Second Sight: "The Thin White Line"

“The Thin White Line” (14 February 1997)

Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong
Director: Thomas J. Wright
Editor: Stephen Mark

Quote: “Can you see what I see, FBI? Can you see your fear? Can you see what you really are?” --Richard Alan Hance

Overview: At Millennium’s very center is an intrinsic concern with the nature of dreams and visions. This is, in part, because Millennium is a television series that continually embraced modes of alternate perception, both stylistically and thematically. Through the eyes of its visionary heroes and its delusional villains, the series explored the ways in which our memories, emotions, and instincts reveal themselves in the way that we see the world around us.

Perhaps no installment of Millennium’s first season embraces this more fully than “The Thin White Line.” The manhunt for copycat serial killer Jacob Tyler, who murders innocent men and women based on wishful fantasies, forces Frank Black to confront his own past. Thanks to an inventive script, the story that unfolds allows him to do this somewhat literally in some scenes. Our hero’s remarkable inner eye is expanded yet again as his trademark visions are supplemented with recurring nightmares, dreams in which the profiler is forced to relive one of the most terrifying confrontations of his life. One of these dream sequences in particular, in which the present day Frank joins forces with his wide-eyed younger self in an effort to rewrite history, beautifully enacts the psychological struggle of the story. “The Thin White Line” stands as one of the first season’s strongest episodes and this remains one of the first season’s most memorable moments.

In both nightmares and flashback sequences, “The Thin White Line” also offers us a number of minor tidbits that contribute to the mystery and mythology surrounding our hero’s remarkable talents. Dialogue suggests to us that Frank’s “feelings” had earned him something of a reputation among his colleagues as early as 1977, when he was a member of the FBI team that captured Richard Alan Hance. Marked on his palm as one of this fearsome killer’s victims, staring into the face of his own death as he endures Hance’s vicious taunts, Frank experiences the sudden flare of one of his visions. This is the first occurrence of one of Frank’s visions, chronologically speaking, shown to us in the series thus far. Whether they represent the hero’s intuitive imaginings or some prophetic insight, we now know that Frank Black was seeing what the killer sees as early as the late seventies.

This scene also marks out “The Thin White Line” as one of the few Millennium episodes in which the hero’s visions are in some way internalized, offering a self-conscious glimpse of his own fears, his own potential fate. Glen Morgan and James Wong remain true to form with this script, forever aiming to more deeply explore Frank Black’s unique way of seeing the world, to ensure that his visions contributed to the themes of the story rather than providing highly-stylized distraction or plot loopholes. This is the same writing duo that first hinted at Jordan Black’s inheritance with the bad dreams of “Dead Letters,” the same team that first turned Frank Black’s visions inward in a feverish nightmare seen in “522666.” Yes, dreams are undeniably key to understanding this series and the struggles of its characters. Under the direction of Morgan and Wong, dreams and visions would become an increasingly intrinsic element of Millennium’s deepening mythology.

Connections: Jacob Tyler’s delusional fantasies, in which he imagines his victims to be volunteering themselves, are based on the hallucinations of real life serial killer Herbert Mullin, who murdered thirteen victims in California in 1972 and 1973. Frank Black’s visions were first utilized for introspective purposes in a nightmare he experienced in “522666,” also scripted by Glen Morgan and James Wong. Serial killer Richard Alan Hance has been previously profiled in Adam Chamberlain’s What the Killer Sees.

Trances in Total: 5 (0:16)

Gore Score: 4/10

Millennium Apocalypse Season One to debut at Back to Frank Black!

There is no limit to the talent that exists in the Millennium fan community. Every day we here at Back to Frank Black meet and chat with people from all over the world! We are truly amazed at the talent these fine folks often offer to share with their fellow Millennium fans. Well, we now bring you something that takes fan art to a whole new level.

Jason Morris is an independent filmmaker from California. He is also a huge Millennium fan and, back in 2004, he wanted to show his appreciation for the show. So what did Jason do? He only gathered a bunch of his friends, wrote scripts and came up with the very first Millennium themed web seriesm entitled Millennium Apocalypse! 13 episodes were produced for the first season and we are proud to announce that we will be showing the entire run here at Back to Frank Black!

We start with the first episode, entitled "The Beginning". Here we get the chance to first see Jordan, played by Shoni Alysse Cook, grown up and struggling to deal with her ability. I am sure you will find this series as enjoyable as all of us at Back to Frank Black did. The first episode will debut April 29th at 8pm EST. So, let's spread the word and get as many people in front of their laptops and monitors to watch this series! We must give a big THANK YOU to Jason Morris for allowing us to share his vision with all of you.

As a special bonus, Jason and Shoni are recording new footage to be added to the original episodes. Sort of introduction/commentary clips to make sure we are all up to speed. And as if that isn't enough, we will be giving away several signed copies of the DVD and the soundtrack. The soundtrack will be a special limited edition that will contain 2 additional tracks not on the original soundtrack release!

So please make sure you stay tuned to Back to Frank Black, watch all 13 episodes and please leave feedback for Jason, Shoni and the rest of the cast and crew from Millennium Apocalypse!

Believe in the Future! 10,013 Photos for a Greenlight XF3?

As you know, we're not the only campaign to making noise right now in the Carter camp and I think we can all agree we are stronger united. With this mindset, please read and consider supporting the latest drive from the X-Files staff. While Back to Frank Black looks to bring Frank Black in a form of TV Event, perhaps on FX if possible, X-Files News is looking towards the big screen for The X-Files and success is a good possibility... especially with your support. Have a read and see what you think about their latest venture - could you help bring about its goal?

So without further ado, please read on. I give you Tiffany Devol!

A picture is worth a thousand words and this year, X-Files fans are betting that 10,013 pictures are worth a greenlight for a third X-Files feature film. The Believe in the Future campaign, headed up by since 2009, has collected thousands of postcards, videos and souvenirs for Fox from fans of the series. Fox met with XFilesNews two years ago to accept a massive delivery of fan mail from around the world. Later this year, they are prepared to do it again.

The Believe in the Future campaign has the support of fans and fan groups in more than 30 countries representing 6 continents.

Despite the less than stellar performance of The X-Files: I Want to Believe in 2008, many fans and critics alike have pointed out that with December 2012 looming, Fox Film has a perfect opportunity to bring back the mythology of The X-Files.

The Believe in the Future campaign's 10,013 Photos for a Greenlight seeks to gather fan photos from around the world spanning the years 1993-2011 with messages to Fox explaining what The X-Files has meant to fans and why they should green light a third film.

Equally exciting is the news that an X-Files event is being held at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles on May 7th. Series creator Chris Carter is expected to be there along with actor Mitch Pileggi, executive producer R.W. Goodwin, writer and director Glen Morgan, and actors Sheila Larken and Jeff Gulka. A surprise guest is also slated to make an appearance for this Q&A and book signing for the recently released LAX-Files.

The X-Files
is a pop culture icon with mentions in television, radio, newspaper and magazines even now, 9 years after the end of the series.

With 2012 around the corner and word that a third X-Files script is in the works as of this year, fans are ready to believe in (and make) the future together.

Tiffany Devol

Millennium Apocalypse speak to Back to Frank Black

Back to Frank Black speak to the creator of the exciting independent production Millennium Apocalypse, Jason Morris and the project's lead lady, Shoni Alysse-Cook, as the story enters its second season.

Back to Frank Black will be airing Season One on Friday nights shortly in preparation for Season Two later this year. Listen to what Jason and Shoni have to say on making Millennium Apocalypse and their feelings on the characters and world of Millennium!

To stream this podcast directly from this post, click the podcast player below!

If you would like to download this podcast for FREE, click here!

If you'd like to see a selection of our recent podcasts and reissues, click here!

This podcast is available on iTunes. Search for "Back to Frank Black" or "BacktoFrankBlack" and click "subscribe"!

This podcast is also available on iPhone and Android as part of the Back to Frank Black app! Nominal app fee goes towards supporting the campaign. No profits come from this app service.

Not Remotely Dead Letters

There's a lot going on here at Back to Frank Black of late: fan panels, impending blogathons and the imminent publication of Lance's autobiography amongst them, with yet more to come. But whilst we hope you will all continue to savour and enjoy this content along with us, we also hope that it will only reinforce your resolve rather than distract you from our shared main mission: the return of Frank Black to our screens! And for that, above all else we still need you to keep sending those letters. Here's the man himself, Lance Henriksen, to remind you why:

With that in mind, here are those all-important details once again. We have pre-written PDF letters for both FX and FOX that you just need to print and sign, and also Word versions, again for both FX and FOX, should you wish to personalise your pleas. Please do "double up" and send your missives, in whatever form, to both FX and FOX, as this approach--as two-pronged as an ouroboros' tongue--is the one that will earn us the most attention with the people that can finally bring back Frank Black. Full details can be found on our letters page. And thanks, as always, to each and every one of you for your ongoing support.