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Millennium – Dead Letters (Review)

This February and March, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the fourth season of The X-Files and the first season of Millennium.

Dead Letters is the first Millennium episode credited to writers James Wong and Glen Morgan, and to director Thomas J. Wright. These are three creative forces that would come to be massively influential in the development of the show.

As with Gehenna, the obvious point of comparison in this early stage of development is with The X-Files. Chris Carter wrote the first two episodes of both shows, outlining the core themes and larger direction. However, the crucial third episode was handed to the team of James Wong and Glen Morgan. They would be the first writers other than Carter to write for Fox Mulder, Dana Scully and Frank Black. They were tasked with demonstrating that these concepts could work in the hands of writers other than Chris Carter.

A hair's breadth away from insanity...

A hair’s breadth away from insanity…

The first script that Wong and Morgan wrote for The X-Files was Squeeze. It was the show’s first stand-alone monster-of-the-week episode, and effectively codified a very flexible subgenre of The X-Files, while also creating a very popular and iconic monster. Dead Letters does something vaguely similar for Millennium, even if it is not quite as effective. Free from a lot of the millennial anxieties that drove The Pilot and Gehenna, Dead Letters offers an example of a fairly pure-blooded “serial-killer-of-the-week” story.

For better or for worse, Dead Letters sets the tone for the rest of the show’s first season.

Bits and pieces...

Bits and pieces…

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Batman: Ego (and Other Tails) (Review/Retrospective)

To celebrate the release of The Dark Knight Rises, July is “Batman month” here at the m0vie blog. Check back daily for comics, movies and television reviews and discussion of the Caped Crusader.

“It’s at times like this…. In the cold… in the dark… I feel that I’m losing my way.”

– Batman’s opening monologue, Ego

Few modern comic book artists and writers are as respected as Darwyn Cooke. The illustrator began his career on Batman: The Animated Series, and then expanded out into the comic books that inspired it. He’s worked on any number of iconic projects, including the miniseries New Frontier and the adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker books. This summer, he’s a major part of DC’s Before Watchmen initiative, writing Silk Spectre and writing and illustrating The Minutemen. Batman: Ego and Other Tails collects the bulk of the writer/illustrator’s work on the Caped Crusader, with Selina’s Big Score included for good measure. In his introduction, the writer confesses that the story was”an earnest yet flawed first effort”, and it seems like he’s being remarkably fair.

He’s created a monster!

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