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Entertainment Weekly: Millennium

Entertainment Weekly
Ken Tucker

Get ready for another new Millennium as Lance Henriksen’s FBI guy loses a wife and gains a partner

Klea Scott and Lance Henriksen

When we last left “Millennium” — well, let’s see, hero Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) had found out that his Millennium Group, which was supposed to save the world, was involved in some sort of internecine, apocalyptic battle with a splinter faction called the Family; the human race was being wiped out by a virulent plague carried in part by birds; his fellow Millennium operative Lara Means (Kristen Cloke) had seemingly gone insane after a season-ending hallucinogenic trip starring the Virgin Mary and set to Patti Smith’s “Horses” (the entire song!); his wife, Katherine (Megan Gallagher), had blown her brains out rather than fall victim to the plague; and Frank’s dark hair had suddenly turned completely white. The whole thing was like a nightmare David Lynch might have had after eating a bag of bad E. coli burgers.

“Well, Frank’s hair will be gray this season,” says Duggan, chuckling. “And the world didn’t end, despite what that episode implied, so we’re going to pick up the pieces and move on by sending Frank to D.C., and giving him a new work partner and a new life.” The plague scenario will be contained and tidied up, and creator Chris Carter’s acknowledgment that “we took the serial-killer-of-the-week criticism seriously” is being heeded. Sounds like Fox should go with a new ad campaign: “Everything You Knew About Millennium Is Wrong.”

For its first two seasons this was the most uneven good show in prime time — sometimes scary, sometimes silly; sometimes daringly experimental, sometimes hollowly pretentious. Last year, under the guidance of former “X-Files” brainiacs Glen Morgan and James Wong, you never knew whether Black was going to be a dour killer-hunter or a deadpan conspiracy-nut-buster. It was an exhilarating run — Morgan and Wong have since moved on to feature films — but a decidedly confusing one. And such creative dissonance, combined with lackluster ratings (104th last season), nearly cost the show a slot this fall. A source at Twentieth Century, which produces “Millennium,” admits that the network’s decision to renew was down to the wire. (No doubt the cachet of Chris “X-Files” Carter helped.)

Now that Black is back, “we want to root the series more firmly,” says Duggan, who oversaw last season’s low- and underrated ABC FBI show “C-16.” “Megan’s character is gone. Frank is now a single father who has decided to go back to what he used to do — work with the FBI in D.C. on especially tough cases. He’ll get a partner, which will give viewers a fresh set of eyes to see the show through.”

Those eyes are the big brown ones of Klea Scott, who stood out in the crowded squad-room of CBS’ ballyhooed bomberoo “Brooklyn South.” Scott, who played a smart beat cop will now join Millennium as FBI agent Emma Hollis. “She’s not a rookie,” explains Duggan, “but she’s young enough to be in awe of Frank Black’s rep as a legendary crime solver.”

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