Taking place around the turn of the millennium, this four part series follows three entwining tales based on the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus Christ. In Nazareth, Joseph, a carpenter, courts teenager Mary. Meanwhile in Bethlehem, a shepherd called Thomas struggles under heavy taxation. And somewhere to the East, Magi gather to discuss the signs of a great event they see foretold in the stars. All their lives are brought together when Mary is visited by an angel and told she will give birth to the son of God. Written by
I was a bit nervous about watching this beforehand, worried that it would bring make memories of excruciating school plays and the like. I needn't have worried.
This turns out to be a piece of heartwarming television. The scriptwriter makes pains to allow the viewer to enter this historical world by bringing the characters to life with both realism and warmth. The attention to detail is fine, and the Moroccan backdrops are more than up to the job.
Aside from some dodgy CGI graphics of planetary shifts (left over from the latest DR WHO, perhaps) the BBC have done themselves proud here, with the ending particularly moving/everything you could have hoped to see. It's not often I get to commend the BBC for both sincerity and sensitivity, but both are in abundance here.
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