disappearing for 40 days, Steve Baxter is found on moorland
in the North of England, incoherent and babbling that he is
the Son of God. Baxter soon finds that not everyone is eager
to believe that he is the Second Coming - he realises he will
have to stage a major event to make people sit up and notice
him. In front of a football stadium of believers, Baxter announces
that humankind must write it's own Third Testament or face
the Day of Judgement in the next five days. Fuelled by the
media-circus fear, cynicism and violence erupt...
Second Coming is
released a mere seven days (possible biblical reference there)
after the final episode aired on terrestrial television. Set
in Manchester, Christopher
Eccleston is perfect as the Son of God, frustrated by the
inability of his mortal frame to understand his calling instantaneously
- instead he sees the light a little at a time.
up Manchester as the new Mecca is inspired and this is one
of many examples of how the production progresses tongue in
cheek - never taking itself too seriously and never sliding
into Life of Brian blasphemy. There is very little
here to cause outrage in the religious community. One great
scene sees Baxter addressing the World, asking for mankind
to write a Third Testament, to which he says: "Don't
argue. All you Christians out there don't go around saying
you were right and everyone else was wrong."
production seems to rely a little too much on 360-degree
camera panning. Stylistically it works well, especially when
panning around Baxter, implying that the World revolves around
him. But sadly the effect is over used - every time time someone
has the power over everyone else in the scene this visual
technique is used - diminishing its impact.
are numerous biblical reference and links back to the accounts
of the life of Jesus. The first, and most obvious reference,
is the lost in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. Then
there is the roles that Judith takes on - she seems to take
on the personalities of several of the original disciples
including doubting Thomas and Judas. And toward the climax
of the series there is The Last Supper scene.
extras on this DVD are impressive. Firstly there is a commentary
by writer Russell Davies and director Adrian Shergold. Over
30 minutes of deleted scenes, which include footage of Baxter
and his mother, which is interesting. The end programme had
these scenes cut and establish that his mother had died years
slight problem I had with the conclusion was that the Devil
(and his vessel) should have been destroyed. Yet, his vessel
still walks the Earth. Or could it be that Judith was the
antichrist and that she won the final battle - Armageddon?
fantastic production that illustrates why the UK is still
at the forefront when it comes to producing good, solid drama.
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