SF Obscure: Millennium


With a few words about Harsh Realm.

So the big X-files reboot is on the horizon. I want to see it… I’m afraid to see it…I probably will try. Regardless, X-files is a phenomenon. I did a post about the spin-off series The Lone Gunmen, but not about the shared universe series Millennium.

Millennium ran from 1996-1999.  It follows the investigations of ex-FBI agent Frank Black, who has the psychic ability to see inside the minds of criminals. He is later recruitedby an organization known as the Millennium Group. Peter Watts, played by Terry O’Quinn ( known in a lot of SF) is his contact. The stories include standalones- in which Frank Black tracks a criminal- and mythology stories with the Millennium Group. His wife Catherine Black, counsels crime victims and his daughter, Jordan Black, may have inherited her father’s psychic abilities. In the third and final season, Frank Black is assigned a junior officer, Emma Hollis, who becomes his protege and is also later recruited by the Millennium Group.

There was a lot to like about Millennium. It was part of the X-files universe but a distinct show on its own. It was dark and rather depressing for some episodes-since Frank Black looks into the mind of killers that tended to dominate the tone. I think it may have turned off some viewers, to be honest. His relationship with his wife comes across as contentious and I often felt as if the writer’s weren’t quite certain what to do with his family. The Millennium Group starts off as ‘the good guy’s.’ They claim to be law enforcement professionals working to help protect society as the new millennium approaches (this was a 1999 show)  As it progresses, the groups seems to be more nefarious with mystical rituals, reclusive leaders, and that sort of thing. Almost too similar to the X-files alien agenda group; except this time its religious apocalypse themes rather than aliens.
Still,  it had some good episodes, suspense, and even a few comic episodes. The Emma Hollis character was beginning to branch out in the final season before the show was cancelled. The final episode was a seventh season X-files crossover episode title ‘Millennium’. I would have liked a bit more to close out Frank Black’s story, but at least viewers got a little something.
Another show premiered in 1999 from, Chris Carter, called Harsh Realm. It was not a part of the X-files universe, but had the trademark look and style in many ways. Nine episodes were made (available in a box set) and only three originally broadcast. If you blinked, you missed it. I did see it. I actually remembered it and  it was…okay.  It starred Scott Bairstow as a soldier named Hobbes who is stuck in a virtual reality war game called Harsh Realm. He must find a way out and return to the real world. Inside the game, he discovers counterparts to the people he knows in real life including Sergeant Major Santiago, who is an evil General in the virtual world attempting to take over the US. Santiago is played by Terry O’Quinn. The man is everywhere.

So, Smart Girls Readers, anyone have plans to see the new X-Files?

8 thoughts on “SF Obscure: Millennium

  1. Since I do not subscribe to any TV I won’t be seeing the new X-Files until it comes to Netflix and/or DVD. But, since I really, really dislike commercials, this works for me. I don’t recall Harsh Realm but I was a fan of Millennium. I have it on my radar for a rewatch as soon as I can acquire a copy. It currently resides on my Amazon wish list but someday . . . In the meantime, Netflix does have Fringe which I am currently watching. Talk about dark and grizzly. Need to get back to it now. Thank you.

    • I probably won’t see it until later either; though it is popular overseas so it may not be a long wait. Oh…FRINGE!!!! I loved FRINGE.

  2. Hi Echo,

    I love the X-files. When my husband and I were first dating, we had a Friday night ritual – I would get home from work, we would eat dinner, then snuggle on the sofa watching the X-files.
    I had forgotten about Millennium until your post. I enjoyed watching it, also. Do you remember the Lone Gunman, spin-off of the X-files? It wasn’t that good.
    Thank you for the info on Harsh Realm. I had never heard of it; I’ll have to see if I can find it.

  3. I hope to see the new x-files eventually. I loved it when it first came on years ago, but never really got to see much of it.It came on at my son’s bedtime and getting him off to dreamland always too priority over TV. I really should go back and watch the whole thing. Great post, Echo!

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