RELIGION & THE AFTERLIFE

The afterlife plays a potentially confusing role in the New Soap. This is an attempt to deepen that confusion.

People:

BHUVANA
In BABYSHAM 5 & 6, we learn that Bhuvana is an ancient deity that created God. She also played the role of both the serpent and the tree in the original Garden of Eden, imbuing humanity with her wisdom. Aided by the Angel Gabriel, she planted her godly seed in a girl called Mary, thus producing Stew to aid her in her efforts to keep God in check. But before she could instruct her spawn, God removed Bhuvana's powers and left her locked in the form of a linden tree. She was eventually freed by a Nordic God, and set about making an aliance with Satan to retrieve her powers. No sooner were her powers retrieved than she was plotting a coup to take over Heaven. But her plans were scuppered when she was seemingly assasinated by Leon.

GOD aka DENNIS POTTER
Creation of Bhuvana; Creator of the Earth (and, by extension, its contents). Step-Father of Stew Jester, (Step-?) Father of Sally-Anne Jester.
EPISODE 2 - God lives in a remote region of Heaven, from where he conducts a long-term war with his arch-rival Tosh.
EPISODE 6 - God attends the funeral of his step-son, Stew, and leaves behind Stew's sister, Sally-Anne.
BABYSHAM 5 - We learn that following a series of disagreements with Bhuvana, God stripped her of her powers.
BABYSHAM 6 - On a state visit to Hell, the increasingly pony-obsessed God is shot (dead?) by Leon using special deity-killing ammunition. A woman in Jackie-O sunglasses may or may not be his wife.

STEW JESTER aka JESUS CHRIST
Step-son of God. Son of Bhuvana (via Gabriel) and Mary. See separate entry for more details.

SALLY-ANNE YORKE
(Step-?) Daughter of God.
EPISODE 6 - Sally is sent to Earth after Stew is revealed to be a demon.
EPISODE 7 - She dies in the inevitable battle with Siddor, and winds up in Hell (through the machinations of Stew) where she marries Zed Yorke.
EPISODE 8 - Sally and Zed are released from Hell to help aleviate the Goose Crisis, but end up getting blown to bits.
EPISODE 9 - Through a time anomaly, Sall and Zed are squished to a pulp instead. As a consequence of already being dead, Sally's squishedness leaves her in a state of eternal pain.

TOSH
The Pantheon Tosh are a major force in Heaven, engaged in a long-standing conflict with God. Tosh himself was seemingly a hard-drinking policeman who died and wound up in Heaven, before ascending to lead an army against God. Tosh is a major land-owner in Heaven, with a great deal of power and (maybe) a copy of the Chronicle of Enderon.

SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR aka LUCIFER
EPISODE 2 - The American actress winds up married to Stew as a consequence of a wish on a monkey's paw. She later gets blown up a bit while on a visit to TV Heaven, and ends up in Hell, where she is eventually put in charge and given the title "Lucifer".
EPISODE 6/7 - Sarah takes a holiday, and so Hell is looked after by Stew. It is probably during this time that Sarah is picked up in a bar by an incarnation of Jim, and becomes his time-travelling companinon / lover.
EPISODE 8 - Sarah and JimTB arrive in York at the time of the Goose Crisis, and get blown up a bit.
EPISODE 9 - Thanks to a temporal anomaly, Sarah and Jim are able to escape the exploding Earth, although their relationship sours somewhat. On Planet F34, the fugitives find a working Tardis, and with it the prospect of returning everybody to Hell. This puts a strain on Sarah, who's duty as Lucifer is to ensure that all the dead people with her get returned to their proper place. After shooting Alex she has to be pacified with a shovel. Evidently, though, the party do return to Hell, as Sarah returns to her post by the end of Episode 7.
BABYSHAM 6 - We learn that Lucifer is currently Sectioned, though it is unclear whether this is before or after her appearance in Episode 7 (from her perspective). We also learn that Lucifer has a godly status, which suggests that some (if not all) gods can be promoted into that state from mortal.

ANGELS
We know of three Angels: Gabriel, Tinker Dill and Eric Catchpole. Gabriel once worked for Bhuvana, and currently works for God (whether this indicates a shift in politics or not is unclear), while Tinker and Eric are seemingly allied to Satan and Bhuvana.
It appears that Angels produce a smell that Stew can sense and that he doesn't like. Currently, Angels seem not to have wings, although earlier footage of Gabriel depicts him with two small chicken-like wings. By contrast, Eric actually displays certain feline characteristics.
There has been some speculation that Angels are non-partisan, and behave as a sort of civil-service for the gods, although the "Council of Angels" in Heaven would seem to exhibit parliamentary behaviour, as evidenced by their refusal to bankroll God's request for another pony.

DEMONS
Jeremy is perhaps the best example we have of a demon, although Stew was replaced with a demon for a bit without us noticing. Demons, like Angels, are mainly human in appearance, and despite what Alex says, they seem nice enough creatures really. While we have no absolute proof, it is perhaps safe to say that Demons are to Hell what Angels are to Heaven. As Eric the Angel says: "What's a demon, but a displaced angel?"

THE DARK DUKE, SATAN
Satan is a little-known deity worshipped by a collective of antiques experts. His politics are unknown beyond his willingness to team up with Bhuvana for her attempted coup against God. He has orange skin and goat's legs.

MR FRIZZARD
EPISODES 2 & 7 - Mr Frizzard is a mysterious old man who rents a student house in York. The loft of this house contains Heaven. The cellar contains Hell. After a loft conversion, God banished Frizzard to Hell, from where Stew banished him to Leeds.
Frizzard's grandson is called Gordon. Gordon was a member of Stew's band at university.

PETER SIMON
The former Double Dare presenter has a job on the door of Heaven as a bouncer and general god's-body. Other employees of God include Alex (a bodyguard in BABYSHAM 6) and Helen (a PA in BABYSHAM 6).

MARY MAGDALLEN
Heaven-based prostitute and old-flame of Stew's. Bares an uncanny resemblance to Jim Orson's wife.

CHE F. GURDWARA
Heaven-based Hot Dog Stall proprietor. Mentioned in the Chronicle of Enderon. Che F.'s pheasant is so local, even the local police want a piece.

NORDIC GODS
We know of three Nordic Gods: Rod of Maygar, Jane of Algor, and Maati of Lokka. From the antics of Rod and Jane (and the possibility of Rod being Jim), the implication is that Nordic Godliness is transitory, and can be bestowed or removed at the will of a higher power (perhaps some sort of Godly Council). In this respect it has something of the exclusive club about it.
 

Places:

HEAVEN
Much of our knowledge is gained from the telivisual incarnation, but it seems safe to assume that it is much the same off the box. Heaven is in parts cloudy concrete jungle and in others cloudy jungle. It is currently the scene of a major war between the House of God and the Pantheon Tosh.  Heaven is split into separate enclaves representing each religious belief. If the person who dies is religious, they end up in a region of heaven based on the after-life specified in that religion, and populated by like-minded people. We can probably assume that the "Valhalla" described by Rod of Maygar is one such enclave.

HELL
Hell is a fantasy-based environment. Each inmate is placed in an environment that is tailor-made to their own particular dreams and desires. Hell is seemingly the destination of those who question religion or do not subscribe to any particular faith.

The following people have gone to Hell after death:
Babysham - bounty-hunter (killed 30 people +  a capacity football crowd)
Barrett, Anna - starship crewmember (killed no-one)
Barrett, Jim - computer operator for MI7, and POG-adept. (killed Omra by accident)
Burnholme, Caroline - student (killed no-one)
Burnholme, Percy - infant pineapple (killed no-one)
Cartwright, Chris - busdriver (may have killed in heaven or for MI7)
Gellar, Sarah Michelle - actor (only killed things on telly)
Jefferson, Alex - student (seemingly violent)
Jester, Sally-Anne - daughter of god (killed no-one)
Quinn, Alan - member of MI7 (killed?)

Nothing can be drawn from the above though because all (bar Gellar) got into Hell simply because Stew was in charge at the time and was therefore able to fudge the paperwork for his friends. However, two of the above seem to have begun to experience problems in their fantasies by the time of the goose crisis: Alan accidentally kills his date, while Sally is being pursued by a mass murderer. It turns out that Alan is a Christian, while Sally is the daughter of God, suggesting that the religious have no place in Hell. It seems then that if you believe in a particular (religion-specific) afterlife, you end up in the area of Heaven appropriate to that. Heaven is well segregated, and it may well be that Alan could find paradise up there (albeit a war-torn one) amongst like-minded people. Hmm.
It seems that the people in an inmate of Hell's fantasy-reality tend often to be fictional entities (Willow in Babysham's; Caroline and Jim, etc). Whether other characters (eg. Zed & Sai) are fictional or genuine inmates is unclear. But presumably the likes of Craig and Alana are fictional representations of real people the inmates have known and loved rather than the people themselves.

MR FRIZZARD'S HOUSE
This student property in York is the gateway to both Heaven and Hell.
 

Death Theory:

You only die once. When you die, you are assigned to an afterlife. This is either a region of Heaven specific to your faith, or a region of Hell based on your fantasies. It seems from this set up then that the afterlife is based on your own religious beliefs rather than any moral performance on Earth. That said, in extreme cases, particularly unpleasant types (ie. people that annoy both God and Lucifer) are banished to Leeds.

Under the special circumstances that are the impending destruction of the Earth (and with it Mr Frizzard's house, and with that Heaven & Hell), our heroes are allowed to leave Hell. They are even allowed to take their (fictional) partners. This brings into question the reality or not of these characters. Are the likes of Willow, Alana & Craig actual dead people? Perhaps they are demons like Jeremy, who is sent with our heroes to make sure no-one tries to escape the afterlife. A big questionmark hangs over all of this.

You only die once. Having died once, you can't die again. That is not to say that you can't be injured or blown up or anything. Just that you can't die. Of course, in Hell, you are unlikely (unless it's part of your fantasy) to ever come to any harm anyway. How things work in war-torn Heaven is less clear, but on Earth you certainly have to be very careful.

Let us analyse this "can't die twice" clause with recourse to examples:
In Episode Nine, Alex winds up with his internal organs falling out. He is in great pain. But he can't die. What can he do? Well presuming the organs are all still intact, he could scoop them back in and sew himself back up. An important question to ascertain here though is whether or not he can heal. Does he have a pulse? It's hard to say from the footage. We don't really see any splurting of blood. This makes you wonder if he can heal or not.  Of course, the blood-flow issue raises the question of erections. If there is no blood flow, Alex would be unable to get it up.
Well Jim seems not to have any trouble in this department. He is seen having sex with Sarah. This then seems to prove that there is indeed blood flow, and it is safe to assume therefore that healing will not be a problem for Alex.

If the internal organs were damaged though, what then? Suppose his stomach were ripped out. Alex would not be able to digest food. Presumably he would waste away. He could be drip fed, but given that he can't die, what would happen if he wasn't? His body would presumably deteriorate to an eventually unusable degree, and he'd be stuck there - a brain in a rotten corpse. And surely his brain too would deteriorate and waste away.

Well when they get blown up in Episode Eight, our heroes still have consciousness. They are described as being in eternal pain, and indeed Jim is able to recongeal through his POG and time-lord abilities. How is consciousness maintained, and furthermore, how is sense data achieved? If your body is blown to pieces, how can it work?

Presumably there is more to it. The workings of the after-life body are clearly different. The most popular theory is that nerve contacts can be maintained over substantial distances. When severed, the nerves communicate via radio.

Which is all well and good when a body is blown to pieces, but what about if it is just starved? Presumably these super-nerves are the indestructible bit of the body. So while the brain may deteriorate, the nerve-connections within it remain.

It is therefore possible that if Alex were unable to eat, he would waste away to bones and super-nerves, with these indestructible nerves being both his essence and his (probably painful) connection with the world around him.

There is only one means (that we have seen) by which a dead person can be destroyed, and that is Dalek-style Extermiation. Presumably the ray used by a Dalek is sufficiently powerful to destroy even the super-nerves.

Ok. One last thing remains to be explained. How was Alan able to contact MI7 from Hell? The solution seems to be some sort of seance set up, but this is all conjecture.