Will faith sell?
That’s the big gamble Roma Downey and her husband, the revered Hollywood producer Mark Burnett are banking on with their History Channel series The Bible, which premieres March 3. Ostensibly an overview of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, the 10-part miniseries features a bevy of strong performances and depicts the birth and crucifixion of Jesus, Moses and the burning bush, Noah and the Ark, Samson and Delilah, David vs. Goliath, and countless other portrayals. Like most miniseries, The Bible soars on the wings of top-notch performances. Foremost of that is Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado, who portrays Jesus. Others include Nonso Anozie as Samson, Amber Rose Revah as Mary Magdalene, Soraya Radford as Hagar and Darwin Shaw as Peter, to name a few.
Filmed in Morocco, The Bible features a score from Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer and voice-over work from Keith David. The cast, most of which is British or Irish all appear dexterous and seem to consume the roles with aplomb. Aided by a chunk of CGI effects, The Bible has all the marks of a winner. To wit, Burnett has gone on record as admitting that the project is “the most important,” project he has undertaken. Additionally, the project came to life utilizing researchers and theologians who helped verify accuracy.
Burnett has noted that his goal for the series is to eclipse the record-setting viewership achieved by last winter’s Hatfield and McCoy’s. Whether or not that can happen, remains to be seen. But count this writer as one person hoping for exactly that to happen.