TV Mini-Series | TV-G | | Biography, Drama, History
Beginning before the Nativity and extending through the Crucifixion and Resurrection, this mini-series brings to life all of the sweeping drama in the life of Jesus, as told by the Gospels.
The idea to cast Robert Powell originated with Executive Producer Lew Grade's wife, Kathie Moody, who told her husband the actor had "wonderful blue eyes" after watching him perform in Jude the Obscure (1971).
The movie scripting refers to Pontius Pilate as a "procurator", a specific post that differs from the one that the Gospels imply that he held - prefect or governor. Historically, Pontius Pilate's title was thought to have been procurator but an inscription on a limestone block - apparently a dedication to Tiberius Caesar Augustus - that was discovered in 1961 in the ruins of an amphitheater called Caesarea Maritima refers to Pilate as "prefect of Judeaea". Archaeologists believe it to be genuine. In this instance, the Gospel account is supported by archaeology, since the surviving inscription discovered at Caeserae states that Pilate was prefect and the movie should have followed also as it is based on Gospel accounts.
The mini-series ran on NBC as "The Big Event" in two three-hour installments with limited commercials on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Additional footage was added for a 1979 re-run and broadcast in four two-hour installments. In the 1980s and 1990, the film was re-broadcast on NBC in three installments of two and three hour episodes...released on VHS and DVD as one complete presentation with one set of credits.