Millennium: ‘The Curse of Frank Black’

Halloween is a holiday that has never really settled in over here in the UK, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate what the Americans see in it when it recurs in film and TV.

To mark the occasion, last night I watchged the Millennium episode ‘The Curse of Frank Black’, in which Frank spends the night of 31 October seeing demons, ghosts and the possibility of a future as a bitter loner, eventually taking his own life. There are minor characters, spirits and costumed kids, but this is mainly a one-man show for Lance Henricksen as he wanders the streets, pestered by visions, his own memories and a plague of minor annoyances designed to drive him over the edge. Henricksen is great in this one, doing very little but with a subtle feeling of disquiet building in Frank throughout.

Frank is a man alone, every contact with another person a reminder of his isolation. The whole episode twists suburbia and the mundane into something more sinister, while at the same time emphasising that to see the sinister in normality is to risk going off the rails, becoming the weird guy the kids in the street talk about.

The second season of Millennium is a real oddity, a demonstration of what a couple of slightly pissed off writer/producers can do with a show when cut loose and devoid of any real sense of responsibility. The box set is well worth buying, for ‘Curse’ as a whole lot of other crazy, memorable episodes.

Mark

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November 1, 2006. Tags: , . Uncategorized.

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