Virgin Mary - Christmas 2002 on BBC ONE
religious icons to school nativity plays, the image of Mary is familiar
to people of all generations throughout the world.
the heart of Christian beliefs and with a major role in Islam, she
is arguably the most famous, and certainly the most revered, woman
ever to have lived.
Yet discovering who Mary really was is no easy task. For a woman
of such importance, her presence in the Bible is slight. And she
came from a place in the midst of political unrest and upheaval
from which very few historical records survive.
BBC ONE's The Virgin Mary, dramatic reconstructions
and stunning visual effects are combined with the latest findings
from historians and New Testament scholars to recreate the story
of this remarkable woman.
by actress Sue Johnston, The Virgin Mary explores the history behind
the miraculous Bible story to reveal the living, breathing mother
picture that emerges is very different from that of popular belief
– the serene young woman, dressed in blue silken robes, was
largely a creation of later writers and Renaissance painters.
or Miriam as she was more likely called, was a child of no more
than 12 or 13 when the custom of the time dictated that she was
sold into marriage to an older man.
uneducated and with few rights, she found herself pregnant while
still unmarried, a dangerous position in first-century Palestine.
Mary survived and went on to give birth to a baby who would transform
the course of human history.
Johnston says: "Many of you will find the story of this Mary
brutal and shocking; she certainly isn't the woman I was expecting.
But although the Mary in our programme is very human, she is every
bit as deserving of our affection."
powerful film is a celebration of a phenomenal life with many modern-day
Christians and non-Christians alike, this new portrayal of the real
Mary will be as much of an inspiration as the stories that have
grown up around her over the last 2,000 years.
site – www.bbc.co.uk/mary
– which ties in with the programme, features additional information
to back up the film's theories, as well as interviews with the experts.
also allows users to go behind the scenes to learn more about the
making of the film.
Virgin Mary is a BBC/Discovery Channel co-production in association
with Jerusalem Productions.
Virgin Mary press pack is available below, in PDF
format. You may require Adobe Acrobat Software to read PDF files
which can be obtained here.
Real Mary (269 KB)
Mary means to me - interview with Sue Johnston (160
and biographies (224 KB)