Stars align for Tony Jordan's Nativity on BBC One this Christmas
Andrew Buchan (Garrow's Law, Cranford), Peter Capaldi (In The Loop, The Thick of It) and rising star Tatiana Maslany (Cra$h & Burn, A Grown Up Movie Star) have been cast in a magical re-telling of the classic Nativity story.Although the press release does not mention The Passion, it looks to me like this project is inspired by its success, not least the idea of stripping a drama like this across several nights. The production team, however, appears to be different, and it does not look like the project has any tie-in with BBC Religion and Ethics. I will be on the look out for more over the next month or so, and will of course be commenting some more as the broadcast date draws near, and I look forward to reviewing. There are no pictures or clips yet, but there is the brief still in this preview, about two-thirds of the way through.
Written by Tony Jordan (Life On Mars, Hustle, EastEnders) for BBC One this Christmas and produced by Red Planet Pictures in association with Kudos through BBC Wales.
Over four half-hour episodes the drama will tell the traditional tale known to millions from a very human perspective. With Mary and Joseph's enduring love story at the centre this familiar story is given a contemporary twist, as the drama follows Joseph and Mary from their initial courtship – Joseph desperate to win the heart of Mary – to his emotional turmoil at her unexpected pregnancy.
Tony Jordan said: "The challenge for me was to retell a story that has been told countless times before, a story that everyone knows intimately, yet to do so in a way that will still surprise and move you, to see parts of the story you'd never seen before. I really think that we've achieved that and I'm incredibly proud to have been asked by the BBC to be involved in such a wonderful project."
The still from The Nativity is at 1:57. But while one is watching, isn't it nice to see the ninth, tenth and eleventh doctors (Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith) all appearing in the same trail?!
Update (Friday, 9.55am): Matt Page has an excellent round-up of what we know so far over on the Bible Films Blog (and I've pinched his screenshot for here too -- thanks).