Apparitions

How good is Apparitions? I mean, seriously, how good is this show? I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed watching something this much. There’s been the odd episode of stuff here and there, but an entire series of consistently superb quality? On UK TV? Surely not?

I’m loving the acting, the direction, the whole look and feel of the show and yes, even the writing. Okay, so it’s not perfect – but it’s very, very good. There are occasional plot points I think are either a bit tenuous or perhaps not given enough weight and can be easily missed, but usually they’re things I don’t think about until after the show’s finished – a good sign since it means I’m so engaged in the episode I haven’t noticed.

That’s a good rule of thumb for me: if I don’t start thinking ‘Why did that happen?’ or ‘Was there a better way of showing that?’ until four or five hours after the episode, then it had me hooked at the time and is enjoyable.

If I’m thinking ‘Why doesn’t he just … ?’ or ‘What the fuck was that?’ during the episode, then it’s failed to entertain me and everyone involved should be executed immediately. A policy I feel the BBC should adopt immediately; since, obviously, my opinion is the only one which counts.

Two negative things which stand out about Apparitions for me:

  1. The first two episodes seemed to be self-contained with episode three struggling for a few minutes to pick up the pieces and carry on. I thought that was an odd choice at the time, to effectively end most of the plot in episode two, but I’ve since found out it was originally only commissioned for two episodes. So from episode three onwards is effectively a second season.
  2. The basic premise is silly and makes no sense. Every time, particularly in the first two episodes, talk turned to exactly how the whole God/Devil/Demons thing works it runs into sticky ground, because the whole thing is nonsensical and contradictory. There’s this all powerful, all loving, invisible guy who will punish you forever if you don’t follow a set of rules dictated a couple of thousand years ago and then randomly altered by whoever felt like it ever since – even though he’s infallible and all knowing … he still changes his mind every now and then. He can do anything, ANYTHING, but he won’t lift a finger to help you if you get attacked by demons because … um … he’s busy. There’s a war going on for human souls but it’s only a war because God lets it happen. He can stop it at any time, he just chooses not to because … he’s busy. He’s probably doing a Sudoku or something. Some of those can be really tricky. Maybe he’s still sulking? Remember, he designed you to be stupid and naked, trousers and books are an affront to His will. During every episode there’s a part of my brain (and no, it’s not Satan) telling me there’s no God, there’s no Devil, there’s no such thing as a soul, when you die, you die, there’s no such things as possession or demons or … but you know what? If I can suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy a program about a nigh-immortal man who travels time and space in a box which is bigger inside than outside … I can suspend it long enough to believe in invisible, mentally unstable, judgemental, space ghosts and his intentionally created opponent with an army of nasty invisible, intangible creatures.

Overall, I love this show. I did have a little chuckle at the preview at the end of episode five when I saw the priest with machine gun – but I’m sure in the context of the final episode it will be brilliant. Top marks to Joe Ahearne and everyone else involved.

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Categories: Random Witterings, Someone Else's Way | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Apparitions

  1. I wanted to leave a comment but couldn’t think of anything to say. Sorry about that. Oh and your website has dandruff.

  2. Segun

    I just want to say Hail Mary & respect to you! I agree that Apparitions was total hokum, but what fun hokum it was. And Martin Shaw played it so beautifully. Even as the final episode jumped from one plot inconsistency to the next – I mean, come on, how come Shaw’s possession allowed him to plot against his possessor, if Satan can “read minds”? – I still was hooked from beginning to end. I hope there will be a second series though, cos we need to see some of the Rev Father’s skeletons come out of his closet. So far he is a bit too squeaky clean.

  3. I just saw the final episode last night and I have to say I was a little disappointed. Still entertaining and overall I loved the series but I was less than enthralled.

    Mind you, I hadn’t slept for 33 hours by the time I sat down to watch it and kept falling asleep – so that might have something to do with it.

    Oh, and it wasn’t a priest with a machine gun – it was the Pope’s bodyguard which makes it all alright then. It shows you how much respect God has for the Pope when he needs machine gun toting thugs surrounding him.

    I agree with you about the skeletons thing – there did seem to be the odd hint about something dark in his past, but they just skipped over it in the end. I guess they’re saving that for the next series … which I’d love to see.

  4. Robyn L

    They should definately make another series because this program was great because i remember watching it ages ago and i would have thought they would have made a new series by now since it is October 2009 but they havent yet. Fingers Crossed 🙂

  5. i myself have captured ‘ORBS” in a few of MANY a digital phot . (also 35mm)-I wasn’t sure what they wee at first until I did just some research. They look like you woyld be blowing “bubbles” – but I caught some in pure darkness, taking picture of a fire, and again at dusk. NO ONE was blowing bubbles or otherwise. I believe there is a “plane ” that humans cannot see to the naked eye. what is in it, I couldn’nt tell you. But I’ve seen more than one type.

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