Millennium: The Season You've Never Seen PT II

Today we bring you the second part of our conversation with the creative mind behind 'Millennium: Virtual Season Four', the fan made series that told the continuing story of Frank Black. Our thanks, once again, to Dan Owen for the kind donation of his time and for keeping the flame of 'Millennium' alive at a time when it was sorely missed. Please keep your eyes peeled in the next few days for more BTFB exclusives including another interview with a member of the cast I know you will all enjoy. And, if you haven't sent those letters and Polaroids, what are you waiting for? Let's bring Frank Back!

BTFB: I know we have been absolutely delighted by the support we have received from the cast, they are a generous and passionate bunch of people who have a lot of time for the fans that care about the product.

DO: Yeah, that's nice to see. Especially as they've all moved on and MM was, in the big scheme of things, only a three-season blip compared to most shows!

BTFB: I know the Millennium Apocalypse project was not without its problems and the odd the clash of personalities along the way did you guys experience any staff conflicts and dramas during the season's creation?

DO: No, there wasn't really any time to have an argument - and nobody was ever face-to-face, of course. It's amazing VS4 came together as well as it did, really. I think that was ultimately because Matt and I shared the same passion and vision for what Millennium's ending should be. So we just went headlong into it and didn't come up for air until December!

BTFB: I'm actually amazed that you got it together so quickly. You guys stuck to a TV schedule if I remember correctly, releasing the episodes every Friday even if, by your own admission, they weren't ready for broadcast. Were there times when you thought 'actually we've bitten off more than we can chew here'?

DO: Well, we only had a one episode "cushion" (something pre-written we could release for a bit of breathing space), but it wasn't so bad when submissions came back and I think we had 5 or 6 scripts being worked into shape. But yeah, mid-season the strain was beginning to show a bit. But I got a second creative wind doing the Rapture/Tribulation scripts, and then we had the fun of properly focusing on the big climax -- which everyone wanted to do! That was the exciting goal, really.

BTFB: I know this was all written a long time ago but looking back, are there episodes you view as particularly successful and others not so? How do you appraise the body of work that is virtual season four nearly “…Thirteen Years Later” - pun intended.

DO: Hehe, well... admittedly, my memory is hazy -- particularly of other people's scripts. So, at the risk of sounding a bit self-absorbed... I always have a soft spot for The First Prophet. The season as a whole was a mixed bag, but the spine was fairly strong and it definitely had a focus and attention to detail. I think it was a solid present for the fans that didn't read like "typical" fan-fiction which we tried to avoid the trappings of.

BTFB: Are you still involved with writing, be that professionally or as a hobby, and knowing what you know now would you ever commit to writing another virtual season of Millennium or any other show for that matter?

DO: I've kept my hand in, but I've moved away from scripts and more towards article-writing and blogging TV/film reviews. I wouldn’t do another virtual season of Millennium, purely because I feel the story has been told, and it's too much effort to be doing the same for other shows. And there are no shows I'd be THAT passionate about seeing continue online.

BTFB: Which leads me to my next point quite nicely. Since the cancellation of Millennium has any other show replaced it in terms of the passion you have for it? I have to confess, nothing has even come close for me and it's not for the want of trying to find something.

DO: Well yes, I have to admit that I'm a rabid Lost fan - but, thankfully, that show will end under its own steam next year. Before that came along, no... nothing really matched Millennium, although I did enjoy Carnivale.

BTFB: I'm a hypothetical Millennium fan. I've read this interview and become intrigued why should this hypothetical fan read Millennium Virtual Season Four?

DO: Well, despite the fact VS4 isn't canonical, I feel it's a decent conclusion if you finish your season 3 box-set and ache for resolution. While clearly tailored for diehard fans more than general audiences, it's not as frivolous as you may expect. We put the effort in and, while aspects of it don't ALWAYS stand up to scrutiny 10 years later, it's still an entertaining read and more complex than you may expect from "fan fiction".

BTFB: I know there are plans afoot for Virtual Season Six and Millennium fans have you to thank for being the genesis of the show’s continuation in this format and for someone who sought solace in it a number of times I thank your personally for your work on it. You have every right to be proud.

DO: Thank you. Virtual Seasons did seem to take-off after Millennium's VS4 got all that publicity, definitely!

BTFB: It's been a pleasure to speak to you Dan and to return the favour is there a blog or website you like to promote, something that may interest our supporters?

DO: Er, well, my own blog is, if that appeals and, too and you'll forgive the plug?

BTFB: We welcome plugs, it's part of the pleasure. Many thanks for taking the time to talk to us and we wish you every continued success for the future.

8 Responses to "Millennium: The Season You've Never Seen PT II"

Jósef K,. said... August 15, 2009 at 7:16 AM

Thanks Mark and Dan, for a nice interview.

And thanks Dan, for planting the seed of the Virtual Season.

Now I have something to read at night shifts and at home too :D

Don't be dark!
Cheers from Iceland!
- Jósef

Graham Smith said... August 15, 2009 at 7:31 AM

Thanks for concluding part of the interview! I've just been to your Blog Dan, very impressive and an interesting read!

Dan said... August 15, 2009 at 9:27 AM

It was nice to take a stroll down memory lane, actually. I'm still astonished a little fan-made project like VS4 became such a big-deal at the time, and continues to be mentioned with such affection 10 years later.

If anyone cares, I've posted a little something about VS4 and this interview with over at my blog.

Thanks again for the opportunity and good luck with the campaign.

Sheriff Bullock said... August 15, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Dan, if I had known you were a fan of Carnivale we could have attempted a virtual season three. (JUST KIDDING!) Mark, do you mind if I plug my no-longer-updated Carnivale site?

Mark Ducker said... August 16, 2009 at 6:10 AM

You plug away Matt, I have no problem at all with that. I have been in contact with Sean who wrote that great little review of VS4 at his blog to thank him for bringing more attention to your efforts and he is going to cover the campaign as well so thank you for opening up another avenue for us in the process.

Oh and he's written a letter to Fox on behalf of the campaign which is absolutely brilliant, I never would have known that without you guys.

Very, very nice to see all the warm comments for this after all these years.

RSWehman said... August 16, 2009 at 6:58 AM

Excellent job Mark and Dan. Thanks for completing the conversation. Interesting read. Check out the blog on Dan Owens site. Very good.
This Is Who We Are!!
Rhonda Wehman

Sean Stubblefield said... August 16, 2009 at 9:43 AM

it was cool to hear from Dan about the excellent VS4. I'm impressed with the caliber of guests BTFB manages to get. a special thanks to Dan for helping to make VS4 so magnificent and fun. and of course Matt also, who i see is posting here. i'm in love with Millennium and really hope we can inspire a comeback.

Dan said... August 16, 2009 at 1:12 PM

@Matt. I'd never have attempted a Carnivale VS, purely because that was a series with a definite plan to it and we'd have been treading on too many toes. With MM, VS4 was an act of salvage.

@Sean. I hope you're not suggest we're the same calibre as Henriksen and Spotnitz! We are, and were, just very passionate fans like everyone else here.

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