Mediums: Talking to the Dead
A threepart Everyman
series from Wednesday 29 September 2004, 9.00pm, BBC
They say they can talk to the dead, prove there is life
after death and deliver messages to the grieving from beyond the grave.
With extraordinary access, Talking to the Dead lifts
the veil on mediumship in Britain and follows four different mediums
as they give sittings to the bereaved, investigate hauntings and train
aspiring mediums to hone their skills.
Dubbed the 'psychic barber', Gordon Smith is
considered by many to be the best medium in Britain, his accuracy silencing
even the most hardened sceptic.
What makes him even more extraordinary is that, as well
as working as a barber nine-to-five, he doesn't charge for his readings
and his son - who acts as his manager - isn't quite sure he believes
in the afterlife.
The programme follows Gordon as he tries to help bereaved
parents Greta and Andrew Rhodes seek solace following the death of their
Greta no longer goes to church and her vicar worries
about the dangers of messing with the spiritual world. But visiting
mediums gives great comfort to Greta.
She says: "That feeling never goes as a mother,
wanting to know if your child is all right, this is our way of hearing
that he is okay, he's sending us a message to reassure us that he is
Can Gordon come up with the goods and give them the
peace of mind they so desperately need or is the use of mediums getting
in the way of them truly dealing with their loss?
The programme also travels with Gordon as he attempts
to cut it on the trans-Atlantic stage and sees him wowing San Francisco
audiences with some extraordinary results.
Blind medium Sharon Neill has stunned audiences
at the Edinburgh Fringe and the film follows her sell-out theatre tour.
Here she tries to help sceptics Martin and Jackie Kelly
deal with the tragic death of Martin's son as well as performing healing
on Ben who, after dabbling in mediumship, has found a connection to
the spirit world he didn't quite bargain for.
Craig and Jane Hamilton-Parker call themselves
the 'psychic family' and are determined to help develop a new generation
They have set up development circles designed to hone
the skills of would-be mediums such as Christine Forster, an ordinary
wife and mother with a super sceptic husband.
While Christine sees toys moving or the lights going
out as paranormal activity Dave puts it down to his wife's imagination
or an electricity fault.
But has Christine truly got the gift and will the development
circle prove her husband wrong?
This three-part series asks whether mediumship spreads
false hope, exploits the vulnerable or simply tells people what they
need to hear in troubled times.
Says Gordon Smith: "If you feel the need to go
and see a medium, fine. But it's not something I would do regularly.
You have a life after a death and you've got to build on that."
A BBC Manchester Production for BBC TWO.
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