52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
"You don't choose the spirits, they choose you",
This review is from: Afterlife: Series One & Two [DVD] (DVD)
First of all, this is like no medium/ghost story you've seen before - this one is genuinely fantastic. From the moment I watched the first episode of series 1, on recommendation of a friend last year, I was hooked. I then watched the entire of the first series, and 2 episodes of series 2, in one sitting, only turning it off because I couldn't physically stare at the TV anymore. I finished off the series the next day. Then watched it all back to back again.
I'm usually a complete cynic of mediums, ghosts, spirits and the like. Whilst I'm fully aware this is fiction, there was something about this show that made me seriously think again. Lesley Sharp's perfect portrayl of Alison, combined with the stunning writing, direction and music, make it impossible not to be drawn in by it, and for it to make you question your entire judgements. Here is a woman, so perfectly crafted that she is 100% believable, haunted by her so-called gift. A woman driven mad by spirits she would do anything to be rid of - a far cry from the usual mediums we see in shows like this.
Then enter Robert Bridge who, by all accounts, should be Alison's arch enemy. A close-minded psychologist convinced that none of this is true. He immediately regards Alison as delusional, but sees potential in her for the perfect case study for a book. It's through following her life for material for said book however, that slowly but surely convinced Robert that all is perhaps not what it seems. The way in which Robert is slowly forced to question his judgement is not the least bit corny, or unrealistic. The seance which finally brings everything to a head in 1.6 is, quite simply, one of the finest pieces of television I think I've ever seen.
What I love most about this show however, is the chemistry between the two lead characters. In the commentary on the series 1 dvd, Lesley puts it perfectly by saying that their relationship goes far deeper than anything sexual. These are two damaged people, who bounce off eachother perfectly and despite their differences, potentially have the power to heal the other. I applaud the writing for never once hinting at the usual cliched sexual tension, and for keeping these characters at exactly what they are - soul mates. Leaving the whole spiritual theme of the show aside, what we're left with is a compelling, beautiful relationship. One particular line in the final episode, delivered by Alison to Robert's ex-wife, had me in tears.
Basically, the 5 star rating here can't do the show enough justice. This is just perfection, and an absolute must-see, regardless of your beliefs.