthy. And then I find out the Millennium Group isn't what it appeared to be. And so I'm really alone.

Episode 4 "Monster"

Airdate: 10/17/97

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Perry Lang

Lance Henriksen (1997):

In reality, there's a lot more in life than serial killers. There are some out there, and there are some operating and things like that, but I know that on this journey that we're on this year, it's not like we're stopping doing that, but there's a lot of other things to do.

Ken Horton

Co-Executive Producer

Year two, Glen and Jim wanted to, they felt the serial killer aspect overpowered year one, and they wanted to find a little more meaning to the Millennium Group. So they basically gave it a mythology and it became a sort of sect of knights, or it had a long history.

Episode 2 "Beware of the Dog"

Airdate: 09/26/97

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Allen Coulter

Ken Horton:

And Frank was just beginning to understand what that was and what it meant and that there were struggles within this group itself and those struggles eventually became more personal. So, it was less about outside evil with Frank Black as our knight in shining armor, defending us, and more that there were interstruggles within this group.

Episode 14 "Owls"

Airdate: 03/06/98

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Thomas J. Wright

Ken Horton:

If you believe research, there's a whole section of the audience who found the Millennium Group interesting when we never really described them. They were just there and they would drop in as they were needed. And they all had cool stuff. They were kind of like James Bond guys without being James Bond guys. They had gadgets but they didn't have gadgets. They had incredible access to information, things like that.

Jim and Glen took that and they ran with that side of it.

Episode 14: "Owls"

Airdate: 03/06/98

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Thomas J. Wright

Lance Henriksen (1997):

It's being revealed to me, as it's revealed to the audience, what this Millennium Group really is. The spectrum can be enormous. Any secret organization that you know something about, you become a danger to them if they want to remain secret. And so I don't know if that's possible. I mean, I don't know what direction it's going in, which is exciting for an actor.

Thomas J. Wright

Director

Jim and Glen sort of changed the direction of the show a little bit. It became dealing more with the dark corners of religion and what does it really mean. So there were some interesting ones there, but it did take a bit of a different turn.

Mark Snow

Composer

There was a group of shows that had a continuous story to it, about the secret society, the Owls and the Roosters, which, uh, I just love that the producers had the guts to think about opera as, you know, as a possible source music, instead of, you know, hip-hop or rock'n'roll.

Episode 15: "Roosters"

Airdate: 03/13/98

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Thomas J. Wright

Lance Henriksen(1997):

I look at last year like it was last year. It was like we all have a last year, that's all that was. We were finding our legs and seeing who we were. And I think this year is just an extension of that. I don't think the core quality of the show is ever going to diminish.

Chip Johannessen

Writer/Co-Producer

I don't think the Millennium Group - it just kind of went off in a different direction in the second year. And, you know, the problem was they bought a huge audience with the pilot. It was promoted ... I mean, Chris was nervous about it before it happened because on the one hand it was fun to have all the attention, on the other they were clearly going to get a huge audience a lot of whom probably wouldn't respond to the material. So all you going to do is see a big drop-off from this big audience they'd basically bought. But the effect, after it settled down to what our audience was, I think it was they felt a little jerked around. Things like the Millennium Group were suddenly, "Huh?"

Lance Henriksen (now):

This is just my opinion now of how the show changed with Morgan and Wong. They got a bit of a tongue-in-cheek thing about it. It became less serious. It became more, kind of ethereal. I don't know how to describe it. In doing the shows, they became shows about, kind of fairy tales rather than very dark cases that had a deep, you know, reality in them.

Episode 17: "Siren"

Airdate: 03/20/98

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Allen Coulter

Chris Carter:

I think Millennium was ... the pilot certainly was what I wanted. But, uh, you have a lot of time to work very carefully with everyone involved. And so your ability to shape it is great.

Episode 5: "A Single Blade of Grass"

Airdate: 10/24/97

Writers: Erin Maher and Kay Reindl / Diector; Rodman Flender

Chris Carter:

When you work on a TV series and you've got another TV series running over here, your ability to get exactly what you want is lessened. But that's the way of television.

Episode 18: "In Arcadia Ego"

Airdate: 04/03/98

Writer: Chip Johannessen / Director: Thomas J. Wright

Michael Perry:

The non-Morgan/Wong scripts were produced by sort of a different group of people. So we were like, "We'll take care of these six, seven episodes." This other group of people, and Morgan and Wong were going to do, I don't know the exact numbers, but they did a huge number of them.

Episode 13 "The Mikado"

Airdate: 02/06/98

Writer: Michael Perry / Director: Roderick Pridy

Michael Perry:

"The Mikado" was my first produced Millennium episode. It grew out of two premises. How will widespread access to the Internet change the face of crime investigation? What if you had a crime where you don't know where it happened, you don't know who did it? All you know is that it took place.

And the second half of the premise was based on the Zodiac killer. The Zodiac Killer was sort of the most notorious serial killer up until Ted Bundy or something. And he would write messages to people, and write messages to the newspaper. And he killed people in and around San Francisco, and then abruptly stopped. When I was thinking about Frank Black, and Frank Black would certainly have been involved in that and it would be a great frustration to him to know that one he came so close to, got away.

Then I thought, let's put those two together. What if he's investigating the Zodiac Killer who's now got all these new tools, who now has the Internet. Out of that basis came "The Mikado". And a lot of the details came from the real Zodiac case.

The Mikado was the guy's sort of musical favorite and he would write notes and quote it and stuff. Fox made us change the name, so we changed it to Omega. But Lance Henriksen wore an Omega watch, and I think they sponsored a wrap party or something, so we then changed it to Avatar, but it was a similar kind of case.

It was a difficult production. You know, it had all the inserts.

When The Mikado was made, nobody had seen webcams. I mean, we all know now what a webcam looks like. So I'd describe it to them. They'd go, OK, it's like video over the Internet. Well, no, it's nothing like video. It's crappy, grainy still photos that update about every second or half a second. And they'd go, so, it's sort of like slow video. No, no, nothing like that. So I had to show person after person, here's what it looks like. And it's a very good crew and they would always make these beautiful videos of the sort of killing room that was in that thing. And I'd have to say, you've got to make it look worse. And then they'd do another version and I'd go, it has to look even worse. And they started teasing me, cos that would be what I always asked for. No, I want it to look even worse than that. And that was for authenticity, but it was also because it gave a lot of dramatic tension to the scenes. Because if you see what's happening it's not as scary. If you know that stuff is happening between updates, that's very tense and scary.

The best input on that thing, on "The Mikado", was in editing. Chris Willingham is a great editor. And I sat in the editing room and it was like almost directing it a whole second time. If you see that episode, the scenes have a real tension and a kind of unease. And they keep you slightly off balance while giving you just enough information to get to the next scene. I think that the end product came out very scary. I think it's a really crackerjack episode.

Episode 2 "Beware of the Dog"

Airdate: 09/26/97

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Allen Coulter

Mark Snow:

Frank Black and Bobby Darin. I think it was a vehicle simply to make him, you know, as much of everyman as possible, to ground him, to make him seem normal.

Episode 3 "Sense and Antisense"

Airdate: 10/03/97

Writer: Chip Johannessen / Director: Thomas J. Wright

("Gyp the Cat" by Bobby Darin.)

Mark Snow:

I think that Morgan and Wong just love Bobby Darin, period. And I think that's, they said, He's gonna like it too. We like it, he likes it.

("Goodbye Charlie" by Bobby Darin.)

Episode 4 "Monster"

Airdate: 10/17/97

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Perry Lang

Lance Henrikson (now):

The Academy Group came back to see us in the second season. The Academy Group, to me, was profoundly moving, because these were men who retired from law enforcement from every walk of life. I mean, from FBI, and all these different things. And they got together to solve crimes that other people needed help with. And it wasn't for money, it was for their duty.

Michael Perry:

They had this bond of camaraderie, that they all loved each other, they laughed at each other's corny jokes. And you just couldn't help going, I can't believe these are the guys who are solving some of the most gruesome and difficult cases ever. When they first came in for the seminar, we're all, wow, these are real FBI guys - you know, hi, how are you. Then the guy goes, I'd like to start my presentation, talks a little bit about the X-Files. And he goes, you know, on that show they said the behavioral profiling units were really weird guys. And we all thought, yeah, that's right. And then one of them goes, Now, some of the details on X-Files aren't entirely true, they said that they put a microchip in a lot of their employees buttocks. He goes, the truth is we put it in your tooth. And the other three guys are just dead serious. We're not sure - is he kidding? Is he not kidding? And then the other Academy guy started chuckling, and OK, he's having us on, a little bit.

Richard Ault

Academy Group Profiler

Yeah, We could play. As you know, or as you'll see, Pete has a good sense of humor and so does Roy. It was good fun, that day. A lot of fun.

Lance Henriksen (now):

They asked us to solve one of the cases. And all they showed me was a body that was covered with a blanket and gave me a list of the people and showed me pictures of the room. And they had four suspects and they asked which one did I think did it. And after about an hour of looking at it, I said it had to be the sailor. Cos the girl's behavior was telling me that she was using people, and that she had used this sailor that was really actually very much in love with her. And when they found the body it was covered with a quilt, she was nude but it was covered with a quilt. And so it had to have been somebody that really loved her, because he didn't want her to be found naked, so he was covering her up. And so I told them and they said, you're right, that's who it was. I had started to use their logic. And maybe they were just being nice to me.

Michael Perry:

I would call them up. I would absolutely call up those guys all the time. It was one of the fun parts of the job. If you're doing a show about any kind of thing, you'd call them and say, tell me some true stories in which a similar situation arose. Or, tell me a true story about some of the guys you interviewed who might be like a criminal we're gonna have on our show. Or I would also call them and ask, you go and you see terrible things that people do to each other, and then you go and you're gonna go coach your kid's baseball team on Saturday. What does it take to do that? And just let them talk. And it gave you - maybe it wasn't direct research, it's not going to be the CSI thing, where it's exactly the detail of how they pulled out a piece of hair or fiber, but more of an understanding of what makes these guys tick.

Robert R. Hazelwood

Academy Group Profiler

When they dealt with Lance playing the role of the profiler and looking at a crime and giving opinions, yes, they used the right terms, they had the right connections. Of course, when they started talking about conspiracies and governmental involvement, that's totally out of our bailiwick, we had nothing to do with that.

Episode 4 "Monsters"

Airdate: 10/17/97

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Perry Lang

Kristen Cloke "Lara Means"

1997 Interview

My character's name is Lara Means, and I'm also a forensic psychologist. Um, but I'm also - I want to say 'afflicted', but I'm not sure that that's necessarily the right word. But I think you're going to learn a lot more about the Millennium Group this season.

Episode 19 "Anamnesis"

Airdate: 04/17/98

Writers: Erin Maher & Kay Reindl / Director: John P. Kousakis

Megan Gallagher

"Catherine Black"

You know, what Glen and Jim - we all had dinner one night and they said, look, when you're in an episode we want it to be about something cool. And I have to say, one of my favorite episodes was an episode where the character Lara and I solved a crime together. And it was really - that was really fun.

John Kousakis:

I remember I was very excited, because I'd been wanting to direct a Millennium episode. "Anamnesis" was written by two of our writers, Kay Reindl and Erin Maher. And they wrote a very nice script. It was ironically on a show that starred Lance Henriksen, it was a show without Lance Henriksen.

Lance Henriksen (now):

I was in every show except for one. Megan had a show of her own that I wasn't in. You know, one of the series' shows. I flew immediately to Hawaii and laid on a beach, and then came back.

John Kousakis:

I was excited, very excited about directing that episode. It was challenging because I was also producing the show at the same time, but I was fortunate enough to have a great line producer working with me, Kathy Gilroy-Sereda. But primarily on "Anamnesis" the excitement was getting my hands in more of the creative, totally creative aspect of the show.

I had directed other episodes on other series that I had worked on. But the joy was knowing that I was working on a very high-caliber show, and working on a show that was - I'm, without doubt, the proudest of in my career.

Lance Henriksen (1997):

I feel like this year there's all kinds of new dimensions possible. I mean, there's, the restraints are coming off, the shackles are coming off to a degree. It's not that I'll trivialize anything, but certainly I have a very wry, crazy sense of humor that lives inside of my head, and I think I'll be able to use some of that.

Episode 9 "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense"

Airdate: 11/21/97

Writer: Darin Morgan / Director: Darin Morgan

Frank Spotnitz

Writer/Co-Producer

The second season of Millennium really became Morgan and Wong's season, and they took the show in a very different direction, did some really amazing, interesting work. One coup that they landed was bringing in Glen Morgan's brother, Darin, who'd written some of the finest episodes of The X-Files. And he wrote and directed two episodes of Millennium that were absolutely atypical of the series and like nothing else done in the series and probably not particularly well received in terms of ratings, but to my mind were two of the finest episodes of the whole run. They're just fantastic.

Lance Henriksen (now):

They would break that barrier. They would go from a kind of comedy into a fairy-tale kind of thing.

Which was different for me. Again, challenges are a challenge, you know. It's the only shows I think I actually smiled in. Frank Black didn't do a lot of smiling.

Michael Perry:

There's nothing more fun than the day a Darin Morgan script comes out. In the weeks leading up, occasionally you'd cross paths with him and he goes, "It's going to be terrible. It's not going to work. I don't know what I'm doing." And then the script would come out. And we'd be knocking on each other's door - "Have you read it? Have you read his script?"

Mark Snow:

The creation of "Jose Chung" and Darin Morgan's direction was really pretty amazing. To inject this oddball character into this dark show, and cast Charles Nelson Reilly, I thought was just brilliant.

Episode 21 "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me"

Airdate: 05/01/98

Writer: Darin Morgan / Director: Darin Morgan

Megan Gallagher:

They also did that wacky episode with the devils that Glen's brother wrote, Darin.

Mark Freeborn

Production Designer

Satan, Get Thee Behind Me (sic), which is the story of four devils talking about their night's work in a doughnut store. On the surface it appeared to be a bit of cartoon, but in reality you could easily see those four people sitting in a doughnut store, talking about their night's work as human beings.

Mark Snow:

Darin really wanted me to lay low on these shows. Nothing big, and maybe a little less music than usual, and just a very light touch. He didn't want anything heavy-handed, dishonest or traditional or generic things you might expect.

Frank Spotnitz:

I actually watched them again recently. I just thought they were so witty and so beautifully constructed. So much to say, so much cleverness and so entertaining, but not like the rest of the series.

Episode 2 "Beware of the Dog"

Airdate: 09/26/97

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Allen Coulter

Megan Gallagher:

In season 2, it was much more contentious with Frank. I suddenly had straight hair, which brought my character in a whole new direction! And as you see, the hair has stayed straight. It was a good season. And then I died of a horrible Ebola-like flu at the end.

Episode 22 "The Fourth Horseman"

Airdate: 05/08/98

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Dwight Little

Megan Gallagher:

(laughs) What can you do? I think Glen and Jim are awesome. But yeah, the show was going - it was trying to find a new direction in certain ways, and that can be rough on an audience to some degree. And I don't know, I don't know if it was wise to kill me. I was OK with being killed, by the way. I was really OK with it. Cos I didn't know where it was going to go. I just didn't know. And I don't believe you can - I just don't believe you can cling to things. You've got to deal with whatever's up next, and it can always be something better.

Episode 23 "The Time Is Now"

Airdate: 05/15/98

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong / Director: Thomas J. Wright

Megan Gallagher:

The day, the last thing that we shot was a scene where I make this, you know, sacrifice, which of course any mother would make. Where I give the - we had a couple of vials of vaccine and I give one to my daughter. And I know I'm going to die. And it was so sad. I was kind of struck by the intensity of my own emotion about it, because I knew it was coming, I knew I was going to go and do other stuff, and I was cool with it. But it was really - it was sad. I was very, very emotional. Cos it was my family. And Brittany. What a sweetie-pie. She really made me want to have kids. She really did. I was in a kind of no-man's land about that, I think. And then I realized how cool it could be to hang out with a child all day. Because we did, and she was so fun. I just got a Christmas card. You know, we're still in touch. And Tom, I believe, directed that last one. And Tom directed so many for us, and he was great. So it was just this group.

Tom Wright:

I missed working with Megan. She was great. Very professional. Always knew her stuff. Very smart, you know. Savvy, knows the business, knows what you're talking about. We had a good time. And she loved the show, too.

Chris Carter:

Season 2, I'd say, was really Jim, Glen, Ken Horton, Chip Johannessen. They really took the show and I think wanted to see what they could do with it, and how they might improve it, boost the ratings, create opportunities that maybe were for success that they saw and I didn't have time to.

Executive Producers Glen Morgan and James Wong were invited to participate in this documentary but declined.

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