Millennium: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (I) (25 Oct. 1996)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Former FBI profiler Frank Black returns to his hometown of Seattle with his wife, Catherine, and his daughter, Jordan. Frank, the Seattle Police, and the mysterious Millennium Group ... See full summary »



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Title: Pilot (25 Oct 1996)

Pilot (25 Oct 1996) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Det. Roger Kamm
Stephen J. Lang ...
Det. Bob Giebelhouse (as Stephen James Lang)
Don MacKay ...
Michael Puttonen ...
Pathologist Massey (as Mike Puttonen)
Jarred Blancard ...
Young Man at Ruby Tip
Coffin Man
Kimm Wakefield ...
Young Woman


Former FBI profiler Frank Black returns to his hometown of Seattle with his wife, Catherine, and his daughter, Jordan. Frank, the Seattle Police, and the mysterious Millennium Group investigate a series of sexual homicides being committed by a prophecy driven serial killer. Written by Shatterdaymorn

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Release Date:

25 October 1996 (USA)  »

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Calamity: Tell me what you want.
The Frenchman: I want to see you dance on the blood-dimmed tide. The ceremony of innocence is drowned. This is the second death. The abominable and the fornicators - this is the second death. You'll have your part in the lake - the great plague - the maritime city. You'll have your part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.
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Performed by Nine Inch Nails
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Similar to but importantly different from "The X-Files"
10 July 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Surprise, surprise, this first show introduces us to the core characters and the basic premise of Chris Carter's "The X-Files"-like "Millennium".

That the show has a lot of similarities to the X-Files both helps and hurts it. It helps because the "X-Files" was one of the best television shows to ever hit the airwaves, and with the same production team working on a new show with some similar themes while their star attraction was at the peak of its creativity and popularity helps "Millennium" obtain a lot of the effective atmosphere of "The X-Files". The similarities also hurt "Millennium", however, because it's clear from this first episode that there are a lot of important differences between the two shows, so fans trying to read "Millennium" in the same way that they read "The X-Files" were sure to end up a bit frustrated. The pacing and structure of "Millennium" are very different. In many ways it is a much moodier and more ambiguous show. There are strong religious themes/subtexts (some of which occur more in later episodes), the focus is more on horror, and although Chris Carter is still concerned with obsession as well as bureaucratic blunders and quagmires, he explores those themes at least initially more with respect to trying to maintain a traditional family unit in the face of these problems.

After an introduction that hints at just how dark and supernatural the show may become, The pilot episode begins with Frank Black (played by one of my favorite character actors, Lance Henriksen) moving his family from Washington, D.C. to Seattle, largely because of some of the issues mentioned in the last paragraph--or so appearances and statements to friends and even family go. Black is from Seattle and worked homicide there years ago. No sooner does he get back home then he becomes wrapped up in a serial murder case. Carter and director David Nutter first play this as if it's a symptom of an addict-like obsession, but we soon learn that there may be more to Black's involvements, and we get a glimpse into his "special powers"--he seems to be a psychic.

Carter and director Nutter introduce a number of threads that will continue in later episodes. The pilot is interesting and unusual because some of these ancillary issues seem to be more the focus than the murder case--so we can tell that this is going to be a bit more complex than a just a "monster-of-the-week" detective show.

I'm a big advocate of watching television series in order, so of course, you should start here if you can.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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