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Journey of a lifetime

Cast: Anne Lawson and John Bonney Director John Haggarty DVD 3 Discs Network Classification E 559 Minutes £11.50

This series was made 60 years ago and shown in black and white from Christmas Eve 1961. It had been shot in colour and this re-release is in full colour.

It is something of a mixed bag, ranging across the genres of romance, travelogue and religious documentary.

It tells the story of John who was an engineer in the Middle East and his new bride Anne. The pair take a break to spend time to explore biblical sites and tell the stories related to them.

The site says that the series: “shown just before the sixties were starting to swing, the production even then had a slightly twee and old fashion look about it.”  I think that is a fair assessment. The series made by British Pathe do have a dated look, and the use of the King James Bible adds to the archaic feel. 

Yet there is also a charming innocent vintage feel to the series. In 39 15-minutes episodes, the unfolding story of the Bible is told with an unflinching honesty that does not gloss over the difficult bits. I liked the way it is set up as a conversation between Anne, a Christian, and her new husband, an agnostic. The overwhelming impact of the series is that the Bible presents evidence that demands a verdict. 

This may well be Marmite: you might love it or hate it.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex

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