The Second Coming (2003)

Right then. It’s the year of the apocalypse and I’m toying with the idea that we will all be saved by Jesus, so, having watched The Second Coming on Saturday, here I am reviewing it. It was a 2-part TV series first shown on ITV, starring Christopher Ecclestone, Lesley Sharp (both to later play Dr. Who characters) and Mark Benton. The series was written by Russell T. Davies who later revived Dr. Who. A couple of other now-famous people in it, such as the guy who played the doctor and went mad this last Christmas, on Eastenders… People like him. Anywho, I hope you enjoy the review.

The show started out with Steve Baxter (Ecclestone) who went missing on Saddleworth Moor for 40 days and nights, before re-appearing and claiming to be the Son of God. He is located by a Catholic priest who tells him of a text which led said priest to Steve. Before deciding to attend to his duties as the Son of God, Steve opts for one last night of humanity, getting drunk, having curries, etc. He advertises an event at the Maine Road Football Ground, before showing the people who turned up, that he is the Son of God, by turning night to day, within the confines of the stadium, with onlookers noticing this and flocking to the scene, cameras in hand. Steve announces that he needs the 3rd Testament within five days, and that humanity is supposed to write it. After declaring that no religion was accurate, he tells of how Heaven is empty whilst Hell splits at the seams. This leads to panic, especially when people start to get possessed by The Devil and his demons. Steve tells of how the 3rd Testament needs to be revealed, or else the apocalypse will occur.

Steve Baxter

Whilst all this is happening, Steve’s friend, Judy (Lesley Sharp) decides to use a dating site, where she meets Johnny (Mark Benton) who is subsequently possessed and reveals that The Devil wants all hell to break loose (excuse the pun) and for God to return to his childish violent ways as is seen in the Old Testament. Steve’s dad is revealed to have been born sterile and as such could not have been Steve’s dad, which suggests that Steve really is the Son of God. He gets taken into police custody, for protection, where later, his friends (Pete and Judy) and ‘father’ stay with him. Judy and Steve argue about his godliness, since he is only partially omniscient (having to ‘download’ information as it is needed) and refuses to prove omnipotence (refusing to heal the sick). Steve replies by saying that if he uses his powers he may become power-hungry, which would go against everything he stands for, since humanity is meant to sort their own problems out from now on.

Big Badda Boom!
I've heard of a baptism by fire, but this takes the piss!

Steve and his friends survive a bomb going off in the pub that they frequent, whilst his father is turned against him using persuasion, drugs and alcohol. Steve and Judy have sex, then shortly afterwards, Steve’s father turns up with a gun and shoots at Steve, killing Pete instead. Steve panics and is unable to save Pete and Judy leaves, with his father being arrested.

The day of the apocalypse arrives and everyone is holed up at home praying for survival with their loved ones (I assume… We only know that they aren’t out looting everything). Judy is at home, being guarded by a policeman, who lets Steve enter. He admits to Judy that he has no idea what the 3rd Testament is, but she reveals that she does. She tells of how humanity needs to live without religion and as such, Steve and indeed God, The Devil, Heaven and Hell must all die with him. She has made him spaghetti, laced with rat poison, which he eats and dies. It is revealed that the event was recorded and beamed across the globe, by Judy, now in an interview 6 years later.

Known by some as ‘the woman who killed God’, Judy returns to her ‘normal’ life, as does the rest of the world, married to the policeman who guarded her when everyone else was scared. With him she fathered in undetermined number of children, including one daughter. She bumps into Johnny, who has a quick chat with her about the events that occurred, including him secretly wishing Steve was back (having no recollection of being possessed). She agrees, before asking if she did the right thing. Johnny cannot answer and the show ends, with the audience left to make up their own mind. 

I never write a plot as well as the film portrays it, often leaving bits out (such as a woman’s attempted group suicide) and adding in minor sections (such as my opinion on what everyone was doing on that last night). However, I think from the plot I have written, that this show was, or indeed, is, pretty good. It has, like every show, its high points and its low points, but within each point, there is story. We cannot have the good without the bad, as this show demonstrates with the death of God in the knowledge that The Devil will die with him/her.

The characters were all reasonably developed and although some were a bit shocking in the fact that they didn’t do too much, or in some cases, did too much, they all had their parts to play. The acting was, as I would expect from such a cast, moderately good, with Ecclestone, Sharp and Benton all playing their roles spectacularly. Ecclestone’s portrayal of the average bloke given godly powers was stunning and although I’ve sort of got used to him playing the bad-ass motherfucker that he’s so good at playing, THIS was the role he was born for (excuse the pun).

Major Henry West

There wasn’t that much in the way of music, but that which I do remember, was well used.

Not much to say now, other than… I know it’s not very likely and the scriptwriting would be a nightmare, but if anyone decided to do a Second Coming 2, I’d probably watch it…

Russell – You do not disappoint. Good work!



That Guy


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