You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia

Capitalizing on Disney's release of "The Chronicles of Narnia," this hybrid drama/docu from Faith & Values Media delivers a gauzy reminder of C.S. Lewis' deep, religious conviction that provided the story's foundation. Even for secular-minded types, it's a worthy companion for anyone who cares to know more about this influential figure.

With:
C.S. Lewis - Anton Rodger Joy Gresham - Diane Venora The Great Knock - John Franklyn - Robbins

Capitalizing on Disney’s release of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” this hybrid drama/docu from Faith & Values Media delivers a gauzy reminder of C.S. Lewis’ deep, religious conviction that provided the story’s foundation. Picking up in part where an earlier PBS production on Lewis and Sigmund Freud (as his atheist counterpoint) left off, “Beyond Narnia” deftly examines the author’s early life, the real-life inspiration for the Narnia books and his friendship with, among others, J.R.R. Tolkien. Even for secular-minded types, it’s a worthy companion for anyone who cares to know more about this influential figure.

Neither movie nor documentary, this handsome hour blends interviews with Lewis biographers as well as his stepson, with Anton Rodger portraying Lewis, clad in a smoking jacket, reminiscing about his life. That encompasses his mother’s death during his childhood, the coarsening influence of World War I upon him, his peculiar relationship with a fellow soldier’s mother, mentorship by a professor known as “The Great Knock” (John Franklyn-Robbins) and eventually his conversion to Christianity, becoming one of its most articulate and passionate spokesmen.

The final chapter, meanwhile, essentially mirrors the 1993 movie “Shadowlands,” with Diane Venora as Joy Gresham, the American who Lewis married and fell in love with (in that order) late in his life.

Whatever cynicism the premise and its auspices might invite, Lewis was a quirky, unusual guy, and there is considerable charm in his biography — the most obvious being how his oversight of children relocated away from bomb-strafed London during World War II birthed “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

Writer-director Norman Stone also draws on Lewis’ ample body of work for his narration, ably delivered by Rodger, about these various episodes. (Lewis died the same day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Nov. 22, 1963, just short of Lewis’ 65th birthday.)

While Faith & Values’ mission statement hinges on using television to promote “the vitality of religious experience in everyday life,” “Beyond Narnia” feels less about proselytizing than capturing high points in the life of one intriguingly eccentric writer in a divinely concise package.

C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia

Hallmark Channel, Fri. Dec. 9, 8 p.m.

Production: Filmed in England by Windborne Prods. in association with Lightworks Producing Group for Faith & Values Media. Executive producers, Edward P. Murray, William Spencer Reilly, Jeffrey C. Weber; co-executive producer, Kenneth Cavander; producer, Karen Pascal; writer-director, Norman Stone.

Crew: Production design, Roger Murray-Leach; casting, Susie Bruffin. Running Time: 60 MIN.

Cast: C.S. Lewis - Anton Rodger Joy Gresham - Diane Venora The Great Knock - John Franklyn - Robbins

More TV

  • George RR Martin

    George R.R. Martin Says 'Winds of Winter' Will Not Be Released in 2018

    Capitalizing on Disney’s release of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” this hybrid drama/docu from Faith & Values Media delivers a gauzy reminder of C.S. Lewis’ deep, religious conviction that provided the story’s foundation. Picking up in part where an earlier PBS production on Lewis and Sigmund Freud (as his atheist counterpoint) left off, “Beyond Narnia” deftly […]

  • Nkechi Carroll WBTV

    Nkechi Carroll Inks Overall Deal at Warner Bros. TV

    Capitalizing on Disney’s release of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” this hybrid drama/docu from Faith & Values Media delivers a gauzy reminder of C.S. Lewis’ deep, religious conviction that provided the story’s foundation. Picking up in part where an earlier PBS production on Lewis and Sigmund Freud (as his atheist counterpoint) left off, “Beyond Narnia” deftly […]

  • THE HANDMAID'S TALE -- "Unwomen" --

    'The Handmaid's Tale' Boss and Star Alexis Bledel Talk Emily's Past and Post-Gilead Life

    Capitalizing on Disney’s release of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” this hybrid drama/docu from Faith & Values Media delivers a gauzy reminder of C.S. Lewis’ deep, religious conviction that provided the story’s foundation. Picking up in part where an earlier PBS production on Lewis and Sigmund Freud (as his atheist counterpoint) left off, “Beyond Narnia” deftly […]

  • 'Walking Dead' Star Lauren Cohan on

    'Walking Dead' Star Lauren Cohan on Season 9: 'I'm Going Back'

    Capitalizing on Disney’s release of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” this hybrid drama/docu from Faith & Values Media delivers a gauzy reminder of C.S. Lewis’ deep, religious conviction that provided the story’s foundation. Picking up in part where an earlier PBS production on Lewis and Sigmund Freud (as his atheist counterpoint) left off, “Beyond Narnia” deftly […]

  • The Handmaids Tale

    'The Handmaid's Tale' Production Crew Pushes the Envelope in Season 2

    Capitalizing on Disney’s release of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” this hybrid drama/docu from Faith & Values Media delivers a gauzy reminder of C.S. Lewis’ deep, religious conviction that provided the story’s foundation. Picking up in part where an earlier PBS production on Lewis and Sigmund Freud (as his atheist counterpoint) left off, “Beyond Narnia” deftly […]

  • "The Proposal Proposal" -- Pictured: Sheldon

    Kathy Bates, Teller's Characters in 'Big Bang Theory' Finale Revealed

    Capitalizing on Disney’s release of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” this hybrid drama/docu from Faith & Values Media delivers a gauzy reminder of C.S. Lewis’ deep, religious conviction that provided the story’s foundation. Picking up in part where an earlier PBS production on Lewis and Sigmund Freud (as his atheist counterpoint) left off, “Beyond Narnia” deftly […]

  • Veep

    Real-Life Political Chaos Shakes Up TV's Approach to Hot-Button Affairs

    Capitalizing on Disney’s release of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” this hybrid drama/docu from Faith & Values Media delivers a gauzy reminder of C.S. Lewis’ deep, religious conviction that provided the story’s foundation. Picking up in part where an earlier PBS production on Lewis and Sigmund Freud (as his atheist counterpoint) left off, “Beyond Narnia” deftly […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content