Monday, 28 July 2014

Millennium

I’ve been watching Millennium on DVD and I’m up to season 2. I saw bits of it when it was on TV back in 1996 but I missed too much to have any real concept of what was going on. (imdb)
It was a Chris Carter production; the same guy that made the X files and it is very well written.
The main character is Frank Black played by Lance Henriksen. I could listen to him talk for hours, I tell you. As I was watching, Kid 2 walked past, stopped, reversed, listened for a minute and made some comment about his amazing voice.
Carter has said that he wrote it with Lance in mind. For him, there was no other actor to play the lead.
Frank works as a profiler for a shadowy organisation that is dealing with an increase in odd crimes as the earth counts down the days to the end of the world; the turn of the millennium and the beginning of the year 2000. The purists will tell you that the actual turn of the millennium is the end of the year 2000, not the start. Ten is in the last decade not the first year of the next; that would be eleven. The Groups’ symbol is the ouroboros; the snake that eats itself and each time he turns on his computer the symbol displays and tells him how many days are left.
Back then, people really thought terrible things were going to happen. The Y2K bug was supposed to make all computers fail. I was living in a third world country at the time and the company made us go home, just in case they couldn’t get us out if they needed to. Believe me, we got evacuated every year for one reason or another so they were right to be concerned. But they would not listen to us tell them that it wasn’t computerised enough to have an issue. Hey, free holiday for us!
But in any case, Frank Black is some kind of psychic.
He touches things and gets messages in a flash of vision or insight. At first, we aren’t sure whether it is just an observation and logic process a la Sherlock Holmes, or if he has a gift. Once we see his daughter has it, too, we know it isn’t logic.
Will Graham, the Thomas Harris character, does it on Hannibal or its earlier versions like the movie Red Dragon. And in another Danish show that I watch, Unit 1 (Rejseholdet), one of the detectives, Thomas La Cour, does the same thing. Leaps of intuition that seem to come from nowhere when they mystically channel the victim or the perpetrator. Often, they know so much they are suspected of the crime.
I guess as writers, it allows you to cheat a little.
Provided that your viewers believe your character can do it, it will work.