MIDWINTER OF THE SPIRIT

Written by Stephen Volk
Based on the novel by Phil Rickman
(ITV1, 2015) (3 x 1hrs)
*Nominated for British Fantasy Award 2016 (Best film/television production) 

 

Watch the trailer for ITV's Midwinter of the Spirit

Now streaming on Acorn TV 

Buy "Midwinter of the Spirit Series 1" on DVD

 

Buy the novel "Midwinter of the Spirit" by Phil Rickman on Amazon 

Listen to Edmund Butt's soundtrack here


Merrily Watkins isn't your average country vicar. She's not only settling into a new country parish in Herefordshire, but also on the brink of becoming one of the few women priests working as Deliverance Consultant ("exorcist" in Church of England parlance) and she's far from sure she wants the job. She has recently lost her husband, and is wrestling with a turbulent relationship with her teenage daughter, all of which is about to put them both in the path of unimaginable danger. When a man is found murdered in the most horrific circumstances - with abundant clues of an occult motive behind it - Merrily becomes drawn into the insidious web of Satanists operating in the Diocese. Dark and manipulative forces which will ultimately threaten not only her daughter's life but her own faith and sanity.

 

 

 

 

"A quite superb example of the genre"  Daily Express 

"Gripping - and at times truly scary..." Tim Oglethorpe, Daily Mail Weekend 

"An everyday tale of exorcism, with the ghosthunting turned up all the way to 11"  Sam Woolason, The Guardian 

"Exceptionally creepy without venturing beyond the bounds of the credible. We could not be father from the whimsical realms of Father Brown or the slow-paced Grantchester. This was drama to get the heart properly beating... Indeed there were one or two shocks that the late Wes Craven might have been proud of"  Gerard O'Donovan, Daily Telegraph

"Anna Maxwell Martin is excellent in a strong cast... It's cleverly written, creepily atmospheric, laced with black humour... But be warned: it's not for the faint-hearted"  Michael Hogan, Daily Telegraph

"Ideal autumn TV fare (with) well-drawn characters that you could care about"  The Independent

"Delightfully spooky"  Sunday Herald, Scotland

"Eerily convincing"  Observer

"A delightfully rich stew... This is the perfect pre-Christmas chiller (with) some good, lip-smacking shocks"  Alison Graham, Radio Times

"A consistently gripping and involving drama"  TV Times

"The tone strikes a perfect balance: serious but never too earnest or self-conscious... Given Merrily's likeability, the plot is not just intriguing but also emotionally engaging. Midwinter of the Spirit is an ambitious and so far distinctly satisfying attempt to create what might be called Middle England Gothic"  James Walton, The Spectator 

"Thankfully, due to the skilled stewardship of writer Stephen Volk, Midwinter of the Spirit manages to mark itself as a superior, and artfully unnerving adult drama" SFX magazine 

"Wickedly wonderful genre goodness"  Den of Geek 

"In my opinion Stephen Volk did a fantastic job, moulding Rickman's original material into a gripping drama that captured the spirit of the novel whilst adding intriguing new layers"  The Tangled Leaves of Aniseed

"Merrily Watkins' first appearance on our screens but hopefully not her last. It's a beautiful and eerie introduction to the character... Much of the credit for that goes to Stephen Volk, one of Britain's finest screenwriters. there wasn't a better choice to bring Merrily to the screen. Volk's writing is superb. It is a masterclass in adaptation. in fact, the entire production is flawless"  Starburst

"The script is very strong here... I'm a big fan of Mr Volk's prose work, and it's clear the same talent is at play here - this is intelligent writing, managing to put naturalistic dialogue into some decidedly creepy and unusual situations... Mainstream, quality horror themed TV has been sadly lacking lately, and this show seems to have real potential to change that... Superb... I haven't been this excited by a TV show in a long time"  Kit Power, Ginger Nuts of Horror 

"Regardless of one's belief system, the audience is treated to immensely entertaining frights and chills, and a superlative murder mystery"  Prose 'n' Cons Mystery and True Crime News 

"Volk's script dances across the days of the dead with playful energetic ease and dark satanic skill"  Seat at the Back 

"Often in horror films or stories, once the creepy stuff starts we're never truly in the real world again: whereas when Volk is at the helm we never really leave it, and that makes it all the scarier"  Magine TV  

"ITV's Midwinter of the Spirit has been excellent, a right lark that has still, at times, been genuinely disturbing. It has a brilliant central character, Merrily Watkins played by Anna Maxwell Martin... It should return"  Benji Wilson, Daily Telegraph Saturday Review

"This is not your ordinary supernatural crime drama. This is not your usual horror exorcism story of turning heads and blood and gore. This is a simple tale of the human spirit being tested without mercy"  Tampa Bay Movie Examiner 

"Heroines don't come much more tormented than the one in this impressively chilling tale of an exorcism, nor is she remotely suited for battle against the complex of diabolical forces with which she contends. Therein lies the magic of tales like this... It's a saga packed, like most of its genre, with ominous portents from obscure biblical sources and it is, from the beginning to the shocking end, an unfailingly potent one"  Wall Street Journal 

 

 

Directed by Richard Clark
Produced by Phil Collinson
DoP Matt Gray
Script Editor Kathryn O'Connor
Executive Producer Kieran Roberts

Take a "behind-the-scenes" look at the Post-Production, VFX, grading and sound mixing of Midwinter of the Spirit here 

Merrily Watkins..........................Anna Maxwell Martin
Huw Owen.................................David Thelfall
Lol Robinson..............................Ben Bailey Smith
Angela Purefoy...........................Siohan Finneran
Jane..........................................Sally Messham
Rowenna Napier.........................Leila Mimmack
Bishop Mick Hunter.....................Nicholas Pinnock
Canon Dobbs..............................David Sterne
DCI Annie Howe.........................Kate Dickie
DS Frank Bliss............................Simon Trinder
James Lyden..............................Will Attenborough
Denzil Joy...................................Oengus Mac Namara
Mrs Joy.......................................Ania Marson
Sophie Hill..................................Eileen Nicholas
Edna Reeves...............................Vivienne Soan
Rev Jeffrey Kimball......................Paul Bentall
Sister Cullen...............................Josie Walker
Barry Ambrose............................Martin Walsh
Tim Purefoy................................Geoff McGivern



ITV commissions MIDWINTER OF THE SPIRIT

ITV Unveils Exorcist Vicar Satanic Drama... (Independent) 

ITV Announces superb lead cast... 

Major TV Drama to be Set and Filmed in Hereford 

Phil Rickman: A Letter from Ledwardine 

Anna Maxwell Martin to lead Mindwinter... (SciFi Bulletin)  

ITV Press Centre: MIDWINTER OF THE SPIRIT: EPISODE 1

First Look at Anna Maxwell Martin as an Exorcist... (The Guardian)

Trailer: Midwinter of the Spirit (ITV) (The Killing Times)

"Supernatural Thriller Midwinter of the Spirit is like 'the Bishop's Secret Service' says author Phil Rickman" (Wales Online) 

"Gripping... Midwinter of the Spirit is an Exceptionally Creepy Visit to the Spirit World" REVIEW (Daily Telegraph)

Read "Why you shouldn't miss Midwinter of the Spirit" at Magine TV 

Midwinter of the Spirit: Episode 1 (The Digital Fix) 

Midwinter of the Spirit: Episode 1 REVIEW (Ginger Nuts of Horror) 

Midwinter of the Spirit: Episode 2 REVIEW (Ginger Nuts of Horror) 

Midwinter of the Spirit: Episode 3 REVIEW (Ginger Nuts of Horror) 

Interview with Stephen Volk (Ginger Nuts of Horror) 

"ITV's Midwinter of the Spirit is a Satisfying Example of Middle England Gothic" (The Spectator)

Midwinter of the Spirit: Episode 1 REVIEW (SciFi Bulletin)

Midwinter of the Spirit: Episode 2 REVIEW (SciFi Bulletin)

Midwinter of the Spirit: Episode 3 REVIEW (SciFi Bulletin 

Interview with Stephen Volk (SciFi Bulletin)

Interview with Phil Collinson (SciFi Bulletin)

Midwinter of the Spirit REVIEW (Starburst)

Midwinter of the Spirit: Episode 1 REVIEW (Den of Geek)

Midwinter of the Spirit: Episode 2 REVIEW (Den of Geek) 

Midwinter of the Spirit: Episode 3 REVIEW (Den of Geek)

The Merrily Watkins Series by Phil Rickman and Midwinter of the Spirit on TV - a personal reaction (The tangled Leaves of Aniseed)