Sometimes what draws on television, and what doesn’t, shocks the hell out of everyone involved. That was certainly the case with The Bible, which ran on The History Channel and managed to draw a seemingly unparalleled audience for what was a fairly straight adaptation of a religious text. Produced by Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey, he most famous for bringing Survivor to television and she for being on Touched by an Angel, The Bible focuses on adapting the text of humanity’s major religions into a more distillable form.
A 10-part mini-series focused on distilling the holy book down, starting with the Creation story and ending with the Martyrdom of the Disciples of Jesus Christ, The Bible is designed to give you the essence of the book and nothing more. It’s designed for more of a pop culture look at the Bible as opposed to trying to capture every story and every detail from the book.
It’s not quite a film version of “The Bible for Dummies” but it’s not far removed from that sort of story-telling device; this is a television series meant to try and distill a big picture take on the books that have formed part of the basis behind Christianity, Judaism and Islam. We get the big stories and some of the small ones, as well, focusing on a well rounded look at the New and Old Testaments.
As someone who isn’t all that religious it makes for compelling television because it’s good story-telling, first and foremost. That’s the strong point of the show; Burnett and Downey have crafted good stories with religious themes as opposed to trying to preach to the congregation about it. They’re presented as myth told for a new audience, for lack of a better word, with the religious context dialed down.
For the religious fanatic this is the type of series you’ll nitpick because it doesn’t get everything 100% correct and cuts significant material out. For the non-religious looking to believe it’s a good start, a sampling of what you’re getting into.
There are a handful of extras that shed some light on the series’ production.
20th Century Fox presents The Bible . Running time: 440 minutes. Not Rated . Released: April 2nd 2013. Available at Amazon.com.
Tags: history channel