Broadcast in 2007 on Channel 4, this documentary, presented by Rod Liddle, explores the hidden and often violent history of the English Bible. Featuring dramatic reconstruction, interviews with leading historians, and Bible readings by Kenneth Branagh, the film follows the English Bible’s transformation from banned text to cornerstone of our language and literature, through the dramatic lives and grisly ends of three religious revolutionaries: John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and Thomas Cranmer.
This three-part series looks at Jesus’ miracles and how these were interpreted during his life and by the 1st Century gospel writers. Presented by Rageh Omaar, the series includes drama and computer generated graphics and was broadcast on BBC 1.
A three-part series for Channel 4 which follows the newly recruited priest, James, to the parish of Lundwood, where the regular congregation just hits double figures. This involves encouraging the Parochial Church Council to look at new ways in involving the community, and taking on the services of a marketing company, who developed a ‘church lite’ campaign.
Filmed at Worth Abbey in West Sussex, The Monastery followed a group of men as they spent 40 days and 40 nights living with monks for a three part series for BBC 2. The series followed the men on a spiritual journey in a Benedictine monastery to discover if the 1,500 year old monastic tradition had anything to offer, where they were expected to keep the rules with a strict timetable of instruction, study, prayer, reflection and routine work duties. Although from very different backgrounds, all five participants shared a desire to see if life holds any greater meaning. To accompany the programme, the Jerusalem Trust commissioned a resource sheet for use with young people in RE and PHSE lessons.
A single hour-long programme for Channel 4, presented by the Bishop of Durham, Tom Wright, and based on his book ‘The Resurrection of the Son of God’. This is based on the argument that the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ is an historical fact, and the Bishop approaches the matter “as a historian” and comes to the conclusion that the physical resurrection of Jesus was by far the most likely explanation of the rise of Christianity. He says that the early Christians accepted the resurrection as fact and consequently came to faith.
Jerusalem Productions has invested in one feature film, Man Dancin’ which follows the story of Jimmy, a Glaswegian criminal who comes out of prison a changed man. As part of his probation he is persuaded to take part in a Passion Play, which results in conflicts between his old and new worlds. Jimmy is played by Alex Ferns, and the film is directed by Norman Stone and produced by Ray Marshall. It was released on 20th February 2004.
Previous Jerusalem Productions’ projects
The Trivia of Life is a 52 minute documentary in Estonian, produced by F-Seitse, which was broadcast on Estonian Television Channel 1 on 7 January 2004. It examines issues of death, faith and hope from the perspective of a Christian who has terminal cancer.
St Paul – for BBC1 in June 2003, this one hour documentary, presented by Jonathan Edwards, looked at the story of St Paul, and aimed to reveal the background to the story of Paul. The programme used dramatised reconstruction, computer graphics and location filming.
A Small Miracle – broadcast on ITV at Christmas in 2002 and 2003 where it had audiences over 1½ million, this 25 minute animated children’s film, is based on a picture book by Peter Collington about an old woman alone at Christmas who is taken care of by Nativity figures who come to life, produced by Grasshopper Productions.
Moses – broadcast on BBC1 in December 2002 with an audience of 5.6 million, this one hour documentary, presented by Jeremy Bowen, looks at the story of Moses, and reveals the truths that lie at the heart of the Moses story. The programme uses dramatised reconstruction, computer graphics and location filming.
The Virgin Mary – Presented by Sue Johnston, this documentary was shown on BBC 1 in 2002. Dramatic reconstructions and visual effects are combined with the latest findings from historians and New Testament scholars to gain a deeper insight into who Mary really was.
The Quest for the True Cross – a programme about the significance of the inscribed wooden plaque, kept in the church of Santa Groce, Gerusalemme in Rome, which is believed to be the board nailed above the crucified Christ. It was shown on Channel 4 at 8.30pm on 8th April 2001, with an audience of 1.4 million.
Son of God is a landmark documentary series of three 50-minute programmes, produced by the BBC, which used the latest historical research and computer graphics to tell the story of Jesus’ life. It was shown on BBC1 at 9.00pm on 1st, 8th and 15th April 2001, with viewing figures of 6 million on the first programme (an audience share of 25%), and in the USA where the programme was shown on the Discovery programme it had an audience of over 12 million. Son of God was repeated in March 2002 to an average audience of 1.5 million per programme.
M2K is a 50 minute television film, produced by 421 Productions, which focused on “Message 2000”, a major Christian youth evangelistic event in July and August 2000. It was commissioned by Granada for transmission in October 2000.
Seeing Salvation is a series on the development of the image of Christ. Produced by BBC Arts and Music and presented by Neil MacGregor, Director of the National Gallery, the series explores how and why the figure of Christ has been represented in the western tradition. The four part series was broadcast as part of BBC Two’s Art Zone at 8.10 pm on Sunday evenings from 2nd April 2000.
Xmas Files is a one-off animated programme which was broadcast on Channel 5 at Christmas 1999. It has been produced by Really Animated Productions.
God’s Army is a series of five half-hour programmes on the Salvation Army and was first broadcast on Channel 4 from Sunday, 13th June 1999 at 7.00 pm.
Too Close to Heaven is a series of three programmes on the history and development of Gospel Music which was broadcast on Channel 4 in 1996.
Witness Against Hitler is a major 90-minute television film, written by Jack Emery and produced by the Drama House, transmitted on BBC1 on Sunday 10th March 1996. Based on the life of Helmut Von Moltke, a Christian whose faith motivated him to resist the Nazi regime and who was executed as a result of his resistance.
Silverwing is a high quality animation, based on a traditional Czech children’s story with a strong Christian theme, developed by Trnka Studios and Comité Français de Radio Télévision and co-produced by Jerusalem Productions. It has been broadcast in the Czech Republic, France and the Netherlands.
SOUL is a three-part documentary series exploring the religious and theological implications behind new scientific thinking, which was broadcast on BBC2 at Easter 1992.
The Lighthouse is a children’s animation by Really Animated Productions. It was broadcast on Channel 4 at Christmas 1991 and repeated at Christmas 1993.
Gospel Christmas is a one-hour special programme featuring British and American singers which was broadcast on Channel 4 on Christmas Day 1994.
Carols from Prague is a Songs of Praise special, broadcast from Wenceslas Square, which was shown on BBC1 on 23 December 1990 and reached an audience of seven million people.
The Ark was the world’s first internet reality ‘show’ and was created in 2003 by Ship of Fools. It featured twelve biblical heroes, controlled by twelve contestants in their own homes, battling it out to stay on board a 3D interactive version of Noah’s Ark for 40 days and 40 nights. The project worked as a nightly live “webcast” in which all the contestants were online and moving around inside the Ark. Outside these hours, the audience could view clips, discuss issues and chat in a live chatroom as well as reading about the original 12 biblical characters, including Bible extracts.
In 2003 Jerusalem Productions was involved in a six part series, The Good Book, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 2. The programmes were narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi, telling the story of man’s relationship with God as described in the Bible. Each programme looked at a key Biblical character and expert interviewees examined the meaning of the stories and the impact they still have on our modern life.