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Millennium Alternative Season 3 - Authors notes.

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Written and posted to the internet in 1999 by Millennium fan "Red Kettle", this short series of alternative episodes for Season Three have remained in Millennium Fan folklore. Discuss them in this Forum. The Alternative Millennium Season Three can be found here together with notes on the creation and reviews:


The following notes from the author accompany Millennium - Alternative Season 3.

Why do an Alternative Season 3?

Several people have asked, so I thought I'd let you in on some of my thinking on the events at the end of Season 2 and the way that I have addressed them in the Alternative Season 3.

First off, the Alternative Season 3 has NOTHING to do with the real Season 3. Monty Python summarised my feelings on the real S3 very well - "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. I fart in your general direction."

I have borrowed the titles of the first three episodes for reasons set out below, but nothing else from Season 3 is the same. If you sick and tired of the 'real' season3, maybe you should try the Alternative Season 3!

'The Time is Now' left things in a very difficult position. A deadly Russian-made virus has broken out at several places in the world. The population has no built-in resistance to this virus, and so the stage is set for a plague of epic proportions. The Millennium Group is acting very oddly - it knows about the virus but is doing nothing. A mysterious figure called Mr Lott has appeared and tells Frank about the need to sacrifice individuals for the greater good. Peter Watts tries to rescue Lara Means from the clutches of the Group, but ends up in a stand-off with two Group members, one of whom fires a shot at him. Frank takes his family to an old cabin owned by his father. He and Jordan are immune, but Catherine is infected. She leaves the cabin in the middle of the night. We see Frank in the cabin in the morning - he has white hair.

The return of Millennium for a third season seemed sure to continue the story and tell us what happened to Frank, Catherine, Jordan, Lara and Peter Watts. But it didn't. The third season basically ignored the events of 'The Time is Now', brushed off the virus by saying that only 70 people died, and carried on. Catherine was dead and Frank turned against a Millennium Group which seemed to be pursuing an evil agenda of bioweapons, murder and bioengineering. Peter Watts returned, never revealing what happened to him, and slowly degenerated into an cipher for evil and dark deeds. Towards the end of the season, even the continuity was breaking down and the story was falling apart.

I started thinking that any one could do better than this.

The events of 'The Time is Now' were crying out for a proper explanation, which had never come. The advent of the Virtual Season 4 turned my thoughts to script-writing. "Hey, if these guys can do it, so can I." The writing team on VS4 is complete however, and I wasn't brave enough to start building a new season on the foundations of the awful Season 3. So I turned back to 'The Time is Now'. Questions began to form in my head ...

Why has the virus come back now - why is the Group doing nothing about it?

How come Henry Black owned a cabin in the woods anyway?

Frank and Catherine are at their most vulnerable at the cabin - who might this benefit?

Where does Catherine go - why don't we see Frank go after her?

Why does Frank's hair turn white?

Do we actually see Catherine die? (answer : no)

What happened to Peter Watts?

What about Lara Means?

I sat down to write an episode which would take the events forward from 'The Time is Now'. To emphasise the comparison with the real third season, I kept the original title for the first episode : 'THE INNOCENTS 2'. Luckily, it also seemed to fit the events and themes of the episode.

One thing that had always bugged me about the real S3 was the way that Frank was sure that the Group killed his wife. This made the Group into an automatic "evil organisation" and the third season developed this theme to disastrous effect. So, I thought, what if the Group weren't the bad guys here? What if something else is going on? In fact, what if what's happening to Frank and Catherine is not the Group's doing? What if the Group has its own problems?

When the script for 'THE INNOCENTS 2' was finished, I had dealt with the story of Catherine and Frank in some detail, and shown just why Frank's hair turned white, with the help of one major character from S1/S2 and several flashbacks to favourite MM moments of mine.

After some encouragement, I returned to write the next episode 'EXEGESIS2', which dealt with the fate of Peter Watts and the Group, with a brief appearance (just before the end) from another old friend from Season 1. Again, I kept the original title and it seemed to fit the story, something that could never be said of the original episode.

The third episode 'TEOTWAWKI2' turns back to Frank, Peter and Catherine and reveals the consequences of the events which 'The Time is Now' have set in motion. No special guest stars this time, and the story is told in an extended, fractured monologue by one of the main characters. This time the borrowed title was perfect, again suiting the new script much better than it had suited the original.

Finally, the 5-part episode arc which had begun with 'The Fourth Horseman' is complete. Remember, it's just my interpretation of what might have happened - your own mileage may vary.

I make no apologies for the use of the supernatural in these scripts, especially in the scenes at the end of 'THE INNOCENTS 2' and 'TEOTWAWKI2'. The Black family finished Season 2 in a very difficult position, and it needed all the help it could get to escape. I hope you find the supernatural parts of these episode to be at least a little "wonderful and strange" and/or ambiguous and puzzling. Some of the people that Frank sees at the end of 'THE INNOCENTS 2' are there to help, others are not. Remember, there's no such thing as a free lunch, not even for Frank Black. Every silver lining has a cloud.

So now the stage is set for the rest of the Alternative Season.

If you stick with it, you'll be going to places you hadn't expected.

See you there!

Red Kettle

(Red Kettle is a pseudonym)

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