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!



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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:

Further details on Children of the Night
can be found on their website:

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 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!