"He (Chris Carter) had this pretty radical idea for a show that openly acknowledged that there was evil in this world---which was a dynamic that Thomas Harris had dealt with, both with his books and with his movies like Silence Of The Lambs and Red Dragon, but which nobody had ever had the balls to present on national television, in any fashion, before.
But what Chris did was take that idea a little bit further and temper it with the central focus of a somewhat long-in-the-tooth guy, played brilliantly by Lance Henriksen, whose agenda was to actively root out this evil and vanquish it while simultaneously trying to cultivate, within the safe confines of his home, a 'normal American family.'"
Millennium concluded its television run on May 21st, 1999, twenty years ago this day. It seemed like a good opportunity to sneak in a little post regarding the series.
The Millennium (1996-1999) series worked brilliantly and this approach, given its ties to such source material as mentioned by Nutter, may explain why a series like Hannibal (2013-2015) worked so equally well as if carved from the very same stone because it was. Hannibal was indeed a kind of spiritual cousin to Millennium. Hannibal was perhaps the evolution of Millennium in terms of television. Both series were extraordinarily dark, but beautifully crafted as narratives and strikingly lensed series. There was a visual art to these series often absent from most crime shows on mainstream television.
Interestingly, for this writer, Hannibal was at its best for Season One. Season Two was a close second. Season Three, while still a gorgeously filmed palette in step with the previous two seasons, felt a tad rushed and likely much of what was planned for additional seasons was shoehorned into Season Three.
Likewise, Millennium lost some appeal for me after its first two seasons. Season Three was good and enjoyed its fair share of compelling entries, like Hannibal, but didn't quite match the narrative focus of its strong first two seasons for me personally.
Recently, Mindhunter (2017), created by Joe Penhall and produced and directed by director David Fincher, has been perhaps the strongest television entry to delve into these dark waters and the idea of the profiler/protagonist walking very closely, narrowly so, to that fine line between darkness and light that both Hannibal and Millennium achieved. Mindhunter is indeed the best entry in the genre since, though not as generous with its visual flourishes.
Touching darkness got me thinking about how time flies. It's been seven years since the publication of Back To Frank Black: A Return To Chris Carter's Millennium (2012) of which I was fortunate enough to contribute. The material in that book like the aforementioned series on which its based still stands strong as a subject matter with no signs of dating itself. The book as a whole is a real work of quality, a labor of love for fans of the series and any new fans who should be discovering it today. It's an exceptional companion for those who dare to dig deeper into its world.