In this age of reason, when technology has put answers to most questions within easy reach, things like demons, possession and exorcism just seem a bit hokey, a bit, well, silly.
You, may think that, but the Church of England doesn’t.
A quick trawl of the internet reveals that “deliverance ministry” is still very much in the church’s mind, with every diocese in the country required to have a team of people ready to spring into action with the Book of Common Prayer and a crucifix.
Although, as Merrily Watkins, the heroine of the new drama Midwinter of the Spirit (ITV, Wednesdays, 9pm), is told by grizzled exorcism veteran Huw (David Threlfall), the work is really “part social work, part counselling”.
Recently bereaved Merrily – played with a pale, world weary reserve by Anna Maxwell Martin – is a new recruit to deliverance, brought in by the new broom, right-on Bishop Mick.
Her predecessor, Canon Dobbs, is going not-so-quietly doolally, and her teenage daughter is falling in with a crowd which welcomes dead crows on the doorstep.
The show is a kind of Midwinter Murders, the action set in a bucolic corner of Herefordshire, where weirdness lurks not far below the neatly-manicured surface.
Merrily is teamed with a cop double act when a man turns up crucified in the woods, and they require her expertise in the occult.
It’s got all the tropes of supernatural thrillers – Blair Witch twig sculptures, the murder scene strewn with True Detective-style animal skulls, bearded priests mumbling Latin, dead people appearing in the corners of the frame – and that’s part of the problem, we’ve seen it all before.
Speaking of which, Doctor Who (BBC1, Saturdays) returned this week, ready to be moved around the Saturday schedule as and when Strictly dictates.
As usual with the ‘new’ version of the Doctor, it’s all very portentous and self-referential, with complicated story arcs already to confuse us.
Still, it gave us the most memorable scene of the week – a young boy marooned in a sea of grasping hands, each with an eye slowly blinking in the middle of the palm.
We haven’t seen it all before, after all.