Friday, March 15, 2013

The Bible Series - into the New Testament

The Bible Series has continued to have massive ratings, with over 10 million for last Sunday's second two-hour instalment. Next Sunday's two hour instalment features Jeremiah and Daniel, Exile and Return, in hour one and the Nativity story, John the Baptist and Jesus in hour two. There is a new trailer available:

I must admit that I have never quite known how to picture Jeremiah in my mind.  Has there ever been a depiction in a mainstream film or TV series?  Somehow, Raad Rawi's depiction in The Bible really works, though, sufficiently that I might almost be imagining this face in future readings of the text.

A couple of things are worth looking out for here. I think Sam Douglas makes a great Herod, rivalling Peter Ustinov's iconic portrayal in Jesus of Nazareth (dir. J. Franco Zeffirelli, 1977). And I love Leila Mimmack's adorable portrayal of young Mary, which rivals any portrayal of Mary in film and TV that I have seen, including Olivia Hussey in Jesus of Nazareth, Keisha Castle-Hughes in The Nativity Story (dir. Catherine Hardwicke, 2006) and Tatiana Maslaney in The Nativity (BBC, 2010).

The preview also shows glimpses of a remarkable scene that dramatizes Josephus's narrative of the cutting down of the eagle over the gate of the temple -- definitely one to watch out for in the episode.

There is a shorter preview available here:

And speaking of young Mary, there is an interview with Leila Mimmack here, interspersed with clips from the episode:

It is probably worth adding also in this context the longer clip of the Nativity episode that they released last Christmas:

I must admit to finding this facetious comment on Entertainment Weekly a little amusing: " Next week, the mini [series] could get a ratings boost by the addition of a new fan-favorite character — Jesus Christ joins the show once The Bible gets into the New Testament."


Matt Page said...

The Bible Collection did a whole film on Jeremiah in 1998 with a then, relatively unknown Patrick Dempsey in the lead role. I've written a few pieces on it over the years here

Unknown said...

I want to make sure I'm understanding this correctly:

In the ACTUAL BIBLE, the OT is about 75% of the Bible, while the NT is about 25%.
In THE BIBLE THE SERIES, the OT is about 18%, and the NT is about 82%.
(Right? They're telling Jesus' birth in Episode 3??)

So in the TV portrayal of "THE BIBLE", 80% of the series covers the NT?

Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Scholars around the world unite in mourning.

Mark Goodacre said...

Ah, thanks, Matt! Might have known that you would know! I'll have to watch that.

Mark Goodacre said...

Hi Bob. If by the "actual Bible", we mean Protestant Bibles, the OT is 59% if one is going by books (39/66). In The Bible Series, 5 hours are devoted to the OT and 5 to the NT, which is 50% each. I don't think that that is a dramatic imbalance, especially in a piece that is clearly produced with a Christian audience in mind. Cheers, Mark

Peter T Chattaway said...

The NT might have almost half the number of books, but most of the NT's books are rather short.

Going by actual content (and by the Bible I just plucked off the shelf), the OT has about 931 pages to the NT's 351 -- so the OT has over 72% of the content. And that's not counting the Apocrypha.

The NT also takes place almost entirely within a single lifetime, whereas the OT covers a thousand years or two -- not counting the primeval history, of course -- so that also makes the OT portions of the mini-series seem way, way more compressed than the NT portions.

Incidentally, are we sure Jesus hasn't already appeared in this mini-series? Who exactly was Abraham talking to while the angels visited Sodom? Seemed like a possible Christophany, to me. said...

Why do you describe the scene in Josephus of the cutting down of the eagle over the gate of the temple as "remarkable".