Series: Millennium

wait
worry
who cares?
— opening titles, first season

Millennium was a FOX show created by Chris Carter, best known for The X-Files. Lasting three seasons, 1996-1999, it starred Lance Henriksen as ex-FBI agent Frank Black, a consultant to various police forces investigating violent crimes with the mysterious Millennium Group. The show was retooled significantly each season—the executive producers of the show changed each season. Throughout the series' run, however, the overall tone remained dark and disturbing, which did not appeal to mainstream television viewers, but earned the respect of a devoted group of fans.

The first season focused primarily on Frank's work as The Profiler, consulting with police forces in catching violent criminals, usually serial killers. The audience saw brief clips of Frank's perception of what the criminals saw, but it was left deliberately vague whether these were psychic visions, or just Frank's non-supernatural, but highly skilled, insights into the criminals' minds. Forays into the supernatural were few and ambiguous in the first season.

The second season delved much deeper into the nature of the Millennium Group and the apocalyptic themes which were behind it. A major theme was the schism in the Group between "Owls" and "Roosters," two factions with different views of the approaching millennium and how it should be handled. It also brought in clearly supernatural themes, angels and demons, and made Frank's visions explicitly psychic.

The third season saw Frank leave the Millennium Group due to their actions at the end of the second season, and return to the FBI. Its subject material was somewhere between the first and second seasons: it returned to some extent to the criminal-of-the-week format of the first season, but also explored mystical and religious themes, and the nature of the Millennium Group as in the second season.

After cancellation, the show received a Fully Absorbed Finale in The X-Files episode "Millennium." The episode was included with the DVD release of the final season of Millennium.

The Fully Absorbed Finale was not well-received by fans, however. Internet fans created an entire fourth season of Fan Fic scripts to give the show a proper ending.

....and now IDW Publishing (which also has the rights for X-Files comic books) is going to launch its own continuation series line, penned by the series creators.

This series is not be confused with the various other works named Millennium.

For tropes used in specific episodes, see Millennium episode recaps


This show provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Discussed in the pilot. The investigative team have just rescued a kidnapping victim from having been Buried Alive in the woods. Frank Black's partner later admits that it's the scariest thing he has ever seen, and asks Frank what his moment was. Black's response:
    "You've ever seen your daughter lying in intensive care?"
  • Ambiguously Evil: Steven Kiley in "Goodbye, Charlie". He lets sick and dying people kill themselves. Does he do it because he wants to end their suffering or because he enjoys it?
  • Arc Words: "This is who we are" and "The time is now."
  • Argentina Is Naziland: In the second season episode "Roosters," it is revealed that the Nazis set up corporations in Argentina and Paraguay as part of Odessa, a long-term plan to end the Millennium Group.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: In "Walkabout", Peter Watts says that thalidomide was administered to prevent miscarriages, which is false. It was administered to treat morning sickness.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: In "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me", a group of demons who appear as elderly men to regular humans discuss their work with each other in a late-night coffee shop. When one of them rudely asks for a cup, the clerk gives him his order after peeing in it. The demon apparently think this is hilarious and later commends the clerk for it.
  • Blessed with Suck: Frank's ability to see the world through the eyes of serial killers and murderers. Sure, it's useful but who would WANT that?
  • Breather Episode: "Jose Chung's Doomday Defense" and "Somehow Satan Got Behind Me". Given how dark the series was, these were necessary to keep the audience sane.
  • Buried Alive: In the pilot episode, the victims having their mouths and eyes sewn shut, and then being nailed into coffins. While still alive.
  • Fan Disservice: In the pilot, The Frenchman (a disturbed serial killer) is watching a private performance by a stripper. Then he starts mumbling apocalyptic poetry, and hallucinates that the stripper is covered in blood and dancing in front of a wall of fire.
  • Finger in the Mail: The serial killer variation showed up where a sinister figure known as "the Judge" has criminals committing vigilante killings and mailing body parts to the victims' victims.
  • For the Evulz: Rick Van Horn "Closure" kills people for fun.
  • Freak Out: Lara Means has an epic hallucination in "The Time is Now. Unfortunately, it's followed by a Heroic BSOD.
  • I Am Legion: Frank's true nemesis, of which Lucy Butler is only one face
  • Initiation Ceremony: Which drove Lara Means insane in the second season finale
  • Matricide: The Monster of the Week in the season 1 finale "Paper Dove" kills his mother after he becomes fed up with her overbearing behavior.
  • Murder.com: "The Mikado" featured an elusive killer who broadcast his latest murders over the internet, killing whom he tied up in front of a camera when the counter on the screen (signifying the number of visitors to the website) reached a specific number.
  • Music Video Syndrome: An entire act of the season 2 finale is essentially a music video for Patti Smith's "Land".
  • Next Sunday A.D.: In the first two seasons, the login message on Frank's computer tells him how many days are remaining until 1/1/00.
  • Ouroboros: Serves as the Millennium Group's logo.
    • Sigil Spam: Everything connected to the Group bears the ouroboros.
  • Series Continuity Error/Retcon: The plague released at the end of the second season, projected to kill a significant fraction of the population of the North American west coast, instead kills less than a hundred people, which is never adequately explained; we learn that J. Edgar Hoover founded the Millennium Group, after learning in the previous season that the Group's history dates back at least to The Middle Ages.
  • Shapeshifting: Lucy Butler. In addition to her "regular" female form, she has a male and a demonic one.
  • Special Guest: KISS, "... Thirteen Years Later."
  • Sweater Girl: A female friend of Catherine Black mentions that she was the "favorite student" of (male lecturer at college). Catherine replies: "I wore tight sweaters."
  • Sympathy for the Devil: In "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me", a group of demons discuss how they go about their business to spread evil and their run-ins with Frank Black, who can see their true forms. When one of the demons begins a relationship with a human woman but finds himself compelled to drive her to suicide anyway, Frank sees the demon crying and remarks "You must be so lonely".
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Frank and Lara's unique perceptions of reality lead to mental breakdowns. Frank initially seems to have recovered from his; by the third season, however, he's again fraying at the edges.