I'm so fed up with broadcast corporations cancelling shows that have even the slightest hint of cerebral value. FOX tops my list of stations that have an almost A.D.D. style of shoot and cancel -- they did the same thing to WONDERFALLS, another fine series that made you think.
MIRACLES was off to an excellent start: put a young man in the priesthood on a special Catholic task force who's sole purpose is to seek out reported miracles in the world, then report back to a cardinal as to if they were real, fake, or unknown. Paul Callan (Skeet Ulrich, Scream) is this one-man force who has science, religion, and a wobbling faith all tied up inside himself. MIRACLES starts out showing us this dark man visiting a cemetery being moved. When they dig up the coffins, a nun who was buried there falls out of the bottom of her casket. And she's in perfect condition, even though she's been dead for 160 years. Come to find out, the graveyard is sitting next to an apricot orchard, and apricots have a preservative effect. Paul realizes this immediately and kicks open a few other coffins to prove it -- inside those are perfectly preserved corpses, too. Thus we get to see that Paul isn't looking for miracles, but is simply trying to give credence to the unexplained.
Also in the first episode, we get to see Paul nearly killed in a train versus automobile crash. While lying in the crumpled car, he sees his blood on the windshield; and it forms a sentence (this is called Hemography) that reads "God is now here." And then a young boy (whom he'd been investigating because of claims that the boy healed with a touch of his hands, but then became ill after each "healing") comes to him and heals Paul ...then the boy dies. When Paul reports back to the cardinal about what he'd experienced, the cardinal dismisses his claim, so Paul up and quits the church. But in the wings is waiting a man who runs a special paranormal research agency. Alva Keel (Angus Macfadyen, Braveheart) becomes Paul's new boss, and the discoveries they make are terribly disturbing.
Apparently, most people who've seen the message that Paul saw in his blood didn't see "God is now here." They saw "God is nowhere." And so begins their spiritual, paranormal, and dark journey.
The thing that bugged me most about this series was its title, MIRACLES. I didn't see most of what they found to be miraculous as much as disturbingly dangerous. But even so, the series held together pretty well regardless of its name.
Paul has to try and overcome the fact that he was saved by a child who gave up his life for Paul's. This horrible event haunts Paul throughout the series as we repeatedly witness his visions and dreams of the boy, eyes bleeding, face gaunt, hair falling out.
It is worth noting, too, that this series has very little in the way of spiritual upliftingness. There are touches of it, but mostly the episodes hit on something dark coming, something terrible. The apocalypse maybe?
The viewer is never given any insight into what exactly is in store for Paul and his paranormal investigations. And, unfortunately, we'll never really know for sure since the show was cancelled (can I bare my b&tt so that FOX executives can kiss it!)
But I do have a theory of my own. Paul was an orphan and never knew his mother or father, and this plays a vital part of Paul's character and how we view him. He's a loner, but a good person at heart. He's just suffering over what to do with his questioning faith in ...everything. But everyone in the series wants to be near him and trusts him. He also goes through Hell on Earth; during his investigations he almost always gets the cr@p beat out of him, only to recover and move on to the next case. I think he was being set up for something large and important; perhaps to become an angel or a type of disciple for the next coming.
But, again, who knows. FOX's idiocy has ruined another great character show. Morons!
I didn't give the show 5 stars because some of the episodes were pretty pedestrian in nature and easy to figure out, but the acting, excellent filming, and haunting music all made this a very watchable series.