Apparitions (TV Mini-Series 2008– ) Poster

(2008– )

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22 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
fudgefase15 November 2008
I missed this one because I was out on the Thursday night, but I caught it on BBC's iplayer - and I'm glad I did. Another fantastic performance from Martin Shaw and another thoroughly believable character to add to his repertoire. Father Jacob is played with all the intensity and humanity we would all wish our religious leaders to have. Lots of excellent acting and an interesting - and slightly scary - storyline, keeps the attention. At one point, I actually had to stop the playback and go to make a cup of tea - an old trick to break the tension that I haven't used for several years when watching a TV programme... A good sign. Great start to what I hope will be a first rate series.

My only concern is that it might be a bit of a one trick pony and I wonder how we're going to get past that. But for the time being, thumbs up and all systems go! A success.
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Claims of generalizations are a real stretch.
lolatheluvhippo10 December 2011
The reviews and comments on this board are strange. I'm an atheist and I loved the series. I'm also a gay-rights activist, and I didn't see anything blatantly harmful. In fact, the story line was written to suggest that the reason the young priest lost faith was because the church had forsaken him because of his homosexuality, not because he was gay. Claiming this was akin to describing homosexuality as satanic is glib at best; the series is about the Catholic church, and it's a matter of fact that the Catholic church frowns on homosexuality. I think they did a good job of showing how that attitude hurts homosexuals, by making them doubt themselves and their instincts, and ultimately by shutting them out of the faith. Also, ONE atheist was portrayed in a negative light. (And he WAS an atheist, not a satanist, though I can see how he could be mistaken for a satanist, as he was possessed by a demon) How can one make a series about a religious war without defining 'good' and 'evil' and dealing with the resistance of non-believers. This series didn't define atheists and homosexuals as 'evil' anymore than it defined Christians as holy warriors who see possessed people around every corner.

Anyhow, of course it was unbelievable; it was about exorcism. But the story was compelling, the characters were fantastic, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would give it a 10, but there are only six episodes, and now i'm lonely.
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I wasn't expecting this...
brianwoodward7714 November 2008
Martin Shaw first came to my notice in the Professionals back in the 80's (action cop/spy drama cheasy version of Spooks), he is a very respected and accomplished Shakespearean and TV actor here, of late the BBC have constructed a number of easy on the eye and brain dramas for him eg Judge John Deed and George Gently and I expected this to be another of the same, however I was pleasantly surprised.

It had grit, good acting, a fairly good plot and scampered along nicely, I missed the initial airing and watched it on the BBC's iPlayer facility online, I will tune in next week to watch it live.

Give it a go you might be pleasantly surprised.
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Intelligent and compelling
msredsonia18 December 2008
This is a 6 part series following Father Jacob, a somewhat maverick priest performing exorcisms against the wishes of his superiors, who believe it is an antiquated practice that brings the church into disrepute. The series develops as the episodes go on, with the introduction of his secretary, Sister Ruth who provides the role of the disapproving sceptic; and with interesting and unpredictable cases that Father Jacob becomes involved in. These are interwoven with the continuing story of Michael, an ex soldier who succumbs to demons. Throughout, the series explores the subject of faith and raises interesting questions, tackling some difficult subject matter without actually imposing any ideal on the viewer. I hope they make another series!
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An excellent drama wish there were more
zzoaozz17 July 2013
This is one of the best television dramas I have ever watched. I sincerely wish there were more episodes. The acting is superb. The characters are believable and well fleshed out, even the seemingly unimportant ones come across as real. This show evokes emotion and makes you care deeply what happens next. It also beautifully filmed. The locations and sets are rich and engaging, the use of light and sound to evoke mood masterful. The attention to even small details is astounding.

I cannot fathom why this show did not have a long and rich run. I believe if its creators were to revive it for American audiences it would be a smash hit.
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excellent BBC TV for a change
patrickharlech1 January 2009
As some one else commented this could be a one trick pony but what a trick .You do not have to be religious or an atheist to enjoy it . This is not in the Linda Blair category of exorcism but subtle with a very dark underlying humour e.g when Father Jacob is listening to a radio ,which is switched off but still broadcasting,after being possessed the sister asks why is he listening to "Satan FM".

It might stretch it to far for another series but would still be one to watch.The plot twists still have you wondering at the end about at least one of the characters which for any series is good.

I think as a producer Martin Shaw would not let the plot lines get out of hand .so lets hope for another series or at least several longer one offs.
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adanedfaer16 February 2010
I had never heard of this miniseries until Chiller (cable) started announcing it. I have only seen the first two episodes and at the moment I simply cannot find any explanation to it's low ratings when it first aired (as I've read in the internet), except maybe the "timing" was inappropriate(??). Who knows! I have reasons to believe the idea was ahead of it's time, and it is now that it has relevancy. The actors, especially Martin Shaw (whom I had never met until now), are superb. The delivery is excellent. Flaws?? There surely are, but I have yet to ponder the four remaining episodes. I'll surely get back here as soon as that happens.
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Superb tale of demons and exorcism
Warning: Spoilers
Father Jacob(Martin Shaw) is an English priest whose job entails him to investigate claims of miracles worldwide. Using the evidence gained he has an important role to play in saying who gets canonised as a Saint. Its while investigating the claims of a budding novice priest Vimal, who as a boy in India had suffered from Leprosy and then been cured by Mother Teresa of Calcutta after a brief meeting, that he becomes aware of some strange events surrounding the death of Mother Teresa, she was seemingly possessed by a demon before she died, so with Vimal showing the signs of this himself, Jacob believes the demon may have taken up residence inside Vimal too. He seeks out the help of an old friend Monsignor Vincenzo, who happens to be the Vatican's chief Exorcist in Rome, he tells Jacob that demons have already been in touch with him and that they have warned Jacob off being the next Chief Exorcist, slightly sceptical Jacob laughs it off and says he has no intentions of becoming an Exorcist, Vincenzo explains that the demons fear this most of all as it will slow their final push for world domination. However some startling turns of events and some personal tragedy soon hurl Jacob towards his fate.

I stumbled on this recent series completely by accident, so I had no preconceived ideas on its merits other than I liked Martin Shaw and the religious aspects greatly appealed to me. Written and directed by Joe Ahearne, Apparitions was a pet project of Shaw's for some time before the BBC decided to take up the option. Consisting of six 1 hour episodes, it follows Father Jacob's plight as he becomes embroiled in a series of possessions that drags him against his will into being an Exorcist. His immediate superior is Cardinal Bukovak is none too pleased either especially as the cases become very public, Jacob is warned his position may become untellable and he risks excommunication. After some gruesome deaths, Jacob finds a spy in his midst that brings that possibility forward. The episodes have separate stories, but there is an ongoing plot that threads them all together. Plot lines include, a child in danger who pleads for Jacob's help as she believes her father to be possessed, an abortion clinic where the anti Christ is due to be born, a Muslim boy who sees Christian visions, which could cause a religious war and the imminent arrival of a demon army hell-bent on world domination, a busy time for a priest not particularly enamoured by a role forced on him.

Some mighty big ideas for a TV production, you might think, but to my surprise its all superbly done, Ahearne's scripts are taut and crammed with intriguing ideas that cleverly link in recent world events political social and religious, so as to give the whole thing a credibility and also propose the idea that the theories that all we know of these events may not in fact be true. Appartions is a very credible attempt at bringing ideas from such films as The Exorcist, The Omen and Stigmata into one plot and it has to be said it all works incredibly well, there's even time to include more topical issues like sexuality of priests. The special effects of possession are superbly realised, certainly better than most cinematic outings, the acting is also top notch, there's not a bad or hammy performance to be found, in fact if there's one thing that makes this intelligent production stand out, its that it made this Atheist fear the fires of hell and almost want to take up religion again, lest my soul be eternally damned and all this despite the fact it doesn't ram religion down your throat. It really is very well directed and the pacing is spot on, in fact after the first hour I thought I'd watched twice that as there had been that much crammed in. Its also a damn good thriller with more than a air of religious mystery and the ending has the double whammy of being both wrapped up nicely and yet still left quite open ended, I, pray that there is another series.
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This is amazing TV
airsnob2 May 2014
I love the previous reviews by Atheists about this show. How they loved it. I loved it too. The script, really got to me at times. In a good way. For instance when the Priest is talking to the rape victim and he asked her is she believes in God, and she tells him that the rapist took that from her. The Priest looks at her and says, " what a loss for god." I'm half way remembering, but there was no instant conversion, but because the acting is so on point, you believe him. I mean, this guy could possibly convert me if he existed! Love love love this show! I love it that they have mean Nuns, and wonderful ones. I love it that they have believers and non believers, and there is no shame or or making them out to be evil because of it. I got a glimpse of something beautiful for a few moments while watching. Very very good show. ! The acting superb, writing amazing. And this show goes there. For adults, not kids.
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Very interesting and refreshing.
copticweb26 October 2012
It is truly a rarity these days to watch, read, listen to anything from the mainstream media that doesn't fuse the Church and Scandal. The negative review by "critical thinker" is the mainstream result of public brainwashing about the catholic church. Furthermore, I wouldn't consider a review being anywhere near honest when its author only watched a fraction of the show.

Unlike what the above mentioned critic claimed, the show actually portrays the Catholic church in its current state. The faith is not an institution, but rather the founding principles that guides individuals, and we see that very clearly in father Jacob's character, and the other side of the coin in Cardinal Bukovak's. They both personify the true nature of the faith in constant struggle with Satan, which can also penetrate the church.

There is no dogma forced down anyone throat, in fact the complete opposite, which is very obvious to anyone who watch the show in its entirety. Father Jacob takes every situation with utter tolerance, slight humor, without an ounce of condemnation or judgement of character, whether it is homosexuality, abortion, convicts, the Muslim faith, even the possessed.

The only shortfall of this show is that it ended.
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