Sunday, October 12, 2008


Programmes which are preceded by publicity designed to attract viewers should be ignored and avoided. There is always the "off switch"

The latest is a five part series on the BBC called Apparitions.

The headline is entitled; "The BBC is likely to face a Christian backlash over a new drama series featuring a graphic murder, homosexual sex and the exorcism of Mother Teresa"

The headline should of course be: "The BBC hopes that it will face a Christian backlash over a new drama series featuring a graphic murder, homosexual sex and the exorcism of Mother Teresa."

Its the viewing figures of course.

The blurb from The Telegraph continues:

"The series, which has been likened to a horror film, depicts a man possessed by the devil and being skinned alive in a gay sauna.

Another episode shows a father threatening to sexually assault his daughter while in another, Mother Teresa is seen on her death bed.

In other scenes blood drips from the eyes of those supposed to be possessed by the Devil.

The series, called Apparitions, was the idea of the actor Martin Shaw, who also stars in it as a Roman Catholic priest.

He said he realised the programme would be controversial but added: "I'm not going to pretend this is the most positive show on Earth. We're talking about the end of all things but the message is that love conquers all.

"It doesn't show a wholly positive message, otherwise it would be Songs Of Praise and people would switch off. It is going out at nine, an acknowledged watershed."

When asked whether the Mother Teresa scene depicted her being exorcised, he said: "She was exorcised before she died.

"I don't think that's as unusual as it sounds. The Catholic Church would say, and I agree, that the more holy they are, the more likely they are to come under attack.

"Christ spent 40 days in the desert and was hideously attacked by Satan. The scene is not against Mother Teresa or her message."

The six-part series features Shaw playing Father Jacob, a priest running a Roman Catholic seminary in London. "

From the blurb it sounds a very boring series. Demons, ghouls and exorcisms. Not terribly original. After the Exorcist, and the other follow ups, is it really terribly exciting anymore ?

They can show Catholic priests as heads of seminaries doing everything under the sun and I really would not turn a hair.

But why pick on Mother Teresa to sell a programme ? Many have been profoundly affected by her life, her actions and her words - for the better. Surely some things can be left untouched. Many non-Catholics, secular humanists, agnostics and atheists have a profound admiration for her work. Why cheapen and tarnish her achievements ?

The explanation offered by Martin Shaw is risible.

If one does protest, the BBC benefits.

If one does not protest, one is acquiescing in a wrong.

What is one supposed to do ?