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 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.
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