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Series / The Second Coming

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A 2003 two-part drama by Russell T Davies about Steve Baxter, ordinary Englishman who turns out to be the second coming of Christ.

Davies and Christopher Eccleston would go on to work together again two years later, when they successfully revived Doctor Who.

Provides examples of:

  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Judith, a staunch atheist, firmly refuses to believe that Steve is divine. Near the end of the series, she comes around.
    Steve: You've seen more than anybody. And it doesn't make you think?
    Judith: It makes me think, it doesn't make me stupid.
  • Aside Glance: Steve sometimes does this while using his Divine precognition.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ending is either one or the other depending on your religious views. The apocalypse is averted and demons are no longer preying on humanity, but Steve remains dead and with the death of God, there is no longer any form of Afterlife.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Steve when a bomb destroys the entire pub around him, while he and the people at his table remain completely unharmed. Followed by Steve then proceeding to take a sip from his pint, as if nothing happened at all.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Subverted; while watching a tape of Steve bringing daylight to the football stadium, an academic comments to Judith that they could theoretically check weather patterns to see what day's weather it was. Judith seizes on this as proof that it isn't a miracle, only to be bluntly told that it's nothing of the kind; couching it in scientific terms doesn't change the fact that it's completely impossible.
  • God Is Dead: Not at first, but he ends up that way.
  • God Is Flawed: Steve admits that even he doesn't know what the message is until the time is right. Because he's trying to sort out what it means as well, naturally it will always end up becoming a little garbled in the transmission.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Steve laments that people will always focus on all the wrong parts whenever God tries to give them a message.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Steve's friend Peter is named after the apostle who was one of Jesus's most devoted followers but often had trouble getting his head around what it all meant.
    • Judith is destined to betray Steve to his death.
  • Mood Whiplash: Steve's speech to the crowd starts off relatively lighthearted, but swiftly turns into how utterly screwed everyone is.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: Played with. When questioned about why Steve doesn't act like Jesus, he explains that while he can somewhat remember his previous incarnation, they are not the same man. Instead they are merely different parts of the same divinity and both had their own lives until discovering the truth, so it's only natural they ended up being two vastly different people.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Steve's version of the Sermon on the Mount turns into this:
    Steve: You... are becoming Gods. There's a new master of creation, and it's you! You've unraveled DNA. You're five years from creating your own people and at the same time you're cultivating bacteria strong enough to kill every living thing! Do you think you are ready for that much power? You lot? You lot? You cheeky bastards!
  • Second Coming: The second coming of Jesus... is a lad from Manchester who works in a video shop.
  • Sin Invites Possession: Despair is what makes people vulnerable to Demonic Possession. (Utter despair is considered a sin in some versions of Christianity, because it's incompatible with believing that God can and will help even the most miserable.)
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Dance music playing as Frank is pointing a gun at Ray.
  • Wham Line:
    • The closing line of Steven's sermon: " Heaven is empty. And hell is bursting at the seams!"
    • The ultimate reveal of what the Third Testament is:
    Steven: 'The family business closes down.' No more Heaven, no more Hell. And you're all alone... Well, then."