BBC’s Apparitions

I love it when I come across a show that I hav never heard of before, and it completely catches me off guard in how much I enjoy it.

Admittedly that happens more with British television than North American television, because whether I’ve seen them or not, I’ve at least heard of most of the shows broadcast in North America. So perhaps that’s why I look abroad for the little gems I may have missed when they originally aired.

It certainly happened last night when my Netflix recommended a tv series I knew nothing about, and their best guess was 4 out of 5 stars for me. How’s that happen if I’d never even heard of it?

And yet, so far, the recommendation is dead accurate, though admittedly I’m only 1/3 of the way through the 6 episode series.

It’s a one season show called Apparitions.

Starring renowned English actor and BBC staple Martin Shaw, the series follows a Catholic priest (Shaw) named Jacob, who is working to promote candidates for sainthood, who becomes drawn in to performing exorcisms as he discovers a dark battle between good and evil.

British television has always been able to get away with more in broadcasting in terms of adult content such as language and subject matter. Despite that though, it is still a television series, and can’t be as graphic as say… The Exorcist.

Which means in this case, that most of the scares are more subtle tinted with a general sense of creepy ambience and unease.

And it works.

The first two episodes focus on the push to get Jacob into the position of Head Exorcist for the Church, but the forces of Darkness don’t want that, and begin eliminating his friends and associates as torture.

This isn’t a show you can wander in and out of the room for, you have to pay attention to the plot and the performances.

I’m quite caught up in it already and can’t wait to see where the series goes.

I’m not incredibly religious but I do like the mythology that springs up around Good vs. Evil or God vs. Satan.

I’ll be following Father Jacob on his journey, though I may not share his faith or beliefs, it still makes for good storytelling.

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