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The Tomb Is Open 

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High Priest Caiaphas and Governor Pilate crucify Jesus to restore order in Jerusalem. For Peter and the disciples it is their darkest hour.


Ciaran Donnelly (as Ciarán Donnelly)


Simon Block



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Coyle ... Caiaphas
Vincent Regan ... Pilate
Adam Levy ... Peter
Joanne Whalley ... Claudia
Jodhi May ... Leah
Juan Pablo Di Pace ... Jesus
Chipo Chung ... Mary Magdalene
Babou Ceesay ... John
Kevin Doyle ... Joseph of Arimathea
Ken Bones ... Annas
Cesare Taurasi ... Judas
Pedro Lloyd Gardiner ... Matthew
Greta Scacchi ... Mother Mary
Chris Brazier ... Reuben
Dan Cade ... Cassius


High Priest Caiaphas and Governor Pilate crucify Jesus to restore order in Jerusalem. For Peter and the disciples it is their darkest hour.

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Release Date:

5 April 2015 (USA) See more »

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Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


George Lamsa's translation of Jesus Christ saying, "my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me" is better translated, "my God, my God, for this I was spared", making more sense for his sacrifice. See more »


Pontius Pilate: Truth? What is truth?
See more »

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User Reviews

Fantastic adaptation. Great first episode.
7 April 2015 | by NerdGirlWriterSee all my reviews

My review for this episode first appeared on the EW Community:


Jesus is dead. His followers are scattered. Jerusalem is experiencing earthquakes. Religious leaders fear a fake resurrection. Political leaders fear a real rebellion. Everyone in the city is reeling from the intense events of the last few days of Passover. Everyone is waiting to see if Jesus's prophecy about himself will be fulfilled. This is the political, social, and emotional climate in which A.D. The Bible Continues finds itself.

A.D. asks many questions: What did life look like after the death and resurrection of Jesus? How did these events affect his friends, his family, his followers? How did they affect Jerusalem? These events birthed the entire Christian faith, but how did it all start? How did a small group of rejected men and women start a movement that to this day continues to expand across the globe? These are the questions A.D. seeks to answer, and I am fascinated to see how they are going to convey the rich elements of this story.

As a fan of Biblical history, I am thrilled that NBC, along with executive producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, are presenting such an incredible retelling of the Christian church's early days. As a student of the Bible, I have read and studied the New Testament extensively. I know the names of every apostle, every brave man and woman mentioned in the Bible. Men and women who faced persecution, imprisonment, and death for what they believed. The birth of the Christian church was not glamorous, nor was it easy. Today Christianity is a very prominent religion, but it was not always so. Churches met in small rooms, sometimes in secret, because persecution was so prevalent. The first Christian martyr, Stephen; the imprisonment of Paul and Silas; even the crucifixion of some of the disciples—all of these important Biblical milestones will likely be addressed in this 12-episode series.

A Diverse British Cast A.D. The Bible Continues not only brings to life the remarkable story, but it showcases some wonderful actors. I was surprised at how many familiar faces I saw in the cast. First, the show's main antagonist (so far) is the priest Caiaphas, played by Covert Affairs alum Richard Coyle. Coyle has also been in Crossbones, Prince of Persia, and Coupling. Caiaphas's wife, Leah, is played by Jodhi May, who is known for her roles in Emma, Defiance, On a Clear Day, and the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. Pontius Pilot, the Roman who ultimately sentenced Jesus to death, is played by Vincent Regan. Regan's most notable roles include parts in 300, Atlantis, and E's new hit series The Royals. Downton Abbey's beloved Mr. Mosley—Kevin Doyle—also made an appearance as a friend of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea.

I also love the racial diversity of the cast: Both the angel who rolls the tombstone away (British actor Lonyo Engele) and John the Beloved—played by Babou Ceesay (a Gambian/British actor known for his roles in Inspector Lewis and Getting On) are black actors. Mary Magdalene is played by Zimbabwean actress Chipo Chung, who was in Doctor Who, Camelot, and The Politician's Husband. Considering that most Bible films and series are known for casting all white actors and actresses, this is a refreshing change and a step in the right direction.

Historical Setting The show's setting—ancient Jerusalem and the surrounding Mediterranean cities of Damascus, Antioch, and Rome—all take center stage in this story. In the first episode we see Jerusalem and the hills of Golgotha (Calvary), where Jesus was crucified. As the show beings to tell the story of Paul and other apostles, we are sure to venture into what we now consider Turkey and Italy. If the story progresses to tell of Paul's arrest in Rome, we are sure to see some Gladiator-esque sites and landmarks.

In-depth Christian History The subject matter this show is tackling is a remarkable mix of historical storytelling, fictional narrative, and regional and religious tensions. If you are a history buff and love religious history, this series will lend a hand toward understanding the context of the early common era and the New Testament texts, including the Book of Acts, 1st and 2nd Peter, and Paul's letters to the churches. If you identify as a Christian, I believe this show is vital to understanding the events that birthed the Christian church. If you don't identify as a person of faith or a student of history, you can definitely enjoy this show purely for its dramatic qualities. The music is sweeping, the costumes are rich, the setting is Israel in the year 33 A.D./C.E., and the tension between the religious leaders in Israel and their Roman oppressors is visceral.

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