Back To Frank Black edited by Adam Chamberlain & Brian A. Dixon (book review).

In many respects, when it comes to books on subjects relating to show-runner Chris Carter, ‘The X-Files’ tends to dominate everything. This book, ‘Back To Frank Black’, doesn’t. It focuses entirely on ‘Millennium’. Hard to believe the series is some sixteen years old now and probably that long ago since I saw it. However, reading this book brings much of it back. Interspersed with interviews with cast and crew, you are given insight into the series itself making for a very definitive book on the subject and the editors ambition to see a film made as a follow-up. Reading here, actor Lance Henriksen and creator Chris Carter and writer Frank Spornitz seem willing, it just needs 20th Century Fox who own the property to be willing.

This book is both a comprehensive in its analysis of the three season sixty-seven episode show and interviews with the people involved. Not only do you get a potted history of how they were involved and back history but, as with the actors, how they prepped themselves for the roles. Both Lance Henriksen and Kristine Cloke are serious method actors who immerse themselves in the roles and they give immense insight into that.

The show also had two sets of writing teams, Glen Morgan and Jim Wong who went on the show-run season two and that of Erin Maher and Kay Reindl. There is also much debate on the drastic change from serial killer of the week in season one to the more Millennium Group issues of season two. From my perspective, I suspect these days, they would have mixed both story threads from the beginning than concentrate them the way they did. It’s not all pairs of writers, as there are also interviews with Michael R. Perry and Chip Johannessen and how Carter encouraged them to get deeper into the business and ended up as producers as well.

There is also insight into the music from Mark Snow, not just for ‘Millennium’ but also for ‘The X-Files’. If you ever thought a composer just sits down and rattles off a tune, then this will show how many different things are tried. I wonder if anyone’s thought to have Snow’s five album band New York Rock & Roll Ensemble have a re-release on CD?

There is no denying that this is a massive book and an incredible education. Whether they will achieve their aim depends on your support of this book to reinvigorate your interest in ‘Millennium’ and join their related websites.

GF Willmetts

November 2012


(pub: Fourth Horseman Press. 510 page indexed larger paperback. Price: £18.01 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-9883922-8)

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Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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