Second Sight: “Blood Relatives”


“Blood Relatives” (6 December 1996)

Writer: Chip Johannessen
Director: James Charleston
Editor: George R. Potter

Quote: “I know. I know you had to go in there. Because of who you are. Because you had no choice.” --Catherine Black


Overview:
There is a standout moment in “Blood Relatives” when Frank Black, standing on the shore of a glistening lake, his thoughts dominated by the details of a hideous crime, takes a moment to slip off his iconic coat and then tosses it to the waiting Peter Watts. The dedicated viewer knows just what will happen next. Before Bob Bletcher can even cry out a protest, as he did during a similar scene in the pilot, the profiler steps forth and trudges determinedly into the water in search of the case’s next clue. He finds it nearly a dozen feet from the shore, fishing with his arm beneath the surface of the water, fingers combing submerged sand and rocks in search of a reflection. He emerges from the lake soaking wet but grasping the evidence that will lead them onward in their search for a sadistic killer.

Water is often used symbolically in film and fiction. This is especially true in Millennium, a series that used water as a central symbol or metaphor in several episodes, most notably “Seven and One.” Here--as in “Pilot” and “Kingdom Come”--it serves to clearly illustrate a trait that is intrinsic to Frank Black as a character and essential to our ongoing effort to understand the nature of his unique gift. If the meaning of the lakeside scene in “Blood Relatives” is lost on the viewer, it is reiterated just moments later as the investigators storm the halfway house that hides James Dickerson. As Bletcher, Giebelhouse, and Watts follow signs and directions and head for Dickerson’s bedroom on the second floor of the building, Frank Black dashes in an entirely different direction, moving underground, to the house’s darkened basement, where he discovers that the suspect has escaped them via a cellar window. While the Seattle police search obvious or expected terrain, above the surface, Frank Black alone dares venture below.

The very tenacity that Frank demonstrates when he is faced with the barrier of a river, lake, or other body of water is what allows him to dip beneath the murky, seemingly impenetrable surface of the human psyche. In these instances as in others, Lieutenant Bletcher is Inspector Lestrade, representative of a police force possessed of pedestrian thinking and limited imagination; Frank Black is a man of wholly unconventional thinking with the courage to match it. As an investigator, Frank possesses both the ability and willingness to venture beyond the boundaries of the safe or the anticipated, that selfless willingness to immerse himself in darkest depths in search of an answer. When Frank gives himself over to one of his gruesome visions--regardless of whether we believe those visions to be somewhat supernatural or purely intuitive--he is allowing himself to be plunged below the surface of what is known into uncertain territory as uninviting as an icy river, as dark and foreboding as any abandoned basement. From a psychological perspective, his forays into the mind of the killer are no less bold. If Frank Black’s closest friends and colleagues cannot even fathom the nature of his extraordinary gift, it is because they lack that unusual and selfless mindset that shows the hero of Millennium to be so incomparable.

Connections: Cinematically, this episode’s visions are similar to those of “Kingdom Come,” the previous installment, as this is the second episode in a row to feature a death by drowning. Connor, the episode’s jealous serial killer, has been previously profiled in Adam Chamberlain’s What the Killer Sees.

Trances in Total: 3 (0:08)

Gore Score: 6/10

Happy Birthday, Klea Scott!

It is always better late than never! With that being said, Back to Frank Black would like to take this moment and wish actress Klea Scott a very Happy Belated Birthday! Klea's birthday was on December 25th!

Klea has been a big supporter of our campaign and we truly consider her a friend. We hope you all will take a moment and wish her a Happy Birthday as well in the comments section.

We recently spoke with Klea and found out that she is in Canada filming right now and as soon as we have more information on the project, we will pass it along.

Happy Birthday, Klea!

A Black Christmas: Lance, Megan and Brittany unite!

Back To Frank Black are proud to present one major event of 2010 for the campaign. Today, 26th December (Boxing Day to some), we have a very special podcast lined up, available through iTunes, iPhone, Android, Flash Player or a direct link download!

Lance Henriksen, Brittany Tiplady and Megan Gallagher unite for the first time since the show. The podcast recording is pretty much raw - there's none of our usual intros or editing, this is the three talking for the first time, honestly and organically. Originally pitched as a "Midnight of the Century" interview to co-incide with Christmas, this interview immediately becomes what it could only be in these circumstances - a reunion.

How to listen to this FREE podcast:
Flash Player: Listen directly!



Download as an mp3!


Availiable on iTunes - search for "Back to Frank Black" or "BacktoFrankBlack" and hit "subscribe"!

Also available on iPhone and Android as part of the Back to Frank Black app! App version includes an Xmas message from Lance and a pdf greetings card from the team! (Extra features are included in most app versions of the podcasts. Nominal app fee goes towards supporting the campaign. No profits come from this app service)

Midnight of the Century: Angels and Personal Demons

“Midnight of the Century” (19 December 1997)

Writers: Erin Maher & Kay Reindl

Director: Dwight Little

The first thing we hear in “Midnight of the Century” is a ticking clock, the opening image that then fades in by way of accompaniment its rocking pendulum. This episode’s title comprises two descriptors of time, and the weight of time’s passage is very much its underlying theme, right from the opening moments in which Frank is first visited by the ghost of a Christmas past that is to haunt him this particular Christmas Eve.

There’s something about this time of year that always makes me consider time. Wouldn't it be wonderful if in life you could pick the speed in which you were going to experience time? I would have it take forever for these kids to grow up; I don’t care if they didn’t like it. I'd have autumn go much slower, winter a little faster and the time that I was experiencing regret I'd have go… slower actually, so I could fix and leave the situation without regret.” --Peter Watts

Peter Watts’ speech to Frank and Lara at his pre-Christmas gathering speaks to the same themes, to the sense of reflection that this season can often inspire in us, contextualised further beyond his family to the larger concerns that lurk at the heart of The Millennium Group. We are all at time’s mercy, but life’s highs and lows and the all too often irreparable mistakes that scar our passage through it can leave us yearning to have mastery over it, to wind the clock back, to revisit and fix our failings.

Angels of course manifest throughout this episode in one form or another, each in their way guiding Frank as to how he might do just this to a fashion. He is at first reluctant to heed them in spite of their appearances, however, and clashes with Catherine over Jordan following her being re-cast from the role of an angel in her nativity play. Catherine knows what Frank’s gift did to him and seeks to protect her daughter from a similar fate. As the conversation flashes him back to his own childhood and similar treatment from his father, though, Frank understands the need to recognise Jordan’s gift for what it is and to support her. If her gift is denied or demonised, then Frank’s family history could so easily repeat itself and Jordan could be destined to live a lonely, misunderstood and burdened life. Here the situation is left unresolved, and it is not until Frank talks his daughter’s emerging gift over with Lara that his next course of action becomes clear to him.

Here’s my thing. This is a tough time of year for me. Angels are everywhere… It’s not what I see, but from them I get the same feeling when ‘he’ appears. And that's how it all started when I was a kid; I just sort of felt them. I felt a presence around me… I don't know how you can prepare her, Frank. You’re right – they won’t just go away. And for me, it only gets more intense as I get older… I would’ve done anything, anything, not to have this in my life. But Frank, look – at least she’s got a father who understands, and that will really help her… But there is one thing. In The Bible – and to me – they are messengers. This was brought to your attention and you said you’d seen angels all day. So my immediate concern isn’t for Jordan but for you. You may not be able to see them, but I feel that something is trying to be communicated to you. And there's only one place to find the answer.” --Lara Means

And so it is that Frank finds himself finally visiting his long estranged father. He finds Henry Black living alone in a dilapidated yellow house – Frank’s childhood home – itself full of painful memories and regrets. Here we learn more of Linda Black and a fateful Christmas Eve from over five decades ago.

Do you remember Blue Rose Tea? They used to have those little angel things that you could send away for. Your mother wanted one in the worst way and I wouldn't have the damn things in the house. Fifty-one years ago, she changed her mind; she gave in and said she wasn't seeing angels anymore. The last picture she made was with you. That scared me, Frank; it scared me enough that I gave in. I wanted to find her one of those little Blue Rose angels. I finally found one at the Woolworth's. I gave it to her; she was so touched. We made a pact over that, your mother and I. I told her that I would love her forever, and she said that she would move the figurine to show that she was waiting for me on the other side where I too could see the angels, and where we could finally be forever together.” --Henry Black

Henry’s attitude towards his late wife’s gift mirrors that of Catherine towards Jordan’s, and whilst both are valid and understandable reactions in the face of seemingly supernatural powers, Frank’s overriding fear is revealed to be that of history repeating. Frank’s father recognised that Frank and Linda, his mother, were both gifted albeit in different ways, just as Catherine recognises the same in her husband and daughter and fears for her child’s future. Henry feared that his wife’s premonition of D-Day would lead her to be branded insane, whilst Catherine simply wants Jordan to be able to lead a “normal” life.

Pivotal to breaking a rift that has spanned decades between Frank and his father is the picture of the angel that Jordan claims her grandmother helped her draw, identical to the one she helped Frank draw exactly fifty-one years earlier. Frank shows it to Henry, and he instantly recognises the image. Her angel leads the two men to begin a process of reconciliation and forgiveness. And so the pact between husband and wife is finally honoured through time and the angel does move, as Henry Black offers it to Frank and he in turn gifts it to Jordan, who seems to recognise a sign of her grandmother’s love for her from beyond the grave. The angel connects the family through the generations: past, present and future.

Of course, “Midnight of the Century” has a sting in its tale. Frank and Henry’s reunion may have begun to reverse many years of mutual regret over their relationship, but as the fetch of Henry manifests amidst the falling snow before him Frank realises that their time is now short. This proves to be the case in “The Fourth Horseman” and, in a poignant moment at her grandfather’s graveside, Jordan returns the same angel to her father to be placed on Henry’s Black’s grave. Again, the angel connects the generations.

In sum total, then, the episode is a meditiation on the inexorable passage of time: the upcoming millennium, the midnight of the century, one generation of the Black family mirroring another, the year’s end as a time for reflection. It is a sentiment I share around this season and one that, even after so many repeat viewings, “Midnight of the Century” stirs powerfully within me. A moment’s pause in which to look both backwards and forwards and to reflect upon the passage of time. So, on the eve of another Black family reunion, wherever you are this Christmastime and however you will mark it, be sure to spend your time without regret, tell the people that mean the most to you – especially those you may have neglected – that you love them, and just make the most of the time afforded to you. And Merry Christmas.


What the Killer Sees will return in the New Year.

Dreaming of a Black Christmas


Well... the halls are decked, there's an angel perched precariously atop the tree and beneath it are piled presents that hopefully someone hasn't already given to your loved ones, prompting you to have to go out shopping again on Christmas Eve. But something's missing, right? Something to make the season feel truly complete? Something you can't quite put your finger on? Well, we can now reveal just what that is. To whet your appetites, Joselyn Rojas has created this wonderful, moving video for the occasion:




Yes, Back to Frank Black has been working to bring you a very special family reunion for the holidays. Back together for the first time in twelve years, Lance Henriksen, Megan Gallagher and Brittany Tiplady - Frank, Catherine and Jordan Black - are in conversation exclusively for the Millennium Group Sessions.

So be sure to check back here on Christmas Day for a unique gift to all of you: a really special Black Family reunion.

Charity Auction Round Three


We're back with another five items in the charity auction - and what a superb range of lots we have for you this time! There are some truly unique items here that will surely have every Lance Henriksen and Millennium fan drooling over their screens. Our eBay auction page has duly been updated with the following:
  1. Lance Henriksen's original autographed script from Alien 3.
  2. Lance Henriksen's original autographed script from Tarzan.
  3. An 11" x 14" signed photo of Lance Henriksen as Jesse Hooker from Near Dark
  4. The complete Millennium Season Two DVD boxset signed by Kristen Cloke, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan & James Wong
  5. A copy of the Millennium theme sheet music signed by Mark Snow
Once again this fantastic range of items is exclusive to the charity auction in aid of Children of the Night. Bidding is open now, so get busy for your chance to own one or more of these unique mementos from Millennium and Lance Henriksen!

Happy Birthday Christina!

Back to Frank Black would like to take this moment to wish fellow staff member Christina Nicholls a very Happy Birthday! Christina is one of the newest members to our team, but she has already made a tremendous impact on the campaign!

Christina, from all of us and the Millennium fandom, Happy Birthday!!!

Second Sight: "Kingdom Come"


“Kingdom Come” (29 November 1996)

Writer: Jorge Zamacona
Director: Winrich Kolbe
Editor: George R. Potter

Quote: “I haven’t thought about [God] in a very long time… Because I’ve seen the innocent die. I’ve seen children murdered in their beds. The weak and helpless slaughtered without purpose, without sense.” --Frank Black


Overview:
During the show’s original run, enthusiastic online fans concocted the earliest iteration of the Millennium drinking game, in which on-screen character cues prompt a knowing audience to imbibe. Frank hides his case files when Catherine comes down to the basement? Down a shot. Frank or Peter instantly recognize an obscure biblical passage? Two shots. Frank laughs? Chug from the bottle. And the very first item on this list leading the way to paranoid inebriation? “Frank sees what the killer sees.”

Any television series able to support its own drinking game is by definition formulaic, and Millennium is no different, especially in the throes of its first season. Every fan of the series has heard, and at one time wielded, the familiar “serial-killer-of-the-week” critique. The formulaic elements that are entwined with Frank Black’s grisly visions, however, episode-by-episode, serve to progressively reinforce the very meaning always insisted upon by creator Chris Carter. When Co-Executive Producer John Peter Kousakis insists “Frank Black was not a psychic,” he is echoing a refrain commonly heard from the show’s producers but one that was more difficult to accept in the early days of the series. “It’s misconception on the audience’s part and a lot of the critics,” Kousakis explains, “because when Frank would investigate a crime... there would be flashes, and we used a device, a technical device, on film to try and manifest that and try to somehow interpret for the audience what he was going through.”

Though Millennium sometimes seems hopelessly confused on the issue, in episodes such as “Kingdom Come” Kousakis’s argument is aided by the fact that this now-familiar technical device is more often than not site specific, bound to settings already associated with the investigative process. This realization reveals how key the scene is to our understanding of what the hero’s unending hallucinations truly represent. The answer, in instances such as this, just may be location, location, location. Though the content of the visions sometimes reaches beyond the confines of the crimes themselves--notably, in this case, Frank visualizes the formative tragedy that initiated Galen Calloway’s deadly crisis of faith--these visions are prompted by casework. The locations themselves, be they chaotic or bureaucratic, come alive with the details of the crime, calling out to the profiler with the screams of its victims. When Frank Black buttons up his coat and steps into a crime scene, morgue, or police lab, we know it’s time to reach for that drink.

Trances in Total: 6 (0:12)

Gore Score: 2/10

Horror Channel talks to Lance Henriksen

This week the Horror Channel began running the series Millennium. What better way to celebrate that then with a brand new interview with lead actor Lance Henriksen? With the help of Back to Frank Black staff member James McLean, James Whittington from the Horror Channel had the chance to interview the acting legend.

You can read part one of this fascinating interview right here. We here at Back to Frank Black are proud to have been able to put this together. Keep checking back on the blog for the second part of the interview!

Midnight of the Century T-shirt available in the Back to Frank Black store!

The Back To Frank Black merchandise shop now has a new garment for the winter season! This is the exclusive "Midnight of the Century" inspired top!

Click here for more details!


$31.80 - all money from our shop goes to funding this campaign. This shirt will be great for Christmas/New Year - and all year round, really!

What the Killer Sees: Ricardo Clement

Killer: Ricardo Clement (Bob Wilde)

Episode: “Gehenna” (1 November 1996)

Writer: Chris Carter

Director: David Nutter

Quote: “Something happened down in San Francisco.” --Frank Black

“Anything you want to talk about?” --Catherine Black

“I'm just confused about something I thought I understood about evil. What it is, exactly.” --Frank Black

“You mean, what causes it?” --Catherine Black

“It seems that the old biblical concept of the devil's influence has lost any currency.” --Frank Black

“I just think the language has changed. I think science and psychology have given us a clearer idea of why people commit evil acts. I see it every day – abused kids become abusive adults.” --Catherine Black

“So the true source of evil is us.” --Frank Black

“You mean, are we all capable of it?” --Catherine Black

“Or is there something out there – a force or a presence – waiting until it can create another murder, another rape, another holocaust.” --Frank Black

“I think it's something that everyone who looks deeply at life wonders.” --Catherine Black

“What would you tell a child? What would I tell Jordan?” --Frank Black

“Maybe you should just tell her goodnight.” --Catherine Black

Profile: Ricardo Clement is perhaps even more of a mystery at the end of his encounter with Frank Black than he at first appeared. What we do learn of him for sure, however, is his position as a sinister cult leader with a deadly agenda.

The cult leader tends towards a dictatorial regime, controlling his subjects through manipulation and often by preying on the weak. It is for this reason that former member become victim Eedo writes to his family with such genuine conviction about the beliefs of the cult to which he has fallen victim. We see evidence of this manipulation from Clement as he brainwashes his telemarketers with a series of slogans continually projected onto their gloomy office wall.

A cult leader’s inflated ego nearly always co-exists alongside a flagrant disregard for his subjects couched behind a veneer of charm and guile. This psychopathology is theorised to often stem from deep rooted feelings of anger such that other people become objectified to the extent that the cult leader experiences no feelings of guilt over their fates. This theory of suppressed rage may also explain Clement’s incredibly sadistic means of dispatching his victims; as Frank notes, he wants to watch them suffer and specifically wishes to see them burn alive. This is perhaps another thematic link to Gehenna since followers of Moloch, one of the false gods worshipped at the original site as referenced in the Hebrew Bible, used to sacrifice their children by fire. Furthermore Clement is another example of a highly organised killer, having his victims lured into his clutches whilst he looks on with night vision goggles before murdering them and disposing of their remains in a very specific and carefully orchestrated fashion.

Furthermore, the cult behind Gehenna International would be classified as a “destructive cult” in that it knowingly inflicts emotional and physical harm upon its own members, in this instance in a particularly violent fashion. It is a term sometimes extended in this new millennium to also include certain terrorist groups. Whilst the reference during the investigation by Mike Atkins to sarin attacks in Japan directly links to Aum Shinrikyo, practices of harm towards its own members are perhaps better exemplified by the history of the Branch Davidians. The belief in end of the world prophecies is common to both and another well-known attribute of such cults, exemplified here by Gehenna International’s ultimate design.

There is one further theme explored in this episode that is particularly pertinent to this column: that of the very source of evil itself. Brian A. Dixon recently discussed the introduction of the notion of Legion in his consideration of this episode in his Second Sight column, whilst the age old argument of nature or nurture was a point of discussion in the comments prompted by the very first edition of this column, witnessing the “birth” of a serial killer in “Broken World”. The brief representations of Clement as a demon and his eerie and knowing glares towards Frank even when he is hidden via one-way glass hint at the manifestation of some deeper evil power at work, a possibility Frank speaks of in the conversation with Catherine quoted at the top of this column. Catherine’s view is one more rooted in the developing field of psychology alongside science to explain such actions, whilst acknowledging that the debate on the subject continues. It is of course a dichotomy so superbly dramatised throughout Millennium and here personified in the enigma that is Ricardo Clement.

Kills: Unknown (at least 7)

Investigation: The investigation into Ricardo Clement and Gehenna International begins when quantities of ash dumped in the rose beds at a San Francisco public park are found to contain a human ear and then on further examination revealed to contain the remains of at least seven people. Traces of the gas phosgene lead to an abandoned dry-cleaning facility that suffered an accident some years previously, and a tooth found at this scene linking to a missing Russian first makes the connection to the cult via a letter sent by the missing man to his family six months previously.

Frank makes the connection to Gehenna International after consulting The Bible (and not for the last time in his work connected to The Millennium Group) back at home in Seattle. Sharing this with his mentor Mike Atkins, Frank unwittingly leads him into danger when Atkins decides to follow up this potential lead by investigating their facility alone. He barely escapes with his life but Frank’s hunch is proven correct, the cult is revealed and its leader, Ricardo Clement, is finally brought into custody.

Second set of items goes to auction!


Our second set of items for the Back to Frank Black Charity Auction has now gone live on eBay! This includes Lance Henriksen's personal script for Alien vs Predator! We also have items donated by Mark Snow and Kristen Cloke! Our eBay auction page will provide you with an overview of the items currently up for bid. The listing is as follows:

  1. Lance Henriksen's autographed script from Tales from the Crypt: "Yellow"
  2. Lance Henriksen's autographed script from Powder
  3. Lance Henriksen's autographed script from Alien vs. Predator
  4. An 8" x 10" autographed photo of Kristen Cloke
  5. A Millennium original soundtrack autographed by Mark Snow

Again, the cause is Children of the Night. The charity helps to save children from prostitution, a problem that people often associate with times gone by, and so horrible a concept it often gets ignored. Please help us help this fine charity and the poor children affected by this horrendous crime.

For more information, visit to childrenofthenight.org.

Your support is appreciated.

Happy Birthday, Joselyn Rojas!

Today marks the birthday of our very own vidder - to use the parlance of our times - the wonderful and talented Joselyn Rojas!

Joselyn's will be a familiar name to followers of this campaign as well as online fans of The X-Files, with her hugely creative talents frequently adorning both fandoms. As well as her occasional column Joselyn's Eye, in recent weeks and months alone she's brought a stream of fabulous videos to illuminate this very blog. To name but a handful, included amongst them are those celebrating the female leads of Millennium - Catherine Black, Lara Means and Emma Hollis - not to mention the impressive awareness video for our ongoing Children of the Night charity auction. The Back to Frank Black blog would certainly be less cinematic without her creative touch and, for that matter, our meetings would be altogether less colourful!

So, all of us here at Back to Frank Black would like to wish Joselyn Feliz Cumpleaños and we invite you to do the same by joining us in telling her how wonderful you think her work is too in the comments section.

Second Sight: "522666"


“522666” (22 November 1996)

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong
Director: David Nutter
Editor: Chris Willingham, A.C.E.

Quote: “When I got the call I got so scared. I heard you that night, Frank, on the phone. Dr. Bowman says you have a mild concussion. But it’s not your body healing that worries me. It’s your spirit.” --Catherine Black


Overview: It’s well known that Glen Morgan and James Wong were less than enthused about the way in which Frank Black’s visions were occasionally utilized--as a sort of miracle plot device--during Millennium’s first season. Perhaps because of this, “522666,” the duo’s second episode for the series, eschews that sometimes gimmicky reliance on the hero’s visionary powers. Take a glance at our usual tally below and you’ll note that this episode features the fewest visions yet from our dauntless forensic profiler. That’s not to say that this story about a self-obsessed serial bomber is absent of the highly-stylized, dream-like sequences we’ve come to expect. For every mental show reel missed by Frank we are granted a further glance from the perspective of Raymond Dees. Not since “Pilot,” also directed by David Nutter, has an episode so extensively relied upon hallucinations presented from the point of view of the killer. Dees is forever anticipating or reliving the explosions he perceives as glorious art. The visuals in these sequences are undeniably upsetting, especially with references to incidents such as the Centennial Olympic Park bombing being bandied about. They serve to remind us of the great sacrifice that Frank Black accepts by willingly subjecting himself to the experience of such horror in the pursuit of villains like Raymond Dees.

One of the few visions that Frank Black does witness during the episode stands out as entirely unique. Lying in a hospital bed after being caught by the blast wave of an explosion, he experiences a sort of nightmare presented in the same cinematic fashion as his investigative insights. This sequence is different from what we are accustomed to, however, for mixed in with images of the victims of the recent bombings are the screaming faces of both Catherine and Jordan. Because of his impenetrable demeanor and tireless perseverance, it is sometimes easy to mistake Frank Black for a man who lives without fear. The startling nightmare he experiences while hospitalized in “522666,” coupled with the commentary that follows from his caring wife, serves as one of those subtle yet poignant moments in Millennium that remind us all that Frank fights on in spite of his fear, a consuming fear that is forever gnawing away at his psyche. By internalizing Frank’s visions for the first time, by using his mysterious gift for introspective purposes, Morgan and Wong once again manage to offer us a fresh perspective on our hero and his abilities. Here and in future installments, they continue to seek innovative uses for the dreams and visions of Millennium.

Connections: Frank’s introspective vision is reminiscent of the family-focused, fear-fueled nightmare experienced by Jordan in “Dead Letters,” also written by Glen Morgan and James Wong. Bomber Raymond Dees was recently profiled in Adam Chamberlain’s What the Killer Sees.

Trances in Total: 3 (0:11)

Gore Score: 1/10

Spotnitz podcast re-release (available on iPhone AND Android Apps!)


Back To Frank Black's chat to Frank Spotnitz is one of our earlier podcasts and one of our bests - thanks to Franks honesty and openness to those fundamental Millennium questions.


This is a re-release, but we are recording at exclusive interview this weekend with some big podcast plans for the future! Watch this space! Some good stuff to come!

This is available on our Iphone App and for the FIRST time, it is available on the Android application platform - the small fee incurred for these apps goes directly towards running the campaign. Occasional features and downloads are part of the service! In this podcast there is a bonus commentary from myself on this episode exclusive to app users!

If you don't have an app you can get hold of this episode by:


Or..



Available on iTunes: search for "BacktoFrankBlack" or "Millennium Group Sessions" and click subscribe!

Back to Frank Black Charity Auction Week One Now Live!


Well, folks, the Back to Frank Black charity auction is now underway! The eBay auction page takes you to an overview of the first five items, which are as follows:

  1. A Millennium Season Three baseball cap autographed by Klea Scott
  2. Lance Henriksen's autographed script from The Pit and the Pendulum
  3. Lance Henriksen's autographed script from Gunfighter's Moon complete with his own notes and comments
  4. Lance Henriksen's autographed script from The Color of Night, again complete with his own notes and comments from filming
  5. An 11" x 14" autographed photo of Lance Henriksen as "Chains" from the film Stone Cold

These are all unique items exclusive to the charity auction and bidding for them will be open for the next seven days. There will be further items also available in the coming weeks, details of which will be released in the coming days. And of course it's all in aid of a great cause: Children of the Night. So get bidding for your once in a lifetime chance to own some memorabilia from the distinguished alumni of Millennium!

Back to Frank Black Charity Auction begins today!


To give a little background to this charity appeal, please watch the video below by the Back to Frank Black staff. The statistics are, quite frankly, startling.



The links to the actual auction will be posted here later today. Auctions will go live at 12:00pm PST. We hope we can count on your support!

Re-Release: Mark Snow Interview


Back To Frank Black are proud to re-release another of their personal favourites - the Mark Snow interview! This interview took place end of summer 2009. Feels like yesterday. We hope you enjoy this chance to revisit - or perhaps, visit for the first time - this super opportunity to listen to the great composer himself!


This is available on our Iphone App - the small fee incurred for this app goes directly towards running the campaign. Occasional features and downloads are part of the service!

Otherwise..


Or..



Available on iTunes: search for "BacktoFrankBlack" or "Millennium Group Sessions" and click subscribe!

What the Killer Sees: Steven Kiley

Killer: Steven Kiley (Tucker Smallwood)

Episode: “Goodbye Charlie” (9 January 1998)

Writer: Richard Whitley

Director: Ken Fink

Quote: “It is difficult to fit him into the psychological profile of a serial killer. His killings are organised yet he crosses gender lines. Doesn't fit. He believes his acts are altruistic yet his victims are bound. This is a matter of control... Under the guise of helping other people to die, he actually holds their lives in his hands. Now he has been diagnosed, terminally. He doesn't even have control over his own body... We had control over him today. In order to relieve that anxiety, that helplessness, he'll have to help others - his way.” --Frank Black

Profile: If Frank Black struggled to profile Steven Kiley, then there’s little hope for me! Nevertheless, the nature and method of the killings perpetrated by Kiley are interesting to consider, as well as highlighting the morality of assisted suicide. And this is to say nothing of Kiley’s true nature, hints of a more supernatural aspect that come hand in hand with a first foray for this column into the wonders of Season Two.

As Frank notes, Kiley is a highly organised killer. Being “organised” in this context refers to a level of sophistication, planning and competence in evidence at a murder scene. The dichotomy originated in the terms “organised non-social” and “disorganised asocial” as long ago as 1980, whilst the term psychopathic is applied to the organised killer in modern investigative terminology and the disorganised killer characterised as psychotic. Documented in 1985 by the FBI, this system is now commonly used as a relatively straightforward investigative approach to a crime scene. The organised killer typically targets a stranger and then exerts a high level control over his victim, as evidenced here by the way Kiley recruits his victims from his role at the Crisis Center and the use of restraints when administering them with a deadly dose of potassium chloride. He is more likely to be intelligent and successful too, as evidenced again by Kiley’s former career as Ellsworth Beedle before borrowing the moniker by which we come to know him from the drama series Marcus Welby, MD.

Another notable aspect of Kiley’s killings is the placement of a walnut in the mouth of the victim before death. This is symbolic of the gift of prophecy in Greek mythology, the implied meaning being that Kiley foresees the fate that would await his victims if he did not act to “save” them. Again, this implies a sense of forward planning and preparation common to the organised serial killer.

The whole notion of a health professional turning killer is of course particularly chilling, and represents a real dereliction of duty towards those who entrust their health into such hands. It is not, however, without precedent. Jack Kevorkian is probably the most well-known US pathologist to have been convicted of murder having been tried on multiple counts due to his defiant position on assisted suicide. In the UK, Harold Shipman is the only doctor every to have been found guilty of murdering his patients, with over two hundred suspected kills making him one of the most prolific serial killers of all time. Notably he also crossed gender lines, like Kiley, although most of his victims were elderly women. Whilst the only UK doctor to be convicted in this way, again his behaviour is not without precedent, as exemplified by the cases of John Bodkin Adams, Leonard Arthur and Thomas Lodwig.

Some of these cases raise the moral issue of assisted suicide, as is central to the case of Steven Kiley. Frank surmises that Kiley’s psychopathological behaviour is rooted in an epiphany he experienced as a hospital doctor, acting instinctively to save the life of a gravely ill woman who he came to realise did not wish to live at all. From thereon he acts “to save lives by taking them”, with his crossing of gender lines explained by his primary concern being with “the quality of a human life”. Whilst the moral maze of assisted suicide is a debate too involved for this column, what is clear from Kiley’s methodology is that he at best manipulates his victims into their fate and so denies them a true choice regarding it. This premeditated and involved approach is, then, surely murder. As with so many serial killers, and in particular those that fit the organised profile, it becomes about power and control over the life of another.

Kills: 10

Investigation: The investigation into Steven Kiley is as unorthodox as his methodology. The Millennium Group tasks Frank and Lara Means with investigating Kiley’s killings, posing the question to Lara Means, “Should we assist to arrest this subject? Or assist to protect?” Together Frank and Lara track down Kiley by first having the motel at which the previous killings have taken place staked out, although when he returns a staff member acting as his accomplice raises the alarm so he can escape.

Undeterred, they follow the trail by considering how he sources the materials for his suicide machine (an abandoned hospital that turns out to be where he previously worked and began his career as a killer) and how he locates his victims (the Crisis Center), before finally honing in on Kiley by a process of elimination and tracking him to the hospital where he now works as a nurse. Due to a lack of evidence, however, they have to release him. Tragically this leads to a further five deaths, as Kiley releases the anxiety of his interrogation by staging a multiple killing at the house of his former accomplice, who turns out to also be his assessor. Kiley leaves a note stating that this was not his choice.

Returning to the question posed to them by The Millennium Group in assigning them to the case and in light of the killer’s image appearing in the painting on which the note was posted, Frank re-interprets the quandary as questioning if Kiley was from heaven or from hell, leaving us to wonder yet more deeply as to his true nature.

First Snow

Back to Frank Black would like to extend a very special Happy Thanksgiving to one and all out there. That said, I am actually writing from my home in London, all but untouched by the celebrations in the USA, whilst here in parts of the UK today we had our first snow of the winter, somewhat earlier than usual.

Which neatly (sort-of) leads me into a very special treat for you all. Brittany Tiplady - our very own Jordan Black - has starred in a wonderful short film available on YouTube. Entitled First Snow, it was filmed, edited and directed by Danielle Dobson and tells the story of a girl who falls asleep whilst reading a book and finds herself in a wintry dream world.

On the very first viewing I found this beautifully shot, captivating and haunting. As well as being reminded of a Northern Exposure episode with which it shares its title (another show about which I am passionate, although I'll save that for another day and another blog) I couldn't help but be reminded of Frank's visions of Catherine in The Sound of Snow. Above all, though, it made me all the more excited at the prospect of Brittany and Lance Henriksen getting the chance to revisit and update their superbly realised father-daughter relationship on-screen together.

Still, enough from me. So without further ado, enjoy the film and please do leave feedback for Brittany and/or Danielle to let them know how much you enjoyed it.

December 1st: B2FB Auction begins!


Back to Frank Black Charity Auction of Millennium and related memorabilia on behalf of Children of the Night.

The Back To Frank Black Charity Auction begins on
DECEMBER 1st 2010

This auction will be presented on eBay with five items being auctioned over a seven day period at a time.

ALL money raised from this auction will be donated to the registered charity Children of the Night, a group that fights to get children out of child prostitution.

Back to Frank Black have worked alongside some of the cast and crew of the TV show Millennium to produce unique and original items to be sold off to help this charity.

Some of over 20 items include:

• Sheet music of Millennium theme signed by Mark Snow
Millennium crew hat signed by Glen Morgan
• Lance Henriksen's script for the movie The Quick and the Dead
• The complete series of Space: Above and Beyond on DVD signed by
creator Glen Morgan, lead actress Kristen Cloke and actor James Morrison
Millennium Season Two box set signed by producers Glen Morgan and James
Wong, writer Darin Morgan and actress Kristen Cloke
Near Dark DVD signed by actor Lance Henriksen

A full list of available items will be provided closer the start of the first auctions.

"Like" the Facebook Back to Frank Black Auction group for up-to-the-minute details!

For all enquires email:
info@backtofrankblack.com

Further details on Children of the Night
can be found on their website:
www.childrenofthenight.org

Michael R. Perry speaks to Back to Frank Black!

That's right, Back to Frank Black brings you an exclusive interview with writer/producer Michael R. Perry, the man behind such great Millennium episodes as "The Mikado," "Omerta" and "Nostalgia." He has also worked on the shows Freakylinks, Persons Unknown and The Practice. Most recently, he was the writer of the very successful sequel Paranormal Activity 2!

Although there was a written interview done a couple of years ago with Michael, it concentrated on the episode "Thirteen Years Later." This time not only will we talk about that episode, we will discuss many of the other projects that Michael has been involved with. This is where you come in!

Do you have a question for Michael? No problem. Send us an email at info@backtofrankblack.com. Along with your question, include your name and where you are from and we will ask Michael your questions! How cool is that? The deadline for questions is this Sunday, November 28th, at 3pm EST! Send us those questions!

Second Sight: "The Judge"


“The Judge” (15 November 1996)

Writer:
Ted Mann
Director: Randy Zisk
Editor: Stephen Mark

Quote: “Five hundred years ago, you would have been burned as a witch.” --Bob Bletcher to Frank Black


Overview:
In “The Judge,” Bob Bletcher teasingly calls attention to the seemingly miraculous nature of Frank Black’s gift by associating his talents with witchcraft. Frank, of course, rejects the comparison. “Nothing I do is magic,” the profiler insists with a straight face and, for perhaps the first time since the series was launched, the casework that follows fully supports his position. This episode dutifully presents the usual stylized flashes of insight as imaginative extrapolations of the evidence at hand. Each and every one of the visions is clearly prompted by clue or cue seen, heard, or felt by Frank Black--and, by extension, the audience. Blood and tissue samples found under the fingernails of a corpse prompt our hero to reconsider the events of an early killing; the expert analysis voiced by a pathologist induces a visualization of precisely how a new victim was subdued.

Slowed down, taken frame-by-frame, the lurid visions seen here reveal details of the crimes never otherwise shown or discussed on screen and thus act as a compelling representation of the complexities of Frank Black’s investigative thought process. This is one of many Millennium installments in which the visionary sequences contain far more detail than could ever be properly absorbed by the audience during a traditional viewing--a veritable visual overload, especially for a collective total of eleven seconds of screen time. They reveal just how much artistic effort was put into crafting these fleeting displays on film.

While it may not be directly tied to the subject matter of Frank Black’s visions, mention must also be made of the portentous tête-à-tête that takes place between our hero and his unique opponent. When Frank asks for the eponymous Judge to provide his name, the livestock auctioneer turned vigilante insists that his true name is Legion. He explains that the chosen moniker is adopted from the story related in Mark 5:1-19--appropriately enough, a tale involving Jesus, a demon, and a herd of hogs. The grim meaning invested in that name was at once seized upon by Millennium’s fan base as an apt identification for the ominous force that was first seen in “Gehenna” and would come to make its presence felt more and more strongly as the series progressed. Mark my words: that evocative name, first cited in our review of the visions seen in the show’s second installment, will certainly mark future columns.

Connections: The Judge relates the parable of Mark 5:1-19, the story of Legion, and thereby provides both Frank Black and the audience with a moniker for the demonic presence previously glimpsed in “Gehenna.”

Trances in Total: 4 (0:11)

Gore Score: 10/10

Lance Henriksen Guest Stars on ABC's "Castle" Tonight!

In a must-see episode for any Lance or Ten Thirteen fan, Lance Henriksen guest stars in tonight's brand new episode of Castle on ABC.


The episode, entitled "Close Enounters of the Murderous Kind", also features Lyle Lovett as a federal agent, whilst Lance's character is a "super nerd" and expert on alien abduction! In an interview with TV Guide, creator and executive producer Andrew W. Marlowe explains how the episode is quite explicitly a nod to The X-Files. This, coupled with the inclusion of Lance Henriksen as a guest star, makes this a highly significant televisual event for Ten Thirteen fans and followers of Back to Frank Black, exemplifying the enduring appeal of both Chris Carter's creations and Lance Henriksen himself.

You can watch a sneak peek preview of the episode at ABC's website, and it airs tonight at 10/9C plus will thereafter be available to view online. Don't miss it!

Back To Frank Black goes independent!

BacktoFrankBlack.com is moving! Well, for you guys it isn't, but the site is spreading its wings somewhat behind the scenes!

How does this affect you? Well, on the short term, the site may be down while the migration takes place -- maybe some teething problems -- but hopefully nothing we can't sort out in the next 48 hours from this post.

Email works as always -- send us email to info@backtofrankblack.com if you have something to say!

Again, this is short term -- one night at most, I hope. Monday will hopefully bring a new independent era to Back to Frank Black!


What this post is really about is saying thank you to Graham Smith, who has let us use his server space for the past two years. Graham has always been generous with us, and indeed always been there to offer technical advice or very candid feedback on the campaign itself. I'm still in contact with Graham and through him and his network of This Is Who We Are, but on behalf of myself, Troy, Brian, Adam, Joselyn, Christina and, of course, Lance, thank you for looking after us. In particular, thanks for suffering many technical e-mails on the migration! You were a great help.

So, Back to Frank Black is now sitting independent. Money from the t-shirts we've sold has enabled us to run the hosting for the campaign -- an indicator that money spent on the campaign does help the campaign and not our pockets. We're here independently because of you guys, so I guess that alone requires a big thank you from us all!

Watch out for more news! The date for the charity auction is finally set! A post on that tomorrow -- plus an extension on the deadline for the Worldwide Fan Campaign! Eyes peeled my friends! Eyes peeled!

Worldwide Fan Project Update!


Thank for those who are sending in the videos. We've seen more coming in these past few days and I'd like to thank those who have sent.

An apology for those in the past 12 hours who have tried and had a mailbox exceeded message -- this is from video files overloading our mailbox!

The mailbox is clear, so please try sending again to info@backtofrankblack.com

If this happens again, please send to jim@backtofrankblack.com as an alternative!

These fan messages are vital to the campaign. It is a way of showing FOX the diversity of fans from across the world who support the return of Frank Black. If we can, we'll be seeing if Lance will do one for us, too. So, if you want your face in a video along with the man himself, you're a ten minute job away from doing just that!

Just use a cellphone to record a five second message of yourself saying "This Is Who We Are", then send it to your computer (unless your cell is brilliant enough to send a video file to an email address) and email to the above addresses!

This is a way for you guys to get really involved in this campaign. This is your voice and your face speaking for what you want! Don't miss this opportunity!

Future Back to Frank Black Staffer?

One of the amazing things about working on this campaign to bring Frank Black back to the big screen is that we get to meet fans of Lance Henriksen from all over the world. At last count, there have been people coming to the site from over 30 countries! This definitely shows that Millennium and Lance Henriksen have a worldwide appeal. FOX, are you reading this?

Right now, Back to Frank Black has a complete staff for the first time and we are running like a well-oiled machine, but let's not forget that we all have lives outside of the campaign. That's why it is with great pleasure that we present a future staff member. In the video clip you will see below is the lovely Juliet Balmean. She is the daughter of Back to Frank Black staff members Max and Christina. At just 17 months she sits in front of the TV and, although some very creepy images of the Pumpkinhead monster appear on screen, she just takes it in stride. One of the cutest things we have ever seen! Please join us in thanking Max and Christina in letting us share this great clip with all of you!

What the Killer Sees: Connor

Killer: Connor (John Fleck)

Episode: “Blood Relatives” (6 December 1996)

Writer: Chip Johannessen

Director: James Charleston

Quote: “How could anyone abandon a child? But millions of people do it. Millions. God, it’s scary. We have home after home filled with kids like James. And we know they'll turn violent. How do I tell the survivors that no one saw it coming? They're out there, Frank... People full of holes.” --Catherine Black

Profile: The narrative twists of this episode remind us of the shades of grey involved in profiling and the investigative process as a whole. It is for this reason that James Dickerson finds himself under suspicion for so much of the investigation. In addition to insinuating himself into families during their grief at the funerals of men comparable in age to him, he is noted to have been collecting souvenirs from the personal effects of the deceased.

As we have seen before, killers will sometimes collect souvenirs from a kill to remind themselves of the experience, and in a different way Dickerson does the same thing here to remind himself of the personal connection he has made with the families he has encountered. As Catherine Black’s analysis of his history notes, “He's a classic lost child. And there's an army of them just like him. Put up for adoption at one-and-a-half, never placed, in and out of foster care, reform school, abuse. He essentially raised himself... No-one showed him how to connect with the world. Odd as this may sound, going to funerals is his attempt.”

Dickerson’s resulting absence of self-worth and self-concern is so acute that when his mother rejects him again to his face once he is in custody, he even admits to two murders that he never committed. This is the tragedy at the heart of this story, of the psychological damage wrought on him as a child from his experiences. Frank notes to Peter Watts that he fits the profile and that he is capable of committing murder. But, as it turns out, he is not guilty. Capability coupled with behavioural similarities to those exhibited by killers does not imply that someone necessarily has made or ever will make that leap to murderous violence.

We actually know much less about the killer himself: Connor, trustee of the halfway house at which Dickerson resides. From his attitude towards Dickerson and his reaction to the sight of his mother we know that he takes a great interest in him, even to the extent of concealing him from the police. Quite what his motives are we can only guess at, but it seems likely that his own background mirrors Dickerson’s in some way and that he is seeking to compensate for this, to create a family of sorts. They may well also be a sexual component in his apparent special interest in Dickerson, but there is no overt evidence to support this. We can, however, be almost certain that his previous record would have been unblemished in order for him to be able to hold such a position as trustee of the halfway house in the first instance.

We do learn a little more about Connor from his modus operandi, though, and in particular the mutilation of his victims. The nature and physical origin of a wound pattern can often inform an assessment of the motivation behind a murder and the character of the killer. This is true for injuries that represent overkill, control-oriented, defensive or precautionary force, or how or where on the body that force was administered, plus whether it was inflicted before or after death.
Frank is able to discern that the words “STOP LOOKING” that were carved into Tina’s abdomen were done with care and consideration. This mutilation and the same words traced in pollen on the clothing of Jeffrey Cort as discovered by Peter Watts, were both inflicted after death and therefore directed at someone other than the victim. With the style of the “S” copied from the style of the Skorpion Salvage yard where Connor concealed Dickerson and the wording itself copied from the motivational message on a board in the halfway house, there are strong indications that the messages were intended for Dickerson.

This was a warning from Connor to Dickerson to stop looking for a sense of family elsewhere, an attempt to retain control, power and ownership over him, whether or not there is an implied sexual aspect underlying these motivations. It is this same motivation that leads Connor to attack Mrs Dechant, seeking to strike at the heart of Dickerson’s estranged and fractured family. James Dickerson’s entire life has been devoid of any real sense of familial love, and Connor’s unnatural interest in him represents yet another failing of the system to support his welfare in its absence.

Kills: 2

Investigation: James Dickerson remains the prime suspect throughout much of the investigation, with his personal and criminal past plus his stalking of bereaved families all seeming to provide additional evidence of his guilt. Catherine Black also provides good insights into the social care system and the effects of its failings upon those caught up in it. It is only when tracking Dickerson to the halfway house that things begin take a turn, with Connor being obviously obstructive to the police. Discussing the case with Catherine, Frank makes the leap that the message “STOP LOOKING” is not a message from Dickerson but to him, and it is this realisation that leads Frank to visit Dickerson’s mother, narrowly rescuing her from becoming Connor’s next victim.