Episode 5 of The Bible mini-series aired Sunday night on the History Channel. Here are some notes on that episode and the series as a whole.
The set designers did a good job. I never felt like I wasn't watching a series set in the ancient mid-East. There are probably a few anachronisms in the series -- it's almost impossible to avoid them in any period piece. However, I was not destracted by any such items if they existed.
As I suspected in the first post, most of the Bible was held back for this last episode. Consequently, this was the most emotionally dramatic episode; especially for those familiar with the Gospels.
Special applause for the actor Greg Hicks who played Pontius Pilate, the Roman Prefect who oversaw the trial of Jesus. He looked like a man who had struggled to succeed in the Roman Empire and then he acted like it. Greg was clearly the best actor for this role and the best actor in the entire series. By comparison, every other actor was just saying their lines.
Did you notice Satan walking among the various crowds - especially during the trial and the crucifixion? This is not in any biblical passage I remember. But it is a metaphorical device used by Mel Gibson in The Passion of the Christ. He should probably get credit for it.
There are several flaws with the mini-series. These were mainly story-line omissions driven by time constraints. Perhaps this should have been a two or three year limited-run series. Then, the writers would have had 50 to 78 hours (instead of 10) to give the Judeo-Christian history the attention it really deserves. Then again, maybe the success of this series can give that larger project an opportunity it didn't have before.
But the biggest, happiest surprise of all? The writers and directors managet to literally get in the last word. Those familiar with the Revalations of St. John the Divine know what I mean.
The last episode of The Bible re-airs tonight, Wednesday, April 3rd at 9:00pm Eastern, 8:00pm Central Time.