We at are fascinated and inspired by all aspects of our beloved franchise both in front of the cameras and behind them. We were delighted when Ramsey McDaniel, title sequence designer on almost all of 1013's output, took the time not only to support the campaign but to speak exclusively to us about her time on Millennium and more besides. As always, our thanks and gratitude to her for affording us her friendship and time.

BACKTOFRANKBLACK.COM: When you began the process of designing the title sequence of ‘Millennium’ how much filming of the first season was completed? Is it essential that you have sufficient footage to view in order that you have a clear idea of the creative direction the show is taking?

RAMSEY MCDANIEL: First I had to get the job. I was a huge X Files fan and when I heard 1013 was coming out with Millennium I really wanted it. Chris had a less than perfect experience with his The X Files title and really wasn't interested in hiring a title designer. So, without a clue of the shows content, I made an elaborately collaged hand bound book and sent it to him. That got me an interview. I was given the script, Mark Snow's music, and had a discussion with Chris & Frank. At the next meeting I presented boards and a ripomatic (rough rendition composed of images borrowed (ripped off) from broadcast materials) that I had edited. That got me the job and we went into production about the same time the premiere episode began editing.

BTFB: Did you work independently of the production team, presenting your ideas for their critique or were you given a brief of their vision for the titles which you worked from? Was the evolution of the titles always linear or were a number of versions played with during the design process?

RM'D: I pretty much nailed it with the ripomatic. We worked in some more shots that were relevant to the show. The title covered lurking danger but Chris's credit image (woman on the bridge) was added to include the element of danger from oneself and how precarious life is.

BTFB: The title sequence works particularly well set against Mark Snow’s Millennium Theme. Does the music inform the creative direction of the title sequence as much as any other consideration.

RM'D: Music first. It would be like editing a music video without the music.

BTFB: How long did it take from conception to completion to create the opening sequence and were there any particular problems that hadn’t been anticipated?

RM'D: It took about 5 weeks. I can't recall any problems. My producers might disagree with that.

The taglines that appeared during the various seasons have very much become part of the Lexicon of Millennium. Who was responsible for the creation of the ‘Wait’, ‘Worry’, ‘Who Cares’ tagline seen during the first season’s opening sequence and as its meaning is often discussed by members of the Millennium Fan Community could you enlighten us as to what it represents.

Wait, Worry, & Who Cares are all from the shows creators. I would not want to presume their exact meaning.

BTFB: The opening titles underwent some minor revisions during the course of the three seasons. Was this to reflect the changing emphasis and mood of the show and at who’s behest were these changes made?

RM'D: Chris & Frank wanted to make the changes to match the storyline, as you said. The fun thing about the added shot is it's my father's hand with the little girl's.

BTFB: Retrospectively do you still gain a sense of satisfaction from your work on the titles and is there any way you would improve upon your efforts given the chance?

RM'D: At the time I had wanted to add more graphics. Millennium was my first title. My background was broadcast design & graphics. But now I wouldn't change anything.

BTFB: Do you continue to work in the industry and what have you been involved with since your time on Millennium?

RM'D: After Millennium I did the rest of 1013's shows, some promos, and revisions to The X Files title, and The X Files film titles. Another title I did and was happy with is Roswell. I took a break recently to raise my two children, but was brought out of retirement for the most recent The X Files film.

BTFB: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us Ramsey and our very best wishes to you for the future.


Dear Supporters,

Recently we were able to speak Tobias Mehler about his experience playing Alex Glasser in the season two episode, ‘Luminary’. Along with a number of entries to the franchise, Luminary is often cited by fans as an example of the show at its creative zenith so it was pleasure to be able to nip behind the scenes of this particular episode. As you will shortly discover, this is a stellar read and we thank Tobias for the warmth and enthusiasm he has shown us and, as always, our contact with the cast and crew continues to delight and amaze us. Before you dip into the interview I would like to dedicate this to my dear friend Erin, a staff member at TIWWA, tireless admirer of all things Millennium and a supporter of the campaign. Luminary is ’her’ episode so I take great pleasure in making this ‘her’ interview. That said, enjoy it folks!

BACKTOFRANKBLACK.COM: Millennium along with its sister franchise, The X-Files, is often considered one of the forerunners in filmic TV. Its dark and feature-esque cinematography has been tirelessly emulated but rarely surpassed and I recently read an interview with Frank Spotnitz where he commented on the ground breaking and experimental nature of many of the episodes. At the time of filming were you aware that this show was unique and unconventional in its approach to creating teevee?

TOBIAS MEHLER: Yes. I remember seeing the pilot for Millennium quite early on and recognized the excellence right away. Just like the X-Files, there was a tone of quality that applied not only to the look and feel, but also the content. The production of the show was very well organized and moved along with a pleasant efficiency. Millennium was a show that I wanted to "check off the list" and the entire experience of doing so was very gratifying, from people to things to places. Heck, even the audition was a cut above.

BTFB: In 'Luminary', Alex Glaser's story parallels Frank's in that both men disregard accepted wisdom to pursue something intangible but powerful in its lure. Did you and Lance discuss the shared aspects of the characters you were portraying and how do recall the experience of working with him?

We did speak about the story in terms of characters and theme. Lance was a real leader amidst the hustle and bustle of the production. What really sticks with me are the conversations we had about the craft of acting; Lance was very generous in his sharing of information and experience. He was the first person to express to me that "acting is listening", which is now a foundational aspect of my own craft. I very much enjoyed meeting and working with him, definitely a highlight.

BTFB: 'Luminary' makes use of a number of events to inform its narrative namely, Petrarch's 'Ascent of Mont Ventoux' and the tragic story of Chris McCandless. As the script contains references to the both of these did you research these in order to add to your understanding of Alex's motivations?

I did not research either of these works, although I was aware that the story related to Chris McCandless' experience. When the writers are as good as the crew that worked on Millennium, there is often enough information right there on the page to be able to mentally understand the character's journey. For me, it is then a matter of holding that understanding and expressing the character through that space.

BTFB: One of the most discussed aspects of 'Luminary' concerns Frank's discovery of the floater and his subsequent rejection of the opinion that this is Alex Glaser. Fans have debated, endlessly, as to the identity of the body. Some believe it an nameless individual simply used to highlight Frank's convictions regarding his abilities but other subscribe to the theory that this is the husk of Alex Glaser with Alex Ventoux emerging from it, reborn. Was this particular scene discussed with you with regards to its narrative intention?

TM: No, this scene was not discussed with me. I think this is another reason Millennium resonates with so many people; there are layers and degrees to its storytelling that open new avenues of exploration. I tip my hat to the producers that held the overall vision and ensured that all the parts came together in the right direction. Obviously, their plan worked out!

BTFB: It is very much a hallmark of Millennium's storytelling that the narrative doesn't supply an all pervasive truth regarding the story the audience is invested in. During the course of fandom I witnessed a number of responses to Alex's tale, some consider it fruitless, almost nihilistic, whilst others appreciate the liberation and freedom he is seeking. What was your own reaction to your characters story and did that opinion remain constant throughout the production?

TM: It didn't take me long to relate to the character of Alex and his quest for purity. In my life I understand the strong desire to connect to nature and bypass the myriad systems and "overlays" that we as humanity have created. I always had a sense that Alex was motivated to take it to a much deeper place than myself and that was the departure point for my investigation. What does it mean to lay down one's life in the pursuit of one's idea of authenticity and how does that change when not done in relationship to another? I thought a lot about the story of this young man and his fierce dedication to independence and a solo path. I will say my ideas shifted a little during shooting when the Director used the term "angel" to describe Alex. That is definitely a new can off worms!

More so than most episodes Luminary makes use of metaphor and ambiguity to allow for multiple conclusions to be drawn by the viewer as to what story is being told, what motivates the characters, what deeper mythology is being suggested etc. Is it challenging as an actor to work on an episode that deals with so much intangibility and do you have to form your own view of the beginning, middle and end of the story in order to build your performance?

TM: I like to keep tabs on the various fronts of a story; being a mentally focussed person it is always rewarding to have an overall understanding of the big picture. Having said that, one of the most rewarding aspects of my work is the collaborative nature. Especially on a television show with its fast schedules, so many different components go into telling a story through the filmic arts that it is really only at the end that the final shape is realized. I think the challenge is to find the heart of the story and stay true to it while weathering the storms of creation. If one has a sense of the story's heart, there is always a right way to proceed.

BTFB: As 1013 Productions frequently cast the same actors in multiple roles would you be interested in contributing to a Millennium Movie and why do you believe such passion to see it has endured for over a decade?

TM: I would definitely choose to be a part of a Millenium movie for the very reasons that the fan's passion for it has endured: quality, sophistication, fierceness and authenticity of narrative voice.

BTFB: On behalf of the fans and BackToFrankBlack,com thank you, so much, Tobias for taking the time to talk to us and best wishes for the future.


Dear supporters,

You have asked and we have delivered! Here, for your enjoyment, is a full transcript of Lance's recent appearance on Fangoria Radio. Check out our previous post for details on how you can download a podcast of this event but, for those of you who prefer to read the words of the great man, we hope you enjoy the following. As always, our thanks, again, to Lance for his dedication, support, and warmth and to all the team at Fangoria who have been so receptive to our efforts. Our thanks!


DEE SNIDER: Without any further ado, please welcome back to Fangoria Radio, once again, Lance Henriksen. Lance, how are you?

How are you doing buddy? I'm good.

DS: Good, I'm Dee Snider, Debbie Rochon's here, Tony Timpone for Fangoria Magazine...


LH: Heya Tony.

TT: How's it going?

LH: Brilliant, man. How's your show going tonight?

Excellent, it's even better now that you're on.

DS: We're all big fans of your work, Lance, and before we get to the whole ‘Millennium’ thing which we definitely have you here to talk about. Earlier in the show, and this is no conversation about John Travolta's situation the poor guy, this is, just, came up in conversation. Somebody referenced the movie, 'Bubble Boy' as not the high point in John's career, one of those movies he, y'know, made at a time when he didn't have a lot of choices. We realize that as entertainers we've all had our 'Bubble Boy' moments. After 'Twisted Sister' I put together a cover band....

LH: I call mine alimony.

DS: Give us a good example of your 'Bubble Boy' movie?

LH: Oh man, here 'ya go. OK. I did, er, let's see, 'The Visitor'....

TT: But you got to act with John Huston, Henry Fonda...?

LH: Yeah, all of those guys, Shelley Winters...

DS: Yes, it's this really wild Italian horror movie. Y'know, we said, we asked you because Debbie has this movie called 'Santa Claws' spelt C.L.A.W.S.

DEBBIE ROCHON: Oh yes, yeah, it's a 'Bubble Bubble Boy', 'Double Bubble Boy'....

DS: But we actually pointed out that these little 'Bubble Boy' moments have there own silver linings in a way. I had some great shows that little side band did. Obviously you acted with some incredible actors on that movie?

Yeah I remember John Houston said, "Actually I don’t want to come back and loop so let's do this scene over again right now and then he pointed at me to go. So the sound man, ‘OK roll it‘, and he pointed at me and I didn't do anything. He said, ‘What's going on, man?’ and I said, ‘I just got my first direction from John Houston - so I froze up!’

DS: (Laughing) Let's do this again, I don't wanna loop it.

DR: I have to ask, Lance, a couple of gentlemen were on the DVD ‘42nd Street Forever’ that they were doing a commentary on. The know everything about every movie ever made and they said to mention to you to talk about the 'Bubble Boy' idea and to mention to you 'Mansion of Doom'?

TT: 'Mansion of the Doomed'!

Ah yeah with Richard Basehart and Gloria Graham.

DR: Yeah! Does that feel like a Bubble Boy err...?

LH: Yeah, pretty much. It's one of those back in the day numbers. Stan Winston did the makeup on that one. It was early in his career too so we were all in good company. They gouge my eyes out to give 'em to my girlfriend who is the daughter of the doctor and it's always the first one to get their eyes pulled out.

DS: Hey, we've got to pay my alimony!

LH: Absolutely!

DS: I've got kids in college! (laughs)

LH: (laughs) That's right!

DS: So Lance, let's talk about this movement that the fans have started to get 'Millennium'...?

LH: I know, it's kicking off, they're amazing, they are.., they called me from London and said they're getting overwhelmed with emails and people are writing in to [20th Century] Fox and all this stuff, and, pretty amazing stuff. That show just will not go away, I mean, anytime I go to Eastern Europe, Europe, anywhere in Europe, they all ask about it. When is it, when's it gonna happen? Is it gonna happen? It just goes on and on, it has a life of its own.

Are you amazed when you go overseas and hear a show you did, I mean, you appear in the states, you can relate to it watching in the states, then you go overseas to other countries and they're turned on to it and so aware of your work on the show. Isn’t that incredible?

LH: Oh yeah, man, I remember getting of the plane in Bucharest, Romania, and there was a whole lobby full of people, hundreds of people and I thought, someone's coming in here man and I looked behind me to see who it was, cos I get off on first class too, and they were waiting for me (laughs).

DS: I've done the same thing, seen a whole mob of people and turned around and go, who's coming? It's you!

LH: (Laughing) There's a sucker here, it must be you! It's pretty, it's kinda wonderful.

DS: At what point did you decide, err, the group's website, by the way, is I mean obviously you like the character that you played, Frank Black. At what point did you decide to become actively involved with these people's cause?

LH: Well, y'know, Chris Carter and Spotnitz and those guys who produced it, I guess they're in a 'wait and see' mode. I decided, look, I'll do interviews about it, I'll talk about, these fans deserve something and so I got involved and I said, yeah, what do you want me to do, I'll do it. Because if it happens it would be something I always thought would be phenomenal because it would have more language in it and it would be able to do more things than sanitized television if you know what I mean? So it would be pretty good.

Well, looking at this movie, you were nominated for three Golden Globes for Best Lead Actor...

LH: Every year, yeah it was weird. I was hoping I wouldn't get it so I'd have to get up there and talk, then in the end I didn't get it so that wasn't a very good strategy I guess.

DS: You could have done a Micky Rourke and thanked your dogs, do it that way?

LH: Yeah (laughs) I carry a couple of dogs on the stage with me.

TT: Hey Lance, what is it about 'Millennium' that's connected with this group and this cult following and the show lives on after ten years?

LH: There was a lot of stuff going about this guy, Frank Black, was never judging anybody. he just felt, y'know, a phenomenon, these bad guys and these bad situations and was like a chess player. I never thought him as a psychic at all, I thought him like a guy who could put all the fragmented loose ends together and it was, there was intelligence behind it. Chris had never thought of it as a psychic, it was more a guy who could unravel facts that other people couldn't see or put together. So I loved that idea, I mean it just…, and I think people relate to it for that reason he was a kinda non-judgmental instrument in some way.

We're talking with Lance Henriksen by the way about the show 'Millennium' and, finally,
Fox Entertainment has just released the first season on DVD is that a coincidence?

LH: It was already out, they had all three seasons out. I think the only other thing they could do is do it Blu-Ray. And the next technology that comes in, they'll keep releasing it but, it's a good set it really is, no commercials and you kinda can stay in it.

TT: Lance you were never satisfied with the season finale of 'Millennium'. Were you satisfied with the X-Files crossover you did with the character?

LH: That was kinda fun, y'know, the crossover, but the odd thing was I remember waiting till the last minute to get the script because Chris kept saying 'this is gonna be like a kind of closure for Millennium' and when I got the script I was wrestling zombies in a cellar (laughs). And I thought, ‘what's this got to do with it?’ Hey look, it takes a lot to come up with a script no matter what. Anyway, there's no disappointment in any of this, it just is what it is. I don't look at life that way, there's very few disappointments.

DS: It's precisely that, that many people are excited about it that if a movie happens, of course that's the bonus, but just that fact that there's that kind of outpouring does that make you feel incredible as an actor?

Oh it does, sure I can continue my, really need to start calling it my Obama. I just continue my rap about what it all is, what the acting thing is, how you do it and all that stuff, so, it's a good thing I'm doing my Obama.

Debbie's got an email for Lance over there?

DR: Yeah I, yes I do. OK Lance, Ghoulish Gary from Pittsburgh writes…‘Hi, can you ask Lance why in season three of 'Millennium', Frank Black would button up his coat the whole way when he entered a crime scene?’

LH: Well that's interesting he caught that. I did that early on and I did it because of DNA. I thought, I don't want anything on my body to fall into the crime scene. That's interesting he picked up on that.

That's great, that's a subtly there. I always zip my fly all the way before I go on stage.

LH: Me too!

DS: DNA! I don't wanna leave any DNA on the audience.

LH: Just 'cos they work you like a horse doesn't mean you have to look like one.

DS: Hung like one! (Pause) Lance, if people listening to Fangoria Radio right now, and we're on Sirius 102 and XM now, want to get involved in this movement how can they help the cause?

LH: You've got the email address for that right? DS: Yeah, is the website.

LH: Yeah, that's the one, just get on that and start talking. 'Cos people will answer you, it's a great website.

DR: Has there been a script written for this by anybody at this point or..…?

LH: I don't know what Chris is doing, he might be surfing for all I know but I'm sure he's got ideas and I know Spotnitz will hear 'em so if [20th Century] Fox gets excited and these guys get excited this will happen. They can do it, there's no doubt about it. It's not too passe, a lot of stuff happened after 'Millennium', a lot of the CSI's and all that stuff and it started going really full blown with that kinda thing but I think we would come up with something of our own.

TT: Hey Lance, I saw a screener of a new movie, a documentary that you narrated called, 'Nightmares in Red, White and Blue' which was excellent, excellent. Could you talk about that and maybe some of the other movies you have coming out like, ‘Dark Reel?’

LH: Yeah, I did a movie called 'Cyrus' which I really enjoyed. It's about a couple of guys that are living in the Midwest, y'know like in Michigan on a farm and they, one's an enabler and the other is a straight up killer y'know and so it's a real thriller. By the time you get to the end you go 'oh man I really just wanna go home, pull the covers over my head.' It was really great to do, it's called 'Cyrus' and in April I'm doing a movie called 'Beautiful Wave' which is nothing about murder in any way, it's a great independent film and I love the script so I'm gonna be surfing down in Mexico somewhere.

TT: With Chris Carter?

LH: That'd be funny, 'Hey, how are you doing buddy? Are you writing or directing on a laptop on your surfboard?'

DS: Lance Henriksen, thanks so much for calling in to Fangoria Radio and good luck, you know our listeners would love to see 'Millennium' brought to the screen and you to bring back Frank Black the character, he's a great character and we love everything you do man. You're a great character actor and I'm a big fan.

LH: Thank you buddy, there's a whole thing…Fangoria's been behind all of our work for years so I really appreciate you guys too.

DS: Thanks for that. Lance Henriksen everybody!


Dear Supporters,

As you are no doubt aware we have encouraged all of you to share with us your love of Frank Black and Millennium and we have been delighted by the response. For many, Millennium is more than just a television show, it has become an indelible part of their lives, quite literally. One such fan, Markus, wrote to us recently and shared his thoughts on Millennium and his praise for the campaign and treated us to a picture of his ouroboros tattoo, the arcane symbol of The Millennium Group now permanently a part of his life. We know that ouroboros tattoos are something of a craze amongst ardent supporters of the franchise, having seen a number of htem over years, so if you have joined the ranks of the 'inked' don't hesitate in sharing your pictures or experiences with us.

That said, our thanks to Markus for allowing us to share this picture with you all and keep your eyes open for more exclusives, including another interview with the cast, this week!

(click on image to open in full resolution in a new window)