On Tuesday March 8 (tonight) at 10:00 ET the US network ABC will premiere a new drama called Of Kings and Prophets. It tells the story of Saul, David, Jonathan, and Michal from the book of 1 Samuel.
I won’t be able to view it for a few days because I’m teaching late tonight in Philadelphia and won’t get home until 11:00 pm.
In regards to the amount of sex and violence in the series, writers Adam Cooper and Bill Collage said that they hope to push the envelope “as far as we can.” Personally, I’m not one to avoid sex and violence in Scripture (check out my last two books on sex and violence in the Old Testament), because if you did that, you’d be skipping over a lot of the Bible.
However, when I retell the story, I stick pretty close to the original script. We’ll see what ABC does in that regard.
But I’m going to cut ABC some slack in telling the story. Christians often judge film and TV portrayals of Scripture based solely on how closely they stick to the text of the Bible, which is unfair and unreasonable. Artists and story-tellers need to be allowed freedom to be creative. I like what Dreamworks did at the beginning of The Prince of Egypt. They gave a disclaimer that while the story they told in their film went beyond the biblical text, it remained true to essence of the book of Exodus.
Of Kings and Prophets has an interesting cast, not surprisingly a few British actors (Saul, David), but also a few people of color (finally), including an actor actually from Israel (Samuel). So, not only white folk from the US and the UK (with blue eyes), which is a good thing.
From the list of characters, it looks like this first season is going to stay in 1 Samuel–there’s no character named Bathsheba yet. They are hoping for a 2nd season. I’ll do anything I can to encourage more versions of the Bible on the small screen.
I hope to post something after I’ve seen the first episode. If you’re reading this after watching it, what did you think?