Jesus of Nazareth (ITV, 6.15 pm). A second chance to see Franco Zefferelli's masterly film of the life of Christ. It is to be shown in four two-hour episodes, thus including two hours more filming than the original showing.
Pope John Paul II told Lord Lew Grade, who was responsible for bringing the film to television: "This version ofJesus of Nazareth will have a great impact, not only on Christendom, but on all the peoples of the world. I am sure people will want to see this film again and again."
The first episode sets the scene for Jesus' public ministry. In the synagogue in Nazareth, Rabbi Vehuda (Cyril Cusack) preaches tamed in Scripture. The villagers
are unaware that the ancient promises are beginning to be fulfilled in their midst.
Mary (Olivia Hussey) is startled from sleep by a divine messenger (depicted in the film by a bright light) and learns she is to have a child and that her elderly cousin Elizabeth is also expecting a child.
While Mary is visiting her cousin, Herod (Peter Ustinov) petulantly dismisses rumours of a Messiah at hand. He receives instructions from Rome, ordering him to conduct a census. Unwittingly he sets in motion the fulfil-, ment of the messianic prophecies.
Jesus grows up in Nazareth, well-schooled in the ancient traditions of his people and aware of their bitter indignation against the Romans. His cousin John (Michael York) begins his ministry of calling people to repentance, and assuring them that he is not the Messiah, who he promises is close at hand. The stage is now set for the beginning of Jesus' public ministry.
England their England: An Order from America (ATV, 7.30 pm). In 1963 a small group of Passionist nuns arrived in England from America: their mission was to pray for England. They started off with only £3,000 but now they have a convent in extensive grounds, 12,000 chickens, a herd of beef cattle and are selfsufficient in vegetables. They also make grandfather clocks.