The Wednesday Play: Season 1, Episode 144

Son of Man (16 Apr. 1969)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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Dennis Potter's controversial reading of the life of Christ, with Jesus portrayed as a hearty, fiery, well-meaning carpenter who believes that people should try to love their enemies rather... See full summary »



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Title: Son of Man (16 Apr 1969)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Blakely ...
Bernard Hepton ...
Godfrey Quigley ...
Roman Commander
Patricia Lawrence ...
Gawn Grainger ...
Wendy Allnutt ...
Clive Graham ...
Brian Spink ...
Robin Chadwick ...
Young Officer
Godfrey James ...
First Soldier
Eric Mason ...
Second Soldier
Hugh Futcher ...
First Heckler


Dennis Potter's controversial reading of the life of Christ, with Jesus portrayed as a hearty, fiery, well-meaning carpenter who believes that people should try to love their enemies rather than fight all the time, but who is racked by self doubt as to whether or not he is the popularly anticipated Messiah. Written by D.Giddings <>

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Release Date:

16 April 1969 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Featured in The Passion: Films, Faith & Fury (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

a special re-telling of the story of Christ
15 July 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Dennis Potter's play 'Son of Man', first written for television and later performed on the stage, sees Jesus Christ first and foremost as a man, who has self-doubts, fears, and feelings like anyone else.

Colin Blakely was an inspired choice for the role, wild and unkempt following his days and nights in the wilderness when he comes across two fishermen, Peter and Andrew, and selects his first disciples.

Casting throughout this 90 minute play is extremely effective - Robert Hardy as Pilate, Edward Hardwicke as Judas, Brian Blessed as Peter, Bernard Hepton as Caiaphas, and so on. The sermons of Jesus are not high and remote from the people, but down at their level - a contrast to the declaiming of John the Baptist at the start of the play.

Low-budget values could have hampered this play, but the script and subject matter allow it to captivate from the start. In presenting the Messiah as more human than some versions of the story, it allows questions to be asked, and in turn, allows some of the other characters to express doubts about their perception of the Saviour amongst them.

The ending is exceptionally bleak though, and in some ways without hope. No resurrection is signposted or hinted at in 'Son of Man', and the story is more powerful for it.

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