Midwinter of the Spirit
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Anna Maxwell Martin takes on the role of Merrily Watkins, a single mother who is not your average country vicar in this three‐part drama.
Merrily’s newly acquired training has put her on the dark side of the pulpit. She has become one of the few women clergy working in the area of deliverance ministry – a job considered important by the modern church and operating in every diocese but rarely publicised due to the confidential nature of cases. David Threlfall takes on the role of Rev Huw Owen, a deliverance ministry tutor and Merrily’s mentor.
Merrily is deeply human in her doubts and scepticism, but her knowledge of the paranormal underworld brings her to the notice of local police who need her advice in the investigation of a grisly murder. Merrily has been through the mill emotionally of late, losing her unfaithful husband Sean in a car crash and seeking refuge in a job despised by her 16‐year‐old daughter, Jane, whose rejection of her mother’s beliefs leads her into the path of danger.
When a man is found murdered in the most horriﬁc circumstances imaginable, Merrily becomes convinced that Satanists are operating in the city. In the early hours of the next morning, she is called to Hereford General Hospital to perform an exorcism. The atmosphere is palpably toxic, as nurses treating a chronically ill man known for cruelty to animals and his abuse of women believe that the ward has become polluted by his vileness. As the life force in the shrivelled body begins to ebb away, Merrily feels the force of his depravity. Shaking and feeling violated by her experience, Merrily begins to wonder if the two deaths are connected.
The local police team – DCI Annie Howe and DS Frank Bliss – investigating the murder of the cruciﬁed man seek Merrily’s expertise. Merrily assists the police as their enquiries take them into a very dark and dangerous world.