Messiah aired as a two-part serial in May of 2001. Part One was called "The First Killings" with Part Two being called "Reckoning". It was produced by Louise Berridge and directed by Diarmuid Lawrence, who also produced Emma and The Hanging Gale. There are a few changes to the story. The first change is Metcalfe's rank. A DCS in the book but a DCI in the film. There are also two new characters, a Reverend Stephen Hedges, who runs a halfway house for released prisoners, where Eric Metcalfe is staying after being let out of prison (another change- he was still behind bars in the book). The second new face is DCS Emerson. This character replaces the Commissioner from the book. A screening took place the week of 7th May for people in the industry and media. The film was a hit with them all and had a large number cringing behind their hands!
EPISODE 1 - THE FIRST KILLINGS
In London an unbelievably brutal series of murders take place. Though each death is horribly different, the killer leaves an unmistakeable signature...he cuts out the victims tongue and replaces it with a silver spoon. Enter Detective Chief Inspector Red Metcalfe (Ken Stott). Red is tormented by guilt for turning in his own brother for murder, years earlier...but is that why he has a fear of driving in the rain, or does a far darker secret haunt him? Is it his keen instinct that has earned him the reputation of being able to 'get into the mind' of a murderer...or does it really take a killer to catch a killer?
EPISODE 2 - THE RECKONING
As the body count rises the link is discovered...All the victims share their name and occupation with one of the twelve disciples. The manner of their death also mirrors that of their namesake (amongst these being crucifixion, beheading, being sawn in half and skinned alive). As they get closer to apprehending the murderer Red and his team turn their suspicions on a colleague, but nobody can know that it is Red's own past that is the crucial link....a past that is catching up with him. Of course it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Red is the intended 12th victim...the 'Judas' who betrayed his brother. The real twist though, is played out in the seat-gripping final scenes and pivots around the flashbacks Red has throughout...which slowly reveal his dark secret to be a hit-and-run accident he never admitted to. The victim of that event did indeed die, but was revived. He came to view this as his 'resurrection'...and this became the basis for his Christ-delusions as he engineered his life to get close to the man responsible and wreak his twisted revenge.