Millennium: The Complete First Season (review)

It’s End Times thrills for secularists in X-Files creator Chris Carter’s crime drama, which explores millennial paranoia from a decidedly worldly perspective while also managing to maintain an unrelenting, uncanny creepiness. It’s clear, throughout these 22 episodes from the series’s debut 1996-7 season, that retired FBI criminal profiler Frank Black has some paranormal simpatico with serial killers and other deviants, but there’s a grounded rationality to his unraveling of murders and other awful acts springing from twisted religious faith, apocalyptic prophecies, terrorism, and biblical mania: the evil that men do here isn’t rooted in the supernatural but instead in an obsessive belief in the supernatural. Though often unabashedly, intimately sexual, with an emotionally graphic tinge, and delving into the most heinous things humans can do, the series is never exploitive or sensational — this may be one of the least melodramatic explorations of human aberrance TV has ever seen. Lance Henriksen (Alien vs. Predator) was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance as Black, and indeed, he has yet to match the rooted intensity of his performance here as a man driven by demons internal and external, and by a desire to protect his wife (Megan Gallagher) and young daughter (Brittany Tiplady) and their innocent unawareness of the depravity of the world. Extras include deleted scenes, commentaries, and featurettes.

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