At the risk of sounding like a doofus, didn’t Apparitions seem, well, you know, a little bit complicated?
Perhaps it might help if I tried to summarise what the devil (see what I did there?) was going on:
A young sufferer of leprosy, Vimal, prays to an image of Mother Theresa at the same time as the little saintly nun shuffles off this mortal coil. And whaddya know, hallelujah, he's cured! At exactly the same time in London, Liam and his wife conceive their daughter, Donna, who, ten years later, seeks out the exorcist Father Jacob (Martin Shaw). Liam is nuts, a fervent atheist who just happens to be possessed. In turn, Liam believes his daughter is also ‘possessed’, but by the spirit of Mother Theresa, which makes Liam froth at the mouth a bit. Meanwhile, Vimal has now ended up in the same seminary as Father Jacob, where he is taunted by a homeless man, who informs him that it wasn’t Mother Theresa who cured him of his leprosy – it was Satan. Cripes! Vimal is eventually relieved of his skin in a sex sauna after helping Jacob with his exorcism of Liam.
Got that? Good. ‘Cos I didn’t.
It’s not as if the basic premise is difficult to understand. It’s just that the two main narrative threads – Jacob’s run-ins with Liam and Vimal desperately trying to hang on to his Devil-donated skin – didn’t really seem to be related. In fact it was like watching two distant cousins in blindfolds blundering about and occasionally smacking into each other. It didn’t help that Apparitions started with Vimal’s story, which was little more than a sub-plot. Still, it gave an excuse for a truly gruesome skinning at the episode’s conclusion.
I can appreciate that many narratives might sound daft when reduced to a summary, but Apparitions truly is completely bonkers. Is it frightening? Not really. And that’s mostly because I found it too complicated, due to the fact that there was too much flippin’ plot. If you’re going to saturate a 60 minute drama with two significant narrative strands, it would be handy if they actually ran into each other every now and again.
Or maybe I’m just a doofus, who knows?