The highly watched (in the US) The Bible series premiered in Australia on Tuesday July 16th on the free to air Channel 9 at 9pm EST, with a double episode of the 10 part series, titled Beginnings Part 1 and 2, scoring the highest ratings for the night, and subsequent scheduling of a repeat on Saturday July 20th.
The series is already available to collect on iTunes USA if you happen to miss the broadcast, prefer to watch ad-free or cannot wait for subsequent episodes.
Musically, The Bible Score Soundtrack – Hans Zimmer & Lorne Balfe features the return pairing of with Lisa Gerrard who broke through with Gladiator. Reminiscent of both Gladiator and The Passion of the Christ by John Debney, the album has obvious highlights when Lisa is involved.
The opening episode surprisingly begins with Noah and the ark, who then narrates the story of the beginning. The story quickly segues to Abraham after the most concise summary of Genesis anyone has ever seen. It is the story of the sacrifice of Isaac where the music takes centre stage featuring the opening album track Faith with the soaring vocals of Lisa Gerrard and percussive instrumentation.
The final track on the album Rise Up In Faith is used in the end credits of each episode.
While the series isn’t entirely groundbreaking, it is fresh enough to hold your interest with its various interpretations.
The next musical highlight occurs with The Nativity where an especially effective birth of Jesus sequence is movingly scored with Lisa Gerrard’s accompaniment.
Thereafter with Jesus as an adult, one can almost feel his presence through the score as it imbues awe.
Episode 10 features some music not on the album, heard during the arrest of Jesus scenes.
Overall, I found the series to be quite a different take and an enlightening one at that. The combination of visuals and the score gives new insights into the Christian walk.
Here is the trailer:
Here is a CNN interview with Hans Zimmer:
Here is a fantastic clip on the magic of Lisa Gerrard:
Producer Mark Burnett has announced the follow up series A.D. Beyond the Bible will be broadcast on the NBC network.
The Des Moines Register apparently reported that Hans will again be involved with scoring duties.
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