Friday, 7 March 2008

BBC1s "The Passion" - DVD and Educational Materials

Because I have seen either no coverage on blogs, or only half-hearted coverage of the BBC1 prdoction of the new drama "The Passion" that will be shown at peak times during Holy Week, I wanted to give you the chance to read what the author and producer have to say about it. You can find the following on , together with other information.

"The Passion is a bold event drama, retelling the last week in the life of Jesus Christ and written by Emmy Award winner Frank Deasy (Prime Suspect 7). The Passion will be shown throughout Holy Week on BBC ONE, drawing to a dramatic climax on Easter Sunday.

Joseph Mawle (Jesus), James Nesbitt (Pontius Pilate), Paul Nicholls (Judas), Ben Daniels (Caiaphas), Penelope Wilton (Mary), Denis Lawson (Annas) and David Oyelowo (Joseph of Arimathea) lead the cast in this unique and compelling dramatisation.

Visually arresting and rich in colour, the story is rooted in the chaotic world in which it took place - the city of Jerusalem during Passover week. Set in the political and religious context of the time, it combines both narrative tension and thematic power to convey the events that took place that week.

The Passion places the audience at the heart of the action by telling the story from three points of view - the religious authorities, the Romans and Jesus. For the first time, all the key players are intimately characterised, with Jesus (Joseph Mawle) at the centre. The drama begins with Jesus' prophetic entrance through the East Gate, following him to his crucifixion and its startling aftermath.

Jane Tranter, Controller BBC Fiction, says: "The Passion is an example of BBC Drama's commitment to deliver ambitious and distinctive projects. It is a privilege to be making such a major piece of drama from the brilliant Frank Deasy, directed by Michael Offer (The State Within) with an amazing cast."

Award-winning producer Nigel Stafford-Clark (Bleak House) says: "The Passion is a gripping, multi-stranded dramatisation of not just the most familiar but arguably the greatest story ever told. Both truthful and simple - it gives it back to the audience in a way that will feel as fresh, contemporary and surprising as if it were happening for the first time."

The series will be available on DVD at a later date. Bible Society is producing a pack of educational materials to accompany the series for use in schools, churches and adult education. It is legal to record the broadcast for your personal use, but it is illegal to use that copy for public display.

Broadcast dates and times
Episode 1: Sunday 16 March, at 20:00 on BBC ONE
Episode 2: Monday 17 March, at 20:30 on BBC ONE
Episode 3: Friday 21 March, at 21:00 on BBC ONE
Episode 4: Sunday 23 March, time TBA, on BBC ONE"

I do hope that you will watch this drama, form your own opinion of its presentation, and then discuss it with orhers, while sharing your own faith at the same time. Chair of the Media Council, Revd Dr Joel Edwards said, ‘From time to time opportunities arise nationally that provide significant moments for the Christian faith to engage with our culture. This is one such opportunity.’

I shall be away for a week immediately after Easter Sunday but will look for comments on my return.


Olive Morgan said...

A friend has just sent me this extract from the EA magazine IDEA. March/April 2008.

"Joseph Mawle, who plays Jesus, is not a Christian, but David (Oyelowo) describes him as 'a wonderfully humble and sensitive actor'. He approached David to ask for help, recognising that he was 'portraying a character that millions of people build their lives around'. He would openly and honestly ask David what Jesus meant to him, and David explained how he was able to direct him to the parts of the Bible that get to the nub of the matter".

Richard Hall said...

Half-hearted? You cut me to the quick, Olive! I thought I'd been anticipating this positively: "This is the sort of thing that the BBC can do exceptionally well, and I have high hopes."

Olive Morgan said...

Apology accepted, Richard! Now we've both been cut to the quick!!!

Olive Morgan said...

I meant to say 'My apologies', Richard. I do so now. I was rushing to go out to the service for the Women'ss World Day of Prayer.