Today is the day that I sometimes feared would never come -- the release of Millennium S1 on DVD. I have loved many a TV show in my time but Millennium is, IMO, the best TV that was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, amen.
I've just watched the pilot episode for the first time in years. (I only have part of season three on tape.) And it's just as I recall -- a strong pilot, horrific at times, and showing Frank Black's constant struggle to keep his family safe in the yellow house in the face of the evils of the world.
I don't often like the main character in the shows I watch. At best, I'm usually neutral about them. But Frank -- Frank I love. Not as a BSO, either. At the time I started watching Millennium, I was going through some changes in my life. The biggest was my belief switch from Christianity to atheism. This caused tension with my family, as they are pretty much all -- extended family on both sides -- quite religious.
And there was Frank. Frank is a both a Christ figure and a father figure. He suffers that we may be free, he takes the evil of the world upon himself to protect his family. He is strong for them. But Frank is human. He's not a god, so he can't succeed all of the time. That was just what I needed. And I still do.
In the pilot there is a scene where they have dug up a wooden coffin where a young man has been buried alive. Various terrible things have been done to him and he can only scream. And Frank wraps his arms around him and holds him against his chest and you know, you know that Frank is there to take care of you.
Contrast that with The X-Files where you know that if Mulder or Scully tell you you'll be all right, you'll be dead or abducted within ten minutes. If Frank gave you CPR, he wouldn't stop after 15 seconds. If Frank had been there, they never would have taken Max Fenig. If Frank had been there, Pendrell would still be alive.
I hated the TXF episode "Millennium". It was a mockery of everything that was good about Millennium. The crossover should have been with "Orison" -- the return of Donnie Pfaster. Frank and Scully should have worked that case together and Frank would have helped Scully get through it better than Mulder ever could.
When the final episode of Millennium aired, I cried like I've never cried before or since over a show ending. Because Frank was leaving and I didn't know what I'd do without him.
But now he's back.