With Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” being an all-time favourite Good Friday movie, “A.D Kingdom and Empire” seemed a logically television series to watch on Easter Monday.
The series which is streaming on Netflix is 12-episodes long and binge-worthy. But as with every Bible story, fact checking is a must so it is not one to be rushed.
“A.D Kingdom and Empire” – also known as “A.D. The Bible Continues” – begins with Jesus’s crucifixion and some of the events that occurred after Jesus’s ascension to heaven. The story kicks off very well and the depiction of Jesus’s resurrection and ascension will leave any Christian beaming with pride. At that point, one begins to pray that the Bible story is told as is, and not distorted like other recent Bible stories such as “Noah” and “Exodus: God’s and Kings.”
The story writers flesh out some of the characters for context. One of such is the Jewish high priest, Caiaphas portrayed by Richard Coyle. Coyle is compelling and at some point as he quotes old testament prophesies and scriptures you might even feel sorry for him because he truly believed he was defending the faith. And he was passionate about it. The relationship between Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate (Vincent Regan) is also played up. Their wives are prominent too. Another good treatment was the showing of Peter’s (Adam Levy) humanness through his struggle to accept Saul (Emmett J. Scanlan) after his conversion.
Overall, the cast is capable. Mary Magdalene (Chipo Chung) is audacious. Saul is zealous. John (Babou Ceesay) is a true believer in the Master, unwavering and holding unto every promise Jesus made. Herod (James Callis) and Herodias (Claire Cooper) are vain.
Sadly, this TV series is not without distortions and they a more than a handful. First off, there’s someone called Maya (Helene Daniels) who’s Peter’s daughter. She features quite prominently contrary to the Bible. Mary and Joanna (Farzana Dua Elaha) were delivered by Jesus. Thereafter they followed him till he died on this cross, and continued to support the apostles according to the Bible. But in the TV series, after a while, they go to work for Pilate. The events which also preceded Saul’s trip to Damascus are distorted. And in a bid to create conflicts between Caiaphas and Pilate, the writers introduce Emperor Tiberius’s nephew, Caligula, the biggest distortion of them all.
Nonetheless, “A.D Kingdom and Empire” is very engaging. Just have a Bible in hand as you watch so you can separate fact from fiction.