||SEA OF SOULS
Parapsychology: The study of mental phenomena, such as telepathy, clairvoyance and psychic healing which are beyond the scope of normal physical explanation.
14 episodes of 60 minutes duration. 2004 - 2007
Sea Of Souls is one of several recent drama series with a difference from Britain's famed BBC. Such topics as past life experiences, psychic abilities and voodoo cults are all in a day's work for the team of parapsychologists featured in this new series produced by BBC Scotland. Based at the fictitious parapsychology unit at Clyde University, Glasgow, the new series centers around a team of researchers who investigate extraordinary circumstances surrounding everyday people. Starring Bill Paterson, Archie Panjabi and Peter McDonald, the three make up the research team who endeavour to explain the inexplicable.
The characters featured in Sea Of Souls cover a wide spectrum of beliefs, which echo the world's continued fascination with all things paranormal. Research fellow Andrew Gemmill (Peter McDonald) errs on the side of scepticism; while postgraduate student Megan Sharma (Archie Panjabi) desperately wants to believe in the paranormal and the team leader, Dr. Douglas Monaghan (Bill Paterson), who is caught somewhere between the two extremes. Together their mix of beliefs propels the team on a mission to uncover the truth.
Series writer David Kane states that the series is deeply rooted in the work that these types of units do all over the world. "People are always gripped by these kind of stories, and so am I if they are told in an intelligent way, and treated seriously. Although a lot of the stories came straight from my imagination, the facts were checked afterwards."
BBC Scotland's Head of Drama, Barbara McKissack, adds to this saying that she feels the time is ripe for a series about the paranormal. "We've reached the 21st Century and a lot of the universe's external mysteries have been uncovered. Now the world is divided into people who have faith and those who don't and many of those who don't are looking for explanations - the human mind is the last major uncharted territory. What we wanted to do was show the different beliefs that are around and have stories that are saying, 'this could be you, or someone you know."
Both McKissach and Kane felt that in order for the series to succeed, casting would be of essential importance, and they were delighted to be able to cast Bill Paterson in the lead role of Dr. Douglas Monaghan.
Dr. Douglas Monaghan is head of the Parapsychology Unit at Clyde University, Glasgow. He is a consummate professional. He is the safe pair of hands when life slips from the norm into the nightmare, but he hides the scars of a personal tragedy - he lost his wife and child and that has left him scarred. People frequently seek his advice or assistance with strange events as they try to make sense of the seemingly senseless.
The second member of the unit is sceptic Andrew Gemmill. Andrew firmly believes that there is always a rational explanation for the things the team deals with. He needs evidence and proof to believe any claims of paranormal experiences. He'd also be the first to admit that he's just a bit too dogmatic about what he believes is the point of parapsychology. He's fascinated by the human mind, by looking at people who claim to have had paranormal experiences and his approach is to document them scientifically.
The final member of his team is student Megan Sharma. Megan is much more aware of people's emotions. She believes things can be changed, and shows this as she fights against people's preconceived expectations of her. She is very bright and knowledgeable and was selected by Monaghan to join him in the parapsychology unit as a team member.
The series features three 2-part stories beginning with the first 2-part story on February 2, 2004 Douglas' friend Carol (Siobhan Redmond), through a freak twist of fate, encounters her unknown identical sister, Helen (Siobhan Redmond). As Douglas gets excited about the rare high psychic hit rate the sisters achieve, their overwhelming joy at meeting each other takes on a more sinister tack when the seeds of jealousy and envy set in.
In the series second 2-part story, a single mother, Katie (Michelle Collins), gets in touch with Monghan and his team after her young son Joe starts talking about a past life and keeps asking to meet his other "mother". Their research leads them to a remote Scottish community and the discovery of a violent death. When other deaths follow, it seems that Katie and her son are in mortal danger.
In the final 2-part story, Monaghan, Megan and Andrew are catapulted into the subculture of mystical rituals and human sacrifice, as they attempt to find the missing brother of London student, Yemi Wade. Yemi discovers that her brother may be involved in such activity after a row about their terminally ill father. Terrified that he may be in danger, the young student tells the police that she believes her brother may have been murdered as part of Muti magic by a cult he became involved in. No action is taken and she is left feeling paranoid about her own safety. Help arrives by chance when Andrew hears about the situation. Yemi flees to Glasgow and Andrew's research uncovers a gruesome truth that draws both Yemi and the team even closer to danger.
Sea Of Souls was written by David Kane, with James Hawes directing episodes 1 and 2, Nick Willing directing episodes 3 and 4, and Richard Laxton directing the final two episodes. The series was filmed in and around Glasgow, with additional location work done in Spain and the Scottish Highlands. Exterior shots of Jordanhill College in Glasgow were used for exteriors of the fictitious Clyde University, while a purpose built set was erected within the building of St. Andrews College, Bearsden for all interior shots. The producer on Sea Of Souls was Phil Collinson, who was recently appointed producer for the new "Doctor Who" series. The series ran on BBC-1, each Monday and Tuesday nights from February 2 to February 17, 2004.
Questions Site Information Contact
Return to Top of Page