New Millennium Forum arises
(20. Feb 2003)
For three months before TIWWA ( http://www.tiwwa.info/)went live, the web masters of the most active and successful international Millennium Web Sites were busy designing and implementing their love and knowledge of Millennium to create the ultimate Millennium meeting place including Graham Smith of MDUK, Matt Bunch of Millennium Collections, Brian A. Dixon of The Millennial Abyss, and also respected Millennium activists David Barry (se7enand1) and Scott P (Selfosophy Psycho).
Designed to accommodate Millennium fans from all levels of interest, "TIWWA..." is based upon the inner workings of the Millennium Group. New Members are awarded Millennium Candidacy and are promoted through a virtual 'Millennium Group' depending upon the number of Posts and Topics created and replied to. Overseeing the Candidates are Administrators known as 'Elders' in keeping with the traditions set by the Millennium Group of Chris Carters TV Series...
Initially conceived and created by myself, "This Is Who We Are...? offers many facilities and benefits of membership, too many to mention here. Members may participate in General Discussion or discuss various specific elements of Millennium sponsored and represented by the main Millennium Web Sites listed above.
Science Fiction & Fantasy World recently had the opportunity to interview two of TIWWA's founding members and Elders/Moderators, Scott P, also know by the screen name Selfosophy Psycho (a reference to one of MillenniuM's many sub-plots and characters), and David Barry, a. k. a. se7enand1 (partly a reference to the title of one of MillenniuM's season 3 episodes). The interview follows:
SFFWORLD: Why a message forum now? The TV show has been over for awhile. Is the Time Now? (Bad Pun)
SCOTT P (Selfosophy Psycho): The enthusiasm of MillenniuM fans has actually grown in intensity as the years have passed. Fittingly, there is almost a "fervor" among them to see the show live on in various ways.
MillenniuM enthusiasts are very supportive of the major MillenniuM and MillenniuM related websites, frequenting them often and offering feedback and suggestions to the site owners. There is a large and continuous flow of episode trading and collecting between MillenniuM fans via the Internet and
Large archives of MillenniuM fan fiction are accessible at many fan websites. In fact, new fan fiction stories have recently been posted at TIWWA, along with a new form of fan creativity - MillenniuM Fan Poetry! The passion and spirit of this show is so great for some, that there are now fan authors composing works poetry inspired by the show, its characters, and its themes.
In addition, fans are extremely passionate about the show. Enthusiast seem to have boundless interest in discussing and exploring various aspects of MillenniuM's characters, episodes, myth arcs, sub-plots, actresses and actors, writers, producers, and music. The beauty and power of MillenniuM is that there seems to be a limitless variety reasons that the show appeals to them. And, for some of the show's enthusiasts, MillenniuM actually resonates with profound meaning and insight.
Also, I don't know how many times I have read emails or message board postings from MillenniuM fans which explain that they actually became fans after the show was cancelled! The year that MillenniuM was cancelled, I remember visiting several MillenniuM websites, reading the updates,
postings, and related discussion boards. Now, almost four years later, to me it seems that enthusiasm and passion for the show is actually greater! Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that during the brief 5 weeks since TIWWA went live, more than 100 members have already registered!
Considering all of the above, and the fact that we are living in the early years of the new millennium, we indeed believe the time is NOW! We couldn't think of a better time. We think the MillenniuM fan community is rite for a message board of this scope and sophistication.
So, "Is the time Now?" Yes, indeed! (And I thought your question was a great pun!)
DAVID BARRY-(se7enand1): Great answer Scott! I'll just add that, yes, it's been off the air for over 3-years but the fan base has grown worldwide. MILLENNIUM has been shown, at various times, in at least 18 countries that I can of think of now, including Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong. But that's only part of it in my view.
Since its premature cancellation-(despite an overall improvement in ratings over season-2 and a killer demographic which has NEVER been equaled by ANY show in MillenniuM's friday-9:00-p.m. timeslot since it's cancellation in may-99)-it seems that fans have had ample time to truly consider the various themes and myth arcs of the show. I think it took some casual and hardcore fans awhile to realize that there were actually very good outlets on the web for discussing MM with other fans. But once fans knew where to look more and more people came to the various sites, but it all seemed a little disorganized in my view, and others here. That's when the seed of centralizing the MM-community was planted.
People who have the episodes on tape, vcd, divx, Japanese laserdisc or even DVD-r are often rabid to get into and go over the littlest facets of the show. The result of all this is our forum, and fans seems to really appreciate the centralized aspect of it; the ability to link up with every major MM-website from our forum while being able to delve into any of our diverse categories and discuss their favorite aspects of the show!
SFFWORLD: Is their any specific goals you have in mind for this new message forum? Or to just bring a community of fans together?
SCOTT P: Actually, the MillenniuM fan community had already become fairly cohesive. Many of us huddled around the major MillenniuM fan sites (such as Millennium Collections, The Millennial Abyss, and Millennium Desktop UK) and the Multitude of Voices (a general discussion board run by Brian A Dixon in connection with his various websites).
Often, fan can be found in small pockets of enthusiast spread throughout the web. For instance, in recent months, a large number of enthusiasts gather for discussions of the show at message board linked to the official The X-Files website. In during the past several months, a fair grouping of
MillenniuM fans came together through the Community of MillenniuM Enthusiasts Yahoo!Groups e-mail group. There is a strong following for MillenniuM in France. I have personally corresponded with fans from Brazil, Italy, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Recently, there has been a discussion thread asking members to indicate where they are from. Most of the respondents to this discussion are from countries other than the United States.
So, in fact, TIWWA is, in many ways, an extension or expression of the existing fan community. Certainly, the board was meant to build and congeal our community, but there are many other reasons that TIWWA was created.
In the words of the site's owner, Graham P. Smith (a. k. a. The Old Man), "Millennium fans worldwide can now converge on a single, secure location to meet other Millennium fans, share knowledge and discuss various aspects of Millennium. Designed to accommodate Millennium fans from all levels of interest, 'TIWWA...' is based upon the inner workings of the Millennium Group."
Graham alludes to one of the larger purposes of creating TIWWA. We wanted to provide one location - a sort of comprehensive, all inclusive, ultimate gathering place where "all things MillenniuM" could be accessed, explored, and discussed by every enthusiast from all over the world.
DAVID BARRY: I would say the main goal as of now is to try and bring fans of the show together and create a real community of sorts; to an extent this is already happening! To me there is nothing more exciting, and just plain FUN, than to have a community of people from around the globe who share the same passion and get together whenever they choose and really get into it with other members; challenging each other, sharing their own interpretations of a particular episode or season or myth arc. With this forum fans can now do this in an organized, SAFE/SECURE and FUN fashion.
One other goal that I would like to achieve is to eventually be able to attract "newbie?s" or first time viewers-(hell, even people who have never seen it before!)- to our forum and really open up their eyes to the power of this masterwork by reading the different forums and sharing their thoughts
with other fans. I think this goal could go a long ways towards being reached by having the curious being able to link up with TIWWA through your incredible site!
SFFWORLD: Besides discussing the aspects of the TV show, what else do you plan to do with the message forum?
SCOTT P: Wow! There is an extremely wide variety of Categories and Forums to choose from. I think this reflects the dynamic, resonating, and inspirational nature of the show, and its impact on its fandom. So, I think just discussing aspects of the TV show itself is a huge and multifaceted purpose and undertaking of the message board, in and of itself! Each of the boards moderators and founders, called Elders, have created there own sets of forums based on there on areas of interest, knowledge, and passion for the show. And the number of forums has already increased since TIWWA went live on December 1, 2002. Often, these new forums have been inspired by the newly registered members of the board, called Candidates.
There are various forums geared toward discussing the episodes, themes, actors, and producers of MillenniuM. There are forums provided for discussion of events in "the real world," which reflect MillenniuM's topics, themes, or episodes. The Elders have created forums which provide fans the opportunity to trade or acquire episodes, collectors? items, downloads, and memorabilia of MillenniuM.
Fans can even find forums for discussion TV show, movies, literature, and music which reflect the themes and topics of MillenniuM. There is a forum for discussion the humour of MillenniuM. A kind of living memorial to Millennium was created to allow fans to pay tribute to their favorite show, and memorialize the impact or enjoyment the derived from the show - ascribing their own experiences and how they came to be an avid fan of the show.
There is even an entire Sub-Category filled with forums for discussion of ONE of the sub-plots of ONE episode of MillenniuM! This particular Sub-Category, created by yours truly, deals with a fictitious ?belief system? called Selfosophy, which appeared in the MillenniuM episode, ?Jose Chung?s Doomsday Defense.? One of the forums in this category deals with the fictitious religion itself, and the other forums in this Sub-Category examine belief systems, in general, in the ?real world.?
There are even forums provided for French speaking MillenniuM fans to gather for discussion.
As far as the purposes of the board expanding beyond the realm of discussion, that was our intention from the beginning. We wanted to provide a dynamic online environment were the creativity, resourcefulness, ideas, and energy of the MillenniuM fan community could flow freely. Already, there have been discussions of MillenniuM fan gatherings or conventions. In the years since the show was cancelled, MillenniuM fans have been engaged in all sorts of creative endeavors which have provided fans with a variety of services. It is our intention to provide a place where these projects can grow and flourish, giving rise to new and fresh undertakings.
DAVID BARRY: Personally I hope to see such things as trivia contests, perhaps fan-fiction contests and the like. I would also love to see if we could get access to some who worked on the show, either in front of, or behind the scenes for interviews and anecdotes. Things of that nature excite me a lot and I think other members would enjoy it as well.
SFFWORLD: Are their any plans on expanding the forums? Into an active website?
SCOTT P: There is nothing specific on the table at this time... but... as I stated, it is our intention to see many things grow from environment that we have created at TIWWA. And, I believe many things will spring from this MillenniuM discussion cyber-sphere, if you will. As Dave once put it during one of our phone consultations, "...in fact, I am counting on it!"
SFFWORLD: Of course, I could see fans of the X-Files flocking the site as well. Do you think this will be a problem?
SCOTT P: This will not be a problem at all! We welcome fans of The X-Files to TIWWA! I, myself, have personally placed invitational posts at the official X-Files discussion forum. In fact, probably a significant portion of the MillenniuM fan community is also fans of The X-Files. And to those The X-Files fans who have not joined us, we extend to them our open and warm welcome and invitation to join us!
DAVID BARRY: I wholeheartedly agree with Scott. I think having X-files fans, and sci-fi/fantasy fans in general, flocking to our site would be a huge benefit not just to our forum but in the sense that maybe new MILLENNIUM fans will be born-so to speak-and discover, and be a part of the richly textured world that is MILLENNIUM.
SFFWORLD: Any final thoughts on the forum?
DAVID BARRY: Just that if success on a forum is based on passionate, articulate fans then in my view we are already a budding success, for we have some of the most heartfelt, imaginative, creative people that I have ever come across here on TIWWA. It was well worth all the effort put forth by this "Bakers-dozen" team of Elders to get this forum up and going. And NONE of this would have come to pass without the vision and dedication of GRAHAM SMITH!!! I thank you very much for the opportunity to speak on behalf of TIWWA.
SCOTT P (Selfosophy Psycho): For my first closing thought, I must take this opportunity to express my gratitude and sense of privilege to be a part of the creation and stewardship of TIWWA. I truly respect and admire the team of Elders that I am working with on this project, and am honored to be number among them. We each have unique gifts and areas of knowledge and experience which we bring to bare for good of the Group and its members. It is great to be a part of.
Also I would like to thank Science Fiction & Fantasy World for their support in promoting TIWWA and requesting this interview.
Finally, perhaps my final thoughts would be better expressed through one of the MillenniuM characters. "The Millennium Group does not choose its members - the members choose the Group." In is our hope that MillenniuM fans everywhere will find there way to TIWWA and choose to join with us in celebrating "...Chris Charter's dark masterpiece of dread and drama." (From the introduction page of the Community of MillenniuM Enthusiasts).
This is who we are.
Visit the Site at http://www.tiwwa.info/