30 March 2015
Noah made relevant: The Ark sails to BBC1 tonight
It's a story that I've heard many, many times since I was a little girl in Sunday school. But the story of Noah has never felt more relevant than it did as I watched a preview of The Ark –which hits BBC screens tonight.
The costumes are as you'd expect. The background is generically biblical. But Noah and his family all have northern accents. They sound like people I know. They face the same problems that so many experience today –a search for meaning, a commitment to family, a need for independence, an instinctual need to provide so that the ones they love might flourish.
Three years after the success of The Nativity, Tony Jordan displays his unique talent of interpreting ancient stories for a modern audience.
Jordan deliberately stays away from the twee 'the animals came in two-by-two' narrative to one that shines a new light on the family dynamics within family Noah.
He writes on the BBC blog: "My first thought was that everyone had already done the dodgy looking floods and the animals trotting up the ramp two by two, using the fact that the alligators weren't eating the cute ducks who proceeded them as proof that this was indeed God's work.
"So that was the last thing I wanted to do, I decided to make it a story about faith. One man's faith in his God, a wife's faith in her husband and children's faith in their father. What leapt out at me, as a reason to revisit the story, is how a family would react if the dad suddenly announced he was going to build a big boat in the desert."
One of the most moving parts of the film is a plea by Noah's wife 'Emmie' (Joanne Whalley) who passionately pleads for her sons to help their ageing father who struggles alone building the ark he believes God has told him to. Whether or not they believe in this God or not. But simply because he is their father.
We feel the burden of Noah's unwavering belief in the mission God has given him and the pain as he attempts to preach God's message of hope to a world that is convinced that not only does God not exist, but we are the gods of our own destinies.
Noah is a story found in the three Abrahamic faiths, so you might be alarmed when you see some characters that you might wonder whether you had missed in your reading of the Bible. But some of these extra bits do add something new and bring a fresh perspective to this retelling of a story so familiar to so many of us.
The Ark will air on BBC1 at 8.30pm tonight (Monday, 30 March).