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Sea Of Souls returns

06/01/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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The first two part mystery is on BBC 1 at 9.00pm on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th January 2005.

Do you believe in poltergeists, deathly premonition and psychic healing? Or is the paranormal merely make-believe? That's the question the Sea Of Souls team confront as they return for a second series of spooky investigations into the strange and unexplained.

From the natural to the supernatural, the normal to the paranormal, the drama Sea Of Souls aims to delve into the power of the paranormal and attempts to explain the inexplicable.

The new series revisits the fictional parapsychology unit at Glasgow's Clyde University to find department boss Dr Douglas Monaghan (Bill Paterson, Lie With Me, Danielle Cable: Eyewitness, Dr Zhivago) with two new research assistants - eager young research fellow Craig Stevenson (Iain Robertson, Small Faces, Gunpowder Treason & Plot) and sympathetic PhD student Justine McManus (Dawn Steele, Monarch Of The Glen, The Key).

In the first two-part story Monaghan is called to the home of businessman Findlay Morrison (James Fleet, The Vicar Of Dibley) and his wife Carol (Lesley Vickerage, The Murder Room) who are convinced they have a poltergeist living under their roof.

However as the team struggles for answers, a happy family unit begins to disintegrate in front of their eyes.

Then there is the ominous tale of young soldier Corporal Daniel Blakemore (Danny Midwinter, Family, Murphy's Law) who is convinced he can foresee his own death.

Can Monaghan and the team stop his terrifying visions and what exactly is the medical 'treatment' he's been receiving from army psychologist Lt Colonel Petra Summers (Barbara Flynn, Cracker, Forsyte Saga)?

For the final story of the paranormal trilogy, brooding new research associate Peter Locke (Colin Salmon, Die Another Day, Trial And Retribution) joins the unit to help investigate psychic John Wade (John Hannah, Amnesia, Rebus) who is attempting to heal a dying child with the power of the mind.

After Wade asks for the child to be taken off her drug treatment, the team are faced with a race against time to find out whether Wade's a con-artist or truly gifted healer.

Meanwhile Justine delves into the case of Patience (Joanna Roth, Two Thousand Acres Of Sky), a strange young woman washed up on a remote Scottish beach, claiming to be the survivor of a shipwreck a hundred years ago.

But it turns out the truth is stranger than anyone could have ever imagined ...

"What the audience will get are stories which will take them into a corner of the human mind that they haven't perhaps thought about before," says the show's producer Stephen Garwood. "The disturbing, darker recesses of the mind explored within the series often tap into dangerous possibilities which, perhaps, we will never fully understand."

BBC Scotland's Head Of Drama, Barbara McKissack, said: "This time we have created, fundamentally, a family within the team. Bill as Monaghan is very much the father figure and the voice of authority, Justine is the caring older sibling with Craig as the slightly hyperactive younger brother. There are squabbles along the way, but they all bring their own strengths and beliefs to the table. The new series feels very Scottish. It's firmly rooted here and the characters deal with the sometimes frightening subject matter exactly how Scots would - without hysterics, without overreacting. They just deal with it."

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