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DVD Review: MILLENNIUM Season 2

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PHOTOGRAPHY

MILLENNIUM:  THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 23 episodes on six discs, 2 commentaries, featurettes

STUDIO: FOX

RELEASE DATE: 1-4-2005

DISC 1- THE BEGINNING AND THE END, BEWARE OF THE DOG, SENSE AND ANTISENSE, MONSTER

DISC 2- A SINGLE BLADE OF GRASS, THE CURSE OF FRANK BLACK, 19:19, THE HAND OF SAINT SEBASTIAN

DISC 3- JOSE CHUNG'S DOOMSDAY DEFENSE, MIDNIGHT OF THE CENTURY, GOODBYE CHARLIE, LUMINARY

DISC 4- THE MIKADO, THE PEST HOUSE, OWLS, ROOSTERS

DISC 5- SIREN, IN ARCADIA EGO, ANAMNESIS, A ROOM WITH NO VIEW

DISC 6- SOMEHOW, SATAN GOT BEHIND ME , THE FOURTH HORSEMAN, THE TIME IS NOW

ANALYSIS: When Glen Morgan and James Wong took over as show runners for season 2 of Millennium, they pushed the boundaries of what the show could be. They gave a mythology to the Millennium group by hinting at what the Group is and how long the Group has been around for. they also looked into the characters of Frank Black (Lance Henrikson) and Peter Watts (Terry O'Quinn), and developed those two characters further. Peter Watts was seen as a man of faith who joined the Millennium Group due to the horrible things he has seen. Frank Black's life was shaken to the core due to the sacrifice he made to make Catherine (Megan Gallagher) and their daughter Jordan safe in THE BEGINNING AND THE END. The idea of the Yellow House was shattered and Frank tried to get back that idea during season 2. Catherine separated from Frank and tried to deal with what Frank did (and who he is).

Season 2 brought many new characters like The Old Man, Lara Means (Kristen Cloke), and Roedecker. Many episodes dived into he Millennium Group like their history (BEWARE OF THE DOG and THE HAND OF SAINT SEBASTIAN), their enemies (OWLS and ROOSTERS), and what they could do (THE FOURTH HORSEMAN and THE TIME IS NOW). Then THE CURSE OF FRANK BLACK, MIDNIGHT OF THE CENTURY, and LUMINARY looked into who Frank Black was. Even Catherine received the spotlight with ANAMNESIS. Comedy took the spotlight with JOSE CHUNG'S DOOMSDAY DEFENSE as a satire with Selfosophy. THE MIKADO featured a Zodiac-like killer in a classic MILLENNIUM episode.

The second season did have it's high and lows, and some fans are turned off by what the show became by the end of that season (or how it was dealt with in the third season). I feel SOMEHOW, SATAN GOT BEHIND ME is just the worst episode of the season (and show) and it doesn't fit in as a MILLENNIUM episode period.

BEST EPISODES OF SEASON 2:   THE BEGINNING AND THE END, BEWARE OF DOG, THE CURSE OF FRANK BLACK, THE HAND OF SAINT SEBASTIAN, JOSE CHUNG'S DOOMSDAY DEFENSE, MIDNIGHT OF THE CENTURY, GOODBYE CHARLIE, LUMINARY, THE MIKADO, OWLS, ROOSTERS, ANAMNESIS, A ROOM WITH NO VIEW, THE FOURTH HORSEMAN, and THE TIME IS NOW.

VIDEO/AUDIO: FOX has done great job with the video and audio on the DVDs. Episodes are presented in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. Image detail is great. Flesh tones and colors are warm looking. Blacks are good. A little grain does show up from to time, but the transfers are really wonderful. At rare times, the picture does feature lots of grain.

You can hear the episodes in English, French, or Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround with the option of English or Spanish subtitles. Dialogue comes through clearly. Music packs a punch and sounds really pop out. The episodes overall look and sound better than when they were first shown on TV.

SPECIAL FEATURES: On disc six are two featurettes: THE TURN OF THE TIDE: MAKING OF SEASON TWO and THE ACADEMY GROUP: VICTIMOLOGY.

THE TURN OF THE DIE: MAKING OF SEASON TWO is a 33 1/2 minute documentary with new interviews with cast and crew (and a couple of interviews from 1997 with Lance Henrikson and Kristen Cloke). The people involved mention that Morgan and Wong created a mythology for the Millennium Group when they took over the show for season 2 and two different production teams were involved (one for the Morgan and Wong episodes and another for the other episodes). The documentary has a lot of talk on The Mikado, Anamnesis, and the Darin Morgan episodes. Megan Gallagher points out it might not have been wise to kill off Catherine. Too bad that Morgan and Wong declined to be interviewed.

THE ACADEMY GROUP: VICTIMOLOGY is about the investigative techniques of the Academy Group and what killers do (like play games with the investigation and the system). It is about the killers they have investigated/profiled and the victims.

Two episode commentaries are on this set: one for THE HAND OF SAINT SEBASTIAN (with Director Thomas J. Wright) and THE MIKADO (with writer Michael R. Perry). Michael R. Perry talks about the use of the internet in the episode THE MIKADO, FOX wanting the name of the character changed and that why the killed ended up as Avatar, and Millennium is a show that has to be really watched to get the details. Michael is very informative on the commentary as he also lets slip he had an idea for a sequel to THE MIKADO. Thomas J. Wright on directing THE HAND OF SAINT SEBASTIAN gives details about the episode's production, Roedecker was Morgand and Wong's favorite character, Terry O'Quinn (and how Lance treated Terry in season 3), and how he felt season 2 got away from itself as it went on.

MENUS: The menus are great as always as a video loop plays on the main menu with the Millennium theme song. The video loop ends with Lucy Butler closing the door before the loop repeats.

DVD Sleeve art/box art: Most of the art/pictures are good except I wish they had used different pictures for the box and the disc six sleeve art. Maybe next time, FOX should use the millennium logo and the show name (with no picture art) for the box cover of the Complete Third Season.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Season 2 features some of the best episodes of the show as the mythology expanded. If you're a MILLENNIUM fan, this DVD set must be owned. FOX has excelled with the transfer of the episodes and I can't wait for the Third Season set.

this DVD review is (c)12-24-2004 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content (and site updates) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia