Sunday 23 November 2008

Fantasy on a Thursday night: Apparitions - BBC1

Utter tosh or serious religious fiction?

Apparently the new high-profile drama Apparitions, starring Martin Shaw, was originally scheduled for the beginning of this year, but is only now appearing on UK TV screens:

It's earnest stuff, judging by the first two episodes, with plenty of gore and special effects, but it has a problem with credibility. Being based on Catholicism, it inevitably elicits rolled eyes as the main characters come out with religious nonsense as if it were established fact. Martin Shaw plays a Catholic priest who moonlights as an exorcist - naturally he's very good, playing it as Judge John Deed in a dog collar.

It will be interesting to see whether the Catholic Church denounces the show. I have a feeling it won't. It didn't denounce the film The Exorcist, and probably rightly so, as everything in that film ought to have reinforced any Catholic's faith.

And if the Catholic Church doesn't denounce Apparitions, are we to interpret that as tacit approval - that the things it portrays are in line with Catholic doctrine?