Friday, January 05, 2007
Christmas Bible TV
Before going away, I blogged briefly on upcoming Christmas TV of interest to the topic of this blog (Christmas TV on Bible Films and The Secret Family of Jesus). The real highlights of Christmas TV viewing were largely non-biblical, Doctor Who, Vicar of Dibley and Torchwood, though the latter came in with some great Biblical language and themes in its superb conclusion the other night, mentioned already by Jim Davila on Paleojudaica and discussed by Pete Phillips on postmodernbible (Torchwood . . . and Torchwood's Abaddon). I didn't catch much of The Secret Family of Jesus, though some who did have commented on my blog post. I saw enough of it, though, to catch both James Tabor and Richard Bauckham. I was particularly pleased to see that Bauckham was involved since he has been somewhat media-shy in the past and the programme can't have been all bad if scholars like Bauckham and Tabor were involved. On New Year's day I caught some of The Secret Life of Brian and was pleased to see a little more of the famous Muggeridge / Bishop / Cleese / Palin exchange. Speaking as both a Christian and a Pythonist myself, I am almost as baffled now as I was when I sneaked in to see it aged 13 that many Christians found it so objectionable. Michael Palin made the excellent point in the previously mentioned exchange that Jesus is represented reverentially in the film on the one occasion we see him, played by Ken Colley (whom Palin mentions by name). Perhaps this would be a suitable occasion for me to mention something I sometimes say when teaching Jesus films, that Ken Colley must have been cast because of his resemblance to Robert Powell, whose Jesus in Jesus of Nazareth (1977) was still very fresh in viewers' minds in 1979. (The picture above shows Colley as Jesus in the dim distance, from the opening scene of the film).