starring Eric Pierpoint, Gary Graham, and Michele Scarabelli as Susan Francisco
“As we look back from this final week of the twentieth century, on the verge of the new millennium, surely the most amazing experience humanity shared was our first view of the huge Tenctonese spacecraft. Making a forced landing in California’s Mojave Desert, seven years ago, it brought a quarter-million beings bred as slaves to labour in any environment. Stronger than human beings with keener senses, these alien newcomers joined our society – including the L.A. Police Department. Welcomed by many, they have also faced much fear and prejudice from others. With no way to leave Earth, the Tenctonese Newcomers have become the latest immigrants to join the population of America.”
It’s a jungle, and yet, it isn’t a jungle. A Tenctonese man and woman are leading a Human man and woman through the jungle. They are clearly not on Earth. The woman, Vivian, asks when she will get to see her father. She asks where “Jennifer” is… She is told to continue the journey. Although Vivian is pleased by all the wonderment that is around them the man, Jason, is becoming increasingly agitated by all of the strange creatures and insects that they’re encountering. Jason is told to keep his thoughts on the beauty of his goal – otherwise the perils of the journey could become very real. They reach the view of the most beautiful sunset and still the journey continues. Jason grows more and more jumpy – when suddenly, snake-like tendrils slither out of the undergrowth. As they entwine themselves around Jason’s legs and arms, Jason panics. He is dragged closer towards a giant creature with huge gnashing teeth. Jason screams with every fibre of his being…
Buck Francisco is at a Tenctonese shrine as he tries to come to terms with the future of his race. He is still having difficulties, however, as he feels he has no place on Earth. He is contemplating what has been said as he walks though town. Whilst browsing a magazine stand, Buck is approached the beautiful vision of an intriguingly mystifying Tenctonese woman. She gives him a time and a location before she disappears.
At the L.A. police department, the precinct is overrun by whacked-out crazies believing the world is going to end as the millennium changes. Matt Sikes is not convinced as one such woman tells him…
“Well think about it… Aliens land just before the millennium, huh?”
“Yeah – I’d better go get my burrito before they suck us through the black hole…”
Matt’s partner, George Francisco is equally bewildered – but with more logical reasonings…
“I don’t understand it. Half the world seems elated about the new millennium and others are leaving their family and quitting their jobs and the suicide rate is up… AND THE MILLENNIUM DOESN’T EVEN GET HERE UNTIL 2001..!! “
Meanwhile, Captain Grazer is going crazy over the number of missing persons posters that have suddenly filled the wall. He wants Sikes and Francisco to work on it, even though George tells him that they’re already working on a major narcotics investigation regarding a new drug – Supernova. As compassionate as ever, Grazer tells them to do double-duty because he wants results.
The perils of the new millennium come early for Matt when the microwave explodes his burito all over his sparklingly white shirt. As Matt cleans his shirt (with Albert’s help), George attempts to bring technology closer to his partner by demonstrating his new “mouse tail” – a pen shaped pointer device which activates his computer.
Matt explains away his lack of technical skill by the fact that he is human and didn’t just “blow in from Androgena”. George points out that this didn’t help Matt with his ‘Detective 2’ test…
“Hey, let me tell you something… That stupid test was written by a Hispanic, a black and an Asian – and two of them were women! A white male like me’s got it stacked against him!”
“Well I didn’t have any trouble passing it and no Tenctonese/Americans helped write it.”
As Matt begins to feel pressured by George’s questioning of his case research project, relief is brought by means of an urgent call to prevent a potential jumper from committing suicide – with a hostage in tow! Sikes is only too keen to lead the way.
Some distance away, Emily is with one of her human friends when they see a human boy – ‘Randy’ – getting into his car. Emily is a little embarrassed as she clearly likes the guy. As Randy looks across to Emily, Emily’s friend tells her that Randy is looking for someone to play the synthesizer in his band – an instrument that Emily can play with skill. She returns Randy’s look.
Susan is hard at work discussing an advertising design with two colleagues. She issues instructions to change the emphasis of the design but is then interrupted by an excited Emily on the videophone. Emily is keen to purchase a new synthesizer – one that she’s found in a bargain sale. She asks if she can buy it because she can afford it with her Christmas money – with the exception of $52 that she wants to borrow from her mom to make up the price. Susan is more than a little concerned as this seems to be not the only time that Emily has asked for a loan. Pressured by other urgent business calls, Susan eventually relents on the provision that Emily understands that this is the final loan.
Back at the Francisco residence, Emily and her friend celebrate and, although Buck insists that his sister shouldn’t be accepting “Christmas money” or be celebrating Earth holidays. Emily disagrees but it becomes clear that the only reason for her interest in the synth is because of her interest in Randy.
Matt and George arrive at the scene of the hostage situation. George calls for the S.W.A.T. team and then leads Matt up through the building. George asks the officer on the scene what has been happening. The officer only looks at Matt when he answers the questions. He clearly has an attitude problem but is soon put in his place when he learns that George is Matt’s superior officer. The officer believes that the jumper is high on Supernova – he keeps talking about some huge insect in an alien jungle. The hostage is just an innocent office worker who the man said he needed in order to exterminate the “bug”.
When the media bursts in, Matt takes the initiative and borrows the video camera. When George protests about the potential dangers, Matt’s only concern seems to be for his lunch as he missed out on his morning burito. Under the pretence of being a news cameraman, Matt climbs out onto the ledge and persuades the jumper to tell him his side of the story. The jumper turns out to be Jason and he has gone quite mad as he talks about a giant scorpion that’s after him. Jason continues to shout out for “Jennifer”. He also gives out the name of the woman who was with him at the time – Vivian Fairbanks.
Sikes tackles Jason and the camera plummets towards the ground where it smashes into a million pieces. From inside the window, George grabs the girl but back outside, Jason hurls Matt over the supports. George secures Jason but Sikes is dangling in free air. Clambering outside, George lifts Matt over the safety supports with one hand.
In a derelict warehouse some distance away, the two Tenctonese who had been Jason’s guides are discussing Jason who has now been put on a “suicide watch” in the hospital. The male Tenctonese is called Kalaban while the female is Marina. They discuss something called a “portal” which has something to do with both the jungle and Jason’s current condition. Kalaban insists that nothing similarly dangerous will happen in the future but it seems to be money that is guiding his thoughts.
Later, at the Francisco house, Emily is impressing her father with some mesmerising tunes on her new synth – tunes which George describes as “far cool”. Susan, however, is looking over the current Visa bill and she is not happy with what she reads, describing it as “more like the National Debt”. Due to the fact that he works very hard, George doesn’t feel it’s inappropriate for him to have a few minor purchases. When Susan points out that these “minor purchases” are anything but minor and are also unnecessary, she recalls the purchase of an unused trampoline as an example of George’s “see something and buy it” attitude. George reveals that his plans were to use the trampoline on that very night – but Susan is more than doubtful.
“You know what it is George? You’ve got P.S.M.”
“No, no, no, Susan. You mean P.M.S. and males don’t have THAT.”
“P.S.M. – Post Slave Mentality. You’re constantly trying to make up for all those years when we had nothing.”
George feels that Susan is just picking on him because she earns more money than he does. But, in truth, Susan is more concerned at how George’s behaviour is affecting the children. She highlights Emily’s insistence on getting the synthesizer so immediately as one example but then has to take a step backwards when she reveals that she loaned Emily the extra money for it. As for Buck, Susan is describes how he is doing the exact opposite by heading to the priesthood – but George believes that studying at the shrine is good for their son.
As Susan and George agree to set a better example to their children, Buck enters the house with George’s lost tie. In the first stage of setting “a better example”, George suggests to Buck that they could use his trampoline but Buck declines the offer.
Meanwhile, Matt disturbs Cathy from her work because of a new TV show he wants to watch – called “My Brother The Alien”. When the show is pulled (before the first commercial) due to insufficient “instant ratings”, Matt learns from Cathy about a new piece of computer software that she’s using. He realises that it might assist him with writing his case research project.
The following morning, and having tracked down the only “Vivian Fairbanks” in the phonebook, the two Detectives are on their way to visit her the hope that she can shed some light on what happened to Jason. Matt is still voting for “Supernova” but George tells him there is no evidence to support that. Matt comes up with the idea of doing his research paper on the subject of Supernova but George is preoccupied with what is happening with his son. The visit to Vivian Fairbanks is postponed when they receive a call that something called the “portal” has been reported stolen from the shrine.
George explains about the “portal” by reminding Matt of a case they’d had three years previously. The image of “Charcoal Charlie” comes cascading back into his mind. He remembers standing on the alien planet – and this memory reminds him that Jason had spoken of being on an alien planet.
At the shrine, the elder explains about a fire (purists had been suspected) that they’d had two-months previously. It had been assumed that the portal had been destroyed in the fire but now there are reports that the portal had been stolen instead. The reports imply that the portal is in the hands of an underground cult movement who are allowing people to follow the “quick path” to the enlightenment that the portal will provide. The elder tells them that if the seekers of enlightenment are not properly schooled before embarking on a journey into the portal, they will meet the powerful dark side of their own mind. As George surmises, the users bring their “own angels or demons” into the world that the portal creates.
Meanwhile, Buck is meeting with other people at the location he was given by the mysterious woman. When the woman arrives, her name is revealed to be “Jennifer” and she is their guide on their journey through the portal – but for a price that Kalaban and Marina take from the people. The journey will take place at dawn of the following day.
At Vivian Fairbanks place of work, George and Matt talk to her boss but he tells that she hasn’t been into work for some time. He does reveal, though, that Vivian has been noticed to be selling off a lot of her things – which Matt translates into “supporting a habit”. Either Supernova or “portal habit”, surmises George.
With Jennifer’s words in his mind, Buck returns home to find Emily practising on her synthesizer and with Randy listening intently. Randy tries to impress Buck with words of Tenctonese but Buck is not easily impressed. Emily, however, is impressed even though Randy explains that he only knows a few words. He asks if Emily would help teach him. Emily is clearly smitten with him so she agrees. Randy tells her of a party he’s having on New Year’s Eve and asks if Emily will join his band. Emily doesn’t hesitate but becomes anxious when Randy talks of joining their instruments together by means of midi-chips. Something Emily doesn’t have but, not wishing to look silly in front of Randy, she tells him that she is going to get one.
At the precinct, George and Matt learn that Jason, Vivian and a whole host of other “missing people” were wealthy humans who had recently lost someone close to them. At the same time, George’s 1000MHz computer locates a car advert – showing the location of where Vivian Fairbanks is selling her car.
Walking together, Susan and Emily are discussing Emily’s various loans. Emily promises to work off some of the money by doing extra chores – such as ironing. Susan agrees that this is a good idea and that it will help Emily earn enough to pay for her midi-chip. However, as impatient as ever, Emily asks if she can have some money up-front to buy the chip. Due to her daughter’s already out-standing loans, Susan refuses the request citing that Emily will appreciate the chip more if she has to wait for it. Emily clearly has objections to this but her mom is no longer willing to continue the conversation.
At a nearby used-car lot, Matt and George are showing their credentials to Vivian Fairbanks. She becomes extremely anxious when Jason’s name is mentioned and she suddenly contracts amnesia when asked of the last time she saw him. Getting no help from her, they arrest her on suspicion of drug trafficking.
As it approaches dawn the following morning, Jennifer’s followers meet atop a tall building. Buck is also there and he contributes some money as do the others. Despite wanting to experience the enlightenment that the portal will offer, Buck becomes suspicious when he realises that most of the seekers are human – but Jennifer settles the thought from his mind. Shortly, Jennifer activates the portal and steps through it followed by Kalaban. One by one, the others follow. As Buck steps through the portal he finds himself on an alien world filled with active volcanoes and bubbling lava rivers.
As the others come through the portal, everyone is on the ledge of a cliff overhanging a flowing river of lava. Jennifer is nowhere to be seen but Kalaban reminds everyone to keep their minds pure and to follow the path. However, the untrained minds of the humans begin to see their loved ones floating over the chasm. Before he can calm them down, Kalaban watches as one human falls over the edge and plunges to his death. Before anyone else follows him, Jennifer appears and guides them all safely along the path.
Later, Grazer is complaining of more missing persons. The latest poster to go up is of one Frank Norton – one of Jennifer’s followers. George is told that Frank’s circumstances were much the same as the other missing people.
At the derelict building the followers have gone and Kalaban and Marina are talking about the body of the man who fell to his death. Marina feels they are going too far but Kalaban is looking to the future that the money will allow him. Also in the room is Jennifer who has dropped her pure and angelic image in favour of a sour-milk swigging money-grabber. Although Jennifer is concerned about Marina’s conscience, she tells her friends that she has a plan to ensure that suspicion of the deaths does not fall on them.
At the Francisco meal table, George notices a change in Susan’s spots. She tells him that she went to the U.V. salon because she wanted to look good for the new millennium and didn’t want to have to wait until summer. This provokes Emily into saying that she has to wait for what she wants but that line of reasoning doesn’t get her anywhere. As their food, tripe, is dished up, Buck wanders in apologising for his lateness because of a long session at the shrine. His lighter attitude causes some questions at the meal table and so, while Buck is washing his hands, George goes to speak with him. However, all he learns is that Buck is apparently pleased with the teachings of the shrine.
Elsewhere, Cathy discovers that Matt is using her disc for purposes of his Detective 2 paper – but Cathy isn’t convinced that this is allowed.
The next morning, Matt hands in his Detective 2 research paper – “Supernova in L.A.” but before Grazer can read through it, Cathy enables Jason to speak by means of hypnosis. Through hypnosis, Jason reveals that he paid a large sum of money to Jennifer in return for visiting other worlds by means of the portal. He also reveals that the way they learned of the location to meet up was by means of e-mail to and from Kalaban.
Back at the Francisco house, Emily overhears her brother on the telephone. He has a computer all packaged up which he is attempting to return for a refund.
Going undercover, Matt meets up with Kalaban and spins out a sob story about his partner dying and how it led him into depression. By way of a small camera attached to Matt’s tie, George is watching the whole event on a tiny hand-held monitor some distance away. Kalaban seems to believe the story when Sikes mentions Vivian’s name.
As George discretely follows Matt, he is suddenly joined by Captain Grazer who is there to provide backup as there is no one else available. However, Grazer seems to be more interested in whether they’ve found the “porthole thing”. George has followed Matt to a vacant building. Inside, Matt is being led to the portal. As the portal is activated, Grazer leads the way in – but they are spotted! As his “guides” escape into the portal, Matt races after them. George and Grazer are quick to follow. The threesome find themselves in the jungle environment. Matt remembers Jason’s words of the jungle with the giant scorpion. Grazer remembers the plants with the tendrils – just as tendrils slither out and begin dragging Grazer away. Then they see the snarling jaws of the giant scorpion!
With renewed energy, Matt frees Grazer and they begin running from the creature as fast as they can. It’s to no avail as the creature chases closer and closer. They rush past trees and outcrop branches – until Matt runs dead into the solid wall of the building. They are outside the portal. George concludes that the portal has been deactivated. The chase is on as they see Kalaban racing from the building with the portal in his grasp. Before George can shoot, Kalaban is in a car and speeding away from them.
After ensuring the safety of the fainted Grazer, George returns to the shrine. Once there he is told that Buck hasn’t been there for the last few days. Keeping his duty to the forefront of his mind, George asks the elder if she recognises anyone from the video recording. She immediately recognised them as Kalaban Smith and Marina Del Ray who were once students at the shrine but had grown impatient with their poverty. Although she doesn’t know where they are now, she suggests someone who might know – Jennifer, her daughter!
In a busy part of town there is a shop with a midi-chip sale. They are at the knock-down price of just $40. Forty dollars that a certain customer, Emily, doesn’t have. Within moments, Emily is walking away from the shop and the midi-chip is in her handbag…
Susan is at work when George phones to tell her about Buck’s absence from the shrine. She is doubly-concerned because she went into Buck’s room shortly after George had left that morning. Buck’s bed hadn’t been slept in and some of his clothes were missing. In a state approaching panic, Susan asks George if he can get some of his colleagues to look for him. George agrees.
Continuing the investigation, George checks out Jennifer’s apartment. He learns that she had left a few days ago telling the landlady that she can have everything that is left in the room. Examining the waste paper basket, Matt discovers Jennifer’s dental check-up card.
Back at the precinct, George learns that another newcomer has gone missing. At the same time, Grazer speaks to Matt about his research paper which he’s so impressed with that he’s going to recommend him for Detective 2. In the privacy of his office, Grazer talks to Matt about an idea he has concerning the portal. He has some friends in Silicon Valley who could copy the portal. Grazer has dreams of creating a high-profit making amusement park based on the portal. Sikes isn’t so sure that this is a good idea.
Jennifer is finalising her plan with her friends. Due to the involvement of the authorities, she has planned to move the entire operation to San Francisco. To ensure a clean getaway, Jennifer is going to provide them with a dead body, Polly Wanakraker, and a full confession. As Jennifer and Kalaban “mingle” with the flock of followers, it becomes clear that Jennifer is controlling this whole operation for two reasons. The first is for money and the second is to take revenge on humans for mistreating her and killing her father. Kalaban regards Jennifer’s followers and says that they would all willingly follow Jennifer off the face of the Earth – which appears to be Jennifer’s plan for them.
At the Francisco house, Emily has installed her stolen midi-chip and she is practising with Randy – this time their two musical instruments are combined via the midi-chip. Emily is noticeably overwhelmed by Randy and his interest in her.
George hears the music and immediately assumes that Susan caved-in again and gave Emily the money for the chip. Susan denies this and says she doesn’t know where the chip came from but that this is a fine example of her “must have now” attitude that she inherited from George. Both husband and wife realise that they are unnecessarily snapping at each other – because they are worried about Buck’s disappearance. Susan also reveals that the bank told her that the visa card is “maxed out”. She turns around and, with despair, sighs “This family..!”
In Matt’s apartment, he and Cathy are also talking about Buck but the conversation soon moves on to Grazer’s idea for the portal. Cathy is horrified that Matt would even consider turning a Tenctonese religious icon into a get-rich-quick scheme.
Cathy : “Just trivialise Newcomer religious practises so you can make a buck?! I’ve got an idea. You want an amusement park? How about ‘God-land’..? Think of the possibilities – you could have the Haunted Cathedral; and you could have all of the snack-stands serve wine and communion wafers. I’ve got it – ‘Archbishops of the Caribbean’… and you could have the ‘Father, Son and Holy Ghoster Rollercoaster’…”
Matt : “Cathy, that’s not funny!”
Cathy : “Isn’t it?”
Cathy leaves but she has made her point.
Checking out the missing Polly Wanakraker, George learns that she and Jennifer went to the same dentist. Before he and Matt can investigate, Matt is called to Grazer’s office – on the roof. After passing Albert’s magnificent rooftop garden, Matt sees Grazer. Grazer wants to ensure that when Matt finds the portal, he hands it over to him – especially as he has proof that Matt’s research paper has suspicious foundations.
At the Francisco’s meal table, no one is able to eat through their worry of Buck. George explains how helpless he feels – even with all the technology and sources available to him. Susan tries to comfort her husband but she feels just the same.
In the warehouse, Buck listens as Jennifer speaks to her followers. She talks of the following day, New Year’s Eve, when they will combine all of their monetary possessions and move to a different paradisical location.
The following day and Emily arrives at Randy’s mansion of a house. She is a little early because no one else is there. It appears that Randy’s interest in Emily isn’t totally music-based as he convinces Emily to drink. Emily, however, doesn’t feel she’s ready for such amorous advances. At that moment the telephone rings. With the pretence that the call is from his parents, Randy leaves the room. Emily overhears part of the conversation – Randy is finalising a bet with his friend which entails him sleeping with “the Slag” before midnight. As a distraught Emily races from the house, a struggle ensues during which she hurls Randy across the room and her dress gets ripped.
The L.A.P.D. is overrun with more nutters on the last day of the year. George is getting stressed out because he can’t find information on his visa bill via his computer. Before he can throw the computer, Matt intercedes. The dental records of both Jennifer and Polly arrive and they appear almost identical. It becomes clear that Jennifer’s plan is to make it seem as though Polly is Jennifer for when she makes her escape. Matt deduces that Jennifer is going to “fleece her followers” one last time before she leaves – the one thing they don’t know is where.
Emily arrives home in a dishevelled state and, after a moment, her mom realises what has happened. She holds her daughter close.
Finally getting through to his bank, George is bewildered by the purchase of a computer that he didn’t order. At the same time he is given a list of people who e-mailed Kalaban – one of the numbers listed is the Francisco home number. Quickly he calls home. The still distressed Emily is persuaded to tell her parents about Buck’s computer that he was selling. When Susan asks George if he knows what’s happened to Buck, George can’t give any answers – which leaves her with more to worry about.
From the people assigned to follows Vivian Fairbanks, Matt discovers the address of the abandoned warehouse and the two detectives are soon on their way.
Once there they quickly discover the barely-alive body of Polly Wanakraker in the midst of barrels of gasoline. Not far away they also find the drugged body of Marina Del Ray – it seems that Jennifer wanted to tie up all loose ends. Marina is able to tell them that Jennifer and Kalaban intend to kill all of their L.A. followers. George calls in for back-up but due to the millennium crisis, no one is able to help. He and Matt are on their own.
They spot Kalaban and quickly give chase but he escapes into the portal. They can see the “ghost images” of all of the followers – including Buck! The people are being led to the same area of the warehouse that they found Polly in – the gasoline store! Matt suggests they just destroy the device but George can’t be sure of what will happen to those people already inside. While Matt remains, George leaps through the portal.
On an alien plateau, George is attacked by Kalaban while, from the outside, Matt can see the ghost images fighting on a steel parapet. Kalaban gets the upper hand and George is left hanging from the cliff face. As Kalaban attempts to make him fall, Matt throws an discarded toolbox at him – this knocks him over the edge, leaving George to clamber to safety.
Not far away, Jennifer is convincing her followers to accept a leap of faith. But from the outside, Matt can see that she is coercing them into plunging down into the gasoline store. George intercedes from the inside but the followers restrain him.
In desperation, Matt attacks the portal. As the alien surroundings start to disperse, Jennifer topples and falls down the chasm. The warehouse replaces the alien planet once more and George embraces his son.
As midnight approaches, the Franciscos are all dressed up and ready to celebrate. Between them, they realise how lucky they are to be away from their slave past and that they have their family together once more. Emily says that she will return both her synthesizer and the midi-chip.
The millennium draws to a close. Elsewhere, Matt is celebrating with Cathy to whom he reveals that Grazer didn’t like what had happened to the portal and that he knows one day he will pass his Detective 2 test without cheating.
The final seconds countdown at the Francisco house…
THE MICHELE SCARABELLI FACTOR
You’ve just got to love those computers at the police department. In the previous film, all computers were conspicuous by the fact that they were all inactive – which, as I mentioned, is a bizarre concept because anyone in an office who uses a computer will always spend the first day trying to find the silliest screensaver. This fact is proven when George sits at his desk and proudly shows off his new “mouse tail” to Matt. The device actives the computer and what is the first thing we see? A screensaver! Well done, George..!! For those with technical knowledge George later reveals that his computer is running at 1000MHz (which has proven to be pretty close to the truth for 1999) – and yet, look closely at the screen. It looks like he’s still running Windows 3.1 programs..!
One of the most wonderful aspects of Alien Nation is its ability to show how everyone can work together, no matter what race, colour, sex, creed, abilities, beliefs – or any other aspect that currently splits the world by means of baseless prejudice. A truly classic example can be experienced early in Millennium. Michele’s first scene in this film shows Susan Francisco at work and discussing the merits of an advertising poster with two colleagues. One of these colleagues is hearing-impaired for the scene shows Susan speaking both vocally and with sign-language. As is typical of Alien Nation, emphasis of this is not brought to the front of the scene – which is as it should be. The scene demonstrates that just because someone has difficulties/differences that shouldn’t prevent them from providing valuable input. Alien Nation‘s skill at subtlety is beyond compare.
This is just the first of many memorable scenes featuring Michele in this film. What is equally wonderful is Michele’s ability to professionally portray Susan in so many different situations at the same time as remaining beautiful throughout.
Unlike Body And Soul before it, Millennium has much more involvement from the Francisco family. Both Buck and Emily have splendid storylines which results in some outstanding dialogue between their parents. Such as Emily’s attitude to money being a parallel to George’s own philosophy, which George has excuses for – and absolutely no one can say the words “Spare me…” in the way Michele Scarabelli does when Susan doesn’t believe George’s interest in his trampoline. Irresistible! This discussion will remind viewers of the episode in which George and Susan had invested in “Nu-knit” which prompted Susan to buy virtually everything she set her eyes on even before they’d seen any sign of a return on their investment.
This also underlines an intriguing parallel for the story. Whilst it is shown to be wrong for Buck and the others to obtain their pleasures by paying for “portal time”, George and Emily imply that it is quite acceptable to use money to buy useless items simply because it gives them pleasure.
Millennium is an excellent continuity piece which serves to give Alien Nation‘s regular viewers plenty of reward for staying with the show. As well as the obvious nod towards the series episode which introduced the “portal”, there is the continuation of the other characters also. Sikes‘ attempt to pass his “Detective 2” exam plays very much like the time when George was promoted above him; Buck dips back to his “alien without a cause” persona (this is linked back to the early episodes of the original series by Susan) which, as well as providing a unique focus for the film also provides continuity with Body And Soul; Emily‘s fascination of sex with a human is played out until she realises that not everyone shares her pure thoughts; and Susan is, at last, seen at work attempting to juggle both her hectic job and her family at the same time – no more being seen as just the “wife of the first alien Detective” for this woman! These scenes are just too brilliant for words.
In the history of Alien Nation, the theme tune has become one of the most memorable of all television shows. How interesting it is to find many other pieces of music in Millennium which matches the magic of the theme tune. From the Tenctonese piece of Buck walking through town to the catchy piece first played by Emily on the synthesizer.
This film also has a terrific tongue-in-cheek play on what have become affectionately known by Alien Nation fans as “Georgeisms” (where Newcomers mix-up the English language with naive but hilarious results, something George is prone to doing). This example is when Susan accuses George of having “P.S.M.” and George automatically assumes that his wife is incorrectly referring to “P.M.S.” – when, in truth, Susan was accurately implying “Post Slave Mentality”. This, Susan learned from a whole week of “Johnny Cochrane” shows. So let’s look at the facts, here. Susan is a high-flying businesswoman with a hectic schedule and phones from clients ringing frequently; she has a tearaway daughter, a moody son, and a spendthrift husband – and she get’s time to watch TV every day of the week? Wow – this woman is something special..!
There are many clever scenes in this film. Such as the rather innocent scene in which George has to save his partners life when the crazed Jason causes him to swing precariously over the edge of a steel railing outside an apartment block. Then, at the end of the film, George is left hanging over the edge of the alien cliff and it is Matt who has to save HIS life.
Watch also for the unsubtle nod in the direction of the Network big-wigs when Matt wants to watch a TV show which is suddenly pulled from the schedule after three minutes due to insufficient ratings – even before anyone gets the chance to watch it. That sounds like a familiar situation that occurs all too frequently with a TV show that we know, doesn’t it? This must be the only time in the history of Alien Nation when subtlety is cast aside.
In short there is a whole host of things going on in Millennium, so much so that you will want to watch it over and over again. There is something for everyone.