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Ancient Secrets of the Bible

Potentially fascinating program probing the historical and factual veracity of the Old Testament is undermined by cheesy dramatic re-creations and shallow scholarship. One longs for a 10-part BBC series exploring these issues with the depth that such subject matter deserves.

Potentially fascinating program probing the historical and factual veracity of the Old Testament is undermined by cheesy dramatic re-creations and shallow scholarship. One longs for a 10-part BBC series exploring these issues with the depth that such subject matter deserves.

Most startling revelation of special is host William Devane’s assertion that what viewers will see “may change (your) life.”

It’s hoped that life-changing revelations will originated from more philosophically weightier material than a TV show.

Spec delivers a series of talking head scholars making charges and countercharges about the Bible: “Sodom & Gomorrah was simply a morality tale.””The ancient cities of Sodom & Gomorrah have been found on the banks of the Dead Sea.” And so on.

But the various experts are overshadowed by the lamely acted dramatizations of the stories of Moses and the Israelites, Joshua and the Wall of Jerico, the destruction of the Tower of Babel, the Arc of the Covenant and the destruction of the aforementioned twin cities of wickedness.

Viewers may sit through these episodes in order to get some info from the experts, but since so much time is spent with the re-creations, very minimal time is given to the very people who could have made this a credible, thought-provoking spec.

But one fact does becomes clear: The more we know about our past, the more we don’t know.

Needless coda extoles Bible’s pervasive influence on Western civilization. Like, no duh.

Ancient Secrets of the Bible

(Friday (15), 9-11 p.m., CBS-TV)

  • Production: Filmed by Sun Intl. Pictures and Charles E. Sellier in association with PKO Television Ltd. in Salt Lake City, Utah. Exec producers, Paul Klein, Sellier; producer, Allan C. Pedersen; director, Henning Schellerup; writers, Sellier, Brian Russel.
  • Crew: Camera, Gene Salvatori; sound, Mike McDonough; music, Bob Summers; editor, Kelly Peacock; production design, Bill Cornord; chief researcher, David Balsiger, L.H.D.
  • Cast: Host: William Devane.
  • Music By: