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Kings teases out the complex relationship between its characters and God

By Trisha Elliott


Take a biblically inspired drama, wrap it in modern culture, add a dash of fantasy and Shakespeare and you get Kings — an unusual and riveting television series.

Loosely based on the scriptural story of King David, Jonathan and Saul, Kings is set in the kingdom of Gilboa, a modern monarchy perpetually threatened by the neighbouring nation of Gath. The plot is familiar: a commoner named David is heroic in battle. He rescues King Silas’s son Jack and is promoted to military liaison to the press. At the same time, King Silas (a.k.a. Saul) begins to lose his grip on his kingdom, and his daughter has taken up with the man who will take over his throne.

While the outcome of the story is predictable, the journey isn’t. Viewers know that David is going to be king one day and that Silas is jealous that God has chosen David over him. But the uniquely dark and fantastical way that Kings teases out the complex relationship its characters have with God and with one another as a result enlivens the plot.

Modern twists keep the story fresh. Goliath, for example, is represented by a tank, and David’s sling is a bazooka.

Sadly, Kings was dethroned after 13 episodes. Loved by critics and largely ignored by the public, the show was poorly marketed by NBC. No doubt, selling a Bible-based story to secular audiences — or a Bible story with a modern riff to religious audiences — would have proved difficult.

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