Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Nativity gets American premiere on BBC America

Back in 2010, the BBC followed up its successful The Passion (2008) with The Nativity, a two hour drama written by Tony Jordan and stripped across several nights on BBC One (IMDb). I thought it was an excellent drama.  Historical consultant Helen Bond had her own reflections on it.  At the time, I noted that it was to be distributed by BBC Worldwide and hoped that it might get shown in America.

Two years later and The Nativity is about to get its American premiere over on BBC America, on Sunday at 1pm ET/PT.  They are showing it in one fell swoop rather than stripped across several nights, so you'll have to treat it like watching a film.  For those who haven't seen it yet, do try to catch it.

Here's the original BBC One trailer, just 40 seconds' worth, still available on Youtube:

In the lead up to the BBC America showing, Amazon Instant Video and iTunes have made available a free three minute "sneak peak" for downloading.  It's Joseph talking to Joachim and Anna, Mary's parents, and then a nice scene of Joseph and Mary walking and chatting.

This presumably means that the series will be available for purchase on both Amazon and iTunes as soon as it has aired next week, which is all good news.

I am delighted to see that this has made its way to America at last.  If only the BBC had partnered with BBC Worldwide for The Passion, rather than HBO, perhaps we might have had an American release for that by now.

Disambiguation: this is not The Nativity Story, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and released four years earlier in 2006 in cinemas (my review), nor is it Nativity!, a comedy produced by BBC Films a year earlier, in 2009, and starring Martin Freeman.

Update: I've just noticed that The Nativity is also getting repeated this year on BBC HD, on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, 5.30/5.45pm -- The Nativity (including more clips for those in the UK, or with jiggery-pokery skills).


Steven Carr said...

Just out of curiosity, has any series featuring the Ascension ever been aired on TV?

Mark Goodacre said...

Yes, it's sometimes depicted at the end of Jesus films, though not usually with Jesus actually taking off vertically! The Passion (2008) simply has Jesus walking away into the distance, into the crowd. Jesus (1999), has Jesus walking into the light, to reappear in he modern day on the streets of Malta -- that's one of the more interesting ones!

Steven Carr said...

Thanks for the info.

'The Passion (2008) simply has Jesus walking away into the distance, into the crowd.'

I wonder if they had read their Bibles before making that film.

Nativities tend also to be somewhat imaginative in their reconstructions.