Topics as past life experiences, psychic abilities and voodoo cults are all in a day's work for the team of parapsychologists featured in Sea of Souls produced by BBC Scotland.
Based at the fictitious parapsychology unit at Clyde University, Glasgow, the series centres around a team of researchers who investigate extraordinary circumstances surrounding everyday people. Starring Bill Paterson, Archie Panjabi and Peter McDonald, the three make up the research team who endeavour to explain the inexplicable. The characters featured cover a wide spectrum of beliefs, which echo the world's continued fascination with all things paranormal.
Research fellow Andrew Gemmill errs on the side of scepticism; while postgraduate student Megan Sharma desperately wants to believe in the paranormal while the team leader, Dr. Douglas Monaghan is caught somewhere between the two extremes. Together their mix of beliefs propels the team on a mission to uncover the truth. Series writer David Kane stated that the series is deeply rooted in the work that these types of units do all over the world. "People are always gripped by these kind of stories, and so am I if they are told in an intelligent way, and treated seriously. Although a lot of the stories came straight from my imagination, the facts were checked afterwards." BBC Scotland's Head of Drama, Barbara McKissack, added to this saying that she felt the time was ripe for a series about the paranormal. "We've reached the 21st Century and a lot of the universe's external mysteries have been uncovered. Now the world is divided into people who have faith and those who don't and many of those who don't are looking for explanations - the human mind is the last major uncharted territory. What we wanted to do was show the different beliefs that are around and have stories that are saying, 'this could be you, or someone you know."
Dr. Douglas Monaghan is head of the Parapsychology Unit at Clyde University, Glasgow. He is a consummate professional. He is the safe pair of hands when life slips from the norm into the nightmare, but he hides the scars of a personal tragedy - he lost his wife and child and that has left him scarred. People frequently seek his advice or assistance with strange events as they try to make sense of the seemingly senseless. The second member of the unit is sceptic Andrew Gemmill. Andrew firmly believes that there is always a rational explanation for the things the team deals with. He needs evidence and proof to believe any claims of paranormal experiences. He'd also be the first to admit that he's just a bit too dogmatic about what he believes is the point of parapsychology. He's fascinated by the human mind, by looking at people who claim to have had paranormal experiences and his approach is to document them scientifically. The final member of his team is student Megan Sharma. Megan is much more aware of people's emotions. She believes things can be changed, and shows this as she fights against people's preconceived expectations of her. She is very bright and knowledgeable and was selected by Monaghan to join him in the parapsychology unit as a team member.
Sea Of Souls was written by David Kane and was filmed in and around Glasgow, with additional location work done in Spain and the Scottish Highlands. Exterior shots of Jordanhill College in Glasgow were used for exteriors of the fictitious Clyde University, while a purpose built set was erected within the building of St. Andrews College, Bearsden for all interior shots. The producer on Sea Of Souls was Phil Collinson, who was soon after appointed producer for the new Doctor Who series.
Published on January 28th, 2019. Written by Bob Furnell (2004) for Television Heaven.