Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Apparitions

I just watched the new BBC supernatural drama, Apparitions, and I have to say I thought it was absolutely appalling. I decided to watch the whole episode right through, just in case its crassness and smugness was somehow intended to be ironic, or might be softened slightly. Nope, went right through like the word Blackpool through rock. It starred Martin Shaw as a too-perfect beardy priest. I tend to find him a wee bit smug in any case. It presents a universe where good is fighting evil, and the Catholic church is the sole bastion of good. There are no other types of Christianity, no other religions have any validity, and atheism is only presented associated with demonic possession.

A little girl becomes convinced that her father is possessed by demons because he is an atheist (he reads Dawkins). The priest kidnaps her and won't let her father have her back unless he submits to catholic religious rituals of various kinds. All this is presented as morally correct - when the atheist finds his daughter reading a Bible he strikes her so hard she bleeds. The priest tells the little girl to go with him because her father is possessed by evil - this is never presented as anything but 100% right. The covert baptism of Hindus and Moslems is portrayed as an unequivocally positive thing - the only objections are from a man possessed by evil. In a subplot a different man is struggling with 'homosexual tendencies' - he succumbs to the demons when he enters a 'bathhouse'. He doesn't find love, or come to accept himself for what he is. He gets skinned alive by a demon. That'll teach him eh?

I think this type of shallow splitting of the world into good and evil people is very common, and people use exactly the world view presented in this show to justify child abuse, torture of moslems, denying human rights to gay people, and so on. I think it's irresponsible.

Joe Ahearne also wrote Ultraviolet, the 1998 vampire series. I know a lot of people loved that, but I had issues with it, to do with its one-sided presentation of a very narrow religious outlook, and which partly spoiled my enjoyment. I felt this drama had all the problems of Ultraviolet, without any redeeming features.
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