There can be little doubt that Lance Henriksen's Frank Black is our sturdy anchor in the great Chris Carter series, Millennium (1996 - 1999).
Over a span of three seasons and more than sixty episodes, this remarkable dramatic program accommodated many different brands and styles of storytelling -- including some unexpected lunges into comedy -- and the face who always held it all together belongs to Lance Henriksen.
As the series opens, Frank Black and his family relocate to rainy Seattle, but -- caring spouse and supporting father that he is -- Frank has made certain that their lives have at least a ray of sunshine in them.
Far away from the yellow house in Seattle, Frank Black deciphers a clue that suggests Evil Itself (in the form of Sarah Jane-Redmond's Lucy Butler), is on the way to "visit" his imperiled family. And this time, Frank is too far away to help them.
And sure enough, when Frank's friend Bletch enters the yellow house during a storm -- now a yellow house of horrors -- be afraid. Be very afraid...
3. "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense:" Don't Be Dark, Frank.
In this caustic satire of Scientology (called Self-osophy in Millennium), Frank attempts to ferret out the identity of a killer by using a copyrighted Self-osophy self-help technique.
Horrified, Black rips off the head-set and nurses the mother of all headaches. But the point is that Frank doesn't run from the darkness or try to deny it. He faces it. He isn't about "self" (or Self-osophy) and sometimes we all genuinely need to "be dark."
An exhausted, freezing Frank Black carries an injured young man named Alex through the hostile, wooded terrain of wild Alaska in the uplifting "Luminary."
This courageous and self-less act represents Frank's ethos in a nutshell. It's that father instinct. It's that tenacious unwillingness to give up on someone he has sworn to protect. He will literally do anything to help another human being, even at great risk to himself.
Alone in the wild again, Frank is badly injured and experiences a vision that, in some small way, forces him to face his greatest loss.