PBS profiles the purveyors of Christianity

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Just in time for Easter season, the documentary "Peter and Paul and the Christian Revolution" (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) examines the two men most responsible for spreading the gospels of Jesus and for turning an obscure Jewish sect into the dominant faith of the Roman Empire.

Filmed in Morocco, the film uses biblical texts from Paul and other sources, dramatic recreations, and extensive interviews with biblical scholars and historians. Writer director Margaret Koval became interested in the two men while filming the documentary series "The Roman Empire in the First Century."

Koval considers this period, right after the death of Jesus, as crucial. "Many other messianic preachers, after all, had been executed by Rome and their followers all drifted into oblivion. This (two-hour film) will not take the success of Christianity as a foregone conclusion. Instead, it will follow the disciples of Jesus in real time and present their obstacles and dilemmas as they saw them." And their obstacles were many. In taking on Rome, Koval notes, Peter and Paul challenged "the greatest system of imperial organization the world had ever known."

Tonight's other highlights

Series notes

Arsenio Hall is host of "Star Search" (7 p.m., CBS) ... Kitty covets a cobbler recipe on "That '70s Show" (7 p.m., Fox) ... Shocking attitudes on "My Wife and Kids" (7 p.m., ABC) ... A dose of Klingon justice on "Enterprise" (7 p.m., UPN).

Max admires an older woman on "George Lopez" (7:30 p.m., ABC) ... Jen hears sad news on "Dawson's Creek" (7 p.m., WB).

The dating pool gets shallower on "The Bachelor" (8 p.m., ABC) ... A rapper suffers from violent visions on "The Twilight Zone" (8 p.m., UPN).

Jasmine displays remarkable powers of persuasion on "Angel" (8 p.m., WB) ... Wanda and Roger spend a surprisingly pleasant time at a game on "Wanda at Large" (8:30 p.m., Fox).

Late night

Lisa Marie Presley and Jamie Kennedy appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Seann William Scott on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).

Dennis Miller and Adam Glasser are scheduled on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Jeff Van Gundy chats on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (11:37 p.m., CBS).