The Spirit of Diana
attempts to unearth the truth behind the deaths of Princess Diana and her lover, Dodi Al-Fayed, in a car crash in Paris in 1997, by unconventional means--holding three séances in an attempt to contact the Princess's spirit. Not surprisingly, the makers of the programme appear to have undergone a taste bypass, from choosing the tinkling piano musak played throughout to employing sycophantic presentation by veteran Avengers
actor Patrick Macnee.
If you haven't already slipped into a diabetic coma from the sugar overdose that is the first segment (mainly the gushings of various "confidantes" of Diana, who are almost as keen to depict her as a latter-day saint as they are to spill the beans on her troubled love life), then the séances themselves will surely finish you off. The first séance, conducted by medium Jane Hamilton-Parker, begins promisingly as she correctly identifies one awestruck participant's link with Diana as being her work with AIDS sufferers in Zimbabwe. However, Jane's accuracy rapidly declines from this point, as does that of Craig, her husband and fellow medium, in the second séance. The pair are clearly fishing for information from their subjects and are nonplussed, if not downright tetchy when contradicted. Any credibility the programme may have left is destroyed by the third séance, presided over by "clairvoyant channeller" Patricia Bankins and her invisible "spirit guide", St Germain. Unfortunately for Patricia, when she's possessed by St Germain's spirit, she's also possessed of his bizarre German accent and facial tics--most distracting.
There are no earth-shattering revelations from this programme about the circumstances of Diana's death, so conspiracy theorists will be disappointed. The statements made by all three mediums about Diana's state of mind are no more revealing than anything that's already been covered extensively by the tabloids.
On the DVD: Unless you're keen to read the biographies of the shameless individuals who appear in The Spirit of Diana, there are no DVD special features as such. You can't help feeling that this is reflective of the shoddy nature of the programme itself. --Alison Drury
Diana was the very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty and she was a symbol of selfless humanity. All over the world, a standard-bearer for the rights of the truly downtrodden, a very British girl who transcended nationality. Someone with a natural nobility who was classless and who proved in her last year that she needed no royal title to continue to generate her brand of magic.
Britains most renowned psychics, Craig and Jane Hamilton-Parker retrace through séances live from London and Paris and gather with her closest friends to reach out to her spirit. Some questions to which we hope to receive answers:
- Who killed Princess Diana?
- Was it a terrible accident?
- Was Princess Diana pregnant at the time of her death?
- Was there another man in her life?
- What are her messages to the ones she loves?