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Millennium - Season 1

/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 946 mins . 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment . PAL


Frank Black (Lance Henrikson) has retired and moved back home to Seattle to escape a dark past of serial profiling with the FBI. However, Frank has a unique gift that lets him get inside the head of serial killers and psychopaths, and Frank knows that his gift can still be used to catch these killers so he joins the Millennium Group, an independent criminal consulting group.

The central theme behind Millennium is the battle between Good and Evil with a running apocalyptic storyline which is only really hinted at during the first season but is further elaborated on in future seasons (but that’s a topic for a different review). Frank Black is a crusader for the cause even if the lines between dark and light are blurred and his only sanctuary from the horror of the world is his family and their metaphoric 'big yellow house'.

Millennium isn’t for those with weak constitutions, the gore and horror levels are pretty high and even the most hardened X-Files fan could have trouble stomaching severed limbs and walls of blood. To me this is what really makes Millennium unique and interesting. There is no fear of offending here and it’s a warts and all account of the criminal mind and the investigations required to catch them; a really enjoyable ride. Each episode of Millennium is a mystery of some kind and Frank travels all over the U.S. to offer his unique talents to solve them.

IMDB categorises Millennium as a “Crime Drama Mystery Horror Thriller” and this pretty much sums up the broad range of emotions and themes that the show covers.

"I'm not depressed. Just quiet."


Millennium is presented in a full frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not enhanced for widescreen displays (naturally) even though the menu system is 16:9 aspect and enhanced for widescreens. The video presentation is on par with a TV series of the era (it is approaching 10 years old after all) and the picture quality is generally pretty good.

Since the majority of the show is dark and in shadow it’s a good thing that the black levels are very good and shadow detail is decent although they can tend to lose some detail in the very dark scenes. Colour levels are typically muted as per the theme but in the yellow house scenes are rich without being oversaturated, in the daytime or well lit scenes the picture is excellent.

The video presentation is far from perfect through; some grain exists in the darker scenes and some minor film artefacts pop up from time to time.


The only audio option in this set is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. The most obvious audio element is Mark Snow’s brilliant and atmospheric score but as is to be expected from a 2 channel audio track the surrounds and subwoofer get little to no action at all. Dialogue being a major part of show it is always clear and audible with a constant volume level meaning no annoying trips to the volume dial.


This box set contains all 22 episodes from the first season of Millennium, including the pilot, across six discs. This translates to four episodes per disc with the last disc having two episodes and some special features. The Special Features for this first season set seem like more than the usual thrown together fluff that some box sets get and it is obvious that some considerable effort has been put into assembling them.

The extras are split across only the first and last disc in the set and consist of two audio commentaries and a number of featurettes, as detailed below:

Audio Commentary by series creator Chris Carter on Pilot episode
Chris Carter displays a certain passion for Millennium as you would expect and in this commentary he discusses the usual topics of characters, plot and musical score. Carter also spends a lot of time in the commentary going over the intricacies of the story and the motivations of the main characters, particularly the yellow house which he considers as much a character as any human actor. A very interesting commentary and well worth a listen.

Audio Commentary by director David Nutter on episode Gehenna
David Nutter actually only directed 4 episodes of Millennium (Pilot, Gehenna, 52266 and Loin like a hunting flame) but as an experienced X-Files director he clearly shows a knowledge of how to bring Chris Carter’s vision to life. The contents of his commentary covers the usual topics and actually repeats a lot of what Carter covered in his commentary of the Pilot episode but with a little more emphasis on the philosophy and feel of the show and how his direction conveyed that to the audience.

Order in Chaos: Making Millennium Season One (48:46)
Like a curtain call for the series Chris Carter, David Nutter, Ken Horton, Frank Spotnitz, Lance Henrikson among others all do short interviews regarding the first season. The central theme being the discussion of the topics that inspired the series, of particular interest is the way the show was pitched to the studios in the early days and how the yellow house plays a large role by providing the lighter moments in a usually dark and scary show.

Chasing the Dragon: A Conversation with the Academy Group (21:21)
A short but interesting spot on the Academy Group, the real world organisation which provided the inspiration for the Millennium Group featured in the series. This featurette shows short interviews with profilers from the actual group, outlining their areas of speciality, their investigation methods and how the organisation works with government agencies to solve criminal cases.

Creating the logo and title sequence (9:36)
The Ouroboros is the central part of the Millennium logo and shows a snake eating its own tail, repesenting the continuity of life, a central theme in the series. This featurette gives a semi-technical outline of the process behind creating the logo for the series. Also included is an interesting section on how the title sequence was created, of particular note is the run down of where the various parts of the sequence came from (some were filmed specifically for the sequence, others came from such places as music videos)

TV Spots (5:17)
8 short TV spots, promotional in nature but a good inclusion to round out this excellent extras package.


Millennium was produced at the height of the X-Files popularity so any X-Files fan worth their salt also ended up watching Millennium for it’s short three year run. Most were not disappointed, Millennium went places where The X-Files feared to tread, it was darker, scarier and a lot more gory with an apocalyptic theme that made alien invasion and government conspiracy look like a Sunday afternoon picnic.

The release of this first season is a chance to relive this great series and combined with some top notch extras and a reasonable price this set is definitely worth owning, keep your eyes open for the next two seasons to round out the whole series.

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      And I quote...
    "The release of this first season is a chance to relive this great series."
    - Chris Hore
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-676A
    • Projector:
          BenQ PB6100
    • Receiver:
          Yamaha RX-V995
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale Diamond
    • Centre Speaker:
          Wharfedale Modus
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale Diamond
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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