• 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


    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Christmas UK TV Schedule 2010

    Regular readers are probably sick of me saying this but, at Christmas and Easter I like to do a little preview of any Bible films or related programmes showing over the festive period. All times are GMT (24 hour clock) and anything starting after midnight is listed under the next day.

    MON 20th DEC
    The Nativity: Part 1 [2010] BBC1 19:00

    Star attraction for this year is BBC1's four part mini-series The Nativity. My review of the film went up earlier, but I'd recommend that you watch it and judge for yourselves. Episode 1 intrioduces us to Mary, Joseph and Mary's parents Joachin and Anna. Parts 2-4 are showing from Tuesday 21st to Thursday 23rd also starting at 7:30pm.

    TUE 21st DEC
    The Nativity: Part 2. BBC1 19:00

    Part 2 of the BBC1 drama that started on the 21st. Mary takes a trip to see her cousin Elizabeth and gain her advice. Part 3 is broadcast on Wednesday the 22nd December.

    WED 22nd DEC
    The Nativity: Part 3. BBC1 19:00

    The penultimate episode finds Mary's father begging Joseph to take her with him on his census trip to Bethlehem.

    THUR 23rd DEC
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe [2005] BBC1 15:50

    With the latest instalment of The Chronicles of Narnia franchise Voyage of the Dawn Treader currently doing the rounds in cinemas, the Beeb is showing the two previous films in the series, starting with Lewis's Jesus parable The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Prince Caspian airs on Christmas Eve.

    The Nativity: Part 4. BBC1 19:00
    Final episode of the mini-series, and the strongest bringing together all the strands from the previous three episode with a fitting climax.

    Jesus Christ, Superstar [1973] ITV1 23:50
    It's a passion play set to music so it's hardly Christmassy, but it's still probably the Jesus film that has the widest following (excluding Life of Brian) and so it's good to see it getting a run out in the lead in to Christmas. Fans of Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd-Webber's musicals based on the Bible should also tune in on Boxing Day for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

    FRI 24th DEC
    Prince Caspian [2008] BBC1 17:15

    Part 2 of the Narnia franchise is the worst of the three in my opinion, not least for the terrible span-eesh accents that were mercifully dropped for part 3. If they ever get Ben Barnes to re-dub his role I'd be keen to see it, but otherwise for all it's profundity and impressive CGI, Caspian is still somewhat painful to watch.

    SUN 26th DEC
    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Channel 5 17:10
    I'm never quite sure whether Technicolour should have a "u" in it or not. It's the kind of question that might keep one entertained during this terrible version of the Joseph story. This version starts off set in a school and is super, super camp. Bizarrely, the only other version of it I've seen was that performed by my own school over twenty years ago. I suspect that may have had the edge over this, although Donny Osmond fans will no doubt treasure it.

    Aside from the above on the main terrestrial channels there are a few films on the satelite/cable channels that will be of interest to Bible film fans including a good number of Cecil B. DeMille films. Here are some highlights:

    Fri 24th Dec - Indie: A Serious Man [2009] (20:00)

    Sat 25th Dec - More4: The Robe [1953] (09:00); Sky Movies Classics: Cleopatra [1934] (06:40), Ben Hur [1959] (12:10 and 22:45) and The Bible, In the Beginning [1966] (18:05)

    Sun 26th Dec
    - Sky Movies Classics: The Bible, In the Beginning [1966] (04:35), Samson and Delilah [1949] (09:20), The Crusades [1935] (11:30), Spartacus [1960] (13:45 and 22:40), Cleopatra [1934] (17:00)

    Mon 27th Dec
    - Sky Movies Classics: Samson and Delilah [1949] (01:50), The Crusades [1935] (04:05)

    Thu 30th Dec
    - Film 4: The Ten Commandments [1956] (11:00); Sky Movies Classics: Ben Hur [1959] (17:30); Indie: A Serious Man [2009] (11:35 and 18:30)



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