Netflix Series AFTER LIFE Characters Examined in Light of Book of Ecclesiastes Part 6 Tim Plester as Julian Kane

Tim Plester was born on September 10, 1970 in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England. He is an actor and director, known for After Life (2019), Game of Thrones (2011) and Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).

Tim Plester (Actor/Filmmaker)
#AfterLife - Julian 2

After Life on Netflix

In the past I have done over 100 blog posts on the Netflix series AFTER LIFE written by Ricky Gervais and staring Ricky as Tony Johnson. I respect both Ricky and his character Tony for being people who demand evidence and they refuse to accept anything with a blind faith. That is part of the reason I started writing letters to Ricky several years ago with historical evidence from archaeology and ancient cultures on the Bible’s claims. I personally think his latest series AFTER LIFE is his best by far and it does a great job of examining Ricky’s humanistworldview and the natural conclusions that come from this time plus chance view of the world.

Just like Solomon in The Book of Ecclesiastes, Ricky in AFTER LIFE is examining life under the sun, which is life between birth and death without God in the picture. The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter. In fact, the phrase under the sun appears 29 times in Ecclesiastes. 

Francis Schaefer indicated Ecclesiastes is truly the book of modern man because modern humanist man’s philosophy has brought him to the nihilistic conclusion that all is vanity and meaninglessness. This appears to be the place that the atheist Tony Johnson has landed and many of the characters around Tony have come to pessimistic conclusions about life too, though they have searched for satisfaction and meaning in life by pursuing ladiesluxurieslearninglaborliquor, and laughter.

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(Below Tony is late for Julian’s funeral)

In episode 2 of the second season of AFTER LIFE is the following discussion: 

Tony: Sorrow about the thing with the meditation. He knows it was not your fault because he was being an annoying prick.
Matt: Listen Tony had you been drinking before that?
Tony: No. I had little one after to calm down.
Matt: I imagine that was his fault to?

Tony: Not just his fault because most things are a good excuse for a drink. I have always got drunk, but I used to drink because I was happy and that was alright but now I drink when I am sad and that is not so good is it? It happens more often and a little earlier.
Matt: Just stop then.
Tony: Brilliant.
Matt: I am serious. If you have a problem you should go to AA or rehab.
Tony: Why?

Matt: To get better.
Tony: Drinking is not my illness.
Matt: It is bad for you.
Tony: Everything is bad for you. We are all dying. Being healthy is just dying more slowly.
Matt: Okay so you will live longer.
Tony: Yeah but why?
Matt: What do you mean “Why?” So you can do more of the things you enjoy.
Tony: I enjoy a drink.All drunks hurt themselves but the trick is to be a good drunk and not hurt other people.

Matt: Look at that Tony you calling yourself a drunk.

Tony: Only half the time. Whatever you want to label it. I drink in times of trouble. I can’t help it the world is filled with trouble. It is a horrible place. Everyone is screwed up in someway. Everyone has worries like money or health or famine, war. We are chimps with brains the size of planets. No wonder we get drunk and try to kill each other. It is mental.

Matt: Always good to talk.

Tony: I was just explaining my new plan is to drink myself to death till I eventually implode in on my own evolution. 

In season 1 as Julian Kane and Tony drink alcohol and do heroine together the song INTO MY ARMS by Nick Cave plays in the background with these words

I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did, I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Oh, not to touch a hair on your head
Leave you as you are
If he felt he had to direct you
Then direct you into my armsInto my arms, oh Lord

Nick Cave makes his theological views very clear at the beginning of this song and it is why I think it describes well Tony’s humanist outlook on life. Solomon is seeking in Ecclesiastes answers between birth and death in life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture.

Again Ricky Gervais has done a great job of placing the great songs at the perfect places in the episodes. Both Tony and Julian have lost their soulmates and they want to numb their pain with wine and drugs. Solomon in Ecclesiastes looks for love UNDER THE SUN (without God) in the picture and he never finds his soulmate after bedding 1,000 women. Solomon at this point also turns to stimulate his body with wine. 

Francis Schaeffer discusses the views of Solomon on drinking:

In Ecclesiastes 1:8 he drives this home when he states, “All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. THE EYE IS NOT SATISFIED WITH SEEING. NOR IS THE EAR FILLED WITH HEARING.”  Solomon is stating here the fact that there is no final satisfaction because you don’t get to the end of the thing.

What do you do and the answer is to get drunk and this was not thought of in the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM:

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with winewhile my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaventhe few years of their lives.

The Daughter of the Vine (from the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM):

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

A perfectly good philosophy coming out of Islam, but Solomon is not the first man that thought of it nor the last. In light of what has been presented by Solomon is the solution just to get intoxicated and black the think out? So many people have taken to alcohol and the dope which so often follows in our day. This approach is incomplete, temporary and immature. PAPA HEMINGWAY CAN FIND THE CHAMPAGNE OF PARISSUFFICIENT FOR A TIME, BUT ONCE HE LEFT HIS YOUTH HE NEVER FOUND IT SUFFICIENT AGAIN. HE HAD A LIFETIME SPENT LOOKING BACK TO PARIS AND THAT CHAMPAGNEAND NEVER FINDING IT ENOUGH.  It is no solution and Solomon says so too.

Earlier in this post I asserted:

Ecclesiastes is truly the book of modern man because modern man’s philosophy has brought him to the nihilistic conclusion that all is vanity and meaninglessness. This appears to be the place that the atheist Tony Johnson has landed and many of the characters around him.

This is the reason so many of them have tried to drown themselves in the bottle or kill themselves with drugs and that is because they haven’t found a lasting meaning for their lives.
It sounded crazy when Ricky wrote the lines for Tony “Everything is bad for you. We are all dying. Being healthy is just dying more slowly.” However, from a secular point of view without an afterlife, these words are totally logical. Check out I Corinthians chapter 15 and see where the apostle Paul says this very thing!!

I did read something that Ricky said on a taboo subject that troubled me:

Suicide. Heroin. Euthanasia. Ricky Gervais speaks exclusively to Event about his most shocking show ever

By Cole Moreton For Event Magazine22:01 16 Feb 2019, updated 00:30 18 Feb 2019


He won’t mind being challenged about his desire to shock, but then how could he? His character Tony also gives money to his drug supplier in After Life, knowing it will be used for his suicide.

‘I think that’s the much more contentious bit,’ says Gervais. ‘I am in favour of assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia.’

Episode #4 Tony meets up with his acquaintance from work Julian who is a heroine addict and while doing drugs together this conversation happens: 

Tony: This must be a habit. You know I know how you feel.

Julian: Every minute of every day that I have my wits all I can think about is getting some [drugs] before I become too conscious…I am already dead inside. I am still in the worst kind of pain. 

Tony: I still can not believe we have so much in common.

Julian: We don’t have anything in common! 

Tony: Why do you say that?

Julian: The big difference is you haven’t given up yet, have you? Me I would quite happily die right now. If I had enough money I would take as much drugs as I possibly could. 

Tony gives Julian lots of money and says “Don’t waste it on food.”

The last scene of episode 5 is Julian injecting an overdose of heroine into his arm and then dying as the song “Youth” by the musical group DAUGHTER sings the words: 

Shadows settle on the place, that you left
Our minds are troubled by the emptiness
Destroy the middle, it’s a waste of time
From the perfect start to the finish lineAnd if you’re still breathing, you’re the lucky ones
‘Cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs
Setting fire to our insides for fun

Then in episode 5 there is discussion between Tony and brother-in-law Matt when Tony admits at first that he helped Julian get the overdose on purpose but then he backtracks when Matt threatens to keep Tony’s ten year old nephew from seeing him again: 

Tony: Julian was a heroine addict. That is what he did and it was what he wanted. 

Matt: Tell me that you didn’t know that he was gonna kill himself or I am not gonna let you see George again. 

Tony: I didn’t know. Obviously not. 

Matt: Okay you didn’t know.

I tweeted out this reply (seen below) on March 5, 2021 and Ricky Gervais liked it on Twitter a few minutes later:
I have watched the AFTERLIFE series 6 times and I am reminded of the people I have visited with who have overcome alcohol and drug addiction. Why not even attempt to help an able bodied person before handling him poison to kill himself? Check out this film Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 3 | Death by Someone’s Choice 


Ricky may say ‘I am in favour of assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia.’ but I don’t think he really means it is okay to help someone commit suicide when in the case of Julian he could have been helped to overcome his addiction and live a long life! In fact, Tony’s conscience causes him to lie to Matt because he knows Matt was right!!!

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

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