Father Jacob Myers works for the Catholic church in the capacity of an investigator for the causes of would-be sanits. He is, therefore, very reluctant to find himself having to become an exorcist when a young man is possessed.
It is September, 1997. Mother Theresa passes away in India due to a cardiac condition. It is the same week that Princess Diana died in Paris and the world is mourning two great and famous women at the same time.
When Mother Theresa dies, a young boy who is a victim of extremely disfiguring leprosy prays to her and, six months later, his condition is cured without any medical intervention. Father Jacob Myers (Martin Shaw) takes the case to Rome and is surprised that the church will not accept the miracle and tells him to search for another. Meanwhile, the young man in question, Vimal, decides to become a priest and does his training at St. Bartholomew's Seminary where Father Jacob resides and acts as his mentor.
Father Jacob is surprised when a young girl named Donna (Romy Irving) comes to see him and tells him that she believes her father is possessed. At first, Father Jacob is dismissive but after meeting with the man and realising that he intends to violate his daughter whilst under the influence of spirits. He performs an exorcism with the help of the chief exorcist who tells him that evil is coming for him because he will one day be chief exorcist himself and the demons do not want that to happen. They are not alone in this because Father Jacob doesn't want the job either.
On top of all of this, a homeless man named Michael keeps crossing paths with the good father and it soon becomes apparent that he too is possessed when he murders young Vimal in a spa where gay men congregate. Vimal is skinned and left in the sauna and Father Jacob realises that the chief exorcist was right, he and those close to him are being targeted and that Vimal will not be the only victim.
A great piece of British drama with a faultless performance by Martin Shaw in the lead role.
What a wonderful piece of psycho-religious-drama full of over the top kitsch and "meaningful" acting!
I have never been a follower of Martin Shaw but on this occasion I must say he and his team and to some extend the BBC for allowing the transmission of what could be construed as too near the knuckle for the religious fanatics of this country, have come up with a pearl of dark, evil, threatening, sinister and shadowy terror. And it seems to include repulsion boarding on delight, revulsion boarding on pleasure and disgust boarding on enchantment.
My only criticism is that the most beautiful of the member of cast is flagellated in the first episode having suffered from leprosy and the hypocrisy of the Roman Catholic Church! Poor Vimal played by Elyes Gabel should have been allowed to keep his skin on!
Episode two seemed to keep up the shock of it all to great effect.
Looking forward to how the rest of the last four episodes pan out. So far so good!
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