TV Review: Messiah – The Rapture (2008)

AKA the one where they take it too far… Messiah V – The Rapture replaces the entire cast and loses its soul

“A new start is good for me…”

After four instalments over five years, it took three years for the Messiah series to return with The Rapture, a self-described ‘second chapter’ for the show written by Oliver Brown. And it has to be described thus because it is the first Messiah story not to feature Ken Stott’s DCI Red Metcalfe at its heart. And yet it doesn’t try to distinguish itself at all as it retreads the ‘serial killer following a bizarre pattern’ storyline that has been the series’ hallmark.

The core team has been entirely replaced, but baffingly with fascimiles of themself. Gruff lead detective with a haunted past, supported by young female and gruff older sergeants. Marc Warren, Marsha Thomason and Daniel Ryan are all fine in their roles but having to get to know an entirely new cast in the fifth series of a show, and with a reduced running time to boot, just makes you wonder why they thought besmirching the Messiah name in this way was an acceptable idea. 

I’d completely wiped The Rapture from my mind, so at least I had the fun of trying to work out whodunnit. But with so little emotional investment in these characters, it just isn’t anywhere near as gripping, especially coming off the strength of the previous series The Harrowing. There’s no sense of the epic about the storytelling or the stakes, and the subplot with the husband/lover/colleague on life support is an annoying distraction. Even the flashbacks for Warren’s DCI Walker detract from rather add to the mix. An ignominious end for a series that deserved better, and best avoided.

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