Thursday, 1 October 2015

Midwinter of the Spirit

Phil Rickman's book Midwinter of the Spirit has been adapted into a three part serial on ITV. It's the second of his Merrily Watkins series, about the Diocesan exorcist (or Deliverance Minister, in the modern parlance), of Herefordshire. It's shot around Hereford - though the scenes inside the cathedral were shot in Chester - Weobley and Dilwyn mainly, and is marvellously atmospheric and terribly creepy!
They chose this story about Merrily because the first story, Wine of Angels, was originally intended to be a stand-alone novel about Merrily getting her first parish, and the creepy goings-on associated with the nearby orchard and a former vicar of the parish at the time of the mystical poet Thomas Treherne. Midwinter of the Spirit is the story where Merrily first gets the job of Deliverance Minister for the diocese, so seems a more logical place to start for TV.
I've read most of the Merrily stories, and belong to PRAS, the Phil Rickman Appreciation Society, which has a Facebook page, and I've been enjoying it even where it doesn't stick strictly to the book. My Young Man hasn't read the books, but messaged me after the first one to say "that's some wierd stuff", and after the second to say "episode 2 even wierder".

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