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Set just before the start of Armageddon, the series will follow two central characters, a physicist and a nun, who are racing against the clock to see if the end of the world apocalypse can be averted. Bill Pullman plays Dr. Richard Massey, a Harvard professor whose daughter is murdered by satanists while McElhone stars as a nun who recruits Massey to help investigate whether what's told in the Book of Revelations is starting to come true. Seltzer and Polone with executive produce the project along with Pariah Television's Vivian Cannon and Jessika Borsiczky. Written by
Again in reference to the articles Dr. Massey looked up online, Sister Josepha is referred to as Isabela Josepha Montafiore. See more »
Protagonists rely on full moon setting at midnight on the Sea of Galilee to determine location of birth of the anti-Christ. Full moons are always at zenith - directly overhead - at midnight local time. Only half-moons (waxing half moons at that) set at midnight local time. See more »
An interesting, if not hugely original, take on the apocalypse
The end of the world is always intriguing subject matter, for the religious and non-religious alike, and with cinematic explorations of the Apocalypse such as the Omen it's themes are at least vaguely familiar to even those of us not raised in Christianity. Revelations does not stray far from the formula in that respect- the birth of the anti-Christ, the second coming of Jesus, it's all handled or hinted at in ways that will not wow us with originality, but it does manage to place them in a contemporary context without alienating the audience- we are drawn into the story, and it is believable to us.
Bill Pullman and Natascha McElhone play the spiritual equivalents of Mulder and Scully, but with the gender roles reversed. It's a well-worn concept- the believer and the pessimist having to work together to achieve a common goal, but credit has to be given to the actors, who do bring something new to the roles, and make them characters we can acre about easily. Natascha McElhone conveys the wide eyed Sister Josepha Montafiore with such conviction that you find yourself envious of her sense of almost child-like wonder. Bill Pullman also shines as a jaded man who has lost so much.
Revelations also follows the recent trend of focusing on family- it's something I noticed recently in the cancelled sci fi show Invasion. I think it's an effective way of bringing the events occurring around the characters home, quite literally, for the audiences, and for a theme as huge as the world ending, it's a way of not overwhelming the audience with ideas- this is not a cinematic epic, it's very much about the central characters.
There are of course weaknesses with the show also. Prisoners who share a jail with Satan worshipper Isaiah Haden are very easily "converted to the dark side" and it's not completely believable because they are treated as a homogeneous group- they are in jail therefore they must all be unrepentant people who will side with Satan in order to feel good about themselves. It just doesn't work, and considering the depth in writing in some aspects of the show, it's a stark contrast. Similarly, the brief references we get terrorism are handled in a very Christian-centric manner. In a show that deal with God and faith, you would expect some exploration of different religions, and the different forms in which faith and a belief in God can manifest itself, but instead I felt we were being spoon-fed things that boiled down to "good" and "bad@ and that's not what an adult audience wants.
Despite these weaknesses, it's unfortunate that the show was not given an opportunity to grow- I would have been very curious to see the direction the show would have taken, particularly with more episodes per season to really explore the themes laid down in these 6 episodes.
I would certainly recommend this to people who are interested in the subject matters stated earlier, and for those in the mood to get into a story that won't take weeks to see through.
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