• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


    Friday, February 09, 2007

    Children's Bible Programme Friends and Heroes to Air on BBC

    Mark Goodacre posts about a new BBC TV series dealing with Bible stories for children. According to Christian Today Friends and Heroes will start on the 12th March on CBBC (Children's BBC). It will show either once or twice a day starting at either noon (if 2 episodes) or 12:30pm (if only one episode).

    The official Friends and Heroes website describes the series as follows:
    Friends and Heroes is the epic animated tale of two young people in the First Century - Macky and Portia - whose idealism and friendship leads them across the ancient world, from the fabled Egyptian port of Alexandria, to the besieged city of Jerusalem and finally, to the very heart of the Empire: Rome. As they fight for justice and even survival against the might of the Roman Empire, they become friends and then, in turn, heroes.

    Through Macky and Portia, Friends and Heroes brings the inspiring stories of the Old and New Testament to a new, worldwide generation of children in the Twenty-First Century, whatever their faith or background.
    The 13 episodes will be broadcast on weekdays between March 12 and 23, sometimes twice a day, starting at 12 noon and 12.30pm, or in single episodes starting at 12.30pm. The series will form part of the BBC's factual output on CBBC which is also used by schools. The website also has an intro video, a making of featurette as well as an episode guide which I've summarised below. These 13 episodes are only the first of three series which combine 2D and 3D animation. Each episode is 26 minutes long.
    Episode 1 - Daniel in the Lions’ Den, The Miraculous Catch of Fish
    Episode 2 - Samson and Delilah, Peter and Cornelius
    Episode 3 - David and Goliath, Peter released from prison
    Episode 4 - Rahab and Caleb, Peter raises Tabitha
    Episode 5 - Gideon, The Christmas Story
    Episode 6 - Moses and the Egyptian, Paul on the Damascus Road
    Episode 7 - Ruth and Naomi, The Good Samaritan
    Episode 8 - Peter and John healing people, Shadrach and the Furnace
    Episode 9 - Esther, Joseph of Cyprus (Barnabas)
    Episode 10 - Joseph and his Brothers, Simon Magus
    Episode 11 - The Burning Bush and the Exodus, The Last Supper
    Episode 12 - Jonah, The Prodigal Son
    Episode 13 - Elijah and King Ahab, The First Pentecost
    There's quite a bit there, and I'm encouraged that there are a number of lesser known stories included as well as some of the classics. It seems like the characters will be involved in their own adventures in the 1st Century, but the biblical content will be recounted by stories. It's aimed at 6-10 year olds so it will be interesting to see how they deal with the stories. It's noticeable that stories where God/Israelites kill lots of people have been avoided (although that may figure in some - time will tell. This I think is a better approach than that of the Veggie Tales series (where the fate of the enemies are things like perpetual tickling, and thus process of concealing the difficult passages in scripture starts at a young age).

    Edit: My review for this series is now available.

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