Having conquered television, The Bible has its sights set on the home video market.
You probably have read about the big ratings for the 10-episode, five-night History channel series produced by reality-TV mogul Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel).
The collection of dramatizations of Bible stories, from the creation of the world through actions of Jesus' disciples following the resurrection, ended Sunday on TV and came to DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday.
Burnett and Downey successfully created a following for the series, especially among evangelicals and conservative Christian groups. The series is unequivocally reverent even when its dramatic quality is wanting, and that has resonated with many viewers. Downey and Burnett told the Christian Post they are working on a follow-up program.
You also might be aware of some of the debates surrounding the series. One was silly: a flurry of speculation about whether the program's Satan was meant to resemble President Barack Obama. (The producers and History vigorously denied it.)
Others have been more thoughtful. Why, for example, is Jesus — played by Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado — so westernized in appearance? In fact, why is he such a looker that Morgado gained Twitter admirers based on that alone?
But I am hard pressed to remember any biblical epic that was free of controversy and complaint, whether on the basis of the presentation or the way it approached doctrine. So let the debate continue.
The Bible: The Epic Miniseries ($59.98 DVD, $69.98 Blu-ray) offers quite a few extras. Among them: a three-part making-of chronicle, examinations of the music, casting and visual effects, and a piece called "Believing in Miracles" in which "the cast and crew relive the magical moments that happened while filming in the deserts of Morocco."
These DVDs also were released this week:
Film and TV: Hemingway & Gellhorn; John Dies at the End; Planet Ocean; Frontline: The Untouchables: Money, Power and Wall Street (PBS); Jackie Robinson: My Story; Knuckleball (2003); The Kick (2011, Thailand/South Korea); The Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection: Romance (22-disc boxed set); The Sweeney; Charlie: A Toy Story (Dove-approved family film); American Masters Philip Roth: Unmasked (PBS); Forbidden Woman; Earth's Final Hours (Syfy channel feature); Tormented (2011, Japan); A Turtle's Tale 2: Sammy's Escape From Paradise.
TV series: Dirk Gently (2010-12, BBC); Route 66: The Complete Fourth Season (1963-64).
THE WASHINGTON POST