In this month's faith and family media news: The Chosen launches season 3 in theaters this November; TV can't quit the restoration of Paris' Cathedral of Notre-Dame; popular British TV host Lucy Worsley (who did her own Notre Dame special) takes on faith in a new episode of her PBS series; and the origin of a beloved Christmas carol gets movie treatment.
The Chosen Sets a Big-Screen Debut for Season 3
In his most recent livestream, summarized at ChristianFilmBlog.com, The Chosen creator Dallas Jenkins announced that the first two episodes of the recently concluded third season of the show about the life and ministry of Jesus (Catholic actor Jonathan Roumie) will be released in theaters on Nov. 18.
After that, the first two installments will go to the show's streaming platforms, with the remaining six episodes coming out once a week after that.
Jenkins spoke from the show's home base in Midlothian, Texas, where the production has erected a set representing First-Century Capernaum (it used an existing Utah set for the earlier Jerusalem episodes -- which I visited last December).
Jenkins also talked about supply-chain issues and COVID infections that delayed season-three production, which is funded through donations.
Here's a peek at the end of filming:
And, from the same blog post ...
A few other noteworthy tidbits from the livestream included the insight that season six will feature the Crucifixion of Jesus and season seven - the final one - will include the Resurrection and the interactions with His disciples that follow in the Gospel narrative from the Bible.
BTW, The Chosen has been, well, chosen, to receive an award from the Catholics in Media Associates (CiMA), along with Hollywood Priest: The Story of Fr. "Bud" Kieser and Father Stu.
Jonathan Roumie is expected to be on hand to accept at a Mass and breakfast being held Sunday, Oct. 23, at Los Angeles' Loyola Marymount University. More on that here.
TV Continues to Chronicle the Resurrection of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris
On Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 9 p.m. ET, PBS' NOVA presents Rebuilding Notre Dame (as with everything on PBS, check local listings for time and channel in your area).
From the press release:
REBUILDING NOTRE DAME rejoins the team from NOVA’s 2020 film SAVING NOTRE DAME to discover what innovations the restoration crew have implemented as they push towards the 2024 completion date.
Take a peek:
If you don't want to wait until December, popular British TV host and historian Lucy Worsley covered much of the same ground in a BBC special earlier this year -- which is available in its entirety on YouTube.
Speaking of Lucy Worsley and Faith
Lucy Worsley Investigates returns to PBS with two new episodes, as the historian visits historic sites and talks to experts to explore Britain's past.
On Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, she looks at The Black Death, the 14th-century plague that decimated much of Europe and Britain, exploring "the epidemic’s social, political and psychological impacts, revealing how the enormous death toll transformed religious beliefs, class structure, work and women."
Then, on Sunday, Oct. 2, is The Witch Hunts, focusing on the trial and death of a rural Scottish woman.
From the press release:
While Christianity and a belief in the supernatural had co-existed for centuries, the new puritanical Christianity of Scotland’s John Knox began targeting women who had an exalted role in society.
Agnes’s trial and execution lit the fuse for the state-sanctioned torture and murder of thousands more like her across Britain and in America’s Salem Witch Trials.
While Worsley doesn't delve into her own views on faith on camera, in discussing the topic in an historical context, she's honestly curious, evenhanded and fair.
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
From the press release:
Set in the 1860s, the film takes viewers on a journey through the life of American-poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who leads an idyllic life – until the day his world is shattered by tragedy.
With a nation divided by Civil War and his family torn apart, Longfellow puts down his pen, silenced by grief. However, it's the sound of Christmas morning that reignites the poet's lost voice, as he discovers resounding hope and a rekindled faith.
I Heard the Bells is a production of Sight & Sound and marks the first feature film from the ministry, based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, best known for putting on Bible-based live multimedia shows.
Image: Jonathan Roumie (center) in season three of 'The Chosen'/Angel Studios (screenshot)
Kate O’Hare, a longtime entertainment journalist, is Social Media Content Manager at Family Theater Productions.