Kings new TV series re-imagines David & Goliath and Book of Samuel


Ian McShane as King Silas, Christopher Egan as David Shepherd -- NBC Photo: Eric Liebowitz

Ian McShane as King Silas, Christopher Egan as David Shepherd -- NBC Photo: Eric Liebowitz

King David Comes to Primetime

NBC launches new Sunday night series

Kings, a new television series from the director of I Am Legend and Constantine (Francis Lawrence), will premiere Sunday, March 15, at 8:00 pm on NBC. It is the age-old biblical story of David and Saul set in contemporary times and the ensuing developments in royal politics.

            In the 2-hour series premiere entitled Goliath, we meet King Silas of Gilboa (Golden Globe winner Ian McShane, Deadwood) whose country’s war with Gath has gone on for too long.  Many have died.  He calls upon God to protect Gilboa but his trust lies elsewhere. David Shepherd (Chris Egan, Eragon), a lowly but brave soldier, longing for an end to the war, takes action that eventually leads him to the court of Gilboa, promotion, and special treatment from King Silas.  But those in power resent David’s presence and will do anything to keep their places of prestige and influence.  Discontent among the people and the war’s financial backers threaten Silas’s throne. Even Rev. Samuels, one of the King’s advisors, tells him that God will cast him aside for a man after his own heart.


KINGS -- "Pilot" -- Pictured: (l-r) Chris Egan as "David Shepherd", Eamonn Walker as "Reverand Ephram Samuals" -- NBC Photo: Eric Liebowitz

KINGS -- "Pilot" -- Pictured: (l-r) Chris Egan as "David Shepherd", Eamonn Walker as "Reverand Ephram Samuals" -- NBC Photo: Eric Liebowitz


            Kings makes no secrets of its biblical allusions to the David and Saul story from the First Book of Samuel.  All the characters are present even though the modern-day situations sometimes give an air of lightness to contrast with dark of war, like the Queen losing her cell phone and causing a national security crisis and Goliath as the name of the enemy’s military tank.  You might even recognize some of the places.  Gilboa’s capital city of Shiloh is a visual treat with an eye-catching blend of antique and contemporary architecture.

            Knowing the exploits of Saul, David, Solomon, and company in the Bible, it will be fascinating to follow the development of this new series. With four books of the Old Testament (I & II Samuel, I & II Kings) as back story, Kings will never run out of material.


Sr. Hosea Rupprecht is an associate at the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Culver City, CA.

Vatican considering document on communications in age of ‘new media

Archbishop Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication

Archbishop Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication

Vatican considering document on communications in age of ‘new media



By John Thavis Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican is considering the preparation of a major document on new media and their implications for the church’s communications strategy. Bishops from 82 countries began a five-day meeting in Rome March 9 to discuss modern media and the new culture of communications that has arisen in recent years. The seminar was sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the pontifical council, said the purpose of the seminar was to review with bishops the changing communications scene and see how the church should respond to the challenges and opportunities. The pontifical council, in a plenary meeting in late October, will then decide whether to go ahead with a new document on the subject, he said.

The modern church’s communications strategy has been based primarily on the Second Vatican Council’s 1963 decree “Inter Mirifica” on the instruments of social communications, and on the pontifical council’s 1991 pastoral instruction, “Aetatis Novae” (“At the Dawn of a New Era”).

Archbishop Celli said that since 1991 “a lot of water has gone under the bridge. New media are posing new questions, new interests and new pastoral necessities.” He said it was important for the church to understand that it’s not just new technological tools that have arisen, but a whole new attitude toward communication based largely on interactivity and dialogue. “The church today cannot only give information — which is certainly useful, but we cannot limit ourselves to that,” Archbishop Celli said. “I think the church needs to enter into a dialogue that is increasingly rich and proactive, a dialogue of life with people who are seeking, who are distant and who would like to find a message that is closer and more suitable to their path,” he said. For that reason, he said, his council has been pushing bishops around the world not only to have their own Web sites, but also to make sure these sites are interactive. Unfortunately, Archbishop Celli added, it’s been impractical for the Vatican to make its own Web presence interactive because it would be flooded by questions and comments from all over the world. It’s something more easily done on the local level, he said.

           Archbishop George H. Niederauer of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ communications committee and a participant at the Vatican seminar, said effective use of new media is vital in reaching younger generations. “You go where they are. And where are they? They’re on programs like Twitter and Facebook and others,” he said. “We need to be present, and we need the young people to help us be present.” Archbishop Niederauer said the change in new media was in some ways like the change from the horse to the car a century ago. “Because 100 years ago, if an old man bought a car, who could fix it? His grandson or his son, because they learned the machinery. They headed straight for it; they didn’t look back,” he said. In a similar way today, he said, young people have seized on the communications opportunities of new media, and the church should welcome their talents and expertise.


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