BBC The Nativity

I watched the first of the four episodes of The Nativity on BBC1 last night. (For UK readers it is available on iplayer, not sure if that works abroad.)

It was surprisingly moving; in fact I was captivated by the developing love story of Mary and Joseph, told in flashbacks from a stop on their journey to Bethlehem. We realise very quickly that all is not well with the young couple, and surmise that Joseph is having trouble coming to terms with this “miraculous birth.” It’s definitely a case of the “show don’t tell” beloved of creative writing teachers.

I didn’t expect to find it so convincing. In recent months we’ve been studying the Living the Questions course, and our thoughts on the happenings surrounding the birth of Jesus have been stretched and challenged. For me, the story is still as magical and mysterious and compelling.

Watch the programme if you can. It’s well worth it.

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7 Responses to BBC The Nativity

  1. True love is unconditional. To me, that is the story of Mary and Joseph. Other men have married women pregnant with someone else’s child. Often that is an act of love. We don’t hear much about Joseph after the nativity stories, and I wonder if he lived to see his ‘son’ an adult? I wonder about many things, but to me the lesson is about unconditional love.

  2. Suem says:

    I watched this as well and am aiming to see it through (if I can throw my young ones of their X box.) Thought it was rather good. Nice to see religious programme on the TV at Christmas.

  3. JohnO says:

    I was prepared to be a bit sceptical (I’m a natural cynic), but found it pleasingly engaging. I think it is doing a good job of capturing the humanity of the story (albeit speculative of course) without compromising the integrity of the Christian story.
    I did have to smile though at the PC-setting of Mary’s age as 16.

  4. freda says:

    I would love to know more about Joseph’s life as Jesus grew up, though we do know that Jesus had brothers and sisters (half-brothers and sisters… how like 21st Century life that is.) And like you, John, I too was amused at the age of consent political correctness adjusted to our own culture. It continued to draw me in last night and I was totally absorbed. A lovely dramatical interpretation.

  5. bernard clarke says:

    i thought it was a beautiful piece of drama, even for sceptics of the christmas story. revolving as it did around the not unnatural betrayal felt by joseph gave the story-line great strength. i liked the spare, simple script, the understated acting and the unsentimental dirction. well done auntie, ad tony jordan in particular.

  6. Jenny says:

    An excellent retelling of the Nativity story. As a Christian I was alarmed by some comments made before the programme was aired but could not understand why people felt it was a travesty as I saw reported somewhere. In those days death by stoning was the law for adultery – naturally Mary would have been a very frightened young woman quite apart from the amazing news she had been given. Thank you for the realism and not giving us a saccharine version as so often happens.

  7. lis says:

    Well done to the production team of “the nativity”. This was a careful and thorough portrayal of the events surrounding Christ’s birth, including the brilliant explanation of Caspar that God sent Christ because He needed to intervene on behalf of his children. The acting was of a very high standard and the tension was carefully growing through each episode. The scenes were artistically delightful including the use of colour, the headgear of Mary’s Mother and the Magi’s clothes contrasting with the mellow sand and stone, and the subtle colours of the poorer folk. An excellent and enjoyable interpretation. Thank you. Lis

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