Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: The Dovekeepers

This four-hour mini-series about the siege of Masada in ancient Israel ran on CBS the week before Easter, but we recorded it and didn't watch it until now. Back in the Seventies and Eighties, when the mini-series genre was booming on TV, Livia and I watched a bunch of them (including one called MASADA that starred Peter O'Toole and Peter Strauss). THE DOVEKEEPERS is very reminiscent of the mini-series from that era. For one thing, Biblical setting or not, it's pure historical soap opera, filled with lust, treachery, stalwart heroes, noble and long-suffering heroines, despicable villains, big battles, and tragedy. In fact, early on, when it was already obvious what this show was going to deliver, I turned to Livia and said, "Did we write the book this was based on and just forget about it?"

Well, of course the answer to that question is no. The only Biblical soap opera I ever wrote was TRIUMPH OF THE LION, the final book in the Children of the Lion series, which was packaged by Book Creations Inc. and published by Bantam under the house-name Peter Danielson. Alice Hoffman wrote the source novel for THE DOVEKEEPERS, and according to the reviews I've read, the mini-series does a terrible job of adapting it. Not having read the book, I have no idea. But I enjoyed the TV version anyway. Sure, it's over the top, but the scenery and the photography are great, the action scenes are pretty well done, and there's even a Viking in it (seriously). You can watch it now on Amazon if you're interested, and there'll be a DVD version coming out in a couple of months. If you go into it knowing what to expect, you might find it fairly entertaining. I did.

No comments: