Produced by Kyra Sedgwick and starring Jennifer Beals, TNT’s new Drama Proof is the story of Dr. Carolyn Tyler a surgeon who is still suffering the death of her son who died some years prior and had a Near Death Experience (NDE) where she sees the soul of her son beckoning. Dr. Tyler is approached by billionaire Ivan Turing, played by Matthew Modine, whose progressive illness has his days counted to conduct scientific research to prove what happens after we die.
Dr. Tyler, pressured by the hospital where she’s employed which stands to receive a sizeable endowment for this research, reluctantly begins to conduct research on various cases provided to her by Mr. Turing. In the first season’s second episode, Dr. Tyler interviews a man who sees the spirit of his late wife. The various acts attributed to the Spirit in addition to communicating with her husband are as follows. For each, I explain whether or not the scene is accurate.
- flooding the bathtub — Spirits can move objects so it is possible for a Spirit to turn on a faucet though a benevolent Spirit wouldn’t do so.
- locking the bathroom door — Spirits can move objects so it is possible for a Spirit to lock a door though a benevolent Spirit wouldn’t do so.
- pushing her husband down the stairs — Dr. Tyler made this assumption, but we aren’t shown what actually happened. The show added this in order to get Dr. Tyler believing what the man was seeing. Benevolent Spirits, however, would never harm the living.
- sending a text message from an unknown source (implying no cell phone at all) to Dr. Tyler warning her to stay away from her husband — This is not possible.
- taking a lit candle from her husband’s bathroom to Dr. Tyler’s home and setting her outdoors garbage can on fire — A lit candle floating across town, staying lit despite the wind, and no one noticing it is rather far-fetched. Although Spirits can move objects, they can’t make them disappear or be invisible nor can they make a fire out of nothing.
- flickering the lights and causing electrical problems and shortages on the hospital’s medical technical equipment — This is possible.
The Spirit of the wife, as she is being depicted, is an earth-bound Spirit. Earth-bound Spirits are those who have not gone into the Afterlife but through fear or a strong connection to a person or place have chosen to stay Earth-bound. Because Earth-bound Spirits are often isolated, not in connection with other Spirits nor at peace, they seek a connection with the living by any means they can find. So they may cause items to move or lights to flicker as a means to communicate with the living. This can oft be interpreted as a “haunting” and scare the living when quite possibly that is not the intention of the Spirit at all. He or she simply wants attention, wants to be acknowledged, wants to communicate, wants a connection to the living. Should someone want to determine if a Spirit is benevolent or malevolent or have a Spirit removed from their location, they should contact a Professional Medium to do so…we at Spiritual Spectra offer these services.
Later in the episode, Dr. Tyler discovers that the cases given to her by Mr. Turing were given to him by Peter Van Owen, noted Psychic Medium and Author, played by actor Callum Blue. Dr. Tyler is more than skeptical of Mr. Van Owen’s abilities and is hostile toward him. As we yet know little about Mr. Van Owen, I wondered what direction the Show might take with this character so I tweeted to @ProofTNT @kyrasedgwick @MrCallumBlue: “Is Psychic Peter Van Owen going to be depicted fairly or like other shows that put it down?” I actually received a response by actor Callum Blue who portrays Peter Van Owen. His response:
Callum Blue @MrCallumBlue Jun 17
@SpiritualSpectr @kyrasedgwick @ProofTNT Had huge potential. They dropped the ball on Peter!
Mr. Blue’s honesty is totally refreshing! Thank you Mr. Blue for acknowledging that they could have done a better job portraying the Psychic Medium character Peter Van Owen and that the potential for the character could’ve been great. Let’s all hope that they can move past the stereotypical characterization of Psychic Mediums and develop the character Peter Van Owen on a deeper and more authentic level. I hope Mr. Blue gets the opportunity to really challenge his acting ability on an amazing character. Thanks again Mr. Blue for responding to my tweet.
Another interesting character which has appeared in both the Pilot and Second Episode is the Spirit of a middle-aged woman wearing a green scarf. She first appeared to Dr. Tyler during her NDE but now Dr. Tyler sees her on the street and in the hospital. Dr. Tyler mistakingly assumes she is a former patient but research on the matter proves that no patient fits this description. As this Spirit was present during Dr. Tyler’s NDE and was holding the hand of her son at the time, very likely this Spirit is a grandmother or great-grandmother of Dr. Tyler who seeks to connect and perhaps communicate with her. Because the Spirit in the green scarf was holding her son’s hand, she very likely is not an Earth-bound Spirit but rather a Spirit in the Afterlife. Yes, Spirits in the Afterlife can also communicate with us here; in fact, they can do so far more effectively than Earth-bound Spirits can. Spirits in the Afterlife can actually manifest themselves to be seen and heard.
The episode ends with the man having brain surgery and no longer seeing his dead wife, seemingly proof that she was a delusion produced by his tumor. Yet when Dr. Tyler is in the patient’s room alone and picks up a photo of the patient and his wife, the lights and machines inside of the room flickered. The Spirit was letting her know that she is real.
Although the Show is not entirely accurate about Spirit’s abilities and depicts not a particularly flattering view of the Psychic Medium character, I eagerly await the next episodes of this show in hopes of its potential.