2005-06-06 Entry: "The Complete Miracles"
Monday is a holiday (Memorial Day) so there's a chance to get a fair chunk watched...
Panic In The Streets is the last of the Fox Film Noirs in the first release, and it sees an outbreak of bubonic plague in New Orleans. It's discovered when a guy is fished out of the water having been shot, and the chase is on for anyone who had contact with him (which obviously puts the medical officer at odds with the thugs who shot the guy).
Carry On Again Doctor is the next film in the Carry On boxset, and it's one of the more memorable ones. Jim Dale is a doctor who causes a complete disaster in the hospital and gets sent to a clinic on a small tropical island. Once there he meets Sid James, who shows that he's got a native cure that reduces weight phenomenally. Of course, he works out an agreement whereby he can go back to England and make shedloads of money off of it...
Miracles kicks off with "The Ferguson Syndrome" and we're introduced to Paul Callan, a guy who investigates miracles for the church. He's having a crisis of faith because he keeps managing to prove them false, each one having a perfectly good scientific reason. So he quits (and then has a freaky vision of a demonic little boy on a train), but is called back a few months later to check out a boy in a small town south of him... the boy is very sick, but he appears to be able to heal sick people around him. His grandmother's cancer, a blind woman's eyes... but each time it makes him sicker.
Of course, this is brought to a head when the boy's mother tries to take him away to prevent him from having to heal anyone else. Paul follows, but gets distracted, and in the rain misses that they've stopped at the railroad crossing. He swerves around them and into the path of the oncoming train. The boy decides to heal him, giving up his own life in the process, but not before they both see Paul's blood spelling out words on a piece of broken windshield - "GOD IS NOW HERE" - which draws the interest of mysterious guy Alva Keel (Angus McFadyen playing a character with a really dumb name) who wants Paul to leave the church and join his organisation.
"The Friendly Skies" really kicks off the show, when a plane coming in to land disappears from the radar screens and from visuals for 60-odd seconds. When it reappears, the passengers are strangely altered. When the team are called in to investigate, they find a woman who was unable to move now up and around; a girl who's seen her whole future life flash before her; a couple who've never met before and are now all over each other; and a steward who's talking in Armenian.
Paul gets wrapped up in the story of the woman who was in the wheelchair, who's been unable to tell her husband how much she loves him, while the woman on the team (whose name is eluding me - ah, Evelyn) deals with the young girl. Alva takes on the steward, and he's the only one who realises that the Armenian he's spouting is really complex physics that tells people how to disassemble matter at the atomic level. Of course, there's also the nurse who burned to death in the toilet that needs to be autopsied... which could be a problem when they discover that the effect is wearing off... and that horribly burned woman slowly becomes unburnt.
"The Patient" is a bit weaker but has a good ending. Alva wants to talk to a scientist who's investing a disease that leaves people completely paralysed but whose symptoms seem to include paranormal abilities. The Doctor clearly has no interest in Alva's line of questioning and hasn't seen any evidence of the paranormal, until his star patient starts sending him messages through the computer interface. Paul gets involved with the Doctor's daughter, while Alva runs around trying to prove that the patient is possessed and it's the possessing spirit that's trying to destroy the Doctor and his life's work.
"Little Miss Lost" has Paul seeing a young girl, over and over again, at the scene of disasters. The girl is the only unclaimed body at each of these events, but Paul is the only one who sees her before the disaster occurs.
Alva has records of the girl going back many years, always being the only unclaimed body at the site of a disaster all around the world. But she seems to be trying to give Paul a message, so they set out to find her parents from the original disaster in which she died.
"The Bone Scatterer" sees a boy who believes he's killing people while he sleeps and is now afraid of sleeping. Of course, when you're dealing with Indian burial grounds, and twins that died at birth and were buried there, you've got the beginnings of a spiritual protector who's fed up with the boy's father (the Sheriff) beating him and the rest of the community not protecting him from it...
"Hand Of God" sees Paul under investigation by the police, after a murdered woman is found to have a drawing of him in her diary. Apparently, there's a whole bunch of people who saw the words "GOD IS NOWHERE" in blood (and Alva has been keeping their existence secret from Paul). There's a boy going around, who saw the phrase written as Paul did, who thinks Tommy (the boy from the pilot) wants him to kill all those who saw the alternate message, because they are "the darkness!"
"You Are My Sunshine" sees Paul visiting an old flame, who happens to be living in a house that a whole bunch of people died in previously, and their spirits are now possessing the pair of them. This isn't a very good episode...
"The Battle At Shadow Ridge" picks things back up when Alva and Paul go looking for ghosts. Two children have seen a Civil War soldier... but more worryingly, he's also seen them. There's also a haunted gas station mini-mart to deal with, and Alva becomes convinced that the humidity has caused the layers of history to become thin, allowing things to pass back and forth... including a musket shot that should take out the Civil War soldier, but instead shoots Paul. Of course, for all the highlights in this episode, the giant sound system at the end is a little silly.
Tuesday continues the Miracles theme with "Mother's Daughter" and we're talking reincarnation when a young Amish girl starts believing she's really someone else. Apparently the girl drowned when the other girl committed suicide, and now that other spirit is coming to the surface to take over. The girl and her mother carry this episode, and the attempted suicide scene at the end is fantastic.
"Saint Debbie" sees Paul's old mentor (Hector Elizondo) ask Alva and Paul to investigate a waitress who had her throat slit and who then was miraculously unharmed. Paul thinks it's a hoax, while Alva wants to believe it's all real and she should be sainted. It's a fun little episode, and we need more Hector Elizondo in this show...
"The Ghost" sees a guy's office being haunted by his dead son's spirit. Or at least that's what everyone in the office believes. Paul and Alva aren't so sure, as they initially can't find any evidence of it. There's a lot of discussion of the difference between ghosts and poltergeists here - one is an actual haunting, the other is the emotions of someone in pain causing objects to move...
"The Letter" sees one of Paul's friends from the orphanage, Georgia, having a birthday and getting a letter from her dead father... the last he wrote before he died. Unfortunately, the following day she receives a newly written letter in the mail, purporting to be from her father. There's lots of Hector Elizondo here, as he's the one who wrote the letters originally (based on her father's dying wishes), but the guy on death row writing letters to all his victims families, getting messages from his actual victims, is also a highlight...
"Paul Is Dead" sees the continuing haunting of Paul by Tommy (the boy from the pilot), but Evelyn has to carry the focus of the episode when her son gets abducted while Paul is supposed to be watching him. Of course, a fake TV psychic has managed to predict all this, having had an actual vision for the first time in his life.
And then Paul goes to the only source who may be able to tell him what happened - Tommy - but for that he'll need to die first. This has some good elements - the bit about Paul needing to let go of Tommy as it's actually him haunting the dead kid rather than the other way around was good, but they could have done with more about the darkness that Tommy was on about all the time...