Today we bring you the second part of our conversation with the creative mind behind 'Millennium: Virtual Season Four', the fan made series that told the continuing story of Frank Black. Our thanks, once again, to Dan Owen for the kind donation of his time and for keeping the flame of 'Millennium' alive at a time when it was sorely missed. Please keep your eyes peeled in the next few days for more BTFB exclusives including another interview with a member of the cast I know you will all enjoy. And, if you haven't sent those letters and Polaroids, what are you waiting for? Let's bring Frank Back!
BTFB: I know we have been absolutely delighted by the support we have received from the cast, they are a generous and passionate bunch of people who have a lot of time for the fans that care about the product.
DO: Yeah, that's nice to see. Especially as they've all moved on and MM was, in the big scheme of things, only a three-season blip compared to most shows!
BTFB: I know the Millennium Apocalypse project was not without its problems and the odd the clash of personalities along the way did you guys experience any staff conflicts and dramas during the season's creation?
DO: No, there wasn't really any time to have an argument - and nobody was ever face-to-face, of course. It's amazing VS4 came together as well as it did, really. I think that was ultimately because Matt and I shared the same passion and vision for what Millennium's ending should be. So we just went headlong into it and didn't come up for air until December!
BTFB: I'm actually amazed that you got it together so quickly. You guys stuck to a TV schedule if I remember correctly, releasing the episodes every Friday even if, by your own admission, they weren't ready for broadcast. Were there times when you thought 'actually we've bitten off more than we can chew here'?
DO: Well, we only had a one episode "cushion" (something pre-written we could release for a bit of breathing space), but it wasn't so bad when submissions came back and I think we had 5 or 6 scripts being worked into shape. But yeah, mid-season the strain was beginning to show a bit. But I got a second creative wind doing the Rapture/Tribulation scripts, and then we had the fun of properly focusing on the big climax -- which everyone wanted to do! That was the exciting goal, really.
BTFB: I know this was all written a long time ago but looking back, are there episodes you view as particularly successful and others not so? How do you appraise the body of work that is virtual season four nearly “…Thirteen Years Later” - pun intended.
DO: Hehe, well... admittedly, my memory is hazy -- particularly of other people's scripts. So, at the risk of sounding a bit self-absorbed... I always have a soft spot for The First Prophet. The season as a whole was a mixed bag, but the spine was fairly strong and it definitely had a focus and attention to detail. I think it was a solid present for the fans that didn't read like "typical" fan-fiction which we tried to avoid the trappings of.
BTFB: Are you still involved with writing, be that professionally or as a hobby, and knowing what you know now would you ever commit to writing another virtual season of Millennium or any other show for that matter?
DO: I've kept my hand in, but I've moved away from scripts and more towards article-writing and blogging TV/film reviews. I wouldn’t do another virtual season of Millennium, purely because I feel the story has been told, and it's too much effort to be doing the same for other shows. And there are no shows I'd be THAT passionate about seeing continue online.
BTFB: Which leads me to my next point quite nicely. Since the cancellation of Millennium has any other show replaced it in terms of the passion you have for it? I have to confess, nothing has even come close for me and it's not for the want of trying to find something.
DO: Well yes, I have to admit that I'm a rabid Lost fan - but, thankfully, that show will end under its own steam next year. Before that came along, no... nothing really matched Millennium, although I did enjoy Carnivale.
BTFB: I'm a hypothetical Millennium fan. I've read this interview and become intrigued why should this hypothetical fan read Millennium Virtual Season Four?
DO: Well, despite the fact VS4 isn't canonical, I feel it's a decent conclusion if you finish your season 3 box-set and ache for resolution. While clearly tailored for diehard fans more than general audiences, it's not as frivolous as you may expect. We put the effort in and, while aspects of it don't ALWAYS stand up to scrutiny 10 years later, it's still an entertaining read and more complex than you may expect from "fan fiction".
BTFB: I know there are plans afoot for Virtual Season Six and Millennium fans have you to thank for being the genesis of the show’s continuation in this format and for someone who sought solace in it a number of times I thank your personally for your work on it. You have every right to be proud.
DO: Thank you. Virtual Seasons did seem to take-off after Millennium's VS4 got all that publicity, definitely!
BTFB: It's been a pleasure to speak to you Dan and to return the favour is there a blog or website you like to promote, something that may interest our supporters?
DO: Er, well, my own blog is danowen.blogspot.com, if that appeals and twitter.com/danowen79, too and you'll forgive the plug?
BTFB: We welcome plugs, it's part of the pleasure. Many thanks for taking the time to talk to us and we wish you every continued success for the future.
Posted by Mark Ducker | Filed under
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